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34TH INFANTRY DIVISION BAND
 ROSEMONT, MINNESOTA -

History

Summary

For a detailed history, please visit our Wikipedia page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/34th_Infantry_Division_Band

The heritage of the Minnesota Citizen-Soldier musician can be traced to the 1860's when the Great Western Brass Band of St. Paul supported troops of the 1st Minnesota Volunteers.

The modern 34th Infantry Division Band traces its lineage to the 1st Infantry Band, (MNNG) organized in 30 April 1900. The unit was mobilized for federal service in support of the Mexican Campaign as the 1st Minnesota Infantry Band and later redesignated the 135th Infantry Band in 1917 for Federal service in WWI as part of the 34th Infantry Division.

The 135th Infantry Band was demobilized at Camp Grant, Illinois in 1919 and later was reorganized as the Band, Service Company, 1st Infantry (MNNG).

The 135th was called to Federal service in 1941 for service in WWII. The 135th Infantry Band arrived in Ireland in 1942 and earned the distinction of being the first band to US band to play in the European Theater of Operations. The 135th went on to serve in Africa and Italy as a part of the 34th Infantry Division.

Concurrent to the 135th, the 133rd Infantry Band (IANG) was deployed to Africa and Italy as part of the 34th Infantry Division. The 133rd earned the distinction of landing with the first contingent of US troops in early 1942 as a part of the Allied Expeditionary Force and became known as the "Oldest Band" in the European Theater of Operations.

On 01 January 1944 the 135th Infantry Band (MNNG) was combined with the 133rd Infantry Band (IANG) to create the 34th Infantry Division Band.

The unit served with distinction during the battle of Cassino while assigned as litter bearers to C Company of the 1090th Medical Battalion. While assisting in the evacuation of wounded Soldiers were exposed to heavy continuous enemy fire along a grueling evacuation trail which extended from the base of a mountain on the right side of the city of Cassino to the farthest point of advance, a short distance from the walls of the famous Montecassine Abbey. The unit sustained several casualties including a Soldier KIA during their determined efforts to evacuate personnel.

The 34th Infantry Division Band performed several notable concerts while in Italy to include shows for Prime Minister Winston Churchill and a concert with the famous French-American singer Lily Pons.

In total the 34th Infantry Division Band performed for crowds of over 258,000 during 501 musical missions and is credited with participation in the Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, North Apennines, and the Po Valley campaigns. The unit was also awarded the French Croix de Guerre with the inscription "Belvedere".

The 34th Infantry Division Band was inactivated in November 1945 at Camp Patrick Henry to be later reorganized and recognized as the 47th Infantry Division Band. The numerical designation "47" recalls the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. At one point in that crucial battle, the First Minnesota Volunteer Regiment was ordered to charge the Confederate lines. Of the 262 soldiers who charged the lines, only 47 survived.

The 47th Infantry Division Band was federally activated in January 1951 to provide stateside support during the Korean War at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

On 20 January 1965 the 47th Infantry Division participated in President Lyndon Johnson's Inauguration Parade.

Throughout the Cold War, the 47th Infantry "Viking Division" Band conducted many high profile performances such as the national Veteran's and Armed Forces Days, the National Governor's Convention and National VFW conventions.

In 1988 the 47th Division Band had the honor of performing in Kroenberg County, Sweden, at the request of Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden.

The 47th Infantry Division Band was reorganized and recognized as the 34th Infantry Division Band on 10 February 1991, marking the return of the "Red Bull" Band.

In 2006 the city of Appleton, Minnesota approached the 34th Infantry Division Band to request a performance of a new song to memorialize their veterans. Daniel Kallmen was commissioned and he composed the 2 movement "Streets of Honor". The work was performed public for the first time in spring of 2006 in Appleton.

From 26-28 July 2006 the 34th Infantry Division Band recorded the full length album "Streets of Honor" featuring Sousa's "Minnesota March", "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" with 3 part "Andrew Sisters" style vocals and Kallman's "Streets of Honor".

On 22 December 2006 the 34th Infantry Division Band was awarded the Colonel George S. Howard Citation of Musical Excellence for Military Concert Bands.

In 2009 the 34th Infantry Division Band was ordered to Federal service in support Operation Iraqi Freedom. While stationed at Contingency Operations Base Basra, the 34th Infantry Division Band fielded the Echoes of Liberty concert band, Red Bull Riders country band, M-Saxteen chamber group, Northern Star brass ensemble, and the Red Devil and Hesco Jerk rock bands.

34th Infantry Division Band members travelled by convoy and aircraft throughout Multi National Division-South (MND-S) and Multi National Division-West to perform for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen in addition to British/Ugandan/Romanian/Iraqi soldiers, diplomats, civilians, US State Department workers and heads of state.

The 34th Infantry Division band is credited with the first performance of the Iraqi National Anthem in Iraqi Arabic by a US Military Band; a performance that was recorded and televised thorough the country and later made into a popular ring tone. The 34th Infantry Division Band also recorded CDs of popular Iraqi folk songs that were later used by US Army psychological operations and US Department of State diplomatic efforts to great effect throughout MND-S.

The 34th Infantry Division Band's MPT-D "Hesco Jerks" performed on the USS Decatur and Al Basra Oil Platform in the Persian Gulf. This performance is thought to be the only time a US Army Band has performed on a US Navy vessel during a time of war.

Other notable performances include performing for GEN Raymond Odierno, Romanian President Traian Bãsescu, a simulcast of the National Anthem during an NFL game and a joint Independence Day tour with the 56th Army Band, 1st Cavalry Band and 25th Infantry Division Band.

The 34th Infantry Division Band earned the Meritorious Unit Commendation and returned home in February 2010.

Today the 34th Infantry Division Band is stationed in Rosemount, Minnesota and is proud to continue a tradition of over 100 years in service to Nation and State.

"ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK"

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

Distinctive Unit Insignia