Unit History of Company A
87th Chemical Mortar Battalion
compiled by Robert L. Greenleaf
22 May 1945To the Officers and Men of Company A, 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion, I wish to again express my sincere appreciation for your loyalty and for your splendid contribution to the success of our battalion, a record in which you all may justly claim a rightful share. Since landing in Normandy during H-Hour of D-Day, you have operated successively through five campaigns covering France, Belgium and Germany. You have always rendered effective fire support to the infantry divisions making the main effort in spearheading the great drives of VII Corps and First Army into the heart of Germany. The proof of a job well done is in the fact that all of the divisions which you supported were sorry to have you ordered away and were always happy to welcome you back. The esprit of your company is amply evidenced in the fact that comrades were most anxious to return after having been evacuated. For my part, I consider it a great privilege and honor to have associated with you and I can only say that I shall follow your individual careers with the kindest memories and sincerest hopes for continued success. I hope that the fates will be kind enough to cause our paths to cross again in the years to come. In any event, good luck and God bless you.
James H. Batte
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army
Commanding 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion
Photos, maps and drawings appearing in the printed version of this history are not included here.
Prelude to War
Normandy on D-Day
Dagwood Doggies Participate in Historic Breakthrough
Where next? - Rhineland
The Men Who Served
This is a chronicle of the life and times of Company A, 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion, from our first days of activation, organization, and training at Camp Rucker and Camp Forrest, thru Camp Shanks and overseas, to our subsequent attachment to the First Army, 7th Corps, and our baptism of fire on D Day. This began months of close support by our weapons for many famous infantry, armored infantry, and airborne divisions. We supported so closely that, although we were three hundred to five hundred yards behind infantry lines, we lost lives, had maimed and crippled, suffered 11 officers and 70 men casualties, and carried the right to be called combat men. This is a history of our gun squads, our mechanics, our cooks, our supply men, our communications men and our forward observers, our clerks, and ammo men and how they worked as a team thru the days of tedious training to the European war, through D-Day, Normandy, Northern France, Belgium, Rhineland, the Ardennes, and Central Germany, and then home. We give thanks to those men at Edgewood Arsenal, who developed our weapon, originally intended for firing gas shells, but used in this war so successfully and with such deadly efficiency as a casualty producer and screening agent with HE, WP, and FS. Last of all, thanks to all our men and officers for their part in a great undertaking. Well done!
We dedicate this book in memory of our comrades Killed in Action
HONOR ROLLCorporal Joseph R. Wilkevich, June 11, 1944
S-Sgt. David Thomas, July 4, 1944
Sgt. Carl C. Volcjak, July 4, 1944
Corporal David H. Rubenstein, July 4, 1944
Private Leslie C. Kalman, July 4, 1944
Corporal William S. Collins, July 4, 1944
1st Lt. Arthur L. Gump, July 4, 1944
Corporal Stephen F. Fiske, July 4, 1944
Private William E. Shanahan, July 4, 1944
1st Lt. Eugenio L. Bonafin, July 13, 1944
Private Robert L. Williamson, Sept. 13, 1944
1st Lt. Marvin J. DeWitt, Dec. 17, 1944
PRELUDE TO WARThe 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion was activated May 22, 1943, under the leadership of Major James H. Batte, commanding officer. A group of men from the 1st Separate Chemical Company from Panama comprised the cadre.
The month of August brought forth the remaining men to form the original battalion. The beginning of September started the basic training of the unit. Each man was trained in a certain job that he was to perform while in the Army. On the completion of training early in December, we were given our M.T.P. test for which we received a superior rating. This phase brought us to the advanced training stage, to take place supposedly for maneuvers in Tennessee.
We left Camp Rucker, Alabama, in jeep convoy, the first leg of our trip took us to Camp McClellan, Alabama. Our next stop was Huntsville, Alabama. This town we are afraid will never forget the 87th for we were given passes from the bivouac area which was located on the outskirts of town.
The men thoroughly enjoyed themselves, as any young soldiers would. The town was completely in our hands for the night and we are very much afraid it was given a tight squeeze. The next morning found the boys a little weary, but anxious to continue their trip. The rest of the trip proved to be a sight-seeing joy ride through the mountains of Tennessee. Now Huntsville was just a pleasant memory for all. We arrived at our destination the 3rd of February.
Arriving at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, we continued our advanced training, which included physical fitness and classes. The days finally passed until 13 February we received ten days furlough returning to Camp Forrest about the 23rd February. At this time we were given our P.O.M. physical test preparing us now for overseas duty. The next month was given to an extensive training program.
On the 23rd March the company left Camp Forrest, Tennessee, for P.O.E. staging area at Camp Shanks, New York, by rail. Company A was on the train with Hqs. and Hqs. Det. and Company B. The company rode in trucks from the barracks to the railroad depot, leaving at 1900 hours and entrained and was ready to leave at 1935 hours. The men were given troops sleepers, their morale was very high at that time, because they knew this was the real thing. On 25th March the train arrived at Camp Shanks, New York, at 1230 for staging, prior to departure overseas.
The company was quartered in comfortable barracks, and on 26th March was established our supply and administration sections. Private Elbert Delbert Redell was hospitalized with a case of measles contracted from his twin brother Private Delbert Elbert Redell; they were replaced by Pfc. Torres and Pvt. Searle who came from the New York P.O.E. Replacement Pool.
While at Camp Shanks fifty per cent of the company was released for their last twelve-hour pass in the United States, to New York City. The remaining men of the company were promised passes the following night, but due to circumstances beyond our control the company was restricted to the post of the 30th March, leaving quite a few disappointments with the men in the company.
On March 31st the company left Camp Shanks, New York, at 0400 hours, each man carrying his equipment with duffle bag. The walk was not too far, but yet far enough to make the men wish the war was over already, for their packs were heavy and bulky. The men boarded a ferry at Weehauken, New Jersey, and after a lull in midstream, set foot on the soil of the good old U.S.A. for the last time, before departing on our great adventure. The men boarded the Queen Elizabeth with great excitement, they were quartered in comparative comfort in cabins, to await their journey across the Atlantic Ocean.
The 3rd of April found several men of the company feeling a bit sea sick, many of the men had their meals twice, once going down the other coming up. Many of the sea faring men, namely, Senor Victor Torres, Roger G. Burt, 'Bom Bom' Beck, Manuel Silvia, and Tony Fazzina, all felt the strain which was probably their first ocean voyage. The sea was a bit rough, but the rest of the men seemed to be taking it rather well. The usual ship's routine consisted of emergency musters and endless chow lines. The abundant supply of candy and cigarettes kept the men busy, and out of trouble for the rest of the voyage.
On the 7th of April, 1944, the company disembarked at Scotland, and boarded a train for the ride to their destination. A Scottish band, dressed in handsome kilts entertained the men until the train moved out of the station. Along the route, coffee and English cakes were distributed among the men in the cars. The company arrived in Tiverton, in the county of Devon, England, on 8th April 1944. Headquarters section was quartered in a house known as the Larches and the platoons moved into six-men squad tents. The outfit, after a trip such as this, was fatigued, but Easter Sunday being the next day found the men attending church services in Tiverton and becoming accustomed to the country and their new quarters.
On 10th of April the entire company was busy unloading and unboxing equipment. The following few days were spent in doing the usual camp duties. The men were rapidly becoming accustomed to life in the E.T.O. On 14th of April, the men of the company were given a hike through the English countryside, giving them their first birds-eye view of England.
On 15th of April the company established its own mess hall at the Larches. The next days were spent in fixing the quarters so that the men would be more comfortable. The following day we missed our friendly S-Sgt. Cowart in the chow line, due to his departure to the hospital for a tonsillectomy.
The 18th of April brings us on our first mortar problem, taking us to the barren, rolling sage-covered moors of England. The first target to feel the sting of the 4.2 was a herd of wild mountain goats. This demonstration was witnessed by several high ranking officers including Brig. General Roosevelt. After this exhibition the General approached our Company Commander John T. Stiefel with "John, you've a hell of a good outfit, keep them firing." This proved the efficiency of the weapon and the capability of the men who were trained in this type of warfare.
On 21st of April Lt. Griffis and Lt Berry left on temporary duty at Paignton, England, under the shroud of secrecy in preparation for a mock invasion, known as the 'Tiger Problem'. This problem proved to be a greater strain on the men than actual combat.
In the few days the men were busy readying themselves for departure from this station, 23rd of April the company left the motor pool at Tiverton, by motor convoy at 1045 hours for the marshalling area. We arrived at Camp Shiphay and embarked from the Port of Torquay for the dress rehearsal of the invasion of the beaches of Normandy. This problem took place at Slapton Sands on the South West coast of England. This proved to be the closest condition of actual combat, less enemy opposition. The purpose of this problem was to correct and eliminate any faults that might hinder the coming invasion.
One of the most unfortunate happenings of the problem resulted in the loss of the smallest man in the company, Pfc. Ray Banville, who received a compound fracture of the leg and thigh, caused by the moving of an anti-tank gun by the side of the road. He was immediately taken to a General Hospital in Taunton, England, and later evacuated to the states. Due to the excellent medical care of the army, he is back on duty at Camp Edwards, Mass.
The week following the Tiger Problem we received the first shipment of cargo carriers (M29) later known as 'Mud Hens'. The following days were spent maintaining and preparing the new vehicles for combat. 15th of May was our final move to Shiphay, England, to the Torquay Marshalling area, for the final preparations for the coming invasion.
In Tiverton thirty-two men were left under 2nd Lt. John D. Hogan, they being the maintenance and supply sections of the company. The next fifteen days were spent at the marshalling area, and the men received passes to Torquay. Each day brought the decisive hour closure to hand. Back in Tiverton the men of the 113th Chemical Processing Co. were training for replacements, as some personnel were expected to be lost in the invasion. This brings to the conclusion the first stage of our experiences with the 87th.
NORMANDY on D-DAYJune 1st found the assault portion of our company proceeding through the beautiful palm-lined streets of Torquay, to the city's harbor, there waiting for us were the Navy's L.C.P. to transport us across the Torquay bay, to the awaiting U.S.S. Dickman. Approaching the ship, we could see the rope ladder, similar to those on which we had practiced on dry land. This time to climb them with heavy packs and full battle equipment proved to be more difficult than our dry runs on land. Aboard the ship we lived very comfortably, good meals, entertainment, and daily orientation of conditions and of obstacles that we were to meet during the invasion. The fourth day out it was officially announced by Col. Van Fleet, representing Gen. Barton, that D-Day would be June 6 and H-Hour would be 0630. The officers and men aboard took the news very calmly.
On the morning of June 6, the wind was high, and the channel choppy, our ship lay then miles off the beaches were to invade. Disembarking on L.C.V.P.s approximately at two o'clock in the morning, we could see ack-ack, naval gunfire and silhouettes of other small boats like our own, grouping into the waves, each to strike the beach at their designated time.
Though many of the men were quite sick, each had the feeling of fear, but remembered the motto, "We must and will land on the beaches of Normandy." We proceeded on our journey into the awaiting darkness. We could hear the drone of planes and the clatter of machine-gun fire. Our path led to Utah Beach. On our arrival we found the first wave of infantry moving off the beaches. Our observers with the Infantry, Lts. Cable and Bonafin together with Sgt. Faber and Cpl. Trant landed at H-Hour with the company commanders of B and C Companies of the 8th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Division. Our first casualty to be encountered was Cpl. Bill Trant, wounded by machine gun fire in the arm and leg, who was immediately evacuated to the Dickman to return for hospitalization in England.
The mortars and the remainder of personnel landed 0710, setting up positions instantly on the beach. Another misfortune was the loss of Sgt. Volcjak's mortar and ammunition when his L.C.A. sank to the bottom of the channel. Sgt. Volcjak and squad boarded other boats of the attacking force, and landed with the company.
Sgt. Red Myers, now 1st Sgt., under the effect of an overdose of seasick pills attacked the beach as though he had been celebrating the night before. To this very day he cannot tell us what happened on the beaches of Normandy.
Amid the exploding German 88's and machine-gun fire our ammunition landed in 'Mud Hens', the only casualty was Pvt. Herman Rickey, who was hit in the arm with shrapnel fragments, however it was not too serious, so he stayed with the company. He developed an infection and was evacuated four days later to a hospital in England.
The company moved inland with the 1st Bn. 8th Regt. setting up mortar positions in the vicinity of La Madeleine and covered the assault of this battalion inland. Our first night was spent sleeplessly between hedgerows, supplying a rain of high explosive and white phosphorous into the town of Torqueville completely destroying and burning the town. The following morning the infantry swept through the town with very little resistance. This brought to a close the never forgettable D-Day.
The following day the 1st platoon under the leadership of Lt. Roy E. Branson and S-Sgt. Julian Gould Brunt, covered the advance of the 1st Battalion, while the 2nd platoon commanded by Lt. Lesh and S-Sgt. David Thomas followed the attacking infantry.
