134th Infantry Regiment
"All Hell Can't Stop Us"
The 134th Infantry Regiment was activated December 23, 1854. On July 13, 1881, the regiment was reorganized, following Civil and Indian War experience, and designated the First Regiment, Nebraska National Guard. In 1890, the regiment participated in the operations against the Sioux Indians at Long Pine, Nebraska. While there, Colonel W. F. Cody, the famous Buffalo Bill, Aide-de-Camp on Governor Thayer's staff, was dispatched to Pine Ridge Agency to learn and report the location of the hostile Indians and the main points of danger to Nebraska citizens. The Sioux Indian War terminated in the Battle of Wounded Knee, in which the Sioux Indians were defeated. This service is depicted in the regimental crest by the Pawnee Indian words "Lah We Lah His", which means "The Strong - The Brave". Those words of Pawnee were selected because friendly Pawnee Indians served and assisted the Regiment as guides in the Sioux Indian War.
At the call of the president, April 26, 1898, the regiment was mobilized under the command of Colonel John Stotsonberg from Lincoln, Nebraska. In June the Regiment embarked for the Philippines, arriving in Manila Bay on July 17, 1898, where it was immediately assigned to the defense of the city of Manila. In repulsing a small attack on July 28, a sentry fired the first shot of the Philippine Insurrection. Other engagements followed and the regiment, in conjunction with other American forces, drove the rebels from Quinqua. General Hale, an eye witness to the action, said "There goes the First Nebraska and all hell can't stop them." Thus the Regimental motto "All Hell Can't Stop Us", sprang from that action in which the enemy trenches were captured and the defenders routed. It was in this action also that Colonel John Stotsonberg, the Regimental Commander, died from a bullet through the chest. Fort Stotsonberg, in the Philippine Islands, is named in his honor. The service of the Regiment is depicted on the crest by the Katipuman Sun, taken from the symbol of a secret society of the common people of the Philippine Islands, formed in 1892 because the Filipinos had been unable during the nineteenth century to secure reforms peaceably.
The First Nebraska Infantry Regiment also saw action in the Spanish American War. This action is commemorated in the crest by the Palm Tree.
August 23, 1899, the Regiment was mustered out of Federal service, and it was not until April 1, 1913, we again find trace of it. On that date, it was reorganized and designated the Fourth Nebraska Infantry Regiment. On June 19, 1916, the Regiment was again called out for service on the Mexican border, serving at Llano Grando, Texas, until the spring of 1917. The Regimental crest memorializes this service with the serpent coiled around the trunk of the palm tree.
On July 15, 1917, the Regiment was mobilized at Camp Cody, New Mexico, were it was redesigned the 134th Infantry, 34th Division. After having been called on heavily for cadres and replacements, the Regiment embarked for France October 13, 1918, arriving there October 28. It was never committed in action during World War I. Commemorative of that service, the crest bears the steer skull superimposed on the olla, the present insignia of the 34th Division. To complete the Regimental Crest, we find the background of Argent and Azure, the old and present colors of the Infantry.
Redesigned the 134th Infantry, 69th Brigade, 35th Division, on June 22, 1921, the Regiment served as Nebraska National Guard troops until December 23, 1940, when it was called into the Army of the United States as a part of the 35th Division.
After a short period of adjustment at home stations, the Regiment assembled early in January, 1941, at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, near Little Rock, Arkansas, as a part of the 35th Division. Colonel Clyde McCormick, of Omaha, Nebraska was in command of the Regiment, until early May, when Colonel Butler B. Miltonberger, then commanding the First Battalion, assumed command. In August the Regiment participated in the largest scale maneuvers ever held in the United States, 'fighting' across southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana. Arriving back at Little Rock, after having distinguished itself in this training test, the Regiment was officially adopted as native sons of Arkansas by the Governor on behalf of the citizens of the state.
Seven days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, orders were received moving the Regiment, as a part of the 35th Division, to the west coast. Moving on a high priority and over several routes, the division was consolidated at Ft. Ord, California. A series of short stays at various points on the west coast followed. Camp San Luis Obispo in January, San Francisco as a part of the Internal Security Command in March, and Los Angeles (more particularly Inglewood) in April, finally settling in Ojai, 14 miles inland from Ventura, California in May. From this command post, the Regiment occupied and secured some 185 miles of coastline as a part of the Southern California Sector. In August, 1942, the Second Battalion was chosen by the Army Commander, General DeWitt, to form the basis of a Task Force sent on DS to Adak Island in the Aleutians on a then secret mission. (Secure Adak and construct an airfield). For its performance in the Aleutians, the battalion received a commendation from the War Department.
The remainder of the Regiment continued its service on the west coast and on Christmas Day, 1942, 900 men and 40 officers were received and a new battalion activated to replace the Second Battalion which had been transferred to the 197th Infantry Regiment and sent to the Aleutians. Adjustments in personnel and cadres from the remaining two old battalions equalized to some extent the status of training within the Regiment.
During January of 1943, the entire division was reconcentrated, again at Camp San Luis Obispo. After a short readjustment period the division entrained on March 22 for Camp Rucker, Alabama.
