September 01, 1944
Precy St Martin, France,
012400 September, 1944
Task Forces “S” moved the bulk of the its forces to assembly area in the vicinity of Brienne-LeChateau (6282), prepared to attack to the NE, N or SE. It also continued to protect the south flank of the division. 3rd Battalion, 320th Infantry, with Company “C” and 2d Reconnaissance platoon 654th TD Battalion defending line Venleuvre-Sur-Barse – Bar-Sur-Seine, prepared to demolish bridges at Bar-Sur-Seine in case of enemy threat. The Division generally continued to protect the south flank of the XII Corps. The 216th Field Artillery Battalion and 182nd Field Artillery Group remained attached to Task Force “S”.
The battalion remained attached to Task Force “S” (less Company “C” and the 2d reconnaissance platoon, which is in support of the 3rd battalion 320th Infantry, securing Troyes and Bar-Sur-Seine), in assembly area at Precy St Martin, France. The first and third reconnaissance platoons patrolled the entire area occupied by our forces in this area during the hours of darkness. There was no enemy contact during the period.
FFI reported isolated enemy groups, with a little artillery in woods to the east of our positions. The weather during the period was cloudy with intermittent cold showers.
The command post of Company “A” remained in the vicinity of Brienne-Le-Chateau, coord 575848. Privates Pat Greco, Lester E. Hunt, Cledis McWherter, David B. Foley, Jr. and Clayton Joned assigned and joined the company from replacement center during the period.
Headquarters Company established and remained in the vicinity of the battalion command post during the period. Private Joseph E. Hathaway, assigned and joined company during the day from replacement center. Tech 5 Grade Casper Sheel promoted to Tech 4 Grade and Pvt1cl Marlin and Private Suggs and French promoted to Tech 5 Grade.
Company “B” closed their command post and moved to 1 mile SW Nomecourt, France, at 2020 hours, a total distance of 38 miles, without enemy contract. Private Marasa assigned and joined company from replacement center.
Company “C” with the 3rd battalion, 320th Infantry in the vicinity of Troyes, moved and setup their Command Post in the vicinity of Marolles-Le-Bailly, France coord H482599, a distance of 28miles with the platoon in AT positions in the vicinity of coord 482559, 1/100.000.
The command post of the Reconnaissance Company departed from 1/4 miles S St Parres-Aux-Tertres and established 1-1/2 mile north of Epagne, France, at 2135 hours, a distance of 28 miles, without enemy contact.
2d Lieut. Brooks assigned and joined company from replacement pool. Private Thomas P. Slevin was assigned to the medical detachment during the period from replacement center.
Lieut. Smith with his 1st reconnaissance platoon reconnoitered woods in which FFI reported enemy soldiers, but note were found.
September 02, 1944
Nomecourt, France, Coord Z037857
022400 September, 1944
All elements of the battalion, less Company “C” and the 1st reconnaissance platoon, moved from Precy St Martin, France, with TF “S” at 1935 hours and established in assembly area in the vicinity of Nomecourt, France at 2205 hours, a distance of 38 miles.
There was no enemy action during the period except for strong enemy air reconnaissance after darkness.
The enemy situation remains to be confused. Scattered groups are withdrawing to the east and northeast. The FFI reported about 500 enemy troops with heavy artillery in Joinville and Chaumont. The 8th (?) and 4th Armored Divisions consolidated bridge head across the Meuse River east of Commercy, France.
The Division assumed responsibility for the protection of the south flank of the Third U.S. Army, from Sens to Joinville, France, incl division relieved of responsibility between Sens and Orleans, France.
Task Force “S” assumed responsibility for the security of Joinville area and is protecting the flanks of the division from the NE, E, and SE.
The FFI reported a violent battle going on between them and the enemy at Marcenay at 1300 hours and requested immediate assistance.
Another violent battle between FFI men and the SS troops is raging in the town and vicinity of Bar-Sur-Seine. They too have called TF headquarters for assistance. They report that they are in contact with 500 enemy SS troops with artillery and mortars.
The command post was established in a barn until elements of the 4th Armored Division evacuate the chateau in the area.
The weather during the period was cool and misting rain. Clear in the evening however.
September 03, 1944
Coord Z037857, 1/100,000
0322400 September, 1944
Task Force Headquarters remained in Joinville, France. Division continued to protect the south flank of the Third Army from Joinville to Sens, France.
The 35th Reconnaissance Troop screened the movement of TF “S” and established road blocks north, south and east of Joinville. The 60th Engineer Battalion established road blocks in the vicinity of Brienne, France during the period.
The battalion, less company “C” and 1st Rcn platoon remained in the assembly area in the vicinity of Nomecourt, France, 2 miles SE of Joinville, prepared to attack at once in case of an enemy attack. The enemy does not have a cohesive line in this sector his isolated groups begin cut up into pockets which are hiding out in outlying wooded areas and staging parties at night and attempting small scale sabotage.
Chaumont continues to be strongly defended by what is believed the 29th Panzer Grenadier Regiment. A captured field order confirms the report that the 16th Infantry Division is moving into the vicinity of Montbard, France, 80 kilometers SW of Chaumont.
Generally, the enemy is withdrawing to the E, NE and SE. The FFI reported the movement of a large enemy force to the north out of Chatillon, during the night; they also reported the concentration of remnants of the German 8th Army around Montbard, France, and 100 enemy tanks in the woods north of Wassy and about 1200 enemy soldiers.