The 82nd and 101st Airborne troops had met with no opposition from the enemy except for an occasional sniper or two. Early in the morning of June 8th Company A was attached to the 12th Inf. Reg. of the 4th Div., which was making the assault generally along the main road of St. Mere-Eglise to Montebourg. The mortars moved into position South of Emmondville to cover the attacking infantry arriving in position at about noon. It was during this maneuver that Lt. Cable and T-5 O'Connell and Cpl. Redman were wounded in action. They were replaced by Lt. Griffis and T-5 Hoerichs. The attack proved very successful, as the mortars knocked out several German 88s and light machine-gun nests. During this rapid advance the company was well organized, the only difficulty was sleeping and eating. At this time the men had become well accustomed to the Army's 'golden cans,' namely C rations.
On the morning of June 11, the final push to Montebourg began. The mortars were moved north of Joganville to support the attack. During the day the guns were displaced in the vicinity west of Vaudville. Lts. Griffis and Bonafin, with their radio operators, were replaced by Lts. Branson and Lesh. They had as their radio operators T-5 Sheehan and Cpl. Wilkevich.
Later in the evening of the same day, under heavy shellfire Lt. Lesh received shrapnel wounds in the left side, also his radio operator Cpl. Wilkevich was killed in action as a result of the shell fire. The afternoon of that day found the administration personnel under the leadership of Lts. Hogan and Ansley, unloading their equipment and were directed to an area south of Boutteville by the beach control party, where they dug in for the night.
Early in the morning of the 12th of June, Company A was relieved from their assignment to the 12th Infantry Regt. and reassigned to the 3rd Battalion 22nd Inf. Regt. which was to make attack on the town of Ozville at noon. We delivered for that attack heavy fire, in the vicinity of Ozville, and secured the right flank of the attacking force as it advanced. The afternoon of that day Sgt. Harry Faber was wounded in the left shoulder by shrapnel while assisting in the conduction of a fire mission. Pvt. O'Donnell was burned on both hands when powder charges accidentally exploded at the 1st platoon mortar position. Our next mission was in general support of the infantry attack to secure the high ground south of Quinville. On the morning of the 13th the 3rd battalion 22nd Inf. jumped off 0630 with their objective as Quinville.
They fought their way to the high ground west of Quinville and under the cover of darkness consolidated the positions. In the afternoon of that day Lts. Griffis and Bonafin, Berry, Cpl. Baxter, and T-5 Hoerichs were brought back to the company rear for a well-deserved rest. These men were forward observers for the above campaign.
At nine-thirty 14th of June, a combined attack of tanks and infantry supported closely by our heavy mortars and artillery fire, moved north into the high ground west of Quinville and after swinging their attack to the east they captured Ozville. Our outfit between the hours of 1000 the 14th to 1600 of the 15th fired approximately six hundred rounds in support of the infantry into the towns of Quinville and Borgde Lestre. The mortars moved into position near the high ground west of Quinville, and consolidated their positions. Setting up series of morale barrages in defense of this section. Early in the morning German 88s registered in on the position, but failed to cause any casualties. The 15th of June was spent in reorganization of the company and consolidating positions. Lts. Griffis, Berry and Bonafin, returned to the front giving Lts. Branson and Ansley and the radio operators a rest at the rear C.P. During the time Lt. Branson was forward, T-5 Leonard J. Sheehan was wounded in the right leg and left for hospitalization to England. At 2000 the evening of the same day the company was informed that it had been attached to the 9th Inf. Div. The entire 87th Chemical Bn., less Company B, was further attached to the 39th Inf. Regt. Company A proceeded from their mortar position to the rear command post near Bandienville, arriving there at 2230. Early in the morning of the 16th the company moved to an assembly point maintaining itself in a state of readiness for support of the 39th Inf. Regt. if needed. Our bivouac area was established in the vicinity of Amfreville. At 1640 of this day Company A was attached to the 2nd Battalion of the 39th Inf. Regt. The company moved out to select positions and fired for effect on the targets designated by Major Green, battalion commander of the 2nd Battalion. Reports showed that the fire delivered was excellent and that the Germans were forced to retreat. Fifty-five rounds of HE and WP were fired in the vicinity of Roglandes, which was the target area. Upon completion of this mission the company moved into a position capable of supporting the 2nd Battalion in defense of their sector, the area surrounding Ste. Colombe.
June 18th the company was reassigned and attached with the 79th Inf. Div. We moved to an assembly point on the high ground east of Orglandes, and at 1830 hours moved to an assembly point in the vicinity of Hautteville-Bocage. The 79th Division attacked at 0500 the morning the 19th, Company A was attached to 313th Inf. Regt., which was on the left flank of the Div. The company called in for all gas masks for unit storage. On the morning of June 19th the company secured a gun position north and west of Binville to support the daylight attack of the 79th Div. Throughout the day, the company closely followed the 313th Inf. Regt. north through Colombe and Marville and spent the night in position near the town of Yvetor-Bocage.
About 0900 the morning of June 20th the company assembled on the high grounds west of Valognes prior to an approach march in the support of the 313th Inf. Regt. Company A was in direct support of the 2nd Battalion, which moved north along the Valognes-Cherbourg highway to a point near the town of Delasse. The platoons moved into position northwest of Delasse and fired approximately three hundred rounds of ammunition in support of the 2nd Battalion in its big drive towards the city of Cherbourg.
The 21st of June found the company consolidating their positions in preparedness of the attack by the American VII Corps on Cherbourg. The Ammunition train was busy building up the supply of ammunition for this assault. Cpl. Bilanin was wounded slightly in the right arm from stray shrapnel.
On June 22nd the rear echelon of the company moved to a position northwest of Valognes by way of the Montbourg-Valognes highway. The two platoons moved their position back in order to allow the bombing of the high grounds South of Cherbourg by the 9th Air Force and at 1400 moved into position northwest of Delasser to support the advance to the north. The company fired about 400 rounds, which drew return fire of approximately 25 rounds of enemy artillery in the area causing no casualties. Early in the morning of the 23rd of June, the company moved into position in Hau de Haut in support of the 313th Inf. Regt. advance. During the afternoon, the guns moved northward toward Cherbourg, still 9000 yards away. This same day at the ammunition dump a misfortune overtook the men working there. The job of these men was to load our own ammunition into trucks. A defective shell was handed to Cpl. Heron who unknowingly handled it in the same manner as if it had been a perfect shell. He accidentally dropped the box on the tailgate of the truck. It exploded immediately, the white phosphorous which the shell contained spread rapidly, Cpl. Heron receiving very serious injuries. The men working around, namely Pfc. Williamson and Cpl. Bartosiewicz received minor injuries. All were given first-aid, and those necessary were evacuated.
On June 25th the company fired a heavy concentration at La Glacerie early in the morning. Later the company moved to the vicinity of Le Bosquet and still later, moved twice again as the infantry advanced northward. Cherbourg was now only 4000 yards to the north of the mortars. On the previous days, T-5 Conway was wounded in the right arm and leg by rifle bullets. An excellent O.P. and the first of its kind since D-Day was available and used. There was almost no trouble in moving into the town and the company fired not a single round of ammunition.
On the 26th of June, Company A moved as a unit from the vicinity of Cherbourg, South to Delasse, then East to Couville, Northwest to Teurtheville De Hague, thence to a position in the vicinity of Octville, about 2000 yards southwest of Cherbourg. The official fall of Cherbourg was reported by the Germans as of 2000, June 25th, 1944. Allied occupation took place on June 26th with some resistance still left in the arsenal in the northwestern part of town.
The morning of the 27th of June, the company was preparing to support the advance of the 47th Inf. Regt. on the last remaining strong point in the city of Cherbourg, the arsenal. Approximately 800 rounds of HE and WP were prepared for firing just prior to the attack scheduled at 1000. At 0930 the Germans surrendered and at noon, the company assembled in the vicinity of Hainenville near the 47th Inf. Regt. sector.
This was the day we had all waited for, Cherbourg had fallen into allied hands. It seemed quite strange to see a city as large as this, with comparatively small damage, as compared with the other towns and small villages that were in the wake of our destruction. For they had been so completely destroyed that there was nothing left but piles of rubble. The battle of the hedgerows was just about over and we were no longer green soldiers, we now knew the sting of combat.
The afternoon of the 27th and 28th of June were spent in an assembly position prior to the attack of the 9th Div. on Le Cape de Hague. At 0700 on the morning of June 29th the 47th Inf. Regt., supported by Company A and various other units, jumped off. Very little resistance was met until the infantry came into the vicinity of Greville. During the afternoon and evening of the 29th and the morning of the 30th of June, the company fired 600 rounds of ammunition on German strong points in the area of Greville. On one instance, approximately 150 Germans surrendered after a barrage of HE and WP. The evening of the 30th of June, the 9th Div. completed the occupation of the Cherbourg Peninsula, ending all German resistance.
On the 1st of July, Company A assembled at a tactical bivouac area east of Greville and moved by way of Cherbourg and Valognes, to a company assembly position in the vicinity of Yvette-Bocage. This marked the first time the entire company had been together since leaving Tiverton May 15th. Supper of July 1st was made up of all German rations, which were captured on the assault of Cherbourg. It included German roast beef, jam and butter.
The company prepared to move to a new assembly point in the vicinity of Carentan. On the morning of July 2nd at 0815, the company cleared the bivouac area in the vicinity of Valognes and moved to new area near Blaisville. The fall of Cherbourg brought many captured German vehicles to the company. Capt. Stiefel was sporting a large sedan, which he later gave to 1st Sgt. Outler. Sgt. Outler had the pleasure of the car for about three days, when the MPs relieved him of the vehicle for their own use. Sgt. Anderson gave S-Sgt. Cowart and the supply section a small coupe, which proved amusing to all. The mechanics had acquired a truck, which S-Sgt. Rutkowski, T-4 Weren, T-4 Wyman and T-5 Auld tinkered with. T-4 Jasper and T-5 Fach had a motorcycle, which the company all had a lot of pleasure riding. After the newness had worn off, the boys discovered that the vehicles could not compare with their own.
On the morning of July 2nd, the company prepared to move to the vicinity of Carentan and at 0815 on that morning the company cleared the bivouac area near Blaisville. Through the efforts of T-5 Pompa, T-5 Meinsler and Pfc. Hunn they entered the ruined city of Valognes to gather together lumber of many descriptions to be used as a flooring for the first G.I. shower, which had been our pleasure to enjoy. Also at this position the company was again reorganized. The company celebrated the fall of Cherbourg Peninsula Campaign with twelve bottles of cognac, two bottles of Benedictine, and two quarts of rum.
Monday the 3rd of July, after the celebration, the company was alerted for movement to the 83rd Division, which was in position south of Carentan awaiting the attack to the south. H hour was to be 0445 July 4th. The forward observers and laison personnel moved out at 1600 to the 2nd Bn. of the 330th Inf. Regt. to which the company had been attached by the division commander, General Macon. The company moved out in three elements previously reconnoitered positions in the order of 1st Platoon, 2nd Platoon, and ammunition train. The company closed at 2000 and set up for preparatory fire in the morning at 0435 in support of the 2nd Bn. in the attack.
On July 4, 0435, the company fired two concentrations of forty rounds each, prior to the jump-off of the 2nd Bn., which the company was supporting. At approximately 0600 of the same day counter-battery enemy artillery fire zeroed in on our gun positions taking its toll, for at that time members of the headquarters section of the 2nd Platoon were preparing their breakfast under a tree. One of the shells burst in the tree killing S-Sgt. Thomas, Sgt. Volcjak, Cpl. Rubenstein, and Pvt. Kalman, seriously wounding Cpl. Chaffer and T-5 Musser. Also, Cpl. Collins received serious injuries, which were later the cause of his death. The loss of these soldiers gripped the hearts of the rest of the men, making them fight harder to revenge their deaths. During the day our forward observers were hit hard. For the 1st Platoon, Lt. Branson with Cpl. Fiske and Pvt. Shanahan went forward. While on the way to the front they were caught in machine gun fire, killing Fiske and Shanahan. Replacing Lt. Branson as observer was Lt. Ansley. While at the front he was wounded in the knee by small arms fire. For the 2nd Platoon, Lt. Gump and his radio operator Pfc. Henry met with misfortune, killing Lt. Gump and wounding Henry. Another casualty was an ammunition handler, Pvt. Valenti. This happened when he and Pfc. Alexander left the mortar position in a 'Mud Hen' to obtain more ammunition. A drastic need for this ammunition is revealed in the fact that we fired 1200 rounds of ammunition the rest of the day.
The morning of July 5th the company was relieved from attachment to the 2nd Bn. 330th Inf. Regt. and attached to the 3rd Bn. of the 329th Inf. Regt., which attacked at 0700 south Piereres. The company fired an initial problem in support of the attack and at 1600 moved to a position north of Le Culet.
The 3rd Bn. was cut off for a period of twelve hours from the rest of the regiment with no communication save that of the Chemical Laison Officer's radio. Requests for ammunition, medical supplies, and replacements were forwarded through our channels. In the early morning of July 6th, the 1st Bn. attacked with tanks and established contact with the 3rd Bn., whereupon the regiment consolidated its position until about 1800 when the Germans counter-attacked on the left flank. The counter-attack was repulsed with continuous artillery and early in the morning of the 7th, Company A received a letter of commendation from the Commanding Officer of the 313th Inf. Regt. for its outstanding support of that regiment in the attack on the port of Cherbourg. The 329th Inf. Regt. jumped off the morning of July 7th and made straight advances toward Ste. Mare. The platoons moved up to a position north and a bit east of Quetot from where they could support the entire front. Mortar fire was difficult due to the terrain and the fighting from hedgerow to hedgerow.
