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MENU SELECTION:  The Italian Campaign At The Front Books Armies Maps 85th Division GI Biographies Websites

Dated:  November 20, 2014



Main Menu of
Biographies of G.I.'s

Biographies of the men who fought in Italy.

Click on Photo or Name to obtain a detailed Biography.

    While reading about battles and strategic campaigns, it is easy to forget about the men who were involved and how the war impacted their lives.  So, this is intended to put faces and personal stories to the Italian Campaign.  The title of this page was borrowed from a recent book published by Tom Brokaw.   This is a tribute to the soldier's who served their country by telling their story.
   A brief biography is provided on each of these soldiers, along with a photo or two.  This provides a glimpse into the lives of the men who fought in Italy.  Click on the photo or name to open up the biography sheet.  The names are in no particular order.  I began with my Dad and listed them as I recieved the biographies.  I listed one of my uncles last, since he did not serve in Italy.
I will add more biographies as I receive them.  One stipulation is that I have a photo of the individual in uniform.
Email me if you want to contribute or provide comment at Steve.

Click to go to Sgt Cole Bio
Staff Sergeant Newton F. Cole
  Forward Observer, Battery B, 
 328th Field Artillery Battalion, 
 85th 'Custer' Division
  Webpage contain photos, stories & history of 328FA and 85th Division. Bio gives some personel info.


Go to:
  328th Field Artillery
  Stories -  Italian Front
  Photos - Italian Front

Click to go to Bio
  Private Jimmy Hill
  Company L
Infantry Regiment,
 36th 'Texas' Division

 My Uncle
   Captured at Salerno Sept 43. Prisoner of War   Bio includes letter from POW camp.

Patch for 36 Division

Click to go to Biography

1st Sgt. Cecil C. Walker
Company K, Heavy Weapons Platoon, 
338th Infantry Regiment,
85th 'Custer' Division
Medal for Heroism for risking his life in Non-Combat action.

Click to go to Bio  

Private Seymour Sarokin
Company D, 
337th Infantry Regiment,
85th 'Custer' Division
  Enlisted Jan 1942, but didn't arrive in Italy until Oct 1944.  Read Bio to find out Why?

Click to go to Bio

  Private Lee McCloud

   Company C, 
   310th Engineer Battalion,
   85th 'Custer' Division

  Many of his photos are posted on this site.

Henry Nesvacil

 1st Sgt 
Henry V. Nesvacil

      Company L, 
     339th Infantry Regiment,
     85th 'Custer' Division
   Wounded in Action on the first day of the assault by the 85th Division in Operation DIADEM. 


Click to go to Biography

Pvt  Cleaston Patterson
    Company K, 
    339th Infantry Regiment,
    85th 'Custer' Division
           Killed in Action

  Another "Polar Bear" who was not as lucky.  Reported Missing in Action on May 14, 1944 and declared officially KIA in May 1945.

S/SGT  Sid Rivers Ayres

747th Bomber Squadron,
456th Bomb Group
15th Air Force

 Imagine to my amazement when I learned a member of my family was a B-24 tail gunner based in Italy.  His bio includes unpublished photos of his crew and a list of his bombing missions.
Sgt Rivers Ayres


PFC  Henry Guarnere 47th Armored Medical Btn
1st Armored Division 
    Killed in Action

A brave medic who earned a Silver Star --- like his famous brother who was depicted in "Band of Brothers".

Silver Star Medal
PFC Henry Guarnere, Silver Star Medal

Click to go to Bio
PFC  James W. Thompson
Company F, 
6th Armored Infantry Regiment, 
1st Armored Division
Served in N. Africa & Italy.
Discharged before end of War.
1st Armored Division

LT.  Roland Luerich
th Armored Engineers,

1st Armored Division

Soon after being cited for a Silver Star, he was killed just the day the Allies entered Rome.

Silver Star Medal
Click to go to Biography

PFC  Richard D. Foss
Company G,
350th Infantry Regiment,
88th 'Blue Devil' Division

One of the few who survived the fight for Battle Mountain.  After the war, he never spoke a word about his experiences in Italy.

Click to go to Biography

  CAPT  William Dempsey
   Battery C, 

  328th Field Artillery Battalion, 
  85th 'Custer' Division

    Captain Dempsey joined the 328 FA at Camp Shelby after completing OCS.  His story and his photos have contributed greatly to telling the story on this website.

