Greetings, Rhonda Cook !!!
How could I ever grow tired of something I love to do ?
I arrived in Italy a little after John Ray's death, so naturally I didn't know him.
However, I do have access to the history of the 91st Infantry Division, which consisted of three Infantry Regiments (361st,362nd,363rd) four Artillery Battalions (346th,347th,348th,916th), plus other related units.
It was activated at Camp White, Oregon,
15 Aug 42. Following training, it was processed through Camp Patrick Henry, VA, starting 30 Mar 44;
departed Hampton Roads,VA P/E 14 Apr 44;
arrived North Africa 21 Apr 44, for training;
arvd. Italy 19 Jun 44;
returned to Hampton Roads P/E 10 Sep 45.
Rome-Arno, 22 Jan 44 / 9 Sep 44
North Apennines, 10 Sep 44 / 4 Apr 45
Po Valley, 5 Apr 45 / 5 May 45
Killed in Action, 1,400
Wounded in Action, 6,748
Died from Wounds , 175
Overseas Wartime Assignments
Fifth Army, Jun 44
IV Corps, 12 Jul 44
II Corps, 31 Jul 44
Major General Charles H. Gerhardt, Aug 42
MG William G. Lindsey, Jul 43
The division landed in North Africa on staggered dates from 18 Apr 44 to 10 May 44.
After training, the division entered Italy 19 Jun 44;
361st IR entered combat at Anzio, Italy 1 Jun 44;
the 363rd was committed at Hill 675 on
4 Jul 44, then overran Monte Vase, which was lost during a German counter attack 7 Jul 44;
the 363rd entered Livorno on 18 Jul 44, and took Pisa 24 Jul 44;
the division cleared the south bank of the Arno River below Florence 21/22 Jul 44;
it was relieved below Fuecchio;
it began training near Certaldo.
The division massed along Highway 65 on
9 Sep 44, crossing the Sieve River on the 10th, to attack Monte Calvi, Monticelli and Altuzzo on 12 Sep 44.
This was a major assault on the heavily defended Gothic Line above Florence.
The 361st and 363rd IRs fought the Battle of
Monte Monticelli 12/18 Sep 44.
The division reached the Saterno River
22 Sep 44;
after heavy engagement, it took Monte Beni on 25 Sep 44.
(Which leads me to speculate that John Ray probably died just above the Saterno River,or before or on Monte Beni. I am so sorry.)
The rest of division was located at Treviso north of Venice when the Germans capitulated 2 May 45.
The division was located at Angoris, Italy, at war's end, 15 Aug 45, while undergoing training for the planned invasion of Japan.
That's about all I have for you, Rhonda, other than a personal note.
I went to the line just above Florence, and had the opportunity to visit that most-beautiful-of-all-cities several times after the war ended.
I didn't see their cemetery, but have seen those at Anzio and Honolulu, and can state that they are beautiful, serene and well maintained.
Hope to see Florence again either the last of this year or early next year.
With best regards to you and your family,
Louie Franklin Turner.