Have an amazing letter hanging on my wall that my Dad received.
HEADQUARTERS 36TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO #36, U. S. Army 16 June 1944
MEN OF THE 36TH INFANTRY (TEXAS) DIVISION
It is with great pride that I congratulate you on you magnificent achievements in battle to date.
Nine months ago you landed on the hostile beaches of PAESTUM, the vanguard of your country’s Army,
to crash the gates of Hitler’s European Fortress. In that, your first action of the War, fighting courageously
against well trained enemy forces of long combat experience, you established the first American beachhead
on the European Continent, the first to be established anywhere by Americans against German opposition.
For this achievement alone, you have a right to feel justly proud.
Later on while subject to hardships that have never been exceeded by any troops anywhere, you drove the enemy
from his well-organized, stoutly defended positions in the hill masses of CAMINO and SUMMUCRO; from
MT MAGGIORE, MT LUNGO, MT ROTUNDO and SAN PIETRO. You punished him severely. His losses in men
and material were great. Throughout this period of bitter winter weather, under the most adverse conditions of climate
and terrain, you maintained a cheerfulness and enthusiasm far superior to that of your enemy.
Then came your gallant effort on the RAPIDO. Let us bow our heads in reverence to the fallen comrades who crossed
that bitterly contested stream and put up a great, if losing, fight— as great from the standpoint of sheer gallantry and
determination as any recorded in the annals of our Armed Forces.
At CASSINO and CASTELLONE RIDGE you were serverely tested. You suffered losses, but you captured vital high ground from
the strongly entrenched enemy, and held it throughout a month of hard fighting.
After a well-deserved rest you were ordered to attack again at a critical time and at a critical place near VELLETRI, to break
the stronghold of the enemy defenses east of ROME. History will record forever your outstanding success. In a week of
brilliant maneuvers and relentless assaults on one position after another, VELLETRI, ROCCA DI PAPA, MARINO and beyond,
you killed and captured well over three thousand of the enemy; routed him from his strong, well-organized positions and
drove him across the TIBER in disorder.
Your brilliant performance on that famous battlefield was a major contribution in the capture of the first European capital to be recovered from Nazi occupation. For your magnificent accomplishment here, General Marshall sent a personal message of
congratulation to you and to me .The German Army is still reeling from your blows. The relentless pressure of your attacks will substantially shorten the duration of the War. Your victorious March though the streets of the cities of your enemy cannot be
FRED L. WALKER
Major General, U.S. Army
Thanks for your service Dad, your never far from my thoughts. Rest In Peace.