Click for Biography

1st Sgt Erich Bauch  1st Sgt  Erich Bauch

  Battery B, 
 328th Field Artillery Battalion, 
 85th 'Custer' Division

 Enlisted in 1935.  In 1942, selected as part of initial cadre that formed the 85th Division at Camp Shelby.  Retired from Army after 23 years.

S/Sgt  Winfred W. Tolbert
    Service Company ,
  310th Engineer Battalion,
  88th 'Blue Devil' Division

After serving 3 years with the Marines, Winfred served with the 85th Division in Italy and was Killed in Action in Northern Italy the last few weeks of the war.

Interesting story about a penpal with a Hollywood connection.

Click for Biography

S/Sgt.  Walter Keane

  Battery A, 
 328th Field Artillery Btln, 
 85th 'Custer' Division

 Enlisted in 1938 and discharged in 1941.  Then he joined again to serve his country.  Read how Sgt Keane saved the flag of the 328FA from being lost in some government warehouse.

Click to go to Biography

Pfc.  William L. Wood

   Battery A, 
 329th Field Artillery Btln, 
 85th 'Custer' Division

  The 329 FA Battalion was also attached to the 85 Division.   Pfc enlisted from Tennessee and served with the 85th Division through the entire Italian campaign.

Click to view Biography

Pfc.  Kermit C. Fisher

   Company C
 338th Infantry Regiment, 
 85th 'Custer' Division 
         Killed in Action

  He was among a platoon that assaulted the German bunker on top of Monte Altuzzo on the German GOTHIC Line.


Pfc Kermit Fisher

Lt  Stancy Lewis

 Company B, 
310th Engineer Battalion,
85th 'Custer' Division

Entered combat as a Sergeant and recieved field commission as an officer.

Lt. Stancy Lewis

Pvt Warren Stichtenoth

 Company C, 
310th Engineer Battalion,
85th 'Custer' Division

Another combat engineer who had a special talent that may have saved his life.  Check out his story---and his great sketches from the front.

Died November 26, 2005.

Click to go to Biography

T/5  Raymond Abbey

  Medical Detachment,
  HeadQuarters Company 

  85th Divisional Artillery 
 85th 'Custer' Division

Raymond was a Medic and drove an ambulance in support of the 85th Division's artillery command.

T/5 Raymond Abbey

Capt. Robert E. Roeder
Company G, 
350th Infantry Regiment,
88th 'Blue Devil' Division

Killed in Action at Gothic Line at Mount Battaglia.
Bio describes action that earned him
the Medal of Honor.

Captain Roeder

Click to go to Bio
 PFC Clarence D. Mills
  HeadQuarters Battery, 

 328th Field Artillery Battalion, 
 85th 'Custer' Division

 Trained & served in the same unit as my Dad for duration of the war.

Go to
Private Paul Brown's
Anzio Diary

List of KIA from Brown's Diary

 Private Paul Brown
Grave Registration Service
179th Infantry Regiment,
45th 'Thunderbird' Division
GRS collected the bodies.
His very personal Anzio Diary is included on this Website. (38pages)

Click to go to Biography
 Private Clyde V. Hill
    Company C,
   119th Infantry Regiment,
   30th 'Ole Hickory' Division
   My Uncle - Did not serve in Italy.
   Severly wounded in Germany
   and disabled.

 Do you have a family member who was a "Custermen"? 

Add their biography here. 
Contact me with your Veteran's info.


Famous Personalities*
Who Fought in Italian Campaign

(Detail Biographies are not included for everyone of these)
Rank and Decorations shown represent their service in Italy, only.

* They are "Famous" with respect to their post-War careers.  I do not intend to imply that some soldiers are more famous than others.

Stamp with Sgt Murphy
Commerative Stamp

Rank and Decorations during
service in Italy.