Intensive training under the hot Alabama sun prepared the Regiment for the next test, Second Army Maneuvers in Tennessee. From November 1943 to January 1944, under adverse weather conditions, the Regiment added to its experience and emerged a hardened, disciplined outfit with a record on maneuvers enjoyed by few other organizations.
While in Camp Butner, North Carolina, in January 1944, preparing for overseas movement, the 134th Combat Team was ordered to West Virginia for Mountain Maneuvers. Gaining experience in this different type of warfare, the Combat Team returned to Camp Butner for final preparation for the big test. May 1, 1944, saw the first units headed for the port of embarkation. Staged at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, the Regiment set sail for Europe May 12 from the Port of New York. Stopping at the Irish Port of Dublin only long enough to wet the anchors, the sea voyage finally ended in England, 14 days after leaving New York. After a short rest period in Cornwall, during which time the Regiment was reviewed by General Eisenhower and General Patton, the Regiment sailed on July 3rd and July 4th for the recently assaulted coast of France. The first unit to see action was the Second Battalion, which went into a defensive position southeast of Carentan on July 8. On the 13th, the Third Battalion relieved elements of the 29th Division north of St. Lo. On the morning of July 15, 1944, the 134th Infantry attacked as a part of a full scale offensive aimed to dislodge the Germans from that strong point in the ring around Normandy. It was this ring on which the Germans staked their control of France and their ability to hold that line would keep our troops confined in Normandy. The first objective was Hill 122, a strong point about half-way to the city. After three days of fighting never even hinted at in any training phase, through hedgerows and sunken roads, the heavily fortified city fell. The Regiment occupied St. Lo for several days, the target in the bowl for the enemy on the rim of the saucer. Moving south, the fight was pushed to the Vire River, with that objective being reached on August 5th. The German line was broken 22 days after the 134th Infantry entered the battle and Allied armor poured through.
Again moving south, the Regiment paused only a few hours in a concentration area and were then thrown into the Mortain battle. Seven days the 134th fought the famed Das Reich Division, the crack SS troops of the German Army, and the threat in that area was neutralized.
When relieved at Mortain, the Regiment again moved south, then turning east became the infantry assigned to protect the right flank of General Patton's Third Army, pushing rapidly through Le Mans, Orleans, Montargis, Joigny, and finally running out of gas at Aix-on-Othe, just west of Troyes. The first breathing spell was enjoyed here as division reserve.
After a short but welcome rest, the division again moved to the east. Increasing resistance was met as the Regiment approached the Moselle River, and the unexpected capture of an undestroyed bridge across that river resulted. Vicious counterattacks by the enemy denied the bridgehead when the bridge was destroyed before support for the assault units could cross. Just north of the attempted bridgehead, the strong point of Ft. Pont-St-Vincent was held against several counterattacks. Moving north into the zone of the 80th Division, the Regiment joined a Task Force under the command of Assistant Division Commander of the 35th, General Sebree. Passing through the 80th, the Regiment stormed through the Foret de Haye and liberated Nancy, France, on September 15, 1944. A short time before entering the city, the Task Force was dissolved and the 134th Infantry was the sole liberator of the city. Not pausing to reap the benefits and celebrations of liberation, the Regiment seized a bridgehead across the Meurthe river the following day.
Pushing northeast, a defensive line was finally established roughly nineteen miles from Nancy, in the Forest of Gremecy. It was in this stable position that several counterattacks were beaten off late in September, 1944. November 8 again saw the Regiment in the attack, driving northeast until, on November 15, Morhange, the last large town on the road to Saarguemines was entered.
After a brief pause to reorganize, the Regiment continued the push crossing the Moderbach, the Saar, and the Blies rivers in eight days. Puttelange and Saarguemines were cleared during this movement and the crossing of the Blies gave the Regiment the distinction of being the first unit of the famed XII Corps into Germany, the 'holy soil' that Hitler promised would never feel the touch of war. The actual crossing was made at Habkirchen.
At the same time, that the Regiment was fighting its way into Germany, General Von Runstedt started his "Do or Die" offensive. The 35th Division was among the troops of the Third Army that were rushed to halt this last desperate attempt of the enemy. Pausing to receive replacements Christmas Day in Metz, the Regiment was hurried north and flung into the battle at Sainlez, Belgium. Immediately attacking to relieve the beleaguered Airborne troops at Bastogne. This was accomplished, with the First Battalion making the first physical relief east of Bastogne at the town of Marie. On December 31, the Germans launched their last large attack and struck the Regiment with a division of infantry and a regiment of tanks. After a day of the worst sort of fighting, the attack was smashed and on the battlefield lay remnants of the powerful German force, twenty-five tanks and countless dead. This ended the German threat and once more the Regiment moved forward. Control of the Regiment passed to the 6th Armored Division when the remainder of the 35th was assigned to the Seventh Army. The 134th Combat Team fought with the 6th Armored to the Siegfried Line, pushing the Allied lines well past those held prior to the German offensive.
