Diary of The Third Armored Division 1941 to 1945

This Diary Was Taken From Records and after Action Reports of the Third Armored Division and gives the most actuate repo ...

Summary

Story

This Diary Was Taken From Records and after Action Reports of the Third Armored Division and gives the most actuate report of any known reference books, including “Spearhead In the West”. History Buffs or Relatives Of Spearheaders Can Now Look Up The Date And Determine What Action And Location They Were In, or Where They Were Wounded or Killed.

Prologue
In the year 1939, a world which had been uneasily side-stepping and watching out of the corner of its eye, suddenly burst into flame. Germany’s Hitler, after a series of ground-gaining bluffs, suddenly unleashed his armies in a drive into almost defenseless Poland, an armored and airborne drive that left Poland bleeding and burning in a few short weeks and brought before the world a new type of warfare, “Blitzkrieg!” France and England, allies of the Poles, immediately declared war on Germany. Thus had begun World War 11.

With the smashing and overrunning of Poland completed, there began a period of quiet, a period when people laughed and spoke of the `phoney’ war, for it had begun to appear as if the entry of the two great powers into the war had chilled the flame of Hitler’s desire for conquest. Actually it was a period of preparation for the German legions, and when they had completed those preparations, they began the attack anew, in a fashion that left the world gasping for breath. Denmark fell, Norway fell. The German armies swarmed over the low countries, made a mockery of the famed French Maginot Line, and drove into the heart of France. French and British forces were completely routed, and the world learned the theory of air power, of the new mobile warfare.

The lessons learned in the early phases of the war were learned the hard way. The United States, watching the turn of events with interest, realized as well as any nation the necessity for immediate preparation. This was no war of trenches and stable lines. This was a war of machines and highly trained men, not of green soldiers and old rifles. Preparation became the keynote of the day, and an entire nation went to work at it. The United States Army was, at the outbreak of hostilities in Europe, unbelievably small. The Selective Service Act was an immediate answer to that. In Washington, a series of numbers were drawn from a large glass bowl, and soon from the cities, the villages, from every corner and hamlet, the new selectees poured into the hastily erected army camps. Training Centers filled up. Class after class of recruits finished basic training and moved on with their caps cocked jauntily on the side of their heads.
From the regular army units came cadres to make up and train new companies, regiments, divisions, and from these new divisions came more new cadres and more new divisions in a never ending circle. The army had begun to grow.
Activation and Training

When in December of 1941, the Japanese staged their sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, and the German Reich together with the Italian Government, declared war on the United States, both the attack and the declaration found the armed forces far from ready, but it found them in such a process of preparedness that they would soon have in the field an, array of armed might the like of which the world had never seen. It was in the early stages of that process that the 391st Armored Field Artillery Battalion was activated on January 1, 1942, at Camp Polk, Louisiana, a part of the Third Armored Division.
Its parent organization, the 67th Field Artillery Regiment, activated with the division on April 15, 1941, contributed largely to the personnel, both officer and enlisted, of the new battalion. For a long time the name of the 391st was considered original within army ranks but, in the summer of 1943, it was discovered that the battalion possessed an antecedent in a unit of the New York State National Guard, organized in the city of Monroe and disbanded after the last war. From this unit the present 391st battalion adopted their insignia of three windmills and, about the same time, chose as their motto “Honor before Honors.”

Under the leadership of its first commander, Lt. Col. Russel O. Smith, the battalion began training for its ultimate role in the European campaign.

In July of 1942 the battalion prepared to move to the California desert maneuver area and, on the twenty second of that month, began the four day trek westward. Arriving at Freda, California, in the Colorado Desert, the batteries detrained and proceeded to their new homes. Tents were pitched on the barren sand, the heat causing caustic comments from all concerned. After acclimation, during which tremendous quantities of beer and other cold drinks were consumed at the P. X., the battalion engaged in desert maneuvers, largely a test of communications.

During our stay on the desert many changes occurred in officer personnel. Col. Smith, the generally popular commanding officer, was transferred to the 12th Armored Division and was replaced by Major George G. Garton, under whose dynamic supervision the battalion compiled an enviable record in firing tests held in the states. Soon to become a Lieutenant Colonel, the “old man” remained at the helm throughout the remainder of our training and combat history.
Many Officer Candidate School graduates were assigned to us in the desert. With desert maneuvers over, enlivened by frequent passes to the Mecca of California, Los Angeles, the battalion prepared for another move, this time to Camp Pickett, Virginia. On the twenty seventh of October, 1942, we began the long cross continental journey. Seven days later we arrived in Blackstone where we trained for two months.

The general opinion of the men was that we were “hot” and ready to embark for the African campaign. Instead, the battalion’s next move was to Indiantown, Gap, Pennsylvania, began and culminated on the fourteenth of January, 1943. Here we remained for seven months. An intensive training program was followed and it was here that the battalion received the honor of being rated the best artillery unit in the division, as judged by Armored Force and Army firing tests. It was here that long months of communication and fire direction practice began at last to bear fruit. Every man in the battalion was proud that the old outfit had finally come out on top.

Headquarters Battery was further honored by its capture of the physical endurance contests held within the battalion, the award being two day passes to all who were eligible.
But more momentous portents were beckoning. “The Time” had come and on the twenty sixth of August, the batteries entrained for a staging area, Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, from whence we embarked for the European Theatre of Operations on the third of September. On the fifth, the S. S. Shawnee steamed out of New York harbor into the vast unknown Ocean of Possibilities. The statue of Liberty grew dim but not our memories of the home we loved and were leaving for a long time.
On the sixteenth of September, we arrived at Avonmouth, Port of Bristol, England, and journeyed by train to Warminster, Wiltshire, on the Salisbury plain, which was to be our home for the next nine months. Here we were polished in the final phases of our training.

On the lighter side, social activities were hugely enjoyed. In fact, some Anglo-American relationships were cemented. “Pubbing” was an art easily acquired by the Orlandoans, and they soon learned to enjoy “bitters”, teas and cakes, and cheese sandwiches. Around the environs of Warminster some Yankee customs have been interspersed with old English customs.
INVASION!!!

For months the world had awaited the news that was to flash to every corner of the civilized world on the morning of 6 June 1944. The aerial assault of Europe had begun in 1942, and an ever increasing avalanche of high explosive and incendiary bombs was dropping on German factories, railroad centers, and big cities. The “rocket coast” of France, from which the flying bombs were planned to be launched against London, was pounded daily by a constant shuttle of bombers from England. Fighter planes swept across France attacking enemy planes and transportation on the ground and literally driving enemy fighters from the sky. Then, during the darkness of the early morning of June 6th, a new aerial blow was struck.
In bivouac areas, the battalion heard wave after_ wave of bombers, a continuous roar, then troop carriers, gliders, 8oo and more, carrying the 82nd. and 101st. Airborne Divisions to Carentan and the Cotentin Peninsula where in a few hours troops of assault Force U would land. The invasion had begun. Meanwhile, the vast armada carrying the seaborne elements was assembling some eight miles off shore, undetected by the enemy. With a hum of motors, the craft bearing the leading waves of assault troops circled and then churned off, leaving white wakes on the dark sea. Wave upon wave followed, amphibious tanks, LCVP’s, LCM’s, LCT’s, LST’s, each baring a chosen group of men and equipment. The guns of naval ships flashed and roared, big guns of such vessels as the battleships USS Nevada and Arkansas, and the heavy cruisers USS Tuscaloosa and Quincy. The earth and sky roared and trembled with tons of explosives. In the face of overwhelming allied air superiority, the German Air Force was unable to operate except in small nuisance flights, chiefly at night.

Troops streamed ashore, battled their way across submerged hazards, beach obstacles and with heroism unsurpassed in history linked up with airborne troops to make a firm beachhead on Fortress Europe. As the build-up continued, the beachhead enlarged until in a few days it was time for the heavy armor to come ashore to break out with the greatest succession of sustained drives the world had ever seen. The Third Armored Division was alerted and moved to the Marshalling areas.

DIARY

20 June 1944
The Battalion moved today from the Assembly Area, south of Warminster, Wilts, England, to the marshalling area. The convoy, commanded by Lt. Col. Garton, consisted of Headquarters Battery, Battery A, Battery B, Battery C, Medical Detachment, and Service Battery, and arrived in the marshalling area (RCRP D-9) 202345 June 1945. There were no accidents enroute.

21 June 1944
The entire day was spent in dewater proofing vehicles on orders of the area commander. The weather was clear and warm. Men dressed in their gas-proof clothing over their regular OD uniforms, perspired freely as they worked. A rumor went around that the invasion had progressed so successfully that vehicles were now able to land without trouble right on the beach hence the dewater proofing.

22 June 1944
Orders were issued to re-waterproof the vehicles. The job that had been done in from three days to a week had to be done over again, and in one day. Everyone available went to work on waterproofing. By evening, all vehicles were waterproofed, inspected and OK’d by First Army Inspectors, who complimented Colonel Garton on the excellence and speed of the work.

23 June 1944
Forty-six enlisted men and three officers left in a convoy commanded by Captain Ballard P. Durham, for the Port of Embarkation, Weymouth, England, and embarked at 1100 on LCT 756. The rest of the Battalion relaxed and awaited orders.

24 June 1944
The Battalion, less the part of Battery C on LCT 756, left the marshalling area for the Port of Embarkation, Weymouth, England, in four serials. Serial 1246, commanded by Captain Robert E. Fiss, consisting of Battery A complete, Medical Detachment complete, 65 enlisted men and 2 officers from Battery B, and 36 enlisted men and 1 officer from Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, left the marshalling area at 0845, arrived at the port of embarkation at io2o, and embarked on LST 75 at 1400. Serial 1245, commanded by Lt. Colonel Garton, consisting of 123 enlisted men and 2o officers from Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, and 49 enlisted men and one officer from Service Company, 33rd Armored Regiment, left the marshalling area at 0855, arrived at the port of embarkation at 1015, and completed embarkation on LST 4oo at 1400. Serial 1248, commanded by Captain William R. Snellings, consisting of 89 enlisted men and 2 officers from Service Battery, and 8o enlisted men and 1 officer from Battery C, left the marshalling area at 1000, arrived at the port of embarkation 113 0, and completed embarkation on LST 374 at 1430. Private First Class T. J. Cooper, Battery C, was killed when a 50 caliber machine gun was accidentally discharged at 1000 as the convoy was leaving the marshalling area. Serial 1249, commanded by Captain John L. Shelton, consisting of 63enlisted men and 3 officers from Service Battery, left the marshalling area at c coo, arrived at the port of embarkation 1225, and completed embarkation on LST 375 at 1630. LCT 756 set sail from England at 0030 on the 24th. The party aboard that craft disembarked at Omaha Beach, France at 0800 on the same day. After dewater proofing vehicles, they proceeded to an assembly area and a CP was opened at coordinates 520813. The troops commanded by Captain Ballard P. Durham were the first troops of the battalion to land in France. The remainder of the battalion set sail from England at 2050 on the 24th. would be any better than supper. Had any U-Boats picked up the convoy? Were the mines swept clean? What would it be like, this adventure before them? How would they feel their first time under enemy fire? The earphones worn by the crew-chief began to crackle. He repeated the message as it came over. “All gun stations! Four unidentified aircraft at 10 o’clock. 8,000.” The crew dropped their blankets and their thoughts. The gun swung around. The men were at their stations, peering into the blackness, and waiting. The ear phones crackled again. “Aircraft at 10 o’clock identified. Friendly.” Slowly they picked up the blankets and leaned back against the railing. Wish 1 had a smoke. Wonder if the folks back home know I’m on the way. Wonder where those planes were going. Wonder–

25 June 1944
The battalion began disembarking on Omaha Red Fox Beach in France at 1823. All vehicles were immediately dewatered proofed, and all serials, in a single convoy commanded by Lt. Col. Garton, proceeded to the assembly area. All vehicles were in the assembly area by 2350 and a Battalion CP was opened at coordinates 514813.

26 June 1944
Each battery of the battalion fired registrations. Battery B fired the first shell into enemy territory at 1856. Second Lieutenant William M. Toneff was conducting and observing fire. The gun crew firing the first shell into enemy territory was composed of Sergeant Billie M. Wascom (chief of section), Corporal Anthony J. DcSalvo (gunner), Pfc Mark P. Hroncich, Private Zelmer R. Ball, Pfc Blaine J. Ashley, Pfc Willie E. McCubbins, and Tec 5 Wilbur F. Bergen. At 2050, the 391st, Armored Field Artillery Battalion was designated a part of Combat Command B, Third Armored Division, and was alerted for a possible move in the zone of the 29th Infantry Division to assist Combat Command A, Third Armored Division, in repelling an attack in that zone and driving the enemy to the south and southeast of St. Lo. During the period from 1856 June 26th to 2400
 June 27th
The battalion fired 732 rounds of harassing and interdiction fire.
 28 June 1944
Battery A, 486th AA Bn, was attached to the battalion. The Battalion left the assembly area to take positions forward to support an attack by CCA and the 29th Inf. Division in the area to the north of St. Lo. Bn Forward CP opened at coordinates 56757o6o at 1730.
 29 June 1944
The attack began at 0900, and was preceded by an aerial bombardment and a heavy artillery preparation. The battalion fired a total of 35 missions, all but 8 from the Air OP. Total rounds expended, 1882. Report from ASP says this is the greatest amount of ammunition expended by any one battalion since D-Day on the Normandy Beachhead. Firing was well coordinated and extremely accurate. One concentration of enemy infantry was reported definitely neutralized. At 1900 one L-4 liaison plane crashed on landing at the airfield. Second Lieutenant John L. Kistler (pilot) and Second Lieutenant Thomas J. Kelly (observer) were wounded. Lt. Kistler was evacuated. Lt. Kelly returned

to duty after treatment by battalion aid men. The L-4 liaison plane was a complete wreck.
 30 June .1944
Nine missions were fired this date. Total rounds expended, 626. One 88mm enemy gun was destroyed by one gun of Battery A. The 88 was picked up firing from a tunnel, by the Air OP. 17 rounds were fired in adjustment and neutralization, six of which were hits on the tunnel from which the 88 was firing.

2 JULY 1944
Having completed its mission of giving general support to CCA and the 29th Inf. Div., the battalion returned to its assembly area some 2’/’2 miles southeast of Isigny. At 1600, the 391st was attached to CCB, 3rd Armored Division, and alerted to repel any counter-attack in the vicinity of the 3oth Infantry Division. CCB was organized into three assault teams, and a forward observer from the battalion were assigned to each team. This date the 391st groupment was established, commanded by Colonel Garton, and consisting of the 391st Armored Field Artillery Battalion (Btry A, 486th AA attached) and the 58th Armored Field Artillery Battalion (Btry D, 486th AA attached).

4 July .1944
The 3rd as well as the 4th of July was spent in positions in the assembly area, cleaning guns and equipment. At 1200 on the 4th, the battalion fired one round per gun as part of the XIX Corps Serenade in the First U S Army’s celebration of the 4th of July.
 5 July 1944
The battalion was alerted as part of the 3rd Armored Division Artillery to furnish on call “additional fires” in support of the 3oth Infantry Division attack in the general area of St. Jean de Daye. On the 5th and 6th of July, harassing and interdiction missions were fired in support of that attack.
 7 July 1944
The attack by the 30th Infantry Division in the vicinity of St. Jean de Daye at 0900 was supported by the heaviest artillery barrage of the Normandy Beachhead to date. The battalion fired 5 harassing missions, 2 missions on enemy gun batteries, 1 mission on an enemy OP, 3 smoke missions to screen troop movements, and 25 missions as part of the rolling barrage in preparation for the infantry attack. Total rounds expended, 3412. At 2100, CCB was ordered to attack at once in the vicinity of the 30th Infantry Division with the mission of crossing the Vire River at Aire and securing and holding the high ground west of Aire. The battalion was alerted to displace forward in direct support of CCB. The three forward observers reported to their assigned assault teams of CCB. Battalion A and B trains assembled 2’1/2 miles southeast of Isigny, and the remainder of the battalion prepared to displace forward. Displacement was delayed because all traffic was routed over one bridge across the Vire River, and this bridge was under constant shelling by German artillery. Muddy roads, chewed by the teeth of tank treads, were lined with vehicles. GIs sat in half tracks or tanks, smoking quietly, waiting for their chance to cross the battered bridge. On the far bank o f the river was the town, blasted beyond recognition. Enemy shelling had become less constant, but now and again the terrifying scream of an incoming shell was heard, and men hugged the ground or huddled behind vehicular armor. MPs, ignoring the fire, waved vehicles on. From the opposite bank, a truck appeared, slipped across the bridge and moved slowly toward the rear. It was loaded with German prisoners who gazed curiously at the GIs sitting there. The GIs gazed back just as curiously, and said nothing. Just sat there smoking.
 8 July 1944
The battalion displaced forward at 0940, and closed in position west of the Vire River in the vicinity of Aire at 1530. A motorcycle, ridden by Tec 5 Frank Eastman, was wrecked by enemy shellfire on the bridge. Eastman was unhurt. The battalion fired 8 missions on enemy infantry, 2 missions on 88 mm guns, 3 missions on mortars, 1 mission on vehicles, 1 mission on an enemy ammunition dump and four registrations for a total expenditure of 15 to rounds. Private William J. Fullarton, with the forward observation crew, was lightly wounded and evacuated.
 9 July 1944
CCB continued to attack, reached and held its objective. In the morning, vicinity of Bordigny, the enemy counter attacked. 2nd Lieutenant Clarence A. Silliman, forward observer with one of the CCB assault teams, proceeded forward under small arms, mortar and artillery fire, and adjusted the battalion fire on enemy infantry and tanks within 50 yards of his own position. He succeeded in stopping the counter attack, and greatly contributed to the
success of the entire operation. A letter was later received from the commanding officer, 33rd Armored Regiment, highly commending Lt. Silliman for this action. The 58th Armored Field Artillery Battalion arrived and fired in support of CCB. The battalion received its first counter battery fire when enemy shells fell in B and C Battery positions. Cpl Jack Evans, Btry C, was seriously wounded and died soon after arriving at the collecting point. Sgt Marvin L. Wicklund, Btry B. was lightly wounded and evacuated. Pvt Henry J. Blankenship, Btry C, and Pvt Hilven Leach, Btry C, were lightly wounded but remained on duty after treatment at the battalion aid station. At 2300, the 391st groupment was attached to the 30th Infantry Division for the purpose of reinforcing the fires of the 30th Infantry Division Artillery.
 10 July 1944

CCB was relieved from its objective. At 1850, the battalion displaced forward to the vicinity of Cavigny, arriving there at 2145. Battery D, 413th AAA Bn (90 mm guns) was attached to the groupment. The battalion fired 13 missions on enemy infantry, 3 missions on infantry dug in (reported neutralized) 2 missions on enemy OPs, 1 mission on 88 mm guns, 1 mission on mortars, and one registration. Total ammunition expenditure, 1981. Lt. Silliman, serving as a forward observer, was slightly wounded and evacuated.

