133rd Infantry History • World War II

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HISTORY

133rd INFANTRY

34th INFANTRY DIVISION


Combat Infantry Badge

To the men of the 133rd Infantry:

I feel that many of you will wish to have some record of the events in which you were a part. This chronological history, in spite of its brevity, will refresh your memory and enable you to associate your participation in the affairs of the Regiment. I hope that this will aid in cementing the camaraderie and esprit de corps that has always been so highly manifest in the 133rd Infantry.

Walden S. Lewis
Colonel, Infantry
Commanding


133rd INFANTRY HISTORY
10 Feb. 1941 The Regiment, an Iowa National Guard unit, was inducted into Federal Service as part of the 34th Infantry Division.
 1 March 1941 Arrived at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana for intensive training.
11 Aug. to 1 Oct. 1941 Participated in Louisiana Maneuvers.
 8 Dec. 1941 Arrived in New Orleans for guard duty.
23 Dec. 1941 Returned to Camp Claiborne.
 4 Jan. 1942 Arrived at Fort Dix, N. J.
14 Jan. 1942 1st Bn and Special Cos sailed for Ireland.
18 Feb. 1942 2nd & 3rd Bns sailed for Ireland.
28 May 1942 The Regiment assembled in the vicinity of Caledon, Northern Ireland for intensive training and maneuvers.
17 Sept. 1942 2nd Bn. left the Regiment for duty with Allied Force Headquarters in England.
10 Dec. 1942 The Regiment moved to England where complete equipment was issued; and passes were issued for London, Manchester and other English cities.
22 Dec. 1942 The Regiment moved to Liverpool and boarded the Empress of Australia the next day.
25 Dec. 1942 The Regiment sailed for North Africa.
 3 Jan. 1943 The Regiment landed at Mers El Kabir (Oran) after a voyage climaxed by the Empress being rammed by another ship of the convoy, and marched to Assi Ben Okba, ten miles East of Oran. A period of light training, guard duty, and passes to Oran followed.
 1 Feb. 1943 The Regiment assembled in the vicinity of Lavayssiere.
 7 Feb. 1943 The Regiment moved by truck over the bitter cold Atlas Mountains to the vicinity of Maktar, preparatory to relieving the French units in sector south of Fondouk Pass and east of Hadjeb-el-Aioun.
17 Feb. 1943 The 3rd Battalion made contact with advancing elements of Romel's [sic] 21st Panzer Division and stopped them. The same day the 1st Battalion was equally successful in turning back the enemy at Kef-el-Amar Pass. Ordered to withdraw the next day.
11 March 1943 1st Battalion recaptured Kef-el-Amar Pass with heavy losses in Company "C".
 8 April 1943 Battle for Fondouk Pass began in a bitter struggle for hill 306, with the 1st Bn. finally storming and clearing it two days later.
10 to 25 April 1943 The Regiment trained intensively around Fondouk, then Makatar.
29 April 1943 The Regiment moved to Sidi Nsir in sight of the Mediterranean, and joined in the bitter three day struggle that ended in the capture of hill 609. The 1st Bn. made the final and successful attack while under the command of the 135th Infantry.
 2 to 8 May 1943 The Regiment participated in the battles for Eddekhila and Chougui Pass over mountainous terrain where supply was the greatest problem.
13 May - 30 July 1943 The Regiment was engaged in police and salvage work, training and building staging areas for those troops bound for Sicily.
 1 August 1943 The Regiment moved to Arzew near Oran for more training and a week later to the vicinity of Slissen for mountain training and the 5th Army Battle School.
26 August 1943 The Regiment moved to Bou Tlelis where training was eased up and passes to Oran were available.
 9 Sept. 1943 The 100th Infantry Bn. was assigned as the Regiment's 2nd Bn. and fought as part of the Regiment until March 1944.
19 Sept. 1943 The Regiment sailed from Oran in readiness for an assault landing in Italy.
22 Sept. 1943 The Regiment landed in the Bay of Salerno without incident and marched to the Division assembly area near Paestum.
25 Sept. 1943 The Regimental Combat Team, composed of the 133rd Infantry, 151st Field Artillery, and Company "A" 109th Medical Bn. moved to the assembly area near Montecorvino-Rovella, then passed through the 45th Infantry Division to establish contact with the enemy.
