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PFC Cruz F. Rios (10th Mountain Division) Memorial Plaque

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Inside the church portico on an outside column


A brass inscribed plaque mounted to the portico column.


The plaque remembers Private First Class Cruz F. Rios, a soldier in Company K of the 87th Infantry Regiment, 10thMountain Division who visited this church on Easter 1945 just before the beginning of the final 10th Mountain offensive during the Po Valley Campaign.  He prayed and asked his Lord to save him.  Rios survived the war and returned to the Chiesa (Church) of San Paolino, 60 years later on Easter 2005, where he told his story and thanked the congregation for their friendship during the war.


During his many returns to Italy, PFC Rios always visited the grave of his battle buddy, PFC Fred Palmer.  Rios and Palmer served in battle together  on the Aleutian Islands and in the Italian Campaign. Palmer was wounded on March 3, 1945 during the Company K attack on Monte della Vedetta (near Iola-Montese) as part Operation Encore.  Palmer died on March 5 of his wounds and is buried in the Florence American Military Cemetery and Memorial in Impruneta, Italy. He lies in grave plot C, row 11, Grave 35.

Monument Text:

The text on the plaque is written in Italian and English. The English reads:


“My little church, Chiesa di San Paolino.  Thank you Lord 

for sparing my life and thank you dear 

people of Italy for welcoming  me as an equal”.


- 10th Mountain Division Symbol- 


PFC Cruz F. Rios (1918-2016)

10th Mountain Division

87th Infantry Regiment

Company K




Fred M. Palmer

Cruz Floriano Jr. Rios


10th Mountain Division

5th Army

87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division




Gothic Line

Italian Campaign

Operation Encore

Po Valley

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