There are several unique WWII units that have been well documented. The stories of all the African-American Tuskegee Airmen and the all Japanese-American unit of the 442nd Infantry can be found in books and films. Now the men who served in the U.S. Army’s all Mexican American infantry unit is finally receiving recognition for their service.
An original National Guard unit was composed entirely of Mexican-Americans from barrios in Texas. The men who served in the 36th Division, 141st Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Company E were involved in some of most crucial battles of WWII during the Italian Campaign.
The 141st Regiment traces their roots back to the Texas Revolution and is the longest serving unit of the Texas National Guard. The 36th Division or T-Patchers as they were known spearheaded the Allied landing at Salerno Italy. The unit saw action at Mount Rotondo, San Pietro and one of the most controversial and deadliest battles of WWII, the crossing of the Rapido River. In a span of forty-eight hours, the 36th Division lost over two thousand men at the Rapido River in January of 1944.