World War I
Activated: October 1917 (National Guard Division, troops from North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota).
Overseas: Most of the division personnel was sent to other organizations.
Maj. Gen. A. P. Blacksom (25 August 1917)
Brig. Gen. F. G. Mauldin (18 September 1917)
Maj. Gen. A. P. Blacksom (10 December 1917)
Brig. Gen. F. G. Mauldin (8 May 1918)
Brig. Gen. J. A. Johnston (4 July 1918)
Brig. Gen. John A. Johnston (26 October 1918).
Returned to U. S.: December 1918.
World War II
Activated: 10 February 1941 (National, Guard Division from North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota).
Overseas: May 1942.
Campaigns: Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, North Apennines, Po River.
Days of combat: 500.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 3.
Awards: MH-9 ; DSC-6 ; DSM-2 ; SS-1,153 ; LM-6; SM-54 ; BS-M2,545.
Maj. Gen. Ellard A. Walsh (February-August 1941)
Maj. Gen. Russell P. Hartle (August 1941-May 1942)
Maj. Gen. Charles W. Ryder (May 1942-July 1944)
Maj. Gen. Charles L. Bolte (July 1944 to inactivation).
Returned to U. S.: 3 November 1945.
Inactivated: 3 November 1945. (See National Guard.)
After continuing its training in Ireland, the 34th Infantry Division saw its first combat in the North African invasion, 8 November 1942, landing at Algiers and seizing the port and outlying airfields. Elements of the Division took part in numerous subsequent engagements in Tunisia during the Allied build-up, notably at Sened Station, Paid Pass, Sbeitla, and Fondouk Gap. In April 1943 the Division assaulted Hill 609, capturing it on 1 May 1943, and then drove through Chouigui Pass to Tebourba and Ferryville. The Division then trained for the Salerno landing. The 151st FA Bn. went in on D-day, 9 September 1943, at Salerno, while the rest of the Division followed on 25 September. Contacting the enemy at the Calore River, 28 September 1943, the 34th drove north to take Benevento, crossed the winding Volturno three times in October and November, assaulted Mount Patano and took one of its four peaks before being relieved, 9 December 1943. In January 1944, the Division drove into the Gustav line, took Mount Trocchio after a bitter fight, pushed across the Rapido, attacked Monastery Hill, and fought its way into Cassino, being relieved 13 February 1944. After rest and rehabilitation, it landed in the Anzio beachhead, 25 March 1944, maintaining defensive positions until the offensive of 23 May, when it broke out of the beachhead, took Cisterna, and raced to Civitavecchia and Rome. After a short rest, the Division drove across the Cecina River to liberate Livorno, 19 July 1944, and continued on to take Mount Belmonte in October. Digging in south of Bologna for the winter, the 34th jumped off, 15 April 1945, and captured Bologna on 21 April. Pursuit of the routed enemy was halted, 2 May, with the German surrender in Italy.
Nicknames: Red Bull Division. Slogan: Attack, Attack, Attack! Shoulder patch: A bovine skull, in red, on an olla (Mexican water flask) of black. Association: 34th Infantry Division Association, Argonne Armory, Des Moines 9, Iowa. Publication: Story of the 34th Division from Louisiana to Pisa; by unit members; TI&E, MTOUSA ; distributor, The Adjutant General of Iowa, Des Moines 18, Iowa; 1945.
[Nota Bene: These combat chronicles, current as of October 1948, are reproduced from The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950, pp. 510-592.]