Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Infantry 2
Branch:
Army 1
Birth:
03 Jun 1905 2
1905 1
Channel Islands Or England Or Great Britain Or Isle Of Man Or Northern Ireland Or Scotland Or Wales 1
Death:
18 Jul 1944 2
Near Strada, Italy 2
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Personal Details

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Person:
William J Gilbert 1
Level of Education: 4 years of high school 1
Marital Status: Divorced, without dependents 1
Birth:
03 Jun 1905 2
1905 1
Channel Islands Or England Or Great Britain Or Isle Of Man Or Northern Ireland Or Scotland Or Wales 1
Male 2
Death:
18 Jul 1944 2
Near Strada, Italy 2
Cause: Killed in Action 2
Burial:
Burial Place: Woodlawn Cemetery, Compton, California 2
Residence:
Place: Ventura County, California 1
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World War II 1

Branch:
Infantry 2
Branch:
Army 1
Enlistment Date:
18 Nov 1942 1
Army Branch:
None 1
Army Component:
Selectees (Enlisted Men) 1
Army Serial Number:
39544494 1
Enlistment Place:
Los Angeles California 1
Enlistment Term:
Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law 1
Rank, Skill:
T/3, Medic 2
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
Unit:
362nd Infantry Regiment, 91st Infantry Division 2
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Occupation:
Semiskilled chauffeurs and drivers, bus, taxi, truck, and tractor 1
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Possible Place of Death:
Capannoli, Italy 3
362d Regiment - combat on 18 July 1944:
Treggiaia, Italy 3
Source Information:
Box Number: 1447 1
Film Reel Number: 7.18 1

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Stories

History of 362d Regiment - 18 July 1944

The 362nd Infantry Regiment was one of three regiments of the 91st "Powder River" Infantry Division.  This division entered combat after the fall of Rome(4 June, 1944) to relieve some of the units that had been fighting at Anzio and Cassino fronts.  The 91st Division pursued the retreating Germans as they fought a delaying action so they could retreat to the Arno River, their next defensive position.

The history of the 91st Division is found in the book "The  91st Infantry Division in WW2" by Major Robert A. Robbins.  This history described the 91st Division as the first US unit to reach the Arno River on 18 July 1944.  After 7-1/2 days, the 91st Division had suffered 904 casualties: 12 officers, 131 enlisted men Killed and 37 officers and 724 enlisted men wounded or injured. 

The 362d Regiment defeated the last German defense at the town of Treggiaia, Italy, on 18 July, which is just south of the Arno River.  After this struggle, they advanced to La Rotta the next day(19th) without any resistance.

NOTE:  The place of Death listed in the FootNote Fact is stated as "Near Strada".  The map places this too far north, almost at the base of the Alps---which would not be reached by the advancing Allies until April 1945--9 months later.  Either this is an error OR there is another village named Strada.  Many times the old names of the towns are shortened or abbreviated, which causes confusion with Map Quest.

The Appendix in the 9st Division's book includes an Honor Roll of those who died in service to their country.  The lists includes their next of kin and their home address.  The Honor Roll includes:

Gilbert, William J. , T/3
Mrs. Theresa Gilbert
1489 E. Colorado St., Pasadena, Calif.

T/3 = rank of Tech 3rd Grade

"Near Strada, Italy" - Searching for Italian towns

The FootNote fact for place of death was listed as "Near Srada, Italy".  The Google Map placed a pin at a town of STRADA located north of Lake di Garda---much too far north for the combat of 18 July 1944.

Sometimes it is hard to find a town in Italy.  Some searches will reveal multiple towns with same name or variations of the name.  "San Pietro" (or Saint Peter) is one of the most popular names in Italy.  There are towns and mountains named with variations of this name:  San Pietro Infine, San Peitro Castel, etc.  Also some towns changed their names after WW2.  The name may be shorter than it was.  A town may orginally had a name like 'New York on the Hudson' but they would later drop the reference to the river.  

Also the GI's may have shortened the name for ease of use. For example, just south of Rome there was a famous battle near Cassino that is identified in all history books as battle of "San Pietro".  But the true name of the town was "San Pietro Infine"(Infant Saint Peter).  But no one knows it by that name.

Using MapQuest, a search of "Strada" in Italy reveals four hits, each one in a different State:
1. Strada, Liguria - Savona - Italy
2. Strada, Marche - Macerata - Italy
3. Strada, Trentino
-Alto Adige - Trento - Italy
4. Strada, Umbria - Perugia - Italy
But none of these are anywhere close to the Arno River area where the 91st Division were fighting.

  If you use Google Maps, you can find a town(or appears like a town) named STRADA that is next to a larger town called CAPANOLLI.  But searching with STRADA does not pull up this location; so it must not be a town anymore.  This location fits in with the description of the advance of the 362d Regiment.  

 Checking a WW2 US Army road map (1:200,00 scale) shows the town CAPANOLLI and just to the northwest of it is another town name: STRADINA.  My theory is that the old name of the town was STRADINA and that became STRADA and today it is just a sub-division of CAPANOLLI.  

This new town can be found by searching the following on-line maps.

Google Search:  Capannoli Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

MapQuest Search:  Capannoli
   Note:  Zoom in and can view a road with name "Strada Communale 1".  

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