The beachhead shuddered and crackled, our infantry and tanks fighting bitterly, increasing pressure all along the boundaries. To the west the Cherbourg peninsula was secured against moderate resistance and work commenced at once on the great port to insure an increased flow of supplies for the battle. In the bocage country, the battles were local, fiercely fought across the hedgerows, battles not particularly suited to armor. Meanwhile, the enemy attempted to build up a strong defensive line across the base of the Cherbourg peninsula and stretching east.
On July 11, a strong enemy thrust was launched, with elements of a newly arrived panzer division participating in the 1st large scale tank attack experienced by the Corps. Designed to regain Isigny and split the American forces, the attempt proved an expensive effort for the enemy and, having gained no ground, he resumed the defensive, withdrawing slowly under the pressure of continuing American attacks.
In order to gain a decisive victory and to break thru the area of hedgerow defensives, the First United States Army planned Operation “Cobra”, a coordinated attack to drive south into areas more suited for armored operations. VII Corps was selected for the main effort. After a tremendous air bombardment, the attack would be led by the 4th, 9th and 30th Divisions, with the 1st Infantry, 2nd and 3rd Armored Divisions poised to exploit the attack once the crust of enemy defenses were weakened.
The planes came, over 3000 of them. The earth trembled with tons upon tons of bombs. A great cloud of dust and smoke rose over the area obscuring the minimum bomb line, and several bombers unloaded on our infantry positions. Initial infantry advances met stubborn resistance but progressed steadily.
On July 26, the Corps “Sunday punch” was committed and the 2nd and 3rd Armored Divisions opened the first large scale armored action of the American forces in Europe. Our armor drove eight kilometers to the south, while infantry divisions widened the penetration. On the following day, the enemy’s positions were completely overrun. The days of hedgerow fighting were over. The operation had paved the way for VIII Corps drive down the west coast and for the entrance of the Third United States Army into the battle.
The Third Armored Division plunged southward, swung toward Avranches, and then on toward Mayeme. CCB of the 3rd Armored Division at Mortain blocked the greatest counterattacking force the enemy had been able to muster since D-Day. It was an attempt to drive a wedge between the American .First and Third Armies, to reach the sea along the axis Mortain-Avranches. It failed with the bitterest fighting since D-Day.
 11 July 1944
The 391st groupment continued indirect support of CCB and in general support of the 30th Infantry Division attack in the vicinity of St. Lo. The enemy delivered a sharp counter attack in the vicinity of Cavigny. Moderate harassing fire was received in Battery B position, and light harassing fire was received in other battery positions. Ten casualties were incurred. Pfc Charles J. Lewandowski, Btry A, Pvt Huston M. Campbell and Tec S Ellice E. Ford, both of Battery C, were seriously wounded and evacuated, as was Tec 5 Martin S. Schwab of Battery B. Pvt Louis Manzi, Btry B, was lightly wounded and evacuated, while Sgt Billie NI. Wascom, Tec S David Poppick, and Pvt Lawrence Chapman of Battery B, and Pvt Hilven. Leach and Sgt Kenneth R. Krug of Battery C were lightly wounded and returned to duty after treatment at the battalion aid station. Light bursts of enemy machine gun fire passed over all positions from 0700 to 1000. It was learned that the 30th Inf. Division attack had run into a strong German counter attack. Under the direction of Major Walter D. McCahan, defensive steps were taken to prevent the enemy from over running our positions. The 90mm anti-aircraft guns of Battery D, 413th AAA Bn were placed for tank defense. Battery C moved to its alternate position at l000 hours. A portion of Headquarters Battery moved from the crest of the hill to a position zoo yards to the right rear of the crest. The Medical Detachment withdrew from the crest of the hill after all casualties had been treated. The battalion fired one concentration of tanks which had broken through the Infantry lines at a range of 950 yards from Battery B position. Two tanks were put out of action and the rest retired. In addition the battalion fired 25 harassing missions, 11 missions on enemy artillery batteries for a total expenditure of ammunition of 2141. With the coming of daylight, men began to stir. In the pale gray of early morning, outlines of sentries began to take shape, and off at the outpost a man could be seen crawling from behind his gun for a stretch. Then it came. The blast o f incoming shells gave short warning, and in the fury o f the moment men were hugging the ground, jumping for fox holes hastily dug in darkness o f the night before. The shrill whistle came again. Faces were pushed deeper in the mud and dirt. But, these were different. They were going overhead and hitting in a field two hundred yards away. Slowly men raised their heads and looked stupidly at one another. Some did not rise, and there were cries of “Medics!”
 12 July 1944
Battalion B Supply Trains displaced forward from bivouac 211. miles southeast of Isigny to a position 2 1/2miles east of Aire. The battalion remained in position to give direct support to CCB if necessary, firing several harassing and interdicting missions as well as z missions on enemy vehicles, 1 mission on an enemy battery, and 2 registrations.
 13 July 1944
The group continued in their direct and general supporting roles. The battalion fired 22 harassing missions, 1 mission on enemy assembly area, 2 missions on enemy batteries, 8 registrations and one high burst registration. Pvt Rodney L. Dayton, Pvt Michael F. Murphy, and Tec 5 Leo J. Kallal, all of Headquarters Battery, and all members of Forward Observer 2 Section were seriously wounded by enemy artillery fire and evacuated.
 14 July 1944
The 391st groupment remained in position near Cavigny in general support of the 30th Infantry Division Artillery, reinforcing the fire of the 197th Field Artillery Battalion. 15 harassing missions were fired, as well as 2 missions on enemy vehicles, 1 serenade on tanks, and 3 registrations. At 2400, the 391st groupment was assigned to the Third Armored Division.
 15 July 1944
The battalion fired 2006 rounds in a normal barrage in support of the 30th Infantry Division’s attack south of Pont Hebert and Heights Vents. Some seven other missions were fired on enemy mortars, tanks, and artillery. The 58th Armored Field Artillery Battalion was relieved from the 391st Groupmcnt and the 87th Armored Field Artillery Bn assigned to it at 2400.
 16 July 1944
The battalion fired 395 rounds between 2025 and 2040 to help break up and enemy counter-attack. Five other missions were fired on a local counter-attack, enemy batteries, and harassing fire.
 17-19 July 1944
The Battalion B Supply Trains displaced forward to a position one mile north of La Haye near the Foret du Hammet at 1300, 17th July. The remainder of the battalion remained in position near Cavigny continuing in their role of general support. At 1045 on the 17th July, Battery D, 413th AAA Bn was relieved from the groupment, and on the 19th of July, the 87th Armored Field Artillery was relieved from the 391st groupment. Most of the 19th of July was spent in cleaning clothes and equipment. At 1930 on the 19th of July, CCB was attached to the 1st Infantry Division for the purpose of supporting that division in an attack south to Marigny and west along the Marigny-Coutances highway. CCB was organized into three task forces, each composed of one infantry and one tank company, supported by one battery of the 391st Armored Field Artillery Battalion. Task Force 1 was supported by Battery B, Lt. Willoughby (FO 2) observing fire; Task Force 2 was supported by Battery C, Lt. Patton (FO 3) observing fire; and Task Force 3 was supported by Battery A, Lt. Forston (FO1) observing fire.
 20-24 July 1944
On the 20th of July, the battalion displaced from positions near Cavigny to an assembly bivouac 1 mile north of La Haye in the vicinity of Foret du Hammet. On the 21st, at 1300, the forward observers reported to the units to which they had been assigned, and the battalion, during the period until the 24th of July, awaited orders for the attack and spent the time in care of equipment.
 25 July 1944
From l000 to 1115 hours, heavy bombers, Forts and Liberators, dropped bombs on the 1st Infantry front in the vicinity of Marigny. The
rest of the day, medium bombers and fighter-bombers bombed and strafed enemy positions in the Marigny area in preparation for the attack.
The drone of motors became heavier. In the distant haze they appeared. Flight upon flight there were, and they moved forward evenly until they were directly overhead, a picture of beauty and destruction. Suddenly the lead planes began to drop streamers, and you thought how good it was that you weren’t in front o f those markers. The earth began to shake with a rumble that became a roar. Dense clouds o f dust appeared on the horizon. The planes, wave after wave, swung gently over the target area and moved off in a great circle to the right. Ignoring the frenzied enemy ack-ack, they droned back as they had come.
 26 July .1944
The First Infantry Division attack jumped off at 0600. Rapid progress was made toward Marigny with Task Forces in a leager just north and west of that town. The Battalion displaced forward at 0735, joined, the attacking column, and closed in position late in the day northwest of Marigny. Firing this date was handled by B Battery, 2nd Lt. Willoughby observing and conducting most of the fire. Three missions were fired on anti-tank strong points, one mission on an enemy battery, one mission on infantry, and two missions on tanks. One anti-tank gun was known to have been destroyed; personnel were killed or driven from the other two strong points. During the night, the 4th Cavalry observer fired missions through Lt. Patterson. A Battery handled the firing. Six anti-tank guns were knocked out and later captured. Seven or eight enemy killed was counted at the positions. Tec 5 William Pospishel and Pvt Issac Patterson, Battery B, was lightly wounded by enemy artillery fire while the column was on the march and was evacuated.
 27 July 1944
The attack continued. Batteries displaced individually so that one battery was always in position to support the leading elements. When Batteries B and C pulled into position, they were forced to fight German Infantry. Patrols from the two batteries were sent out to clear the area of infantry and snipers. Battery B fired on German tanks two hundred yards from their position and forced them to retire. They took two prisoners and killed five. Battery A took one prisoner this date. Private Truman Fanning of A Battery was lightly wounded and returned to duty after treatment by the Battalion aid men.
 28 July 1944
The attack continued west along the Marigny-Coutances highway. CCB reached its 1st and 2nd objectives and turned to clear out pockets of resistance north of the highway. ‘The battalion went into position north of La Chappelle on the Marigny-Coutances highway. Battery C was strafed by FW 190s firing rockets at 1900 hours. The gun crew from Battery A, 486th AAA Bn assigned to Battery B, knocked down one FW 190, category one.
1t wasn’t a big town. As a matter of fact, it was more or less typical o f all Norman towns, but this one was important. Roads spreading out like spokes in a wheel made it so. Vital as an enemy communications and transport center, it had to be taken. And it was.
29 July 1944- Troops in the vicinity of Coutances having been contacted, all German elements remaining north of the Marigny-Coutances highway were trapped. CCB was relieved from the First Infantry and reassigned to the Third Armored Division. The 87th Armored Field Artillery was assigned to the 391st this date. The battalion displaced with CCB at 1850 hours to an assembly area in the vicinity of La Villederie, and there prepared for attack as part of a coordinated Third Armored Division attack to secure the high ground south and west of Villedieu les Poeles.
 30 July 1944
The Third Armored Division attack jumped off at 0600. The batteries joined the attacking column and drove south at a rapid pace. FO 1, Lt Forston was with the leading reconnaissance elements, and practically all fire missions were observed and conducted by him. The battalion went in to positions for the night south of Hambye. T5 James J. Conley, Battery A, was killed, Captain Robert E. Fiss, and Pfc Stanley Wronko, Battery A, were seriously wounded and evacuated when the halftrack received a direct hit from an enemy gun. T5 Frank Feola, Battery A, was injured while helping get a camouflage net, which had been set afire by gun flash, away from the ammunition. He was treated by the unit medics and then evacuated. At 1200 on the 30th, CCB left Third Armored Division control and was attached to the Fourth Infantry Division. Battery B, 981st Field Artillery was attached to the 391st groupment. The battalion fired 3 missions on Infantry, 3 missions on anti-tank strongholds, 2 missions on mortars, 1 mission on an enemy battery, and one mission on a 700 yard column of tanks and other enemy vehicles.
 31 July 1944
The 391st groupment displaced forward to positions south of Hambye from which they could support the task forces on their routes to assembly area. Heavy interdiction fires as well as some fourteen observed missions were fired during the 31st.
Night march. Roaring vehicles and swearing men in a world o f unbroken blackness. Enemy shells are dropping with a monotonous regularity on a cross road not far in front. Each vehicle creeps along roads already pock-marked by shell fire. A half- track crew sits sprawled out in the back of the track while in front the driver and the car commander gaze searchingly into the darkness before them. They listen to the shells hitting up front, and the knowledge that they will soon be moving slowly across that cross road tightens their stomachs. There are planes above, and, by the sound o f the motors, they know they aren’t friendly planes. That’s a plane coming down. Have they spotted the column? Down, down, he comes, his gasping motor becomes a roar. GIs slump in their seats, heads down, and hearts jumping in their throats, waiting. The plane dives down on the road and roars by a hundred feet above, but there are no strafing guns, no scream of a dropped bomb. Heads come up again. Someone gasps lowly in the night. The shells are getting closer.
 1 August 1944
At 1820, the 391st displaced from positions north of Villedieu-les-Poles with CCB in support of the 4th infantry Division in an attack on St. Pois. Marching most of the night, the battalion went into positions just east of Coulouvray Boisbenatre at 0330 on the 2nd of August. At dawn, the battalion found itself surrounded by enemy infantry. Heavy shellfire from mortars and artillery fell close to the battery positions all day. Defensive steps were taken to prevent the enemy from over running the positions. The batteries fired charge
one and two all day on targets so close in that the M7s had to be moved for each fire mission. Missions were fired on tanks at a range of 800 yards, on infantry, mortars, anti-tank guns, enemy artillery, and enemy vehicles. During the day Pfc Robert E. Horton, Btry A, was killed, and Pfc Jean L. Parenteau, Btry A, was seriously wounded and died at the collecting station after the peep in which they were riding was hit by enemy artillery fire about a mile east of Coulouvray Boisbenatre. Sgt Carl H. Zilich, Hq Btry, was lightly wounded by shrapnel and returned to duty after treatment at the unit aid station. Sgt Claude J. Meyers, Btry A, and Pvt Joseph Castino, Btry C, was evacuated-exhaustion.
 3 August 1944
The battalion remained in position east of Coulouvray Boisbenatre to support the continued attack of the 4th Infantry Division, and to give direct support to CCB’s attack to bypass St. Pois and capture Cherence-le-Roussel. The 8th Infantry Regiment captured St. Pois, and the 12th Infantry Regiment relieved Team 2 of CCB which had been furnishing security on the left flank. A sizeable pocket of enemy including tanks, infantry, and supporting artillery was trapped north of the positions of the 391st, in the vicinity of and in the Foret de St. Sever. The batteries continued to fire close in missions all day. Lt Toneff was with the 2nd Bn, 8th Infantry Regiment, as forward observer. B Battery took one prisoner during the day.
 4 August 1944
CCB continued to attack on Cherence-le-Roussel, and the battalion remained in position to support this attack. The objective was reached at 2300. Battery A fired three propaganda shells in the early morning. Other missions were fired on enemy,-infantry and artillery. Sgt Theodore D. Root, Hq Btry, was seriously wounded when friendly 57mm fire penetrated the left side of the FO 2 tank turrent.
 5 August 1944
CCB remained on its objective and consolidated positions. Lt Toneff was relieved from assignment as forward observer with 2nd Bn, 8th Inf. Regiment. The battalion executive officer reconnoitered for new positions north of Reffuveille in the early evening.
 6 August 1944
The battalion displaced from positions east of Coulouvray Boisbenatre at 0900 and closed in position north of Reffuveillc at 1020 The remainder of the day was spent in cleaning clothes and equipment and in servicing vehicles. CCB was relieved from the 4th Infantry Division and attached to the 1st Infantry Division this date. The 87th Armored Field Artillery Battalion was relieved from the 391st Groupment and reverted to VII Corps control at 2400.
 7 August 1944
The battalion continued to clean and service equipment. A shower point was set up in the area. At 0930, Teams 1 and 2 of CCB were called out to repel an enemy penetration from the east through Cherence-leRoussel to Le Mesnil Gilbert. Forward observers and reconnaissance officers reported to their teams to act artillery observers. This was the beginning of the major German counter-attack at Mortain, designed to break thru to the sea, 63 cutting off First and Third Army elements which were driving deep into France. The battalion fired on tanks and enemy personnel between 1400 and 1520, expending 295 rounds. The tanks were scattered and CCB was able to turn local counter attack. At 2100, the battalion displaced from the rest and assembly area to positions at le Gue, about 4,000 yards west of Juvigny-le-Terte.
 8 August 1944
The 58th Armored Field Artillery Bn was attached to the 391st groupment at 1230 hours. CCB and the 391st group were relieved from . the 1st Infantry Division and attached to the 30th Infantry Division at 0001 hours. Teams 1 and 2 of CCB attacked from the east and south with the objective Le Mesnil Tov. Team h attacked with the 119th Inf. Regiment, and Team 2 attacked alone. The 391st supported both of these teams in the attack. Team 1 drove toward Le Mesnil Tov from the west while team 2 attacked from the south with the mission of cutting the road, securing the high ground overlooking the road, and repelling any further German counter-attacks in that area. By 2400 the objective had been reached. Team 3 of CCB with the 2nd Bn, 119th Inf. Regiment attached, supported by the 58th Armored Field Artillery Bn, went into an assembly area about 3 miles southwest of Juvigny-le-Terte and prepared to repel any enemy counter-attack from the east. The 391st fired some 23 missions today, on enemy strong points, roads, enemy gun batteries, mortars, anti-tank guns, infantry, and on towns controlled and used by the enemy. 2nd Lt William M. Toneff was lightly wounded and evacuated during the day.
 9 August 1944
Teams 1 and 2 of CCB continued the attack with the 30th Infantry Division to secure the high ground overlooking the main road east of Le Mesnil Tov. This force met heavy resistance all day and was under constant fire from heavy enemy artillery units and 210 mm rocket guns. Team 3 attacked east through Neufberg and reached their objective, the high ground 1000 yards north of Abbye-Blanche. During the day Pfc Clarence B. West, Hg Btry, was killed by mortar fire. Captain William R. Snellings was lightly wounded and evacuated. S/Sgt Joseph Urich, Sv Btry, was seriously injured and evacuated, and Pvt Green J. Metcalf, Sv Btry, was slightly injured, treated by Bn aid men and returned to duty, when the vehicle in which they were hauling ammunition turned over on a turn.
 10 August 1944
The attack continued against heavy resistance. The battalion fired missions on enemy batteries and tanks during the day. 2nd Lt John E. Fehl (replacement) reported for duty and was sent to the 2nd Bn, 36th Armored Infantry Regiment as an observer. Enemy aircraft were overhead in force during the night but no casualties were inflicted. Sgt Elmer E. Deshazer, Btry B, was seriously wounded and evacuated. Private Rudolph Katz, Btry B, was lightly wounded and remained on duty after treatment at the Battalion Aid Station. Pfc James J. Morgan, and Pvt Frank A. Fava, both of the Medical Detachment, and both on Detached Service with the 33rd Armored Regiment, were evacuated – exhaustion.
 11 August 1944
It was relatively quiet on the front. The German attempt to break through had evidently been given up. At 1500, CCB was relieved from the 30th Infantry Division, and at 1800, the task forces were withdrawn from the objectives. This evening at 2020 the battalion displaced from positions west of juvigny-le-Terte and in column with CCB, moved all through the night. Enemy aircraft had been overhead during the early morning hours, and.in the middle of the afternoon delayed action bombs exploded near the airport and just to the rear of B Battery’s position.
The Race across France

Meeting The Tea Drinkers in Closing the Falaise Gap
On the12th of August, the VII Corps attacked northeast to attempt to make a juncture with the XXX British Corps and cut off the retreating German Seventh Army. In the four day race that followed, German rear guards did their best to hold two shoulders of the escape gap open while Allied artillery and air pounded the fleeing troops. Withdrawal routes were strewn with hundreds of tanks and thousands of vehicles. On the 17th contact was made and by the 18th, remnants of the army were surrounded to be cut to bits and eliminated.
On August 21st the drive started crossing the Seine on past places famed for the glorious fighting of American troops in 1917 and 1918 – Chateau Thierry, Soissons, Belleau Woods, and sweeping into Belgium. So quickly did our flying columns move that the German command did not know where to expect them next. Even railroad trains, loaded with troops and supplies and operating in what their crews believed to be the safety of rear areas, were surprised and destroyed by our armored spearheads. Everywhere in France the German army was in chaos and there seemed to be no safe place to reorganize it short of the German border.
 12 August 1944
Having marched all night, the battalion pulled into positions southeast of Oisseau at 0625. At 0700 the Battalion received orders from Division Artillery, 3rd Armored Division, to move out immediately and to join task force X column of CCA, Third Armored Division in an attack to seize the high ground la Ferte-Mace to Ranes. The attack advanced rapidly through Mayenne northeast. The battalion went into firing position southeast of St. Cryen-Pail at 14zo but did no firing. Then at 1640 hours the battalion took its place in the column and continued to advance, going into position north of Le Brais at 2300 hours.
 13 August 1944
The battalion remained in position in general support of CCA. During the night the road was cut some 1500 yards behind the battery positions by enemy infantry. Second Lieutenant Overath, returning to his combat team, surprised a column of German foot troops and killed and wounded several with machine gun fire. In the morning Captain Cobb treated five wounded Germans who were brought into the CP by men of the 45th Med. Bn. At 1130, a patrol was sent out to scout the area north of the battery positions. This patrol returned at 1330 with twelve prisoners and information to the effect that there was a concentration of enemy infantry about two thousand yards to the north. At 1400, Captain Mayer took another patrol out into that area with the intention of laying artillery on the reported enemy position. The patrol, however, was unable to contact the enemy, and returned to the CP with z prisoners. About 17oo, a group of Frenchmen led by a Corporal of the FFI brought eight prisoners to the CP.
 14 August 1944
The battalion remained in position in general support of CCA. The Ranes forces secured the Ranes road net and task forces 1 and 2 of CCB moved up from Carrouges. At 2300, the 391st groupment was assigned to CCB and that unit received orders to advance and assist in seizing and securing the main road intersections in Fromentel, then to attack north and west to secure the river line in the vicinity of Bernay-sur-Orne and Ecouche. During the day, the battalion fired 6 registrations, 3 normal barrages, 13 missions on infantry, 3 on mortars, 7 on bridges, 5 on tanks, 1 smoke concentration, and 1attack mission.
 15 August 1944
The 391st Groupment was in direct support of Task Forces 1 and 2 of CCB in their attack to take Fromentel. During the day several missions were fired in the vicinity of the lakes southwest of La Barbeliere through the 54th Armored Field Artillery observer. One tank was reported burning from this fire. Also fired during the day’ were six harassing missions, one preparation, five missions on anti-tank guns, one on an enemy battery, seven on infantry, one mission on an enemy-occupied town, and one interdiction mission. Headquarters Battery took one prisoner during the afternoon. Toward evening, the battalion went into position south of Le Mesnil Angot for the night.
 16 August 1944
Task Forces 1 and 2 continued their attack on Fromentel. Very heavy interdiction fire was fired by the battalion during the night and early morning. Some 32 observed missions were fired and were reported to have been exceptionally effective, neutralizing the fire of anti-tank guns, dispersing enemy infantry and forcing their tanks to withdraw. Total rounds fired-3201. TF 1 advanced to a point about 2,000 yards south of Fromentel while TF 2 reached a point just north of Louge-sur-Maire. The Battalion went into position for the night just northwest of Annebeoq.
 17 August 1944
All forces continued to meet very strong opposition during the day, the enemy fighting to keep his escape routes open. CCA entered the town of Fromentel from the south and east, while CCB advanced across the east-west road and was through the town by 2200. The 39tst fired a total of 40 missions during the day on a variety of enemy targets; two missions were smoke missions, marking targets for supporting bombers.
 18 August 1944
The battalion remained in direct support of CCB Task Force t in their attack to take the high ground southwest of Putances, reinforced by the fire of the 45th, 67th, and 87th Armored Field Artillery Battalions, plus one battery of the 183rd FA. CCB secured its objective at 1100. A small task force was sent out by TF 1 with Lt. Fehl as artillery observer, to establish road block west of Putances. This force, at 1220, made contact with the British 11th Armored Division just south of Putanccs. The Falaisc Gap was closed. Task Forces 1 and 2 consolidated the objective and defensive fires were planned. The 391st turned all future fires over to the 87th Armored Field Artillery Battalion and began a period of rest and maintenance.

At Combat Command Headquarters there was a period of tension. Messengers ran in and out of the command tent. Radio men bent to catch transmissions, and rushed to deliver their hastily scrawled message blanks. Continually the staff poured over the well-worn and marked maps. Then it came. Call Sign Repeat-Call Sign. “We have met the Tea Drinkers. Did you get that? We have met the Tea Drinkers.” Everyone got it at once. The Gap was closed. The crack German 7th Army was within a circle of steel.
 I9-21 August 1944
The battalion spent this much-needed time in cleaning clothing and equipment and servicing vehicles. During the day of the 19th, Brigadier General Rose, Commanding General, Third Armored Division, visited the bivouac and presented combat awards to various men in the battalion. He was accompanied by only a small group of staff officers, and no audience was permitted lest the gathering draw enemy artillery fire. On the 20th, orders were received to prepare to move with the 3rd Armored Division, as part of the VII Corps, east to a march objective southeast of Versailles. 22 August 1944- Displacing at 1210, the battalion moved some 86 miles to an assembly area northeast of Courville-sur-Eure, arriving there at 2215. Tec 5 Walter Rutina, Headquarters Battery, was seriously injured when the motorcycle he was riding left the road on a curve near Pontgonith. All other vehicles arrived in position in good condition.
 23 August 1944
The Battalion A and B Supply trains, having displaced from Bivouac south of Rannes at 2045 on the 22nd, marched completely through the night and reached the assembly area at 0900. Because of the very dark night, several vehicles ran off the road during the march, but only one trailer was damaged. All other vehicles arrived in good condition. 24-25 August 1944- At 1700 on the 24th, the battalion displaced from the assembly area, and moved out in combat formation as a part of CCB to a bivouac near Vert-le-Grand, arriving there at 0700 on the 25th. This march was made in very orderly fashion, despite the fact that almost all of the driving was done in night blackout. All vehicles arrived in column. A total distance of 105 miles was traveled. About 1500 on the 25th, the battalion displaced to a position just north of Corbeil. The batteries registered across the Seine and remained in that position until about 2000 hours. At that time all batteries moved out in direct support of CCB, crossing the Seine on a pontoon bridge located at Tilly, and leagering for the night with CCB about 3 miles north of Tilly.
 26 August 1944
The battalion was in direct support of Task Force 1 of CCB in their advance northeast towards the Marne. Battery B went as advance guard battery, displacing immediately behind the task force. During the day, the Air OP observed and conducted two missions on the flank of the advancing column, targets designated as enemy vehicles and an enemy horse drawn artillery outfit. Seven vehicles were reported destroyed, all horses killed, and at least l00 casualties claimed. In addition, the battalion fired missions during the day on anti-tank guns, enemy infantry, and tanks. Toward dark, the task force leagered for the night southeast of Ronault-Combault. During the night, Headquarters Battery took some 30 prisoners in the woods surrounding their bivouac. Battery A of the 486th AAA Bn took two more at the same time.
 27 August 1944
The Battalion continued to support Task Force (1) of CCB in the 3rd Armored Division attacks towards Soissons. Fire missions continued to be handled direct from observers to firing batteries. The town of Meaux was attacked, secured and the Marne was crossed at 1345 at Isles de Villenay. 28 August 1944- Opposition became more disorganized today but none the less bitter. Operating as a part of a well oiled machine, the Battalion moved 58 miles this day to go into position just South of Soissons. Headquarters Battery had a miniature war all of its own and a sleepless night and the next morning there were 26 prisoners to be turned over to the CCB cage. An officer prisoner said he had learned just the day before of the landings in Normandy. Just over the ridge to the left, had been fought the Battle of Soissons in the last war. Enemy artillery began to come in lightly.
 29 August 1944
Operations continued to mop up Soissons and secure the high ground North and East of Soissons. Moderate opposition was encountered in crossing the Aisne River. Battery C advanced to a position North of the city to support the attack. At 0950 hours, 1st Lt. Edward J. Golas and 2nd Lt. Charles B. Finney were killed in action. The liaison plane from which they were registering the Battalion was shot down, directly over the battalion by a flight of 32 FW 190s which dipped through the overcast, shredded the cub in a second from all angles and continued on without strafing and bombing the position. Both officers were thrown clear of the plane, killed by machine gun bullets and not having a chance to use parachutes. The plane burned and fell in a matter of seconds. It was a registration they were observing when it happened. You could see them sitting up there in that cub, the shy so cloudy and grey all around them, and you could hear their commands coming over the radio. Then, if you were looking, you could see the planes coming out o f the clouds. There -must have been thirty of them. They said later that they were CIE logs. I don’t know. But, if you were looking, you could see one of them peel off, and you could see the flashes of the guns. It took but a few seconds and then it was all over.
 30 August 1944
The attack jumped off at 0700 hours on the CCB objective of Laon. Opposition was slight; the fortress town was secured easily with the aid of the FFI, and was out posted to the North by the Task Force. 31 August 1944- On to Mountcornet. Here the direction of the attack was changed to point to Verviers -object to cut off remnants of the Germany 15th Army. At Hary the bridge was blown and the Battalion stopped South of town for the night.
 1 September 1944
The 3rd Armored Division renewed its attack towards Mons with all combat commands advancing in multiple columns. CCB advanced at o82c hours and made steady progress against moderate opposition.
The 87th Armored Field Artillery Battalion was relieved from the 391st Armored Field Artillery groupment at 1000 hours this date. The 18th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm towed howitzer) was attached to the 391st Armored Field Artillery Battalion groupment at 1300 hours. The Battalion displaced at o8oo hours to support CCB, Task Force (1) continued to attack North towards Mons. The 87th Field Artillery Battalion continued to support Task Force (2). Veryms was reached by l000 hours and at this time the 87th Field Artillery Battalion was relieved from the group by VII Corps order. Battery B was attached to Task Force (2) and Lt. Patterson and Lt. Toneff replaced the 87th Field Artillery Battalion’s forward observers with Task Force (2). Task Force (1) displaced from the leager at Veryms and the Battalion displaced with the attack by battery starting at 1400 hours. Task Force (1) leagered for the night at 2000 hour near Avesnes. At 1830 hours, Headquarters Battery and the Medical Detachment coiled just West of La Capelle. As the other elements of Task Force (1) displaced forward, an alert was sounded. Five enemy tanks were rapidly approaching the area were Headquarters Battery was coiled. Headquarters Battery displaced very rapidly but about half the battery was cut off from the rest of the battery and Task Force (1). The portion of the battery which was cut off was divided into two groups by the rapid advance of the enemy tanks. The motor maintenance section was one group which was cut off. A tank blocked their exit from the coil. The men opened up on the Panzer Grenadiers riding the tank and inflicted an unknown number of casualties. The tank then swung on these men and vehicles and the men scurried over the hedge and away to relative safety. P 47’s swooped in on the group of tanks and friendly tanks rushed to the scene. All the German tanks were knocked out. The motor maintenance crew returned to their vehicles and drove them off and joined the other cut off portion of the battery. The half track had been rammed by the tank and had to be replaced, the 34 ton pickup was riddled by machinegun fire but was still in good operational condition. Elements of Task Force (1) returned to the beleaguered force and they all leagered for the night in the vicinity of La Chapelle. The battery suffered one casualty in this skirmish; Cpl. Joseph J. Magee was missing in action. Battery A and half of Headquarters Battery went into position for the night at 2100 hours. One of the small towns behind the drive on the supply route was retaken by the Germans and all people found with flags or FFI armbands were massacred. Liberation was very dear for this village.
What a rat-race! Did you see that ack-ack gun come tearing down the road a minute ago? You know, 1 beard those shots coming nearer, but 1 didn’t pay much attention. And then here comes this towed 37 with four krauts riding on the truck. Every one blazed away. I unloaded my tommy gun on it. But nobody touched it until the 486th track opened u p those four fifties. Man, did that stop em! One kraut had a hole the size of a half dollar right thru the middle of his neck. There’s four of the bastards that won’t see home for a while.’ And then a bull dozing tank just scraped the truck and gun off into the ditch and the column moved out. Five minutes, and it was all over. Boy, did you miss the fun!
Belgium and onto Germany
Knifing swiftly thru German troops and supplies our armor turned north in a surprise move, crossing into Belgium on September 2nd. Perhaps we could cut off retreating enemy columns, heading for the refuge of the west wall fortifications.
The 3rd Armored Division was halted at Mons awaiting strengthening of supply lines furnishing food, gasoline, and ammunition that were stretching longer and longer across Europe. Trucks on the “Red Ball” highways could carry only a portion of what was needed. Large numbers of enemy troops marching east, apparently unaware of American forces in the area, were heavily engaged. During three days, the carnage continued. Elements of 20 enemy divisions were captured or slaughtered as they moved straight into the fires of our troops. East to the Meuse River, through Namur, Charlege, Liege, Verviers, Eupen. The enemy had planned to set up a defensive line in the Verviers-Eupen area to keep the Americans off the sacred soil of Germany, but our rapid advance completely disjointed all such ideas.
On 12 September, the 3rd Armored and 1st Infantry Division crossed into Germany and probed the outer line of fortifications. The following day, the full weight was thrown northeast to crack the defenses of the world famed west wall in the area south of Aachen. Our tanks and infantry moved through rows of tank traps into the pillbox defenses. Here the enemy fought stubbornly from as many pillboxes as he could find personnel to man, but many of the fortifications were found undefended, their machine guns still in place. This, then, was the decisive effort of our intercepting the German Seventh Army back at Mons. And then supply problems beyond the control of Corps or Army dictated that the advance must be held up. But the hole had been punched and American forces in strength were securely behind the inner line of Germany’s defense.
 2 September 1944
Elements of CCB trains were cut off during the night and were unable to deliver fuel and lubricants. Consequently the attack was delayed to 1200 hours. All elements pushed forward rapidly against moderate opposition. The beleaguered position of Headquarters Battery and the Medical Detachment joined the rest of the battery at o9oo hours. The attack approached Mons. Four columns of the Division reached out for the prize with two following all stretching out long and thin. The Belgian border was crossed at h 6oo. Constant cross traffic of German vehicles and personnel were encountered and written off. Every man, every vehicle saw action. Maubeuge was seized and Mons entered and out posted at 2145 hours. Slaughter of the remnants of the15th German army was terrific. Columns of foot troops marching in cadence, convoys of vehicles, an estimated 40,000 troops in retreat were in the trap unknowingly. The fighting continued through the night as the trains moved up.
At 2240, FO 13 Headquarters Third Armored Division directed the division to continue the attack swinging to the east to seize and secure the towns of Namur.
Private First Class William Fitzgerald, B Battery, was killed in action.
Guys that never fired their weapons before got their guns off today. Can’t see how the Heinies can be so stupid. They were all over the place. Tanks, halftracks, and foot troops-they’d just wander into us-going hell-bent for election. CC A was behind us on the left two columns driving north and it funneled ’em all up our way. Just like shooting fish in a rain barrel. Boys back in the trains had a little rough time o f it with their six by sixes. But they accounted for their share. Beaucoup excitement-something new every minute. And, wow, did you see those gals in Mons when we came thru! Small arms fire on every street and there they were laughing and crying and smiling. If I could go, a little rifle fire couldn’t keep me out of Mons tonight. Um, um!
 3 September 1944
The Third Armored Division organized and prepared for defense positions around Mons while waiting for fuel, lubricants, and ammunition. CCA mopped up inside of Mons and CCB organized and established roadblocks north and west of Mons. During this day the division captured over 2600 prisoners, including 2 general officers and general field officers. Great quantities of German equipment and transport were destroyed by continued air ground operations; including one column of 400 vehicles all destroyed or abandoned. Roadblocks were held during the day and night thereby denying the enemy his planned avenues of escape.
In the early morning hours two supply trains and the cub airport were cut off. Infantry small arms fire kept two planes on the ground. A platoon of light tanks was sent to secure them. In the late afternoon the siege of the airport was lifted and the planes flown into the battalion positions. Medium tanks were sent to escort the trains to the task force position. Battalion trains captured 280 prisoners for the period 02-03 September.
Lieutenant Toneff was lightly wounded and evacuated, Technician Firth Grade Rupert C. Oldham, Service Battery, also. Private Ellis M. Aplin, Battery A, was missing in action.
 4 September 1944
The division continued to occupy defensive positions in the Mons area awaiting relief by the First Infantry Division. Several more thousand prisoners were added to the fields of Germans already taken and the destruction of enemy materiel continued. Early in the previous evening several American airmen who had been courageously sheltered by Belgians for months turned in to the battalion.
At 1400 hours elements of the First Infantry Division relieved the division and the Third Armored Division jumped off to attack for the objective of Namur. Resistance was moderate and disorganized and consisted of small arms, antitank, and mortar fire. Advance was rapid, delayed by blown bridges and small isolated pockets of resistance. CCB reached and secured the objective Namur south of the Meuse River at 2130 hours. The battalion was still enrooted at 2400 hours.
Private Nicholas M. Caprinolo, Battery A, was killed by accidental discharge of his own weapon at the battery position north of Ghlin, near Mons.
 5 September 1944
CCB remained in position at Namur, consolidating and mopping up. The east drive from Mons to Namur carried the battalion 75 miles.
Field Order 14 Headquarters Third Armored Division, 05, 2000 September 1944, ordered the division to attack in order to seize and secure the town of Liege and the crossings over the Meuse River. CCB to take the town south of the Meuse, CCA to the north.
 6 September 1944
Tardy supplies delayed the advance of the division, but at 1245 CCB crossed the Meuse on two pontoon bridges at Namur and advanced rapidly against scattered opposition. By 1800, the battalion with CCB had reached the day’s objective at Huy. Private Cecil W. Mims, Service Battery was seriously wounded.
 7 September 1944
The advance on Liege continued at 1300. The south half of Liege was secured by 1930. Counter battery fire was received and quickly the enemy guns were located and eight 105 min anti-aircraft guns were forced out of action, destroyed or abandoned. Second Lieutenant Michael F. Kuhta was killed in action by these guns.
 8 September 1944-
CCB was assigned the mission of clearing up the town of Liege south of the river. The majority of the bridges in the town were blown up and construction of a bridge across the Meuse River was begun at 1545 hours and completed by 2355 hours. Cleaning up operations were completed and the town by secured by 1810 hours. CCB met only scattered opposition all day. The battalion displaced from position starting at 1300 hours in direct support of the Third Armored Division Reserve which was assigned the mission of mopping up Liege. Task Force (t) remained in its assembly area this date. The air CP fired on an old fort near Liege and destroyed an estimated 40 enemy vehicles. The battalion closed in position at 1545 hours. The battalion trains remained in position this date.
 9 September 1944
Per Operational Memorandum No. 9, Headquarters Third Armored Division, 08 1700 September 1944, CCB will attack at 1100 to seize the town of Verviers and secure the high ground south and southeast thereof. CCB will operate in the zone south of the La Vesdre River.
Man, you should have seen that steak I had last night -and f reach fries, too. This gal came out and grabbed me by the hand and took me in the house. Her folks were sure swell -just couldn’t do enough for me. And what a bed! 1 no sooner sank down in it than I was asleep-almost missed the M-7 this morning. But seriously, did you ever see so many pretty girls in one town? I f this is a sample, Liege must be terrific! But you know, Mac, these people are so glad to see us, they actually embarrass us, they want to do so much for us. These Belgiques are sure OK.
CCB secured the east bank of the Meuse River at Liege until 1000 hours when it was relieved by the 47 RCT. At l100 hours CCB moved out on its assigned mission to secure the high ground south of Verviers. Strong and determined enemy opposition consisting of anti-tank guns, tanks and artillery was encountered almost immediately upon crossing the line of departure. Due to the strong enemy opposition and an enemy minefield CCB was unable to reach its objective. CCB coiled for the night in this vicinity prepared to continue the attack in the morning.
The battalion displaced starting at 1100 hours in direct support of Task Force (I) of CCB. The column received heavy mortar fire around 1730 hours near Louveigne. During this mortar barrage at 1745 hours, Lieutenant Colonel George G. Garton, battalion CO, was lightly wounded and evacuated. Captain Ballard P. Durham was killed instantly by the same shell that wounded Colonel Garton. Peep belonging to survey section received a direct hit by an AP shell at this point, no one was in it at the time. The battalion leagered for the night with Task Force (1) at 2100 hours.
At 1600 hours battalion trains displaced from bivouac southeast of Tilff to a bivouac t mile southwest of Louveigne, closing in position at 1915 hours.
Major Walter D. McCahan assumed command of the battalion at 1800 hours. The battalion went into a groupmcnt with the 54th Armored Field Artillery Battalion this date, to be in direct support of CCB Task Force (1) as before.
FO 15, Headquarters Third Armored Division, 092400 September 1944: the Third Armored Division is ordered to attack on order to September 1944 east from present positions with combat commands abreast, CCB on right, to seize and secure the town of Eschweiler, Germany. CCB will advance in multiple columns and will deploy rapidly upon meeting enemy resistance.
Private George H. Bensch, Service Battery, and Technician Firth Grade Robert N. Hyatt, Service Battery, were reported missing in action — last seen near Louveigne, Belgium.
 10 September 1944
CCB successfully continued its advance to its objective, the high ground south and southeast of Verviers, which was reached at 1230 hours. Only light opposition was encountered. Crossings had to be constructed at blown bridge and after crossing, minefields and hasty roadblocks were encountered along the road. Vigorous patrolling was conducted east of the objective. CCB was assigned the mission of securing the dam on a lake.
The battalion displaced at 1100 hours in direct support of Task Force (1), crossed the river, closed in position for the night at 1330 hours near Verviers. No opposition was encountered this date, but there were numerous hasty roadblocks (felled trees) encountered before and after crossing the river. These roadblocks were unprotected and therefore delayed the advance of the column only for a short while. The air OP was used extensively this dates to scout ahead of the column to determine the resistance that might be encountered at these roadblocks.
The tanks edged into town, ready to blast away, but there wasn’t anything to shoot at. All they needed really was a few hundred MPs to clear the streets. Tired tankers and dusty dough’s rubbed their eyes and looked again. This didn’t look like war, for the streets were a mass of cheering, crazy humanity. Flowers, fruit, wine and brandy came over the side in a wave. And any GI in reach got kissed again and again. This wasn’t war, this was Liberation!