The evening of the 7th of July, the company fired approximately 200 rounds into the vicinity of Ste. Mare. At about 2300 hours the 329th Inf. Regt. was placed in reserve, Company A remaining attached.
July 8th was very quiet. The company remained in the same position, however, doing no firing. The only incidents of the day were the shelling of the mortar positions by enemy artillery, Sgt. Wallace being wounded while laying a regimental wire line, and one Mud Hen being set afire. The fire was extinguished with very little damage to the vehicle, which remained in action. The evening of July 8th, Company A was relieved from attachment to the 329th Inf. Regt. and attached to the 330th Inf.
The company moved early in the morning of July 9th to the 330th Inf. Regt. sector in the vicinity of Hotot. Not much firing was done. During the afternoon, preparations were made to fire a smoke screen along the Vire River. 700 rounds of ammunition, FS and WP, were obtained from the 101st ammunition dump between the hours of 0100 and 0500. The screen was maintained from 0800 to 0830 with an expenditure of approximately 500 rounds. Another screen was fired on the 10th of July from 1000 to 1030 along the right flank of the regiment. The evening of July 10th, the company was relieved from attachment to the 331st Inf. Regt.
Headquarters of the 1st United States Army issued an order allowing 240 rounds as the maximum expenditure per day for a chemical weapons company.
The morning of July 12th, Company A was in preparation for support of the attack of the 331st Inf. Regt. at 0915. The company fired several concentrations in support of a late evening attack by the 331st Inf. Regt. The morning of July 12th, the company fired approximately 100 rounds of ammunition in preparation of the attack by the 331st Inf. Regt. At about 1400 enemy artillery falling on the mortar positions completely destroyed the gas t rain and shell fragments damaged one of the barrels of a mortar. At 2100 the night attack began to cover the advance of thee attacking infantry. Immediately thereafter it fired, observed by Lt. De Witt, on several enemy tanks in a dug-in position in the 329th Inf. Regt. sector. Doughboys from that regiment finished the job.
Early in the morning of July 13th, the company moved south toward Pierers and the River Tote, firing several concentrations during the attack, then displacing forward to a position in the vicinity of Bois Gommet closing at about 1100 hours.
That afternoon Lts. Bonafin and Moore took over as forward observers relieving Lts. De Witt and Berry. At about 1900 hours the 3rd Bn. of the 331st Inf. Regt. were rat-trapped by the German infantry and in the resulting action, Lt. Bonafin was killed, Pfc. Eagle was wounded in the leg, but by assistance of Cpl. Baxter, who was radio operator, managed to penetrate the German infantry lines by way of a shallow river, and return with the tragic news of what had happened. Sgt. Faber replaced Lt. Bonafin as forward observer. Lt. Bonafin was the first of our original officers to be killed in action.
Friday, July 14th, the company supported the slow but steady advance of the 331st Inf. Regt. to the south and west with fire on enemy machine gun nests and other enemy emplacements. Early in the morning of July 15th, the company displaced south toward Auxias in order to support the advance of the infantry. The company conducted the fire in close support the remainder of the day until 2100 when the company was relieved from the attachment to the 331st Inf. Regt. of the 83rd Div.
Once more under battalion control, the company moved back to the rear area just south and west of the city of Carentan, closing at 2130. Gen. Collins, Commanding General of the VII Corps, upon request of the Commanding General of the 83rd Div., ordered Company A to return to the lines at 2145. The company moved to their previous position at about 0100 in direct support of the 2nd Bn. with Company B of the 87th Chem. Bn. Mtz. in general support of the regiment. Sunday morning, July 16th, the 331st Inf. Regt. jumped off at 0430. Sgt. Faber observed and conducted fire for both A and B Companies with an expenditure of approximately 300 rounds.
At 1430 the company was relieved from the control of the 83rd and moved to a new bivouac area just northwest of St. Jean de Daye, into which the rear echelon had moved at 0700. Traffic was very thick and the company, tired and dirty, smiled and waved to the cheering French people as they passed through the town of Carentan. The company closed in its entirety in the new position at 1800.
The period starting from Sunday, July 16th until July 26th, was what proved to be a rest for us, but still in contact with the enemy. Our bivouac area was a combination of two apple orchards. Our time was spent there in reorganizing, the cleaning and preparation of our equipment, and most of all, the cleaning of our clothes and persons. For the first time in the war, we slept in pup tents and not fox holes, we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, resting and even finding amusement in an old piano. On Wednesday evening of the 19th, 25 gallons of cognac were consumed by the company and a very noisy and boisterous time was had by all. The next day the company partook of a delicious steak dinner, following the killing of a fatted calf, by Tony Fazzina and Sam Duva.
S-Sgt. Julian G. Brunt, for a wonderful job in leading his platoon during the Normandy campaign, had been recognized by higher officials and was granted a battlefield commission. This was one of the first commissions to be granted in the battalion.
NORTHERN FRANCEJuly 27th at 0730 the company moved out, clearing the initial point at Le Mesnil at about 1515 and proceeded by motor convoy through Tribehou and Les Champs de Losque to an assembly position in the vicinity of Le Duquerie closing at approximately 1700 hours. The company left this position at 2200 proceeding in support of the 16th Inf. Regt. by way of Marigny to Gensnay closing at 0330 the morning of July 28th. Two hours later the company moved out in support of the 16th Inf. Regt. to secure the high ground north and east of Coutances.
The morning of July 29th, the 16th Inf. Regt. moved forward meeting no opposition and moved to their objective just north of the La Soulle River, where they consolidated their positions. The platoons moved into position in the immediate rear of the regiment in the vicinity of Courcy where they remained the rest of the day. While making a reconnaissance for their positions, Lt. Branson was the first American soldier seen by many of the French inhabitants and was greeted with "beaucoup de joie." On the 29th of July, the rear echelon moved forward to a position a little southeast of Marigny.
The morning of July 31st, the company moved south through Ceresy La Salle to the vicinity of Ste. Denis Le Gast, closing at 0700. That morning, the infantry reorganized and spent the afternoon in the vicinity. That night, a heavy German air assault caused many casualties to the division. Pfc. Dickson was slightly wounded in the shoulder but was not evacuated.
The morning of August 1st, at 0530 hours, the company moved from Ste. Denis Le Gast through Gavray to a position near the town of Brecey. The company closed at 2300 making a total march for the day of approximately 30 miles. On August 2nd, the company followed the 3rd Bn. 16th Inf. Regt. across the La See River, moving to the south, closing at 1200 near the town of La Chap le Uree. The remainder of the day was spent in consolidating positions.
The company enjoyed a bit of a rest until noon of the 5th of August, when they made a motor march from the area near La Chap le Uree to a position in the vicinity of Juvigny, closing at 1800. Pvt. Konkle was wounded by an enemy patrol while on his post at approximately 0300 the morning of the 6th of August. The rear area moved its position to an area near the town of Ste. Cecile. The company remained in its position near Juvigny until 0200 the afternoon of August 6th when it moved to bivouac area in the vicinity of Buais, closing at 2000.
Early the next morning, August 7th, the company moved from Buais, and by a lightning motor march, moved by way of Gougerelles du Plessis through Gorron to Mayenne. There they established a position on the east side of the Mayenne River, remaining in general support of the 16th Inf. Regt., approximately 200 rounds of ammunition were fired during the day, targets being various enemy installations. The fire missions were observed by our own Lts. Lee and Berry, as well as the Cannon Company officers. During the evening, Pvt. Shaw and Sebian were slightly wounded by enemy artillery fire. The kitchen suffered casualties in the form of one heating unit and two GI cans.
The morning of August 8th, the company, still in support of the 16th Inf. Regt., was visited by Capt. Shutte, assistant chemical officer of the VII Corps. The company at this point was 65 miles from its rear and base of supply.
The 9th, 10th and 11th of August were spent in general rest with sunbathing and swimming among the favorite forms of recreation. The city of Mayenne will remain in the memories of all men of the company. Twice during the company's stay in this city, Col. Batte visited the area.
The company was alerted on August 13th at 1200 for a movement to the north, and at 200, moved out by way of Mayenne and Oisseau to an assembly position in the vicinity of Ambrieres, closing at 2300. The company was again alerted at 1000 the morning of August 13th for a possible movement to the north to the division objective in the vicinity of Le Ferte Mace.
At 1830, the company moved from Ambrieres through Lassey to an advanced assembly position east of Lassey closing at 2300 hours. The 16th Inf. Regt. was still in reserve for the 1st Division and the company moved the following day, August 14, 1944, by vehicle from the advanced assembly position to La Ferte Mace, cutting back west. At this position we remained for two or three days, waiting for the British troops to close the Falaise-Gap. At this time our code name comes into light, the men of the outfit knew it and will remember it for a long time. "Camel Red", "Camel" being the battalion code name, and 'Red' for the company. We displayed it this time on our helmets with Cpl. Hunn painting on the left-hand side a large red camel. It was the start of 'Camel Red' becoming famous all over the E.T.O.
The company made a night reconnaissance, selection of position, occupation, as well as defensive fire for the regiment closing into the area at 2300 and had completely occupied its position by 0300 the next morning.
On August the 15th, the rear area, in charge of S-Sgt. Cowart, moved approximately 45 miles to a position near Couptrain. That morning, the guns displaced at 0800, moving west toward La Sauvagere, setting up positions just north and east of the town. From this position, the 2nd platoon fired approximately 40 rounds to break up an attack on the right of the 1st Bn. 16th Inf. Regt. On August 16, the company moved through La Souvagere, then north to the vicinity of Bruise.
The morning of the 17th of August, the company remained in support of the 16th Inf. Regt. until contact was made with elements of the 2nd British Army, at which time the company assembled in a non-tactical bivouac area. The 1st Division was cut out between the American 9th Div. and the 2nd British Army.
The morning of the 18th was spent in motor maintenance and general police or equipment in anticipation of a motor march in the near future towards Baris. The men of the 114th Chemical Processing Company departed this day for their organization for duty. They had done a splendid job while with us and the men of the company were extremely sorry to see them go. The company is now operating on a T-O strength of 122 men and officers. The company was in for a bit of a rest and no moves were made until the morning of August 25th.
On August 24th, the rear moved forward approximately 70 miles and bivouac was established on the grounds of a large Chateau in the vicinity of La Loupe. In the course of the trip, the cargo carrier driven by S-Sgt. Cowart threw a track causing it to swing to the opposite side of the road, upsetting the ton trainer it was hauling, and throwing the mail clerk, T-5 Greenleaf, from his seat in the rear. S-Sgt. Cowart stuck with his vehicle keeping it from overturning. The moving was finally completed and the rear was now about 70 miles ahead of the combat portion of the company.
The next morning the company left the vicinity of La Ferte Mace at about 0700. Traveling amid dust, sun and rain the company arrived at the town of Lardi, just south of Paris, closing at 1800, making a trip of 155 miles. After this trip the company enjoyed the use of a private swimming pool. The morning of August 26, at 2000, once more moved out, closing four hours later near the town of Gorbeil.
The next day, August 27th, the company journeyed through the suburbs of Paris. Although this was quite a strenuous trip on the men it proved to be a pleasure more than the day after day grind of traveling across France in the endless race after the enemy. For we passed through the liberated towns and villages that had felt the sting of the Nazi regime. They were now free, liberated people to enjoy life as they had known before Hitler had come into power. They showed this gratitude not one, but to all. They liberally gave us fruits, vegetables, flowers, wines, cognac and champagne. The never forgettable French custom of kissing was not forgotten. The boys, we are sure, will never forget the streets lined with crowded, liberated peoples. The overpowering expression of joy and gratitude to their liberators were freely passed by the pretty, young French mademoiselles. In their eagerness to thank the young American soldier they gave with a big hug and kiss, and also saying "Vive le Amerique". It was our misfortune not to have passed through Paris itself, for if the welcome we received in the smaller towns had been in proportion to the size of Paris, we are afraid that the 87th wouldn't have been able to continue our journey and fight the rest of the war through.
We closed in the vicinity of Emerainville, southeast of Paris, at about 1800. A Company was the closest company of the Bn. to the city limits of Paris in its nonstop flight across France. Back in the rear area, the process of moving was underway. August 26, the men shuttled back and forth making the final trip early in the morning of the 27th of August. Campsite was near the little village of Nainville. On the afternoon of August 27th, the men in the rear were entertained by Dinah Shore.
The morning of August 28th, the company moved out at about 1000 and moved to a vicinity west of Meaux, closing at approximately 1600. S-Sgt. James Hosmer at this time was also awarded a battlefield commission for a fine job done as a platoon sergeant. No enemy resistance had been encountered since the company left the vicinity of La Ferte Mace.
On the same day, the rear moved into a position a few miles from Melon. Lt. Peterson took charge after spending quite some time up front as a forward observer. That night a strong force of enemy bombers bombed Melon. Their objective, the pontoon bridge spanning the Seine River, however, was not hit, but much damage was inflicted on the town and many civilians were killed.
