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88th Gets Trieste Occupation Mission
To Relieve 'Red Bull' Division In Former Italian Trouble Zone
With its POW mission in Italy all but completed and units preparing to move to a redeployment training area for shipment to the United States, the 88th Division this week was assigned a new important mission, relief of the 34th Division in the occupation of the troubled Trieste area. While first news of the new assignment came in Stars and Stripes, in a story published Wednesday [12 September 1945], confirmation was received Lt. Col. E. D. Beggs, AC of S, G-3, in a telephone conversation with MTOUSA officials, who stated that a directive was being prepared for dispatch to the 88th.
Although many were inclined to view the news with alarm, it was emphasized that the move would amount to little more than redesignating the 34th Division. The change, as explained by Gen. Joseph T. McNarney, MTOUSA commanding general, in a press conference Tuesday, was made to comply with a War Department directive which give redeployment priority to National guard units.
General McNarney also pointed out to war correspondents that the switch would not affect redeployment of high-point men, inasmuch as low-point men of the 34th will be transferred to the 88th to continue the occupation detail.
When the relief is effected, the 88th will take over low-pointers now in the 34th, and probably equipment now held by the "Red Bull" Division. As regards the equipment, however, it was stated that would be more or less left to whatever arrangements the respective commanding generals might agree upon.
While no comment was forthcoming from Division Headquarters, the Stars and Stripes story also quoted General McNarney as saying that all men with 80 or more points at the time of the VE-Day computation would find themselves aboard a ship or at a replacement depot by the end of this month, and that men with 80 or more at the VJ-Day computation would be on the way home by the end of October.
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