11 September 1944
The Third Armored Division attacked at 0800 hours with combat commands abreast per FO 15, Headquarters Third Armored Division 09 September 1944. CCB objective was Eupen. Task Force (1) attacked from the south and reached the objective at 1300 hours. Task Force (2) encountered strong enemy opposition in tanks, infantry and small arms fire in the vicinity of Limbourg. Task Force (3) was attached to Task Force (2) at Limbourg at 1200 hours with the mission of securing the town and constructing a bridge over the river at this point. Task Force (2) reached Eupen at 1600 hours after bypassing enemy resistance at Limbourg. CCB was in assembly area southeast of Eupen for the night.
The battalion displaced from positions with CCB Task Force (1) starting at 0830 hours in direct support of Task Force (1). Battalion closed in position for the night northeast of Eupen approximately 8000 yards from the German border. Only light resistance was encountered in the advance. (Quite unofficially Battery A fired the first round into Germany at 1300 hours from a position enroute about 1000 yards south of Eupen.)
 12 September 1944— CCB was assigned the mission of conducting vigorous patrolling to the east of Eupen; patrols to advance rapidly to the Siegfried Line, reconnoiter for crossings and determine the strength and disposition of enemy defenses. Division reconnaissance elements moved out at 0630 hours and reconnoitered southeast of Eupen. They encountered hasty roadblocks and road craters, and attempts to bypass these were hampered by difficult terrain and poor roads. CCB sent out an armored patrol of reinforced company strength which because of difficult terrain encountered along its route was unable to advance beyond 837283. A like force was reconstituted and given a route further to the north. This force advanced rapidly and was followed by Task Force h of CCB which pushed forward crossing the German border at 1451 hours. Heavy direct artillery and anti-tank fire was received from the area. Task Ford 2 advanced following Task Force 1 and both were delayed by minefields which were cleared by 1730 hours. Task Force 1 reached positions in the vicinity of Rottgen and leagered for the night. Task Force 2 leagered for the night just short of the German border southeast of Eupen. The Third Armored Division forced 2 crossings of the German border this date in strength.
At 0636 hours each battery fired one round into Germany proper from positions northeast of Eupen. These were the first rounds fired officially into German territory. At about 1200 hours the leading elements of Task Force 1 crossed the German border at Rottgen, Germany. Lieutenant Patton and his FO 3 section crossed with these leading elements and was the first of this battalion to enter Germany in force. At 1600 hours the battalion displaced from positions northeast of Eupen to positions southwest of Rottgen. The batteries closed in position at1800 hours about 500 yards short of the German border.
In these positions Headquarters Battery captured 5 prisoners. Three of these were in civilian clothes and they claimed and put on German uniforms which were uncovered in a pile of straw in the Headquarters Battery position. The 3 men in civilian clothes had German soldier identification on them at the time they were captured.
Battalion trains remained in position southeast of Eupen this date.
The battalion fired 14 missions this date: 1 into Germany (for record), 4 on enemy batteries, 1 on infantry counter-attack, 1 on infantry and machine guns, 2 on concrete emplacements, 1 on a pillbox, 1 on roadblock. Total rounds expended this date; 1007.
Lieutenant Colonel George G. Garton returned to duty this date; Major McCahan still remained in active command of the battalion.
“Hey, buddy, you been in Germany yet? 1 just walked across the border five minutes ago. Makes the 3rd country in Europe now, eh? Guess we must be the first people in Germany. We really cracked into it anyway. Bet it’ll be just like Eupen only worse. Boy, did you get a load o f those dirty looks when we came thru there last night?”
“Wish we could have stayed in Belgium longer, though. 1 sire liked the looks of the country, didn’t you? Bet the Belgiques will give us a medal or citation. Sure as hell, nobody else ever whipped through their country in ten days fighting all the way. Wonder what’s ahead now? It’s not going to be flowers and fresh eggs, that’s a cinch. Something tells me there are rough days ahead. Wonder how many Jerries they got on that Siegfried Line?”
13 September 1944
In accordance with FO 15 (revised) 9 September 1944, combat commands of the Third Armored Division continued vigorous patrolling of the Siegfried Line to determine the strength of enemy defenses. CCB encountered strong enemy opposition from small arms, mortars, anti-tank guns, concrete barriers, pillboxes and artillery fire. Task Force 1 after continues fighting and breaching operations advanced to 939345 and leagered for the night.
The battalion remained in position this date to give direct support to CCB Task Force 1. The battalion fired 10 missions this date: 1 on machine guns, 3 on tanks and vehicles, 5 on tanks, 1 on anti-tank guns. Total rounds expended-1156.
“So that was what we were covering with fire the last couple of days. That didn’t look so tough, did it? Always wondered what the Siegfried Line looked like. Those miles of dragon teeth look like a waste of money to me. But the pill boxes looked pretty rough. I f they’d only had some big guns in there, they could have really ripped us. Hitler figured wrong again.” “Now if the tankers can only get some tanks, we can put the old artillery out in front of ’em all the way across the Rhine to Berlin. The dough’s are really putting out too. You know you can’t beat the 36th Infantry in the whole U. S. Army. They’ve been in there every minute and they’re plenty rough on the Krauts. But they’re getting pretty thin too.”
 14 September
1944- The 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion continued to outpost the town of Rottgen (first town in Germany to be captured by the Allied Armies) until 153o hours when it moved forward and conducted reconnaissance sweeps in the vicinity of Raeren encountering very little opposition. Task Force 1 of CCB which had been held up by a blown bridge, completed construction of the bridge in the early morning hours and CCB was able to attack at o8oo hours. No organized resistance was encountered but roadblocks and craters hindered the advance. At 1100 hours Task Force 1 halted on order and coiled south of Breinigerheide and a force was sent to aid CCA which had been encountering heavy mortar and machine gun fire at obstacle south of Sehmidtof. Task Force t continued to attack at 1515 and moved into positions in the vicinity northeast of Breinig.
Op Memo 10, Headquarters Third Armored Division, 141900 September 1944, was received this date ordering the maximum use of engineers and infantry to be made in order that the attack might be continued 15 – 0800 hours September 1944
The battalion attacked with CCB Task Force 1 at 0800 hours and proceeded against light opposition and closed in final position for the day southwest of Breinig.
 15 September 1944
All units of the Third Armored Division continued to attack with objective Eschw•eiler. CCA continued breaching operations on the main defenses of the Siegfried Line and at 1415 hours a breakthrough was accomplished with an infantry task force. CCB advanced against heavy opposition including prepared defenses. At t l100 hours Task Force 1 completed the construction of a blown bridge at 9494oo and succeeded in breaching the line at 1400 hours. During the day both CCA and CCB after encountering stubborn opposition definitely breached the main defenses of the Siegfried Line and established deep bridgeheads of infantry and tank units.
The Battalion displaced with CCB Task Force 1 starting at 1000 hours to positions southwest of Breinigerberg closing in positions at 1115 hours. Battery A had one man wounded by sniper fire from a house at the edge of Breinig when the column was moving to position. One M-7 was swung around and one round of HE was fired at a range of about 50 yards. 2 men ran out of the house and surrendered. In the fighting at the front, the FO 1 tank was knocked out by a direct hit in the gas tank. The tank burned rapidly. Only one man, the driver T/5 Summers, was in the tank at the time and he managed to escape with only burns on the face. Sergeant Pierce was lightly wounded by shrapnel at this same time. Both men remained on duty.
 16 September 1944
The battalion remained in position this date to support the attack of CCB Task Force 1. This force received heavy mortar and artillery fire all day and advanced only a short distance. Fighting for the city of Mausbach was very bloody as the enemy put forth every ounce of effort to hold the town. Battery A received heavy counter-battery fire and was forced to move to alternate positions. As the battery withdrew, the fire was shifted to follow it. Headquarters Battery and Battery B received light counter-battery fire, but remained in position.
The battalion fired 19 missions this date: 4 harassing missions, 5 on vehicles, 4 on infantry, 2 on tanks, 1 on anti-tank guns,1 bombardment, and ,2 registrations.
 Prisoners: None.
 Casualties:
Private First Class Lester P. Long, Battery B, SWA, and evacuated. Sergeant William H. Huizel, Battery A, Private James M. Weiss, Battery A, Private First Class Perry W. Coonan, Battery A, LWA and evacuated. Private First Class Zelmer R. Ball, Battery B, Technician Fourth Grade Charles A. Coppens, Battery A, and Private Sam Camarata, Battery C, LWA, but remained on duty.
 Replacement: None.
 Weather: Clear. Visibility Good.
 17 September 1944
CCA moved to the area of CCB and was ordered to attack towards the Division objective, Eschweiler during the morning. CCA was unable to move forward on the attack due to enemy observation on the route of advance. CCB continued to attack at o8eo hours. Task Force 1 encountered strong enemy tank, anti-tank and artillery fire during the morning and succeeded in advancing slowly. At 1300 hours Task Force 1 received counter-attacks on both flanks and was compelled to withdraw 1000 yards. Task Force 1 dug in and prepared to hold these positions.
 Op Memo 11
Headquarters Third Armored Division, 172230 September 1944, ordered Task Force Hogan to attack to secure the high ground at Duffenter; CCB to hold in present position until this mission is accomplished, then attacking northwest towards Stolberg, cleaning up the town and finally securing the area in the vicinity of Steinfurth.
The battalion remained in position to give CCB Task Force 1 attack direct support. Fighting was very fierce. First Lieutenant Harvey D. Patterson, Jr., and Corporal Robert J. Heinaucr, Battery A, were reported missing in action at 0900 hours.
 18 September 1944
CCB was given the mission of securing the high ground in the vicinity of Duffenter. Against heavy opposition the town of Duffenter was secured. CCA consolidated positions throughout the day and conducted active patrolling. Efforts to move vehicles brought heavy anti-tank and artillery fire. The battalion remained in position near Breinigerberg and supported CCB Task Force 1 attack. The battalion fired 11 missions this date: 1 on machine guns, 2 on infantry, 1 barrage, 1 on town, 4 preparations, 1 on tanks, 1 counterattack. Total rounds expended this date-1230.
 19 September 1944
CCA was ordered to resume cleaning up operations in the west sector of the Stolberg area but since his infantry elements were unable to disengage the enemy, this operation was impossible. CCB was ordered to continue cleaning up operations in the east sector of Stolberg with an objective Steinfurth. Due to strong enemy action and difficult terrain, CCB was unable to carry out this mission. At 1500 hours an order was issued to CCB to hold on the line Weiffenberg-Duffenter.
 22 September 1944
The Third Armored Division continued to hold defensive positions and to mop up enemy resistance in the division sector. CCB continued to hold and improve defensive positions in the CCB sector. CCB was relieved by the 1st Infantry Division and withdrew to assembly areas northeast of Breinig. CCB Task Force 1 received moderate mortar fire all day. The battalion remained in position southwest of Breinig to give direct support to Task Force t of CCB. The battalion fired 19 missions this date: 11 on infantry, 2 on a house, 1 on an assembly area, 4 on flak batteries, and t on vehicles. Total rounds expended this date-6z6. Battalion trains remained in position northeast of Breinig this date.
An Interim
Minor operations continued, areas were cleaned up and patrolled, lines were straightened. On the north AACHEN fell. Bad weather set in and the rolling surge that had carried us through France and Belgium, sweeping all before, settled down to local operations, jobs, limited objective pushes and thrusts. Battle weary troops were rested and reinforced. The buildup continued and our forces oozed toward the Roer with the ferocity of static warfare.
 23 September 1944
CCA continued a period of rest, maintenance and rehabilitation and remained in assembly area. CCB continued to hold the division defensive sector and conducted active patrols to maintain contact with the 1st Infantry Division on the left flank and the 9th Infantry Division on the right flank. There was no particular enemy activity on the CCB front.
 24 September 1944
The Third Armored Division continued to maintain defensive positions. CCB Task Force 1 was ordered to secure Hill 287 (948433) in the afternoon. After encountering still and determined resistance, Task Force r reached the objective, but due to heavy mortar and artillery fire, withdrew to old defensive positions. Task Force 1 was relieved from the line at 2300 hours by elements of Division Reserve. Task Force 1 began moving to assembly positions on the alert status prepared to reinforce the Division front and the 47th Infantry Regiment if necessary. Other elements of CCB encountered intermittent artillery fire throughout the day. CCA remained in assembly positions.
The battalion remained in position southwest of Breinig to give direct support to CCB Task Force 1. Task Force 1 was relieved at 2000 hours for rest and maintenance. The battalion went into general support of Division Artillery, Third Armored Division and started a period of rest and maintenance. Defensive fire were planned for the night and coordinated through Division Artillery.
AWARDS
Brigadier General Maurice Rose, Commanding General, Third Armored Division, visited the area this date, presented awards for heroism in action to the officers and enlisted men of this battalion, and gave a short talk to a group which had assembled.
The following awards were presented: Silver Star-Lieutenant Colonel George G. Garton, First Lieutenant Johnny W. Forston, Private First Class Mike V. Grighlnos, Battery C, and Private Johnnie C. Hislop, Battery B. Oak Leaf Cluster to Bronze Star: Technician Fifth Grade Dillon C. Summers, Headquarters Battery. Bronze Star: Lieutenant Colonel George G. Garton, Major Walter D. McCahan, Captain Robert E. Ham, First Lieutenant Johnny W. Forston, Second Lieutenant William J. R. Overath, Staff Sergeant Theodore Marik, Headquarters Battery, Sergeant Reinhold A. Wetzel, Battery A, Sergeant Theodore Sarna, Battery B, Technician Fourth Grade Elisha F. Wornell, Battery A, Technician Fifth Grade John M. Ligner, Battery A, 486th AAA Battalion, ‘Technician Fifth Grade Francis E. Moses, Battery B, Technician Fifth Grade Robert V. Breymeyer, Battery A, Technician Fifth Grade Roy T. Brown, Battery A, Private First Class Nicholas Brink, Headquarters Battery, Private First Class William J. Mazurek, Headquarters Battery, Private First Class Albert M. Mayer, Battery A, Private Charles R. Corbin, Jr., Battery A, Private John W. Holley, Battery B. Air Medal: Second Lieutenant Thomas J. Kelly and Staff Sergeant Lester W. Hardgrove, Headquarters Battery.
 26 September 1944
The Third Armored Division continued to maintain its defensive positions. Division Reserve reported intermittent shelling from mortars and artillery. CCA and CCB remained in assembly areas conducting rest, maintenance and rehabilitation.
The battalion remained in position southwest of Breinig in general support of Division Artillery, Third Armored Division. Lieutenant Colonel Garton returned and assumed active command of the battalion. The battalion is now the senior battalion in the artillery groupment with the 54th Armored Field Artillery Battalion. The battalion continued its period of rest and maintenance. Defensive fires were planned for the night and coordinated through Division Artillery. Battalion trains remained in position northeast of Breinig.
The battalion fired 4 missions this date: 1 on a railroad and 3 registrations. Total rounds expended this date-38. A combination of impact and delayed action shells were fired on the railroad spur with the results-a section of the track was torn up and several houses near the railroad were demolished.
The air OP reported a factory with 12 smoke stacks which began laying a smoke screen whenever forward and air observers started adjusting artillery fire. The mission on the railroad was a test to see the reactions from the factory. This factory was out of our range (railroad mission fired at io8oo yards) so the matter was reported to higher headquarters so that the heavier guns could adjust on the factory.
Private Eli D. Bliss, 32031277, was killed when a .30 cal MG was accidentally discharged at loco hours in the Headquarters Battery position southwest of Breinig. Corporal James A. Liggett was seriously wounded by the same fire and evacuated.
A burial list was received this date announcing the burial of Corporal Joseph J. Magee, Headquarters Battery, who was previously reported as missing in action near La Capelle, France, on 01 September 1944.
 27 September 1944
The Third Armored Division continued to hold its defensive positions during the day. Division Reserve continued to hold the right sector of the Division zone and reported sporadic artillery and mortar fire throughout the day. CCB continued maintenance and rehabilitation in the assembly area.
By Operations Memorandum 14, Headquarters Third Armored Division, 27 September 1944, the defensive line in existence will be maintained, CCB will relieve the Division Reserve holding the right sector and will assume the responsibility for that sector by 282400 September. One company of tanks will be held in readiness to employ with the 9th Infantry Division if necessary. CCA will hold the left sector of the Division zone and will hold one company of tanks in readiness to employ with the 1st Infantry Division.
The battalion remained in position southwest of Breinig in general support of Division Artillery Third Armored Division. The battalion continued its period of rest and maintenance. Defensive fires were planned for the night and coordinated through Division Artillery.
 28 September 1944
The Third Armored Division continued to hold its defensive sector this date. CCB relieved the portion of Division Reserve on the right sector. Tanks of Task Force 1 had completed relief of forward elements by 1745 hours. Relief of infantry was started at 2130 and was reported completed by 24oo hours. CCB held one company of tanks in readiness to support the 9th Infantry Division. Movement during relief in the right sector (CCB) caused an increase of enemy mortar and artillery fire. CCA held one company of tanks in readiness to support the 1st Infantry Division. Road Blocks at Stolberg and Mausbach were maintained.
The battalion remained in position southwest of Breinig. Task Force 1 assumed the responsibility for the defense of the right sector of the Division Zone in the area around Stolberg. FO’s 1 and 2 accompanied Task Force 1 (Lt. Talmadge and Lt. Meek). Lt. Peters went forward as liaison officer. This battalion went into direct support of Task Force 1. As the enemy activity was rather light on the Task Force 1 front, the battalion as a whole continued its period of rest and maintenance. Defensive fires were planned for the night and coordinated through Division Artillery.
 29 September 1944
The Third Armored Division continued in position with combat commands holding their respective sectors. Both CCA and CCB conducted patrol activity finding no change in the enemy situation. Division Reserve continued in assembly position throughout the day conducting maintenance. Enemy activity was limited to intermittent artillery and mortar fire in the forward areas.
First Lieutenant Joe M. Gafford and Second Lieutenant John Dervinskas reported for duty this date and were assigned to Batteries A and C. t x enlisted men replacements reported for duty this date.
 2 October 1944
The 3rd Armored Division continued to defend its sector of the front conducting patrol activity. CCB rotated tank forces on the front lines in the afternoon. Enemy activity consisted of intermittent artillery and mortar fire.
The battalion remained in position northwest of Zweifall in direct support of CCB. Lt. Meek and Capt. Nelms were relieved by observers from the 54th Armd FA Bn. Lt. Yell remained at the front as FO. The battalion this date began reinforcing the fires of the 45th Armd FA Bn. 2nd Lt. James A. Hertz was assigned to and joined organization this date. Pvt. Robert D. Snow, Sv Btry, rejoined the organization.
 3 October 1945
The 3rd Armored Division continued to maintain defensive positions conducting only patrol activities. Enemy activity consisted of intermittent artillery and mortar fire.
2nd Lt. Roy K. Eldridge assigned to and joined organization this date.
 5 October 1944
The 3rd Armored Division continued to defend its sector of the front, conducting only patrol activities. There was no change in the disposition of the troops of CCB. Enemy activity consisted of intermittent mortar artillery fire. Captain Jack E. Shangold was attached to the Med Det for duty from Co B, 45th Armd Med Bn.
 7 October 1944
The 3rd Armored Division continued to defend its sector of the front conducting only patrol activity. Enemy activity consisted of intermittent artillery and mortar fire and patrolling during the evening.
The battalion remained in position northwest of Zweifall to give direct support to CCB. Task Force t relieved Task Force 2 in the front lines at 1403 hours. 2nd Lt. Talmadge went forward with Task Force 1 and Capt. Carney reported to TF Hq as Ln O. 1st Lt. Gafford established an OP in the 9th Inf. Div. sector at Krewinkle.
 9 October 1944
The 3rd Armored Division continued to maintain defensive positions conducting only routine patrols. Enemy activity consisted of intermittent artillery and mortar fire and limited patrols.
Theodore Marik (formerly S/Sgt of Hq Btry) was commissioned 2nd Lt. this date. He was assigned the duty of air observer.
 11 October 1944
The 3rd Armored Division continued to maintain defensive positions conducting only routine patrols. Enemy activity consisted of intermittent artillery and mortar fire and limited patrols
The battalion remained in position northwest of Zweifall to direct support of CCB.
All the guns of this battalion had fired between 3500 and 4000 rounds by this date. By comparative calibration it was determined that certain guns were shooting short and some over. The guns were grouped by comparative range those shooting long in Btry A, those in the middle range in Btry B, those shooting short in Btry C. This change was accomplished by leaving the M-7’s in the same battery, but by interchanging the tubes, breed rings and breech blocks.
The battalion fired 27 missions this date: 5 harassing missions, 3 on enemy OPs, 1 on infantry in house, 1 on ack-ack battery, 1 on assembly area, 3 on infantry, 1 on personnel, 5 on vehicles, 3 on infantry and mortars, and 4 registrations. Total rounds expended this date-524. One vehicle was definitely destroyed by a direct hit. Possible ammo dump was hit in firing on house. Mortar positions were reported neutralized.
Today the New Summary issued by S-2 was enlarged to a battalion newspaper under the direction of Capt. Johnny W. Forston. Names being submitted by the men will be judged and the name selected announced 16 October-the man submitting the best name to receive a prize of 25 marks.
 13 October 1944
The 3rd Armored Division continued in defensive positions conducting only patrol activities. Tank companies were held in readiness to employ with the 1st and 9th Inf. Div. Enemy activity consisted of intermittent artillery and mortar fire. At 1900 hours the Division area was bombed and strafed by an undetermined number of planes. Planes dropped flares about 22oo hours but no bombs were dropped.
Operations Memo 1, Hq Div Arty, 3rd Arm Div, 13 October 1944, ordered a plan of rotating the artillery battalions in the division in order to conserve ammunition and in order to effect the greatest rest period for the men. Each battalion was to move forward for a two day period and carry out all tire missions starting 141200 October 1944. The non-duty battalions were to register each day conditions permitting-they would be called on for fire only, in case of emergency. Btry A fired heavy harassing and interdiction fires for Div Arty in the early morning hours from positions l000 yards southeast of Busbach. At 1000 hours one battery from the 45th Armd FA Bn relieved Btry A and Btry A returned to the battalion positions northwest of Zweifall.
 14 October 1944
The 3rd Armored Division continued to maintain defensive positions conducting only patrol activity. Enemy activity consisted of intermittent artillery and mortar fire. Enemy air activity was reported over the division area from 2000 hours; however, only one casualty was reported by CCB. The battalion remained in position northwest of Zweifall. The 54th Armd FA Bn took over the fires for the division artillery at i2oo hours and the battalion went on a no fire status for 4 days. The battalion began a period of rest and maintenance. At 13oo hours 2nd Lt. James A. Hertz replaced 1st Lt. Joe M. Gafford at the OP in the 9th Inf. Div. sector at Krewinkle.
Lester W. Hardgrove (formerly S/Sgt of Hq Btry) was commissioned 2nd Lt. this date and assumed duties as Liaison Pilot.
 15 October 1944
The 3rd Armored Division continued to maintain defensive positions and rotated troops on the front lines. Normal patrol activities were carried out. Enemy activity consisted of intermittent artillery and mortar fire.
Operations Memorandum No. 15, Hq 3rd Armd Div, 15 October 1944, ordered the division to continue to hold defensive positions on the line Diepenlinchen-Mausbach and to maintain contact with the 1st Inf. Div. on the left and the 9th Inf. Div. on the right.
The battalion remained in position northwest of Zweifall on a no fire status conducting rest and maintenance. Because of poor visibility in the afternoon, the battalion was unable to register. Inside the hunting lodge, the Battalion C. P. personnel sprawled, reading paper backed novels from the S. S. O. The old man was asleep in his chair in his office. Four staff officers played bridge, listlessly. Outside it still rained-not hard-just the same as it had been drizzling for the last month. Down by the church, the movie flicked on and off with the usual “B” picture Hollywood could spare. Gun crews yawned and got up to put some coffee on the Coleman stove Over in Service Battery, trucks were being winched out of 2-foot-deep streams of mud. Waiting-just waiting and raining.
 16 October 1944
The 3rd Armored Division continued to maintain defensive positions conducting routine patrols. Enemy activity consisted of mortar fire on the forward positions and artillery fire throughout the Division area. During the day the artillery increased in volume and caliber.
Heavy artillery fire fell about 150 yards from the battalion positions from o6oo to 0615 hours. None of the shells fell in the battalion positions and no casualties were suffered from this shellfire. John H. Tullis (formerly WOJC-this battalion) was commissioned 2nd Lt. this date and assumed the duties as Personnel Officer.
Name of newspaper is to be Over’s ‘n Shorts.
 19, October 1944
The 3rd Armored Division continued to maintain defensive positions conducting only routine patrol activity. Enemy activity consisted of intermittent mortar and artillery fire.
The battalion firing elements remained in position south of Busbach to handle all firing missions for Div Arty. The rest of the battalion remained in position northwest of Zweifall. Service Battery displaced from bivouac 1/2 miles west of Breinig and closed in position northwest of Zweifall with the rest of the battalion at 1000 hours. Battalion personnel section still occupies a house on the western edge of Breinig (922382). 2nd Lt. Talmadge relieved 1st Lt. Smith at the center OP and 1st Lt. Peters relieved Capt. Hawley as Ln O at Task Force Headquarters.
The battalion fired 29 missions this date: 1 on infantry, 7 on assembly areas, 1 on mortars, 7 harassing missions, 2 registrations, 1 on enemy OP, 2 on enemy CP’s, 3 on guns, 2 on machine guns, 1 on a convoy, 1 on a factory, and. 1 on a house. Total rounds fired this date- 1144.
 25 October 1944
The 3rd Armored Division continued to maintain defensive positions throughout the day. CCB conducted patrol activities and rotated front line troops this date. Effective 25 1200 elements of the 9th Inf. Div. were attached to the 3rd Armd Div (47th Inf Regt; 84th FA Bn; Co B, 9th Med Bn; 1 plat Co B, 15 Engr Bn; Co C 899 TD Bn, Co A, 746 Tank Bn; Btry D, 376th AAA Bn and elements of the 294th Engr C Bn). Enemy activity consisted of intermittent artillery and mortar fire. In the evening considerable vehicular movement toward the Div front was noted.
Per Operations Memo 16, Hq 3rd Armd Div 25 October 1944, CCB was ordered to hold the right sector of the Div Zone maintaining contact with the 1st lnf. Div.
 29 October 1944
The 3rd Armored Division continued to maintain defensive positions conducting routine patrols. Enemy activity consisted of intermittent artillery and mortar fire. About 19oo hours about 15o rounds fell in the vicinity of the airport. Both of the liaison planes were damaged beyond repair. There were no casualties in battalion personnel as the result of this shelling. Spearhead, eh? Yeah, that’s what the brass picked out of the names we submitted. Come to think of it, I don’t know any division that could lay better claim to the name. VIIth Corps and First U. S. Army have got more first than anybody. ‘Course Patton got credit for everything we did. I could think o f more appropriate words for my feelings, sir, but 1 know you understand. Well, we know what we did and the name “Spearhead” suits us fine. Bet, Patton will squirm because he didn’t think of it first! 16 November 1944- Beginning at 1 145 hours huge bomber (heavies) formations bombed the enemy front lines directly in front of the 3rd Armd Div sector. At 1245 hours CCB advanced with the objectives the towns of Hasternath, Werth, and Kottenich. TF 1 secured its objective by 14oo hours. The left column of TF 2 advanced rapidly, but the right column was delayed by minefields and was forced to by-pass these to the east. CCB was prepared to continue the attack on 17 November 1944. The towns of Werth and Kottenich were secured and mopped up by CCB TF 1 this date.
The battalion remained in position northwest of Zweifall with the firing batteries in forward position … A and C east of Breinigerberg, B east of Breinig. This battalion was to give direct support to CCB TF 1; this battalion did not fire in the morning. The 58th Armd FA Bn remained in position near Busbach to give direct support to CCB TF 2. Coincident with the bombing by the heavy bombers, the preparation fires for the attack began. These preparations had been so planed as to include all the known flak batteries in the area as well as troop concentrations and strong points. Captain Ham had put in surveys for the 2nd Bn, 33rd AR and Div Reserve positions. The fires of these organizations were controlled by Div Arty. These organizations fired in the general artillery preparations until H-3o using indirect firing methods. The battalion fired 53 missions this date: 29 preparations (fired between 1145 and 1255 hours), 3 on anti-tank guns, 1 on tanks, 7 on guns, 1 on an enemy battery, 1 on mortars, 3 on strong points, 5 on enemy activity, 1 harassing mission, 1 on an assembly area, and 1 smoke concentration. Total rounds expended this date-1915. The battalion fired medium harassing fire during the night.
As the heavies roared over to the front, the bombers visible for only short seconds thru breaks in the clouds, almost the first bombs to fall fell in the battalion positions. The bombs were believed to have come from a bomber at the end of one formation and were believed to have been the result of faulty bomb release mechanism. Four bombs fell in a straight line, two burst in the trees about 20 feet from a SPAT gun section killing one man, wounding two others, one of whom was evacuated. These bombs fell within l00 yards of the battalion CP.
After the heavies had completed their mission, the P-38’s were dive bombing enemy positions. Thru error they also bombed the area between Btry A and Btry C, dropping 6 bombs, 3 of which failed to explode. There were no casualties resulting from the bombing.
In the attack of CCB, 2nd Lt. Talmadge was FO with CO D, 33rd AR. His medium FO tank was knocked out by mines. The track and boggles were blown off and the underside of the tank cracked by the blast. There were no casualties in the section.
Pvt. Patrick Fitzgerald, Hq Btry, killed in action by friendly bomb, Pfc. Seth Thomason, Hq Btry, was lightly wounded by friendly bomb and evacuated. Pvt. Allyn E. Morgan, Hq Btry, lightly wounded by friendly bomb but remained on duty. Riding around in a peep that morning through Busbach, Breinig, Kornelimunster, Mausbach, Zweifall, hardly a field without an artillery battery in it long toms, 4.5’s, 8 inch bows, ifs bows, 4.5 rocket tubes, hundreds o f guns, the greatest mass o f guns yet. Down between Breinigerheide and Stolberg, all the tanks of CCR were laid and ready to fire. A slight haze intensified the feeling of tension-something about to crack loose, like a dam breaking and spilling over.
At a quarter to twelve, the bombers came over, droning, droning and the tension, snapped as the bombs spilled out and lit on Hastenrath and Scherpenseel and all hell broke loose from Kornelimunster to the front. Square miles o f artillery positions belched. At the OP at Krewinkle, an hour later, one could see the tanks moving out through the mine fields through the dust and smoke. A few stopped, the tracks blown by mines, some infantry half tracks bogged dozen in the swamp. An hour later, Werth was taken. But the Krauts weren’t going to give here. In December, we found out why.
 17 November 1944
CCB attacked at o73o hours to secure the objectives of Hastenrath and Scherpenseel. The left force entered Hastenrath at 1010 and began mopping up the town. The right force entered Scherpenseel at 1315 and began mopping up the town. This force was counterattacked by infantry at 2135 hours but the attack was repulsed without loss of ground.
The battalion remained in position northwest of Zweifall with firing batteries in position – A and C east of Breinigerberg, and B east of Breinig. The battalion was in direct support of CCB TF 1. The 58th Armd FA Bn remained in position near Busbach to give direct support to the continued CCB TF 2 attack.
The battalion fired light harassing fire in the early morning hours. During the afternoon, night of the 17th and early morning hours of the 18th, the battalion fired heavy harassing fire-expending 143o rounds. In all the battalion fired 37 missions this date- 2 on enemy activity, 1 on infantry, and mortars, 3 on enemy batteries, 2 smoke concentrations, 12 on guns, 5 harassing missions and 2 registrations. Total rounds expended this date: 2972. The fire on enemy gun positions was reported very effective. The positions were neutralized.
In the afternoon, 2nd Lt. Yell (FO) received orders from the Ln O of the 58th Armd FA Bn to join him in Scherpenseel. Three medium tanks from 1 Co, 33rd AR in charge of Sgt. Stevens led the way – Lt. Yell followed with his light tank. At the edge of Scherpenseel the lead tank was knocked out by fire from an AT gun. The crew dismounted and it was decided that a defensive position should be taken up there for the night. The houses were cleaned out netting two prisoners. Lt. Yell took complete Charge. Radio communication with FDC of this battalion confirmed the position of the group. Lt. Yell planed defensive fires for the night but his radio went dead and the fires were never fired. Lt. Yell himself in surveying the situation took two prisoners. One of these was carrying overlays of our own friendly positions. During the night any movement or sound from the beleaguered group brought mortar and small arms fire down on them. There was one casualty from mortar fire. At 0530 18 November another tank was knocked out by bazooka fire causing 4 casualties – 1 killed, 3 wounded. A little later Sgt. Eck and Tec 5 Kriniak, both of Hq Btry, volunteered to return thru the enemy lines to bring aid to the group. They returned to Werth, capturing one prisoner on the way, and led a company of infantry back to the besieged group. 2nd Lt. Yell left Co B, 33rd AR and reported to Co 1, 33rd AR as FO. 2nd Lt. Dervinskas left OP 3 and reported to CoB, 33rdArmdRegt as FO replacing Lt. Yell. The battalion received a medium tank to replace the FO tank knocked out by the mines.
 18 November 1944
CCB continued to defend the objectives Hastenrath, Scherpenseel, and Werth. Mopping up operations was conducted in Hastenrath. At 1745 the 1st Bn, 33rd AR was counter-attacked by infantry. Heavy artillery concentration was placed on the attacking force and by 1900 hours this attack had completely died out. Fighter bombers of the IX TAC supported the 3rd Armd Div during the day attacking 3 enemy artillery positions and knocking out one tank. Enemy activity consisted of constant pressure on CCB including heavy artillery and mortar fire.
The battalion remained in position northwest of Zweifall with firing batteries in position – A and C east of Breinigerbcrg, B cast of Breinig. The battalion was in direct support of CCB TF 1. The battalion fired 27 missions this date: 4 on guns, 3 harassing missions, 5 on infantry, 1 on vehicles, 3 on tanks, 5 on enemy activity, 3 on counter attacks, 1 preparation, 1 smoke concentration, and 1 registration. The battalion set a new record for total rounds fired in one day – 3722 rounds – more than 3oo better than the previous record set back in Normandy. The fire from this battalion aided in breaking up three separate counter-attacks-803 rounds was fired on one counter-attack. The effect was excellent-the attack was broken up. The battalion fired heavy harassing fire during the night
This date near Hastenrath, the medium FO tank commanded by 2nd Lt. Meek was knocked out by bazooka fire and burned. Lt. Meek although lightly wounded succeeded in dragging Sgt. McLaughlin, FO Sgt. also wounded, to safety. He was unable to help the others because of the exploding ammunition within the tank. Lt. Meek was uncertain as to the fate of the other crew members. An inspection of the tank a few days later revealed the burned remains of one soldier – although no dog tags could be found, the flame and exploding ammunition had removed all possible hopes of identity. The three remaining crew members were dropped as missing in action.
At 2230 hours enemy planes were over batteries A and C and antipersonnel bombs fell in Btry C position lightly wounding 1st Lt. Smith, Tec 5 Calnan, and Pvt. Funkenbusch.
2nd Lt. Yell returned to the CP. 1st Lt. Gafford left OP 2 and reported to Co t, 33rd AR as FO replacing Lt. Yell. 2nd Lt. Talmadge reported back to Co D, 33rd AR as FO with a new tank.
2nd Lt. Harley P. Meek, Sgt. Edward J. -McLaughlin, Hq Btry, and Cpl. Raymond L. Leviner, Btry C, LWA and evacuated. Tec 5 Paul O. Jackson, Hq Btry, evacuated sick. Pvt. Floyd A. Faucett, Pfc. Raymond J. Michaud, Pvt. Harry N. Wood, all of Hq Btry, missing in action. 1st Lt. William H. Smith, Tee 5 Joseph M. Calnan, Btry C, and Pvt Archie Funkenbusch, Hq Btry, LWA by anti-personnel bombs – all three were evacuated the morning of 19 Nov. 44.
 19 November 1944
CCB continued to defend the objectives at Werth, Scherpenseel, and Kottenich. Mopping up operations was continued in Hastenrath. CCA moved from defensive positions at Stolberg to assembly positions at Busbach. The 83rd RCN BN assumed responsibility for the defense of Stolberg. Heavy opposition was encountered in Hastenrath from artillery, mortar, small arms and bazooka fire.
The battalion remained in position northwest of Zweifall with firing batteries in forward position – A and C east of Breinigerberg, B east of Breinig. The battalion was in support of CCB TF 1. The battalion fired 21 missions this date: 5 on counter-attacks, 1 on an OP, 1 harassing mission, 1 on mortars, 2 on infantry, 4 on guns, 5 preparations, and 2 registrations. Total rounds expended this date – 2394. The battalion this date fired heavy preparation for the attack of the 104th Infantry Division. During the early morning hours the battalion fired heavy harassing fire.
The 58th Armd FA Bn remained in position near Busbach and fired direct support and defensive missions for CCB. The battalion also fired heavy preparation for the attack of the 104th Inf. Div. 20 November 1944- CCB completed mopping up operations in Hastenrath at 1139 hours. CCB continued to hold Werth and Kottenich. CCA remained in assembly positions at Busbach.
The battalion remained in position northwest of Zweifall with firing batteries in position – A and C cast of Breinigerberg, B east of Breinig. This date the battalion fired 3 missions; 1 on vehicles, 1 on Infantry and machine guns, and 1 registration. Total rounds expended this date-47.
CCB was this date entirely pinched out by the attacks of the 104th Inf. Div. and 1st Inf. Div. The battalion started a period of rest and maintenance.
The 58th Armd FA Bn remained in position near Busbach and this date started a period of rest and maintenance.
 21 November 1944
CCB continued to occupy Werth, Hastenrath, Scherpenseel, and Kottenich. CCA remained in assembly positions in the vicinity of Busbach. Enemy activity consisted of moderate artillery fire on the forward division areas.
The battalion remained in position northwest of Zweifall with firing batteries in position – A and C east of Breinigerberg, B east of Breinig. The battalion did not fire this date. The battalion was conducting a period of rest and maintenance.
 24 November 1944
CCB continued to occupy Werth, Hastenrath, Scherpenseel, and Kottenich. CCA attacked at 1445 hours northeast to secure the high ground between Langerwehe and Frenz. CCA advanced against strong enemy opposition and secured and mopped up Hucheln and prepared to resume the attack on 25 Nov. Enemy opposition against CCA consisted of minefields, anti-tank, artillery and small arms fire.
The battalion remained in position northwest of Zweifall with firing batteries in position – A and C east of Brcinigersberg, B east of Breinig. The battalion was conducting a period of rest and maintenance. The battalion was out of range of enemy positions.
 25 November 1944
CCB continued to occupy Werth, Hastenrath, Scherpenseel, and Kottcnich. CCA attacked at 0830 hours with the 67th Armd FA Bn in direct support to secure the high ground between Langervehe and Frenz. Progress was slow due to extremely muddy terrain and stubborn enemy resistance. CCA was in position between Imobercs and Wcinmettlcr for the night prepared to continue the attack on the 26 Nov. 44.
 26 November 1944
CCB continued to occupy the towns of Hastenrath, Scherpenseel, Kottcnict, and Werth. CCA resumed the attack to seize the high ground between Frenz and Langerwehe. Progress was slow due to heavy artillery, mortar and small arms fire. The tanks stopped by mud and anti-tank fire were withdrawn and used for direct fire to support the attack of the infantry. At 1630 hours the objective was readied.
The battalion remained in position northwest of Zweifall with firing batteries in position -A and C east of Brcinigerberg, B cast of Breinig. The battalion was out of range this date. One gun from Btry B displaced to a position near Bergrath and registered in case the battalion should be called upon to support the CCA attack. Total rounds expended this date – 7. FO crews were alerted for a possible movement to support the CCA attack. The battalion as a whole continued its period of rest and maintenance.
 1 December 1944
The 3rd Armored Division remained in assembly positions this date. CCB was in position in the Hastenrath-Kottenidi-Werth area. CCA was in assembly positions in the vicinity of Busbach. CC “R” moved to assembly positions in the Hamict-Langerwehc area prepared to attack east from Langerwehe to seize and secure Schliek and Geidt per FO 17, Headquarters 3rd Armore Division.
At 1500 hours the battalion (stripped batteries) displaced from positions (Headquarters northwest of Zweifall, A and C cast of Breinigcrberg, B east of Breinig) and closed in forward positions at 1700 hours northeast of Hainich. The battalion registered in the late afternoon using the air OP. The battalion was to give direct support to Task Force Kane in the CC “R” attack. Captain Nelms reported to Task Force Kane as Liaison Officer, Second Lieutenant Talmadge, Second Lieutenant Yell, and Second Lieutenant Eldridge reported as forward observers, and First Lieutenant Toneff reported to Task Force Kane as an infantry observer.
 7 December 1944
This date the battalion moved to comfortable quarters in Stolberg-Muhle for rest, rehabilitation and maintenance.
 8 December 1944
The battalion remained in position at Stolberg-Muhle conducting rest and maintenance. The battalion was out of range and did not fire this date.
Operations memorandum No. 17, Headquarters 3rd Armored Division, 8 December and FO 6, Headquarters CC “R”, 3rd Armored Division, 8 December 1944, ordered the three task forces of CC “R” to attack 10 December from the eastern portion of Langerwehe to capture Gelch, Obergeich, and Echtz. This battalion was to give direct support to the attack of CC “R”.
Under the rotation plan one officer and four enlisted men from this battalion left the organization this date for a 30 day furlough in the states. All personnel are carried as on temporary duty with the reception center nearest their home. Basis on which the men were chosen: first priority, two wounds; second priority, two awards. The men were: First Lieutenant William M. Toneff (2 wounds), Camp Atterbury, Indiana. Sergeant Ray A. Pierce (2 awards), Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Corporal Dillon C. Summers (2 awards, 1 wound), Ft. McPherson, Georgia. Technician Fifth Grade Johnnie C. Hislop (2 awards), Camp Shelby, Mississippi. Private First Class John W. Holley (2 awards), Jefferson Barracks, Missouri.
 10 December 1944
CC “R” of the 3rd Armored Division attacked at 0730 hours to seize Echtz. The advance was hampered by extremely muddy terrain. At Obergeidi Task Force Hogan advance was halted by a minefield and heavy, anti-tank and small arms fire. Infantry entered the town ahead of the tanks and mopping up operations was completed by 1700 hours. The advance on Geich was continued but at the edge of town heavy artillery, anti-tank and small arms fire was encountered so that the forces withdrew for the night to a position between Obergeidi and Geich. At 14oo hours Task Force Kane was ordered to attack across country to seize Echtz. The advance was successful and Task Force Kane entered the town at 1700 hours. Mopping up operations was completed by 2100 hours.
The battalion was in position north of Hamich to give direct support to CC “R”. The battalion fired 47 missions this date: 15 preparations, 19 neutralization missions, 2 on enemy guns, 1 on an enemy OP, 3 TOT’S, 1 harassing mission, and 6 registrations. Total rounds expended this date-3208. This date Second Lieutenant Talmadge, FO 2, walked time fire in front of the attacking tanks with very disastrous effect upon the enemy. Large numbers of the enemy infantry were killed and large numbers of the enemy surrendered, their surrender directly resulting from the disastrous time fire. Heavy preparation fire was fired from 0725 to 0755 hours. Heavy neutralizing fire was fired throughout the remainder of the day. The battalion fired light harassing fire during the night.
 11 December 1944
At 0800 hours Task Force Kane of CC “R” attacked from Echtz with the mission of seizing Hoven. On crossing the LD this force
was immediately brought under fire from anti-tank guns. At 0800 hours Task Force Hogan attacked and seized the town of Geich and at 1000 hours after completing mopping up operations, established road blocks and proceeded to the aid of Task Force Kane. The joint attack was resumed but the force was brought under fire of anti-tank guns and tanks. Infantry from this force proceeded about 700 yards but was brought under heavy mortar fire. The forces regrouped in Echtz prepared to attack 12 December with First Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division which was attached to the Third Armored Division at 1700 hours.
The battalion remained in position north of Hamich to give direct support to CC “R” in its attack to seize Hoven. The battalion fired 13 missions this date: 2 harassing missions, 1 normal barrage, r rolling barrage, 1 TOT, 4 on antitank guns, 2 neutralization missions, 1 smoke concentration, and 1 on vehicles. Total rounds expended this date-983. All of the anti-tank guns fired upon were reported neutralized. The smoke concentration was to mark a target for fighter bombers.
The battalion trains remained at Stolberg-Muhle supplying the forward elements from this point. Service continued maintenance on vehicles.
 12 December 1944
CC “R” 3rd Armored Division continued the attack to seize Hoven. Task Force Kane attacked at o8oo hours and advanced steadily against heavy tank, anti-tank and artillery fire. Leading elements entered the town at 1040 and by 1630 hours, mopping up operations had been completed and roadblocks established.
The battalion remained in position north of Hamich to give support to the attack of CC “R”. The battalion fired 17 missions this date: 2 harassing missions, 4 TOT’S, 2 neutralization missions, 3 smoke concentrations, 1 on machine guns, 2 on infantry, z on infantry mortars, 1 on a CP, and r registration. Total rounds expended this date- 1108. The battalion laid a smoke screen just west of Hoven. The tanks were moved up under cover of this screen and then Second Lieutenant Hertz lifted this smoke screen and laid it down across the Roer River.
Second Lieutenant Herbert E. Talmadge and Second Lieutenant James A. Hertz were both missing in action-last seen in Hoven, Germany. After the battalion had been relieved and the officers were relieved from their units as forward observers, both of these officers had volunteered to look for possible OP’s for the relieving force. Infantry in the town of Hoven claimed that the house which they entered was hit by artillery fire and claimed that both were killed. During the next few days activity in the town was such that an immediate investigation was impossible. Later investigation of the area and the aid stations of units in the vicinity revealed nothing in regards to these officers.
 13 December 1944
At 2400 hours 12 December 1944, 1st Battalion, 6oth Infantry Regiment was relieved from CC “R” and CC “R” assumed full responsibility for the security of Hoven. At 1800 hours the 1st Battalion, 6oth Infantry Regiment which had been reorganized took over the responsibility for the security of Hoven from CC “R” and CC “R” started moving to assembly positions in the vicinity of Mausbach. The battalion displaced at 0900 hours to positions at Heistern in general support of CC “R”. The battalion fired 3 missions this date: 1 harassing mission, 1 on enemy guns and 1 registration. Total rounds expended this date-183. Gun position fired upon was reported neutralized. The forward observers were recalled and at t6oo hours the observers returned to billet area at StolbergMuhle.
 16 December 1944
The 3rd Armored Division remained in assembly areas and conducting maintenance and training. At t72o hours 4 enemy aircraft were reported over the division area and between 2000 and 2100 hours, 30 enemy aircraft were over the area. Flares were dropped and elements of CCA were bombed and strafed.
 17 December 1944
In order to prevent the movement and assembly of hostile parachutists which might be dropped in the division area, CCA, CCB and CCR established roadblocks and check points throughout the division area. These road blocks and check points were to check on all movements on roads during the day and night. Several enemy planes were overhead during the late afternoon and evening.
The battalion remained in billets in Stolberg-Muhle conducting rest and maintenance. The battalion was still on a 4 hour alert status. A school was started this date for FO sections, firing battery NCO’s and battery and fire direction center computers.
The night was cold, not a friendly crisp cold, but a damp one. Low scudding clouds crossed over the thin moon and the guard shivered as he stamped his feet to keep warm. Three o’clock-wouldn’t the two hours ever finish. Over the hill toward Mausbach, the long toms flashed and mumbled. Some stuff came in. Sounded like over Dufjenter way. Nothing to worry about though.
And suddenly, a couple of planes soared over with that uneven beat of Kraut engines. Not “Bed-Check Charlie” though. These were going somewhere, not circling around waiting for artillery to be fired to unload a basket of butterflies or anti-personnel bombs. The guard unslung the tommy gun from his shoulder. Couldn’t tell when something live would float down. Extra guard for paratroops. Rumors had it that the Germans were trying to counter-attack somewhere south of Eupen. Was it Malmedy or Monschau? Was the brass getting jittery? Was this some crackpot G-2 idea? Or was it a detail to keep the men busy? The guard felt uneasy though, something wasn’t just right. Shadows from the clouds across the moon flickered across the frozen ground and the guns made flashes on the horizon to the east.
The Battle of the Bulge
Enemy attacks drove into an inactive and lightly held sector, of V Corps lines in the Ardennes area. German patrols infiltrated into rear areas and information was confused as whole companies and battalions of American troops were cut off from contact with other friendly units. On the 17th of December, the German Air Force was active along the entire Army front, bombing, strafing, and at night, dropping parachutists behind the American lines. Although not clearly apparent at the time, this was the beginning of von Rundstedt’s counter-offensive, the drive that for some time threatened to cut the First Army’s supply line. As the 3rd Armored Division moved quickly down to meet this threat, the penetration had broken some 3 5 miles into Belgium and Luxembourg. Fighting with the XVIII Airborne Corps, we secured Stavelot and with Bastogne held on the south, the shoulders of the breakthrough were stabilized. Units of three panzer corps, including four SS panzer divisions and four others, had been identified in the penetration. The German high command had mustered some of its very best troops for this bid to cut the supply lines behind the American and British forces on the northern half of the western front. It was an all out effort and the battle was bound to be hard fought. After stabilizing the westward thrust of the breakthrough at Stavelot, the 3rd Armored Division moved westward to rejoin the VII Corps. Here both friendly and enemy lines were fluid during the early days of the fighting and several of our units were cut off by German columns. The day before Christmas, the Corps was given the mission of stabilizing the right flank of the First U. S. Army sector. We would stop the enemy drive where it was, east and south of the Meuse. Visibility in the area continued to be poor and close air support of our units was not practicable, but planes of the Allied Air Forces flew thousands of sorties over the Bulge area, claiming thousands of vehicles. As our lines held firm, repelling counter-attack after counter-attack, the punch of von Rundstedt’s drive, this was to have depended on captured Allied supplies, slowed and then stopped. On 3 January 1945, First Army launched its attack to wipe out the bulge in its lines. The weather was bitterly cold, snow and ice made the roads slippery and hampered the movements of our tanks, but the attack, closely followed by the 83rd Division made slow, steady progress. Resistance was stubborn, terrain favored the defenders, snow and poor visibility interfered with tank and artillery firing, but the armor still pushed on, driving some of the best troops of the Wehrmacht back, or bypassing pockets of resistance for the supporting infantry to mop up. Finally on January 16, the 2nd Armored Division linked with Third Army elements to the west as simultaneously the 3rd Armored Division tanks met elements of VIII Corps and the bulge became a bump, and that was fast disappearing. By January i9, the enemy was definitely trying to withdraw and the 3rd Armored Division, decimated, but with its Spearhead still unbroken, was pinched out by the XVIII Corps. 18 December 1944- Several enemy planes were overhead during the morning daylight hours. Fire from all types of anti-aircraft weapons drove the planes off. During the anti-aircraft firing, one enlisted man from this battalion was seriously wounded, and two enlisted men from the attached anti-aircraft battery were lightly wounded (all evacuated) by falling flak. CCA was attached to V Corps at 12oo hours and movement to assembly area in the vicinity of Eupen was begun at 173o hours. CCB and CCR continued to maintain road blocks and deck points throughout the division area. All units remained on the alert against possible hostile parachutist’s activity. All units remained on a 4 hour alert status. The battalion remained in billets in Stolberg-Muhle conducting rest and maintenance. The school for FO sections, battery NCO’s, and battery and fire direction center computers was held in the afternoon-subject-communications. 19 December 1944- CCB was this date attached to the 82nd Airborne Division, a part of XVII Corps. The battalion was alerted at o8oo hours to move in direct support of CCB south of Verviers to repel the German counter-offensive in this sector. Battery A, 991st Field Artillery was attached to the battalion this date. Stripped batteries of the battalion displaced forward from rest positions at Stolberg-Muhle at 1500 hours and at 2030 hours closed in positions at La Reid, about 1 mile west of Spa. The battalion did not register this date. Many flying bombs passed overhead during the night. Captain Peters reported to Task Force 1 Headquarters as liaison officer, and Second Lieutenant Eldridge reported to the task force as a forward observer. Captain Hawley reported to Task Force 2 Headquarters as liaison officer, and Second Lieutenant Yell and Second Lieutenant Meek reported to Task Force 2 as forward observers. Operational Instructions 1, Headquarters XVIII Corps (AB), 191900 December 1944, ordered CCB, Third Armored Division to move immediately to the vicinity of Theux, block an enemy thrust to the north in that vicinity and on Corps orders to attack south and drive the enemy south of the general line Stoumont-Ruy.

