94th Division honors Vincenzo Geramita with Bronze Star earned 70 years ago

Lyndhurst, NJ

Military Experience (U.S. Army): Vincenzo Geramita began basic training at Camp Phillips, Salina, Kan., in 1942. In 1943 he was transferred by rail to Camp McCain in Mississippi. From there he was transferred by truck to Tennessee for combat maneuvers. After combat maneuvers were completed, Geramita was transferred to Fort Dix, N.J., by rail for deployment to England.
In 1944, Geramita crossed the English Channel and landed at Utah Beach, France, 94 days after the initial invasion. His company quickly moved and spent the night at Saint Lo. They woke up the next morning and were engaged in hand-to-hand combat with a larger German force. During this engagement, with the help of the free French, the enemy was forced to retreat.
During the battle for Cherbourg, Geramita was charged with working with the French 2nd Army to set up a defensive perimeter. After the perimeter was set up, the Germans attacked and the 2nd Army forced them to retreat.
Geramita was attached to the 5th Ranger Battalion on a special mission to knock out a number of German pill boxes. Since he was an expert with the M1 rifle, his job was to cover the bomb experts as they brought the bombs to the top of the pill boxes, attached the bombs and set the explosives. They succeeded in this operation and all the pill boxes were destroyed.
During the Battle of the Bulge, Gen. Patton drove up to his company and asked where they were the last two days. He said no one knew where they were. It seems his company advanced further than any other unit. Patton then said to them, "Those are my boys."
At lorent and St. Nazaire, the 94th contained 60,000 German troops. At Saar-Moselle triangle facing the Siegfried switch line, the 94th took the offensive in January 1945. In February 1945, the 94th launched a full-scale attack, storming the heights of the Munzigen Ridge, backbone of the Saar-Moselle triangle. By the 21st of March, the division crossed the Rhine and by April 3, 1945, the division had assumed military government duties.
After the war ended, Geramita travelled home and was discharged in November 1945.
In addition to the Bronze Star, he received the following medals: the American Campaign Medal with four Bronze Service Strs, the World War II Victory Medal, the Army of Occupation Medal with German Clasp, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Expert Badge with Rifle Bar and the Honorable Service Lapel Button-WWII.

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