Thirty two prisoners were rounded up in the woods and fields during the day; a bunch of sad-sacks all of them
Enemy planes were over the are during the night and strafed Task Force Headquarters in Joinville at 0930 hours in a down-pour of rain.
The first and third reconnaissance platoons outposted and patrolled all roads in the area during the hours of darkness, and established listening post in fields and forests.
No enemy contact was made during this period.
Company “C” and the 2d reconnaissance platoon in support of the 3rd battalion, 320th Infantry continued to defend the city of Troyes and the east bank of the Seine River.
Cognac, captured in Troyes, bearing the label “for Wehrmacht Troops only” was issued to the companies during the period by Captain James M. Witherspoon, battalion, S-4, after the officers packed all they could in their bags, in vehicles and other types of containers, they gave the remainder to the men, but the pay off came when the CO issued an order that it would be issued to each man, at 1700 hours daily, by an officer, in the amounts of TWO TABLESPONSFUL PER MAN. Many of the men went down, drew their portion and politely emptied it upon the ground in the presence of the issuing officer as the majority of them had two and three quarts each in their vehicles.
September 04, 1944
Coord Z037857, 1/100,000
0422400 September, 1944
CT 134 continued to protect the south flank of the division and Third Army from Sens to Bar-Sur-Seine; CT 137 from Bar-Sur-Seine to Blaise and Task Force “S” from Blaise to Joinville, France; the latter prepared and alerted to attack to the E, NE or SE upon orders.
The enemy does not have an organized front line in the division sector at this time. Isolated enemy soldiers continue to raid farmers homes for food but they are gradually being elimintated. Chatillon and Chaumon are still strongly defended by the enemy with Infantry, tanks, AT guns, artillery and road blocks. The FFI reported that there are some enemy in dug-in positions at LaMothe-en-Biasy. About 100 enemy infantrymen reported at Drayes and 80 attacked the town of Allichamps during the night Neaufchateau is strongly defended by about 1000 enemy soldiers fully equipped. Prisoners are being rounded up from the 51st SS Brigade. An enemy outpost was contacted in the outskirts of Rimaucourt last night The gasoline dump (enemy) is now estimated to contain 1,000,000 gallons of 40-60 octane gasoline, it however being useless to the American Forces due to its low octane, but we have secured it to prevent the enemy from re-capturing it.
September 05, 1944
Coord Z037857, 1/100,000
052400 September, 1944
The division continues to protect the south flank of the Third Army from Sens to Germany, France, inclusive.
Task Force “S” with headquarters in Joinville, France, continued to defend assigned sector and remained on the alert to attack to the east, northeast or southeast. The 691st TD battalion (towed) was assigned to and joined the division and further attached to Division Artillery during the period.
The 12th U.S. Army Group has been re-designated as “CENTRAL GROUP OF ARMIES, which consists of the First, Third, Seventh and Ninth U.S. Armies, all under the command of Lieut-General Omar N. Bradley, USA.
The Ninth Army is on the Brittany peninsula at the present time and has not, as yet, been committed.
The scenery in this part of France is beautiful; rolling country and reminds one of Tennessee and Virginia. Little evidence of battle is indicated in this immediate sector due to the fact that the enemy got the hell out so quickly under pressure there has been hardly a fight to destroy the country.
The enemy has no organized front lines in our sector. He, however, still defends Chatillon, Chaumont and Rimaucourt, and Neufchateau within the division’s sector, this to protect his retreat to the east and NE.
FFI reports that the enemy is digging -in in the vicinity of the Foret de L’Etoile.
Two French girls riding down the streets of Joinville, where TF Headquarters is located, with a man each on the rear of their bicycles, in civilian clothes, with FFI arm bands around their outer sleeves, who looked suspicious to a GI who was strolling down the street, were stopped by him, and the men jumped off the bicycles and fled into the woods. The girls were arrested and taken to military police headquarters, who in turn released them to the FFI. The girls, after questioning by the FFI admitted, that the two men were German officers who had been cut-off from their unit by the swift American advance, and that they were assisting them in escaping. Both Germans were later killed by our patrols.
Enemy air reconnaissance planes were over the area at 2330. No bombing or strafing reported. The weather was cloudy with showers during the period.
The battalion, less Company “C” and 2d reconnaissance platoon remained in the vicinity of Nomecourt, France, during the period; its mission unchanged. No enemy contact was made during the period.
Acute gasoline shortage still exists and is becoming more critical.
Men were granted permission to take baths in Joinville for a fee of ten francs per individual; only a limited number allowed to leave the defense area at the time. This is the first time since we entered combat that we have had the opportunity to take a real bath, and all of us will not get that opportunity as it appears at the present.
Company “C” and the 2d reconnaissance platoon remained in support of the 3d battalion 137th Infantry in the vicinity of Troyes, France, protecting the town and the east bank of the Seine River.
A jeep belonging to the Medical Detachment was accidentally wrecked during the night in Company “C” ‘s area, but no casualties resulted.
