Alone among the studies in this volume, "Break-through at Monte Altuzzo" was written by the historian who obtained the basic source material, combat interviews with more than 150 survivors of the action. The first interviews were conducted during ten days in late November, 1944, when the 338th Infantry was in a rest center. In early December more interviews with Lt. Col. Willis O. Jackson and the rifle company commanders of the 1st Battalion, 338th Infantry, were conducted on the Altuzzo terrain. From 20 to 25 December 1944, the author conducted additional interviews in the rest center and visited the scene of the battle with all surviving platoon leaders, platoon sergeants, and leading squad leaders of the 1st Battalion. The author spent an additional week in the Altuzzo vicinity in February 1945, in company with an artist and a draftsman.
When a preliminary narrative revealed gaps in the material, the author visited the 338th Infantry again from 20 March to 14 April 1945, conducting extensive interviews with all surviving enlisted men in Companies B and C and with some officers who had not yet been interviewed. During this period he made two additional reconnaissances of the Altuzzo battlefield, one with Capt. Maurice E. Peabody, Jr., Company B commander, and several of his noncommissioned officers, and the other with all survivors of Company C. Interviews with personnel of the 363d Infantry and the 2d and 3d Battalions, 338th Infantry, and with 338th Infantry and 85th Division commanders and staff officers were conducted from time to time during the entire period. Combat interviews on this operation are filed in the Office of the Chief of Military History (formerly the Historical Division, Special Staff, U. S. Army).
Unit records were useful for some additional material and for checking statements in the interviews. All three battalions of the 338th Infantry wrote relatively full After Action Reports. The 2d and 3d Battalions and the 338th Infantry kept fair unit journals of messages sent and received, while the 1st Battalion kept only a sketchy journal which contains no record of messages and is of little value. Unit journals and supporting papers of adjacent units and the 85th Division provided the basic material for accounts of those units. Unit records were likewise the primary source for artillery, tank, tank destroyer, chemical, and engineer actions. The journals, mission reports, and After Action Reports of the artillery battalions and groups are relatively good. The exception is the records of the 329th Field Artillery Battalion, which are meager, but this is largely compensated for by interviews with 1st Lt. Dawson L. Farber, Jr., liaison officer with the 1st Battalion, 338th Infantry. All unit records to include Fifth Army were examined and are in the possession of the Historical Records
Section, Office of the Adjutant General.
The basic source for German material was the text volume of Fourteenth Army War Diary Number 4 (Armeeoberkommando 14, Kriegstagebuch Nr. 4), covering the period of 1 July to 30 September 1944. It is filed in the German Military Documents Section, Departmental Records Branch, Office of the Adjutant General. Although the 4th Parachute Division records were not captured, much reliable information about the lower German units was obtained from radio intercepts recorded in 338th Infantry and 85th Infantry Division records. Prisoner of war interrogations provided considerable information about the nature of enemy dispositions, the condition of the combat elements, and the effect of American artillery fire.
Primary sources for air material were the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces Daily Central Mediterranean Operation Summaries for 1 to 20 September 1944, and the Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force Intelligence and Operations Summaries for the same period. Air records are in the Historical Archives, Historical Division, Air University Library, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
Postwar interviews to clear up minor points in the narrative were conducted by the author with three officers who participated in the operation. These may be found in OCMH.
A unit history of the 363d Infantry was published in 1948, but was not used in the preparation of this study. Instead, the author used History of the 363d Infantry, a manuscript by 1st Lt. Ralph E. Strootman, 363d Infantry historian, which was the basis for the published history.
