Italy, propaganda and the 363rd Infantry Regiment
John Burridge was in the 363rd Infantry Regiment of the US 91st Division (fifth army). He served in North Africa and Italy.
|Picture. Crest of the 363rd Infantry Regiment|
On his discharge papers he listed his duties as follows:
I was a clerk typist in both intelligence and training and operations sections of headquarters of the infantry regiment in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations. I prepared overlays and sketches, typed orders and supervised map distribution, maintenance and filing.
Janet wrote to me:
Because he served in a headquarters position he was able to collect the translations in the scrapbook. Upon discharge from the service my father worked for almost 40 years as an editor for various publications related to the insurance industry. He was married right after the war and had 4 children (and 9 grandchildren). When my mother died in February of this year, they had been married for 58 years.
|Picture. John Burridge in front of his tent in Italy|
John did tell the following on the leaflets:
The leaflets were sent to the Regimental Intelligence Officer and after he reviewed them, I kept them. I do not know where they actually came from or who (Americans or Brits) produced them. Back then, the general impression was that the leaflets acted more as propaganda than as actual causes for surrender. To my knowledge no German troops surrendered to the 363 because of the leaflets. But we believed that a lot of German troops felt they would be better off with the Americans (after reading the propaganda) but they could not do anything about it with a "Nazi rifle in their back".
About the 363rd Infantry Regiment until 1945
It was constituted August 1917 in the National Army as the 363d Infantry and assigned to the 91st Division.
Organized 4 September 1917 at Camp Lewis, Washington.
Campaigns: Ypres-Lys, Meuse-Argonne, Lorraine 1918.
Demobilized 2 May 1919 San Francisco, California.
Reconstituted 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves and assigned to the 91st Division.
Ordered into active military service August 1942 at Camp White, Oregon.
Campaigns: Rome-Arno, North Apennines, Po Valley.
Inactivated 27 November 1945, Alabama.
As the Regiment was part of the 91st Division, the history of the regiment and the 91st Division will be told based on the booklet that John brought home:
The Story of the Powder River / Let'er Buck, 91st Inf Div, August 1917 - January 1945
As most of the booklet is describing events earlier than November 1944 (the month that John started to collect his leaflets), this history is only given with a few pictures to describe the 91st. The leaflets from collection Burridge will be depicted in later parts of this homepage were the events of November / December 1944 are described.
At appropriate points I will insert short bits of text on a related subject. For instance, it is nice to see the use of Pin-Ups on official US Army documents! I can include this information because John also brought home a very few of these extremely rarely seen pieces.
The 91st Division was part of the 5th Army. The divisions within the 5th Army were organized into Corps. At times, the 5th Army consisted of the II Corps, IV Corps and/or VI Corps.
The 91st Division contained the 361st, 362nd and 363rd Regiments.
Each Regiment consisted of three battalions that commanded four companies.