In April, 1944 the 85th division arrived in Italy. The 337th Regiment fought in two main places on the outskirts of Terracina, Italy in battles at multiple Hills. From April 1944 until April 1945, The 337th Infantry Regiment stayed busy with monthly operation reports. In April 1944 the 337th Regiment was assigned their first field order. “Troop activity is inclusive to active defense of assigned sector between Minturno and Santa Maria road and Ausente river.
May continued to be a busy month for the 337th Infantry Regiment as it was their goal to break the Gustav Line. On May 17th, the 337th Infantry Regiment captured hills 906 and 510 and on May 20th they took in 80 prisoners while heading towards Terracina. On May 24th, the 337th entered and captured the town of Terracina. The leader of James company, Company B, 1st Lt. Rosario M. Spina was killed in this battle. The 337th lost many members of Company C in this battle while only few soldiers remained. The 337th took May 25th and 26th as rest days. James received his Combat Infantry Badge on May 25th, 1944. On his records, this reward is recognized as a Bronze Star because any recipient of the CIB should have received a bronze star due to an order in 1947.
Between June and September all troops in the 85th Division were ordered to go about 170 miles north of Rome as part of the Italian Campaign. On June 4th the 85th Division entered Rome, but getting past Rome was difficult as troops were moving about 4-5 miles every week through multiple battles, none in which James was injured.
On October 1st, 85th, 88th, and 91st Divisions were ordered to attack Radicosa Pass along a 16 mile front. On October 4th, James regiment, the 337th regiment, took Hill 566. Between October 4th and October 13th, the 337th were under heavy fire and were moving about 1 mile every four days. On October 13th, they took Hill 579 by noon and were relieved by the 339th regiment. Two days later on October 16th, the 337th made one final attack to gain high ground in Mount Grande.
On October 17th, James was admitted into the hospital so it is possible he was injured during the attack to gain high ground on October 16th. The injuries were James first and only ones throughout the entire war. His first injury was his thigh had penetrating wounds that included punctures and stabs, but luckily no nerves or arteries were hit. His second injury was his forearm was lacerated, but it was also not bad enough to hit nerves or arteries. He was injured in a 3rd area, but the diagnosis was not found. James was in the hospital for a total of 26 days before returning to his unit. Soldiers are given a Purple Heart if wounded or killed while serving, so James may have received his Purple Heart from these injuries. On October 23rd, the 337th regiment was relieved by another regiment for rest and rehabilitation. On October 23rd, the 337th regiment was relieved by another regiment for rest and rehabilitation. November they received no officials orders. There were no operation reports given, and in December the 337th went under a brief training period.
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