Fact Sheet
World War II

In 1994, when veterans of the Persian Gulf Command who had just received a medal from Russia and an invitation to a ceremony at the White House to meet the President and Boris Yeltsin, contacted an Army Colonel at the Pentagon, he asked, "Who are you guys?"  This is who they are.

Starting in 1942, the United States sent thousands of troops to Iran and Iraq specifically to transport war Materiel to Russia.  Iran was already occupied by British and Russian troops who were guarding the oil fields and keeping more than a watchful eye on the pro-German Iranians (Persians).  Hitler thought it was only a matter of time before his troops, led from the north by General von Paulus and from the west by General Rommel, would decimate the British, the Russians, and the newly-arrived Americans to take possession of the oil fields and the railroad that snaked through the mountains from the Persian Gulf to the Russian border.  But von Paulus found that the Russians fought relentlessly for their homeland and endured unspeakable hardships during the siege of Stalingrad until aid from America enabled them to rally.  Rommel found that he had his hands full in Africa.

Conditions in Persia were nothing the American troops could have trained for.  Those who arrived in the summer of 1942 were welcomed by pouring rain and mud more than a foot deep.  This is where they had to pitch their tents to sleep on the ground for the next six months until huts were buit.  The rainy season was followed by temperatures that rose as high as 170 degrees in the des