36th Division in World War II


The enemy tried to make a stand before the Albegna stream and the lateral Highway No. 83, but even his best efforts could not avoid a rout as the Division overpowered his positions at Orbetello, Capalbio and Magliano. At Magliano, Lt. Charles Garnham, 142nd Infantry platoon leader, climbed a ladder to gain an entrance into the walled town.
Bridgehead was established over Albegna River and Division men pushed forward into Grosseto.
After a short period of hard fighting the backbone of the enemy defense was broken as the 36th bridged the river, crossed the highway and moved into Grosseto, important Italian trading center on the coast. Still farther north, the Division repeatedly encountered strong pockets of resistance but these were quickly overcome. The port city of Piombino succumbed after being flanked by one regiment. On 26 June the Division was withdrawn and after a brief stay in Rome returned to Salerno in preparation for an important mission. At Magliano, S/Sgt. Homer L., Wise of L Company, 142nd, climaxed his series of daring episodes by boarding a tank, remedying a machine gun stoppage, and spraying the German positions with the weapon. He won the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Troops mounted up, waiting to move out for Rome and Salerno. Hill behind was last Italian objective.
A five-day stopover at Rome gave the men a chance to see Italy's most famous city. Most visited was St. Peter's Cathedral.


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