Original U.S. WWII 34th Infantry Division Silver Star Grouping - 133rd Infantry Regiment
Original Items: One-one-of-a-kind. Fantastic Silver Star grouping that belonged to Staff Sergeant Gordon H. Yingst army serial number, from Lititz Pennsylvania who enlisted on December 12th, 1942 at the age of 21. He served on the Fifth Army front in Company K, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 34th "Red Bull" Division. The 34th division participated in six major Army campaigns in North Africa and Italy. The division is credited with amassing 517 days of front-line combat, more than any other division in the U.S. Army. One or more 34th Division units were engaged in actual combat for 611 days. The 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry and the Ironman Battalion still holds the record over the rest of the U.S. Army for days in combat
Yingst was awarded an incredible 5 battle stars for the following campaigns; Tunisia, Naples–Foggia, Rome–Arno, North Apennines and the Po Valley. He received a Purple Heart Medal (original medal included) with One Oak Leaf Cluster for sustaining injuries in combat. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal (original medal included) for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving with the 34th Infantry Division during World War II which was presented to him in the Rivoli area of Italy on May 23rd, 1945 by Major General Charles L. Bolte, 34th Division Commander, (original photo of presentation included).
Included in this amazing grouping are the following items:
- Ike jacket size 36 in excellent condition with 34th Infantry Division patch on the left shoulder, Staff Sergeant Chevrons, 133rd Infantry Division Distinctive Unit Insignia lapel pins, 85th Infantry Division patch on right shoulder, Medal ribbons that include: Silver Star Medal, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Good Conduct, European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 5 Bronze Battle Stars. Sterling CIB, ruptured duck patch. The inside of the jacket is clearly ink marked with laundry number in armpit Y-4336.
- Original 4.5 inch x 7 inch Army Signal Corps photo of Yingst being presented his Silver Star medal by Major General Charles L. Bolte, 34th Division Commander on 23 May 1945 in Rivoli, Italy. The reverse of the photo is correctly stamped with all information and stamped RESTRICTED.
- Original Silver Star Medal in Case.
- Original Purple Heart Medal in Case.
- Original M1 Helmet liner with 34th Infantry Division Insignia painted on front. While the liner is 100% original WWII the painted insignia was added after the war to represent the liner worn by Yingst in the Silver Star ceremony photo.
- Original Honorable Discharge dated September 1st, 1945 with all wartime battle campaigns and awards recorded. Note- Yingst was transferred to the 85th Division, 388th Infantry Regiment shortly before discharging.
- Original Dog Tag to his brother CLARENCE YINGST, it was part of the grouping that came from the family, so we took it.
- Original Good Conduct Medal.
- Copy of Yingt's draft registration card.
34th Infantry Division in WW2:
On 8 January 1942, the 34th Division was transported by train to Fort Dix, New Jersey to quickly prepare for overseas movement. The first contingent embarked at Brooklyn on 14 January 1942 and sailed from New York the next day. The initial group of 4,508 men stepped ashore at 12:15 hrs on 26 January 1942 at Dufferin Quay, Belfast, Northern Ireland. They were met by a delegation including the Governor (Duke of Abercorn), the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland (John Miller Andrews), the Commander of British Troops Northern Ireland (Lieutenant General Sir Harold Franklyn), and the Secretary of State for Air (Sir Archibald Sinclair).
While in Northern Ireland, Hartle was tasked with organizing an American version of the British Commandos, a group of small "hit and run" forces, and promoted his aide-de-camp, Captain William Orlando Darby to lead the new unit. Darby assembled volunteers, and of the first 500 U.S. Army Rangers, 281 came from the 34th Infantry Division. On 20 May 1942, Hartle was designated commanding general of V Corps and Major General Charles Ryder, a distinguished veteran of World War I, took command of the 34th Division. The division trained in Northern Ireland until it boarded ships to travel to North Africa for Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa, in November 1942.
