CENTRAL EUROPE CAMPAIGN
Thus the 443rd began its homeward trek two years and eight months after it sailed from Norfolk with the Western Task Force for the invasion of North Africa. It had been in the assault waves of three amphibious invasions and several amphibious flanking operations, fought through nine major campaigns and its personnel had aquitted themselves with distinction. The Battalion had fought with the Divisions that had sustained the heaviest losses of all the eighty-eight U.S. divisions that saw action. The 3rd Division lost 33,547 men, including 6,571 killed; the 36th Division lost 26,718 men including 4,265 killed; and the 1st Armored Division suffered 9,438 casualties.
But except for the few individual transfers of some personnel whose early discharge was expedited for compassionate reasons, most of the 443rds personnel were destined to be shifted to the 634th AAA Bn and spend several months at Tidworth Barracks near Salisbury, England. Here, they helped process American troops being re-deployed from the European to the Pacific Theater of Operations. As September drew to a close, the remaining 443rd officers and men left England aboard the Aquitania, crossing the Atlantic for a second time. On 9 October 1945 they were discharged from active service at Ft. Dix, New Jersey.
During their nearly three years in combat, 443rd men had destroyed 122 ½ enemy planes, and had probably destroyed over 40 more. In addition, they had used their weapons, effectively, in many ways not initially envisioned. In attack, in defense and in support of the units to which they were attached, they had really made "Pattons Idea" work!
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