This day in our military history.
A special salute is in order for the arrival of the first
American combat elements in Europe during WW II.
On 26 Jan 42, elements of the 34th Infantry Division came onto the friendly shores at Belfast, Northern Ireland. The
division was transported by HMTS STRANDHARD and USAT
CHATEAU THIERRY, having departed NY P/E, 15 Jan 42.
From there, they were dispatched to North Africa, the beginning of a long overseas tenure, with credit for six
Tunesia, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, North Apennines and
Po Valley, during which it suffered these casualties:
Killed in Action, 2,866
Wounded in Action, 11,545
Died from Wounds, 484,
for a casualty rate well in excess of 100%.
I was still a "high school Harry", when the Allies asaulted North Africa (8 Nov 42), but I well remember the exciting headlines generated by that operation, for it represented a light at the end of the tunnel.
Included in the assault on North Africa were:
1st Armoured Division
9th Infantry Division
18th Regimental Combat Team
So, "Salute" to the 34th ID,, the bellwether, as well as their companions going into Africa.
Louie F. Turner.