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General Braun Knew No Fear
Brig. Gen. Gustav J. Braun, former assistant commander of the 34th Div, reported missing in action, established a reputation as a fearless infantry commander during his tour of duty with the division.
Twice decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross, America's second highest military award, Gen. Braun was successively Chief of Staff, Regimental Commander of the 133rd Infantrv and assistant division commander during the thrust from the Arno River to the high hills overlooking Bologna.
Highlights of his military career with the division came during the six months preceding his disappearance Mar. 17 while on an aerial observation flight over the German lines. They were on Nov, 16,1944, when Gen. Mark W. Clark, then commanding general of the Fifth Army, presented him with an Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a second D. S. C. and on Feb. 13, 1945, when General of the Army George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, pinned the general's star upon him.
WON D. S. C.
General Braun joined the 34th division in July, 1944 as Chief of Staff and later, when the 133drd Regimental Commander was killed, requested permission to lead the troops in combat. It was during furious fighting in the early phases of the Gothic Line offensive that he won the D.S.C. In December, he returned to division headquarters as assistant division commander and on Feb. 13 received his appointment as a brigadier general.
A native of Buffalo, New York, he called Berkeley, California, his home in recent years.
The general came up through the ranks by way of the National Guard which he joined in New York state in l9l0 and with which he served for six years, including a tour of duty on the Mexican Border in 1916. In 1917 he took the regular army examinations and became a provisional officer.
WORLD WAR I VET
During World War I, he served overseas with three American infantrv units as well as with the British and French and in the Army of Occupation in Germany after the Armistice.
He was awarded the D. S. C., the Second Division Citation, French Croix de Guerre, Italian Croce de Guerre and the British General Service medal during the First World War.
General Braun's post-war service included eight years on the faculty at the Fort Benning Infantry School and two and a half years in the historical section of the Army War College. He spent three vears in China with the 15th Infantry and upon his return to the United States he was stationed at Fort Thomas and Fort Knox and was executive officer of the CCC Replacement Training center at the latter post.
SERVED ON STAFF
After serving on the staff at Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for three years, he took the course and then became professor of Military Science and Tactics at the University of California, Los Angeles.
During the tense three year period preceding Pearl Harbor, General Braun was a General Staff officer of Ninth Corps and handled augmentation of west coast garrisons, layout and selection of sites and construction of training aids in addition to induction and training of National Guard units which later were sent to the Pacific.
From December, l941 to February, 1943, as staff officer of the Seventh Division and later the Seventh Corps, he aided in putting the defense plan for California, which he helped prepare, into effect.
In February, 1943 he became chief of staff of the 69th Infantry Division and remained in that post until he became Chief of Staff of the 34th Division.