This site is dedicated to the memory and military service of

Cpl. Frederick G. Buske

34th Infantry Division

Fred was from Gilmore City, Iowa. He grew up with his brother Henry and 14 other brothers and sisters on a farm just west of town on the shores of Lizard Lake. He entered military service with the US Army on May 20, 1941 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

He took basic training at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana.

He then became a member of Co.E, 2nd Bn.,168th Regiment, 34th Infantry Division.

34th Division pin168th Infantry Regiment pin

He was then sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey on January 1, 1942 in preparation for duty in the European Theater.

On April 30, 1942 he sailed for Europe with the 34th Inf. Division, arriving in Ireland on May 12, 1942.

After much training and preparation in Ireland, Scotland, and Great Britain he set sail out of Liverpool, England with the 34th Infantry Division for North Africa,"Operation Torch".

His unit landed on the beaches of Algeria in the early morning hours of Nov. 8, 1942. By the end of the day the French Vichy forces had surrendered to the allied forces.

Within a few months Fred would find himself in the middle of Tunisia defending Faid Pass. A strategic position in the mountains of central Tunisia.

Febuary 1943, units of the 168th Infantry Regiment were positioned on two hills named Lessouda and Ksaira near the town of Sidi Bou Zid.

On Feb.14,1943 the German fifth panzer army commanded by Gen. Von Arnim and the German Afrika Korp commanded by Gen. Rommel made their attack on allied positions. Von Arnim's 10th Panzer Division armed with Mk.IVs and Mk.VI Tiger tanks rolled around the northern edge of Lessouda and through Faid Pass to the south. Further to the south, Rommel's 21st Panzer Division came through Maizila Pass and then quickly surrounded the town of Sidi Bou Zid.

Battle for Faid Pass German Tiger tank

Units of the American 168th Infantry Regiment were now completely surrounded and cut off from Allied forces. The American's put up a good fight for a few days but were eventually forced to surrender. On Feb.17th, close to 1500 men were captured and forced to march through the desert with no food or water, which they had already been without for 3 days. On the 18th they were loaded into German trucks and taken to the city of Sfax where they were fed their first food in 5 days. The meal consisted of Black bread and water.

Fred was now a prisoner of war.

Prisoner of War

My email: dbuske@pionet.net

 

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