On August 29th, the company moved their positions to the vicinity of Arcy. Sgt. Faber and Cpl. Trant were sent to the rear area after a long pull as forward observers. The morning August 30th, the company again moved twenty miles to St. Perie where they fired approximately 100 rounds at dug-in German installations. An anti-tank outfit located only 75 yards away, suffered two men killed and one wounded.
The same day, the rear moved to a new area and set up bivouac on the grounds of a beautiful chateau. Lt. Peterson, with Cpls. Greenleaf and Holloway, made the reconnaissance with Major Slovak. On August 31st, the company again moved a short distance to the vicinity of a small town called Ercel.
September 1st, the company moved out of Ercel to Laon, approximately 9 klm. away. At this town, S-Sgt. Rutkowski was making merry in a German Ordnance and Motor Maintenance Shop. The kitchen gave the men enjoyable meals of fresh tomato and cucumber salad and captured Heinie potatoes.
The mortar positions in Laon were rather unusual. The first platoon was set up along a narrow winding street, while the second platoon was located in a garden on the other side of the town. The C.P. was set up on the third side of the town with the motor pool in a nearby garden. At this position, we were awakened early one morning before dawn by the sputter of a new sound we had not heard before. On an investigation, and looking skyward, we saw the German new secret weapon, the V-1 buzz bomb, which had been in use against England for quite some time. They were headed in the general vicinity of Paris. The allied forces had approached in this sector the first launching site of this weapon. The Germans, in haste to dispose of these rockets, launched them for Paris, but their calculations were just a little short of the city. The rear area at this time had moved about 70 miles to the outskirts of the town of Morconet. September 2nd, the company moved to the vicinity of Marle covering a distance of about 25 miles. The next morning, September 3rd, we moved again through La Chappelle and Marveage to Mons, Belgium.
The platoons each were set up on the grounds of large chateau and the CP and kitchen were located under the glass roof of a local school. The entire company, less unfortunate personnel in the rear, had the use of a lovely swimming pool and hot showers.
September 5th, the rear left France and arrived in Belgium amid joyous welcome by the happy natives. The trip through Charlelol was an experience that no one will forget. The Mud Hen driven by S-Sgt. Cowart broke down and he and Cpl. Auld remained with it for repairs. Upon their return, they brought stories of the capture of six Germans by the two of them.
On September 7th, the company moved from Mons through Charlerol and Namur to Huy. Upon the arrival at Huy, a very unfortunate accident happened to T-5 Hoerichs. This to us was quite a laugh, but to him we feel it was quite unpleasant, for he had accidentally stepped into an open sewer and before assistance could be given him he was in up to waist. This had happened to him while on reconnaissance in the rear of some of the houses. The company still lined in jeeps waiting on the road to be taken into position, knew that something had happened for the smell by that time had reached their nostrils. Upon seeing the victim approach from the side of the house, they knew exactly what had happened and a round of laughter and jeering came from us.
September 10th, the company left Huy after a pleasant stay, and moved to the vicinity of Herve. The rear also moved this day, making an interesting trip through Namur and Liege and establishing bivouac in an apple orchard in the town of Seumanges. September 11th was a happy day for the rear area. The personnel were permitted to attend the theater in town where Maj. Slovak had made arrangements for the film showing of The Uninvited.
This ends the story of the Northern France Campaign. It had been, after the breakthrough of St. Lo, a rat race across France and Belgium in hot pursuit of the German Army. We were at this time about to throw a monkey wrench into Goebbels, saying, "There will be no foreigners set foot on German soil," for we were about to bring war to the front door of Germany through the Siegfried Line.
DAGWOOD DOGGIES PARTICIPATE IN HISTORIC BREAKTHROUGHThese excerpts are taken from the 1st Division annals. It is our story too, since Company A was attached to them throughout the entire campaign.
First, our Air Force did an excellent job of shaking our entire sector, laying eggs on Jerry before armor and infantry made that big thrust which is still being front-paged back home. At the time the 16th, if you recall, was bogged down by heavy rain, thick mud. When the 3rd Bn. pushed off on July 27th, Dagwood's race to catch up with Jerry began a race that included fire from enemy artillery, tanks, MG's and snipers; a race in which the enemy bombed us, in which the patrols clashed with ours.
Just to brush up on what took place, Marigny and St. Gilles (from which that 2 ½ hauling GIs in upper right-hand corner is coming from) were captured. American forces instantly fanned out and doughboys pushed west, south and southeast looking for Hans and Fritz. It all happened swiftly; Canisy then Lessay, Perriers and on July 28th, Coutances, joined the list. They all fell under the Yank punch.
On the road from Marigny to La Chapelle, the situation was confusing, the traffic deplorable, tanks double-banked. And in the midst of it I Company doughboys rode on tanks toward the enemy until Jerry opened up with his artillery. The enemy was disorganized, but very much present, sufficiently present to have inflicted seven casualties in I Company and one in L Company.
Meanwhile, the 1st Bn. encountered enemy AT guns and one tank. Even our "Division Stuka", that amiable recon bird, was peppered at. True, there actually had been an organized resistance on the part of the enemy, yet he appeared in various places in isolated pockets to delay the 16th, inflict casualties, knock out two tanks, bring down one plane. And there was rain, and always Jerry lobbing them in. Hedgerows were cunningly utilized by the enemy, but our steady thrusts made Hans hike up his boots and bolt, leaving behind wrecked, abandoned vehicles, material and dead.
Speeding tank columns, aided by 9th Air Force fighter bombers acting as escorts in relays, strafed enemy armor. The 16th had a difficult task to wipe out pockets which were potent, plentiful, and scattered. Mark VIs and Jerry troops had converted 6-7 buildings into a strong point and had raised hell with the 1st Bn. This had to be knocked out by artillery and eventually Dagwood's infantry. Our losses: five med. tanks, one M-10, two light tanks, 10 killed, 115 wounded. And still the hedgerows were thick with Hans at MG's and Fritz at mortars, and both behind sniper sights.
The 16th closed in. We could have bypassed the enemy, but that would have ultimately resulted in only disengaging the enemy and not pinning him down, so we closed in KO'd on SP, but lost two tank dozers, suffered seven EM killed, three officers wounded. Slowly, steadily, but stubbornly, strongpoint after strongpoint along the route took the count. And the nights were getting tougher on the doggies for vigorous patrolling had to be increased.
At St. Denis Le Gast, shortly before midnight, a Frenchman was gored by a bull as a JU-88 flew over on recon. While the awed victim was treated by our medics, enemy aircraft in force bombed the 16th Inf. and 7th FA. All communication lines were bombed out. The casualty toll was grim, heavy. But despite possibility Jerry might return to bomb again, the 2nd Bn. moved out as planned. Because of lack of coordination the enemy made no major attempt to resist our southern thrust as we crossed the See River south of Brecey. Remember that crossing? Enemy AT guns, tanks, MG's and snipers loomed up as rear guard obstacles in delaying action to cover retreat of large forces, but Dagwood pushed on, taking PWs and continuing intense night patrols to never lose contact with the ever-withdrawing Jerry.
Then there was that long trek down to Buais, with enemy aircraft over every night. At Mayenne we relived the 90th Div. pushing out even further, killing 25-30 enemy. Here one of our planes knocked out a Jerry tank only 200 yards from our front line troops. Here also the potent I & R platoon closed with the enemy, killed 10, wounded two, and lost one sergeant. Machine-gunned by enemy a few yards away, Jerry failed to shell the Mayenne bridge. 16th was ordered north from here to squeeze the enemy in the pocket NE. 18th was to take high ground vicinity. La Sauvagere. 16th was given this objective, penetrated Andaine Forest, captured number of ammo dumps. 1st Bn's night attack on Les Roussiers resulted in one Mark V and crew captured intact, 100 PWs, 13 half tracks, one mortar, two 75s, 25-30 MGs.
3rd Bn. attacked La Sauvagere, captured six trucks, one half track, and two tanks. 2nd Bns thrust on the right, toward Le Mesnil de Briouze was successful. Every operation has a big picture. This one has a big picture too. Originally, it was the breakthrough of German defenses to isolate approximately 40,000 German troops north of Coutances-St. Lo road. On a big map it is easy to grasp the significance of the 16th Infantry's moves from its assembly area prior to the march toward La Chapelle, and finally to the present rest area in the vicinity of La Ferte-Mace!
WHERE NEXT? - RHINELANDThe morning of September 12th, the company moved to Koul and fired 25 rounds direct fire at an enemy two-and-half ton truck. Later in the day, the company again moved, this time to pass through the Aachen State Forest, and bypass the old German border, which was marked in some places by small marble blocks, wire fences, and blazes on trees. We were now entering the outer defenses of the Siegfried Line. We moved into this position about 2200. The men, fatigued from the trip, did not take full precautions, for resistance had been light, and many of us thought it unnecessary. We were attached to the 1st Div., 16th Inf. Regt., which were the first troops to enter Germany. The Heinie had planned a welcome for us, as we found out about 0200, September 13th, for at that time, a terrific shelling started with German 88s and flak-guns. The shelling was constant, and did not slacken for a moment, until about ten o'clock in the morning. During this terrific barrage we suffered the death of Pvt. Williamson, also the 2nd platoon medic, Cpl. O'Dell was injured by shrapnel while administering first aid. T-3 Norton, our medic, then took over patching up the wounded men. They were as follows: Pvt. Almeid, Cpl. Spitznas, Sgt. Poggi, Pfc. Della Volpe, Cpl. Pallote, Sgt. Lerned, Lt. Douglas Peterson (hit while up as forward observer with the 1st Battalion of the 16th Inf. Regt.), also T-4 Toriallo, Pfc. Bookas, Pvt. Krasowski, and Pvt. Odgers. Shortly after the ten o'clock intermission, we withdrew from the position when an Inf. Regt. replaced us, our assembly area being in the vicinity of Jonassenheide.
The following morning, September 14th, the company moved from their assembly position and entered Germany for the second time. September 15th, the company prepared to fire for the withdrawal of B Company of the 16th Inf. Regt. if it became necessary. September 16th, A Company was relieved from attachment from the 16th Inf. Regt. and attached to the 18th Inf. Regt. at 1300 and moved across the division front and supported the regimental jump-off at 1730. In the course of the day, 247 rounds of HE and 63 rounds of WP were fired at dug-in German infantry. The battalion rear moved into Germany this day and established bivouac in the town of Schleckheim.
Sunday, September 17th, the company remained in position at Aachen State Forest along the main road leading to Aachen. Approximately 300 rounds were fired at various German installations with excellent results. September 22nd, the company's rear area personnel moved into a house, thus marking the first time that the entire company had been quartered in houses since landing on the continent. September 23rd, Lt. Lee returned as forward observer and Lt Hogan came to the rear with his driver, Cpl. Hunn. T-5 Sheehan returned to this organization on September 25, 1944, after being in a hospital and replacement pools since D-5.
October 2nd found us attached to the 1106 Engineer Combat Group. At this time the first and second platoons moved into a fine suburban home section of the city of Aachen, which was along the main road to the city. This position proved to be more of a rest than actual combat, for we were in the siege of Germany's first large industrial city to feel the war. Our first platoon having four squads and headquarters section decided that one house was too small for living quarters, so each took a complete home to live in. These homes were not touched by war at all for they were left by the owners in perfect condition as the tide of war forced them out. Yes, we lived luxuriously, with all the comforts of home, soft beds, bathrooms, chinaware, silver, and everything that goes into making a perfect home. We lived as conquerors would, for we would have steak, ham, chicken, and even rabbit as supplied by the nearby farms. If, after a meal which we prepared ourselves, we didn't feel like washing dishes, pots and pans, out into the backyard they went. The boys even took to baking many fruit pies and even layer cakes were thoroughly enjoyed. Just a small outline of a special dinner is as follows, with no exaggeration. Steak, French-fried potatoes, peas and carrots, corn on the cob, a vegetable salad and hot biscuits with butter, apple pie and coffee to top the meal. Even wine as the after dinner talks were in progress. Don't let all of this fool you, for the rest of the war was far from this, all of this was just luck. The good times and good eats lasted for about 18 days, but it was not all fun, we fired 6417 rounds with excellent results.
During this stay task forces were sent out. The first was to the 4th Division front taken by Lt. Branson. Two mortars and men to fire these guns were taken. Ten days later this group of men, Sgt. Mueller, Cpl. Mazurski, Pfc. Boyette, Searle, Cpl. Pieretti, Pfc. Mrozska, Pfc. Isaacs, returned to tell the story of laying in the mud and rain with but one fire mission. The next to leave was a task force under the leadership of Sgt. Stone, Cpl. Banks, Clifford, Schofield, Pfcs Bauribeault, Flynn, Zuchniewicz, with T-5 Wade and Pvt. Schultz as truck drivers who comprised the mortar men. Their positions were in a Marmalade factory in the center of the city. The purpose of this force was to support the infantry attack of the city.
Also at this time Sgt. Schreffler, Cpl. Hamm, Pfc. Sullivan and Pfc. Farinholt were attached as a special mortar crew to Company B of the 87th Cml. also for a special mission. October 21st found all of the task forces returned and once again living like civilians for a few days.
October 22nd the second platoon moved into the town of Eilendorf and the first platoon into position at 1100 yards, southwest of Stolberg. The CP also moved into the center of the town of Brand.