 20 December 1944
Operational Instructions 3, Headquarters XVIII Corps, 2o December 1944 ordered CCB to attack and clear the east and north bank of the Ambleve River from La Gleize to Trois Ponts and contact the 117th Infantry Regiment at Stavelot. CCB advanced in 3 columns to a line Stoumont-La Gleize to seize the road between these two points. Task Force 1 advanced to a point -ooo yards north of Stoumont and 1500 yards north of La Gleize. Task Force 2 advanced to a point 1000 yards southeast of La Gleize in the direction of Stavelot.
Captain Carney reported to Division Artillery 82nd AB-Division as liaison officer.
At 0500 hours Battery A, 991st Field Artillery closed in position with the battalion (629129).
At 1600 hours stripped batteries of the battalion displaced from positions at La Reid and closed in positions 4 miles southwest of Spa, Belgium, at Bronromme Farm at 173o hours. The battalion was unable to register from the new positions this date because of poor visibility. The battalion fired 7 missions this date: 4 on enemy personnel, 1 on infantry, 1 on tanks, and 1 on tanks and anti-tank guns. Total rounds expended this date-88.
 21 December 1944
Task Force 1 of CCB continued to advance and made contact with enemy tanks and infantry at La Gleize and northeast of Trois Points. Task Force 2 of CCB made contact with enemy tanks and infantry at Ronat and at Stoumont. The battalion remained in position to give direct support to the attack of CCB. The battalion fired 2, missions this date: 10 preparations, 1 on anti-tank guns, 2 on infantry, z on vehicles, 1 on personnel, 4 harassing missions, 1 interdiction mission, 1 on mortars, and 1 on tanks. Total rounds expended this date779. The battalion fired light harassing fire in the morning and during the night. Captain Nelms reported to the 197th Field Artillery (30th Infantry Division) as liaison officer at o8oo hours. Captain Carney was relieved as liaison officer at Division Artillery, 82nd Division and reported to Division Artillery, 30th Infantry Division as liaison officer.
 22 December 1944
CCB continued the attack on La Gleize from the north and east and on Stoumont from the north and west. Stoumont was secured at 14oo hours. Heavy opposition was encountered in the vicinity of La Gleize.
The battalion remained in position to support the attack of CCB. The battalion fired 36 missions this date: 6 preparations, 5 on personnel, 1 on an enemy OP, 6 interdiction missions, 6 on tanks, 2 on infantry, 1 harassing mission, 6 TOT’s, 1 on vehicles and personnel, and 2 registrations. Total rounds expended this date-2053. Missions fired on personnel and infantry were reported to be very effective. This date the battalion fired its 100,000th round since landing in Normandy. First Lieutenant Kelly at the time was firing a mission on enemy personnel. Battery C was firing the mission.
 23 December 1944
CCB continued the attack on La Gleize. Elements of Task Force 1 were cut off in two places east of La Gleizc. Heavy preparation fired in La Gleize and the enemy tried to break out towards the northeast at 1700 hours. They were unsuccessful. The 119th Infantry with Task Force 2 attacking from the west reached a point 1500 yards from La Gleize. and the enemy was completely bottled up in La Gleize. Extremely heavy fire was placed on the town all night-mixed WP and fuze delayed and quick.
 24 December 1944
La Gleize was captured at 1200 hours. The 117th and 119th Infantry Regiments assisted by infantry of Task Forces 1 and 2 of CCB mopped up and consolidated the objective. Task Force 2 withdrew from the objective at 1500 hours and Task Force 1 withdrew at 2200 hours. CCB was relieved from V Corps and returned to 3rd Armored Division control at 1200 hours but reverted back to V Corps control at 1700 hours. Artillery fire on the enemy near La Gleize destroyed 35 half-tracks, 15 Mark V tanks, 2 Mark VI tanks, and 1 Mark IV tank.
The battalion remained in position to support the attack of CCB on La Gleize. At 1800 hours the stripped batteries of the battalion displaced forward and closed in position at Oppagne at 2100 hours. The battalion attempted to register at 2100 hours by high burst from the new position but was unsuccessful. The battalion fired 13 missions this date: 2 harassing missions, 2 preparations, 5 on infantry,
2 TOT’s and 2 on tanks and infantry. Total rounds expended this date-976. At o8oo hours the battalion trains and the remainder of the batteries displaced from the billets at Stolberg-Muhle and at 1225 hours closed in a bivouac area at Spa, Belgium.
There they were just like he’d heard. A man, a woman, and a small child with their throats cut, shot in several places and burnt in bed. 1st S. S.-Hitler’s elite, and some mothers had borne men who could do this! The soldier backed out o f the room, his eyes hot, throat tight, and he thought with satisfaction of the brown and green spotted figures frozen in the snow outside the town.
 25 December 1944
Task Force 1 of CCB attacked from the west to capture Grandmenil. Elements of this force reached the town but were driven out.
The battalion displaced at 0815 hours from positions at Oppagne, Belgium and closed in positions near Fouyel at 1000 hours. Heavy preparation fire for the attack of Task Force I was fired at 161 S hours. The battalion fired 8 missions this date: I high burst, 1 harassing mission, 1 TOT, 2 on a town, 1 preparation, 1 on infantry and tanks, and 1 registration. Total rounds expended this date -969.
The battalion trains displaced from bivouac at Spa at 1300 hours and closed in bivouac near Louvcigne, Belgium at 1700 hours.
The forward observer sergeant sat in the snow behind at beet pile and lit the Coleman stove. He wiped the dirt out of a small skillet with a piece of toilet paper and opened can o f bacon out of the 10 in 1 ration. “Gotta eat on Christmas Day,” he thought, and maybe we could get his hands warm anyway from the heat of the stove. After that last ride in the tank, it was time for a meal. No doubt the guys in the rear were having their turkey somehow. They always managed. He grunted. The bacon spluttered and curled. The tank driver and assistant driver drifted over, squatted down on their haunches. “Merry Christmas, you lucky bastard,” one said to the sergeant. The sergeant grinned and the deep hollows under his eyes lifted a little. “Yeah, you mean because I don’t have to be back in the states getting drunk and getting indigestion from a turkey dinner, and because 1 don’t have to be sweating out tomorrow at the factory like a soldier on the home front?!” The corners o f their mouth lifted a little – in amusement and the sergeant cracked three almost frozen eggs into the skillet – one after the other.
 26 December 1944
Task Force 1 of CCB continued the attack to capture Grandmenil. Heavy fighting continued all day. A heavy preparation fire from 1400 to 1420 was fired and troops of Task Force 2 with troops attached from CCA attacked and seized the town with the 28gth Infantry Regiment of 75th Infantry Division following and consolidating the town. In this action, Seccxid Lieutenant Eldridge, (10) was lightly wounded by shrapnel, and was evacuated.
 27 December 1944
CCB assumed responsibility for the right sector of the 3rd Armored Division front. Task Force 2 was withdrawn from Grandmenil at 1200 hours. Task Force 2 established roadblocks in the vicinity of Soy.
The battalion displaced from positions at Fouyel, Belgium, and returned to old positions at Oppagne to support the 290th RCT which was attached to the Third Armored Division.
This date the 391st Armored Field Artillery groupment was reestablished consisting of the 391st Armored Field Artillery Battalion, the 898th Field Artillery Battalion and the 83rd Field Artillery Battalion (not yet in position). All battalions were under the command of Lieutenant Colonel George G. Garton to be in direct support of 29oth RCT. Captain Carney reported to the 290th RCT as liaison officer. Captain Nelms reported to 898th Field Artillery Battalion and Regimental Headquarters 290th RCT as liaison officer.
 28 December 1944
The battalion remained in position at Oppagne, Belgium, in direct support of the 29oth RCT. Enemy infiltrations of patrol strength were repulsed in this sector. The battalion fired 2o missions this date: 13 harassing missions, 2 TOT’s, 2 on personnel, and 3 on counter attacks.
The executive officer, Major Walter D. McCahan was slightly injured this date in a peep accident. He was evacuated. Major Elfring was appointed executive officer, Captain Shellhart assumed the duties of S-3, and Captain Crafts became assistant S-3.
 31 December 1944
The 290th RCT was relieved from 3rd Armored Division control this date and this battalion was relieved from the 29oth RCT, and reverted to 3rd Armored Division control. The battalion displaced from positions at Oppagne, Belgium, at 1430 hours and closed in assembly positions with the 3rd Armored Division in the vicinity of Les Avins, Belgium, at 1500 hours.
 1 January 1945 The 3rd Armored Division was in assembly area performing maintenance of equipment and rehabilitation of personnel. This battalion was in assembly area with CCB near Les Avins, Belgium, about 6 miles southwest of Huy. The battalion did not fire this date.
Late in the afternoon a warning order was received from CCB alerting the battalion for a combat operation. Per FO 20, Headquarters 3rd Armored Division, 1 January 1945, the 3rd Armored Division will attack at 0830 hours to seize Regne, then move rapidly to the vicinity of Vaux, bypassing enemy resistance to assist in the blocking of roads in the vicinity of Cherain and Vaux, thence attacking south to assist the 2nd Armored Division in seizing and securing of Houffalize.
 2 January 1945
The battalion displaced with CCB from assembly area near Les Avins at 0830 hours. The battalion marched the entire day on secondary roads which were jammed with traffic from various units all attempting to move to the front by the shortest and quickest route. Traveling was made extremely difficult by the icy condition of the roads. Headquarters Battery closed in the assembly area near Grand Hoursinne at 2400 hours having marched 20 miles. The firing batteries were still enroute at 2400 hours.
The instrument corporal sat up his aiming circle with frozen hands. He cursed in the darkness. His feet were so cold that stamping no longer helped. He swung the head of the instrument around and bumped against it, toppling it over in the snow. He could have sat down and cried. Slowly, he set up again and fumbling, he read a deflection to the nearest gun section, God, what a march. that had been. The narrow roads were torturous with curves and the whole way was a sheet of ice. All along the way tanks and guns were in ditches, had rolled down steep banks and overturned. A huge 8 inch gun carriage and prime mover lay on its back 40 feet down in the creek bottom. The column halted. Half an hour later he had broken from his drowsiness and found the driver asleep. Everyone was asleep in the halftrack ahead. In panic, he pulled the blankets off the muffled figures and got the column started. Thank God they had been only a couple of minutes behind. It was 4:30 and bitter cold. The corporal laid the last M-7 and stumbled toward the halftrack. “Battery laid and ready,” he murmured to the recorder and hardly wrapped the blankets around himself in the seat before he was deep asleep.
 3 January 1945
All firing batteries were in the assembly area by daylight hours. The batteries closed in surveyed positions at Grande Hoursinne. Although this march was made under extremely adverse conditions, equipment losses were limited to three damaged trailers, all of which could be repaired.
Task Force Lovelady attacked at 0830 hours and advanced against stubborn opposition from dug in infantry, mortar and small arms fire. Inadequate roads and tick woods slowed the advance, but at the close of the day the town of Malempre was secured and an outpost line established south of the town. Battery A displaced as the advance guard battery and fired close support missions for Task Force Lovelady throughout the day direct through Second Lieutenant Meek (9). Battery A fired 3 missions this date: 1 on infantry, 1 harassing mission, and 1 registration. Total founds expended-397. Mission on infantry was reported very effective.
Battery A closed in position on the crest of a hill a Tri-la-Cheslaing at 1400 hours and received light mortar fire. Battery A then withdrew to positions near Vaux Chavanne, away from the crest of the hill. The battery had no sooner displaced from the crest of the hill when a heavy concentration of mortar fire fell in the former positions.
Task Force McGeorge attacked at 0830 hours on the left of Task Force Lovelady. The advance was hindered by extremely difficult terrain. Mines slowed the advance and two road blocks were encountered, one defended by small arms and the other by anti-tank guns. The advance through the mine field was successful. Task Force McGeorge was stopped about 2000 yards north of Malempre. Infantry and engineers were brought forward to reduce the road blocks. The 83rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion was in direct support of this task force and fired many close support missions during the day.
Fire direction center, survey and reconnaissance sections of Headquarters Battery and Batteries B and C displaced at 1330 hours and closed in positions at Vaux Chavanne for the night at 1700 hours. The remainder of Headquarters Battery and the “A” Trains displaced at 1600 hours and closed in positions with the battalion at 2ooo hours. Defensive fires planned for the night were at short ranges-from 1700 yards to 4000 yards.
The cannoneers were gaunt, blackened creatures. With movements o f tired mechanical men, they serviced the piece. Automatically the hand holding the lanyard jerks. The gun tube recoiled and coughed. Another 35 pounds o f steel and death went searching for Krauts. The snow blackened a little more as the smoke scuttled away across the trampled ground. “OK, shake it up, we’ve got a big shift to the left.”
 4 January 1945
At 0800 hours Task Force Lovelady attacked but encountered a minefield. Two tanks were knocked out by direct fire from dug in tank about 400 yards south of Malempre, in the vicinity of the minefield. Progress in clearing the minefield was slow due to anti-tank, mortar and artillery fire placed on it by the enemy. Infantry of the Task Force advanced through the minefield while the remainder of the force remained north of the minefield’ for the night.
At 0800 hours Task Force McGeorge attacked and reached Croukray where a blown bridge was encountered and the road beyond the bridge was blocked by felled trees. Task Force McGeorge by-passed these obstacles and made contact with CCA at Jevigne. At 1550 hours Task Force McGeorge reached Baneux and engaged in a fire fight with enemy infantry holding the town. At the close of the day the town of Baneux had been mopped up and forward elements were holding positions south of the town.
The battalion remained in positions at Vaux Chavanne to support the attack of CCB. The battalion fired 20 missions this date: 1 on a crossroad, 1 on a town, 3 TOT’S, 12 harassing missions, and 3 registrations. Total rounds expended this date-1213.
Elements in the town of Malempre received heavy mortar, artillery and rocket fire throughout the day and night. Captain Peters (liaison officer with Task Force Lovelady) section was hit by mortar fire in Malempre in the late afternoon and 2 men were killed and 3 lightly wounded and evacuated. The crew was replaced during the night. Close in defensive fires used for the night of 3-4 January were used for the night 4-S January with a few additions. At 1400 hours Task Force Hogan was ordered to move to assembly area in the vicinity of Manhay preparatory to launching an attack at 050800 from front line positions of the 2nd Armored Division to secure a crossroad about 3 500 yards west of Regne. The division boundary was moved to include the road from Manhay to this crossroad and CC “R” was to assume the responsibility for the sector between CC “B” and the 2nd Armored Division. Captain Nelms was sent to Task Force Hogan as liaison officer and Second Lieutenant Yell as FO. This battalion was to give direct support to the attack of Task Force Hogan.
 5 January 1945
Task Force Stallings (formerly Lovelady) renewed the attack at 0800 hours and immediately encountered strong enemy anti-tank, artillery and mortar fire. Due to restricted visibility (50 yards) Task Force Stallings advanced his infantry ahead of his tanks on both sides of the road in the woods and continued to push forward slowly. Against continuous stubborn opposition, this force worked its way out of the woods about 2000 yards west of Fracture. Task Force McGuire continued the attack at 0800 hours from Benelux. Tank elements moved to the west so as to bring fire of Lierne and assist Task Force Richardson of CCA in reducing resistance in the town. Infantry elements moved through the woods and to the east on the high ground about 1000 yards southwest of Lierneux.
Task Force Hogan started to attack at 0800 hours. At Pifossc this force encountered strong enemy dug in positions of anti-tank and infantry and was unable to advance. A force of tanks and infantry from Task Force Hogan was detached to outflank this enemy position. This force made good progress and held positions for the night about 1000 yards northwest of Fraiture.
The battalion remained in position at Vaux Chavanne in direct support of CCB and Task Force Hogan. The battalion fired 25 missions this date: 15 harassing missions during the night and morning hours, and 10 close support missions, 4 on infantry, 1 on infantry in woods, 1 on mortars and machine guns, 2 on infantry and tanks, 1 on a town and 1 normal barrage. Missions on infantry were very effective. Mortar and machine gun positions were neutralized. Total rounds expended this date – 2046.
At 0800 hours the “B” trains displaced from positions at Les Avins and at 15 hours closed in new positions at Houmart.
 6 January 1945
Task Force Stallings continued to attack south over difficult terrain and reached Fraiture by 12 15 hours. Infantry elements pushed into the town and stubborn house to house fighting took place during the afternoon. An estimated 400 prisoners were taken by the Task Force and by 1730 mopping up operation had been completed and the town secured. Task Force McGeorge continued to advance against heavy artillery and mortar fire. The high ground south of Lierneaux was secured from which point this force supported by fire the attack of Task Force Richardson. This force continued the attack south and secured the high ground about 2000 yards of Lierneaux and halted for the night. Task Force Hogan continued his attack against moderate opposition. Hasty road blocks of trees felled across the highway delayed the right column and mines slowed the advance of the left column. Adequate bypasses were not available and infantry was pushed forward toward the objective while work was continued on clearance of the routes of advance. By 2400 hours two companies of infantry had cut the highway 2000 yards west of Regne and 3000 yards west of Regne and work was continuing to enable tanks to reinforce the road blocks. One company of infantry was in contact with enemy infantry in the vicinity of Croix St. Jacques.
Operations Memorandum 19, Headquarters Third Armored Division, 6 January 1945 ordered the division units to continue the attack to secure objectives whereupon elements of the 83rd Infantry Division will pass through with the mission of clearing enemy resistance to the vicinity of Langlir. During the period the 83rd Infantry Division was operating in the division zone, maintenance and rehabilitation will be conducted and the division will be prepared to pass through elements of the 83rd Infantry Division to secure objectives as designated in FO 20, Headquarters Third Armored Division.
The Battalion remained in position at Vaux Chavanne to give direct support to the attacks of CCB and to Task Force Hogan. The battalion fired 22 missions this date: 2 on infantry and tanks, 9 harassing missions, 2 TOT’s, 1 on a roadblock, 4 on infantry, 1 on personnel and 2 on enemy activity. Total rounds expended – 2109. The missions on infantry were reported very effective.
 7 January 1945
Task Force McGeorge and Task Force Lovelady (Stallings) attacked at 0800 hours. Task Force McGeorge advanced against light resistance and entered Regne at 0890. At 1250 Task Force McGeorge and Task Force Lovelady had completed mopping up operations and Task Force McGeorge attacked east with one tank and one infantry company from Task Force Lovelady. Second Lieutenant Meek went as FO with this force. Task Force Lovelady was left to organize Regne. Task Force McGeorge encountered stubborn resistance from small arms, artillery and mortar fire. First Lieutenant Plummer was relieved as FO and returned to Battery A.
Task Force Hogan during the night of 6-7 January maintained road blocks on the east – west highway. Trees were cleared from the approach routes and mines were cleared from the same area. By 1300 hours tanks were brought up and the objective consolidated.
The battalion in direct support of CCB and Task Force Hogan displaced from Vaux Chavanne starting at l000 hours and closed in position at Malempre at 1430 hours. The battalion fired 34 missions this date: 16 harassing missions, 5 preparations, 1 on enemy activity, 9 TOT’S, 1 on infantry, 1 on personnel, and 1 registration. Total rounds expended – 1903. TOT’S were fired on infantry and gun positions. Heavy harassing fire was fired in the morning hours.
 8 January 1945
Task Force Lovelady held position and secured Rcgne throughout the day. An armored patrol made contact with Task Force Hogan at the main crossroad about 3000 yards west of Regne during the morning and opened the road between Regne and the crossroad.
Task Force Welborn (previously McGeorge) continued his attack east at 0800 hours to secure Hebronval. Elements of the task force were in Hebronval and had secured the town by 1200 hours. From Hebronval, Task Force Welborn turned southeast to seize Ottre and by 1705 Ottre was clear of the enemy and secure. Task Force Welborn encountered 2 minefields and strong opposition by infantry and some anti-tank and artillery fire.
The battalion remained in position at Malempre to support the attack of CCB. The battalion fired a 15 minute preparation for the attack of Task Force Welborn and the force was able to advance to Hebronval with very little opposition. The battalion fired 21 missions this date: 5 harassing missions, 13 missions on a town, 1 on tanks, 1 preparation, and 1 registration. Total rounds expended- 1249. Artillery fire placed on the town of Ottre helped to reduce the enemy opposition and enabled the force to secure the town. Enemy infantry casualties in the town were heavy.
Ordnance crews were at the battalion this date checking the guns. They reported that the guns were almost worn out. Total rounds expended to date were 124,515.
Lieutenant Colonel George G. Garton was evacuated sick this date and Major William H. Elfring assumed active command of the battalion.
Weather: Snow and cold. Visibility: Poor.
Per FO 21, Headquarters Third Armored Division, 08 2000 January 1945 CCB will assemble in the Ottre-Hebronval area as soon as the area has been cleared and movement will not interfere with operations of the 83rd Infantry Division, and will prevent enemy infiltration to the north and northwest and be prepared to counter-attack in the event of an enemy breakthrough. Division Artillery will be responsible for defensive fires within the division sector until elements have passed through the 3rd Infantry Division; will support the assembly of the division and reinforce the fires of the 83rd Infantry Division.
 9 January 1945
CCB continued to secure the objective while being passed through by elements of the 83rd Infantry Division. Moderate mortar and artillery fire was received throughout the day. In compliance with FO 21, Headquarters Third Armored Division, Task Force Lovelady moved from Rcgne to Hebronval while the remainder of Task Force Welborn moved from Hebronval to Ottre.
The battalion remained in position at Malempre. The battalion was in direct support of CCB until 1200 hours at which time the battalion went into general support of Division Artillery.
Task Force Hogan was passed through by elements of the 83rd Infantry Division and relieved. Captain Nelms, liaison officer with this force, and Second Lieutenant Yell, forward observer, were relieved and returned to the battalion. Liaison officers and forward observers remained with Task Force Lovelady and Task Force McGeorge. Billeting parties and the survey and reconnaissance sections were sent to Hebronval to select new positions. Orders were received to move to new positions the morning of 10 January 1945.
The 83rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion was relieved from the 391st Armored Field Artillery groupment. Weather: Cold and snow. Visibility: Poor.
 10 January 1945
CCB remained in assembly areas and conducted maintenance of equipment and rehabilitation of personnel. During the hours of darkness patrols from Task Force Lovelady contacted elements of Task Force Hogan in Regne every 2 hours. CCB maintained liaison with elements of the 83rd Infantry Division in Ottre and during the night sent out patrols to contact front line units of the 331st Infantry Regiment; this contact was established. Elements of CCB in Ottre and Hebronval received intermittent artillery and mortar fire throughout the day.
The battalion displaced from positions at Malapert at 0830 hours and closed in new positions at Hebronval at 1030 hours. The battalion was in general support of Division Artillery and fired 3 missions this date: 1 harassing mission and 2 registrations. Total round expended- 147. The battalion did not fire any harassing fire during the night. Batteries B and C received light artillery fire in the new positions and Battery C moved almost immediately to alternate positions about 1000 yards to the west. There was one casualty in each of these batteries.
 11 January 1945
All units of CCB remained in assembly positions in Ottre and Hebronval throughout the day, conducting rest and maintenance. Route reconnaissance and bridge repairs were made by units of CCB during the day.
The battalion remained in position at Hebronval in general support of Division Artillery. The battalion did not fire any harassing fires either in the morning hours of darkness or during the night. The battalion fired 2 registrations this date expending 51 rounds. Battery B received light artillery fire during the morning and one man was wounded.
 12 January 1945
At 1000 hours CCB in preparation for future operations began movement to new assembly positions in the Langlir-Petite Langlir area, following closely the advance elements of the 83rd Infantry Division. Blown bridge at Petit Langlir and heavy fighting in Langlir delayed the move and CCI3 was in position for the night north of Petit Langlir.
FO 23, Headquarters Third Armored Division, 12 2000 January 1945 was received this date. Per this order the Third Armored Division attacks combat commands abreast, CCR on the right and CCB on the left 13 0800 to secure Cherain, Vaux and Sommeraine. CCB attacks at H-2 with 1 battalion of infantry to seize the high ground south of Langlir and will attack 13 0800 to seize and secure the Cherain area. Neutralization fire on all known or suspected artillery positions and OP’s. No preparation fire will be fired prior to the attack.
The battalion remained in position at Hebronval. The battalion took over direct support fires for the 83rd. Armored Reconnaissance Battalion while the 54th Armored Field Artillery Battalion displaced forward. The battalion fired 20 missions this date: 13 harassing missions, 3 on a road junction, 3 on infantry in the woods, and 1 on an enemy battery. Total rounds expended-704. M15sions on infantry were reported very effective. Heavy harassing fire was fired during the night.
Task Force Lovelady and Task Force McGeorge started moving into assembly areas at 1000 hours. Both task forces were held up just short of the assembly area waiting for the 83rd Infantry Division to clear them. Captain Peters was liaison officer with Task Force Lovelady, and Captain Hawley was liaison officer with Task Force McGeorge. First Lieutenant Willoughby, Second Lieutenant Yell, and Second Lieutenant Meek were forward observers Second Lieutenant Dervinskas reported to Captain Peters late in the evening with a medium tank and relieved Second Lieutenant Yell.
The 83rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion was attached to the 391st Armored Field Artillery groupment for the coming operations and was to give direct support to Task Force McGeorge.
 Weather: Cold and cloudy.
 Visibility: Poor to fair
 13 January 1945
Both task forces continued the attack at o8oo hours trying to get to the assembly areas. They had reached the assembly areas by dark and were preparing to attack at 0800 hours 14 January. First Lieutenant Willoughby was wounded by mortar fire as the task forces were pushing towards the assembly areas. He was evacuated.
Second Lieutenant Dervinskas was killed in action today in the vicinity of Cherain. He was forward observer with 2nd battalion, 33rd Armored Reconnaissance. The tanks were held up by a minefield protected by an anti-tank gun. He went forward to adjust fire on the anti-tank gun and was killed by mortar fire.
The battalion fired 26 missions this date: 3 harassing missions, S TOT’s, 6 on towns, 7 on infantry, 1 on tanks, 1 on vehicles, 1 on personnel, and 2 on antitank guns. Total rounds expended-2073. Missions on infantry were reported very effective.
Things quieted down a bit in the afternoon. There wasn’t even much artillery and the contrast was startling. Then, H hour arrived and the attack was on again. Every day, every hour-attack!
The Task Force moved off down the narrow icy, road, tanks coughing into the cold with ‘tracks barking along behind. Small arms opened up at once, but they quieted down right away when the tankers began to reply. The force kept moving down the road. It wasn’t too strong a force then, for it had been badly chewed up the day before, and the day before that. They rounded a bend in the road and churned down a straight stretch, lined with ice covered trees. As the last of the tanks came around that bend there was a sharp report, the driving whistle of an AP, and that last tank was finished. All hell broke loose then, for the tankers were on a narrow road with no room to maneuver around. The 88s came in from all angles. They had those tanks sitting there like ducks on a pond. Now the artillery started to come in, and the mortars, all in those trees above the tanks. There was a good choice. Stay in the tanks and sweat out the APs, or climb out and dodge the tree bursts.
 14 January 1945
Task Force Welborn attacked at o8oo hours from Lomre against stubborn resistance and succeeded in getting into the northern outskirts of the town. Heavy direct fire from tanks and anti-tank guns forced this force to withdraw during the afternoon. Infantry attacked Cherain at midnight but could not advance. The task force remained in position about 1500 yards north of Cherain.
First Lieutenant Plummer took over the tank of Second Lieutenant Dervinskas who had been killed the previous day. The sections of First Lieutenant Plummer and First Lieutenant Willoughby returned to the battalion today. First Lieutenant Kelly set up an OP in the vicinity of Lomre this day.
 15 January 1945
Task Force Welborn advanced in the vicinity of Sterpigny-Rettigny to reduce the enemy pressure on Task Force Lovelady. Task Force Welborn made steady but slow progress against anti-tank, mortar, artillery and small arms fire. By 1400 hours leading elements were in the town of Sterpigny. This task force encountered stubborn enemy resistance and was unable to secure more than the western portion of the town. Two tank companies from Task Force Richardson were attached to this force to aid in securing the town. First Lieutenant Kelly was relieved from his OP and sent as forward observer with this force from Task Force Richardson.
Task Force Lovelady advanced at t zoo hours and encountered a minefield about 1000 yards northwest of Cherain. Extremely heavy anti-tank and small arms fire from the east halted the advance of the task force. At 1530 hours Task Force Bailey was ordered to relieve Task Force Lovelady. At the end of the day Task Force Lovelady was reorganizing about 4000 yards northwest of Cherain.
During the attack on Cherain, FO 2 tank was knocked out by anti-tank fire. The driver was killed and the FO sergeant was seriously wounded. Second Lieutenant Meek was killed by mortar fire while outside the tank after it had been knocked out.
Captain Peters, liaison officer with Task Force Lovelady was lightly wounded by a shell fragment from an anti-tank gun and was relieved by Captain Nelms. Second Lieutenant Yell was sent as a reserve observer to Task Force Lovclady’s headquarters. In marching to the CP, a direct hit by a mortar shell was scored oil the tank seriously wounding one of the crew members. Second Lieutenant Yell was recalled and returned to the Battalion CP in the late afternoon. First Lieutenant Plummer was unable to proceed with Task Force Lovelady because of the mechanical failure of the tank and was recalled to the battalion.
The battalion fired 43 missions this date: 18 harassing missions, 7 TOT’S, 2 on anti-tank guns, 6 on infantry, 2 on infantry and tanks, 3 on infantry in woods, 2 on personnel, 1on a road junction, 1 preparation, and 1 smoke concentration. Total rounds expended this date-2882. Two anti-tank guns were knocked out. The fire on the infantry was reported to be very effective. Three tanks were reported immobilized by the fire from this battalion. During the night and during the early morning hours, the battalion fired a mixture of HE impact and Pozit in the harassing missions.
