189th Field Artillery


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At the begining of World War II Bands were still a part of the organization of an infantry division. Division Head Quarters, each infantry regiment and each Artillery Battalion had there own Band. During peace time and training they participated in ceremonies and concerts to entertain the troops. When my father was in the 71st Infantry Regiment at Fort Dix in 1940 he remembers after an all day march the band meeting them for the last mile with music. Everyone picked up the step as the music lifted the spirits.

When the 45th Infantry Division deployed over seas the bands went with them to War. During 1943 -1944, changes were made to the organization of the Infantry Division removing most of the bands. The 189th Field Artillery Band was activated in 1940 with the rest of the division. It participated in the Sicily , Naples-Foggia, Anzio, and Rome-Arno Campaigns. Before the 45th ID participated in the invasion of Southern France the 189th FA Band was removed and attached to the 119th AGF.


Off loading at Gela, Sicily




In the field
23 August 1943


SUBJECT: Commendation.

TO : Warrant Officer (c) ADRIAN H. PRIMO W2100009

1. The Battle for Sicily is very successfully ended. The performance of the Field Artillery has been outstanding and has drawn extremely favorable comment from all echelons of the higher command. From the time of landing on the sandy beaches of southern Sicily to the final fall of Messina, across hills and mountains, the Artillery has at all times kept within supporting distance of the Infantry, notwithstanding the almost impassable terrain encountered. It has won completely the confidence and extensive praise of the Infantry it supported.

2. During this campaign you and your band were put to many arduous tasks. You worked diligently and for long hours as a ship platoon, doing very heavy and strenuous work. After the landing your band was organized into a defense platoon for Division Artillery Headquarters. This required long hours at night, frequently after long marches. Neither you nor any members of your band ever complained about any mission or assignment. Your assignments were always done well and promptly.

Brigadier General, U.S. Army



A. P, 0. 45, U, S. Army
24 March 1944

SUBJECT: Commendation.

TO : T/4 Sgt Archie F. Grubb, 37161758, Band, 45th Inf. Division Artillery.

1. Commendation under the provisions of AR 600-55, as amended and paragraph 6, Circular 126, NATOUSA, dated 2 July 1943.

2, The Band, 45th infantry Division Artillery is commended for . outstanding devotion to duty and meritorious conduct from 29 may 1943 to 24 March 1944. Boarding the troop transport at the Port of- Embarkation, Newport News, Virginia on 29 May 1943 with the advance elements of the 45th Infantry Division, the Band acted as ship's platoon and was charged with loading and securing all Amy supplies and equipment on the troop transport. From that time until all troops, equipment and supplies were safely ashore on the beaches of Sicily the Band continued to act as the ship's platoon. The landing started during the early hours of 10 July 1943 and. from then until the . completion of the unloading in the afternoon of 12 July 1943 the Band worked without relief, displaying unusual tenacity and fortitude and with utter disregard for personal safety, hunger and fatigue, accomplishing the mission in record time despite numerous bombing and strafing attacks, Once ashore the Band functioned as the headquarters defense, platoon from 13 July 1943 : to 24 March 1944. They also assisted in digging in the command post installations when not engaged in guard duty. The cheerful manner in which the members of the Band performed the arduous and hazardous task assigned without complaint has been an inspiration to the men of this organization.

They participated in the Salerno landing, Crossing of the Volturno, the battle of Venafro and the Anzio beachhead operation. During these, operations T/Sgt. Paul C Waddle, ASN 20830429 was killed by enemy artillery fire and four kill members of the band wounded while engaged as the Headquarters defense Platoon. During our Short rest periods the Band proved to be of inestimable value as a morale factor playing for the Battalions as often as three concerts daily. It was an outstanding-Military Band. The courage, efficiency and unselfish devotion to duty displayed by the 45th Infantry Division Artillery Band is highly commendable, a tribute to each member and to Chief warrant Officer Adrian H. Primo, its leader.


C.W.O. Adrian H Primo Band Leader
Harold I Robnett
T/Sgt Paul C. Waddle (Killed In Action)
T/Sgt John C. Lindsey
T/4 Bennie E. Erickson
T/4 Lawrence G. Fordyce
T/4 Archie F. Grubb
T/4Arthur J. Hamilton
T/4 Stanley C. Motush
T/4 Joe L. Skorepa
T/4 Stanley P. Zymslo (Wounded in Action-Evacuated)
T/5 Howard W. Davis
T/5 Garland L. Koontz
T/5 John S. Meredith
T/5 John W. Paris
T/5 James W. Potter
T/5 Charles T. Shelton
T/5 Lavon E. Wise
Pfc Georbe J. Cmolik
Pfc Kurt A. Drevlow
Pfc Ralph A. Franco
Pfc Donald D. Hartle
Pfc Russel P. Helling
Pfc Emil H. Merrifield
Pfc Chester A. Roode
Pfc Wayne E. Shank
Pfc Jack C. Undercoffer
Pfc Anthony Waytekunes
Pfc David White
Pvt Ross Bour
Pvt Irving A. Greene
Pvt Glenn A. Palmer

3. The circumstances described above are not beyond the devotion to duty expected of all soldiers in similiar situations. they do not clearly meet the requirements and definitions for a special award.

But they are clear demonstrations of courage and valor exhibited by you of such nature that your Commanding General cannot overlook offering his special commendation. The acts themselves speak more effectively of your high sense of duty, and your discharging that duty than I could with words describe them. You are congratulated on the manner in which you discharged this duty, and commended for these acts. It indicates that if the situation should arise requiring the gallantry and heroism that would Justify a citation, you would have the courage and spirit to meet it and in the award.


Brigadier General, U. S. Army


Click on thumbnail to see larger image

Dave White and Archie Grubb, Anzio, Italy
189th FA Band Italy 1944
Archie Grubb crooning
concert for the 45th ID
takes a long time to load, large image
Naples 1944
Close up of the dance band
Naples Post Office 1944
Naples Post Office, 1944

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