AND THERE SHALL BE WARS / Reviews of the book / Excerpts from AND THERE SHALL BE WARS / Photos 1 - 5 / Photos 6 - 10 / Photos 11 - 15 / Photos 16 - 21 / 151st Field Artillery Battalion Members K.I.A. / Contact Us
SHALL BE WARS
WORLD WAR II DIARIES AND MEMOIRS
BY BUD WAGNER
Edited by Lloyd Wagner
ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND HOW THE BOOK WAS WRITTEN:
Corporal Bud Wagner kept a day-by-day diary and took pictures with a vest-pocket camera during the entire time he was in the Army. AND THERE SHALL BE WARS consists of the original diary entries, plus a commentary written by Mr. Wagner during 1998-99 explaining and expanding on the diary. It is 538 pages and includes 178 original photographs and documents. It is for sale by mail order.
Bud Wagner was a 21 year old vegetable farmer and woods worker from Hermantown, Minnesota when he was drafted in April 1941 in Duluth Minnesota, one of the two first men to be drafted from Local Draft Board #5. He was sent to Camp Claiborne, Louisiana for basic training. He was assigned to the 151st Field Artillery Battalion of the 34th Infantry Division, and participated in the Louisiana-Texas maneuvers August 11 - September 29, 1941.
The 151st Field Artillery Battalion left Camp Claiborne on January 1, 1942, and were transported by train to Fort Dix, New Jersey. They left New York City for Belfast, Northern Ireland on January 15, 1942 on the HMS Straithard, part of the first troop convoy to cross the Atlantic during WWII, arriving in Northern Ireland on January 26, 1942.
The 151st underwent combat training at Ballerena Camp near Limavady, Tynan Abbey near Armagh, and at Castle Coole near Enniskillen. They left Northern Ireland for England on December 15, 1942, and left England on Christmas Day 1942 on the Empress of Australia, to limp under partial power into the harbor at Oran, Algeria (after being accidentally rammed in the fog by another ship in the convoy), on January 3, 1942.
The 151st participated in the Tunisian Campaign. From Tunis they made their way in overland convoy back to Oran for amphibious training, and then back the 800 miles to Tunis to load on LST's for the Salerno invasion. The 151st was attached to the 36th Division for the invasion, and hit the beach on D-day with that Division. They were later returned to the 34th Division.
The 34th Division participated in the first phase of the Battle of Cassino in January 1944, and witnessed the Allied bombing of the Cassino Monastery. After a rest period, they were sent to the barely established Anzio beachhead south of Rome, arriving March 23, 1944.
Troops from Anzio finally joined with victorious troops from the Cassino Front on May 25, 1944, and pushed through Rome and northward during the summer and fall of 1944.
The 151st Field Artillery Battalion was attached to the 88th and 91st Divisions during the stalemate at the Gothic Line south of Bologna, and rejoined the 34th Division for the final push northward in the spring of 1945.
After the end of the war in Europe on May 7, 1945, Bud Wagner returned home by airplane and train at all deliberate speed, which involved a lot of "hurry up and wait," as had his entire Army career. He returned home on July 20, 1945.
Corporal Wagner served as a cook during the early part of the war, but began to dislike this job under combat conditions, as he says it only amounted to being in a kitchen truck under shellfire, opening cans, heating the food, and listening to the men gripe about it. He became an anti-aircraft machine gunner for a short time during the African Campaign, then became a Battalion Messenger (liaison) Agent for the rest of the war.
After the war, Mr. Wagner married, and he and his wife Evelyn bought a farm in Hermantown, Minnesota where they raised three children, Lloyd, Nancy and Susan. They operated a truck farm and greenhouse until 1991. Mr. Wagner also drove school bus, a job he says was similar in a way to being a Battalion Agent during the war, as it required "more nerve than brains." He retired from this job in 1982.
Mr. Wagner completed 9th grade at Proctor High School in 1934, and is presently continuing his education in the school of hard knocks. He is currently working on his second book.
AND THERE SHALL BE WARS
Reviews of the book / Excerpts from AND THERE SHALL BE WARS / Photos 1 - 5 / Photos 6 - 10 / Photos 11 - 15 / Photos 16 - 21 / 151st Field Artillery Battalion Members K.I.A. / Contact Us