The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 61
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Notes and Documents
federal service until 1947. He was recalled to active duty in 1950 and
retired on disability in 1953.2
As a commander of troops, Oran Stovall's experiences ran the gamut
of every type happening in which individuals--both subordinates and
superiors-were involved. As an engineer, he was called upon to meet
the ingeniousness of a talented foe and the intransigence of higher
command. The fact that he, and others like him, met these challenges
successfully is a tribute not only to the men they were but also to the
state they served.
The 36th Infantry Division suffered nearly 27,000 casualties in
World War II, probably the third heaviest casualty figure for any
division in the European Theater." The Division's dead lie buried
from the high ground of Salerno to the forests of Germany. It is also
well to remember that they fought on the Rapido so that it would
not be necessary to fight on the banks of the Sabine.
In 1960 Stovall composed a narrative describing his experiences as
a unit commander. The narrative was based upon his wartime diary
and contains liberal quotations therefrom.
This, then, is the story of the 11 x th Engineering Battalion and the
36th Division as seen through the eyes of Colonel Oran C. Stovall.
For the battle of Salerno one must refer to the histories; to me it was
... two weeks of high excitement, horror, [and] the feeling that all
this is happening to someone else ....
On D + 3 [September 12, 1943] I took operational command of the
Divisional Engineers and attached troops. I made staff changes to tighten
control of troops-moved Capt. Sadler" to Division Hdqrs., Bellamy" to
S-3, and Poole' to S-2. We [then] took command of the right flank [of
the 36th] from Mt. Soprano to the sea to relieve the 141st Inf. Regiment.
At . . . [that] time the Germans broke the [5th Army] front and many
thought the beachhead would be lost. We built a new defensive position
along La Cosa Creek that ran from Mt. Soprano . . . to the Sele River.
20ran C. Stovall to R.L.W., March 22, 1966.
3Huff (ed.), A Pictorial History of the 36th "Texas" Infantry Division, unp.
4Bernis W. Sadler, 0405020, was assigned to the Ixlth Engineer Battalion from July 1,
1942, to June 21, 1944. He was awarded the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster. B. E.
Babcock, Department of the Army, Office of the Adjutant General, U. S. Army Adminis-
tration Center, St. Louis, Missouri, to R.L.W., August 30, 1967.
"Clifton N. "Jack" Bellamy, 0391895, was assigned to the 11xth Engineer Battalion from
March 23, 1941, to June 30, 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster.
"William C. "Bill" Poole, 0292403, was assigned to the 111th Engineer Battalion from
September 1, 1942, to July 17, 1944. Ibid.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/m1/77/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.