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180th Infantry Regiment - August 1944

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by Tom Old, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. Tom Old

    Tom Old New Member

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    Together with my daughter-in-law, who is from Tennessee, and who lives near Entracasteaux, I am trying to identify a US soldier who was the only US soldier killed when that commune was liberated soon after the landings in the south of France.

    Members of a French family that has been in the area for generations have passed on recollections of the liberation and how a German unit had stolen potatoes from them before camping nearby and later being attacked by US forces when a US soldier was wounded and subsequently died in a nearby house. They have asked if we can help.

    From the records of the Rhone American Cemetery we first thought that the soldier was a field artillery officer of the 45th Division but, following help from a relation of that officer, found this was not the case but lead to reports by the 180th Infantry Regiment and 45th Infantry Division provided by the Division's museum. These show that the 2nd Battalion was ordered to an assembly area near Entracasteaux on 18th August, they were not engaged the day before or the day after. They contacted an enemy force. This was engaged by Company G, the enemy force was dealt with but Company G suffered one killed and 3 wounded. It therefore seems that the soldier killed is the one we wish to identify.

    The Rhone cemetery records include one soldier of the 180th Regiment - Sergeant L.G. Gusler - who was killed on August 17th, but no members of the Regiment on the 18th or 19th. The difference in date may be due to an error in the record, the division was advancing rapidly, 100,s of km in a few days at that time.

    Some years ago a member of the forum post information suggesting that detail of the 180th Regiment was available. Can any member help us by confirming that Sergeant Gusler was a member of the 180th Regiment at that time.

    Old Tom
     
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  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Sgt. Gusler was not in G Company. A photo on his Find-a-Grave memorial page has a caption by Carl Gusler (whom I presume is a relative) which states that he served with HQ Company, 1st Battalion, 180th Infantry.
     
  3. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    I did a bit more research and I believe that I may have found the man from G Company: John Amendolara. Here is his NARA Electronic Enlistment Record, which led me to his listing on the Queens County, NY casualty record. The casualty record indicates he was KIA and not DOW, so that creates some doubt that he is the person you are trying to find. Of course, it is possible that the report is incorrect, but the only way to determine that is to do more significant research. I have in no way ruled all other Company G casualties out, but so far he seems to be the best fit for the facts you have provided.
     
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  4. Sheila Amendolara

    Sheila Amendolara New Member

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    Hello
    John Amendolara was my Uncle, my dads brother.
    My dad just passed away a few months ago and today i found my uncles military book and started reading thru it. I was curious to find out more info so I googled it which lead me to this forum. Im not sure if you are still active on this page but im hoping you are. My uncles death destroyed my grandparents and my dad. My uncle was an artist not a fighter and my dad convinced him to go in . Till my dads death he lived with guilt every day of his life . They were 11 months apart in age.
     
  5. Sheila Amendolara

    Sheila Amendolara New Member

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  6. Sheila Amendolara

    Sheila Amendolara New Member

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    This photo is of my dad , the last time he was able to visit John's grave a few years ago. He cried and cried, first time i ever saw my dad cry. After we left he told me the stories for the first time. He never spoke about it ever before that day . It was such an emotional day. A friend of mine super imposed my Uncle Johns picture...Just a thought on paper that he is ok and at peace and forgives him.
     
  7. Sheila Amendolara

    Sheila Amendolara New Member

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    20190824_143800.jpg 20190824_143650.jpg
     

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  8. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    This is a great photo. I'm sure Tommy will be along to give you more information. Can you post some of the pages of your uncle's military book? We'd like to see them and will treat them with utmost respect.
     
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  9. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    upload_2019-8-24_22-58-15.png
    Would anyone know what kind of stripes Sgt. Gusler has? They look like modern Air Force stripes but the Sgt was killed in 1944. Also, what is the badge between his marksman badge and the crest on his lapel? It does look like he has the Thunderbird (45th Infantry) patch.
     
  10. Sheila Amendolara

    Sheila Amendolara New Member

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    Thank you. Yes of
    Thank you! Yes absolutely I will take some pictures and post them. Not sure where to post them but i will post on this thread. In the book was a newspaper from 8/11/1943 from The Camp Swift Baron . I will post some pictures of that as well. I've been reading the paper for the last hour trying to find the significance as to why my dad or uncle saved it. The paper is falling apart , and i have yet to find the reason why it was saved but the date might be why.
     
  11. Sheila Amendolara

    Sheila Amendolara New Member

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  12. Sheila Amendolara

    Sheila Amendolara New Member

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    My uncle John and a buddy
     
  13. Sheila Amendolara

    Sheila Amendolara New Member

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    20190825_105327.jpg 20190825_105411.jpg 20190825_105512.jpg
     

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  14. Sheila Amendolara

    Sheila Amendolara New Member

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  15. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    In re-reading my reply to this thread from 2015, I want to amend what I said above. The designation "DOW" (Died of Wounds) probably would not have been used in the situation described. DOW would not necessarily have been used in the described case, since he presumably died shortly after being wounded and was not formally treated by US Army medical personnel. In that case, he most likely would have been listed as KIA.
     
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  16. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Found a couple threads on a militaria forum that discuss these. The consensus was that they were unofficial pre-War specialist insignia. The single chevron indicated the rank of PFC, while the number of rockers indicated the specialist level. I haven't looked into the pin yet, but that puts it into the pre-War period as well.
     
  17. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Here's another look at the badge/pin:
    Gusler_45ID_pin.jpg
    I wonder if it is another pre-War unauthorized items. The bottom part is sort of a VFW type Maltese cross, but with 5 arms instead of 4. The eagle at the top obviously has lowered wings. Maybe some militaria experts here can shed some light on it.
     
  18. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    What is on the other side of the newspaper page you posted? From the picture, it appears to be torn across all of the stories. That suggests it was not the page that interested him, unless he was only saving it for the date.
     
  19. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    I found some badges that look like this with the five arms for shooting competition. The rifle type used goes in the cross bar that holds the five armed cross-- but none have the eagle. Rather a rounded half moon. On the stripes, it looks like you nailed it down. This is what I love about this site-I learn something new all the time. Thanks
     

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