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Introduction to the WWIIRA and 45th Infantry Division, World War II Reenactors

An explanation of who the WWIIRA and World War Two reenactors are

What you will want to know if you have an interest in working with us.

The photo gallery has historical images of the WWII, Thunderbirds and 45th ID reenacting photos.

Information about Venturing Crew 1941, Boy Scouts of America

HomeWho We AreWant to volunteerPhoto Gallery Venturing Crew

These are the World War II events that you will find the WWIIRA in attendance.

Learn about the Men and campaigns of the 45th Infantry Division in WW II.

Links to 45th related, World War 2, or community support websites

Learn about our project to help our present day Military with civilian relations

Table of Contents listing all of the pages on our WW II 45th Division and Reenacting website, including a list of Maps.
Schedule of Events Unit History Wounded Warrior Project    LinksTable of Contents


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Medal of Honor Citations

Awarded to 8 members of the 45th Infantry Division

Van T. Barfoot

Ernest Childers

Almond E. Fisher

William J. Johnston

Jack C. Montgomery

James D. Slaton

Jack L. Treadwell

Edward G. Wilkin


Medal of Honor

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor to

Van T. Barfoot, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division

BARFOOT, VAN T.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Carano, Italy, 23 May 1944.
Entered service at: Carthage, Miss.
Birth: Edinburg, Miss.
G.O. No.: 79, 4 October 1944.

Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 23 May 1944, near Carano, Italy. With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2d Lt. Barfoot (then Tech. Sgt.) moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machine gun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans. He continued along the German defense line to another machine gun emplacement, and with his tommy gun killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers. Members of another enemy machine gun crew then abandoned their position
and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17. Later that day, after he had reorganized his men and consolidated the newly captured ground, the enemy launched a fierce armored counterattack directly at his platoon positions. Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing Mark VI tanks.
From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the track of the leading tank,effectively disabling it, while the other 2 changed direction toward the flank. As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed 3 of them with his tommy gun He continued onward into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the breech. While returning to his platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety. Sgt. Barfoot's extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor,
and aggressive determination in the face of pointblank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers.

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Medal of Honor

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor to

Ernest Childers, 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division

CHILDERS, ERNEST
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 45th Infantry Division.
Place and date: At Oliveto, Italy, 22 September 1943.
Entered service at: Tulsa, Okla.
Birth: Broken Arrow, Okla.
G.O. No.: 30, 8 April 1944.

Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action on 22 September 1943, at Oliveto, Italy. Although 2d Lt. Childers previously had just suffered a fractured instep he, with 8 enlisted men, advanced up a hill toward enemy machine gun nests. The group advanced to a rock wall overlooking a cornfield and 2d Lt. Childers ordered a base of fire laid across the field so that he
could advance. When he was fired upon by 2 enemy snipers from a nearby house he killed both of them. He moved behind the machine gun nests and killed all occupants of the nearer one. He continued toward the second one and threw rocks into it. When the 2 occupants of the nest raised up, he shot 1. The other was killed by 1 of the 8 enlisted men. 2d Lt. Childers continued his advance toward a house farther up the hill, and single-handed, captured an enemy mortar observer. The exceptional leadership, initiative, calmness under fire, and conspicuous gallantry displayed by 2d
Lt. Childers were an inspiration to his men.

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Medal of Honor

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor to

Almond E. Fisher, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division

FISHER, ALMOND E.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company E, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Grammont, France, 12-13 September 1944.
Entered service at: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Birth: Hume, N.Y.
G.O. No: 32, 23 April 1945.

Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on the night of 1213 September 1944, near Grammont, France. In the darkness of early morning, 2d Lt. Fisher was leading a platoon of Company E, 157th Infantry, in single column to the attack of a strongly defended hill position. At 2:30 A.M., the forward elements were
brought under enemy machine gun fire from a distance of not more than 20 yards. Working his way alone to within 20 feet of the gun emplacement, he opened fire with his carbine and killed the entire gun crew. A few minutes after the advance was resumed, heavy machine gun fire was encountered from the left flank. Again crawling forward alone under withering fire, he blasted the gun and crew from their positions with hand grenades. After a halt to replenish ammunition,the advance was again resumed and continued for 1 hour before being stopped by intense machine gun and rifle fire. Through the courageous and skillful leadership of 2d Lt. Fisher, the
pocket of determined enemy resistance was rapidly obliterated. Spotting an emplaced machine pistol a short time later, with 1 of his men he moved forward and destroyed the position. As the advance continued the fire fight became more intense. When a bypassed German climbed from his foxhole and attempted to tear an Ml rifle from the hands of 1 of his men, 2d Lt. Fisher whirled and killed the enemy with a burst from his carbine. About 30
minutes later the platoon came under the heavy fire of machine guns from across an open field. 2d Lt. Fisher, disregarding the terrific fire, moved across the field with no cover or concealment to within range, knocked the gun from the position and killed or wounded the crew. Still under heavy fire he returned to his platoon and continued the advance. Once again
heavy fire was encountered from a machine gun directly in front. Calling for hand grenades, he found only 2 remaining in the entire platoon. Pulling the pins and carrying a grenade in each hand, he crawled toward the gun emplacement, moving across areas devoid of cover and under intense fire to within 15 yards when he threw the grenades, demolished the gun and killed the gun crew. With ammunition low and daybreak near, he ordered his men to dig in and hold the ground already won. Under constant fire from the front and from both flanks, he moved among them directing the preparations for the defense. Shortly after the ammunition supply was replenished, the Germans launched a last determined effort against the depleted group. Attacked by superior numbers from the front, right, and left flank, and even from the rear, the platoon, in bitter hand-to-hand engagements drove back the enemy at every point. Wounded in both feet by close-range machine pistol fire early in the battle, 2d Lt. Fisher refused medical attention. Unable to walk, he crawled from man to man encouraging them and checking each position. Only after the fighting had subsided did 2d Lt. Fisher crawl 300 yards to the aid station from which he was evacuated. His extraordinary heroism, magnificent valor,and aggressive determination in the face of pointblank enemy fire is an inspiration to his organization and reflects the finest traditions of the U.S. Armed Forces.

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Medal of Honor

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor to

William J. Johnston, 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division

JOHNSTON, WILLIAM J.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company G, 180th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Padiglione, Italy, 1719 February 1944.
Entered service at: Colchester, Conn.
Birth: Trenton, N.J.
G.O. No: 73, 6 September 1944.

Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. On 17 February 1944, near Padiglione, Italy, he observed and fired upon an attacking force of approximately 80 Germans, causing at least 25 casualties and forcing withdrawal of the remainder. All that day he manned his gun without relief, subject to mortar, artillery, and sniper fire. Two Germans individually worked so close to his position that his machine gun was ineffective, whereupon he killed 1 with his pistol, the second with a rifle taken from another soldier. When a rifleman protecting his gun position was killed by a sniper, he immediately moved the body and relocated the machine gun in that spot in order to obtain a better field of fire. He volunteered to cover the platoon's withdrawal and was the last man to leave that night. In his new position he maintained an all-night vigil, the next day causing 7
German casualties. On the afternoon of the 18th, the organization on the left flank having been forced to withdraw, he again covered the withdrawal of his own organization. Shortly thereafter, he was seriously wounded over the heart, and a passing soldier saw him trying to crawl up the embankment. The soldier aided him to resume his position behind the machine gun which was soon heard in action for about 10 minutes. Though reported killed, Pfc. Johnston was seen returning to the American lines on the morning of 19 February slowly and painfully working his way back from his overrun position through enemy lines. He gave valuable information of new enemy dispositions. His heroic determination to destroy the enemy and his
disregard of his own safety aided immeasurably in halting a strong enemy attack, caused an enormous amount of enemy casualties, and so inspired his fellow soldiers that they fought for and held a vitally important position against greatly superior forces.