Word was received that men of this organization would be granted three day passes to the cities of Paris and Veruiers to start on October 25th and 28th respectively. Stone's task force, which had been in the jam factory, supplied us with 100 lb. bags of sugar. The sugar was used for everything but most to make fudge. The sugar supplied by the Germans, canned milk by our kitchen, and the chocolate supplied by the Army emergency D field rations. The 'fudge parties' were relished by all the men in the company. We were all surprised to find out we had so many good cooks in the company, who were keeping their talents away from the rest of the men. The girls back home will certainly find some handy men around the kitchens.
From November 1st to November 9th, the company remained in their positions in Brand, Stolberg, and Eilendorf, firing on entrenched enemy personnel, houses and pill boxes. On November 5th, 2nd platoon repulsed an enemy counter attack. At 1300, November 9th, the entire company moved into an assembly position in the vicinity of Eschweiler. Later in the day, the company CP and ammunition installation moved into Vicht. The two platoons bivouacked in the forest and that night, the season's first snow fell.
November 10th found the platoons moving into firing positions in the vicinity of Schevenhutte and the forward CP moving into the building already occupied by Company D, 1st Bn. 16th Inf. Regt. Lts. Lee and Edwards were forward observers with A and C Company of the 1st Bn.
On November 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th the company was preparing ammunition for H Hour. A Company's part in the attack was to sweep the area to be taken by the 1st Bn. 16th Inf. Regt. with 1600 rounds of HE over a period from H 10 to H 40 minutes. This constituted almost the entire artillery support for the battalion and the fire plan was carefully laid to insure the combing of every foot of the area. During the period prior to D Day, strict radio silence was maintained and no ranging-in with the guns was allowed.
With H Hour set at 1245 hours on the 16th of November, the company fired its mission and made it possible for the first battalion to advance to the vicinity of Hammich. Over 100 rounds of enemy mortar fire landed in and about the mortar position before and during the evening of this day, the company fired a large amount of ammunition to break up an enemy counter attack from the town of Hammich.
At 0600 the morning of November 17th, the enemy began dropping artillery and mortar shells in on the platoons and ammunition section and continued doing so until 1600 that night. Pfc. Bechnak and Pfc. Ciskitti were wounded by shrapnel. The 1st Platoon fired two missions into the town of Hammich, where enemy resistance was stiff.
On the 18th of November, the company fired 1380 rounds of HE and 67 rounds of WP with which it repulsed six counter attacks of tanks and infantry on C Company, 1st Battalion, 16th Inf. Regt. In the course of these attacks two tanks were definitely knocked out, one being set afire by a hit on its turret, the other being destroyed by burning the building from which it was firing.
That same day, Hill 232, a commanding terrain feature which prevented the use of the road from Gressenich to Harrich, was heavily shelled with our mortars in preparing for an attack by E and F Companies of the 2nd Bn., 16th Inf. Regt. The advance of the infantry was screened with WP which enabled the taking of the Hill.
For the past 36 hours, Lt. DeWitt's SCR 300 with Cpl. Rosenfeld as operator, had been the sole means of communication from C Company to the 1st Bn. CP and by means of this and a telephone at the guns, Capt. Stiefel repeatedly directed fire for the 16th Inf. Regts Cannon Company. November 19th, the company fired 961 rounds of HE and one round of WP in support of the jump-off of the 16th Inf. Regt.
The following day, November 20th, the company moved to the vicinity of Gressenich where it continued to support in the jump of the 16th Inf. Regt. on the town of Langerwehe. From 1330 to 1500 hours the company fired another mission on the town of Hucheln with excellent results, the town being set afire.
On November 23rd, the 1st platoon moved into the town of Heistern and the 2nd platoon moved to Wenau. On November 24th, the company fired harassing WP fire on the Langerwehe-Duren road to cover the advance of the 16th Inf. Regt. on the Railline between Langerwehe and Eschweiler. Two machine gun nests were demolished and two houses occupied by enemy personnel were destroyed. At 1930 hours the company repulsed a counter attack against the 18th Inf. Regt.
November 25th Company A fired a small screening mission for the 16th Inf. Regt. and another for the 1st Bn., 18th Inf. Regt. to allow them to advance to Langerwehe. On November 26th the company expended 505 rounds of HE and six rounds of WP in unobserved harassing fire on predetermined targets in support of the 18th Inf. Regt.
November 28th, the company fired on enemy tanks and machine gun nests and prepared for the mopping up of the town of Langerwehe. The 2nd platoon moved to Schonthal. Pfc. Bastsoni and Pvt. Mueller received minor shrapnel wounds while up forward with Lt. North.
November 29th was rather quiet with both platoons firing small missions for the 18th Inf. Regt. Capt. Stiefel, Company Commander, was wounded several times in the left arm by shell fragments but remained with the company. This day, November 30th, the company fired on enemy machine gun nests and fired preparatory fire for the 2nd Bn., 18th Inf. to allow local advances.
On December 1st the 18th Inf. Regt. called for heavy fire on HE, to a total of 203 rounds. Capt. Stiefel is making a good recovery from the wounds received the previous day. On December 2nd, the 18th Inf. Regt. made a slight advance with the aid of 187 rounds of HE furnished them by this company. The men of the platoons are becoming used to living in cellars.
On the morning of December 3rd, the 104th Inf. Div. called on this company to furnish them with a heavy smoke-screen which required a total of 608 rounds of WP. The same day the company aided a slight advance of the 18th Inf. Regt.
On the morning of December 4th, Sgt. Faber was discharged from the United States Army to receive a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. This made the third man in Company A to receive a battlefield promotion. The company continued in the support of the 18th Inf. Regt. Lt. North received a slight shrapnel as a result of an enemy artillery barrage on his position in the forward OP.
This day, December 5th, Sgt. Faber received his field commission and was assigned to this company. The company was relieved from assignment to the 1st Inf. Regt. and was returned to battalion control. The platoons and the ammo dump moved from their line positions to assembly area in the town of Ober Forstbach.
On December 6th Sgt. Lerned returned to this organization after being absent since he was wounded on September 13th. Three officers and 89 enlisted men left on three-day passes to Verviers, Belgium and three officers and nine enlisted men left for 48 hour passes to Paris. The remainder of the company was occupied with the task of cleaning and guarding the equipment.
On December 7th everything was quiet, but on the morning of December 8th Colonel Batte informed Lt. Faber that he was to be ready to leave on a thirty-day leave to the States. This was the first time that anyone from this battalion had received this chance to return home and everyone was happy for the lucky man.
On December 9th, the men returned from their passes ready to go back to war. At 1200 hours on December 10th the company was attached to the 83rd Inf. Div. and waited orders to move up to the lines. On the 11th, having been attached to the 330th Inf. Regt. of the 83rd Div., the company fired a smoke-screen for a tank operation firing a total of 138 rounds of HE. 313 rounds of WP aided a slight advance of the regiment on the town of Schafberg.
December 12th the company expended 125 rounds of WP in maintaining a smoke-screen for a period of one-half hour. During the night the company fired a total of 554 rounds of HE in repulsing a counter-attack on the 3rd Bn. and also on observed fire on enemy infantry and guns emplaced in the town of Schafberg.
On December 13th the company fired a smoke-screen for a supply train of the 330th and on the 14th of December it fired another smoke-screen for the attack on two important hills by the 331st Infantry Regiment.
December the 15th there was a slight let-up in the activities and all men took advantage of this to clean themselves and their equipment and to rest.
On December the 16th the 2nd platoon set up in the vicinity of Gey and continued firing in support of the 331st. One of the battalion's notable forward observer groups, Lt. DeWitt and Cpl. Rosenfeld, who had served our company for more than seven months, was broken when Lt. DeWitt was killed by concussion from an enemy shell that hit the house in Burzbuin from which they were observing fire for the 1st platoon. Cpl. Rosenfeld was the only non-casualty to come out of the house. The company fired 391 rounds of WP in a screen on the town of Landersdorf.
On December the 18th Sgt. Nicola and his squad went to the rear beginning a new system of rest and recuperation for the squads. During the three-day period every man will get a chance to shower, clean his personal equipment, aid the rest of the squad in the cleaning of their mortar and jeep, and get as much rest as possible.
The 18th and 19th of December found the company sitting tight and firing a few rounds of ammunition for the 331st. The front was dull for the following day and Sgt. Nicola's group returned to be replaced in the rear by Sgt. Wallingford's squad from the 1st platoon.
And now came the turning point of the war. It was at this time that General Von Rundstedt's forces were launched in the counter-offensive that broke through a weak spot in our lines to start a new campaign known as "The Battle of the Bulge". We played an important part in this campaign, just as we did in the invasion. We knew now that it was our fight against the deep snow, severe cold, and intermittent rain, rather than the enemy forces that made it one of the tougher campaigns of the war.
On the 21st of December, A Company was relieved from the 83rd Division and returned to battalion control. The following day the forward elements of our unit moved to the vicinity of Ober Forstbach. The following day the forward elements of our unit moved to the vicinity of Ober Forstbach. By the end of the next day the entire battalion had moved out of Germany in Belgium to support the troops that were trying to stem the German tide. Men of the company rear group moved out from Schleckheim at 0900 hours and arrived in the town of Havelange, Belgium, at about 1400 hours. The main portion of the company left Ober Forstbach shortly after that and bivouacked in a small town in the vicinity of Marche, Belgium.
December the 24th found the company making themselves as comfortable as possible and preparing to observe Christmas Eve. The morale of the men was surprisingly high under the circumstances.
Christmas found us in the small town on the outskirts of Marche. It was our first Christmas overseas. The slightly depressed feeling of the men was overcome by a splendid dinner prepared for us by our faithful hardworking kitchen staff. Thanks to all its members: S-Sgt. Dillard, Sgt. Albright, Sgt. Drozd, Cpl. Short, Cpl. Duva, Pfc. Dunne, Pfc. Lavoie, Cpl. Pompa, Pfc. Bookas, Pfc. Yee, Pfc. LaBrutte. The menu for the dinner consisted of turkey, spuds, vegetables, cranberry sauce, pies, candy, fruit, and many other delicacies that go to make up a good Christmas dinner.
December the 26th the men of the rear group moved to a more comfortable house. The platoons fired on moving vehicles and dug-in enemy infantry. During the night harassing fire was substituted for the sleep that everyone wanted. The company also aided in repulsing attacks by the 2nd SS Panzer Division. Once before, in Normandy, the company had aided in the temporary defeat of this famous German division.
At this time another one of our good forward groups went up and reported to an infantry company on the line on the edge of Marche. They were Lt. Edwards, T-5 Sheehan, and Pfc. Jury.
The company expended 392 rounds of HE and 32 rounds of WP on many German vehicles and in much harassing fire on the day of December 27th.
December the 28th was business as usual in support of the 335th. On December the 29th the company fired in support of the 335th again on an enemy machine gun emplacement and on a mortar position in the town of Hargimont. During the night the platoons supplied harassing fire for the 335th.
403 rounds of HE and nine rounds of WP were fired on December the 30th in harassing fire and for covering night patrols. On the 31st, last day of a year we will never forget, the company fired on dug-in enemy infantry and on enemy mortar positions and destroyed two anti-tank guns.
New Year's Eve was quite an experience for we had planned to celebrate by firing at midnight into the enemy lines. Just as we were about to give out with our little bang-up midnight serenade they dished it out to us. Seems as though they had planned something of the sort for us. It was quite a New Year's celebration.
January 1st was quite a day for A Company of the 87th Mortar Bn. The platoons in support of the 335th fired 341 rounds of HE and 30 rounds of WP in unobserved fire. The following day Lt. Peterson assumed command of the 2nd platoon and Lt. North went forward with Mueller and Bastoni.
January 3rd Lt. Lovan joined the company from the 60th Chemical Depot Company. The company was now supporting the 333rd Regiment of the 84th Inf. Division after being relieved from the 335th at 2000 hours.
The company moved to the vicinity of Erpigny on the 4th of January. The roads were extremely icy and crowded with equipment moving up to the front. The 1st and 2nd platoons were forced to sleep in the snow because there was no shelter to be had.
January 5th the platoons moved to LaBatty and into houses. The rear group moved from Havelange to Verlane and arrived there at about 1245 hours. S-Sgt. Cowart and T-5 Taggart were forced to run their vehicle into a tree to avoid hitting a large truck. Neither of the men was injured. The roads are still very icy and dangerous to travel. Today the company was attached to the 3rd Armored Division also in support of the 84th.
Today, January 6th, Capt. John T. Stiefel was transferred to headquarters detachment of this battalion to become S-3. Lt. Roy E. Branson assumed command of the company. Both platoons were in houses and out of the cold. During the day the company fired 356 rounds of HE and 70 rounds of WP in support of the 3rd Armored. The company expended 218 rounds of HE while firing into the town of Franeux. This was harassing fire. Also fired a preparatory fire for a push by the 3rd Armored. January the 7th, 1945.
On the 8th the men were taking advantage of a pause in activity by repacking their vehicles and cleaning their equipment. The men in the rear were busy remodeling their trailers for the various needs. The ammo trucks were busy bringing the ammo load up to basic. This day T-5 Musser, Pfc. Connors, and Pvt. DelBene rejoined the unit after being in hospitals and replacement depots since July 1944. Cpl. Banks returned from the hospital. 2nd Lt. Burl Bauer joined this company from the 3rd replacement depot.
