Again it was intensive training in amphibious tactics, and not without reason. For on August 11, 1944, the Regiment was loaded on ships and sailed out in to the Mediterranean Sea, rendezvousing at Sardinia, and surprising the Germans on August 15th, by landing on the Riviera of France on Green Beach. It is a matter of record that the Regiment was in such state of training that the entire combat elements were landed in 50 minutes.

Resistance was initially unorganized and the Regiment pushed to St Raephael and Frejus. Exploiting the surprise achieved, the Second Battalion was joined by other units to form the Butler Task Force, and speeded northward into the Alpine Country. As soon as trucks came ashore, the balance of the Regiment was formed into another Combat Team and joined Task Force Butler in Sisteron that night.

On August 22, one week after landing, the 143d Infantry captured Grenoble, 200 miles from the landing point. Such was the pattern set for Southern France.

In the battle of Montelimar, the German Nineteenth Army, in mad flight toward the north, ran head on into the Butler Task Force. Holding the high ground on the east of the valley and Rhone River, the Division committed the 141st and 143d Infantry as the "plugs" in the Rhone River Bottleneck which contained the German Forces. Never before had fighting been so in the favor of the Regiment. From the build-up starting on the 22d of August by Butler Task Force until it was joined by the balance of the Division and the 3d Infantry Division the fighting raged until it was all over, literally, on the 30th. The German Nineteenth Army had been virtually destroyed. As a result, the enemy was not able to draw a defensive line until our forces had crossed the Moselle River.

It was in the battle Montelimar that Tech Sgt. Stephen R Gregg of Company L, a warrior-buddy of "Commando" Kelly, performed such a series of heroic feats in defying a large force of Germans, that he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. He also received a battle-field commission for his daring leadership. In trying to out-run a 16-mile gauntlet of fire from the Regiment, the Germans suffered more than 11,000 casualties from the engagement with the Division. Not to be overlooked was 2,100 vehicles, 1,500 horses and two divisions. Yes, that was a far cry from those bleak days at the Rapido River! This winning was much better than the Italian Campaigns.

Next it was the capture of the second largest city in France—Lyons—only to be denied to occupy it for political reasons—and permit the French Army to arrive and claim liberation for the city. However, the Regiment realized later this was only the first of many similar instances.

So it was the advance changed from being measured in yards to miles. The Wehrmacht, in hurrying to get back home through the Belfort Gap, took little time. It was forty miles a day for the Regiment. It was probing with recon units—enveloping flanks—blunt nose attacks.

Moving up the Doubs River to Besancon near the Swiss border, the Regiment relieved elements of the 3d Infantry Division, then northward again. First organized resistance was again encountered again at Luxeuil on September 15th. The next day the Regiment captured the town and the long-remembered bathhouses.

At the Moselle River, the Regiment forded the River at Raon le Etaps. Firm contact with German Forces were made here which Boche did not shake until he crossed the Rhine River into Homeland. The advance slowed down for both sides. The winter was at hand, with sub-freezing weather—sleet—snow—and mineware waged by the experts. The Regiment’s advance had slowed down from 40 miles a day to a point where it took three weeks to advance the 7½ miles from Docelles to Bruyeres.


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