 Weather: Cold and cloudy.
 Visibility: Poor to fair.
 Casualties: Second Lieutenant Harley P. Meek and Technician Fifth Grade James T. Brudvig, Headquarters Battery, were killed in action. Sergeant Roy E. Krueger and Private First Class Harry W. Russell, Headquarters Battery, were seriously wounded and evacuated. Private Roy K. Kerbow, Battery B, was lightly wounded and evacuated. Captain Fred A. Peters was lightly wounded but remained on duty. Private Alphons A. Crema, Headquarters Battery, was lightly injured in action and evacuated.
 Reinforcement: Second Lieutenant Roy K. Eldridge rejoined the organization.
 16 January 1945
Task Force Richardson continued to advance to Sterpigny to assist Task Force Welborn and reached the town at 0445 hours. Stubborn enemy resistance in Sterpigny continued throughout the day. One attempt by an enemy column to enter the town from the cast was broken up by artillery fire.
Task Force Bailey (one company of medium tanks and one company of infantry) advanced on order into Cherain from the northwest, encountering heavy anti-tank fire from the high ground southeast of Cherain. The infantry of Task Force Hogan were relieved by this force and at 1415 hours Task Force Bailey sent a force of tanks south to enter Rettigny. This force advanced but received heavy anti-tank fire south of Cherain and withdrew to the town.
The battalion remained in position at Langlir in direct support of CCB. Intermittently during the day enemy artillery fire fell on the town and near it but none fell in the battalion positions. The battalion fired 32 missions this date: 7 harassing missions, 19 TOT’S 2 preparations, 4 on anti-tank guns, 1 on infantry, 2 on tanks and infantry, 1 on personnel and 1 registration. Total rounds expended-2387. All TOT’S were fired at the request of Division Artillery on suspected gun positions. Two tanks and two anti-tank guns were knocked out by the fire from this battalion. In the evening Battery B handled all the harassing fires, and fired a mixture of HE impact and Pozit. The air OP adjusted medium artillery on tanks this date and one tank was definitely immobilized.
 Weather: Cold and cloudy.
 Visibility: Fair.
 17 January 194 5
Task Force Welborn attacked at c90o from the vicinity of Cherain to seize the high ground about 1500 yards east of Cherain. Strong opposition was encountered from tanks and infantry supported by mortar and artillery fire. The task force was forced to withdraw and reorganize. At 1225 hours following an artillery preparation Task Force Welborn attacked and successfully secured the high ground by 1400 hours.
During the morning Task Force Richardson continued clearing resistance from the town of Sterpigny and at 1500 hours launched an attack astride the .Stcrpigny-Gouvy road to eliminate enemy resistance along this road to the north edge of the woods. Strong opposition was encountered with small arms, mortar, tank and artillery fire coming from the east. A flanking force was sent out northeast from Stcrpigny in an effort to flank the resistance. This flanking force was held up by a minefield.
The battalion remained in position at Langlir in direct support of CCB. The battalion fired 24 missions this date: 1 on infantry in woods, 1on anti-tank guns, 1 on personnel, 3 on infantry, 6 harassing missions, 5 TOT’S, 2 on mortars, smoke concentrations, and 3 registrations. Total rounds expended-1675. All TOT’s were fired at the request of Division Artillery on suspected gun positions. Missions on infantry were reported very effective. One anti-tank gun was knocked out. First Lieutenant Smith was sent this date to Task Force Welborn, is observer.
 18 January 1945
Task Force Richardson continued to attack against moderate resistance and reached his objective the crossroad about 6oo yards southwest of Halconreux by dark.
Task Force Welborn sent a patrol to Rettigny in the afternoon and this force met not resistance until it entered the town. When they had entered the town the entire force was pinned down by mortar and small arms fire. Lieutenant Smith was observer with this force. He radioed that he could not observe fire placed on the enemy. Fire from one battery was placed close in to his position on the right and fire from one battery was placed to his front also close in. Lieutenant Smith adjusted this fire by sound and this fire was kept up until after dark. Under cover of darkness this force withdrew from the town.
This date Task Force Lovelady was alerted and Captain Hawley was sent to the task force as liaison officer, with First Lieutenant Plummer, Second Lieutenant Yell and Second Lieutenant Marik as observers. This task force moved to assembly area about l000 yards east of Sterpigny at 2300 hours. The battalion remained in position at Langlir to give direct support to CCB. The battalion fired 31 missions this date: 16 harassing missions, 8 TOT’s, 3 smoke concentrations, 2 on personnel, 1 on a town, and 1 on mortars. Total rounds expended-1396. TOT’s were fired at the request of Division Artillery on suspected gun positions.
 19 January 1945
Task Force Lovelady attacked at 0730 hours to secure the crossroads at Halconreux and the high ground running from there to about 3000 yards south of the town. By 1530 the objectives were taken. The advance was against light opposition except for a sharp counter-attack at 1030 hours which was quickly broken up. Task Force Doan attacked at o8oo hours to secure the towns of Rettigny and Renglez. This task force moved against light opposition and by 1350
elements of this force were in both towns. By 2020 hours the objectives had been mopped up and secured. This date the battalion was working in a groupment with the 67th Armored Field Artillery Battalion. During the operation Lieutenant Colonel Berry was commanding. The 83rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion was relieved from the 391st Armored Field Artillery groupment but remained in direct support of Task Force Richardson. First Lieutenant Kelly was relieved as observer returned to the battalion CP in the afternoon. First Lieutenant Patton was relieved from Task Force Richardson and First Lieutenant Smith was relieved from Task Force Welborn. Both observers reported to Captain Hawley at Task Force Lovelady CP. Second Lieutenant Yell was relieved and returned to the CP because his tank was in need of maintenance.
 20 January 1945
The battalion displaced from positions at Langlir starting at 1325 hours and closed in positions at Durbuy and Borlon by 1930 hours. This march was made on main highways and the march was made without mishap or loss of equipment. Headquarters Battery, Battery A and the “A” trains closed in position at Durbuy. Battery B and Battery C closed in position at Borlor about 3 miles northwest of Durbuy. The “B” trains were still on the move a• night. The battalion began a period of rest and maintenance.
Weather: Clear and cold. Visibility: Good. Private First Class Raymond O. Martin, Battery C, seriously wounded and evacuated in the early morning after this force had been relieved.
Two o f them stood there guarding the bridge. Overhead a full moon made everything bright, and underfoot the freezing snow crackled as they stamped their feet to revive the circulation. One of them looked at his watch. “Forty minutes to go. This damn guard!” The other stamped his feet a little harder. “The hell with it,” he muttered. “We got it made. use ain’t heard a gun for four days or a shell either. 1 got a warm bed -a real one-waiting for me when I finish this damned shift. 1 could stand a lot o f these rest periods.” The snow crackled a little more.
 30 January 1945
The battalion was in assembly area-Headquarters Battery, Battery A, and the “A” trains at Durbuy, Battery B and C and “B” trains at Borlon. The battalion was conducting maintenance of vehicles and equipment and rehabilitation of personnel.
Captain Johnny W. Forston returned from temporary duty as ground liaison officer, 366th Group, U. S. Army Air Field Y-29.
The Rhineland Reoccupied
Moving back into Germany, the Third Armored Division awaited the crossing of the Roer and refitted. On the 26 of February the armor was committed and the drive the first day gained 5 miles despite poor roads, heavy mud and enemy resistance. Across the Erft canal and the German troops defended every foot of the way to the maximum extent of their ability, using all their known available forces west of the Rhine in a desperate final defense of the approaches to Ruhr. Cologne and the Elements of the 3rd Armored Division reached the Rhine on 4 March and swung south to fight into Cologne on the 5th. Backed against the Rhine and forced to yield the high ground which was the last natural barrier before the river, the enemy who had fought so. tenaciously to defend the approaches to Cologne were unable to prevent our entry into the city. Now a pile of rubble from thousands of tons of Allied bombs, this had once been the Queen of the Rhine, the third largest city in Germany, and was the largest German city to fall to the attack of British or American forces in this war.
Suddenly, the military world was electrified by the news that on March 7, elements of the 9th Armored Division (III Corps) had seized intact a crossing over the Rhine-the Ludendorff railway bridge at Remagen, a few miles south of Bonn.
 7 February 1945
Home to Stolberg! The battalion started displacing and recrossed the border into Germany at Geminick. The troops occupied almost the same billets as in December. Rest, rehabilitation and maintenance followed with the Red Cross trucks and the VII Corps theatre providing some relaxation.
Back home at Stolberg. Winter quarters like a circus. The old chateau, Schloss now, the steaming, hot Stadtbad. But there would be no more dancing as there was at Durbuy, frozen, beautiful Durbuy. Well, war had some compensations, didn’t it? Only the cognac was expensive and tasted like kerosene. Here, the well turned fraulein walked past, her curves plainly visible, a half smile in her eyes. No, it’s too expensive to talk too. But, hell, we know the bastards are no good for us, but we just won’t-O. K., Ike, it’s non-fraternization!
 23 February 1945
The battalion was placed on a 6 hour alert and began preparations to move across the Roer on a new Third Armored “Spearhead” Division attack.
 25 February 1945
After an all night march crossing the Roer River, the position area was reached at Ellen. At 0530 hours CCB attacked to seize Elsdorf and Angelsdorf. Task Force Welborn secured the southern edge of the objective and organized it for the night.
 26 February 1945
Starting at 1000 hours the battalion displaced to Morschenich. At 143o an unknown number of unidentified bombers unloaded on the battalion through the overcast. Six casualties resulted.
Well, we’re on our way, “Spearheading” again. And this time, we won’t stop until we get Cologne. Pretty rough though, getting bombed by our own airplanes. Guess they can’t help making a mistake once in awhile. Everybody’s feeling good though and the weather’s not bad; compared to the Bulge, this is a picnic. It’s good to be moving again. Let’s get this show on the road and get it over with. Sure like to be home this summer. Wonder what my kid looks like ?!
 27 February 1945
Task Force Welborn attacked at 0700 hours to clean out Elsdorf. Resistance was heavy but the town was cleared by 1800. Forward observer tank No. 2 was knocked out but the crew was not hurt. Captain Peters was wounded by artillery fire and died on reaching the 45th Medical Battalion treatment station. Lieutenant Poulsen, forward observer No. 2, was killed by artillery at the same time and place. 28 February 1945- Task Force Lovelady and Welborn remained in place and the battalion moved to Elsdorf. 1 March 1945- The battalion remained in position near Elsdorf in direct support of CC “R”, Third Armored Division. 2 March 1945-Task Force Flogan attacked at 0700 hours from LD across the Erft Canal about 1000 yards northeast of Glesch and immediately came under mortar and small arms fire. After advancing about 600 yards the tanks were delayed by an anti-tank ditch. When the advance was resumed, anti-tank fire was received from Wiedenfeld. Resistance in Wiedenfeld was overcome and the town secured. At 1800 hours a heavy smoke screen was laid down by this battalion and Task Force Hogan attacked Auenheim. By 2000 hours the town was secured.
At 0730 hours the battalion began displacing from positions at Elsdorf. Battery A displaced as the lead battery and crossed the Erft Canal at 0815. The battery closed in firing position and the remainder of the battalion displaced forward. The battalion had completely closed in positions 200 yards across the Erft Canal and about 1000 yards north of Raffendorf at 1100 hours. In this position Battery A received small arms fire. A patrol was organized from Battery A and with two light tanks from Task Force Hogan, this force began clearing the woods in front of the battalion positions. Forty two prisoners were taken by this patrol. In the late afternoon P-47’5 plastered enemy positions 1200 yards in front of the battalion positions.
 3 March 1945
The battalion remained in support of Task Force Hogan. This force attacked against moderate opposition from tanks and after knocking out the tank opposition moved on to take Rheidt. This force then attacked to seize Stommeln. Tank fire was again encountered and the fighter bombers were called in. At the end of the day Task Force Hogan was defending the northwest section of Stommeln.
At 1500 hours Task Force Lovelady attacked to seize Stommeln. Immediately heavy tank- anti-tank and artillery fire was met from the town. Fighter bombers were called in to support the attack and this opposition was eliminated. By 1845 hours Task Force Lovelady had secured the eastern half of Stommeln. Task Force Welborn followed the attack of Task Force Lovelady and at 1610 attacked Sinnersdorf. Moderate opposition of anti-tank and small arms fire was en countered. By 2015 hours the town had been completely secured.
 4 March 1945
Task Force Welborn continued to mop up and secure the town of Sinnersdorf. Task Force Lovelady passed through the positions of Task Force Welborn and at 1215 hours attacked to seize Roggendorf and Warringen. Small arms, anti-tank and artillery fire was encountered but by 1415 Roggendorf had been captured and the attack continued on Warringen. By 1630 the objective had been secured and the Rhine River reached. Elements of the 83rd. Armored Reconnaissance Battalion relieved Task Force Lovelady in Warringen and this force pulled back and went into assembly area near Roggendorf and prepared for the attack on Cologne which was to start at 0400 hours 5 March 1945.
The battalion displaced from positions near Busdorf at 1000 hours to support the attack of Task Force Lovelady and closed in position at 1045 hours near Stommeln. The battalion fired its first volley across the Rhine River at 1130 hours. A battalion volley was fired at this time. First Lieutenant Plummer was the first ground observer from the battalion to see the Rhine River. He first saw the Rhine at 1635 hours and he adjusted fire on barges moving down the river. He destroyed two barges.
 5 March 1945
Task Force Welborn attacked at 0400 hours with the objective Cologne and made good against moderate resistance from artillery, anti-tank and small arm fire. The following towns were secured during the day-Lindweiler, Longerich, Pesch, Wilmuth, Heimersdorf and Bergheimerhoft. Task Force Lovelady attacked at 1400 hours with the objective Cologne and made good progress against moderate to heavy resistance from tank, anti-tank, artillery, and small arms fire. This force was held up at Longerich by tanks and infantry. TOT’S were fired on these tanks and the task force called for support from the fighter bombers. Red smoke was fired to mark the tank targets, but because of the poor visibility the planes were unable to pick out the target markers. Task Force Lovelady secured the towns of Wasserm, Eurlingcn and Weiler.
The battalion displaced from positions near Stommeln at 1130 hours. The battalion displaced by battery and by 1300 hours had completely closed in positions in the vicinity of Esch.
 6 March 1945
Task Force Welborn attacked east at 0400 hours and by 0700 hours had seized and secured the Ford Motor Plant in Cologne. Task Force Lovelady attacked at o4oo and by 0630 hours the two objectives Merkenich and Feldkassel were secured. Forces from Task Force Lovelady were left to hold the objectives and the remainder of the task force withdrew to assembly areas on the outskirts of Cologne. By night the 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion with the aid of Task Force Lovelady had cleaned out resistance west of the Rhine down through the suburb of Niehi. First Lieutenant Smith established an OP in the Ford Motor Plant.
 7 March 1945
Task Force Hogan continued cleaning up resistance in Cologne in house to house fighting. Chief resistance was from small arms and sporadic artillery fire. By 16oo hours the city of Cologne west of the Rhine had been cleared of the enemy.
The battalion remained in position northwest of Longerich. Three OP’s were set up along the river and each battery was assigned one to man. During the day, Headquarters Battery sent a billeting detail into Longerich to select and start cleaning out billets for the battalion CP. The battalion fired three missions this date: 1 on a railroad train, 1 TOT, and 1 registration. The train was knocked out. Total rounds expended this date- 113.
The mud was bad, but everyone found some sort of a place to sleep. They’d all been in the sack for a good two hours though it was only eleven. The phone on the tank jingled and the guard sloshed through the mud to answer it. It was the Exec. “Wake ’em all up”. We’ve got to shoot all night. A thousand rounds over the Rhine. No, we’re not crossing. Somebody else has crossed and we want the Krauts to think we’re coming over-give them something to worry about. What? Oh down south somewhere-at Remagen.
17 March 1945-At 0645 hours the battalion began displacing from positions at Longerich, Germany. The battalion marched 14 miles and at 1100 hours the battalion had completely closed in positions 3/4′ miles southeast of Bottenbroich, Germany. The remainder of the day was spent cleaning the buildings and area. The battalion continued its period of rest and maintenance and prepares for the coming operation. During the early morning hours the battalion fired 4 missions: 1 on a factory, 1 on a strongpoint, 1 on mortars, and 1 on a storage tank. Total rounds expended this date-139.
The Pfc took a long drag on the bottle and set it back on the table. His feet were propped up on another chair, the Stars and Stripes was in his hands. On a card across the corner o f the room hung a row o f O. D. drawers, shirts, handkerchiefs, etc. A fire burned comfortably in the other corner. Cologne was the best town yet for booze, be mused. Wondered what was happening down in the Remagen bridgehead. “O. K., off your keister and let’s go for chow, buddy,” from the corporal, kicking the door open.
 18 March 1945
The battalion remained in assembly positions 3/4 miles southeast of Bottenbroich, Germany. The day was spent cleaning the buildings and area, and in the maintenance of vehicles.
 19 March 1945
The battalion remained in assembly positions 3/4 miles southeast of Bottcnbroich, Germany, conducting rest and maintenance. The battalion prepared training schedules to include maintenance of vehicles and equipment, periods of athletics, and movies. This date the battalion movie was put in operation showing three shows daily.
This date in the afternoon the battalion showers were put into operation and times were provided in the training schedules to permit showers during the day.
The Rose Pocket
VII Corps moved down into the Remagen bridge head and with the 1st and 78th divisions enlarged it to permit the armor to operate.
On 25 March, the First U. S. Army launched its attack to burst out of the bridgehead. The 3rd Armored “Spearhead” Division passed through the 1st and 104th in four columns, closely followed by the supporting infantry, and despite difficult terrain, minefields, and enemy fire from small arms, self-propelled guns, and tanks, made good progress. Using strong forces of tanks and infantry from reinforcements rushed into the threatened area, the enemy unsuccessfully attempted to stem our advance. Eight enemy divisions were identified on our front. The first days drive netted 20 kilometers. Another day 35, and the Corps had 97 mile front stretching from the Rhine eastward.
Once more we had achieved a breakthrough. Marburg was captured and cleared, almost undamaged. From Marburg our armor rushed northward and in a single day by the- road advanced a record of 102 miles-the greatest advance ever made in force in military history. Behind the 3rd Armored Division the 78th, 1st, 8th, 9th, 104th Divisions and the 4th Cavalry Group were in our path forming the iron ring around the Ruhr, richest prize of the war, the greatest center of German industry.
As the 3rd Armored Division closed on Paderborn, increased resistance from enemy strong points, roadblocks, and defended villages was encountered. While First Army was breaking out of its bridgehead, troops of the Ninth U. S. Army had crossed the Rhine north of the Ruhr and were driving east to Paderborn. A link up would isolate the Reichs largest industrial area and cut off thousands of troops. And so thousands of SS troops, the elite of the Wehrmacht were thrown into the battle as the enemy attempted to stabilize his defenses and to hold Paderborn’s important road center and to keep his Ruhr escape gap open.
On March 30th, the U. S. Army lost one of its greatest battle leaders when Major General Maurice Rose, commanding the 3rd Armored Division was killed in action near Paderborn. General Rose had commanded the division since the Normandy breakthrough and it was under his leadership that it had earned the nickname of the “Spearhead Division.” The great work and brilliant success of the division reflected the ability and spirit of its leader. Because of the importance of the attack in which he was leading his division when he lost his life and to honor his personal courage in battle, VII Corps and First Army adopted the name of “Rose Pocket” for the operation which isolated the Ruhr. After securing Paderborn, an armored task force from the Spearhead Division made a firm junction with elements of XIX Corps, the 2nd Armored and 3rd Infantry Divisions west of the city toward the Rhine at Lippstadt on 1 April. The Ruhr trap was closed, a trap which isolated about 5,000 square miles of enemy territory, including some of the most highly developed industrial area in Europe. Completely encircled by American troops, over 350,000 enemy troops, units of German Army Group D, were cut off from the supplies and reinforcements. This was one of the greatest operations of its kind in all history, and a heavy blow to the already hard pressed German army and nation.
 23 March 1945
Lieutenant Colonel George G. Garton left the organization at 1725 hours on temporary duty to England. Major Walter D. McCahan assumed command of the battalion.
The battalion began displacing from position 1 mile southeast of Bottenbroich at 0725 hours. The order of march was Headquarters Battery, Battery A, Battery B, Battery C, and A trains. The battalion joined the CC “B” column and started crossing the Rhine River at 1150 hours. The battalion crossed the Rhine at Mehlem about 2,000 yards southeast of Bad Godcsberg. It took the lead vehicle five minutes to cross the 1170 foot pontoon bridge. The battalion arrived in position near Ittenbach at l220 hours and had completely closed in position by 14oo hours. The march was made without mishap.
 24 March 1945
The battalion remained in position near Ittenbach during the day and continued preparations for the coming attack. At 1700 hours the battalion began displacing and by 18; 5 hours had completely closed in positions in the vicinity of Sands.
Per WO 26, Headquarters 3rd Armored Division, 24 March 1945, the 3rd Armored Division will attack 25 March combat commands abreast to seize initially the high ground in the vicinity of Altcnkirchen and successive objectives thereafter to include crossings of the Dill River between Dillenburg and Herborn. The division will by-pass pockets of resistance in order to seize the objectives quickly and will be prepared to exploit in the direction of Marburg and Frankenburg. CC “B” is to be the left flank. This battalion will be in direct support of CC “B” in the attack. The 54th Armored Field Artillery Battalion will reinforce the fires of this battalion until CC “R” is committed.
 25 March 1945
Task Force Welborn of CC ” B ” attacked at o4oo hours the attack starting at 0530 hours.and advanced during the day against moderate resistance. Heavy artillery fire was received during the day and night. The battalion displaced by battery to support Battery B displaced as the lead battery and closed in position southwest of Krippgierscheid. On the march one M-7 of Battery B was knocked out by a mine on the main road southwest of Uckrath. In position Battery B received light counter battery fire about 0615 hours. Major Walter D. McCahan, Battalion Commander, was lightly wounded by this fire and was evacuated. Captain Warren W. Hawley, 111, S-3, assumed temporary command of the battalion at this time. Lieutenant Colonel Lawton F. Garner, Division Artillery Commander, assumed command of the battalion at 1100 hours. The battalion closed in position with Battery B at 0830 hours. The roads leading into the battalion positions were harassed by artillery fire throughout the remainder of the, day.
At 1500 hours Battery A displaced as the lead battery and closed in position near Kircheib. The remainder of the battalion had closed in position with Battery A by 173 5 hours. In moving to this position along the main road and just before going into the position, all the batteries ran a Zoo yard gauntlet of fire, direct fire from a tank or anti-tank gun from across the valley. No vehicles of this battalion were hit. In this position Headquarters Battery captured 12 prisoners and Battery A captured 5.
From 1200 to 1300 hours the supply trains in position near Sands received light harassing fire. One direct hit was scored on a half-track of the attached 486th AAA Battalion. The battalion suffered no casualties as a result of this fire.
 26 March 1945
Task Force Welborn attacked at 0700 hours and encountered a hasty minefield. Direct tank fire was received from the northeast. Enemy resistance consisting of tanks, SP guns, dug in infantry and artillery remained stubborn throughout the day and progress pas low. By 18oo hours the task force had advanced about 1,000 yards. Task Force Lovelady also met stubborn resistance from anti-tank guns and small arms. Air support was successfully used and the force was enabled to advance slowly. By 2100 hours leading elements had reached the town of Altenkirchen. Orders were received to move to assembly areas and CC “B” was to constitute the division reserve. CC “R” was employed this date in the late evening and the 54th Armored Field Artillery Battalion which had been reinforcing the fires of this battalion took over direct support of CC “R”. This battalion took over observation for Task Force Lovelady.
Battery B displaced as the lead battery with the attack of Task Force Welborn at o83o hours and closed, in positions about 700 yards southeast of Kircheib. The remainder of the battalion displaced with the column and had closed in position with Battery B at 1020 hours. In the afternoon Second Lieutenant Marik was lightly wounded and evacuated. He was replaced as forward observer by Second Lieutenant Clark. In the battalion positions for the night, all battery positions received moderate counter battery fire between 2000 and 2030 hours. One enlisted man was lightly wounded but remained on duty. One of the shells exploded less than 15 yards from the battalion fire direction center. The battalion fired 18 missions this date: 4 on vehicles, 1 on tanks, 2 on rocket guns, 5 on infantry, 1 smoke concentration, 1 on a road junction, 1 on anti-tank gun, 1 on personnel, and 2 registrations. Total rounds expended this date-1158. Both rocket gun positions were neutralized; one anti-tank gun was knocked out. Five vehicles were knocked out.
 27 March 1945
The battalion was notified early in the morning that it was to reinforce the fires of the 54th Armored Field Artillery Battalion in direct
support of CC “R”. Both Task Force Hogan and Task Force Richardson attacked east through Altcnkirchen and by 1000 hours the second objective had been secured. Both task forces of CC “B” followed CC “A” closely and for the night the task forces were coiled ready to send reconnaissance in force through Task Force Doan east to Marburg. At 2100 hours the battalion received word to contact CC “B ” and that the battalion would revert to direct support of CC “B “. Captain Carney reported to Task Force Welborn as liaison officer with Second Lieutenant Arnold and First Lieutenant Plummer as forward observers. The 83rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion was to reinforce the fires of this battalion during the coming operation.
Batteries B and C displaced forward to support the attack of CC “R” at 0100 hours, and closed in position zoo yards northeast of Rettersen. Light harassing fire was received in the positions southeast of Kircheib at 0730 hours before the remainder of the battalion displaced forward. There were no casualties resulting from this fire. At 0830 hours Battery A and Headquarters Battery displaced forward and joined the battalion northeast of Rettersen at 0910 hours. At 1030 hours the battalion displaced forward. The battalion received moderate harassing fire on the main road just northwest of Altenkirchen. No vehicles were hit and no casualties were inflicted. The battalion moved on through Altenkirchen and continued on the road. The battalion was still on the road at 2400.
 28 March 1945
CC “B” crossed the Dill River in the vicinity of Herborn and advanced rapidly against no resistance. By 103 5 hours Task Force Lovelady had reached Marburg. The enemy garrison offered only light resistance which was quickly overcome. The task forces advanced east and for the night were coiled about 2000 yards east of Romershausen. The battalion closed in positions at 0130 in the vicinity of Roth with Task Force Welborn. At o8oo hours Battery A displaced with the task force as the lead battery and the remainder of the battalion joined the task force column by 0900 hours. At 1310 hours the battalion coiled 300 yards southeast of Romershausen. About 1600 hours the battalion displaced forward and coiled for the night at 1700 hours with the task force about 2,000 yards east of Romershausen. Late in the evening word was received that the Third Armored Division was to attack to the north 29 0700 March 1945 with the objective Paderborn.
You’d think we were coming through France and Belgium, the way the kids waved and the people smiled at us. Maybe they think we’re the Wehrmacbt! Can’t trust them though. Lord, I thought we’d never break out around Kircbeib. Guess the 1st Division is fighting like bell 50 miles behind us. Good to be with them again. Sure wish 1 could have gotten some pictures of those little towns. Pretty country, reminds me of back home in Pennsylvania.
 29 March 1945
CC” B ” advanced rapidly throughout the day. Pockets of resistance were encountered which fought stubbornly, but largely the opposition was sporadic and ineffectual. The division advanced approximately 102 miles during the day’s operations.
The battalion displaced with the CC “B” column at 0815 hours and advanced rapidly. The battalion coiled with the CC “B” column at o815 hours and advanced rapidly. The battalion coiled with Task Force Welborn just south of Lengefeld at 1435 hours. At 161o hours the battalion displaced with the task force and at 1745 hours coiled for the night the night with Task Force Welborn in the vicinity of Nieder-Marsburg. The battalion did not fire this date. All opposition to the task force was crushed by machine gun and tank fire.
 30 Mach, 1945
Task Force Welborn attacked at 0700 hours initially against sporadic resistance. During the afternoon in the vicinity of Ettlyn strong dug in infantry positions were encountered. This opposition consisted of infantry and bazooka teams. Some tanks were also encountered. At about 1900 hours Task Force Welborn column was attacked by several Mark V tanks. Nine medium tanks and 21 half-tracks were knocked out. Two peeps from this battalion were shot up and completely destroyed. The peep in which Lieutenant Colonel Garton was riding was shot up but the driver and Colonel Garton managed to escape and got to safety to the 54th Armored Field Artillery Battalion. First Lieutenant Plummer was wounded in this attack. Corporal Roland L. Mniece and Technician Fifth Grade Hubert E. Horton stayed with him and carried him back through
3 miles of enemy territory to safety where he was evacuated to the hospital. Technician Fifth Grade Horton returned to the column and drove off the survey peep which although riddled by machine gun fire had not burned and would still run.
The task force trains were cut off by an unknown number of infantry and an estimated 3 Mark V tanks. A force from Task Force Doan hurried to the scene and mopped up enemy resistance.
The battalion displaced with the task force column, coiled at noon, and at 1720 hours closed in position for the night north of Ettlyn. The battalion fired 6 missions this date: 1 on a roadblock, 1 on mortars, 1 on tanks, 1 on infantry, and 2 registrations. Total rounds expended this date-238. Mortar positions were reported neutralized. Several of the infantry defending the roadblock were killed.

