134th Infantry Regiment Crest

134th Infantry Regiment

"All Hell Can't Stop Us"

35th Infantry Division emblem

Combat History of World War II

By Major General Butler B. Miltonberger, Former Commanding Officer, 134th Infantry Regiment
and Major James A. Huston, Assistant Professor of History, Purdue University

Transcribed by Roberta V. Russo, Palatine, Illinois


Chapter XII

The War's End

City Hall at Hannover

City Hall at Hannover

General Miltonberger called with the following message:

"A representative of the German High Command signed the unconditional surrender of all German land, sea, and air forces in Europe to the AEF and simultaneously to the USSR at 0141 B. C. E. time, 7 May, 1945, under which all forces under the German command cease operations at 0001, 9 May, 1945. Effective immediately all offensive operations by AEF cease and all troops will remain in present locations. Troops on occupation duty continue mission. Due to communication difficulties, there may be some delay in similar announcement reaching enemy troops so full offensive resource will be taken. No release will be made to press, pending, an announcement by England, the United States, and USSR."

- C. G. XIII Corps,

134th Infantry S-3 Journal, 070815 May 1945

Upon being relieved along the Elbe River on 26 April by the 407th Infantry (102nd Division), units of the 134th Infantry assembled in the rear areas. Following a route marked by signs as the "Santa Fe Trail," the Regiment moved to its assigned area south of Hannover where it assumed responsibility for a sector containing some 125 towns. Battalion C. P.’s - the 1st at Ludersen, the 2nd at Elze, the 3rd at Hehlen - were 10 to 50 miles away from the Regimental C. P. at Eldagsen. A change in boundaries on the 29th gave the 3rd Battalion (L Company) responsibility for Bad Pyrmont, a town with some 68 hospitals and convalescent camps filled with German wounded.

On 6 May, the Regiment (less the 1st Battalion) moved to the city of Hannover itself (population 472,000). There were stragglers to be rounded up, SHAEF Targets (e.g. industrial plants, warehouses) to be investigated, curfews to be enforced against civilians, displaced persons to be cared for, soldiers and officials to be screened. French, Belgian, and Dutch DP’s were being moved out by railway trains at the rate of 1400 a day; approximately 30,000 were evacuated from the Hannover area. Two Russian officers were assigned to the division military government team to locate camps where Russian DP’s could be assembled; seven Polish officers were working in the area to handle DP’s from their country. V-E Day came as something of an anti-climax in Hannover, but men began to figure their points for separation and speculate on the Japanese War.

After an intermediate stop with XVI Corp in the vicinity of Bechum (18 - 26 May), and G Company had a special assignment at Bielefeld as security detail for the staging area of the Berlin District Headquarters, and K a mission at Eselheide at a PW camp, the Regiment undertook a longer move (185 miles) to the southwest. This time troops other than those with the organic transportation went by rail - in box cars of the noted "40 and 8" caliber. Proceeding on a circuitous route through the Ruhr area, Roermond, Maastricht, Aachen, Duren, and Bonn, the long, slow trains arrived at Niedermendig (20 miles west of Coblenz) at 0500 on 29 May. Attached to the 66th Division, XXIII Corps, Fifteenth Army, the Regiment had a mission to occupy, organize, secure, and govern Landkreis (county) Mayen and Landkreis Ahrweiller and to patrol the west bank of the Rhine in the sector to prevent the crossing of unauthorized persons. The Regimental C.P. was established at Bassenheim, the 1st Battalion at Niedermendig, the 2nd at Adenau, the 3rd, Kottenheim, Service Company, Kruft. (The former regimental commander - now assistant division commander - was in the same area where he had been 26 years earlier as a first sergeant with the 4th Division on occupation duty; he returned to the scene of his old headquarters, and visited the aging Countess Bethmann-Hollweg - wife of Germany’s chancellor during World War I - in the old family castle.)

The 1st Battalion was held in a central area as division reserve. The other battalions set up systems of motor patrols which visited every town in their respective areas at least every other day in order to keep a record of friendly units which moved in and out. In compliance with a division directive, Anti-tank Company was formed into a provisional military police company to control traffic. Regular military government detachments were in the area, and the Regiment worked in close coordination with them.

There was a broad program of recreation and athletics and special schools and ceremonies. There were movies and USO Shows. In a Regimental Platoon Drill contest held 30 June, at Kottenheim, a platoon of M Company won top honors, while a platoon of I Company was a very close second. On 1 July, the Regiment participated in dedication ceremonies of the Santa Fe Stadium in Coblenz where Presidential Unit Citations were presented to the 1st Battalion, to Company C, and to the 2nd Platoon of Company D by General Gerow, the army commander (click here to read the Unit Citations). In the baseball game which followed, the 35th Division’s team, coached by Lt. Warren Hodges of I Company, defeated the 106th Division 5 to 3. The 134th Infantry on 5 July dedicated its own baseball park near Niedermendig, Romanowski Field, in honor of Pfc. Chester J. Romanowski of Detroit, first soldier of the 134th to die in France (9 July, 1944), and for two years a star on the Regiment’s division championship baseball team. In the baseball game, Manager E. C. Reischel’s 134th team beat the Division Special Troops 12 to 3.