At 2100 hours, Staff Sergeant Ruel R. Windham, acting platoon leader was stopped in the vicinity of Mussy-sur-Seine, by the local FFI who reported to him that an enemy column, consisting of six vehicles were proceeding in the direction of Bar-Sur-Seine from the south; the type of vehicles were undetermined, and that they were, at that time, about ten miles from the command post of Company “C”. Sergeant Windham and one section of the platoon, consisting of an armored car and Tech 5 Grade Anderson, driver; Tech 5 Grade Valattuti, radio operator; Private Pope, gunner and the FFI soldier, and a jeep, with Sergeant Morrissy the section sergeant, Private Kimball, driver and Tech 5 Grade Grimmer, radio operator, went to investigate the report. The patrol pulled up to the railway station in Charry, France, and the FFI ordered the radio operator in the station to contact Mussy, France, a little town some distance up the road through which the enemy column was supposed to come and verify the fact that they were coming in that direction. The operator in Mussy quickly verified the report, stating that the column consisted of six trucks and an ambulance, all heavily armed, and should be at that time about 3 miles down the highway, coming in the direction of Sergeant Windham’s patrol. He further stated that he thought that the vehicles were lost and that they had taken the wrong road in trying to follow a large German convoy which had passed through the town earlier in the evening, retreating to the east. With this information, the patrol with the armored car leading, proceeded up the highway to intercept the enemy vehicles.
About 1/4 miles north of Mussy, two OPs which the column had sent ahead on bicycles, consisting of a corporal and a private, and which were about 200 yards ahead of the vehicles opened fire on the patrol with their rifles. Sergeant Windham killed one with his carbine and the FFI shot the other dead with his looted German Luger. Later it was found that Sergeant Windham had only wounded the corporal with his carbine and, when the FFI walked up to him to look him over, he attempted to pull his gun, at which time the FFI fired three rounds through his head.
At that split second, the leading vehicle in the convoy opened fire on the patrol with their .31 caliber MG, steel hitting and bouncing off the armored car. The patrol opened fire on the column with their 37mm gun using APC shells, and the riflemen and MGunners spraying the disorganized, hysterical enemy as they jumped out of the trucks and made for the woods and ditches. After fifteen minutes, firing all the vehicles in the column were burning and exploding, except the ambulance on the rear of the column which was not fired on by the patrol; however, he did ’bout face in the road and hit for the Fatherland in high gear. A total of 18 rounds of APC and 10 block busters were fired into the column and as they blew to bits, debris, equipment and parts of human limbs were blown to bits in the air. German soldiers fleeing, screaming and hysterical were picked off individually with MG and carbine fire. After no further movement could be observed, Sergeant Windham, as he put it “for good measure” put ten more rounds of block buster ammunition into the smoldering debris.
Their mission completed, and not knowing what was further down the road, and short of ammunition, the patrol returned to the command post.
The following day the wreckage was examined and it was found that three of the trucks were loaded with ammunition; mortars; British Bren machine guns; American Thompson submachine guns and heavy MGs of all types. The bodies of 20 enemy soldiers were found in and around the wreckage and a total of six vehicles were destroyed; totally without the patrol suffering any casualties.
When the enemy column run head-on into the American patrol, the enemy soldiers, except vehicle commanders and drivers, were in the rear of the trucks, evidentially preparing supper. When their security section 200 yards in front of them opened fire on our patrol, they all jumped up in the truck and began to fire on the patrol, but they, after Sergeant Windham pumped two rounds of APC into them, realized what the score was and the scramble started. But it was too late. Every man in the column was killed on the spot except the men in the ambulance.
The 121st Cavalry Squadron patrol reported that the heavy MG fire, also rifle fire, was encountered 4 kilometers south of Bologne, France, at dawn. The reconnaissance company picked up a French girl, suspected of being an enemy agent. She was turned over to the local FFI.
September 06, 1944
Coord Z037857, 1/100,000
062400 September, 1944
The 80th Division established a bridgehead across the Moselle River at Toul, and is attacking in the direction of the Foret De Haye. The 4th Armored Division is protecting the south flank of the XII Corps from Germany to Luneville, France.
Third Army units are east of Bottembourg in the Duchy of Luxembourg; believed to be the 7th Armored Division and 90th Infantry Division.
The 80th attacking in the direction of Nancy, is meeting stiff enemy resistence.
The enemy is establishing a defense line along Chitillon-sur-Seine, Chaumont-en-Bassigny, Andelot, Liffel-Le-Grand and Neufchateau to protect the retreat of German forces to the north and NE from the vicinity of Avallon, Ontbard and Langres, France. Units with which our forces have made contact are the 115th Pz Grenadier Regiment, 15th Pz Division; 44th Observation Training Battery and 471st Infantry Regt.
Two ME 109s flying east in the vicinity of Magnant at 0900 hours strafed the road in that sector without causing casualties.
FFI reports about 150 enemy soldiers guarding the RR station at Liffel Le-Grand.
Task Force “S” continued to protect the south flank of the division from Blaise to Joinville, and the division protects the south flank of the XII crops from Sens to Germany, France, inclusive. Task Force also guarding 2,000,000 gallons of captured gasoline, low octane which make it unusable for our army, and more enemy ammunition in the woods and buildings than has been fired by all armies, to date, participating in World War II.
A battery of enemy artillery was reported (by civilians) in the vicinity of Rimacourt, France.
There was no change in the positions of the battalion during the period; remaining in respective assembly areas on an alert status.
200 men from the battalion attended a USO show in Joinville during the afternoon, after which they all enjoyed at a hot shower for the price of 10 francs each.
Acute gasoline shortage still exists and there is no prospects for its relief.
Platoon leaders made reconnaissance of the area for further AT positions during the period to guard against a possible enemy armored thrust from the North, East or South.