January 9th the company moved to an assembly area near Oppigny and awaited orders from the 84th Infantry Division. The 12th our unit moved to Samree, scene of a terrific tank battle, in support of the 334th. Lt. Col. Batte, Battalion CO, ordered that no rounds of HE be fired without the use of a lanyard because several had exploded prematurely in this and other battalions recently.
13th January, Pfc. Eagle rejoined the unit. It was extremely cold and the men were trying many things in order to stay warm. There was a report that sleeping bags would soon be issued to the men. 14th January proved to be a routine day for the rear and forward elements of the company.
The rear group moved from Verlaine to Verlemont on the 15th. The eight men who make up the rear group are scattered comfortably in three houses. It is still very difficult to keep warm even in the houses, because of the coal shortage in Belgium.
On January 16th the unit moved to a tactical bivouac area near Frenville. This was a long slow trip because of the road conditions and the severe cold made it difficult for everyone.
17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, the company remained in the vicinity of Fronville awaiting further orders. The 20th Cpl. Pallotte came back to us after an absence of months. He was one of the many men who were casualties on September 13th, 1944.
Men of the rear group spent the day of the 21st uncovering equipment after a night of heavy snow and wind. The platoons moved to a bivouac in the area of Joubieval.
Today, January 22nd, Lt. Carl Balonick joined us from D Company. Early the following day a recon group from all elements of the company moved out to find billets in preparation for another move.
At 1115 hours on the 24th January the rear echelon joined the company convoy and everyone moved to an assembly area in the town of Modave. The entire company was very comfortably billeted.
January 25th at 0700 hours the company was relieved from the 84th Division and once again returned to battalion control.
Privates Drucker and Holloway were transferred to the 60th Chemical Depot Company and Pvts. Finney and Shipp from that organization joined this unit. The men of the company were diligently cleaning vehicles and equipment in anticipation of a few days rest.
The following day, January 27th, the company was attached to the 82nd Airborne Division of the XVII (Airborne) Corps. We made a lightning move to the vicinity of St. Vith, Belgium. At 1000 hours the rear group moved in convoy to the city of Malmedy. The few men in the rear were occupying two modern apartments furnished with electric lights and running water.
January the 28th was a very cold day and once again the men of the platoons were forced to sleep in the open. Lt. Branson's CP was in a farmhouse and the men of that group were fortunate to be out of the cold.
The 29th the company moved near to the town of Meyeredt and fired 42 rounds of HE and 14 rounds of WP on enemy infantry entrenched 1000 yards east of Herredbach.
The company was still in position near Meyeredt on the 30th January. This day Pvt. Delizon A. King returned from the 3rd replacement depot where he had been since being discharged from a hospital in England.
On February the 1st the company moved to the vicinity of Hensfeld about 1000 yards from the Belgium-German border. The men in the platoons are operating under the most adverse conditions. Sub-zero weather, mud, rain, sleet, and snow cooperated to make many hardships. This coupled with the scarcity of shelter does not help the efficiency of the front line men.
February the 2nd we expended 23 rounds of HE in destroying an enemy roadblock in the vicinity of Neuhof. The first platoon men were the players in a strange farce when a hungry, bony, half-frozen mare fell into the cellar occupied by one of the squads. The huge carcass blocked the only means of exit from this bomb proof shelter and this made it necessary for the men to blow a hole in the floor for the men to escape through. The men finally succeeded in pulling the hapless beast from the stairway only to have it make a repeat performance.
On February 3rd, Pvt. Krasowski was evacuated to the XVIII Corps Clearing Station with a slight case of pneumonia. Pfc. Kalinowski was evacuated to the 307th Medic Company after receiving severe gasoline burns. The company expended a small number of rounds on an enemy assembly area 1000 yards northwest of Neuhof.
Harassing fire on dug-in enemy infantry kept the men in the platoons occupied on the 4th of February. On the 5th of February the company was relieved from the 82nd Airborne Division and returned to battalion control as of 1100 hours.
This concluded our participation in the "Battle of the Bulge". The defeat and route of Von Rundstedt and his men was complete and the war with Germany was beginning to shape up. The entire company departed from Malmedy, Belgium at 0900 hours and arrived in Schleckheim, Germany at approximately 1250 hours, February 6th.
Pvt. Noble Temple replaced T-5 Wade as ammunition driver on February 7th. Wade returned to headquarters detachment to drive for Capt. Jones. On the 8th, Lt. North and Pfc. Alexander were evacuated to the 649th Clearing Station. Every man in the company was occupied in the cleaning of vehicles, weapons, and personal equipment. Arrangements were made for showers in the nearby town of Brand.
On the 9th of February, we returned to the Rhineland after being attached to the famous "Timberwolves", the 104th Infantry Division. We moved into the vicinity of Mariaweiler in support of the 413th regiment of this unit. The rear group moved from Schleckheim at 0900 hours and arrived at Eschweiler at about 1010 hours. The men of this group once again were lucky enough to find very comfortable quarters, this time in a four-story apartment house.
February 10th, the company remained in position near Mariaweiler waiting for the impending action with support for the 413th. The following day, the 11th, the company fired 130 rounds of HE and four rounds of WP on the city of Duren. The targets were enemy occupied factories and buildings in the city.
On the 12th and 13th of February, the company remained in position in the vicinity of Mariaweiler doing no firing. The weather was warm and clear and the men enjoyed stage and motion pictures in the nearby towns of Stolberg and Eschweiler. On February 14th the company fired 150 rounds of HE and 14 of WP on enemy mortar positions and occupied buildings. Passes to Paris were given to one officer and three enlisted men of this company. Lt. Branson, Sgt. Lerned, Sgt. Anderson, and Pfc. Sebian left by motor convoy for 72 hours in this (in) famous city.
On February 15th, the company did no firing, but on the 16th it fired 62 rounds of HE and five of WP on enemy mortar positions and dug-in enemy infantrymen. T-5 Harry Short became the first man from this company to receive a seven-day furlough to the United Kingdom. From the 17th to the 21st, the company relaxed, taking in showers, shows and all in making ready for future operations. On the 20th, T-5 Musser and Donnald Banks left for Infantry O.C.S. On the 22nd, the platoons fired 64 rounds of HE on enemy occupied factories in the town Duren. Lt. Branson was promoted to the grade of Captain and Cpl. Mazurski left for a furlough to England.
On the 23rd the 413th Inf. Regt. called for harassing HE fire and a smoke-screen to cover their attack on the city of Duren. In furnishing this fire the company expended 738 rounds of HE and 173 rounds of WP. Hours before the forward elements attempted to cross the Roer River, the longest, heaviest, and most intense preparatory tfire we had even witnessed took place. The Americans even used German rockets, thus making the enemy feel their own method of destruction. The opposite shore of the river looked as though it were day, and the dust, smoke and confusion brought to the minds of men that they were now in the thick of battle. The forward observers for the company included Lt. Bauer, Pfc. Flynn as radio operator, and Pfc. Odgers as driver in one crew. The other included Lt. Balonick, Pfc. Harper as radio operator, and Pfc. Richey as driver. These were the first men of the company to cross the Roer River.
The following day, February 24th, the company fired 351 rounds of HE and two of WP on enemy marshalling yards and preparatory fire for the 413th Inf. Regt. on the town of Arnoldsweiler. Later in the day the company moved into Duren, the city of rubble. The 25th of February was another busy day with the company expending 361 rounds of HE and six of WP. The targets were a marshalling yard and three enemy mortars were destroyed. Harassing fire was also furnished the 413th Inf. Regt. on the eastern side of the city.
On February 26th, the company fired 203 rounds of HE in support of the same Regt. Lt. Hogan was transferred to the 106th Cml. Proc. Co. Lt. Lovan replaced him as Company Executive Officer. On the 27th, the rear echelon left Eschweiler at 0900 by motor convoy arriving in Rollsdorf at 0945. This day Pfc. Fazzina and Pvt. Malesky captured 13 Nazi soldiers. The next day, after firing 52 rounds of HE and 35 of WP in support of the attack of the 414th, the company moved to the vicinity of Bochheim.
The 1st of March, we fired 477 rounds of HE and 46 of WP in support of the 413th and moved again, this time to Sindorf. March 2nd, Cpl. Redman became ill and was evacuated through the VII Corps Clearing Station. The company became attached to the 415th Inf. Regt. and moved to the outskirts of the Ahe to support it. On the 3rd, Lt. North was transferred to the 239th Cml. Base Depot Co. We moved again, this time near to Oberhausen.
March 4th, the first and second platoons were forced to move under heavy shellfire to an alternate position near Brauweiler. Pfc. Ingraham distinguished himself in this action by driving five vehicles through this shellfire. Pfc. Mosca was wounded and 25 flat tires were experienced. The men of the motor pool worked until two o'clock repairing them. The duffel bag trailer received a direct hit resulting in the loss of much equipment.
The first round that A Company mortar fired into Cologne was a round of HE fired by the 2nd platoon, 5th March, 1945. The first element of the company to enter this city was the first platoon at 1703 hours on the same day. During the day, the company fired 178 rounds of HE and 423 of WP in furnishing preparatory fire on the town of Levenich and a smoke-screen for the 415th Inf. Regt. The forward CP moved to the vicinity of Levenich and the rear echelon to the town of Fortuna. On March 6th, the company fired 82 rounds into the heart of Cologne. The forward and ammo dump moved into the city. Lt. Lester D. Scheel joined this organization on March 7th from the 106th Cml. Proc. Co. This company remained in position supporting the 415th Inf. Regt.
March 8th was spent in the same position awaiting orders from the 415th. March 9th we fired 222 rounds of HE and 14 of WP in unobserved fire. Lt. Wilson Harvey joined this organization this date. The 10th the company fired one of each before being relieved from attachment to the 104th Inf. Div. at 1200 hours. Gen. Terry Allen, C.G. of the 104th Inf. Div. spoke to the officers of this company and cited the fine work of both the officers and men. The next two days were spent in cleaning and repairing equipment in Cologne and making ready for a long move.
The company left Cologne at 0730, March 13th, and arrived in Verdun, France at 1900 hours en route to the 7th Army to which the entire battalion had been loaned by the First Army. The entire battalion slept in the open just outside the city. On March 14th the company arrived in the vicinity of Neunkirch Les Sarreguemines at 1400 hours and were attached to the 45th Inf. Div. upon arrival. The rear echelon arrived at Etting, France at 1200 hours.
March 15th the company fired 123 rounds of HE and 51 of WP on dug-in enemy infantry and machine gun nests in Frauenberg, Germany. Cpl. Dudenhoffer received a chest wound when an anti-personnel mine exploded. The first platoon captured three prisoners, one officer, and two enlisted men. Cpl. Baxter and Cpl. Silvia received shrapnel wounds and were evacuated on the 16th of March. The forward CP moved to Bebelsheim, Germany and the platoons to Wittersheim. The men in the rear were occupied in cleaning and washing vehicles.
March 17th, the company moved to Assweiler. The platoons fired 64 rounds of HE and 63 of WP in support of 180th Inf. Regt. Cpl. Siegfried and Pfc. Boyette were woulded by shell fragments when the enemy sent in an artillery barrage, which resulted in the death of two civilians. The same day, March 18th, the company fired 214 rounds of WP in furnishing harassing fire and smoke-screen for the 2nd battalion of the 180th Inf. Regt. The rear echelon moved by motor convoy from Etting to Peppenkum, German and was subjected to harassing shellfire during the day and evening. On March 19th, the company furnished a smoke-screen over a period of five hours and twenty minutes for the 180th Inf. Regt., expending 776 rounds of WP. It also fired 252 rounds of HE as harassing fire. At 0800 hours the company was relieved from attachment to the 45th Inf. Div. and attached to the 3rd Inf. Div. Later in the day, the company moved to the town of Hornbach.
March 20th, the company remained in division reserve and the rear area joined the forward elements in Hornbach. The 21st was spent in washing vehicles and cleaning equipment. The company made a long move to the woods in the vicinity of Fischbach on the 23rd. Sgt. Fertitta was evacuated as a result of a hip injury received when his trailer overturned during the trip. The entire company, with the exception of T-4 Becker, who is with battalion headquarters, is together now for the first time since July 3rd, 1944.
The day of March 24th was spent in preparations and rest for a night move. At 2030 hours the men of the rear echelon moved, followed an hour later by the rest of the company. The entire company had closed in the city of Frankenthal, which is directly on the Rhine River by 2400 hours. The platoons moved on the 25th from Frankenthal to a place on the Rhine riverbank east of the city, to support the assault force of the 7th Inf. Regt. in crossing the river.
At 0230 hours on the 26th of March, the platoons began laying a continuous smoke-screen for the crossings by the 7th Inf. Regt. in the vicinity of Frankenthal. A total of 227 rounds of HE and 575 rounds of WP were fired during this mission. The men of the company became very anxious at this time. It was the famous Rhine we were going to cross. The very one the Germans had bragged that we would never cross. Lt. Edwards and Pvt. Jury were the two lucky men to cross the Rhine River first. They went over with the advance party of regimental headquarters. Following closely behind them in convoy was the company.
