332nd Infantry Regiment with friends, Italy c. 1919.

This photograph shows an Italian soldier, two Americans, and a British private. No information is on the photo, but I am sure it was taken in northern Italy at the end of 1918 or beginning of 1919. Perhaps the three Allied nations are sharing guard duties over captured Austrian ordnance after the Armistice. The two Americans are most likely members of the 332nd Infantry, specially sent to Italy to raise Italian morale. Only a few small support units accompanied the 332nd, so in all likelihood these are indeed men from that regiment. They wear an Italian war ribbon (no medal at this time) instituted in 1916 and given to all the members of the 332nd. This ribbon was superceded by the the Italian War Medal (Medaglia Dell Guerra 1915-1918) instituted on 29 July 1920. The two decorations shared the same colors for the ribbon: repeated red-green-white striping. The British soldier wears the badge of the York and Lancaster Regiment, incorporating a tiger and rose (the “cat and cabbage”). This regiment’s 8th and 9th (Service) Battalions came to Italy in late 1917 for reasons similar to the 332nd’s.

Page by Mark Conrad, 2011.