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To the Men of Company I, 143D Infantry, 36th Division (Belton,TX)
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Tygress
N 31° 03.339 W 097° 27.800
14R E 646622 N 3436783
Quick Description: On the SE corner of the Bell County Courthouse grounds, take a moment with this monument to the “Texas T-Patchers” (Company I, 143d Infantry Regiment, 36th Division) who served with distinction in European campaigns of WWII.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 4/16/2010 7:25:56 AM
Waymark Code: WM8KWD
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GT.US
Views: 4

Long Description:
Rome, Anzio, Ardenne, Alsace
Names that ring to we who recall
Here stands a monument to some who fought there
May their memory never fall.

BACKGROUND =====================

MOTTO: "Arms Secure Peace"

The 143rd Infantry Regiment is a Texas Army National Guard unit assigned to the 36th Infantry Division.

The 36th Infantry Division - also known as the Fighting 36th, the Panther Division, the Texas Division, or, more colloquially the “Texas T-Patchers” (note ‘patch’ on monument) - is a modular division of the United States Army National Guard. It was activated for service in World War II on November 25, 1940, and was sent overseas in April 1943.

Here, on the Bell County Courthouse grounds is a monument to the men who served in those WWII campaigns.

THE MONUMENT ===================

In historic downtown Belton, the Renaissance Revival Bell County Courthouse (with its recently restored clocktower 'dome') commands a full city block. Spotted with a few shady trees, mostly oak, and other trimmed landscaping, its lawns form a green moat bordered by street-side sidewalks. At each corner of this block there is a monument. Here, on the South East Corner (corner of Water & East Streets), perched on an angled island of concrete, this grey monument with its azure and gold T-Patch draws the eye. No other monuments or historical markers vie for real estate. Just the clean lines of these three 'stone' blocks rising from the trim grass.

The monument itself, a good 10 by 3 feet, and probably over 7 feet at its tallest, is comprised of 3 blocks of gray fine-grained stone (possibly concrete or ‘poured stone’), with the center block substantially higher than its flanking partners.

COURTHOUSE SIDE – INSCRIPTION ON CENTER BLOCK
Enameled Insignia:
Gold T in azure Arrowhead
Metal Insignia
Crossed Rifles (infantry) with 143 & I centered above and below

THIS MEMORIAL IS DEDICATED TO THE MEN OF COMPANY I, 143D
INFANTRY REGIMENT, 36TH DIVISION, WHO WERE MOBILIZED AT
BELTON, TEXAS ON 25 NOVEMBER 1940 AND THOSE MEN WHO LATER
SERVED WITH THE COMPANY DURING PEACE AND WAR. THE COMPANY
TRAINED IN TEXAS, LOUISIANA, FLORIDA, ALABAMA, NORTH CAROLINA,
MASSACHUSETTS AND IN THE NORTH AFRICAN COUNTRIES OF
ALGERIA AND MOROCCO. THESE MEN LED THE INVATION OF ALLIED
ARMIES AGAINST HEAVILY DEFENDED BEACHES AT SALERNO, ITALY
AND SOUTHERN FRANCE.

AWARDS & DECORATIONS CAMPAIGNS

COMBAT INFANTRY BADGE NAPLES-FOGGIA

FRENCH CROIX de GUERRE ANZIO
WITH PALM (VOSGES)

DISTINGUISHED UNIT STREAMER ROME-ARNO
EMBROIDERED RIBBEAUVILLE AND SOUTHERN FRANCE
MAGRANON RIDGE

2 BRONZE ARROWHEADS FOR RHINELAND
AMPHIBIOUS INVASIONS OF CENTRAL EUROPE
ITALY AND SOUTHERN FRANCE ARDENNES-ALSACE


PEACE AND FREEDOM THROUGH STRENGTH
SEPTEMBER 9, 1987

-------

STREET SIDE (and I apologize – I’ll transcribe the names at a later date)

STREET SIDE – INSCRIPTION ON CENTER BLOCK
AZURE ARROWHEAD WITH GOLD T CENTERED ON RECESSED CIRCLE

MILITIA ROLL CALL
WE, THE MEN OF CO. I ANSWERED THE CALL TO DUTY….

3 columns
OFFICERS - CORPORALS – PRIVATES FIRST CLASS
FIRST SERGEANT
SERGEANTS

…AND IN DEPARTING LEAVE BEHIND US
FOOTPRINTS ON THE SANDS OF TIME.
LONGFELLOW

STREET SIDE – INSCRIPTION ON LEFT BLOCK
143/I CROSSED RIFLES INFANTRY INSIGNIA (METAL)
2 COLUMNS LISTING PRIVATES

STREET SIDE – INSCRIPTION ON RIGHT BLOCK
HIGH RELIEF ENAMELED 143D SHIELD: ARMS SECURE PEACE
2 COLUMNS LISTING PRIVATES


THE UNIT ===================

Center for Military History (visit link)