WOJG Ray West, his peep driver, Private First Class Elmer O’dell and S/Sergeant Anthony Kryzak, all of Service Battery, were reported missing in action this date. The group left the battalion positions just south of Ettlyn to return to the supply rains. These men did not arrive at the supply trains and no trace of the peep or the men could be found. Private Charles K. Vaughn, Headquarters Battery, is missing in action this date. He was driving a peep in the Task Force Welborn column when it was attacked by the Tiger Tanks. His destroyed peep was found but he has not been seen since this time.

31 March 1945
Task Force Welborn attacked north towards Paderborn and by night had secured the high ground overlooking the town. At about 1800 hours this force was attacked by 6 Mark V tanks. The infantry of the task force was driven back beyond the task force CP, and the attack was broken up only after it had reached a point less than 600 yards from this battalion. Two of the tanks were knocked out by the fire of a 90 mm tank; one was set afire and knocked out by WP fired from this battalion. The FO 2 tank was knocked out in this attack, but at the time no one was in the tank and there were no casualties.
The battalion displaced with the attack at 1050 hours and at 1745 hours closed in position for the night near Hamborn about 5 miles south of Paderborn. The battalion fired 14 missions this date: 1 on infantry and tanks, 5 on tanks, 4 on infantry, 2 harassing missions, 1 on personnel, and 1 registration. Total rounds expended this date-714. One Tiger Tank was known destroyed.

