The 337th Infantry Regiment in Italy During WWII

337th Infantry Yank Salesmen

I found this Stars and Stripes newspaper clipping inside my Dad's copy of 85th Infantry Division - Minturno to the Appennines. When I asked him about it, he said that these were three men from his unit which he had known. Using the info in the caption, I used the Internet to locate 2 of these men: Gordon True and Bill Standish.

While attending the 337th's 46th Reunion in September, 2000 I was able to visit Lt. Standish. He provided me with an additonal newspaper clipping from his hometown newspaper regarding this action which occurred Oct. 9, 1944 in the Northern Appennines. Click here to read that article.

Dad with Gordon True, May, 1999

William Standish, September, 2000


My father was also wounded on October 9. He was one of the men not in the house but "on the flank", still fighting. Lt. Standish explained that he told the Germans how much better they would be treated if they were prisoners of the US Army; how they would first be transported to North Africa and then probably on to the US to a prison camp. They would be provided with meals, clean clothing and good beds. He said it took a while, but they eventually agreed and surrendered.

Lt. Standish also explained the circumstances of the Stars and Stripes photo. In the photo, Arge Emory is on the left, Standish in the middle and True on the floor. Standish told me that after the action, orders came down from Army HQ to get a picture for the Stars and Stripes, but that the first time the photographer showed up, Standish told him to go away....he wanted nothing to do with having a photo. The photographer returned to Fifth Army HQ, only to be told personally by Gen. Mark Clark, " go back up there and tell them I ordered this picture to be taken" and " ..get the damn picture" This time, the photo was taken. While looking at his copy of this clipping, Standish remarked "I wasn't wearing a helmet, hated those damn helmets and got into lot of trouble because I avoided wearing one whenever possible!"

Standish also explained to me how he got his wound on Oct. 11. He said that he had a standing order to his men that no more than 2 men should be inside the same house at any time. This was to protect them and avoid losing men if the house should be targeted by the Germans. On this particular day, Standish saw that about 10-12 of his men had congregated in this house, about 3/4 mile ahead of where he was. He decided to go down to the house personally to encourage the men to get out of the house. Sure enough, just as he was telling the men to get out, a delayed fuse artillery shell hit the upper floors of the house and then exploded, sending the entire house down around the men. After he was dug out of the debris, he was able to tell his rescuers where to look for the other men, based on where they were sitting when the shell exploded. Although he remembered that he lost a couple of men that day, he felt many more were saved because of quick action by others and his memory of where the men had been sitting.

I was able to locate both Gordon True and Bill Standish using the 'people search' capabilities of the internet. I am honored to have been able to meet both of them. And each has contacted my father and rekindled a friendship born of hard times together over 55 years ago.