The Iowa National Guard's 34th Army Band, based in Fairfield, Iowa, will be presented the Croix de Guerre with Palm, a battle streamer the unit earned during its campaigns of World War II but was never formally awarded. The oversight was recently discovered during a routine review of the unit’s lineage and honors.
The presentation will be held on Sat., Dec. 13, beginning at 2 p.m., at the Iowa Army National Guard Armory, 1501 W. Stone Ave., Fairfield, Iowa. The award ceremony will be followed by a community concert by four of the 34th Army Band’s Music Performance Teams. Members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend this event.
The French Croix de Guerre with Palm is a division-level award instituted on April 8, 1915 by the French government to recognize acts of bravery in the face of the enemy. The 34th Army Band originally received the award under Decision No. 843, on June 21, 1945 by the president of the provisional government of the French Republic, with the following citation:
"An elite Division, whose loyal and efficient cooperation with the French divisions, which begun in Tunisia, was gloriously continued throughout the Italian campaign. During the operations of Belvedere, the 34th Infantry Division, despite the difficulties of the moment, displayed the most courageous actions in support of the operations of the 3rd Algerian Division."
During action in World War II, the band fought in campaigns at Tunisia (North Africa), Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, North Apennines and Po Valley (Italy).
|Minnesota's 34th Inf. Div. Band|
The division band traces its lineage to the 1st Infantry Band, (Minnesota National Guard) organized in April 30, 1900. The unit was redesignated the 135th Infantry Band in 1917 for federal service in World War I as part of the 34th Infantry Division.
The 135th was activated in 1941 for service in WWII. The 135th Infantry Band arrived in Ireland in 1942 and earned the distinction of being the first U.S. band to play in the European Theater of Operations.
|Iowa's 34th Army Band|
Concurrent to the 135th in World War II, the 133rd Infantry Band (Iowa Army National Guard) was deployed to Africa and Italy as part of the 34th Infantry Division. The 133rd earned the distinction of landing with the first contingent of U.S. troops in early 1942 as a part of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and became known as the "Oldest Band" in the European Theater of Operations.
On Jan. 1, 1944 the 135th Infantry Band (Minnesota Army National Guard) was combined with the 133rd Infantry Band (Iowa Army National Guard) to create the 34th Infantry Division Band.
An official webpage about the Iowa National Guard band unit is here.
An official Facebook page for the Iowa band organization is here.
An official webpage about the Minnesota National Guard band unit is here.
An official webpage about the Minnesota band organization is here.