The radio in the S-3 track crackled. “Hello 15, Hello 15, over.” “Hello 15, send your message, over.” “Hello 15, about six tanks headed down the road along the woods, right into the Tare Fox position. Look like big boys. Last concentration is 5oo over, fire volley!” The cub placed harassing fire on the tanks but could not stop ‘them. Our tanks, lights and mediums, began to stream through the battery positions going to the rear. “We can’t stop ’em with these damn 76’5,” the tankers shouted. The batteries trained their guns on the road as it came out from behind’ the hill, and loaded with H. E. A. T. One battery fired mixed white phosphorous and H. E. “Got one on fire with WP!” the cub shouted. On the right over the hill at the task force CP, a 90 mm tank opened up. “Two more are stopped!” from the cub. “The others are turning around going back now.” The clenched fingers around the lanyards relaxed a little. “God, that was close? Thank God for the 90’s!” I saw the three Tiger Royals this morning. Huge bastards! Did you hear General Rose was killed?! I heard it too. Those SS bastards! He sure put this division on the map. Wonder who’ll take over now. General Hickey, 1 guess. Couldn’t be a better man to fill Rose’s shoes. Hear the old man was with General Rose when he was killed. Sure hope he’s okay. He’s been with us through thick and thin.

1 April 1945
Task Force Welborn attacked towards Paderborn at o6oo hours and reached the town by 0655 hours. Enemy infantry and roving tanks and SP guns opposed the advance. By 1700 hours the northeast portion of the town-had been secured.
Task Force Lovelady attacked Paderborn at 0800 hours and advanced initially against no resistance, entering the town at 0940 hours. The advance through the town was opposed by small arms and anti-tank fire. The southeast portion of the town was secured by 1700 hours. The town had been very badly beaten up mostly previous bombings and only a few civilians remained in the town.

2 April 1945
CC “B” continued to secure the northeast and southeast portions of Paderborn throughout the day. Task Force Lovelady sent a force to Dahl at 1945 hours and relieved the 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. Task Force Welborn maintained contact with the tooth Infantry Division by patrol. Division Artillery Command sent liaison planes up in an effort to contact the 2nd Armored Division. Physical contact with the 2nd Armored Division was made by Task Force Kane in Lippstadt at 1530 hours.

3 April 1945
CC “B” continued to maintain defensive positions and to maintain roadblocks. A patrol from Task Force Welborn made contact with the 8th Armored Division at 1645 hours at Bad Lippspringe. Task Force Lovelady moved into Lichtenau without opposition and established roadblocks there. The battalion remained in position near Hamborn, 5 miles south of Paderborn, to give direct support to CC “B”. The battalion fired one registration this date expending 25 rounds. Battalion reconnaissance elements were sent out to select new positions for the battalion in the vicinity of Dahl.

4 April 1945
Task Force Welborn and Task Force Lovelady were relieved in Paderborn by Task Force Kane and they closed in new defensive sectors by 2000 hours. Both task forces were in position for the night in the vicinity of Herbram. Per Operations Memorandum 36, Headquarters Third Armored Division, 4 April 1945, CC “B” will attack 5 April to seize and secure the high ground north of Herbram, clear the wooded area in this sector and reconnoiter objectives 7 and 8, the high ground east of Schwaney.
The battalion displaced starting at 1500 hours from positions near Hamborn and closed in positions at Dorhenhagen by 1630 hours. The battalion registered from this position expending 37 rounds. Defensive fires were planned for the night, but no resistance developed and they were not fired.
Headquarters Third Armored Division
Office of the Commanding General
4 April 1945.
TO: All Members of The Division.
It is with a heavy heart that I assume command of this great Division, stepping into the shoes of our lost leader and my very warm, personal friend, MAJOR GENERAL MAURICE ROSE. The high standards that GENERAL ROSE set are ingrained in the Division. Our record, known throughout the world, is a result of his exacting demands upon every individual and every part of our team. His faultless tactical handling of all troops under his command; his personal drive which instilled in us the desire to close with the enemy and ruthlessly destroy him, regardless of the cost; his personal bravery and insistence that commanders be with their forward elements in order to better maintain the forward impulse; all, should inspire us to even greater deeds, as a tribute to him-our fallen leader. With complete confidence in every member of our Division, I know that, individually and collectively, we are resolved to maintain our glorious record and the standards set for us by GENERAL ROSE, in order that we may the sooner destroy the Nazi armies opposed to us, and achieve the victory and peace for which we are all fighting-for which GENERAL ROSE made the Supreme Sacrifice.
DOYLE O. HICKEY,
Brigadier General, U.S.A.,
Commanding.
To the Elbe and Victory
While troops attacked to shrink the Rose pocket, the 3rd Armored Division, now commanded by Brigadier General Doyle O. Hickey, launched a new drive to the east. The Weser river was readied and crossed. In relinquishing the ground west of the Weser, the enemy seemed to be concerned with delaying only long enough to permit withdrawal of his troops. He fought bitterly from village strong points, destroying bridges and underpasses whenever possible.
On April 9th, the division attacked out of the Weser bridgehead to gain 20 kilometers. The next day, 50 kilometers fell before the onslaught of the tanks.
The capture of the city of Nordhausen opened our eyes to the sort of people we were fighting and showed us why Germany’s surrender must be complete and unconditional. Thousands of slave laborers, men and women, displaced from Russia, Poland, France, and other conquered areas were kept here to operate the huge V-Bomb factory built deep into a hillside a short distance out of town. The inhumanity of their living conditions was appalling. The dead far outnumbered the living. Thousands of bodies were discovered in the partially destroyed barracks, lying in the fields, or stacked at the crematory, waiting to be burned. Bodies were found where their owners had died, or were crammed into rooms set aside for the dead and so full that the bony remains tumbled out when the doors were opened. It was not a pretty sight. Most of the dead had died of starvation. The living were practically dead, lying in the same rooms, the same pallets with their dead and dying comrades, too weak to move. Troops seeing this hellhole needed no urging to get back in the fight against a race that could care so little for human life. Those unfortunates still living were carried to the best homes in Nordhausen where our medical authorities did everything in their power for them. All the male citizens of Nordhausen were made to dig graves on a hillside overlooking the city and to carry and bury all the martyr bodies in this cemetery which will always bear evidence to the brutish sadism of the Nazis.
Indications of an enemy stand in the Hartz Mountains became more apparent as resistance stiffened considerably along the south western fringe of the wooded area. All approaches into the mountains were actively defended by enemy tanks and self-propelled guns. Bypassing the Hartz area, our attack advanced another 45 kilometers eastward against light resistance.
The Spearhead Division continued its advance eastward to the Saale River while the remainder of the Corps cleaned up behind in the Hartz Mountains. The 3rd Armored moved on to seize a crossing of the Mulde River and to seize Dessau on the Elbe. On April 15, the Mulde and Elbe Rivers were designated as the restraining line for our advance, and the Spearhead Division withdrew its bridgehead over the Mulde and after consolidating in the area, turned its sector over to the 9th Infantry Division.
 5 April 1945
Operations Memorandum 37, Headquarters Third Armored Division, 5 April 1945, ordered CC “B” to send reconnaissance forward rapidly to seize and secure the high ground vicinity of Gieselwerder. Bridges over the Weser River at Gieselwerder and Carlshaufen were reported intact. An attempt was made to secure them.
Task Force Welborn attacked east from vicinity of Dahl at 12oo hours. The high ground in the vicinity of Herbram and Schwaney were secured by 1615 hours against no opposition. Task Force Lovelady also attacked at 1200 hours from the vicinity of Eggeringsen and secured his sector of the objectives against no opposition. Operations Memorandum 38, Headquarters Third Armored Division, 5 April 1945, ordered CC “B” to continue the advance east to seize and secure the high ground vicinity of Bilshausen and the high ground vicinity of Rollshausen. Both task forces continued the attack at 2120 hours and for the night Task Force Welborn held positions vicinity of Siddesen and Task Force Lovelady held positions vicinity of Willegassen.
The battalion displaced with the attack of Task Force Welborn at i2oo hours and closed in firing position near Herbram about 1700 hours. The battalion registered in this position expending 37 rounds. The battalion displaced forward with the attack again at 2130 hours and for the night was coiled with the task force west of Siddesen. The battalion moved into this coil position at 23 15 hours.
 6 April 1945
Task Force Welborn continued the advance east. Heavy bazooka fire was encountered near Hainholtz. Borgholtz was defended by small arms fire but this resistance was overcome by 0925 hours. Infantry mopped up the woods and the task force advanced against moderate resistance and secured Haarbruck and consolidated there for the night.
Task Force Lovelady advanced rapidly to the east. Near the road junction at Eddessen positions defended by small arms and bazookas were encountered. Advancing steadily against moderate to stubborn resistance, Task Force Lovelady secured Manrode at 1930 hours and pushed on. The force coiled for the night 3,000 yards west of Trendelburg.
The battalion which had been marching all night of the 5th of April halted on the road at 0430 hours at Gehrden. At 0530 hours the column moved on and at o6 15 hours the battalion closed in firing position about 1000 yards northwest of Frohnhausen. The battalion displaced forward at 0830 hours to support the attack of CC “B” and again closed in firing position at Borgholz at 1100 hours. At 1630 hours the battalion displaced forward with the attack. About 2,000 yards west of Manrode an enemy roadblock was encountered and the battalion column crossed an open field to by-pass this obstacle. All the tanks (M-7’s) got through the field, but the halftracks and other vehicles bogged down. As the battalion crossed the field a three or four gun battery laid fire on this from 1900 to 1915 hours. ‘As the fire was walked across the field the vehicles managed to keep just ahead of the fire. But suddenly everything bogged down. Fire continued to fall in the portion of the field just vacated, but none fell among the bogged down vehicles. T-2’s and two M-7’s worked until midnight towing out vehicles to a lane where a solid road was found. Half-tracks winched each other out. The firing batteries, M-7’s only, managed to close in position just west of Manrode by 2030 hours, but the remainder of the battalion stopped on the lane just off the field. The battalion suffered no casualties as a result of this shelling.
 7 April 1945
Task Force Welborn attacked at 0630 hours and immediately encountered an enemy roadblock. This obstacle was reduced and the advance continued against light opposition. At 1100 hours this force entered Herstelle where direct fire from both sides of the river was encountered. At 1115 hours a force was sent to secure Carlshafen. This force encountered considerable artillery fire bazooka and heavy small arms fire during the advance to Carlshafen and in the town itself. The bridge at Carlshafen had been blown before our forces reached the town. Stubborn resistance was overcome in the two towns and by 1800 hours Herstelle and Carlshafen were secure.
Task Force Lovelady attacked at 0630 hours and advanced initially against light resistance. At 0945 this force entered Deisel and quickly secured the town.
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encountering only feeble resistance. On moving out of Deisel this force encountered terrain difficulties which slowed the advance and a roadblock stubbornly defended halted the advance. This roadblock was reduced and the force moved on to the south of Hclmarshausen was secure. The battalion displaced with the attack of Task Force Welborn at 0700 hours and at 1230 hours closed in position near Haarbruck. The battalion fired 16 missions this date: 1 on a roadblock, 5 on infantry, 2 on guns, 3 on personnel, 3 harassing missions, 1 smoke concentration, and 1 registration. Total rounds expended this date 1427. The two gun positions were reported neutralized. Harassing fire was placed on the bridge at Carlshafen to prevent the enemy from using or destroying the bridge. Despite this fire the bridge was destroyed before our forces readied the town. In the attack Second Lieutenant Merritt’s FO tank was knocked out by direct fire. There were no casualties in the section though. Second Lieutenant Clark, 1 O with the infantry was seriously wounded by sniper fire and evacuated.

8 April 1945
CCB sent out patrols to clear the wooded area in this zone and a patrol of Task Force Welborn cleared the road from Carlshafen along the river to Warmbedk. At the end of the day CCB was being relieved by elements of the 1st Infantry Division.
Operations Memorandum 40, Headquarters Third Armored Division, 8 April 1945 ordered CCB upon being relieved by the 1st Infantry Division to move south through the area occupied by the 104th Infantry Division across the Weser River and into assembly positions. Preparations were to be made to attack on Third Armored Division order. 9 April 1945-CCB was relieved by elements of the 1st Infantry Division by 0600 hours and moved in a single column to assembly positions, crossing the ‘Weser River at Gieselwerder. Because of the rapid advance of CC Howze, CCB was ordered to proceed through the assembly area and proceed toward the objectives Bilshausen, Gieboldehausen and Duderstadt. Task Force Welborn encountered dug in enemy infantry along the road and engaged with enemy tank concentration in the late afternoon. Supporting aircraft knocked out 2 tanks and 3 were destroyed by tank tire.

The battalion displaced at 0800 hours from positions-near Haarbruck, joined the CCB column and began crossing the Weser River at Gieselwerder at 0950 hours. The battalion coiled near Offensen at 1050 hours, displaced forward again at 1230 hours. The battalion coiled again at 1400 hours west of Ascte. At 1915 hours the battalion displaced forward and closed in position for the night east of Asche at 1930 hours.