Combat Chronicle

The 36th Infantry Division landed in North Africa, 13 April 1943, and trained at Arzew and Rabat. It first saw action, 9 September 1943, when it landed at Paestum on the Gulf of Salerno. The waiting enemy launched counterattacks, but the 36th advanced slowly, securing the area from Agropoli to Altavilla. After a brief rest the 36th returned to combat, 15 November. It captured Mount Maggiore, Mount Lungo, and the village of San Pietro despite strong enemy positions and severe winter weather. This grueling campaign was marked by futile attempts to establish a secure bridgehead across the Rapido River, 1 January to 8 February 1944. After assisting the 34th Division in the attack on Cassino and fighting defensively along the Rapido River, the 36th withdrew, 12 March 1944, for rest and rehabilitation. On 25 May, the Division landed at Anzio, drove north to capture Velletri, 1 June, and entered Rome on the 5th. Pushing up from Rome, the 36th encountered sharp resistance at Magliano, but reached Piombino, 26 June, before moving back to Paestum for rest and rehabilitation. On 15 August, the Division made another assault landing against light opposition in the RaphaelFrejus area of Southern France. A lightning dash opened the Rhone River Valley. Montelimar fell, 28 August, and large Nazi units were trapped. The 36th advanced to the Moselle River at Remiremont and the foothills of the Vosges. In a grinding offensive, the Division crossed the Meurthe River, breached the Ste. Marie Pass and burst into the Alsatian Plains. The enemy counterattacked, 13 December, and the 36th held in the Colmar Pocket. On the 20th the Division resumed the attack, advancing northward along the Rhine River to Mannheim meeting heavy resistance at Haguenau, Oberhofen, and Wissembourg. The 36th moved to the Danube, 22 April 1945, and attacked the "National Redoubt" at Kunzelsau on the 30th in its final action.

General

Nickname: Texas Division; sometimes referred to as Panther Division or the Lone Star Division. Shoulder patch: A blue fling arrowhead pointed downward, bearing the letter "T" in green. Association: 36th Division Association, Box 2174, Capitol Station, Austin, Tex., Mr. Jack E. Hughes, secretary. Publications: 36th Division History; by unit members; Newsfoto Publishing Co., San Angelo, Tex.; distributor, 36th Infantry Division Association; 1947. Story of the 86th Infantry Division and Campaigns in France, Germany, and Austria; by unit members, TI&E, ETOUSA; distributor, 36th Infantry Division Association; 1945. Campaigns of the 36th Infantry Division in World War II, U. S. Army; 36th Division; 1945.

136th Combat Chronicle, etc. (visit link)

After 400 days of combat, the 36th Infantry Division returned to the United States in December 1945. It was returned to the Texas Army National Guard on December 15, 1945.
Unit Awards
• Distinguished Unit Citations: 12.
Personal Awards
• Medals of Honor: 14
• Distinguished Service Crosses: 80
• Distinguished Service Medals: 2
• Silver Stars: 2,354
• Legion of Merit Medals: 49
• Soldiers Medals: 77
• Bronze Star Medals: 5,407
• Air Medals: 88
Total Casualties
• KIA: 3,131
• WIA: 13,191
• Died of Wounds: 506

ABOUT THE SHIELD ============

(visit link)

The 143rd Infantry Regiment shield is blue for infantry. The bend wavy represents the regiment's service on the Mexican Border, along the Rio Grande River, and the Aisne River in France, along which the regiment participated in operations during the World War. The oak tree symbolized the Meuse-Argonne operation, during which the regiment received its baptism of fire. The gold key, taken from the Army of Cuban Occupation medal, indicates service in the Spanish-American War.

FURTHER READING ============

Note, the Wikipedia article on the 143d (visit link) lists different WWII campaigns (New Guinea & Luzon), so I question its applicability to THIS unit. See instead the article on the 36th Infantry Division (United States) (visit link)
143rd U.S. Infantry Regiment ("Third Texas") 1917 (visit link)

36th Division in World War II ANTHONY ROCCO MONACO Company A 143d Infantry Regiment (visit link)

History of the 36th Infantry Division (visit link)

Personal Accounts (visit link)

Company I, 143rd Caught Hell Near Altavilla - transcript of Radio piece KTEM, Temple, Texas
(visit link)

More Personal Accounts (visit link)

"The Story of the 36th Infantry Division" a small booklet covering the history of the 36th Infantry Division. This booklet is one of the series of G.I. Stories published by the Stars & Stripes in Paris in 1944-1945. text only: (visit link)

Italians honor WWII 36th Infantry Division Soldiers (visit link)

Texas Military Forces Museum 143rd Infantry Regiment Summary History HOMEWARD BOUND (visit link)

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ARMY NATIONAL GUARD HISTORY (as of 22 February 1997 ) (visit link)
Date of Dedication: 9/9/1987

Property Permission: Public

Access instructions: SE Corner of Bell County Courthouse Grounds, intersection of Water & N. East Streets

Location of waymark:
101 West Central Avenue
Belgon, TX USA
76513-3078


Commemoration: The Men of Company I, 143d Infantry Regiment, 36th Division (who served in WWII)

Access times: Not listed

Website for Waymark: Not listed

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