Harrison County, Ohio

William Wilbert WIlson

As a member of the 168 th Infantry 34 Division set out on 29 November 1943 to take Monte Patano. Monte Pantano will be recalled by participants on both sides as a short-lived brutal battle.  Success at Pantano first appeared imminent as the 168th cleared out foothill blockhouses, but in a saddle near the crest the Germans counterattacked like demons possessed. The 168th Infantry troops met the enemy eyeball to eyeball midfield with assault fire, then drove them back with bayonet and rifle butts. All day and all night the battle raged.

Running low on ammunition, some of the 168th Infantry men threw C ration cans at the charging enemy who, in the darkness, mistook them for grenades, thus buying enough time for those with a few rounds to reload and fire. Grimly the 168th Infantry held on, advancing inch by inch, refusing to give up ground gained. The Germans pounded Pantano  viciously with mortar and artillery fire, then strafed the area with fighter planes. Still the 168 th refused to budge.

It was during this battle on Dec 2 nd PFC William Wilbert Wilson was mortally wounded, he is buried at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Plot B Row 6 Grave 16.

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