36th INFANTRY DIVISION December 13, 1944: The 36th Infantry Division, fighting desperately in the Colmar Pocket, was cut off. A fierce, fanatical enemy had smashed back the point of the Texas Division's lines, sliced hard through the flanks, cut rear communications. First battalion, 142nd Regiment, holding the left bank in Selestat, withstood vicious assaults of two Russia-hardened enemy divisions, sent them reeling back with heavy casualties. Five hundred Germans struck at the center of the line, infiltrated back as far as the 141st Regimental CP in Riquewihr. Cooks, clerks, other [illegible] troops had to be called to help drive them out. An enemy assault battalion of officer candidates slashed in from the south, cut the supply lines of the 3rd battalion, 143d Regiment. Meanwhile, German engineers slipped through to artillery positions, blew up a howitzer, mined and blocked a road to the rear. The ring around the T-Patchers was sealed. Swiftly and efficiently the 36th fought back. At the division CP in Ribeauville, every available man guarded road blocks. Anti-tank obstacles were hastily manned. MP and engineer patrols lashed out to clear the road. The 14d, cutting across a ridge to the rear of the infiltrating Germans, smashed strong reserves coming up the hill. The 36th held, slowly pushed back the stubborn Kraut thrusts, finally broke the steep trap. On December 9 its lines straightened, the 36th resumed its traditional role as attacker. This was just one year ago. The Germans hated and feared the 36th. They had met it before in the Vosges and the Riviera, at Cassino and Salerno, on the Marne in 1913. They had never been able to crush it; they never would. A proud division, the 36th boasted a history dating back to 1835 and the Alamo, to 1899 and the Rough Riders, to World War I. Originally composed of Texas National Guardsmen, the 36th was mobilized into the army of the United States Nov 25, 1940, at Camp Bowie, Texas, in the fiercest ice storm in Texas' history. In the next three years, with replacements from every state, the division maneuvered in the Carolinas and Lousiana, "invaded" Martha's Vineyard, trained at Massachusetts' Camp Edwards and Florida's Camp Blanding. It reached trim in Africa at Anzew and Rabat. The 36th. Infantry Division was first committed to action in World War II at Salerno, Italy on 9, September 1943. The div has a record that any division would be proud of. 141st REGIMENTAL CREST The 141st Infantry was in the fore-fron at Salerno, San Pietro, the Rapido, Southern France and the other milestones in the glorious history that is given in trust to those who will follow in our wake. We can see the history of not only the 141, but the State of Texas, in the Regimental crest. The red, white, and blue crest with it's star, represents the formation of the Republic of Texas that was aided in no small part by that early company of riflemen who originally formed the 141. The wavy line separating the blue field from the remainder of the crest, is symbolic of the early border of Texas and Mexico, whose differences were participated in by elements of the 141st Infantry. The conventional cross in the red field, represents the participation by the regiment in the Cuban Occupation of 1898. The Fleur de' lis, shows the regimental participation in World War I. Finally, the regimental motto, "remember the Alamo", expresses the spirit of the Regiment where Davy Crockett and his little force chose to die rather than surrender their position. The battle streamers on the regimental colors are "The Alamo", San Jacinto, Meuse-Argonne and finally the five campaigns of World War II. 143d INFANTRY REGIMENTAL COAT OF ARMS The background of the shield is in Infantry blue. The motto of the regiment is written in English on a scroll at the bottom of the shield - "Arms Secure Peace" - Diagonally across the Infantry blue shield from left to right is a wide white wavy band. This signifies two rivers at which the 143d Infantry Regiment fought the enemy of the United States - once at the Rio Grande River during the Mexican War and once at the Aisne River in France during the First World War. The tree in the upper right hand corner, signifies the regiments participation in the Meuse Argonne campaign in the First World War and the key in the lower left hand corner signifies the key to the Morro Castle in Havana Harbor, Cuba, that the 143d Infantry Regiment wrested from the enemy during the Spanish-American War. The 143d first engaged the enemy in World War II on the beaches of Salerno on 9 Sep 1943. Through persistant fighting, they helped to drive the enemy back into the mountains of Cassino. Later, played a major role in the breakthrough at Anzio and the drive on Rome. Their march across France, Germany will go down in the annals of History.