Staff Sgt. Audie L. Murphy 
Company K, 180th Regiment,
 3rd 'Marne' Division
Most Decorated GI in WW2.   Movie Actor.
Bronze Arrowhead to Campaign Medal for assault at Sicily & Anzio.  Bronze Star for destorying tank on 2 March 1944 at Anzio.
Bronze Star
3rd Infantry Division

Lt Robert Dole
Lieutenant Robert Dole
Company I, 85th Mtn Regiment,
10th Mountain Division
He was severly wounded 14 April '45 at Hill 913.  After 3 years and 9 operations he recovered but lost the use of his right arm. 
US Senator from Kansas and ran for President against Bill Clinton.
Bronze StarPurple Heart
  Official Biography  (+ external link)
10th Mountain Division

Lt Daniel Inouye
Lieutenant Daniel Inouye 
442nd Regimental Combat Team
 Lt. Inouye was hit in his abdomen by a bullet, barely missing his spine. He continued to fight until his right arm was shattered by a German rifle grenade.  He lost his right arm.
US Senator from Hawaii.
  His Distinguished Service Cross was upgraded to a Medal of Honor on June 21, 2000.
Distinguished Service CrossBronze StarPurple Heart
442nd Regimental Combat Team

The 442nd RCT were  Americans ofJapanese ancestry.  Fought in Italy and France.

Click to go to Bio
Read McGovern's Biography
Lieutenant George McGovern
455th Bomb Group
15th Army Air Force
Flew 35 missions in B-24 Dakota Queen based at Cherignola, Italy.
Senator from S. Dakota and Dem. Presidential candidate in 1972.  
     Distinguished Flying CrossAir MedalOak LeafOak LeafOak Leaf
15th Air Force
15th AF flew strategic bombing missions into Italy, Germany, Rumania, etc. 

Benjamin O Davis, Jr

COL Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.
332nd Fighter Group
15th Fighter Command
(15th Army Air Force)
Flew 35 combat missions.
Ramitelli & Cattolica, Italy.
First black USAF General.  Retired after 35 years. 
    Distinguished Flying CrossSilver Star Medal
15th Air Force
Commanded the all-Black unit, the "Tuskeegee Arimen".  Escorted bombers into Germany, Rumania, etc. 

Bill Mauldin
    Bill Mauldin
 45th Infantry Division

A Cartoonist who created "Willie & Joe".  Won the Pulitzer Prize.

  After the war he wrote and was a
political cartoonist.  He was in movie "The Red Badge of Courage" with his friend, Audie Murphy (listed above).

Died Jan 23, 2003.

 45th Infantry Division 

   A List of Hollywood and TV personalities who fought in Italian Campaign.

Joe E. Brown Actor in the 1940's.  He did not serve in the military.  However, he logged 200,000 miles at his own expense to entertain the troops.  One of few civilians to be awarded the Bronze Star medal.

Burt Lancaster
Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942 and was assigned to the Special Services Division of the Fifth Army as an entertainer.

Norman Lear Served as a radio operator in the Fifteenth Army Air Force at Foggia, Italy and flew 57 combat missions.

James Arness Served in the 3rd Infantry Division and was wounded at Anzio.   Awarded Purple Heart and Bronze Star.   Leading Actor in "Gunsmoke".

John Huston
Enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 to film war documentaries.  He was discharged as a Major.

Frederick Faust
aka Max Brand
A war correspondent killed on 12 May 1944.  Before the war he wrote hundreds of pulp fiction books, including 'Destry Rides Again' and  'Calling Dr. Kildare'.

Other Personalities
Henry Wellesley, Captain Duke of Wellington, 2nd Commandos.  Died of wounds on 16 Sept 1943, near Salerno.

Shelby Foote
  WW2 Photo at  bottom of page
Camp Shelby

Captain in the artillery in the 50th FA Battalion of the 5th Infantry Division in France.  He was at Camp Shelby at the same time the 85th Division was there.  He became a noted author and was featured in Ken Burn’s PBS-TV “Civil War” series.  
  (Foote did not serve in Italy.)
Harald Quandt
step-son of Joseph Goebbels
Harald was the son of Magda Goebbels from her first marriage.  He was captured in Italy.

Campaign medals earned by most soldiers who served in the Italian Campaign.
American Campaign Medal - WWII 

Service outside the U.S. in the American theater for 30 days.

European - African - Middle Eastern Campaign Medal

  Service in the European - African- Middle Eastern theater for 30 days.

American Defense Service Medal WWII

  Service for 12 months of active duty in Army, 1939-41.

World War II
Victory Medal

  Service in US Armed Forces between 1941 and 1946.

Return to Photos from Italy top menu.

Return to History of Italian Campaign top menu.

Click to read more on the 85th Infantry Division at the CusterMen menu.