The following morning, March 27th, the platoons completed the smoking mission and returned to Frankenthal. At 1800 hours the entire forward element of Company A moved to an assembly area in the woods in the vicinity of Lampertheim on the eastern side of the Rhine River. March 28th, at 1215 hours the rear echelon crossed the river and arrived in the town of Heppenheim where the platoons had moved earlier that day. March 29th, 30th, and 31st the company did nothing but rest after getting all their vehicles in condition for another long move.
CENTRAL GERMANYOn Easter Sunday, April 1st, the company was still awaiting orders to move back to the First Army sector. The men were all fortunate in being able to attend church services of all denominations. It was a beautiful day and nearly everyone was taking advantage of the sunshine.
At 0610 hours on April 2nd, 1945, the entire battalion left by convoy en route to the First Army sector. The weather was clear and cold in the morning, but at about 1100 hours the sky became overcast and a light rain fell. At 0630 hours the convoy was overtaken by a cloudburst of rain and hail making the journey very uncomfortable. Finally, at 1940 hours, the convoy pulled to a stop in the town of Prum, where the battalion spent the night.
At 0910 hours the convoy once more moved out and continued its northward route. In the early afternoon the battalion re-crossed the Rhine River near Bonn-on-Rhine and headed into the heart of Germany. Billets were found for the night's stop in the town of Aitenkerchen and the convoy pulled to a stop at 2010 hours, 3 April, 1945.
By starting an hour earlier than on the previous day, the battalion was able to reach its destination in Giershagen by 1610. Company A suffered the lowest number of breakdowns on vehicles of any of the convoy sections with only two jeeps and one ammo truck failing to make the trip in convoy.
April 5th, the company was sitting tight and preparing for future operations. This date the company was still under battalion control. Word was received on April 6th that Lt. Faber who left for the States in the early part of December, was a patient in the 32nd General Hospital and he was dropped from our rolls. The company became attached to the 104th.
Early in the morning of April 7th, the company moved out from Giershagen to the vicinity of Friedrichsfeld in support of the 413th Inf. Regt. of the 104th Inf. Div. On April 8th the company crossed the Weser River and continued advancing in support of the 413th Inf. Regt. At 0930, 10 April 1945, the rear echelon left the village of Giershagen and arrived in the town of Friedrichsfeld at 1100 hours. Here, 11 men joined this organization from the 104th Inf. Div. These men had just arrived in Europe, having just completed their basic training in camps in the States. The morale of these men is exceptionally high.
On April 11th, the company remained on the road following the advance of 413th Inf. Regt. April 12th, the rear echelon moved to the city of Nordhausen, leaving Friedrichsfeld at 1010 hours and arriving in Nordhausen at 1600 hours. The platoons fired four rounds of WP in support of the 413th Inf. Regt. Many of the company personnel were brought to Nordhausen to the scene of the prison camp where an estimated 3000 slave laborers met their death at the hands of their German captors.
On April 14th, to support the attack of the 413th Inf. Regt., the company fired 55 rounds of HE and five rounds of WP. Here, Lt. Peterson was transferred from this company to military government on April 15th. All men of this organization were very sorry to lose such a fine officer. The company fired nine rounds of HE and 14 rounds of WP in supporting the 413th Inf. Regt. On April 16th, the rear echelon moved from Nordhausen to Eisleben, arriving there at about 1100 hours.
The forward elements of the company moved to the vicinity of Piessen still in support of the 413th Inf. Regt., on the 17th of April and remained in this position on April 18, moving out to the town of Glebitzsch on the 19th of April. The company was relieved from attachment to the 413th Inf. Regt. and attached to the 415th Inf. Regt. on April 20th.
On April 21st, the company moved to the vicinity of Petersroda. During the course of the day, the company fired a total of 93 rounds of HE and 49 rounds of WP. April 22nd the company fired 92 rounds of HE and three rounds of WP. Later in the day, the company moved to the town of Wannewitz.
The platoons had quite a busy day on April 23rd. They fired 163 rounds of HE and 70 rounds of WP to support the advance of the 413th Inf. Regt. The company was still in the vicinity of Wannewitz on April 24th, moving early in the forenoon of the latter to a bivouac area in the town of Luttchendorf. On the same day, April 27th, the company was relieved from attachment to the 104th Inf. Regt. and returned to battalion control.
Both the company forward and rear elements remained in their respective towns awaiting further orders on April 28th. On April 29th, the entire company moved into the town of Naumberg to be stationed until further notice. The battalion had charge of the Prison Cage in this town until it was cleared of its 50,000 prisoners. Garrison soldiering was started on April 30th, with reveille at 0700 hours followed by a training schedule consisting of calesthenics, close order drill, various classes, and an orientation period conducted by Lt. Bauer, Company Education and Information Officer.
Reveille was at 0700 on May 1st with all men of the company 'present or accounted for'. In the afternoon, Capt. Branson conducted an inspection of small arms in ranks. Administration personnel are busy bringing the company records up to date. May 2nd, the entire company attended a USO show at the theater. Following the show, girls from the American Red Cross served coffee and donuts. Mass athletics made up the rest of the day's schedule.
May 3, 1945 marked the end of the 87th Chemical Battalion, Mtz., and saw the birth of the 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion. The battalion now consisted of a headquarters and headquarters company, and Companies A, B, and C. A third platoon added to the company increased the strength by one officer and 25 enlisted men.
Lt. Raymond S. Watson, platoon leader of the 3rd platoon, came to our company from C Company. The men of the platoon found him a very diligent and ambitious officer, helping each man with any trials that might arise. The men all welcomed Lt. Watson as their new platoon leader.
An inspection in ranks by the Company Commander ended the training schedule for 4 May 1945. The remainder of the day was spent in cleaning vehicles and personal equipment and completing the reorganization of the platoons. Lt. Watson was assigned to the third platoon as platoon leader with Lt. Scheel as his executive officer.
On May 5th, Saturday, a softball game was organized with teams from the letter companies in competition. The weather remains warm with cloudless skies. Lt. Scheel, Special Services Officer, has made arrangements for tops to be sewed on all boots and also for a photograph shop to be set up in the battalion. T-5 Hoerichs is in charge of the photography department and is doing a fine job.
May 6th found the men in high spirits awaiting the official announcement of the end of the war in Europe. This day being Sunday, no drill schedule was set up and church services were available to all. It is another clear and warm day. May 7th, 1945 was the final day of reorganization and everyone was busy getting prepared to start on a daily training schedule the following day.
MAY 8, 1945, VICTORY IN EUROPE DAY! The electrifying news that Germany surrendered unconditionally to the allies was announced to the battalion by Major Slovak, acting battalion commander. Wine and stronger spirits, which had been cached away for this event, were issued to the platoons and the men of Company A celebrated the victory with a day of revelry and thanksgiving. Many solemn toasts were offered to the memory of those who were with us, but had fallen, and at one gathering, a two-minute silence was observed for them "our Comrades-in-Arms".
The next forty days were spent in rest and occupation and the guarding of German prisoners of war, who were waiting to be released. These duties were performed in and about the city of Naumburg, Saale.
Early on the morning of June 19th, we were in readiness to leave this friendly little German city for our long awaited trip. The morale was exceptionally high, for this was the trip we worked and fought so hard to attain, for it was the one home. We were being redeployed via the States to the South Pacific, with a promise of thirty days at home. The battalion convoy left Naumburg via a southwestern route through the German countryside, passing the towns of: Aolda, Weimar, Eisenach, Hersfeld, Giessen, Frankfurt, Mainz, where we crossed the Rhine, Alzey, Kaiserslautern, Honburg, Zweibrucken, Saarguemines, Salins, and Nancy, Toul, Void, Ligny, Dizier, Vitry, Somme-Sous, Maitley, Le Champ, then to Camp Miami. While at Camp Miami for two weeks, we turned in all vehicles and packed all equipment to precede us to the States. Passes were given to Paris, Reims, and Troyes. We left Camp Miami in semi-trailers to the town of Somme, where we boarded trains taking us to Camp Lucky Strike on the outskirts of Le Havre. We had a short stay at camp, and proceeded by trucks to the city of Le Havre, on through to its harbor.
At this point, we boarded the American transport ship Exchequer on an eight-hour trip across the English Channel. We disembarked at Southhampton, England. We were served coffee and donuts and boarded trains for Camp Barton Stacey, forty miles southwest of London. While here, the men enjoyed passes to Winchester, Bournemouth, and London. After three weeks of pleasant stay, we convoyed in trucks to Andover, where we boarded trains and proceeded on our trip to northern Scotland. We arrived at Glasgow, en route to Greenock. Awaiting us here were tugs to take us out to the Queen Mary anchored in the Firth of Clyde.
The Queen Mary sailed the 28th of July, approximately fifteen thousand American troops had their last look at jolly old England. On board the Queen Mary the troops were double-berthed. One night sleeping in the cabins, the next night on decks. The men's morale was very high, as we were going in the right direction, homeward-bound. At daybreak, August 2nd, we caught sight of the lady who we all hoped and prayed to see some day. We were greeted in the harbor by tugs and ferry boats, with bands and cheering people, all to greet and welcome us home. We disembarked from the ship about eight o'clock and were served cold milk and donuts by the American Red Cross workers. There were many photographers, newspapermen, and artists sketching the E.T.O. combat veterans.
We boarded the Weehauken ferry and crossed the Hudson River to New Jersey where we boarded troop-trains that transported us to Camp Kilmer in New Jersey. We were fitted with new clothing for the summer, and had our first real American meal. Within twenty-four hours everyone was on his way to his separation center to receive his furlough.
After the thirty days furlough, the men returned to their separation centers, here they were screened and some of the men were discharged and the remaining men returned to the company at Fort Benning, Georgia. They assembled at Harmony Church area. When all the men returned to the company, we were transferred to the Sand Hill area, where some of the men are awaiting discharge. The rest of the men will carry on their duties with the 87th.
Days of Combat - "A" Company From 6 June 1944 to last commitment 27 April 1945 326 days Total days tactically employed 317 days Longest sustained period, 20 July 1944 to 5 Dec 1944 139 days Total days of rehabilitation and maintenance 9 days
Rounds Fired - Battalion HE WP Total Total 109,604 74,406* 184,010 *includes 484 rounds of FS Highest daily expenditure (19 March 1945) 206 5,376 5,582
Rounds Fired - "A" Company HE WP Total Total 37,053 16,115 53,168 Highest daily expenditure (27 Nov 1944) 563 969 1,532 Highest monthly expenditure (Nov 1944) 7,852 3,029 10,881 Number of days expenditure exceeded basic load 7
Rounds Fired - "B" Company HE WP Total Total 21,984 17,151 39,135 Highest daily expenditure (19 Mar 1945) 186 1,711 1,897 Highest monthly expenditure (Mar 1945) 1,187 6,274 7,461 Number of days expenditure exceeded basic load 5
Rounds Fired - "C" Company HE WP Total Total 26,990 20,781 47,771 Highest daily expenditure (23 Feb 1945) 96 1,578 1,674 Highest monthly expenditure (Dec 1944) 5,081 1,884 6,965 Number of days expenditure exceeded basic load 7
Rounds Fired - "D" Company HE WP Total Total 23,577 20,359 43,936 Highest daily expenditure (19 Mar 1945) 20 2,417 2,437 Highest monthly expenditure (Mar 1945) 844 6,208 7,052 Number of days expenditure exceeded basic load 5
The Men Who Served
This is a list of the men who served with Company A at some time during its training, assault, or drive across Europe.
Ansley, Oscar L.
Balonick, Carl, IL
Bauer, Burl L, IL
Berry, William R., SC
Bonafin, Eugenio L., MA
Branson, Roy E., MO
Brunt, Julian G., MS
Bugin, Morris, GA
Buszata, Joseph J.
Cable, William H., CT
DeWitt, Marvin J., IN
Edwards, Carl H., ND
Elliott, Richard B., MA
Faber, Harry W., CT
Glenn, James C.
Giancoli, Aldo B.
Griffis, Charles B., VA
Gump, Arthur L.
Harvey, Wilson, NY
Hogan, John D., Jr., RI
Hosmer, James C., LA
Lee, Jack W., LA
Lesh, Laurence, PA
Lovan, William J., TX
Mappus, Julius H.
Mays, William G.,PA
Miller, Carl P.
Moore, Clinton O., MO
North, Herbert W., OH
Peterson, Douglas L., UT
Rich, Cecil A.
Scheel, Lester D., WI
Slaughter, DeWitt, KY
Stiefel, John T., PA
Summers, George R., MA
Watson, Raymond S., TX
Albright, Willard A., TN
Alexander, Glendon E., PA
Anderson, Charles I., VA
Almeida, Arthur, MA
Angel, Chester M., NC
Arlinghaus, Edward J.
Auld, William B., Jr., MA
Banks, Donald L., Jr., CT
Banville, Raymond E., MA
Baribeault, Edward C., CT
Bartosiewicz, Edmond S., CT
Bastoni, Angelo, MA
Baughman, Findley C., PA
Baxter, Robert W., WV
Beck, John A., Jr., PA
Becker, John W., MD
Bennett, Melvin H., NJ
Bilanin, Joseph E., CT
Blatt, Maurice, PA
Bochnak, William J.,MA
Bookas, James, PA
Boyette, Charles R., NC
Brith, John F., MA
Brittain, Alvin R., IN
Brown, Lewis J., Wash., DC
Buck, Kenneth T., MA
Buchanan, William T.