26 Sept. - 2 Oct. 1943 The Combat Team advanced in the general direction of Benevento against moderate to heavy opposition.
 3 Oct. 1943 The 3rd Bn. made a spectacular advance and secured Benevento advancing through difficult terrain, drizzling rain and heavy artillery fire. Company "K" suffered heavy casualties in the outskirts of Benevento. In the afternoon the 45th Infantry Division passed through us.
 5 Oct. 1943 The Regiment assembled Northwest of San Giorgio.
12 Oct. 1943 The Regiment moved to a bivouac area West of Mountsaichio assembling as Division reserve during the crossing of the Volturno River.
18 Oct. 1943 The regiment was given the mission of crossing the Volturno river and securing Alife. The 1st Bn. secured a bridgehead, and the following day Alife, with the 3rd and 100th Bns. securing the flanks.
23 Oct. 1943 The Regiment advanced against stiff opposition to secure finally the high ground Northwest of San Angelo D'Alife. During that day the 100th Bn. beat off a tank attack, accounting for one enemy tank.
31 Oct. 1943 The Regiment captured Ciorlano which required capturing a succession of hills and supplying by hand carry.
 4 Nov. 1943 The third crossing of the Volturno was accomplished and S. Maria Olivetto taken against heavy enemy fire and over ground thick with mines and booby traps.
 5 to 9 Nov. 1943 The Regiment repelled numerous enemy counter-attacks and by the 12th was relieved by the 135th and 179th Infantry Regiments.
15 to 22 Nov. 1943 The Regiment was in VI Corps reserve.
25 Nov. 1943 The Regiment relieved the 504th Para. Infantry in the vicinity of Colli, while the Cannon Company moved to Scapoli.
29 Nov. 1943 The Regiment continued the attack against bitter opposition for the next 5 days with the enemy always looking down from the next hill. Casualties were as high as 15% in the 100th Bn. The weather was cold and rainy and all supply was brought up by newly acquired mules.
 3 to 10 Dec. 1943 The Regiment held positions won and was constantly subjected to heavy artillery fire.
 9 Dec. 1943 The Regiment was relieved by the French.
10 Dec. 1943 The Regiment moved to the vicinity of Alife to a rest area where replacements were received and a program of training and recreation was provided.
 1 to 5 Jan. 1944 The Regiment was in II Corps reserve.
 8 to 13 Jan. 1944 The Regiment was teamed up with the 1st Special Service Force under Task Force B and continued the attack, seizing several hills, including Mt. Capraro, in the face of stubborn enemy resistance, mountainous terrain and adverse weather.
13 Jan. 1944 The Regiment less the 100th Bn. reverted to control of the 34th Infantry Division and continued the attack Northwest of Cevaro. The 100th Bn. returned to the Regiment on the 19th of Jan.
21 Jan. 1944 The Regiment occupied positions in preparation for the attack across the Rapido river to Cassino. Cassino was extremely well fortified, the enemy skillfully employing the terrain features to best advantage.
24 Jan to 21 Feb 1944 The Battle for Cassino. The Regiment played a leading role in this famous battle which was one of the toughest of the war. There were many cases of outstanding valor and the fierceness of the battle can be gauged by the over 50% casualties suffered by the three Battalions.
22 Feb. 1944 The Regiment was relieved and withdrew to Alife area for training.
10 March 1944 The Regiment moved to San Giorgio, near Benevento, where replacements were received and a period of intensive training resulted.
16 March 1944 The 2nd Bn., which had been on guard duty at AFHQ in North Africa, rejoined the Regiment. The 100th Bn. was relieved of assignment to the 133rd Infantry but remained attached up to 31 March.
[Other documents show that the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) remained attached to the Regiment until at least 23 May. It was at about that time that the 100th was permanently assigned as the 1st Bn., 442nd Infantry Regiment (Nisei).]
23 March 1944 The Regiment began moving to Staging Area No. 1 near Naples to prepare for movement to the Anzio Beachhead.
25 March 1944 1st & 3rd Bns. and Special Companies arrived at Anzio and moved by truck to assembly area a few miles inland.
26 March 1944 2nd and 100th Bns. arrived on the Beachhead. The Regiment less the 3rd Bn. relieved units of the 30th Inf. The 3rd Bn. was attached to the 168th Infantry Regiment and relieved the 3rd Bn. of the 15th Infantry.
