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339th Regimental Combat Team “Polar Bears” Monument

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Details:

Located on the outer ring of the main traffic circle in town, in front of a school and next to a bus stop.

Monument

A granite monument about 8 feet tall with two black polished tables on its face. A chain hangs in from of the monument about 6 inches off the ground held by two small pedestals. The top tablet lists the location in Italy where the 339thInfantry fought during the war; the lower tablet commemorates the Gustav Line breakthrough in May 1944. The top tablet is inscribed with a Polar Bear over an image of Italy with the Division symbol (85thInfantry Division- “Custer Division”) and the campaigns the unit fought in during the war. (Note:  The unit is called the Polar Bears due to the Regiment's service in Russia during and after the first World War). According to the Custer Division website "the monument was dedicated in September 1992 by members of the Polar Bear Association of World War II and accepted by the mayor of Tremensuoli as a memorial of friendship and ties with the American liberators who came and died around their village in 1944". 

 

The location of the monument is significant as Tremensuoli marks the jump-off location for the 339thInfantry and Regimental Combat team attack on the Gustav Line as part of Operation Diadem on May 11, 1944.  Operation Diadem or the 4thBattle of Cassino, was a full- scale attack to breach the Gustav line along a twenty-mile front.  The 339th, as part of the 85thDivision, II Corps, attacked the most western portion of the line breaching the line in a tough fight and continued driving north along the coast towards Rome.

Monument Text:

Top tablet: Circular tablet along the outer edge inscribed:

Polar Bear Association of World War II.  Adjacent to the an Inscribed image of a Polar Bear, Italy and Division symbol, listing the following locations: 

 

Minturno; Gustav Line; Rome; Hitler Line; Arno; Gothic Line; Po River; Brenner Pass

 

Lower Tablet Text (Written in English above and Italian below):

 

GUSTAV LINE BREAKTHROUGH

May 11-15, 1944

 

339thINFANTRY COMBAT TEAM

85thDIVISION- US FIFTH ARMY

MARCH 1944- AUGUST 1945

 

339THINFANTRY REGIMENT

910THFIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION

CO. C 310THENGINEER BATTALION

CO. C 310THMEDICAL BATTALION

 

IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO

SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES AND 

ALSO THOSE WHO SERVED THAT

 FREEDOM MIGHT LIVE

 

DEDICATED BY THEIR COMRADES

SEPTEMBER 1992

 

(THE ABOVE IS WRITTEN HERE IN ITALIAN)

Commemorates:

People:

Robert Turner Waugh

Marshall A Webb

Units:

339th Infantry Regiment, 85th Infantry Division

5th Army

85th Infantry Division

Wars:

WWII

Battles:

Cassino

Operation Diadem

Other images :