September 27, 2009

109th Brief History

The 109th Combat Engineers were a National Guard Unit, with most members from South Dakota. We were part of the 34th Infantry Division.
We were mobilized soon after Pearl Harbor. We got into the “Ground Floor” of the war, and were among the first into Europe. We spent more days in combat as we worked our way through Africa and Italy than any other American Division. 

Our Division casualties at the close of WWII were officially counted at: 3,737 killed, 14,165 wounded and 3,460 missing in action - a total of 21,362 battle casualties for a Division that started the war with about 14,000 men. ly use that term, but our children do, so we gratefully if reluctantly accept it.

The information on this blog was provided by numerous individuals.  Please email us any more information that you may have about the 109th. 

Clifford Harlan Hullinger

Craig Harlan Hullinger

News Articles About the 109th Engineers
Click to Make Them Larger

South Dakotans Put Ruse Over on Nazis

Don't Fence Me In

Theses sketches were made for the Stars and Stripes in Italy in 1944  by Austrian born soldier-of-fortune, artist Rudoph Charles von Ripper.  The sketch shows Sgt Harding of my platoon laying barb wire concertina at Anzio. Von Ripper drew this because the squad "fenced" in a German outpost before identifying them and capturing them.  The wire took a sharp job at that point!

Our Ship Survives Torpedo Attack

From the August 1992 Edition of the Minnesota Legionnaire

We were on this ship when it broke down in the Atlantic, traveling from the US to Ireland.  We heard the explosions from the depth charges but didn't know about the three torpedoes that missed us or that the German sub had been sunk until 1998 when we saw this 1992 article from the Minnesota Legionnaire.

We wouldn't have known the difference between a sub-chaser and a destroyer and I didn't realize or had forgotten that we were towed back to Halifax.   What I did know was that the North Atlantic in February is bitter cold and that we wouldn't last over 15 minutes if we had to go into the water. It was a dark night and convoy had left and there would have been no rescue. 

Monte Cassino - The Hardest-Fought Battle

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