Discussion in 'US Units' started by 509thPIB, Nov 2, 2018.
Patriots from the Barrio: The Story of Company E, 141stInfantry: The Only All Mexican American Army Unit in World War II
Embroiled in savage combat, soldiers whose service has goneunrecognized until now
As a child, Dave Gutierrez hung on every word his father recalled about his cousin Ramon, “El Sancudo” (the mosquito), and his service in World War II, where he earned a Silver Star, three Purple Hearts, and escaped from the Germans twice. Later, Dave decided to find out more about his father’s cousin, and in the course of his research he discovered that Ramon Gutierrez was a member of Company E, 141st Infantry, a part of the 36th “Texas” Division that was comprised entirely of MexicanAmericans—the only such unit in the entire U.S. Army. The division landed at Salerno, Italy, in 1943, among first American soldiers to set foot inEurope. In the ensuing months, Company E and the rest of the 36th would battle their way up the mountainous Italian peninsulaagainst some of Nazi Germany’s best troops. In addition to the merciless rain, mud, and jagged peaks, swift cold rivers crisscrossed the region, including the Rapido, where Company E would face its greatest challenge. In an infamous episode, the 36th Division was ordered to cross the Rapido despite reports that the opposite bank was heavilydefended. In the ensuing debacle, the division was ripped apart, and Company E sustained appalling casualties. The company rebounded and made the storied landings at Anzio and ultimately invadedsouthern France for a final push into Germany. The men of Company E distinguished themselves as rugged fighters capable of warring amid the rubble of destroyed villages and in the devastated countryside.
Based on extensive archival research and veteran and family accounts, Patriots from the Barrio: The Story of Company E, 141st Infantry: The Only All Mexican American Army Unit inWorld War IIbrings to life the soldiers whose service should never have gone unrecognized for so long. With its memorable personalities, stories of hope and immigration, andriveting battle scenes, thisbeautifully written book is atestament to the shared beliefs of all who have fought for the ideals of the American flag.
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I am a battlefield guide for both Cassino and Anzio so I am thrilled that Patriots from Barrio has been published.
The endurance shown by 141 Infantry Regiment on the banks of the River Rapido - actually the River Gari but history has logged it as the Rapido, on the nights of 20 and 21 Jan 44 was quite incredible as was their part in the 36 Infantry Division's superb manoeuvrist operation that broke the Caesar Line in front of Rome in the dying days of May 44.
I look forward to this book being in my Christmas stocking.
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