Maps were issued giving detailed information on the Seigfried Line during the night. The command post moved from the barn to the chateau on the farm after elements of the 4th Armored Division moved out during the afternoon.
There were rooms enough for every one as the chateau is large but when it was discovered that the officers could have a private room, they lost no time in grabbing them, forcing the men to sleep in the marble hallways and cellar.
No contact was made with the enemy during the period. Not even a rumor by the local FFI.
Company “C’ remained in direct support of the 3rd battalion 137th Infantry in the vicinity of Troyes, France, defending the south flank of the XII Corps, Troyes and the east bank of the Seine River, line running generally along Bar-sur-Seine, Magnant, Thieffrain and Vendeure. They had no enemy contact during the period.
The weather during the period was cool, cloudy with intermittent showers.
September 07, 1944
Coord 037857, 1/100,000
072400 September, 1944
CT 134 continued to protect south flank of division from Sens to Bar-sur-Seine, and patrolled from Sens to Montargis, France.
CT 137 (Co C 654th TD Battalion attached) continued to protect division south flank from Bar-sur-Seine to Blaise and Task Force “S” protected south flank of division from Blaise to Joinville, France prepared to attack to the north, northeast, or southeast. The 35th Reconnaissance Troop made contact with the enemy in the vicinity of Chaumont, Andelot and Liffel-le-Grand during the period. In general, the division continued to protect the south flank of the Third Army and XII Corps from Sens to Germany.
The enemy has not been able to organize a cohesive front line in this sector. He continues to defend Contillon, Chateauvillian, Chaumont, Andelot and Neufchateau. Between Nancy and Pont-Mousson and on the east side of the Moselle River, there is about two enemy regiments, re-enforced. Some elements of the enemy forces have infiltrated to the west bank of the Moselle River. Two prisoners captured from the 48th Infantry Division who have been separated from their units since 27 August, 1944.
The enemy continues to withdraw to the north and northeast. Fresh enemy forces have moved into Laignes and into the forest SE of Chateauvillian in his retreat from the south.
South of Nancy the enemy infiltrated west across the canal L’Est between coord Z8996 and 9388, and elements of the 9th Regiment, 3rd paratroop division moved west across the Moselle River into the vicinity of Reimville.
XV Corps and Seventh Army to our south are preparing to attack.
A late report indicates that the enemy is still infiltrating to the west bank of the Moselle River in the vicinity of Bayon and now has approximately 200 troops across the river.
The First and Third U.S. Armies will attack the Seigfried Line from Munchen to Basel, Switzerland, with corps objectives as follows:
XIX Corps Cologne XII Corps Mannheim
XX Corps Weisbaden V Corps Koblenz
VII Corps Bonn XV Corps Strassbourg
The disposition of the battalion remained unchanged during the period.
Gasoline shortage is getting more acute.
Machine gun fire around the command post during the morning. Battalion alerted for enemy attack, but he withdrew.
No enemy air patrols over the sector during the period.
Patrols from the reconnaissance company patrolled all roads and avenues of approach on south flank of Task Force during the period.
No contact was made with the enemy however. One light patrol went as far east as to be within sight of Nancy, France, without enemy contact.
Task Force Headquarters directed that a reconnaissance patrol be established from Donjoux on the main road west of Charmes to Gradne, then north to Morancourt, and to maintain contact with Infantry outpost in the vicinity of Donjoux.
Company “C” and the 2d reconnaissance platoon remained in direct support of CT 137, protecting Troyes and the east bank of the Seine River. They had no enemy contact during the period.
The weather was partly cloudy with intermittent showers.
September 08, 1944
Coord Z0337857, 1/100,000
082400 September, 1944
CT 137 (w/co C 654th TD Bn atchd) continued to protect Troyes and east bank of Seine River, from Bar-sur-Seine to Blaise. CT 134 moving to new assembly area southwest of Nancy. Task Force “S” continued the mission of protecting the south flank of division from Blaise to Joinville, prepared to attack E, NE, or SE.
The 106th Cavalry Squadron in contact with enemy north and west of Chatillon, and the 121st Cavalry Squadron in contact at Chaumont, Andelot and Liffel-Le-Grand.
691st TD Battalion released from attachment to division during period.
Division ordered to new assembly area west of Nancy and south of Toul; CT 134 will protect area while division assembles.
CT 320 to establish road block with AT guns at coord Z625908.
Task Force Headquarters reports that the enemy is assembling in the vicinity of Nancy, France, on the bank of Moselle River for a counterattack.
Three enemy aircraft, bucking a rainstorm, flew in from the SE and strafed TF headquarters and a bridge under construction in Joinville, at 0930 hours. No casualties were reported. FFI reported an undetermined number of enemy foot troops in the vicinity of coord 035765 at 0930 hours.
There was no change in the battalion during the period, except that C company with 2d reconnaissance platoon attached were released from support of CT 137 and reverted to battalion control at 1500 hours. Orders issued to move, Co “C” to join column while it pulls out of assembly area.
A large caliber artillery shell fell in “A” Company’s area at 0930 this morning, coming in from the northeast, hit a tree and exploded.
After investigation it was determined that the shell was a dud which the AAA had fired at three enemy planes strafing Joinville at that time.
The 1st and 3rd reconnaissance platoons remained on outpost duty south of the assembly area during the period.
