Scanned below is a cover I am sharing with the group from my USA postal history collection, mailed during WWII, from a soldier in the Red Bull Division, to a PO Box in Sumner, Iowa, USA.
The 34th Infantry Division is an infantry division of the United States Army, part of the National Guard, that participated in World War I, World War II and multiple current conflicts. Known as the Red Bull Division, its motto is "Attack, Attack," as seen on this cover.
Comprised of National Guard Units from Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, it was the first American division deployed to Europe in World War II, landing in Northern Ireland, January 1942, for training with British troops. Volunteers were needed to form an American version of the British Commandos, a small group of "hit and run" forces. Of the first 500 men to comprise the US Army Rangers, 281 men came from the 34th. The Allied Invasion of North Africa included the 34th, when they landed in French Algeria on 8 February 1942 fighting the Axis forces along with the British. They fought across North Africa, and then were part of the Invasion of Italy, where they fought with great distinction in the Italian Campaign.
Since 2001, division soldiers have served on homeland security duties in the continental United States, in Afghanistan, and in Iraq. The 34th has also been deployed to support peacekeeping efforts in the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere throughout the world as needed.
Today the 34th division represents 23,000 Citizen-Soldiers in units stationed across eight different states. One of their training bases is Camp Dodge, located in Johnston, Iowa, a few miles from my house. As I type this out on a rainy Saturday, I hear machine gun bursts and automatic weapons fire in the distance at Camp Dodge, as it has been occurring all day long, as soldiers train for combat.
History sure seems to have a way of repeating itself, doesn't it?