The 34th, under command of Major General Ryder, saw its first combat in French Algeria on 8 November 1942. As a member of the Eastern Task Force, which included two brigades of the British 78th Infantry Division, and two British Commando units, they landed at Algiers and seized the port and outlying airfields. Elements of the 34th Division took part in numerous subsequent engagements in Tunisia during the Allied build-up, notably at Sened Station, Sidi Bou Zid and Faid 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 Battle of Tunisia was won, and the Axis forces surrendered.
The division skipped the Allied invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky) and instead trained intensively for the invasion of the Italian mainland, with the main landings being at Salerno (Operation Avalanche) on 9 September 1943, D-Day, to be undertaken by elements of the U.S. Fifth Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Mark Clark. The 151st Field Artillery Battalion went in on D-Day, 9 September, landing at Salerno, while the rest of the division followed on 25 September. Engaging the enemy at the Calore River, 28 September, the 34th, as part of the VI Corps under Major General John Lucas, relentlessly drove north to take Benevento, crossed the winding Volturno three times in October and November, assaulted Monte Patano, and took one of its four peaks before being relieved on 9 December.
In January 1944, the division was back on the front line battering the Bernhardt Line defenses. Persevering through bitter fighting along the Mignano Gap, the 34th used goat herds to clear the minefields. The 34th took Monte Trocchio without resistance as the German defenders withdrew to the main prepared defenses of the Gustav Line. On 24 January 1944, during the First Battle of Monte Cassino they pushed across the Gari River into the hills behind and attacked Monastery Hill which dominated the town of Monte Cassino. While they nearly captured the objective, in the end their attacks on the monastery and the town failed. The performance of the 34th Infantry Division in the mountains has been called one of the finest feats of arms carried out by any soldiers during the war. The unit sustained losses of about 80 per cent in the infantry battalions. They were relieved from their positions 11–13 February 1944. Eventually, it took the combined force of five Allied infantry divisions to finish what the 34th nearly accomplished on its own.
After rest and rehabilitation, the 34th Division landed at the Anzio beachhead 25 March 1944. The division maintained defensive positions until the offensive of 23 May, when it broke out of the beachhead, took Cisterna, and raced to Civitavecchia and the Italian capital of Rome. After a short rest, the division, now commanded by Major General Charles Bolte, drove across the Cecina River to liberate Livorno, 19 July 1944, and continued on to take Monte Belmonte in October during the fighting on the Gothic Line. Digging in south of Bologna for the winter, the 34th jumped off the Spring 1945 offensive in Italy, 15 April 1945, and captured Bologna on 21 April. Pursuit of the routed enemy to the French border was halted on 2 May upon the German surrender in Italy and the end of World War II in Europe.
On 27 June 1944 the 16th SS-Panzer Grenadiers command post in San Vincenzo, Italy was overrun by the 1st Battalion of the 133rd Infantry Regiment. The command post was a town center apartment which had been commandeered, when the owners returned to their apartment they found a signed large leather bound Stieler's Hand Atlas which had been left behind; more on this story here http://generalheinrichvonvietinghoff.wordpress.com/
The division participated in six major Army campaigns in North Africa and Italy. The division is credited with amassing 517 days of front-line combat, more than any other division in the U.S. Army. One or more 34th Division units were engaged in actual combat for 611 days. The 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry and the Ironman Battalion still holds the record over the rest of the U.S. Army for days in combat. The division was credited with more combat days than any other division in the war. The 34th Division suffered 2,866 killed in action, 11,545 wounded in action, 622 missing in action, and 1,368 men taken prisoner by the enemy, for a total of 16,401 battle casualties. Casualties of the division are considered to be the highest of any division in the theatre when daily per capita fighting strengths are considered. The division's soldiers were awarded ten Medals of Honor, ninety-eight Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinguished Service Medal, 1,153 Silver Stars, 116 Legion of Merit medals, one Distinguished Flying Cross, 2,545 Bronze Star Medals, fifty-four Soldier's Medals, thirty-four Air Medals, with duplicate awards of fifty-two oak leaf clusters, and 15,000 Purple Hearts.
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