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Copy of hand drawn map, Rainbow Division route to liberation of Dachau by division member

Object | Accession Number: 2010.130.4

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    Copy of hand drawn map, Rainbow Division route to liberation of Dachau by division member

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    Brief Narrative
    Illustrated map of the combat route of the 42nd Infantry Division, the Rainbow Division, given to Romeo Fagiolo, a soldier in the Division, not long after the war. It was created by R.E. Gustafson, a colonel in the Division. This map depicts troop movements through Rain, Germany, to the liberation of Dachau and to Austria from April 27 to May 8, 1945. The division landed in France in December 1944, crossed the German border in March 1945, and liberated Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945. Romeo Fagiolo, age 22, was assigned to an anti-tank unit. He was one of the first soldiers to enter Dachau on the day of liberation. The next day, his division continued on to Munich and after the war ended on May 7, 1945, served as an occupying force in Austria. This map is part of a series with 2010.130.1, .2, and .4 illustrating the campaign from Wingen, France, to Austria, north of Salzburg.
    Artwork Title
    The Rainbow Trail, Part IV: Advance of 42nd Infantry Division from the Danube to Austria
    creation:  approximately 1948
    depiction:  1945 April 27-1945 May 08
    depiction: Germany
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Romeo J. Fagiolo
    front, top left corner, title, bold black ink : THE RAINBOW TRAIL
    front, lower left center, map legend, black ink : Advance of 42nd Inf. Div. from / the Danube to Austria / April 27-May8 / 222 d Inf. Regt. (red line) / 232 d Inf. Regt (yellow line) / 242 d Inf. Regt. (blue line) / 20th Armd Div. (brown line) / Dotted lines indicated non-combatant moves / Scale-1:350.000
    front, lower right, small text, black ink : R.E. Gustafson
    Designer: R.E. Gustafson
    Subject: Romeo J. Fagiolo
    Romeo Fagiolo was born on January 29, 1922, in Washington, DC, the only son of Italian immigrants who had met and married in the US. His father was in the insurance business and Romeo had one sister. He graduated high school in 1941 and was drafted into the United States Army in February 1943. He completed basic training at Fort Hood, Texas. Romeo was selected to participate in the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), at Texas A&M University, but it was disbanded after four months. He was reassigned to an anti-tank unit in the 42nd Infantry Division, the Rainbow Division. In November 1944, the division was deployed to Marseilles, France, and rushed to the front where they fought in the Battle of the Bulge at Bastogne. Romeo received a battlefield promotion from corporal to staff sergeant.

    Romeo and his division reached Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945. As he approached the camp gate, he passed dozens of railroad cars filled with corpses and surrounded by corpses. When he entered the camp, he saw the living dead. Romeo was one of the first infantry soldiers to enter the camp and he viewed the crematories and the bathing areas, where the filth and smell were intolerable. One of the division’s most difficult tasks was containing the prisoners who were mobile, as they were not allowed to leave the camp in order to prevent the spread of disease. Romeo left Dachau the next day as they were bringing in local townspeople to view the horrifying conditions. The Rainbow Division continued on to Munich, and then into Austria. When the Germans surrendered on May 7, 1945, the 42nd served as an occupying force in Austria through June 1946. At that point, it was deactivated and Romeo returned to the United States and resumed civilian life.

    Physical Details

    Information Forms
    Object Type
    Thematic maps (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Paper copy of a rectangular hand drawn map with a light brown background. The area of the advance is enclosed within 2 curved, narrow, bold black lines moving horizontally from the upper left, through the center of the page, to the lower right from Rain, through Dachau, Munich, Wasserburg, and Rosenheim to Austria; there are breaks in the lines for rivers. Along the advance lines are 3 colored division insignias with adjacent arrows pointing southeast and east: left edge and upper center is a white and blue striped square, 3rd Infantry Division; upper left is a red square with a yellow thunderbird, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team; lower center is a red, irregular triangle with a black Blackhawk and BH, 86th Infantry Division. There are color coded troop advance lines for 4 units. There are dates of engagements with numbers and text in black ink. In the upper right is a rectangular map legend with black text on a white background. In the upper center is the title in black ink with the red, yellow, and blue rainbow insignia of the 42nd Division. The designer’s name is printed in the lower right corner in black ink. There is a border of 2 thin, black lines; the edges are irregularly cut.
    overall: Height: 11.000 inches (27.94 cm) | Width: 17.500 inches (44.45 cm)
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
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    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The map was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2010 by Romeo J. Fagiolo.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2024-04-29 07:56:02
    This page:

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