On Sunday, July 13, Casey, Matt and I headed out in the fields near Ft. Calhoun, Nebraska to pay homage to the men of the 134th Infantry Regiment. A Nebraska National Guard unit before the war, the 134th Infantry entered combat on Sunday, July 15, 1944 in the hedgerow country of Normandy. The Cornhuskers' first assignment was to take Hill 122 which was a key objective in the eventual capture of St. Lo. In taking the hill, the 134th suffered 102 men killed, 589 wounded and 102 missing. In doing so they lived up to their Spanish-American War battle cry, "All Hell Can't Stop Us!" The 1st Battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their monumental effort in the attack.
The key to this impression is the relatively sparse use of equipment - wearing just the basics for an attack and nothing extra. Most members of the 134th wore only their cartridge belts with canteens, shovels and first aid kits attached. The men also wore lots of ammunition bandoleers as the fighting was pretty heavy and the men needed all the ammunition they could carry. The July temperatures in Normandy can get warm during the day but cool down considerably at night. Most of the men striped down to their wool shirt during the day and wore their field jackets at night. Another important element of this photo shoot was finding the right terrain that would effectively simulate the fields and hedgerow country of Normandy. Fortunately for us, there are some amazing pieces of land that closely resemble northern France right here in eastern Nebraska! Casey has one particular tree line near his home that looks just like a Norman hedgerow. It's pretty impressive!
It was a great feeling to once again go on patrol through grassy fields wearing the "wagon wheel" patch of the 35th "Santa Fe" Division. For Mr. Hazard and myself, this was the unit that we first represented when we got into reenacting and it has always held a special place in our hearts. The men of the 134th lived by the Pawnee indian words, "Lah We Lah His" which translated means "The Strong, the Brave." We are grateful for the sacrifices of those brave Nebraskans and we honor their service by keeping their memory alive.
UNIFORM OF THE MONTH
I love deciding which unique uniform impression I want to put together each month. Follow me right here to see what's next!