There is a wonderful tale associated with William Henry Leicester Stanhope, 11th Earl of Harrington, the husband of Ann Theodora Chute and his arrest of Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz, President of the German Reich and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces at the time of Germany's unconditional surrender to the Allied Forces. As the author of the piece points out, he was unable to verify that the arrest was made as claimed, but it hasn't been disproven, either. For the full story, see his Extended Service Record.
This time, there was no hesitation concerning the control of transportation. In March 1942, the Army created a Transportation Division under Colonel (later Major General) Charles P. Gross in the Services of Supply. On 31 July 1942, under the authority of Executive Order 9082, the Army established the Transportation Corps as a separate branch. The new branch acquired the deep-draft fleet, railroads, stevedores, and harborcraft units from the Quartermaster and Engineer Corps.
The Quartermaster Corps retained trucks and the newly created amphibious truck units, and the Engineers retained the assault landing craft in the engineer special brigades to conduct the Army’s amphibious landings. The Transportation Corps was created out of the lessons of World War I, primarily to manage traffic, or movement, control. It only received responsibility for those modes of transportation that the other two branches did not want.
During the war, the Transportation Corps was responsible for moving Soldiers from their training bases to the front and managing the ports of embarkation and debarkation in between. Because the Axis Powers knew the importance of denying the Allies the use of deep-draft ports, the Transportation Corps had to rely on landing craft and amphibious vehicles to deliver men and materiel across bare beaches until the ports were secure.
At this time, General Bishop, the husband of Elizabeth Marie ("Betty") Chute, was a Captain in the 99th Infantry Division: "During the Battle of the Bulge, in the Ardennes forest, the 99th Division distinguished itself in the critical fighting to hold the Eisenborn Ridge - the gateway to Belgium. At the time of the Allied counter attack to close the Bulge, Gen. Bishop became the Operations officer of the 99th Infantry Division. He was now well prepared for this assignment. The Allied forces, led by the American GIs halted then reversed the enemy. The 99th Division was the first complete infantry division to cross the Rhine River at Remagen. They fought fiercely in the Ruhr pocket, crossing the Danube and continued fighting across Germany."
Source: Texas State Cemetery Records, Austin, Texas
A quick scan of World War II Italian battles didn't turn up anything specific for that day, beyond the general position of the Allied front in Italy. At that time, the Allied front was pushing its way north, having liberated Rome on June 4, 1944 and Florence on August 10, 1944. Hitler, meanwhile, had pulled most of his own German troops out of Italy (D-Day had occurred in Normandy on June 6, 1944, and they were needed elsewhere, obviously) and had replaced them with Cossack troops, which were at this time hunkered down farther north of the line, in Fruili.
Unless an expert on Canadian military activities in Italy in July-August 1944 has other ideas about this notation - or better yet, knows anything about Donald William Chute - at the moment, I can only guess that he died in a battle with retreating German troops, or arriving Cossack troops somewhere north of Florence, Italy,
"As Hitler's armies advanced on Stalingrad they overran the Cossack regions of the Don, Terek and Kuban. Hundreds of thousands of Russians willingly enrolled in the German army to form a Cossack Army under the Russian General Krasnoff. Hitler promised that they would be settled in 'lands and everything necessary for their livelihood in Western Europe'. Their new homeland was to be in north-east Italy in the valley of Carnia and the plain of Undine where they would live their national life free from the confines of Bolshevism.George Duncan's Little Known Facts About World War II.
Italian families in the area were ejected from their homes which were then used to house the Cossack soldiers and their families who had arrived in fifty trains during July and August 1944. To the Cossacks this was paradise far removed from their dreary life in the Ukraine. Hitler had named this new independent state 'Kosakenland'. Many atrocities were committed by these Russians against the Italian civilians, particularly the women, causing one Archbishop to write to Mussolini "It is terrible to think that Friuli will be governed by these illiterate savages". Discipline was soon restored when General Krasnoff himself arrived. Cossack officers were under no delusions, they knew they were there to shed blood for the Nazi cause. With the Allied armies approaching from the south and Tito's IX Yugoslav Corps approaching from the east, the 'Free Republic of Carnia' soon disintegrated and the Cossacks and their followers forced to trundle north towards Austria and internment by the British."
