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752nd Tank Battalion • Distinguished Unit Citation

Citation streamers and the honor of wearing the Distinguished Unit Badge were awarded to the members of the 752 Tank Battalion by Major General Charles L. Bolte, Commanding General of the 34th Infantry Division, in simple but impressive ceremonies held in the Battalion area in the vicinity of Soleschiano, Italy, on September 19th, 1945. The award, first of its type to be made to a separate tank battalion, was made for the outstanding work of the battalion during the Po Valley campaign which concluded the war in Italy and presaged the collapse of German resistance in Europe.

The 752 tankers opened the spring offensive known as the Po Valley Campaign with the 34th Infantry Division, with which it fought its way through the heavily defended winter line in the hills south of the Po Valley. Spearheading the drive on Bologna in support of the 34th, the tankers were the first American troops in that city, with Capt. Gayle Stockwell, of B Company, 752, commanding the first tank to enter Bologna, shortly after 6 o'clock in the morning of April 21, 1945.

Transferred from the 34th to the 88th Infantry Division after the fall of Bologna, 752 drove north, forcing the crossing of the Panora River on April 23rd and at the same time destroying a large number of enemy vehicles and other equipment, and capturing over 400 prisoners.

The unit advanced rapidly and supported the Po River crossing of the 88th Division, after which it pushed north to spearhead the capture of Verona after heavy fighting. In the heaviest fighting of the Po Valley campaign, 752 fought its way into the city of Vicenza in a daring night time advance with infantrymen of the 88th.

With Vicenza captured, the tankers pushed ahead and participated in the taking of Feltre and at the close of the campaign on May 2, was well into the Italian Alpine district in the vicinity of Bolzano.

During the whole of the campaign, the 752 Tank Battalion was led by Major (now Lieutenant Colonel) C. M. Woodbury, known throughout the Fifth Army sector as "The Iron Major".

Since the close of the campaign in Italy, the 752 Tank Battalion has been stationed in the Venezia Giulia area of northeastern Italy where it has been attached successively to the 10th Mountain, and the 91st and 34th Infantry Divisions on duty in this sector.

[Postscript: Two weeks after this award ceremony the 752nd Tank Battalion were again attached to the 88th Infantry Division, with whom they remained until 1947 ... and then left one company behind with Trieste United States Troops until 1954.]

Source: 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulletin"; 21 September 1945.

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