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History
Minnesota National Guard
Reader's view: Red Bull Division has a proud history

Published March 05, 2011, 12:00 AM

News that the last US veteran of World War I died reminded me that 70 years ago - during the first week of March 1941 - 600 young National Guardsmen boarded a troop train at the Duluth depot and embarked on a journey that changed the lives of millions during World War II

The 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery, 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division left Minnesota for 10 months of combat training at Camp Claibourne, La These troops were preceded by 15 trucks and 20 guardsmen sent to prepare a home away from home under extreme conditions, including mud, snakes, chiggers, and mosquitoes

The attack on Pearl Harbor changed orders and extended their journey They shipped out to the European Theater war zone, sailing past the Rock of Gibraltar on New Year's Eve 1942 The 125th landed in Oran, North Africa, on Jan 3, 1943

The rest of the story has been told many times: 510 days of combat through Tunisia, Spain and Salerno, Italy, and then on to Naples, Cassino, Anzio, Florence and Rome The war ended in the Po Valley near Venice on May 5, 1945

Within two years, members of the 125th were meeting monthly at the Pickwick restaurant back home in Duluth

We're in our 61st year now Our average age is nearing 90 Only two original veterans are able to attend the lunches with honorable members, including widows and other family members, friends and officials Between 20 and 30 regularly attend the lunches on the second Tuesday of each month at noon Our theme remains: "Staying in touch"

Bob Watts
Canyon

The writer grew up in Duluth and was a member of the 125th Field Artillery Battalion

Article source
http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/193034/group/Opinion/



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Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
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