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Embroiled in savage combat, soldiers whose service has gone unrecognized until now As a child, Dave Gutierrez hung on every word his father recalled about his cousin Ramon, "El Sancudo" (the mosquito) , and his service in World War II, where he earned a Silver Star, three Purple Hearts, and escaped from the Germans twice. Later, Dave decided to find out more about his father's cousin, and in the course of his research he discovered that Ramon Gutierrez was a member of Company E, 141st Infantry, a part of the 36th "Texas" Division that was comprised entirely of Mexican Americans - the only such unit in the entire U.S. Army. The division landed at Salerno, Italy, in 1943, among first American soldiers to set foot in Europe. In the ensuing months, Company E and the rest of the 36th would battle their way up the mountainous Italian peninsula against some of Nazi Germany's best troops.



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