Gustav Joseph Braun
Brigadier General, United States Army
Gustav J. Braun, Jr. was the Assistant Division Commander of the 34th Division
at the time of his death in 1945 in combat in Italy. The 34th Division
was a National Guard unit from Iowa. Braun had served in various staff
positions within the 34th, including chief of staff and commander of the
133rd Regiment, a subordinate unit. The 34th Division had fought some of
the fiercest battles in all of the war, and at warís end the divisionís
losses included 3,737 killed, 14,165 wounded, and 3,450 missing in action.
The 34th Division had fought its way up the Italian peninsula and was in the shadows of Monte Bel Monte and its well entrenched German defenders. Elements of the 34th Division attacked the defenders, with limited success. The arrival of deep winter led to both sides digging in to wait for spring thaws. It was during this stalemate when Braun was killed. He was flying in a light aircraft on reconnaissance when it was shot down by enemy gunfire.
The nominal infantry division size during World
War II was approximately 12,300 soldiers. Additional attached specialty
units, such as engineers, intelligence, or medical often brought the total
to about 15,000. The 34th Division was reconstituted several times to maintain
its effective combat strength while sustaining such heavy losses.
BRAUN, GUSTAV J.
Captain, U.S. Army
Home: Indianapolis, Indiana
47th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division, A.E.F.
Date of Action: July 29 - 30, 1918
General Orders No. 46, W.D., 1919
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Gustav J. Braun, Captain, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Sergy, France, July 29 - 30, 1918.
No medical officer or first-aid man being present, Captain Braun, then first lieutenant and battalion liaison officer, established a first-aid station and worked throughout the day and night dressing the wounded. On both days he repeatedly went out himself in the most intense shell fire and carried wounded men to shelter. When the water supply was exhausted, he made several trips through heavy machine-gun fire and filled canteens at water holes and a creek in front of the line.
Photo courtesy of Russell C. Jacobs, March 2006
BRAUN, GUSTAV J
AGF HA 34TH INF DIV
DATE OF DEATH: 03/17/1945
BURIED AT: SECTION 11 SITE 838
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY