The first contingent of Thirty-fourth Infantry Division personnel arriving in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on January 25, 1942. Milburn Henke of Hutchinson, Minnesota, was first off the boat. British papers called him the first Yank to land in Europe. Photograph by the U.S. Army.
H.M.T. Strathaird, c.1942. The Strathaird transported the initial elements of the Thirty-fourth Division to Northern Ireland in January 1942. The Thirty-fourth was the first US army division to be sent to the European Theater. Photograph by Oliver Stivers of the 151st Field Artillery.
A red steer skull on a black Mexican water jar (“olla"), created in 1917 while the new division trained at Camp Cody, NM, not far from the Mexican border. During World War II, German soldiers in Italy referred to the Americans who wore the patch as "Red Devils" or "Red Bulls." The latter name stuck, and the division adopted it officially, replacing its World War I nickname of "Sandstorm Division."
The Thirty-fourth “Red Bull” Infantry Division is a U.S. Army National Guard division based in Minnesota. It had more days in combat during World War II than any other American division. Since September 11, 2001, “Red Bulls” have deployed where needed in the world, including Afghanistan and Iraq.
When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Germans were the single largest ethnic group in Minnesota. Nativism during this period was a “patriotic” attitude that saw recent immigrants—particularly those of German descent— as potentially traitorous. Many felt that because German Americans shared their heritage with the Kaiser and the German Empire, they would side with the enemy power. That many German Americans advocated neutrality until the U.S. declared war was further proof of disloyalty to nativists.