The British Army have trapped the German 64th, 712th, 49th, 59th, 246th and 47th Divisions, consisting of 80,000 Infantrymen; 30,000 Flack Personnel; 30,000 Miscellaneous personnel; 10,000 V-1 Personnel; 10,000 Navy personnel and 20,000 Armored personnel (This was all that was heard of this rumor).
September 09, 1944
Coord Z635037, 1/100,000
092400 September, 1944
The enemy does not have a cohesive front line in our sector. He continues to defend Chatillon, Chateauvillan, Chaumont, Andelot and Neufchateau. It is believed that elements of the enemy’s 16th Infantry division are defending to the south of Task Force “S”.
Enemy troops are dispensed along the east bank of the Moselle River, with concentrations in the vicinity of Pont-Moussen, Charmes, and an estimated strength of 5,000 in and around Nancy, France. These troops are all from the 48th Infantry Division, 15th Pz Grenadier Division, 3rd Pz Grenadier Division and 3rd parachute training regiment. FFI reports expect the arrival of the 17th SS Division and 15th Pz Division in Nancy within the next 24 hours.
Ten enemy soldiers were killed and two captured at Chatillon during the period.
80th Infantry Division on our left flank; 4th Armored on right. The 1135th Engineer Group and 182nd Field Artillery Group in direct support of the division. XIX Air Corps in direct support of XII Corps with reconnaissance and air strike on high ground east of the Moselle River.
2d Cavalry Squadron patrolling the division front.
Elements of XII Corps attack and advance to Moselle River prepared to execute crossing in force 11 September, 1944.
134th Infantry to secure portion of division objective and protect north flank.
One enemy aircraft flew over the area during the night on reconnaissance.
137th Infantry advances and seizes portion of division objective and protects south flank of the division. The 320th Infantry in reserve establishes road blocks and protect the southwest flank of the division.
The 35th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop to maintain contact between 134th and 137th Infantry and to protect left flank of the division from Saxey-Aux-Forges to Toul, France, inclusive.
60th Engineer Battalion to reconnoiter Moselle River for crossing site.
The mission of the division is to determine the identification, strength and composition of enemy forces between the Moselle River and Canal De L’Est in division sector.
To determine the presence of any enemy troops west of the Moselle River in the division sector.
To determine the strength of enemy forces on the east bank of the Moselle River at possible crossing points in the division sector.
The weather during the period was fair and warm. Excellent for operations.
The battalion closed in the assembly area at 0815 hours at Nomecourt, France, and departed with Task Force “S” and established in Gye, France, coord Z635037, at 1245 hours, a distance of 55 miles, at which time Task Force “S” was dissolved and all units reverted back to Division control.
There was no enemy contact during the advance.
The command post was established in an orchard on the side of the ???? just in the outskirts of the little village of Gye, which is 3 miles south of Tour, France
French civilians swarmed the area as we pulled into the assembly area, bringing fresh fruits and vegetables and passing them out to the men, who in turn gave them cigarettes and chocolate, the first many children had ever seen, as there has been no candy in Europe, since 1940, except for the Germans.
Artillery fire fell on the hill to the east in the direction of the Moselle River, as all the division closed in the sector for the assault crossing of the river.
We can see flak going up at an artillery liaison plane in the distance to our east, and he is getting the hell out of there too.
The 134th and 137th Infantry attacked immediately upon reaching in the assembly area to secure the high ground to the SW of the river. Little resistence other than artillery and mortar fire was met during the attack.
Radio silence was effective at 2100 hours.
Company “C” being relieved at Troyes on the 8th, joined the battalion just outside the assembly area enroute to Gye, France, at 0815 hours, where the company fell in and completed the march under battalion control.
The nights in this part of France are cold and the men have insufficient blankets to keep them warm at night, but arrangements have been made to draw additional blankets.
Several enemy reconnaissance planes were over the area during the night.
No bombing or strafing reported however. They did drop a few flares in the area trying to spot convoys and installations.
Companies “A”, “B”, and “C” were placed in direct support of respective Infantry regiments upon arrival.
Company “A” established in assembly area in the vicinity of Fort de Bleor coord 627017; Company “B” 1 mile SE Gye, coord 369033; Company “C” in vicinity of Gye, coord 636033 and the Reconnaissance Company, 1/2 mile NE of Fort De Blenod, France, coord 612020, 1/100,000.
All elements of the battalion on alert status for attack, and reconnaissance platoons immediately began reconnoitering the sector for gun positions.
The men of the battalion pitched pup tents and camouflaged them in the area, in and over the old trenches and gun emplacements where many of their fathers in World War I, beat off enemy attacks from the powerful Hindenburg Line.
Tech 4 Grade Jack Foster Company “C” was admitted to hospital during the period due to illness; Private John A. Bryant, Co “C” returned to duty during the period.
September 10, 1944
102400 September, 1944
As the result of thorough reconnaissance, it has been definitely established that the following units are opposing the XII Corps in the crossing of the Moselle River:
The 1000th Security Regiment.
3rd and 5th Paratroop Divisions (known as battle group Sautter)
3rd Panzer Grenadier Division
Battle Group Grosser, consisting of :
1st and 2d battalions, 8th Motorized Regiments 1st, 7th and 9th companies, 3rd Artillery Regiment 1st Company, 3rd Engineer Battalion, 1 Platoon, 1st Company, 3rd Anti-Tank Battalion.