From the obituary of George Albert ("Bert") Chute: George was a WWII Veteran and Pilot with the R.C.A.F. His sister Ruth Emily Chute Gambacort wrote a much longer account of his service in World World II. This account can be found in his Extended Service RecordChute, Lloyd died on 18 SEP 1944 and is buried in the Coriano Ridge War Cemetery, near Rimini, Italy.
The date of Lloyd Chute's death (18 SEP 1944) and the location of his burial (near Rimini, Italy), most likely places him in the the Canadian Corps of the Eighth British Army, which at this time consisted of the 1st Infantry, 5th Armored and 21st Tank Brigades. This same area had also claimed the life of Donald William Chute (see above) of Montreal on 23 AUG 1944 (buried in Ancona, Italy). The two men were 5th cousins, but, given the infrequency of finding other people named Chute, no matter where you are, it is possible that they ran across each other within the Eighth British Army.
At the time of Donald William Chute's death, the Allies had been moving north through Italy, pursuing the retreating Germans, after having liberated Sicily, Rome and Florence. By the time of Lloyd's death, a little less than a month later, the Germans had backed into the Appenine Mountains in northern Italy. The line between the advancing Allies and the retreating Germans as they reached the Appenines was labeled the "Gothic Line".
One of the difficulties facing the Allies on the Italian side of the Gothic Line was that troops and weaponry had been pulled from their ranks to support the D-Day Invasion on 6 JUN 1944, 3 months earlier. While the much larger Allied force was battling their way across France, the smaller Allied force fighting their way north through Italy remained to battle the Germans, now defending their homeland while entrenched in the natural land barrier of the Appenine Mountains.
"This fighting was described as an all up-hill battle as several large peaks had to be assaulted. Both the 5th & 8th Armies were drained of men as units were pulled out for the invasion of Normandy and southern France. Without sufficient reserves, the fighting drew to a stalemate as the second winter in Italy set in." 1
The most brutal attacks by the Allied forces on the Gothic Line took place from September 10 - 18, 1944, making this in all likelihood the general area where Lloyd Chute died on 18 SEP 1944.
1For a map of the Gothic Line at this time, see http://members.aol.com/Custermen85/Units/BritishOrg.htm. Note that I've placed Lloyd in the 8th British, as by this date, the 1st Canadian, which had participated in the invasion of Sicily, had been reconfigured - portions of the 1st Canadian, now with the 8th British, would have fought in the assault on the Gothic Line.
The obituary of Woodrow Wilson Chute reports that he served in the Royal Winnipeg Rifles unit of the Canadian army, but does not provide any more detail on his service record.
The gravestone of Lance Corporal Mahlon Kennedy Chute, R.C.C.S, located in Straffordville Cemetery, Straffordville, Elgin County, Ontario Province, Canada, identifies him as a Lance Corporal within the R.C.C.S, the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, which is now embedded within the Canadian Armed Forces' Communications and Electronics Branch. Prior to 1968, at the time that Mahlon Chute served, it was a combat support corps of the Canadian Army.
Pilot Officer ( Air Bomber ) George Edward Chute, son of Colin Campbell and Christy Craig Clark Chute. Military Service: Service Number: J/89451; Age: 20; Force: Air Force; Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force; Division: 49 (R.A.F.) Sqdn; Citation: 1939 - 1945 Star, A/C Europe Star,Defence Medal, War Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Clasp. Additional Information: Date of Birth: March 21, 1924; Franklyn, Mass, United States of America; Date of Enlistment: June 18, 1942; Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada, of Middle Stewiacke, Colchester County, Nova Scotia. Commemorated on Page 273 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance.
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