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Medal of Honor

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor to

Jack C. Montgomery, 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division

MONTGOMERY, JACK C.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 45th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near, Padiglione, Italy, 22 February 1944.
Entered service at: Sallisaw, Okla.
Birth: Long, Okla.
G.O. No.: 5, 15 January 1945.

Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 22 February 1944, near Padiglione, Italy. Two hours before daybreak a strong force of enemy infantry established themselves in 3 echelons at 50 yards, 100 yards, and 300 yards, respectively, in front of the rifle platoons commanded by 1st Lt. Montgomery. The closest position, consisting of 4 machine guns and 1 mortar, threatened the immediate security of the platoon position. Seizing an Ml rifle and several hand grenades, 1st Lt. Montgomery crawled up a ditch to within hand grenade range of the enemy. Then climbing boldly onto a little mound, he fired his rifle and threw his grenades so accurately that he killed 8 of the enemy and captured
the remaining 4. Returning to his platoon, he called for artillery fire on a house, in and around which he suspected that the majority of the enemy had entrenched themselves. Arming himself with a carbine, he proceeded along the shallow ditch, as withering fire from the riflemen and machine gunners in the second position was concentrated on him. He attacked this position with such fury that 7 of the enemy surrendered to him, and both machine guns were silenced. Three German dead were found in the vicinity later that morning. 1st Lt. Montgomery continued boldly toward
the house, 300 yards from his platoon position. It was now daylight, and the enemy observation was excellent across the flat open terrain which led to 1st Lt. Montgomery's objective. When the artillery barrage had lifted, 1st Lt. Montgomery ran fearlessly toward the strongly defended position. As the enemy started streaming out of the house, 1st Lt. Montgomery, unafraid of treacherous snipers, exposed himself daringly to assemble the surrendering enemy and send them to the rear. His fearless, aggressive, and intrepid actions that morning, accounted for a total of 11 enemy dead, 32 prisoners, and an unknown number of wounded. That night, while aiding an adjacent unit to repulse a counterattack, he was struck by mortar fragments
and seriously wounded. The selflessness and courage exhibited by 1st Lt.
Montgomery in alone attacking 3 strong enemy positions inspired his men to a degree beyond estimation.

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Medal of Honor

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor to

James D. Slaton, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division

SLATON, JAMES D.
Rank and Organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division.
Place and Date: Near Oliveto, Italy, 23 September 1943.
Entered Service at: Gulfport, Miss.
Born: 2 April 1912, Laurel, Miss
G.O. No.: 44, 30 May 1944.

Citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy in the vicinity of Oliveto, Italy, on 23 September 1943. Cpl. Slaton was lead scout of an infantry squad which had been committed to a flank to knock out enemy resistance which had succeeded in pinning 2 attacking platoons to the ground. Working ahead of his squad, Cpl. Slaton crept upon an enemy
machine gun nest and, assaulting it with his bayonet, succeeded in killing the gunner. When his bayonet stuck, he detached it from the rifle and killed another gunner with rifle fire. At that time he was fired upon by a machine gun to his immediate left. Cpl. Slaton then moved over open ground under constant fire to within throwing distance, and on his second try scored a direct hit on the second enemy machine gun nest, killing 2 enemy gunners. At that time a third machine gun fired on him 100 yards to his front, and Cpl. Slaton killed both of these enemy gunners with rifle fire. As a result of Cpl. Slaton's heroic action in immobilizing 3 enemy machine gun nests with bayonet, grenade, and rifle fire, the 2 rifle platoons which were receiving heavy casualties from enemy fire were enabled to withdraw to covered positions and again take the initiative. Cpl. Slaton withdrew under mortar fire on order of his platoon leader at dusk that evening. The heroic actions of Cpl. Slaton were far above and beyond the call of duty and are worthy of emulation.

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Medal of Honor

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor to

Jack L. Treadwell, 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division

TREADWELL, JACK L.
Rank and Organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Company F, 180th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division.
Place and Date: Near Nieder-Wurzbach, Germany, 18 March 1945.
Entered Service at: Snyder. Okla.
Birth: Ashland, Ala.
G.O. No.: 79, 14 September 1945.

