Activated in 1942 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, the 338th Infantry Regiment was the core infantry regiment of the 85th Infantry or "Custer" Division. Though the regiment was not used in combat in France in 1918, it's World War II heraldry would be very different. The 338th Infantry saw active combat through 1944 beginning at Minturno, Santa Marie Infante (the Gustav Line offensive), Terracina, the Arno River, Mount Altuzzo (the Gothic Line offensive), North Apennines, and into the Po Valley in 1945.
It was at Mount Altuzzo that the 338th Infantry proved its mettle. A significant point of defense in the German Gothic Line, the 3,000-foot peak overlooked the eastern flank of the Il Giogo Pass through the mountains north of Florence. At H-Hour on September 13, 1944, the 338th Infantry attacked the height. Despite heavy losses and a desperate enemy defense, the 338th Infantry made significant gains against enemy positions on the western slope and overran the mountain's lower defenses. By September 18, the regiment had secured most of the height and the breach in the Gothic Line was impossible for the weakened German units to retake. Combined with the fall of Mount Monticelli to the 91st Infantry Division on the western flank of the pass, the important breach of the Gothic Line gave Fifth Army passage into the North Apennines Mountains and Firenzoula. The Custermen of the 338th broke the back of German resistance at the pass. Veterans of Combat Team 8 returned to Mount Altuzzo on September 20, 1987, to dedicate a monument where the regiment fought.
The 338th Regimental Combat Team, "Combat Team 8", included the 338th Infantry, 329th Field Artillery, Company B, 310th Engineer Battalion, and Company B, 310th Medical Battalion.
The motto of the regiment is Marchons or "March On!".
MORE ON THE 338TH INFANTRY TO COME IN 2007.
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