Soon it became clear that the 35th Division was earmarked for service in the war against Japan. The readjustment program brought a widespread change in personnel, but with a core of the old volunteers yet remaining, the Regiment (after relief by the 5th French Infantry Regiment) moved - again by rail and motor - 11-13 July, back into France. Exactly a year after it had moved up to the lines at St. Lo - on the eve of Bastille Day, the Regiment closed into the tent city of Camp Norfolk - about 18 miles south of Chalons - in the Reims Assembly Area Command to prepare for return to the United States. Just before the Regiment left Camp Norfolk, and just in time to make the homeward voyage hold a completely joyful attraction, news came of the surrender of Japan.

The four trains (with passenger cars!) of the 134th Infantry departed from the Sommesous station 16 August, for the port of LeHavre. There were a few more anxious - but not uninteresting - days of waiting south of London, and the Regiment boarded the giant liner Queen Mary for a five-day voyage to New York. It completed its great, tremendous circle when it arrived at Camp Kilmer that 10 September, and the men scattered for 30 and 45 day furloughs. There was a brief reassembly at Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky, but the men quickly were discharged or transferred to go their separate ways.

On 21 November 1945, the 134th Infantry Regiment was inactivated. Its colors were returned to the State of Nebraska in ceremonies at the reunion of the 35th Division (whose chief speakers were President Truman and General Eisenhower) on 6 June 1946, in the Kansas City Convention Hall, where Brig. Gen. Guy N. Henniger, State Adjutant General, accepted on behalf of the Governor.

A reorganized 134th Infantry, Nebraska National Guard, with Colonel Warren C. Wood of Gering, commanding, picked up the heritage of "Nebraska’s Own."

Already a grateful State Legislature had adopted a resolution even before termination of hostilities:

WHEREAS, The 134th Infantry Regiment, Nebraska National Guard, 35th Division, United States Army, has repeatedly distinguished itself on the field of battle, and

WHEREAS, The officers and men of the regiment were drawn from the pursuits of peace to vindicate the right of peaceful men to live in peace, and

WHEREAS, They have valiantly sustained the highest military traditions of their state and their nation, and

WHEREAS, They have buried their dead and tended their wounded from the beaches of Normandy to the banks of the Rhine, and

WHEREAS, By their heroism at Saint Lo, and the Vire River, at Mortain, at Nancy and in the Siegfried Line - names to be forever emblazoned in their battle flags - they have made notable contributions to the ultimate victory of the cause which they were called to defend, and

WHEREAS, The people of Nebraska desire to extend grateful recognition of the services of their sons in this titanic struggle,


  1. That all officers and men, living or dead, who are serving or have served in the 134th Infantry Regiment in the course of the present war be most highly commended for their patriotism, the courage, the fortitude, and the devotion with which they have served their country, and
  2. That they be assured of the complete confidence of our people that they will continue to distinguish themselves so long as the continuation of the war require their services, and
  3. That they be further assured of the unceasing prayers of our people that their lives may be spared and that they may soon resume their peaceful places in a world of peace, and
  4. That this resolution be spread at large upon the journals of the legislature and that a copy, suitably engrossed, be prepared and sent by the Clerk of the Legislature to Col. Butler B. Miltonberger, commanding officer of the Regiment, and to each of his battalion commanders, and
  5. That printed copies of this resolution be made available, upon request, to men of the regiment and their families.


President of the Legislature.

List of Illustrations (click on description to view photograph then click the BACK button to return to this page):

Time for recreation South of Hannover.
Col. Boatsman on a tour of inspection in the area west of Coblenz with Capt. Jardine of D Company.
At Munstermaifield D Company had a PX complete.
D Company on parade.
They had won battlefield commissions.
A platoon of M Company won the contest.
At dedication of stadium at Coblenz.
Further honors to the liberators of Nancy.
Citations to the 2nd Platoon of D Company.
Citations to C Company
At Bastille Day ceremony in place Stanislas.
Readjustment program sent these original Nebraskans homeward.
Advance detachment prepares the way home.
Back to Camp Ashland (1947) Gov. Val Peterson of Nebraska pins the streamer for the Ardennes Unit Citation onto the Regimental Colors. With the Gov. are (left to right) Col. Wood, the C.O.; Brig. Gen. Guy N. Henninger, Nebraska adjutant general, and Capt. Ivar Peterson, his aide.
It is the beginning of a new era. Now it is Major General Butler B. Miltonberger, chief of the National Guard Bureau of the United States, talking with Col. Warren C. Wood, the new commander.

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