Citation:
Capt. Treadwell (then 1st Lt.), commanding officer of Company F, near
Nieder-Wurzbach, Germany, in the Siegfried line, single-handedly captured 6
pillboxes and 18 prisoners. Murderous enemy automatic and rifle fire with
intermittent artillery bombardments had pinned down his company for hours at the base of a hill defended by concrete fortifications and interlocking trenches. Eight men sent to attack a single point had all become casualties on the hare slope when Capt. Treadwell, armed with a submachine gun and hand grenades, went forward alone to clear the way for his stalled company. Over the terrain devoid of cover and swept by bullets, he fearlessly advanced, firing at the aperture of the nearest pillbox and, when within range, hurling grenades at it. He reached the pillbox, thrust the muzzle of his gun through the port, and drove 4 Germans out with their hands in the air. A fifth was found dead inside. Waving these prisoners back to the American line, he continued under terrible, concentrated fire to the next pillbox and took it in the same manner. In this fort he captured the commander of the hill defenses, whom he sent to the rear with the other prisoners. Never slackening his attack, he then ran across the crest of
the hill to a third pillbox, traversing this distance in full view of hostile machine gunners and snipers. He was again successful in taking the enemy position. The Germans quickly fell prey to his further rushes on 3 more pillboxes in the confusion and havoc caused by his whirlwind assaults and capture of their commander. Inspired by the electrifying performance of their leader, the men of Company F stormed after him and overwhelmed resistance on the entire hill, driving a wedge into the Siegfried line and making it possible for their battalion to take its objective. By his courageous willingness to face nearly impossible odds and by his overwhelming one-man offensive, Capt. Treadwell reduced a heavily fortified, seemingly impregnable enemy sector.

Short Autobiography of Col Jack Tredwell

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Medal of Honor

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor to

Edward G. Wilkin, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division

*WILKIN, EDWARD G.
Rank and Organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company C, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division.
Place and Date: Siegfried Line in Germany, 18 March 1945.
Entered Service at: Longmeadow, Mass.
Birth: Burlington, Vt.
G.O. No.: 119, 17 December 1945.

 

* Awarded Posthumously.

Citation:

He spearheaded his unit's assault of the Siegfried Line in Germany. Heavy fire from enemy riflemen and camouflaged pillboxes had pinned down his comrades when he moved forward on his own initiative to reconnoiter a route of advance. He cleared the way into an area studded with pillboxes, where he repeatedly stood up and walked into vicious enemy fire, storming 1 fortification after another with automatic rifle fire and grenades, killing enemy troops, taking prisoners as the enemy defense became confused, and encouraging his comrades by his heroic example. When halted by heavy barbed wire entanglements, he secured bangalore torpedoes and blasted a path toward still more pillboxes, all the time braving bursting grenades and mortar shells and direct rifle and automatic-weapons fire. He engaged in fierce fire fights, standing in the open while his adversaries fought from the protection of concrete emplacements, and on 1 occasion pursued enemy soldiers across an open field and through interlocking trenches, disregarding the crossfire from 2 pillboxes until he had penetrated the formidable line 200 yards in advance of any American element. That
night, although terribly fatigued, he refused to rest and insisted on distributing rations and supplies to his comrades. Hearing that a nearby company was suffering heavy casualties, he secured permission to guide litter bearers and assist them in evacuating the wounded. All that night he remained in the battle area on his mercy missions, and for the following 2 days he continued to remove casualties, venturing into enemy-held territory, scorning cover and braving devastating mortar and artillery bombardments. In 3 days he neutralized and captured 6 pillboxes single-handedly, killed at least 9 Germans, wounded 13, took 13 prisoners, aided in the capture of 14 others, and saved many American lives by his fearless performance as a litter bearer. Through his superb fighting skill, dauntless courage, and gallant, inspiring actions, Cpl. Wilkin contributed in large measure to his company's success in cracking the Siegfried Line. One month later he was killed in action while fighting deep in Germany.


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Unit History

 

 

 

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