Battle Group Weggener consisting of:
2d Battalion, 29th Mechanized Regiment and other unidentified elements
103rd Reconnaissance Battalion
The 1000th Security Regiment was stationed at Clermont-Ferrand (central France) but with the general withdrawal of German troops the unit was sent northward and given the mission of securing the road between Neaufchateau and Mirecourt. This unit has attached to it an unknown number of SS personnel; merely followers, or trying to get to Metz.
Elements of the 3rd and 5th Paratroop Divisions have been formed into a battle group, namely Battle Group Sautter, consisting of four companies each with a strength of 120 men per company. They are seasoned fighters and their morale is high.
The 3rd Pz Grenadier Division, brought from Italy for a rest , was rushed from Germany to relieve the situation in France. It has fought very little during the past six months and is up to strength in men and equipment.
FIELD ORDER 10 SEPTEMBER, 1944.
XII Corps crosses Moselle River in force 11 September south of Nancy, secures bridgehead. 80th Division left of 35th Division holds present positions, continues pressure. 4th Armored Division moves into positions on right (S) 35th Inf Division 110400 September, prepared to cross Moselle River at 0800. CCR, 4th Armored Division in reserve vicinity of Neaufchateau Road, right rear of 35th Inf Div. 1135th Engineer ( C ) Group supports attack of 35th Inf Div. 182nd Field Artillery Group in direct support. XIX TA supports attack with continuous armed reconnaissance and air strikes upon call.
134th Infantry on left (north) and 137th Infantry on right (south) with objectives, see overlay.
134th Infantry with assault troops crosses River at Point “D”, “E” and “F”. Secures Phase Line “1” and “2” in Regimental Zone;’ prepared to advance to Phase “3” on Div O. Protects Div left flank.
137th Infantry with assault troops crosses Moselle River at point “A”, “B” and “C” at 110500. Secures Phase Line “1” and “2” in Regimental Zone, prepared to advance to Phase Line “3” on Div O. Protects right (south) flank of division and maintains contact with 134th Infantry.
320th Infantry in reserve.
161 FA Battalion in direct support 134th Inf with the 255th, 945th and 127th Field Artillery Battalions in indirect support.
219th FA Battalion in direct support 137th Inf with the 216th, 802nd and 752nd FA Battalions in indirect support.
All Div Arty fires concentration E of Moselle R in zone of 134th Inf at 110330 to 110430.
All Div Arty fires concentration E of Moselle R in zone of 137th Inf from 110445 to 110500 Sept 44.
Company “A” and “B”, 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion in direct support 134th and 137th Infantry, respectively.
737th Tank Bn in res prepared to cross Moselle R.
All units be prepared to repel enemy tank attack upon crossing river
The enemy is defending the east bank of the Moselle River. There are very few strong points in the Division sector.
Prisoners were captured form the 3rd Parachute Regiment during the night.
Our air arm has attacked enemy trains moving out of Strasbourg. Enemy strong points and troop concentrations were attacked by B26’s on the west bank of the Moselle River during the period.
The enemy harassed our advance to the Moselle River with artillery, mortar and small arms fire.
Enemy planes were over the area at 0015 and 0155 hours but did no bombing or strafing. A few flares were dropped up and down the river just to see what was taking place.
Enemy patrols which had infiltrated to the west bank of the Moselle River in the vicinity of Flavigny were driven back across the river with losses.
The weather during the period was fair and cool, the temperature being about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The CP Group, Headquarters Company and Medical Detachment remained in the assembly area at Gye during the period. A few enemy aircraft were over the area during the night on reconnaissance missions.
The area is still full of French civilians wanting to shake hands and bringing fruit and vegetables to the men; and a little cognac.
Enemy positions were hit by 300 B26s in the morning.
A strong enemy armored force in reported concentrated at Epinal, France, preparing to move to the west.
FFI report 12 enemy Tiger tanks in woods at coord Y7909 at 0330 hours, and a strong force of enemy infantry in woods at coord 035765. Reconnaissance patrols sent out to make contact but could not accomplish mission.
The command post of Company “A” remained in the assembly area at Fort de Blenod, 627017, during the period. Company in direct support of 134th Infantry. During the late evening the company moved to an assembly area just east of Pierville, coord 813964, to await orders from the CO 134th Infantry, who later advised the company commander that the company was to remain in that sector until the bridge across the Moselle River is completed. Forward elements of the 134th Infantry in the vicinity of Flolis, France, coord 820974, and on high ground E of Pierville; all under heavy enemy small arms and artillery fire.
Company “B” attached to and in support of the 137th Infantry moved 1 mile SE Gye to 1 mile west of Hammerville, coord Z910760, a distance of 16 miles without enemy contact. Prepared to assist 137th Infantry in assault crossing of Moselle River. At 1400 hours company moved from this location to 2 miles S of Parey St Oasaire, France. Move made slow to keep dust clouds down to minimum due to enemy observation.
Company “C” , in reserve, defending the Division CP, took up AT positions in the vicinity of coord 636024 and made no contact with the enemy during the period.
At 1150 hours, the CG 35th Inf Div directed that the reconnaissance to the south be doubled due to report of strong enemy armored force preparing to attack from Epinal, France.
At 1800 hours, Company “A” moved to the town of Thuilley-Aux-Groseilles, a distance of 12 miles, preparing to attack enemy forces attempting to put a bridge across the Moselle River in the vicinity of Trolis.