11 to 13 April 1944 The Regiment relieved the 168th Infantry Regiment along the Mussolini Canal and the Cisterna River.
23 May 1944 At 0630 hours the Anzio Offensive began. The 1st Special Service Force passed through the Regiment to cut highway No. 7, but was driven back by German Tiger Tanks and Infantry.
24 May 1944 The 1st Bn. finally cut the road after an all day struggle, after which the 2nd & 3rd Bns. passed through and secured their objectives early the next morning.
25 May 1944 The Regiment was pulled back to an assembly area then shifted several miles to the North.
26 May 1944 The Regiment attacked toward Lanuvio for three days, moving rapidly until encountering the main enemy defense line.
 3 June 1944 The Regiment captured Lanuvio after an extremely bitter and costly five day struggle.
 4 June 1944 The Regiment rested the afternoon and night in Albano, then marched 15 miles the next day to an assembly area on the edge of Rome.
 7 June 1944 The Regiment passed through the 168th Infantry Regiment north of Civitavecchia pushing up route No. 1. Just South of Tarquinia the Regiment destroyed an enemy bicycle Bn. in a furious one day engagement.
 9 June 1944 The Regiment was relieved by the 361st Infantry and went into a rest and training period near Tarquinia. Passes to Rome were very popular.
26 June 1944 The Regiment relieved the 143rd Infantry Regiment East of Piombino and continued the attack along highway No. 1.
27 June 1944 The 1st Bn. had a brief but sharp engagement at San Vincenzo and the Regiment continued its advance.
 1 July 1944 Cecina was captured after a hard two day struggle after which the Regiment had a brief rest period.
 5 July 1944 The 3rd Bn, A.T. and Cannon Companies were reviewed by Secretary of War Stimson.
 8 July 1944 The Regiment relieved the 168th Infantry in the vicinity of Riparbella and continued the attak [sic] North over very rough terrain.
19 to 20 July 1944 The Regiment was relieved by the 168th Infantry and had a day rest.
21 July 1944 The Regiment relieved the 442nd Infantry in the vicinity of Colle Salvetti.
22 July 1944 The Regiment continued the attack to reach the Arno River.
24 to 29 July 1944 The Regiment was relieved and went into a rest and training period in the vicinity of Rosignano.
19 Aug. 1944 The Regiment was inspected by Prime Minister Churchill.
21 Aug. 1944 The Regiment moved by convoy to training area in the vicinity of Castelflorentino.
 6 Sept. 1944 The Regiment moved to an assembly area in the north edge of Florence.
 8 Sept 1944 The Regiment moved North about ten miles to Cercina.
 9 Sept 1944 The Regiment moved back around Florence and then Northwest to Legri to begin the attack on the Gothic Line. Light resistance was encountered over mountainous terrain.
12 Sept 1944 The resistance was stiffening and mine fields were encountered as we neared the main defense positions.
15 Sept 1944 S. Margherita was cleared in the hard struggle then in progress.
22 Sept 1944 Hill 918 was finally captured and later in the day Montepiano was cleared.
24 Sept 1944 The Regiment went into Division reserve in the vicinity of Montepiano.
28 Sept 1944 The Regiment moved to the vicinity of Montecarelli on route No. 65.
30 Sept 1944 The Regiment moved to Madna de Fornelli to prepare to continue the attack the following day to capture Mount Venere.
 4 Oct. 1944 Mount Venere was captured after a savage four day fight. Monzuno was captured late that night by Co. "F". The following day the attack continued without let up.
11 Oct. 1944 The Regiment was relieved and went into Division reserve in the vicinity of Vergiano.
16 Oct. 1944 The Regiment began the attack for Mt. Belmonte with the 2nd Bn. making the initial effort, Company "G" suffering heavy losses.
21 Oct. 1944 Castel di Zena was captured by 1st Bn.
23 Oct. 1944 Mt. Belmonte was finally taken by 3rd Bn. making [sic] the end of the offensive for the year.
11 Nov. 1944 The Regiment was relieved and went to Montecatini for rest and training.
21 Nov. 1944 The Regiment relieved the 361st Infantry in the sector along Route No. 65 from Livergnano West of La Guarda.
 3 Dec. 1944 The Regiment was relieved of its sector and set up the C.P. in Loiano; however for the next month at least two Bns. were on the line under control of either the 168th Infantry or the 135th Infantry.
