MEDITERRANEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS
UNITED STATES ARMY
Under the provisions of Section IV, War Department Circular 333, 22 December 1943, the following unit is cited:
During the period 3-4 October 1944, the First Battalion of the 133rd Infantry Regiment distinguished itself in action against the enemy while participating in an attack on Mount Del Galletto, the village of Le Croci, and the formidable heights of Monte Laggio and Monte Venere, Italy. Instructed to advance northward over Mount Del Galletto, through the village of Le Croci, take Monte Laggio, with Monte Venere as its ultimate objective, the First Battalion of the 133rd Infantry Regiment, moving forward at dawn on the morning of 3 October 1944, quickly made its way through sporadic resistance over Mount Del Galletto and entered the town of Le Croci. Relentlessly advancing, the unit soon encountered a determined enemy force at the foot of Monte Laggio. The enemy, using this heavily wooded hill as a strong point in his main line of resistance, resolutely defended the position. An intense firefight ensued throughout the daylight hours, with extremely accurate hostile mortar and artillery fire impeding the progress of the attack. During the night the battle raged unabated, and in the early morning hours of the next day enemy troops made a fanatical counter-attack which, though successfully defeated by one Company of the Battalion, resulted in numerous casualties. By dawn on 4 October the Battalion, though depleted by the heavy fighting of the previous night, reorganized and the forward elements cleared the crest of Monte Laggio. Facing them now was still another obstacle; a coverless terrain feature designated as Hill 947. Securing armored support the Battalion awaited the moment to attack and after the tanks severely shelled the hill at close range the Infantry troops attempted to rush the position across 150 yards of open ground. Meeting intense machine gun and sniper fire the Battalion was forced to withdraw to the cover of the woods to again wait for the tanks to shell the hill. After fifteen minutes of concentrated fire by the armor the foot troops attempted to assault, and despite the withering fire which raked the barren ground, eventually swept up the hill, overrunning all the enemy positions. After clearing Hill 947 the Battalion, its Commander and some of its officers wounded, made another lightning thrust and swarmed across the remaining 500 yards of open terrain to the base of Monte Venere. Again reorganizing they pressed dauntlessly forward and step by step made their way in a vicious attack, securing the final objective, Monte Venere, after two days and a night of bitter and determined fighting. This accomplishment broke all organized hostile resistance in the area, and the courage and bravery demonstrated by the officers and men of the First Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, against some of the best troops of the enemy, exemplified the highest traditions of the Armed Forces of the United States.
L. L. Lemnitzer
Major General, GSC
Chief of Staff