I have been loosely following the 34th Division and my father during World War II.  They landed in Algeria and fought Rommel in Tunisia.  Then all the way up the Italian Peninsula.  The maps below show their route.   We arrived in Civitavecchia and travelled north to La Spesia.  Tomorrow we head north to Como.

From Clif Hullinger's blog  https://hullingerwwii.blogspot.com/

Videos https://109thvideo.blogspot.com/

South of Florence

I joined "B" Co. 109th Engineers, 34th Division in Nov 1944. but we were about fought out by then and after some attacks which didn't go anywhere, the generals went on hold until spring. We still got involved in patrolling, mines, and maintaining roads and mule trails and had a few narrow escapes but nothing major. 

Morale was pretty low, especially in the Infantry. By this time they had most of the 21,000 casualties that the Div. had by war end. The few old timers that were left had been overseas 3 years and knew that the only way to survive was to get wounded bad enough to be sent home. From where we were in the mountains, we could look north and see the tops of the Alps on a clear day. We figured we would be there for the next winter and they were higher and colder than anything we had seen so for. 

Anyway, quite a few would deliberately do something to be court martialled and put into the stockade. For a while, we would take details of stockade prisoners out to work on roads but they knew we had no way to make them work and we hated the job anyway.

Some of them were battle fatigued enough so they should have been sent back. As soon as a shell came in they scattered like a covey of quail so Headquarters stopped that practice. We had been a very good division when we came to Italy but were never very good after Cassino. But after a winter of not much fighting, and with the weather warming up, things started looking up again. I was promoted to 1st Lt. which was fairly automatic at this time.

Po Valley

The European front started to collapse in the spring and by the time we jumped off in May, the Germans didn't have much left and we broke into the Po valley and it was a rat race from then on. We first swung left up to block any Germans in the mountains west of Bologna, and then made another loop across the Po to trap the Germans who had been on the France/Italian border west of Milan. The whole division was on the road with our lights on as we moved west towards Milan when we met a convoy of Germans in trucks driving in blackout. They were full of soldiers heading for the Brenner Pass. There were no guards or anything and we never knew if they had already surrendered or not. If not, meeting a full division with lights on coming from what was your supply line and homeland, would be a real morale buster.

Thanks for the copies of the maps from, with a nice history of Private Ricardo de Lama and the 34th in Italy.


Beth and I are on a Med cruise in May 2022, roughly following the path that the "Red Bull" 34th National Guard Division and my father followed 80 years ago.  They came from Northern Ireland through the straits of Gibraltar, fought Rommel in Tunisia, and then slogged all the way north through Italy - Salerno, Monte Cassino, Anzio, etc. We arrive in Tunisia today, then up the Italian Peninsula. I have been to most of their battlefields, with Monte Cassino being the worst terrain for an offensive campaign.

The 34th Infantry Division had more combat days than any other United States Infantry Division in WWII. 

They got in on the ground floor of the war. More about them at:

Craig Harlan Hullinger

The Cost of Housing in the USA


The cost of housing in parts of the USA have gotten very high. People in those communities who do not already own a home have a very difficult time in buying or renting.  Many solutions are proposed, but the problem is very difficult.

For an individual who can work remotely, the solution is obvious. Move to a much more affordable community and telecommute. This solution does not work for people who must be present at their workplace. 

Click to view the interactive map, illustrates costs per square foot for selected counties.


Tanks For The Memories

The United States Marine Corps is getting rid of tanks.  This is quite controversial, but the recent evidence from the Ukraine - Russian war indicates that tanks are sitting ducks, destroyed by low cost drones and man packed anti tank missiles.  It seems likely that tanks are going the way of World War II Battleships - outmoded by technology.  Smart weapons have made them outmoded.

Just in case this is wrong I think the Marine Corps should mothball it's tanks, and keep its two Reserve Tank Battalions. Low cost insurance. 

Tariff on Russian Energy Exports

The sanctions that the nations of the world have placed on Russia will drive their economy far down. And the withdrawal of international companies from the Russian economy will likewise drastically impact Russia.  Hopefully this will lead to a negotiated settlement with Ukraine. And hopefully this debacle will bring about the end of Putin.

No one has talked about this possible saction, but it would be very effective. The nations of the world could enact a substantial tariff on Russean energy imports and direct the money for weapons and aid to Ukraine, and then towards rebuilding the buildings and infrastructure destroyed during the war. Say 20% on all energy exports from Russia. The impacts of this tariff would be felt in both Russia and the world energy market and would hurt the world economy. But it would be temporary and hopefully end the war.  And it would hurt Putin and Russia more than the balance of the world.

Not all of the world would go along, but enough would to make it effective.  One more way to whack Putin.

Madison, Georgia April 1, 2022


Established in 1809, Madison is the seat and the largest town in Morgan County. The early town flourished as a stagecoach stop and an in-town residence for planters' families. Principal streets were patriotically named for presidents and the community prided itself on its schools, literary, and philosophical societies. 

For the most part, Madison's antebellum architecture survived because Mayor Joshua Hill, a strong Unionist who had resigned his Congressional seat in 1861 to return to Georgia, developed an gentlemen's agreement with General Sherman's detachment. Turn-of-the-century prosperity added a large number of commercial and residential buildings that were Victorian in style. 

Twentieth century development, formerly insensitive and sprawl-oriented, is now guided to respect the local sense of place and style. Madison values what many communities have lost - an identity and historic integrity.


More photos