General Harold Alexander (the British commander of Allied Force in Italy) initiated
    Operation Buffalo on May 23 of 1944 with the goal of cutting off Highway 6 at Valmontone
    and trapping the German Tenth Army who were retreating up the highway from the Liri Valley.
    In his quest to be the liberator of Rome, Lt. General Mark Clark (Fifth Army commander)
    unilaterally decided to alter that plan on May 25. He ordered the Third Division and the FSSF to
    continue north and follow the objectives of Operation Buffalo, but he sent the majority of his
    other VI Corps troops to the northwest to attack Rome via the Alban Hills and Highway 7.

    The FSSF secured Monte Arrestino to the north of Anzio and then moved through 22 km of
    mountain terrain to Artena while Third Division moved through the foothills on their left flank.
    They encountered little resistance until they arrived at Artena on May 27. The Cassino-Rome railway line,
    Highway 6, and Valmontone were in the valley below them. The Germans had established an impenetrable line of tanks at the railway line with the task of holding that position at all cost. The two sides fought a protracted battle from May 28 to June 2 with heavy casualties on both sides, but Third Division and the FSSF were unable to take Highway 6, and the German forces from the Liri Valley slipped through the corridor. Once those enemy troops had finished passing through Valmontone on June 2, the Germans began withdrawing to a new defense line north of Rome. Ironically, Clark’s thrust up Highway 7 to Rome had stalled, and Highway 6 then became
    the fastest access to the city.

    All of the Allied divisions wanted to be among the first troops into Rome, and there was a rush of tanks and troops making their way to the city limits. On June 3, the FSSF was ordered to move forward on Highway 6 with units from the 81st Reconnaissance Battalion and 13th Armored Infantry and secure eight bridges over the Tiber River in central Rome as well as the main railway station. The Germans in Rome were fighting a rearguard action to protect their forces that were retreating to the north, and they strategically used their tanks on the narrow streets of Rome to slow the Allied advance. As Allied troops moved into the city on the morning of June 4, they were confronted by not only the enemy, but crowds of Romans celebrating the liberation of their city. Amid the chaos, Second Regiment took possession of the railway terminal while Third Regiment and elements from First Regiment cleared the 8 Tiber bridges of explosives and secured them.

    The battle for Valmontone and Highway 6 cost the lives of 52 Forcemen while another 16 were lost during the street fighting in Rome. Countless others were wounded including Brigadier General Frederick who was wounded three times while leading the assault on the Margherita Bridge.