31 Dec. 1944 The Regiment was relieved and as a unit again went to an assembly area in the vicinity of Piancaldoli.
 2 Jan 1945 Work was started on secondary defense positions and continued for the next week.
11 to 12 Jan 1945 The Regiment relieved the 349th Infantry in the sector 4000 yards East of Mt. Belmonte. The Regimental C.P. was located at Savazza on the Idice river.
 5 Feb. 1945 The 2nd Bn was assigned the mission of capturing hill feature 363. Company "F" suffered heavy casualties in leading the unsuccessful attack later known as the "Collina Operation".
12 to 13 Feb. 1945 The Regiment was relieved by the 363rd Infantry Regiment, the 3 Bns. going to Montecatini for 5 days rest. The remainder of the Regiment went direct to Le Croci di Calenzano, the training area 14 miles Northwest of Florence. General Marshall visited the Division, including the 133rd Infantry.
 3 March 1945 The 1st Bn. went into Army reserve backing up the 10th Mountain Division. The remainder of the Regiment relieved the 349th Infantry on Monzuno sector West of Highway No 65.
11 March 1945 The 1st Bn. returned to the Regiment in the reserve area around Trasasso.
 3 April 1945 The Regiment took over the Mt. Belmonte sector, relieving the 361st Infantry Regiment.
 9 April 1945 The 168th Infantry took over the command of the sector including the 2nd and 3rd Bns., Cannon and A.T. Companies of our Regiment, the remainder of the Regiment moved to Sadurano, behind the escarpment.
16 April 1945 0300 hours was the "H" hour for the attack, with the 168th Infantry passing through the 2nd and 3rd Bns.
19 April 1945 The Regiment passed through the 363rd Infantry East of Highway No. 65 and continued the attack north.
21 April 1945 The Regiment entered Bologna with Company "K" in the lead.
23 April 1945 The Regiment started up highway No. 9 with the 1st Bn. in the lead securing Modena.
24 April 1945 The 3rd Bn. secured Reggio after a fight in the Eastern edge of town. The 2nd Bn. marched 27 miles protecting the left flank.
26 April 1945 The 3rd Bn. passed through Parma around the edge of Fidenza and went Northeast to Busseto, capturing it after a ten hour fight, the 1st Bn. clearing to the right of the 3rd Bn. and the 2nd to the left.
27 April 1945 The 2nd Bn. at San Pietro in Cerro captured 459 POWs and much equipment after a sharp fight. The 3rd Bn. advanced as far as the Po river 3 miles South west of Cremona.
28 April 1945 The Regiment assembled in the vicinity of Fidenza.
29 April 1945 The Regiment moved by truck to Bergamo 175 miles distant.
 1 May 1945 The Regiment moved to the vicinity of Busto Garolfo Northwest of Milan.
 2 May 1945 The Regiment moved West along the Autostrada to Arborio where news was received of the German surrender in Italy.
 3 May 1945 The Regiment moved to Gallarate-Varese area Northwest of Milano, where we continued to police up prisoners.
15 to 16 May 1945 The Regiment moved to an area West of Torino where one Bn. was on duty on the French border and the remainder of the Regiment carried on a training, education and recreation program.
30 May 1945 The Regiment held an impressive Memorial Day Service. Company "I" traveled to Anzio for the service conducted by 5th Army.
30 June 1945 The Allies Parade in Susa with the 3rd Bn., representing the 34th Infantry Division, parading with the French 27th Alpine Infantry Division.
17 to 19 July 1945 The Regiment moved by rail and truck to Northeastern Italy in the vicinity of Udine where training, education and recreation programs continued in line with our guard duty assignments in Trieste, Pola, Gorizia and along the Morgan line.
October, 1945 The Regiment returned with the 34th Division to the United States.

Printed in Gorizia, Italy

29 September 1945

W J Skelly, Lt Col Inf This document was found in the personal files of Walter J. Skelly, then Lt. Col., Infantry, who served with the First Battalion and Regimental staff, Nov44-Oct45.

The document is also archived by the U.S. Army Military History Institute as file #603-133.1945.


An expanded presentation of the Regiment's history is now online at 133rd Infantry Regiment • Narrative History.


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