Complete List of Combat Interviews
I. 338th Infantry
A. Regimental Headquarters
Col William H. Mikkelsen, CO; Lt Col Marion P. Boulden, Ex Off; Maj Robert E. Baskin, Jr., S-2; Capt Franklin M. Ludwig, S-1B. 1st Battalion
1. Battalion Headquarters
Lt Col Willis O. Jackson, CO; Maj Vernon A. Ostendorf, Ex Off; Capt Thomas M. Quisenberry, S-3; 1st Lt William Alston, S-2; T Sgt Wayne Brown, sergeant major2. Company A
a. Company Headquarters
Capt Robert A. King, COb. First Platoon
Capt King and 1st Lt John R. MacMinn, Jr., plat ldr; Lt MacMinn; 2d Lt Nelson B. Van Horne, plat sgt; S Sgts David C. South, Harry B. Whary, Herbert H. Davis, and William J. Nowakowski; Pfc James R. Hickmanc. Second Platoon
1st Lt Harry R. Gresham, plat ldr; T Sgt Adron G. Stevens, plat sgt; S Sgts Walter J. Michalek, Jr., Ira W. Wilson, Edmond H. Carter, Stanley G. Hillier, and Kenneth C. Pickensd. Third Platoon
T Sgt Darius L. Daughtry, plat sgt, S Sgt Joseph K. Colosimo, S Sgt Gordon K. Grigsby, and Pfc Hubert G. Albert; Pfc James J. Burkiewa; Pfc Albert
e. Weapons Platoon3. Company B
T Sgt Thomas A. Culpepper, plat sgt; T Sgt William H. Kohler and S Sgt James F. Reid
a. Company Headquarters4. Company C
Capt Maurice E. Peabody, Jr., CO; 1st Sgt Volley Casey; Pfc George H. Friesenborg; Pfc John C. Jonesb. First Platoon
2d Lt William J. Kelsey, acting plat ldr, and 1st Sgt Charles J. Dozier; Sgt Dozier; T Sgt Louis S. Campbell; S Sgt James M. Burrows; S Sgt Joseph T. Barrow; Sgt Nelson L. Simmons; Pfc Arley Perkey; Pfc Marvin Cobb; Pfc Luther Ingram; Sgt Howard C. Pecor; Pfc James W. Wright; Pfc Joseph T. LaMonica and Pvt Edward J. Lazowski; Pfc James O. Brooksc. Second Platoon
T Sgt Herman Ledford; S Sgt Hugh C. Brown and S Sgt Gamelil Mullins; Sgt Mullins; Sgt Albert A. Lusk, Pfc William C. Brodeur, and Pfc William Alberta; Pvt Idelmo Salmestrelli; Pfc John E. Catlett; Pfc David R. Leon; Pfc Albert E. Wilson; Pfc Willie L. Guy; Pfc Leslie N. Albritton; Pfc Jules D. Distel; Pfc Alton Mos; Pvt George Itzkowitz; Pvt Thomas H. Shermand. Third Platoon
1st Lt Clemens M. Hankes, plat ldr; S Sgt William E. Ford; S Sgt David N. Seiverd; T/4 Joseph F. Bertani; Pfc Patrick H. McDonald, Jr.; Pfc John Campbelle. Weapons Platoon
T Sgt Arthur O. Tomlet; S Sgt John D. Brice and Sgt Lester F. Wise; Pfc Arthur E. Collins, Pfc John S. Ptaszkiewicz, and Pfc Donald Brouthers; Pfc Ptaszkiewicz; Pfc Collins and Sgt Alvin L. West
a. Company Headquarters
Capt Redding C. Souder, Jr., CO.b. First Platoon
1st Lt William S. Corey, plat ldr; 2d Lt William A. Thompson, plat sgt; S Sgt James O. Orr; S Sgt Clifford P. Marx; S Sgt Kyle F. Priestley; Sgt Loyd J. Dufley; S Sgt Kenneth L. Fankell; Pfc Randolph H. Bishop; Pfc Earl B. Gray; Pfc Richard M. Feeney; Pfc Boyd A. West; Sgt Albert C. Borum, Jr.; Pfc Michael Burja; Sgt George Balog; Pfc Louis J. Hart; Pfc Lawrence F. Markey, Jr.; Pfc Jackson P. Bagley; Pfc Truett J. May; Pfc Robert H. Kessellc. Second Platoon
1st Lt David M. Brumbaugh, plat ldr; Sgt Tony L. White, plat sgt; S Sgt Robert W. Kistner, Jr.; S Sgt Harvey E. Jones and Pfc Ernst H. Becker; S Sgt John Paludi; S Sgt Bruno G. Pegolatti; Pfc Francis A. Kaufman; Sgt John R. Maiorana; Pfc Robert H. Adams
II. 363d Infantry
C. 2d Battalion
d. Third Platoon5. Company D
1st Lt Albert J. Krasman, plat ldr; 2d Lt Walter M. Strosnider; T Sgt Pat H. Hinton; T Sgt Hinton and Pfc Alfred D. Lightner; Pfc Lightner and Pfc Carl Schwantke; Pfc Lightner; Pfc Walter W. Iverson; Pfc John K. Britton; Pfc Loman B. Pugh; Pfc Frank Bury; Pfc John A. Palmer; Pfc Paul Myshake. Weapons Platoon
1st Lt Merlin E. Ritchey, plat ldr; 2d Lt Zealin W. Russell, plat sgt; T Sgt Dale E. Burkholder
Capt Clarence W. Brown, CO; T Sgt Rayford H. McCormack, 1st Plat sgt; 1st Lt John R. Ciccarelli and 1st Lt Robert P. McGraw, mortar sec ldrs, and 1st Lt Lawrence S. Carpenter, Mortar Plat ldr
Lt Col Robert H. Cole, COD. 3d Battalion
1. Company K
1st Lt Mack L. Brooks, CO; T Sgt Willie L. Kingsley; S Sgt John S. Warzala; Pfc Harold W. Peterson2. Company L
T Sgt Meredith R. Jenkins
3d BattalionIII. 85th Infantry Division
Capt Thomas M. Draney, CO, Co L; 1st Lt Ralph E. Strootman, historian, 3d Bn, 363d Inf (later historian, 363d Inf)
Maj Gen John B. Coulter, CG; Brig Gen Lee S. Gerow, asst div comdr