Company “B” moved against at 1900 hours and established in the town of Armes-et-Ville, where the 3rd reconnaissance platoon immediately went on reconnaissance for gun positions on the west bank of the Moselle River.
The Reconnaissance Company remained in the vicinity of Ft De Blenod during the period. All reconnaissance platoons attached to gun companies. Private Paul E. Anders, MIA since 24 August, 1944, reported for duty. Tech 4 Grade Livingston from duty to hospital. Corporal John Prados, Co “C” was admitted to hospital due to illness during the period.
Many sluices have been destroyed along the canal and at these locations the canal is easily fordable for wheeled or tracked vehicles if the slope of the banks are reduced.
In the area of Byon four or five sluices have been destroyed and the canal under these circumstances is no obstacle.
All information is from civilian sources who have resided in the area for years.
September 11, 1944
112400 September, 1944
The 80th division continued to consolidate their positions along the west bank of the Moselle River, occupying Ft De Villey Le Sec. CCB 4th Armored Division (w/2d Battalion, 320th Inf attached) moved through 35th division area to south flank to make river crossing in the vicinity of coord Z9585. At the end of the period bridge was under construction, and CCB was in assembly area prepared to make crossing. The 2d Cavalry Squadron assembled at Thuilley to assist in protecting the north flank of the division.
At 101800 the 134th Inf (w/Co A, 60th Eng Bn atchd) advanced against small arms fire, arty and mortar fire to occupy SW bank of river. At 102230, 2d battalion, 134th Inf had crossed Moselle over bridge at coord Z850986. At 110030 the enemy launched a strong counterattack against the 2d battalion, while the Luftwaffe and enemy artillery attempted to knock out the bridge. At 11030 the bridge was destroyed by artillery fire, and by 110445 the 2d battalion, that is what was left of it, had been driven back across the river after suffering heavy losses. After the bridge was knocked out, the battalion was cut off in the darkness and there was no way of getting assistance. The enemy immediately attacked the isolated battalion with infantry, tanks, SP guns, mortars and artillery. Those that could swim and were not hit, made it back across the river; others had to be left to die and be taken prisoner by the enemy. This was one of the worst blunders that was ever made in the division. The entire battalion was practically annihilated.
137th Infantry (w/Co B 60th Eng atchd) advances against scattered arty fire to occupy high ground west of the river and occupied their objective at 101700 September, 44. Regiment jumped off at 110500 to seize bridgehead across river; 3rd battalion making crossing at Point “A” and 2d battalion at Point “C”. At the end of the period, both battalions across the river were pinned down by artillery and mortar fire and direct MG and other small arms fire.
Division artillery fired TOTs on enemy positions across the river and upon strong points upon call. At 110330 fired feint east of river.
In general, the results of the period’s operations were: Division completed mission of occupying high ground west of the Moselle River and at the end of the period was attacking to establish bridgeheads across river. Both battalions, 137th Infantry across river are pinned down by heavy counterattack and artillery and mortar fire. The 2d battalion, 134th Infantry suffered heavy casualties when it crossed the Moselle River; was counterattacked, and forced to withdraw to the west bank of the river. Few survivors remain in the 2d battalion 134th Infantry.
The command post, Headquarters Company and Med Det remained in the vicinity of Gye, France, in mobile reserve and had no enemy contact, other than a few enemy planes which were over the sector at midnight, but no bombing or strafing were reported in the sector. The weather was fair and cold during the period; temperature during the night about 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
Private Anders in explaining his absence since 24 August made the following statement:
Lieut Smith’s platoon, of which I am a member, was on a reconnaissance mission on 24 August, 1944. The Germans opened fire on the platoon when we were approximately 100 yards from Appoigny, about 1730 hours, using small arms and a few rounds of anti-tank fire. The platoon then returned the enemy’s fire. I jumped off my motorcycle and hit the ditch and began to fire on the Germans. The FFI were also firing on the Germans from the town. My motorcycle and one of our jeeps were hit and there was an explosion, setting the two vehicles on fire, and wounding two of our men, namely: Pvt1cl Morarity and Beatty. I maneuvered around in order to get away from the enemy. I persuaded a Frenchman to carry me across the river to the east bank. Then I hid in the woods after discovering more Germans on the E bank of the river than on the west, and watched a German column retreating down the road, which was made up of bicycles and animal drawn equipment.
While I was hiding in the woods I noticed some FFI en hiding there also. One of which was wounded in both legs. I treated him on the spot. The FFI sent for some civilian clothes for me and said that I would have to put them on if I expected to get away. I did. They then took me with them to a nearby house, where I further treated the wounded man the best I could with what I had. A civilian doctor came, looked at the man and said that I had done a good job, and left the house.
One of the girls in the house told me about two wounded American soldiers about 2 miles away asking for help. She told me that she would take me to them on her bicycle. I told her that I would take the chance with her. On the way there we, the girl and I, began to pass German soldiers on the road. She spoke to them, but I said nothing. The further down the road we went the more Germans we ran into. Being afraid, and in civilian clothes too, which if caught I would be immediately shot for a spy, I asked the girl to take me back to her house. Upon our return to the house, I was given food and lodging for the night.
The day following, 25 August, the FFI took me to their headquarters in Appoigny.
I soon made contact with a reconnaissance party from the 42nd Cavalry and returned to the command post with them, and remained with them until they made contact with my organization.