Burt, Roger G., MA
Chapa, Ferdinand R.,TX
Charsar, George, PA
Ciskitti, Ralph J., IL
Clifford, James V., NH
Collette, Oscar H.
Collins, Howard O., PA
Collins, William S.
Connor, Guy, Jr., PA
Conway, John D., NJ
Corbett, William E., ME
Cowart, Arthur G., GA
DeFrancisco, Daniel, NY
DelBene, Philip J., NY
DellaVolpe, Ralph E., NY
Denofrio, Patrick A.
Dickson, Walter J., PA
Dillard, James W., TX
Dorrough, Charles H., TX
Dressler, Chester, IL
Drozd, Charlie, TX
Drucker, Irving L., NY
Dudenhoofer, William H., IN
Dunne, Theodore F., NY
Duva, Samuel, PA
Eagle, John R., VA
Eary, Lester T., WV
Ermilio, Frank, PA
Eure, Lewis R., Jr.
Fach, George H., Jr., PA
Farinholt, Kenneth L., MD
Fazzina, Anthony J., CT
Fertitta, Arthur J., MA
Finney, Robert W., IN
Fiske, Stephen F., MA
Flynn, Martin J., A
Freeman, William H., N
Fuerst, Robert J., MO
Funk, John W., NY
Gallo, Louis P., MA
Gittler, Samuel G., IL
Glickstein, Samuel G., ILL
Goodwin, Richard H., ME
Granate, Louis J., PA
Gravel, Robert N., NH
Greenleaf, Robert L., ME
Greenquist, Arthur L., IL
Gregor, Francis K., CT
Hall, Spotswood B., Jr., NY
Hamm, Wiley T., Jr., TN
Hammel, Thomas I., MA
Hammer, Jack A., NJ
Hardeman, James E., AL
Harper, Charles D., Jr., LA
Harshman, Robert E., PA
Harvey, Handley R., WV
Hays, David G.
Healey, Francis G., NY
Henry, Francis J.
Heron, Lawrence J., MA
Hildreth, William H., MA
Hoerichs, Wilson W., MD
Holloway, Edgar W., PA
Hunn, John D., IL
Ingraham, William J., NY
Isaacs, Miles B., MI
Isaacs, Jerome, NY
Jasper, Celester G., IA
Jolly, Robert E., PA
Johnson, Arthur R., NJ
Jones, Pershing A., TX
Jury, Oliver J., PA
Kalinoski, Theodore, PA
Kalman, Leslie S., NJ
Karnes, George H., Jr., TX
Keisling, Leslie E., CA
Kimbley, Wilbur C.
King, Delizon A., MA
Koehler, Clayton J.
Konkle, Walter A., Jr., OH
Krasowski, John S., PA
Kubit, John S., MA
Kyrargyros, Anthony H., PA
LaBrutto, Santo, NJ
Lask, Daniel D.
Lavoie, Leo T., MA
Learned, Charles M., MA
Leavenworth, John W., Jr., CT
Lehbach, Kenneth N., OH
Lempa, Casimir J., PA
Lewis, Vernon, MO
Ligon, Glenn E., MN
Luczkowski, Edward J., PA
Lyden, Clifford A.
Lynch, Robert M., WV
Malesky, Stephen, NY
MacLachlan, Donald F.
Mann, George A., PA
Mazurski, Martin P., CT
McAlexander, Charles R., TN
McCormick, John L., CT
McCurry, George D.
McDowell, Ralph J.
Medeiros, James N., MA
Meinsler, Ellis B., PA
Miller, Roy A., OH
Mollura, John A., VA
Moore, Howard F., PA
Morales, Robert S.
Mosca, Gabriel J., PA
Mroczka, Stanley J., CT
Mueller, Lawrence F., IL
Musser, Robert K., PA
Myers, Robert A., PA
Nicholas, Howard H., VA
Nicola, Nicholas, Jr., MA
Noll, Ned R., KS
Norton, Crawford R., GA
O'Briant, Grober L.
O'Connell, Harold F., CT
Odgers, Richard I., NJ
O'Donnell, James J., Jr., PA
O'Doherty, John K., NY
Osmond, Gilbert H.
Outler, Raymond, GA
Pallott, Joe, PA
Palmatier, Thomas F., Jr., CT
Patten, Benjamin L., MA
Pawlowski, Clement, OH
Perry, Henry P., PA
Pepper, Leo M., AL
Peterson, Donald G.
Phillips, Franklin B., VA
Pieretti, George J., PA
Poggi, Paul J., NY
Pompa, Paul, PA
Prasecki, Ales J.
Prestigiocome, Alfred J., NY
Rau, Carl R., RI
Redell, Delbert E., IL
Redell, Elbert D., IL
Redman, Joseph A., WV
Redwine, James R., MS
Rehbein, Milton P., MI
Reiman, Frank Jr., IL
Richey, Herman L., VA
Roberts, William J., NJ
Robinson, Howard B.
Rogers, Lewis G., VA
Rosenfeld, Theodore, NY
Rubenstein, David H., MA
Rutkowski, Frank, PA
Sampson, Ernest M., WA
Santos, Antonio R.
Schofield, Arnold E., MA
Schreffler, Melvin R., PA
Schulz, Martin, PA
Searle, Edwin L., MA
Sebian, Richard A., OH
Shaffer, Howard A., PA
Shanahan, William E., NY
Shaw, James J.
Sheehan, Leonard J., MA
Shipp, Joe B.
Short, Harry E., PA
Siegfried, William F., PA
Silvia, Manuel C., MA
Singleton, Frank S., AL
Simpson, Gordon W., SC
Skapura, Andrew T., PA
Smith, Carlton L., VA
Smith, Melvin L., TX
Sovel, Clifford D., OH
Starkey, Julian C., AR
Stone, Nelson W., KS
Sullivan, John A., CT
Suttles, James B., MS
Swope, Carrol L., MD
Taff, William H.
Taggert, George A., PA
Tapasses, Angelo C., MA
Thomas, David, NY
Thomas, Hubert E., MI
Torres, Victor M., Puerto Rico
Torsiello, Fred P., NJ
Tota, Samuel N., NY
Trant, William, MA
Valente, Joseph J.
Valletta, Michail A., CT
Vilas, Homer A., Jr., NJ
Viveiros, Joseph A., MA
Volcjak, Carl C., PA
Volpicelli, John L. MA
Wallace, Arnold W., CT
Wallingford, Eldred K., IL
Weren, Melvin B., NY
Whitney, Jarvis K., OH
Wilkevich, Joseph R., PA
Willemin, Augusta J., PA
Williamson, Robert L., PA
Wittig, George F., PA
Wolf, William V., PA
Wong, Jam, CA
Woodward, Roy M., IA
Wyman, Shirley Q., MA
Wynne, James F., NY
Yee, Bing Q., MA
Yung, Chester L., WA
Zuchniewicz, Edward J., NJ
Company AwardsPvt. Arthur Almeida, Purple Heart
Pvt. Chester A. Angel, Purple Heart
2nd Lt. Oscar L. Ansley, Purple Heart
1st Lt. Carl Balonich, Bronze Star
Cpl. Edmond S. Bartosiewicz, Purple Heart
Pfc. Angelo Bastoni, Bronze Star/Purple Heart
Cpl. Robert W. Baxter, Purple Heart (Cluster)
S-Sgt. Melvin H. Bennett, Purple Heart
Pfc. Joseph Bilanin, Purple Heart
Pfc. William J. Bochak, Purple Heart
1st Lt. Eugenio L. Bonafin, Purple Heart/Bronze Star
Pfc. Charles R. Boyette, Purple Heart
Pvt. John F. Brith, Purple Heart
Capt. Roy E. Branson, Silver Star/Bronze Star/Purple Heart
1st Lt. Julian G. Brunt, Silver Star/Bronze Star
S-Sgt. Roger G. Burt, Bronze Star
2nd Lt. William H. Cable, Purple Heart/Bronze Star
Ralph J. Ciskitti, Purple Heart
T-5 William S. Collins, Purple Heart
Pvt. Guy Connor, Jr., Purple Heart
T-5 John A. Conway, Purple Heart (Cluster)
Pvt. Philip J. Delbene, Purple Heart
Pfc. Daniel DeFrancisco, Purple Heart
Pfc. Ralph E. Della Volpe, Purple Heart
1st Lt. Marvin J. DeWitt, Purple Heart/Silver Star
Pfc. Walter J. Dickson, Purple Heart (Cluster)/Bronze Star
Sgt. Chester Dressler, Purple Heart
Pfc. Samuel Duva, Bronze Star
Pfc. John R. Eagle, Purple Heart
1st Lt. Carl H. Edwards, Purple Heart/Bronze Star
Pvt. Frank Ermilla, Purple Heart
2nd Lt. Harry W. Faber, Purple Heart (Cluster)/Bronze Star (Cluster)
Cpl. Kenneth L. Farinholt, Purple Heart
Sgt. Arthur J. Fertitta, Purple Heart
Cpl. Stephen F. Fiske, Purple Heart
Pfc. Robert Fuerst, Purple Heart/Combat Medal
Pvt. Francis K. Gregor, Purple Heart/Bronze Star
1st Lt. Arthur L. Gump, Purple Heart
S-Sgt. Robert E. Harshinan, Purple Heart/Bronze Star
Sgt. Francis G. Healy, Bronze Star (Cluster)
T-4 Francis J. Henry, Purple Heart
Cpl. Lawrence J. Heron, Purple Heart
Pfc. William H. Hildreth, Purple Heart
T-5 Wilson W. Hoerichs, Bronze Star
2nd Lt. James C. Hosmer, Bronze Star/Silver Star
Pfc. William J. Ingraham, Bronze Star
Cpl. Pershing Jones, Purple Heart
Pvt. Leslie S. Kalman, Purple Heart
Pvt. Delizon A. King, Silver Star
Pvt. Walter A. Konkle, Purple Heart
Sgt. Charles M. Learned, Purple Heart
1st Lt. Jack W. Lee, Purple Heart
T-5 George A. Mann, Bronze Star
1st Lt. William G. Mays, Bronze Star/Purple Heart
Cpl. James N. Mederios, Purple Heart
Pvt. Roy A. Miller, Bronze Star
Pfc. Gabriel J. Mosca, Purple Heart
T-5 Robert K. Musser, Purple Heart
1st Sgt. Robert A. Myers, Bronze Star
1st Lt. Herbert W. North, Bronze Star/Purple Heart
T-5 Harold F. O'Connell, Bronze Star/Purple Heart
Cpl. James F. O'Donnell, Purple Heart (Cluster)/Combat Medal
Cpl. Joe Pallott, Purple Heart
Pfc. Clement Pawlowski, Purple Heart
T-5 Henry P. Perry, Purple Heart
1st Lt. Douglass L. Peterson, Purple Heart
Pfc. Paul J. Poggi, Purple Heart
Cpl. Joseph A. Redman, Purple Heart/Bronze Star
Sgt. James R. Redwine, Bronze Star
Pfc. Milton P. Rehbein, Purple Heart
Cpl. William J. Roberts, Purple Heart/Bronze Star
Cpl. David H. Rubenstein, Purple Heart
Cpl. Howard A. Shaffer, Purple Heart
Pvt. William E. Shannahan, Purple Heart
Pfc. James J. Shaw, Purple Heart
Cpl. Richard A. Selian, Purple Heart
T-5 Leonard J. Sheehan, Purple Heart/Bronze Star
Cpl. William F. Siegfried, Purple Heart
Cpl. Manuel C. Silvia, Purple Heart
Capt. John T. Stiefel, Purple Heart/Bronze Star
Sgt. Nelson W. Stone, Bronze Star
Cpl. Arthur J. Spitznas, Purple Heart
S-Sgt. David Thomas, Purple Heart
T-5 Victor M. Torres, Purple Heart/Combat Medal
T-4 Fred P. Torsiello, Purple Heart
Cpl. William T. Trant, Purple Heart (Cluster)/Combat Medal
Pvt. Michiel A. Valetta, Purple Heart
Pfc. Joseph J. Valente, Purple Heart
Sgt. Carl C. Volcjak, Purple Heart
Sgt. Arnold W. Wallace, Purple Heart
Cpl. Joseph R. Wilkevich, Purple Heart
Pvt. Robert L. Williamson, Purple Heart
Sgt. Roy M. Woodward, Combat Medal
The history of Company A was compiled and kept by Corporal Robert L. Greenleaf, our mail-orderly, to whom we owe thanks for the splendid work he accomplished.
With the consent of Captain Roy E. Branson, company commander, the history of the company was rewritten in book form by members of Company A: Cpl John D. Hunn, T-5 Wilson W. Hoerichs and T-5 Leonard J. Sheehan; typists PFC Robert J. Fuerst, Pvt. Theodore Rosenfeld and Cpl Lawrence F. Mueller.
Digitizing and HTML coding by R. Bruce Elliott.
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