Major Broad-based Allied Assault activity in May of 1944.
(Note there were no letters written in May, as the writer was otherwise occupied...)
Declassified Headquarters Reports, 350th Infantry, May 1944:
May 1 - 11: During this phase, the 350th Infantry successfully continued its mission of holding designated front
line positions located in the vicinity of Lorenzo, Italy. Construction of secondary defensive positions which had been
started 28 April 1944 was continued; also new defensive positions were being constructed and old defensive positions
strengthened. The 350th Infantry patrols, with few casualties, inflicted numerous casualties on the enemy. It was noted
that enemy artillery increased slightly on our front line positions, with continued enemy artillery directed at our
rear installations and supply routes west of the Garigliano River.
Regimental patrol activities were continuous and expedited in a normal manner during the period.
Contact was gained with enemy on several occasions but there were no severe clashes. Our patrols captured 6 enemy prisoners,
2 enemy deserters surrendered during this period. From these Prisoners of War, names, CP locations strength of opposing
enemy units, with their location, type of defenses, supply depots, and supply routes, were obtained.
The enemy had constructed defensive positions to the rear of their front lines. These rear defensive positions were
to be used in the event of a successful American offensive.
Enemy laid harassing and sporadic artillery and mortar file every day, principally during daylight hours. The
heaviest enemy artillery and mortar fire was encountered during the day of May 10th, causing no casualties and
little material damage.
On 3 May, 1944, the Commanding Officer was ordered to lay plans for an attack. Through conferences with the
351st Infantry, the unit on the left flank of the 350th Infantry line, and the French on our right flank, coordination
for the forthcoming attack was established.
Final preparations for the attack were made. 2300 hours, 11 May 1944, was designated as H Hour and D Day.
May 11 - 16: Cianelli to Spigno
The regiment jumped off with two battalions abreast in a carefully planned night attack against the most formidable
obstacle on the entire Army Front at 2300 11 May 1944. It was well understood by officers and men of all ranks that
without the capture of Cianelli the advance of the Corps was impossible. All objectives were captured on schedule to
the everlasting credit of the officers and men who stepped off in darkness under and against an unprecedented
The first and second battalions were scheduled to attack abreast, the former having the task of capturing the crest
of Cianelli, the 2nd battalion to continue North with the mission of securing and organizing Hill 316. The 3rd battalion
to hold Hill 100 and be prepared to capture Ceracoli. Part of the 3rd battallion was held high on the mountains as
As the fighting progressed A Company suffered severe casualties from enemy fire and became disorganized.
K company was attached to 1st Battalion and committed through A company to fill the gap between the 1st and 2nd
Battalions. By daylight, 12 May, K and B Companies were in possession of Mt. Cianelli and the 2nd Battalion was
in possession of hill 316. A strong counter attack against the latter hill was thrown back just before dawn. C Company
ran into heavy machine gun and mortar fire in its reserve position of the East side of Mt. Cianelli and was unable
to advance until the French attacked on the right. K Company attacked Ventose, the battalion objective, and found it
unoccupied. This prepared the way for the French to enter the town of Damiano.
At dawn 12 May a supporting tank company attacked and overran the hill Ceracoli which was promptly mopped up
and occupied by Company I. The night of 12 May and the morning of 13 May the regiment continues to hold its
positions against light enemy opposition waiting for units on left and right to take their objectives.
The afternoon of 12 May, L Company was attached to the 1st Battalion. Two companies from the 1st Battalion
were held in positions in regimental reserve. C and L companies attacked Mr. Rotondo against light opposition
with heavy artillery and tank support. The objective was taken at 1745 hours.
During the night of May 14th the 350th Infantry was ordered to capture M Cerri at 0430. Prior to their arrival
on the objective patrols of the 88th Recon found that it was evacuated. The 1st Battalion then was ordered to
move to Mt. Bracchi. The 1st Battalion attached NW taking San Pietro on the North slope of Mt. Bracchi.