10 April 1945
CCB attacked east at 0630 hours and made good progress against light resistance. The battalion displaced with the attack of Task Force Welborn at 0630 hours and closed in position at 1645 hours. The battalion again displaced forward at 1940 hours and was still on the road at midnight. The last 7 miles of the march was across country and many of the vehicles became stuck.
 11 April 1945
CCB resumed the attack east to seize Nordhausen. Task Force Lovelady attacked at 0430 hours and by 0740 this force was in the town without opposition. Task Force Welborn attacked at 0530 hours and by 0650 hours this force was in the town. By 1330 hours the town was secured.
The battalion attacked with Task Force Welborn and by 0300 hours had closed in position near Grosswechsungen. The battalion displaced forward at 1100 hours and closed in position 1 mile west of Nordhausen at 1300 hours.
“Mac, you just can’t believe it until you see it. And when you see it, you car. hardly realize things like this could happen. Pictures don’t begin to make you realize it.
You come into a big long room where they are and it’s just a mass of putrefying humanity. Bodies are stacked in the corners like firewood. The living lie among the dead unable to move out of their own refuse, and the dead are luckier. One man died on his knees with his arms and head in a supplicating position – yes, still on his knees, dead for days. Some of the living tried to smile, through what medics say is the most excruciating pain-death by starvation. Yeah, they ,were literally skin and bones. No buttocks to lie on, no flesh on their arms to rest their skulls on.”
“Jews, Poles, French, Belgians, Russians, Slavs, yes, even Germans. All political prisoners. They were what once must have been a fine selection of freedom loving intellects in healthy bodies. A Jew grasped my hand. `Are Jews allowed to serve in the U. S. Army?’ he asked. And do you know, 1 don’t think be believed me when I said, `Of course.’ What looked to be an old, old man tried to kiss my hands and feet and couldn’t speak for crying. The Jew told me the man was ,31 years old. There were no young men in Nordhausen. Yes, 1 saw the ovens, the gas chambers, the kitchens where the daily cup of stinking potato soup was made.” “And as 1 was leaving, sick at the heart and soul, a man approached me, barely able to walk, old and thin. He had been a professor in a university in the east o f Germany-can’t remember the name now. He took my arm, threw his hand out to indicate the room with its living dead and dead and said simply, `This is Germany.”
12 April 1945-Task Force Welborn attacked at 0700 hours and advanced rapidly against no resistance until anti tank fire was encountered in the vicinity of Beyernaumberg. Task Force Lovelady attacked against light resistance from bazookas and small arms fire all day.

The battalion displaced forward with the attack of Task Force Welborn at 0700 hours and displaced rapidly going into a coil east of Saundershausen at 1000 hours. The battalion displaced forward again at t5cc hours and closed in position for the night at 1545 hours at Beyernaumberg.
 13 April 1945
Task Force Welborn attacked at 0700 hours and advanced against moderate resistance until halted by direct fire from 88 mm dual purpose guns in the vicinity of Wolferode. After overcoming this resistance the force continued the advance knocking out numerous 88’s. The town of Eisleben was declared open and no resistance was encountered there. Polleben was entered at 1300 hours against moderate resistance. In this town a PW camp was overrun and 430 British PWs including over 300 officers were liberated. The force continued to advance and at 1515 hours entered Friedeburg, cleared the town and put infantry across the river and had a bridge under construction by 2400 hours.
Task Force Lovelady attacked at 0700 hours and advanced rapidly against light resistance reaching Helfta at 0830 hours, where heavy flanking fire from 88 mm guns, bazookas and SP guns was encountered. Helfta was cleared and into hours, the infantry was being worked into Unterdrissdorf where heavy fire from 88’s halted the advance. At 1430 hours the advance continued but the bridge across the Saale River had been blown as the column had advanced. This force halted for the night and prepared to follow Task Force Welborn over the bridge being constructed at Friedeburg. Operations Memorandum 45, Headquarters Third Armored Division, 13 April ordered construction of bridge over Saale River during the night of 13-14 April by the 23rd Armored Engineer Battalion. Units were to cross immediately upon completion of the bridge and coil on the east bank until H hour when all units would continue the attack.
The battalion displaced with the attack of Task Force Welborn at 0700 hours and marched until l000 hours when the battalion closed in positions at Bornstedt. The 183rd Field Artillery in the 391st Field Artillery groupment followed behind this battalion and closed in positions in this area. The town of Wolferode was occupied by enemy infantry and anti-tank guns. The groupment laid heavy fire on the town. This battalion fired a total of 850 rounds of mixed HE impact and WP shells. The battalion displaced forward at 1300 hours and closed in position at Freist at 1700 hours. At dusk Second Lieutenant Root was ferried across the Saale River with the infantry establishing a bridgehead to give, supporting observed fire to the bridgehead forces if required.
 14 April 1945
Task Force Welborn crossed the Saale River as soon as the bridge was completed at 0700 hours, coiled on the east bank, and attacked at 0915 hours against light opposition at first. The force quickly knocked out spotted resistance and advanced rapidly to the west bank of the Mulde River. Patrols pushed forward in an effort to secure a bridge across the river intact.
Task Force Lovelady crossed the Saale River behind Task Force Welborn starting at 0835 hours and attacked east at 0915. This force ran into anti-tank fire immediately upon moving out. Strong resistance consisting of small arms and anti-tank fire was encountered throughout the day.
The battalion displaced with the attack of Task Force Welborn at. 0845 hours from positions at Freist, crossed the Saale River on the pontoon bridge and marched rapidly throughout the day. The battalion closed in position for the night 1 mile northeast of Lingenau, and awaited the construction of a bridge across the Mulde.
Just west of Tornou the battalion was strafed two times while on the road. About 1400 hours 10 ME 109’s flew over the column, circled and then drove down out of the sun and strafed across the column. The vehicles quickly dispersed into the open field and opened fire with all 50 caliber MG’s. At 1415 hours as the battalion pulled off into the field three ME 109’s strafed across the column. These planes were followed by a P- 51. The P- 51 shot down 1 plane and the ack-ack another. The battalion suffered 5 casualties.
 15 April 1945
Task Force Welborn lifted artillery fire on the bridge across the Mulde River at 0445 hours and sent a patrol to investigate the bridge. The bridge was blown and the site strongly defended. A company of infantry and a company of tanks were moved into position for a crossing. Infantry crossed on the wreckage of the blown bridge and bridging equipment was moved up. Task Force Lovelady attacked east at 0600 hours and advanced against moderate to heavy resistance from small arms and bazookas. One battle group was sent to clear the town of Thurland and the woods north from there to make contact with Task Force Welborn. This force killed 80, captured 255 and destroyed 1 SP gun. The battalion remained in position 1 mile northeast of Lingenau awaiting construction of the bridge across the Mulde. The battalion received light artillery fire near the positions. No casualties were inflicted by this fire. The battalion fired 20 missions this date: 1 on infantry and machine guns, 1 on a town, 6 harassing missions, 6 on infantry, 1 on mortars, 2 smoke concentrations, 1 on a building, and 2 registrations. Total rounds expended this date-999. Mortar positions were reported neutralized.
 16 April 1945
TF Welborn continued mopping up operations in its zone, held the bridgehead over the Mulde River and continued bridging operations. Bridge construction was impeded by difficult terrain at the south approach and harassing enemy artillery fire.
TF Lovelady cleared Thurland and Kleinlipzig during the day and eliminated resistance in Raghun, Priorau, Marke, Schierau, and Siebenhausen.
The battalion remained in position one mile northeast of Lingenau in direct support of CCB. Sv Btry Sv Btry was in position just north of Tornau conducting normal maintenance and supply functions. The battalion fired 18 missions this date: 7 on counter-attacks against the bridgehead, 5 on infantry, 1 preparation, 1 on an OP, 1 on guns, 1 on a town, and 2 registrations. Total rounds expended this date-857. This date the 67th Armd FA Bn was released from the 391st FA Groupment and the 83rd Armd FA Bn was assigned to the groupment. This battalion was to reinforce the fires of the 391st Armd FA Bn. 17 April 1945-TF Welborn continued to secure the bridgehead over the Mulde River and construction of a treadway bridge continued until 1845 hours when orders were issued to discontinue construction of the bridge and withdraw the bridgehead forces. At 0900 hours a battle group from TF Welborn was dispatched to aid TF Lovelady secure Torten and the road junction west of town.
TF Lovelady had an attack against his CP and Service elements in Thurland by 150 enemy infantry with bazookas and automatic weapons at 0130 hours. Severe house to house fighting resulted and the enemy occupied the town. During the counter-attack, the BC party of Btry A, which was acting as Liaison with this task force, was forced to abandon the half track. Three members of the crew were missing all day but managed to work their way thru the woods to friendly elements during the night. Communication with FO 3, 2nd Lieutenant Eldridge, was lost and lie could not be contacted until late in the evening. Service Battery of this battalion located just north of Tornau prepared to fight it out with the attacking enemy infantry who had overrun TF Lovelady’s CP. The attack died out before it reached this point. TF Lovelady attacked in the early evening and retook the town of Thurland.
The battalion remained in position 1 mile northeast of Lingenau to give direct support to CC “B”. The battalion fired 20 missions this date: 5 on counterattacks, 7 on infantry, 3 smoke missions to mark targets for fighter bombers, 1 on A town, 3 on guns, and 1 harassing mission. Total rounds expended this date-771.
 18 April 1945
CC “B” maintained defensive positions from Torten to Rodgen. TF Welborn withdrew his bridgehead forces to the west side of the Mulde River under cover of darkness in the early morning. Patrols moving from Torten to contact elements of CC Doan received heavy anti-tank and small arms fire and were unable to effect contact.
The battalion remained in position one mile northeast of Lingenau and fired close support missions for CC “B”. The battalion fired 16 missions this date: 1 on an OP, 4 on towns, 2 smoke missions to mark targets for fighter bombers, 6 on infantry, 1 on tanks, and 2 registrations. Total rounds expended this date-586.
In the morning the anti-aircraft unit attached to Hq Btry captured 8 prisoners in the woods near the battery. Sv Btry remained in position just north of Tornau and conducted normal maintenance and supply duties.
 19 April 1945
CCB continued to operate patrols within this sector. TF Welborn attacked north to seize the crossroad north of Torton. Moderate resistance from artillery small arms and bazooka fire was encountered. Roadblocks were set up in the vicinity of the crossroad and maintained throughout the night. The battalion remained in position northeast of Lingenau and fired direct support missions for CCB.
The battalion fired 9 missions this date: 2 smoke concentrations, 1 on an OP, 2 on infantry, 2 harassing missions, and 2 registrations. Total rounds upended this date-458. Smoke missions were fired to mark target for P-3 8’s which bombed the bridge across the Mulde at Raghun. 2nd Lt. Nlerritt and 2nd Lt. Eldridge, FO’s, were relieved and returned to the battalion for maintenance of the tanks.
 20 April 1945
TF Wellborn continued to push throughout the night and early morning against small arms, artillery and mortar fire and by 1000 hours had secured the critical enemy strong point. A combat patrol swept towns in the southern part of the division. No resistance was encountered and about 80 PV’s were captured. Operations Memorandum 47, Hq 3rd Armored Division, 20 April 1945, ordered the 3rd Armored Division to attack 21 April to seize and secure Dessau and also to continue to secure the west bank of the Mulde River in the division zone. The battalion remained in position northeast of Lingenau and fired direct support missions for CCB. The battalion fired 11 missions this date: 4 on infantry, 2 on vehicles, 1 on a house, 1 on mortars, 1 harassing mission, and 2 registrations. Mortar position was reported neutralized. Missions on infantry were reported very effective. Total rounds expended – 566.
The anti-aircraft battery which was being used for outpost defense of Hq Btry captured 8 prisoners this date and a patrol organized by Hq Btry captured 2 others.
21 April 1945
TF Welborn attacked north at 0530 hours and advanced against small arms, some artillery and mortar fire, encountering one light flak battery. By 1300 hours the task force zone was cleared and contact was established with elements of CC Doan on the left.
TF Lovelady attacked across the Spittel Wasser Creek at o3oo hours to seize the town of Raghun. Moderate resistance was encountered. By 1325 hours the town was cleared. This force was ordered to attack south from Raghun between the Spittel Wasser and the Mulde to clear that area as far south as Jessnitz to assist TF Richardson in the capture of Jessnitz if necessary. TF Lovelady attacked at 1400 hours and against light resistance cleared this area. This force was not committed to the attack on Jessnitz.
The battalion remained in position northeast of Lingenau and fired direct support missions for the attack of CCB. The battalion fired 21 missions this date: 1 preparation, 1 on guns, 6 on infantry, 1 on a town, 1 on a CP, 1 on a crossroad, 9 harassing missions, and 1 TOT. Total rounds expended this date-577. Gun position was reported neutralized. Missions on infantry were reported very effective.
 22 April 1945
TF Welborn continued to maintain defensive positions and secure its zone. Elements of the Goth Inf. Regt. (9th Inf. Div.) relieved TF Lovelady at 1615 hours and this force moved out of the division area. The battalion remained in position 1 mile northeast of Lingenau in direct support of CCB. Division Artillery fired a 21 volley salute to the Russians at 1200 hours. All division artillery and attached artillery fired in this salute-the target was the town of Mildensee. A mixture of impact and white phosphorous was fired. Brigadier General Budinot (CCB) and Lt. Col. Garton observed the mission from the cub planes of this battalion. Col. Brown (Div Art Comdr) observed from a Div Arty plane. Results were reported as excellent. In timing the gun sections for the 21 volleys, the fastest gun was 6th section of Btry B (Sgt. Wicklund) all rounds on the way in 65 seconds. The last gun to cease firing was the 2nd section of Btry A in 1 minute and 45 seconds.
You know that salute we just fired to the Russians? Well, two guys just came in from Mildensee on the other side of Dessau where we beat up the town and wanted to surrender the town? We told ’em to wait for the Russians. Man, I don’t blame them wanting to give up after that salute landed there.
 23 April, 1945
Task Force Welborn and elements of Task Force Lovelady continued to secure the CCB sector of the Division zone. The firing elements remained in position northeast of Lingenau and gave direct support to CCB in defense of the Task Force Welborn zone. About 1315 hours several rounds of artillery fell in Lingenau setting a house on fire. The air OP was unable to pick up the gun. Division Artillery kept a plane up all day looking for the advancing Russians. Just at dark the cub spotted flashes from the Russian artillery north and south of Wittenburg.
The battalion fired 4 missions this date: 3 harassing missions and 1 registration. Total rounds expended this date-153. Instructions were received that the 9th Infantry Division would relieve Task Force Welborn on 24 April and that the battalion would move to assembly positions in the vicinity of Sangershausen. At 1330 hours Headquarters Battery (FDC) and Service Battery displaced from positions and marched to the assembly positions. Service Battery closed in positions at Oberroblingen and Headquarters Battery closed in at Hackpfuffel
24 April 1945

The 9th Infantry Division relieved CCB by 1345 hours and CCB began the move to the assembly area in the vicinity of Sangershausen.

The battalion firing elements remained in position northeast of Lingenau in the morning and fired at targets of opportunity. The battalion fired 11 missions this date: 3 on towns, 6 on strong points, 1 harassing mission, and 1 registration. Total rounds expended-916. The last mission was a harassing mission fired by Battery B. The last round was fired by 2nd gun section (Sgt. Wascom)-the 170,100 round fired by the battalion since landing in Normandy. Sgt. Wascom’s gun section also fired the 1st round to be fired against the enemy in Normandy.

At 1345 the FDC and the firing batteries displaced from position and marched to the assembly area. Battery A Oberroblungen, Battery B Riethnordhausen, Battery C Edersleben, and FDC closed in position at Hackpfuffcl with the rest of the Headquarters Battery. The battalion had completely closed in the assembly area by 2045 hours. The battalion began a period of rest and maintenance.

The campaigns over, the division settled down to occupation duties, to give tried nerves and bodies a rest. A rest well earned. The Normandy Campaign, the Battle of France, o f the Bulge, of the Rhineland, and o f Central Germany brought five battle stars to personnel who had come through all the way with the “Spearhead” Division. The campaigns had been long, and arduous, and as hard fought as any of the war.

From near Sangerhausen, on 12 May, the division moved to take over a new sector o f occupation south o f Frankfurt. At Neu-Isenburg, the battalion found an ideal town with every facility for recreation and amusement. As the battalion moved again on the 14th o f August to a sector between Stuttgart and Nuremberg, the atomic bombs fell on Japan and the peace was finally signed. The 3rd Armored Spearhead Division, which had been reorganizing to resume its successes in the Pacific had seen its last combat in World War- 11, the Global War. The world at last was safe again and the eyes all men turned toward peace and the work to follow. Not, however, without great honor and glory and eternal appreciation to our comrades who gave their utmost, their all-their lives so that all of us remaining could help build a better life for all of mankind.

Headquarters Third Armored Division, APO 253
231.22
29 May 1945
Subject: Letter from C G, VII Corps.

All members of this command.
The following letter, received by the Division Commander from the Commanding General, VII Corps, is quoted for your information:

“`With the relief of the 3rd Armored Division from the VII Corps, I wish express again, in writing, to you and to the officers and men of your splendid division, my appreciation for the great contribution made by the 3rd Armored Division to the success of the V II Corps in its operations in Germany, particularly luring the closing phases of the war.

Following the severe fighting in the Ardennes, in which the 3rd Armored had played a great part first in checking and then expelling yon Rundstedt’s forces from the “Bulge,” the division was shifted back to its old battle ground around Stolberg and prepared for the crossing of the Roer River. As soon as the 8th and 134th Infantry Divisions had established a bridgehead over the Roer, the 3rd Armored was placed in action on the morning of 26 February to spearhead the attack of the corps on Cologne. With characteristic dash and vigor, the division broke through the initial resistance and raced eastward. In two days it had forced the difficult crossing of the Erft River and swung across the northern end of the formidable Vorgebirge, whose hill masses, pitted with a succession of open lignite mines and studded with slag heaps; made maneuver very difficult. The key road and communication center of Stommeln was seized to sever the enemy forces in the northern part of the Cologne plain between the Erft and the Rhine. Pressing the attack to the northeast, elements of the division reached the Rhine River in the vicinity of Worringen on 4 March, and in an irresistible drive were the first troops to enter Cologne on S March. Within two days all enemy resistance within the division sector, both in the city and on the plain to the north, had been eliminated.

After a brief interlude along the west bank of the Rhine, the division moved across the river into the expanding Remagen Bridgehead, prepared to launch the last great offensive in the west. On 25 March, the division attacked east again through the 1st and 134th Infantry Divisions, brushing aside the initial resistance and pressing forward through the hilly and wooded area of the watersheds between the Sieg and Wied Rivers. Although enemy resistance was sharp and unrelenting and the terrain continued to be difficult, the division seized Altenkirchen and quickly forced a crossing of the Dill River in the vicinity of Herborn, and then captured Marburg, cutting enemy communications in the Lahn River valley.

Then began one of the most important and dramatic maneuvers of the entire campaign in Europe, the envelopment of the vital Ruhr industrial area. Commencing 29 March, the “Spearhead” Division in an unprecedented drive advanced ninety road miles to the north in one z{-hour period, the greatest advance by any division against opposition in the entire war. As it neared its objective, Paderborn, the division became heavily engaged and fought its way through fanatic resistance of enemy troops from the SS Panzer Replacement Training Center. Continuing onward, while repelling counter-attacks from all sides, the division captured Paderborn on 1 April. On this same day, Task Force Kane advanced to the west and made contact with elements of the 2nd Armored Division at Lippstadt, thereby cutting off the enemy troops in the Ruhr. In eight days the division had made a spectacular advance of almost two hundred miles and had swung the hammer that forged more than half of the ring around the 300,000 enemy troops encircled in the Ruhr pocket. The speed, dash, and daring of the commanders and men of all ranks made this operation a model military classic.

Unfortunately, we had a terrible price to pay for this victory in the death of one of the greatest of all division commanders, your gallant leader, Major General Maurice Rose, who was killed in action 30 March at the head of one his task forces near Paderborn.

The envelopment of the Ruhr spelled the doom of Germany, but some stiff fighting had to be done before a link-up could be made with the Russian forces advancing from the east. Crossing the Weser River in the vicinity of Odclshcim, on 5 April, the 3rd Armored Division resumed its relentless pursuit of the disintegrating German forces with another stirring enveloping maneuver, this time around the Harz Mountains. The key towns of Duderstadt, Nordhausen, and Sangerhausen fell in rapid succession as the division drove to the northeast on Dessau. Despite stiffening resistance and enemy counter-attacks with fresh troops, Kothen was captured, and on 23 April the city of Dessau on the Elbe was cleared of the last German resistance west of the Mulde River.
It is with great regret that the VII Corps bids adieu to its spearhead division. Since the days of the St. Lo-Marigny breakthrough, your division has led most of the great offensives of this corps-in the pursuit across France and Belgium; at Mons, Namur, Liege, and through the Siegfried Line and into Germany; in the Ardennes counter-offensive; in the drive from the Roer to the Rhine; and in the last great envelopments of the Ruhr and the Harz Mountains. The division’s splendid performance in each operation is a lasting tribute to the leadership and devotion to duty of the officers and men of your command. The wonderful fighting spirit, the dash and the daring of the “Spearhead” Division has carried all before it. The VII Corps is proud of the 3rd Armored Division and its great accomplishments. The entire staff and corps troops join in wishing you all the cry best of luck.
Sincerely yours,
(s) J. Lawton Collins,
(t) J. LAWTON COLLINS, Lieutenant General, U. S. Army.”
BY COMMAND OF BRIGADIER GENERAL BOUDINOT:
(s) Robert M. Gant, (t) ROBERT M. GANT, Lt. Col., A. G. D., Adjutant General.

AWARDS & STATISTICS

24 September 1944

Brigadier General Maurice Rose, Commanding General, Third Armored Division, visited the area this date, presented awards for heroism in action to the officers and enlisted men of this battalion, and gave a short talk to a group which had assembled. The following awards were presented: Silver Star-Lieutenant Colonel George G. Garton, First Lieutenant Johnny W. Forston, Private First Class Mike V. Grighlnos, Battery C, and Private Johnnie C. Hislop, Battery B. Oak Leaf Cluster to Bronze Star: Technician Fifth Grade Dillon C. Summers, Headquarters Battery. Bronze Star: Lieutenant Colonel George G. Garton, Major Walter D. McCahan, Captain Robert E. Ham, First Lieutenant Johnny W. Forston, Second Lieutenant William J. R. Overath, Staff Sergeant Theodore Marik, Headquarters Battery, Sergeant Reinhold A. Wetzel, Battery A, Sergeant Theodore Sarna, Battery B, Technician Fourth Grade Elisha F. Wornell, Battery A, Technician Fifth Grade John M. Ligner, Battery A, 486th AAA Battalion, ‘Technician Fifth Grade Francis E. Moses, Battery B, Technician Fifth Grade Robert V. Breymeyer, Battery A, Technician Fifth Grade Roy T. Brown, Battery A, Private First Class Nicholas Brink, Headquarters Battery, Private First Class William J. Mazurek, Headquarters Battery, Private First Class Albert M. Mayer, Battery A, Private Charles R. Corbin, Jr., Battery A, Private John W. Holley, Battery B. Air Medal: Second Lieutenant Thomas J. Kelly and Staff Sergeant Lester W. Hardgrove, Headquarters Battery.

30 January 1945

Major General Maurice Rose, CG, Third Armored Division, visited the area from 1000 to 1045 hours and presented members of this command with awards earned in battle. The following officers and men received awards: Silver Star: Technician Fifth Grade Raymond B. Kriniak, Technician Fifth Grade Albert J. Zubrickas, and Private Stanley C. Gibson; Bronze Star: Captain John L. Shelton, Captain Paul H. Bowdle, Captain Fred A. Peters, First Lieutenant William W. Paris, Staff Sergeant Marigon Golles, Technician Third Grade Roy G. Naylor, Technician Fourth Grade Reuel S. Whipple, Technician Fifth Grade Raymond B. Kriniak, Technician Fifth Grade William R. Taylor, Technician Fifth Grade Charlie L. Vittitow, Technician Fifth Grade Harold McAllister, Technician Fifth Grade Leo A. Zemitus, Private First Class Harold M. Cargot, Private First Class Stanley A. England, Private First Class Paul P. Krupa, Private First Class Marshall R. McBride, Private Jerome Ballet; Oak Leaf Cluster to Air Medal: First Lieutenant Lester W. Hardgrove (1st, 2nd and 3rd oak leaf clusters), Second Lieutenant Theodore Marik, and Second Lieutenant Victor W. Grottlisch; Air Medal: Second Lieutenant Theodore Marik, and Second Lieutenant Victor W. Grottlisdh.

18 March 1945

The 3rd Armored Division held a division presentation of awards at the Sports Palace in Cologne, Germany. A small audience from the battalion attended the ceremony. The flag and battalion colors and the color guard came from Battery B. The following officers and enlisted men from this battalion were presented awards at this ceremony: Silver Star: First Lieutenant William J. R. Overath, Second Lieutenant Charles E. Yell, and S/Sergeant Edward V. Cartwright, Jr.; Bronze Star: Captain Claude H. Crafts, First Lieutenant William H. Smith, S/Sergeant Edward V. Cartwright, Jr., S/’Sergeant Michael P. Taggart, S/Sergeant Victor E. Meerstein, Sergeant Henry A. Derhakc, Technician Fifth Grade Leo J. Kallal, Technician Fourth Grade Thomas J. Lattinville, Jr., Corporal Roland L. Mmece, Technician Fifth Grade Clarence C. Olson, Private First Class William T. Whitten, Private First Class John P. Wood; Oak Leaf Cluster to Air Medal: First Lieutenant Thomas J. Kelly, First Lieutenant Lester W. Hardgrove, Second Lieutenant Theodore Marik, and Second Lieutenant Victor W. Grotlisch; Air Medal: Lieutenant Colonel George G. Garton.

STATISTICS

Statistics Days in Active Combat Rounds Fired 239 170,100 (Highest in 3rd Armored Division) Personnel Killed 21 Awards Silver Stars 28 Bronze Stars 133 Clusters 6 Purple Hearts 144 Clusters Air Medals 11 Clusters 27 Croix do Guerre Miles travelled in Combat 1391 Greatest Advance in one day 102 miles Attached Units Battery A & D 486 AAA Battalion 58th Armored Field Artillery Battalion 197th Field Artillery Battalion 118th Field Artillery Battalion 87th Armored Field Artillery Battalion 32nd Field Artillery Battalion 981st Armored Field Artillery Battalion 54th Armored Field Artillery Battalion 898th Field Artillery Battalion 83rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion 400th Armored Field Artillery Battalion Battery D, 413 AAA Battalion 183nd Field Artillery Battalion 991st Armored Field Artillery Battalion 67th Armored Field Artillery Battalion.

 


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