Private First Class Clarence D. Mills
328th Field Artillery Battalion
85th 'Custer' Division
Private Clarence Mills joined the 85th Custer Division during its organization and served his Country until the end of the war. I'm excited to provide his biography because Clarence Mills served in the same unit as my father; the 328th Field Artillery Battalion.
Private Mills entered the Army in October of 1942 at Fort Thomas, Kentucky. He left there for Basic Training at Camp Shelby, Miss., where he was assigned to the 85th Division. Then he continued on to California for Desert Warfare Training. He then went to Fort Dix, N.J. where his unit departed by boat to North Africa, where he was trained to use a .50-caliber machine gun.
Clarence was a member of the Headquarters Battery of the 328th Field Artillery Battalion. The HQ Battery did not operate any artillery pieces. Instead they were the command and control and administrative unit of the Battalion. But they shared the same fox holes and hazards as the rest of the artillerymen.
Clowning around during training at Camp Shelby, MS.
Left-to-Right: Jack Boutell, Yelch, and Clarence Mills,
The 328th Field Artillery Battalion entered combat with the 85th Division, 5th Army in May 1944. In Italy, Private Mills helped direct artillery fire at enemy targets by operating the switchboard that transmitted messages to the 3 artillery batteries. One of his best buddies was Private Jack Boutell.
At the end of the war, the soldiers were sent home by a Points System. Each soldier was assigned points based on his time in service, rank, awards, etc. From my research, most of the 328th Field Artillery Battalion returned to the US together in August 1945. Private Mills remained a few extra months in Italy and was assigned to the 34th Division. He left for home in December 1945.
Clarence Mills viewing the ruins of war at San Remo.
Probably taken after the war was over.
After the War
Clarence Mills settled down in West Virginia after the war and married Edith. They have been married for 55 years and have 4 children, 6 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
Edith and Clarence Mills enjoying some time with their family in 2000.
Christmas 2003 - Clarence received a shadown box of his medals and a folded flag for Christmas from his family. Bonnie said this webpage helped make this presentation possible.
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Go to Photos from Italy top menu or a group photo of Battery HQ of 328th FA.
See Biography of Sgt. Newton F. Cole, Battery B .
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