The battalion then moved to the East to Assembly positions in the Ausente valley, and prepared to attack Spigno at
daylight. K Company was sent to Cerry as a garrison. The 2nd Battalion was assembled in the vicinity of Cerricoli
and then moved to join the regimental commander to the north up the Ausente valley and bivouaced for the night in the
vicinity of Mt. Cerri.
At 0400, 15 May, the regiment less 3rd battalion moved on Spigno. The 1st Battalion and D Company riding on tanks.
The town had been evacuated prior to the arrival of the 1st Battalion. The regiment then withdrew to the low ground
east of Spigno. The regiment then moved to a bivouac area near Santa Maria with the 3rd Battalion
relieving the 351st Infantry on positions occupied in Santa Maria and Mt. Bracchi.
16 May 1944 the regiment remained in the bivouac area near Santa Maria, resupplying and resting.
Moving up through the Hills toward Itri
17 May 1944: Spigno to Itri - 17 May the regiment was ordered to move by trail and road to Marinola and thence
across the mountains to join the task force under General Kendall. The 3rd battalion moved out by truck to Marinola
and then marched in the mountains and bivouaced. The 1st Battalion followed the 3rd Battalion on foot and marched
all night. The 2nd Battalion was placed in Corps reserve.
18 May 1944: the regiment moved through the mountains toward Itri. Plans were for an attack across the valley at daylight
the following day but only the last remnants of the Germans were encountered.
19 May 1944: 1st Battalion attacked to cut highway north of Itri, meeting no resistance.
20 May 1944: Itri to Fondi - This operation consisted of a rapid march in pursuit of the enemy. No action
or casualties were incurred.
21 May to 26 May 1944: - On the night of 20 May the regiment was directed to move across country to occupy
Mt. Calvo. At 0500 the regiment moved out with battalions abreast, the 2nd on the left and the 1st in the center.
The 1st Battalion encountered no resistance and by dark was on its objective. The 1st Battalion was now in the lead.
The 2nd Battalion ran into stiff resistance as they tried to enter the mountains. The Germans were defending the
valley south of San Boggio from the hills on both sides. 110 Germans prisoners were taken and many killed before this
resistance was overcome. 8 Americans were killed. The 2nd Battalion was then placed in division reserve near Fondi,
leaving one company to hold the hill until the 85th Division could take it over.
22 May, the regiment continued the advance going into positions near Mount Alto at 1800. Mortar fire from bypassed
resistance began to fall on rear installations in the ficinity of San Magno during the morning, and the 2nd Battalion,
which had been released from division reserve was committed to wipe out this resistance. On 23 May the 1st Battalion
occupied the village of Roccasecca Dei Voscli without opposition.
On 24 to 26 May the 1st and 3rd Battalions consolidated their positions and began shelling enemy roads in the
vicinity. Counter battery fire on the part of the enemy caused some casualties in the 1st Battalion.
Infantry companies were moved to the floor of the valley and drove the enemy beyond the Amaseno river.
During the period of 22 May to 25 May the 2nd Battalion was engaged in protecting communicaiton and supply
lines of the regiment which extended some 20,000 yards. Enemy activity continued throughout this period, one attack
consisting of some 200 Germans. A few casualties were sustained by the 2nd Battalion but over 40 German dead were
left in the mountains and 50 odd prisoners sent to the rear. On the night of 25 May the 3rd Battalion attacked the high
ground west of Prieverno and secured their objective prior to dawn.
26 May to 28 May 1944: - On the night of May 25-26 the regiment moved across the valley north of Roccasecca, crossed
the Amaseno river and continued to advance to the high ground north of Roccagorca. Only light harassing fire and
enemy artillery fire was encountered. Light casualties were sustained and by the night of May 28th the mountains
north of Roccagorca were in our hands.
29 May 1944: - consisted of a rest period with light patrols covering to the front. New shoes which were badly
needed were distributed.
30 May to 31 May 1944: - The regiment withdrew from the mountains north of Roccagorca on the night of May 30th
and entrucked prior to dawn for movement toward Rome. An assembly area was designated in the vicinity of Velletri
and the regiment closed in that position on May 31st.