February 1, 1945, the Regiment rejoined the division in a concentration area in the Ninth Army zone. After a pause of only three days, the Regiment was back in action, relieving elements of the 52nd British Division and two days later relieving the 406th Infantry Regiment, 102nd Division in the line on the division right.
The division faced the flood-swollen Roer River near Hilfarth until a coordinated attack pushed the Third Battalion across just north of that town, with the Second Battalion crossing at the same spot. Driving rapidly northward, the First Battalion made junction with the British at Geldern. On the 10th of March, 1945, the Regiment pressed through other elements of the division and attacked northeast, passing through Borth and Buderich, to the west bank of the Rhine River opposite Wesel.
March 12, 1945, the Regiment was relieved by elements of the 157th British Brigade and the 290th Infantry, 75th Division. For the first time since the landing in France, the Division went into an actual rest period on being relieved. The Regiment was concentrated in the vicinity of Birholz, Germany, south of Venlo, Holland.
The rest period ended with the movement of the Regiment and some attached units the whole being known as Task Force Miltonberger, across the Rhine river on March 25, 1945. Early the next day, an attack was launched through the 315th Infantry, 79th Division, in the vicinity of Dinslaken. Later in the day the Task Force was dissolved and control of the Regiment returned to the 35th Division. Continuing the attack to the east, the advance continued until Recklinghausen was taken on the 1st of April. Here, direction was changed and the Regiment was part of the force on the north side of the Ruhr pocket. On April 9, the Rein-Herne Canal was crossed and the pressure put on the pocket. This pressure was continued to the Ruhr River, where the Regiment was relieved by elements of the 315th Infantry and the 17th Airborne Division, on April 13.
Rejoining the 35th Division, which had preceded the Regiment by a few days, at Bosdorf, the 134th completed a motor move of 231 miles in one day. The move also brought the Regiment under control of XIX Corps. Immediately a push was started that carried the Regiment to the Elbe River, just north of Rogatz. The west bank of that river was secure by April 15. On the 26th the Regiment was relieved by elements of the 407th Infantry, 102nd Division and moved to the vicinity of Hannover.
The mission of occupation and military government in that area was terminated upon relief of the Division by elements of the 84th Division, May 17, 1945. A similar mission in the Wadersloh area followed. Ten days later the 1st Belgian Brigade assumed control of the area and a combined motor and rail movement of the Regiment to the vicinity of Bassonhein, east of Koblenz (Coblenz), started the next day. Elements of the 66th Division were relieved in that area. This proved to be the final duty of the Regiment in the ETO, for on July 10, 1945, the 134th Infantry was relieved by elements of the 5th Regiment, 10th French Division. The next day the motor elements left for Camp Norfolk, Assembly Area Command, located 17 miles south of Chalons, France. By the 13th the last rail elements had closed into the camp and processing of the personnel and material of the Regiment was under way. Soon it would be a staging area, and then home, the work in the ETO complete.
In fighting across France, Belgium and Germany the names of following locations will indicate a portion of the towns and areas liberated or captured by the 134th Infantry: St. Lo, Tornigni Sur Vire, Les Romains, Le Masnil, St. Cyr du Bailleu, Binas, Freteval, Bougonny, Moree, Bar sur Seine, Chane Milot, Flavigny, Fort de Pont, St. Vincent, Bois de Port, Moulin Bois, Foret de Haye, Nancy, Frouard, Malzeville, Agincourt, Bouxieres, Lay-St-Christopher, Eulmont Dommartin, Bouxierios-aux-Dames, Leyr, Manhour, Han, Foret Juree, Alonecourt, Arrayo-et-Han, Attiloncourt, Fossieux, Armacourt, Gerbecourt, Oriocourt, Voxy, Amelecourt, Achain, Puttigny, Vannecourt, Dalhain, Bellange, Haboudange, Pevange, Rode, Morhange, Racrange, Bellevue, Puttelange, Saarguemines, Sarrensming, Folpersviller. Among the towns in Belgium liberated by the 134th Infantry, the outstanding names are Lutrebois, Bras, Remoifosse, Basbellain, Weiswampach and Kalborn. Across Germany, Hilfarth, Geldern, Drupt, Borth, Wallach, Buderich, Gladbeck, Buer-Hassel, Buer-Elle, Buer, Westerholt, Recklinghausen, Gelsenkirchen, Herne, ?annerickal, Bochum, Dahlhausen, Lindarn, Born, Colbitz, Dolle, Angern, Purgstall, Rogatz, Kehnert, Bartingen, Utz, and Cobbel are among the towns and cities to fall to the Regiment.
From July , 1944 until April 27, 1945, the Regiment captured 8,974 German prisoners of war, excluding German wounded soldiers evacuated. In this same period of time, it lost 10,046 men and officers and advanced over 1500 combat miles.
In the accomplishment of its primary mission, meeting the enemy in battle and defeating him, the 134th Infantry fought under eight Corps; the V, XIX, XX, XII, III, XVI, XV, and the XXIII, and four Armies; the First, Third, Ninth, and the Fifteenth.
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