INFORMATION ON THE MOSSELLE RIVER AND CANAL L’EST
Information concerning Moselle River between coord Z8797 and Z9386.
A ford can be found practically every 500 meters.
The banks of the river are almost flat on both sides in this sector.
The water level does not vary unless heavy rains continue for 2-3 days.
The River bed consists mainly of gravel which gives firm footing for track or wheel vehicles. Some holes may be found near the bank where sharp bend is in river exit.
The width of the river varies throughout the sector. In proximity of Bayon the width is 20-30 meters and one half meter in depth. Reports indicate that this is the widest and deepest point in the sector.
Between Bayon and Lorey, the river is easily fordable; however, between the two points has low underbrush and high grass on both banks.
East and North of the Foret de Benny, the river is about 2 meters deep.
Information concerning Canal De L’Est between coord Z8787 and Z9386
Banks consisting of gravel covered earth, easily destroyed.
There are many sluices along the canal. It takes 1 hour to empty a canal space of 1 kilometer length between sluices.
Enemy planes were observing our artillery fire during the period. Fierce artillery duels raged throughout the night and day.
The French civilians are more or less indifferent in this sector; just having gotten rid of the Germans, they are not too sure that we have taken over for keeps, or they either are not aware of their liberation
The enemy is putting up a fierce fight to prevent our forces from crossing the Moselle River while the main bulk of his forces retreat to the E and southeast. Thousands of enemy troops are embedded in the Foret de Haye, including Elite SS Troops whose morale is high with an arrogant attitude. An air strike on them at 1500 hours somewhat dampened their morale however, but they are still tough babies.
Company “A” in direct support of the 134th Infantry left the assembly area at 101415 hours September, and established 1 mile SE of Frolois at 1530 hours, a distance of 18 miles, and at 0930, were in position to cross the river at Flavigny, France.
During the morning the 1st battalion 134th holding Ft de Pont, was counterattacked by a company of German SS Infantry, from the north, northwest and northeast. “A” Company assisted in holding the attack but Company “K” of the 3rd battalion had to be dispatched to the area to help relieve the situation.
Company firing in support of the 2d battalion crossing at Flavigny, were forced to withdraw when battalion was thrown back across the river with heavy losses. 2d battalion being relieved at the bridgehead to reorganize. 3d battalion now holding along the west bank of the river at Flavigny. All destroyers were in readiness to cross the river during the night of 10-11 September, 44, but when bridge was destroyed were forced to withdraw until Engineers could reconstruct a bridge.
At 111055, the company repulsed a strong enemy counterattack against Ft de Pont St Vincent.
Pvt1cl Harrington returned to duty during the period.
Company “B” moved from 1 mile W of Hammerville to 1 mile S of Ormer, at 2100 hours, a distance of 10 miles. The 1st and 2d platoons moved up to the west bank of the Moselle in preparation for crossing.
The company in direct support of the 137th Infantry began to fire across the Moselle at 1400 hours and continued to 1730 hours, with troop concentrations and strong points as their objectives or targets.
Results were undetermined except for the fact that enemy ambulances were seen moving in and out of the sector being shelled.
At 0600 hours, the 1st and 2d platoons moved from coord 870876 to direct fire positions on the west bank of the river. The 3rd platoon was kept in reserve. The 1st platoon went into direct positions at coord 916890 in support of the 3rd battalion, 137th Infantry and the 2d platoon at coord 905935 in support of the 2d battalion. At 1000 hours, the 1st platoon moved to Neuville-sur-Moselle (930890), except for 1 section which was left on the high ground where they could bring fire on the high ground east of the crossing site at 935895. The 2d platoon moved to coord 878952 at 1200 hours. The company command post stayed with the 137th CP during the period.
At 1730 hours, the 137th Inf assaulted the river crossing and crossed in the face of fierce enemy resistence. The 1st platoon in direct support of the 1st battalion in the vicinity of Neuville-sur-Moselle, covered the low ground between the river and the Canal De L’Est.
Command post with 137th Infantry at coord 890900.
At 2100 hours, the 137th Infantry and Company “B” crossed the river and at the same time CCB, 4th Armored Division crossed in the vicinity of Bayon, France.
Company “C”, in reserve with the 320th Infantry, and guarding the Division command post, went into AT positions at coord 666967, a distance of ten miles from the assembly area. At 1245 hours, the company was alerted for attack and ordered to join the 320th Infantry in their assembly area for river crossing.
The reconnaissance company remained in the vicinity of Ft de Blenod coord 612020 during the period. All reconnaissance platoons attached respective companies. Tech 5 Grade Livingston was returned to duty from hospital, and Private Dizansky, admitted to hospital due to illness during the period.
September 12, 1944
122400 September, 1944
80th Infantry Division prepared to attack to established bridgehead across Moselle River, north of Nancy, 4th Armored Division crossed river vicinity of Byon and is attacking to the north and NE of Nancy. 134th Infantry is still defending hill and Ft Pont St Vincent against enemy counterattacks. Bridge being built 800 yards above fort was knocked out by enemy artillery fire at 1130 hours.
The 137th Infantry with Company “B” 654th T.D. Battalion attached, attacked with three battalions abreast and secured their bridgehead across river at Points “A”,”B”, and “C”. A ferry was put into action at 121030 hours in the 1st battalion sector “A”. 3rd battalion had most of troops across the canal at the end of the period at “R” and “B” points and one company across river. 2d battalion at the end of the period had one platoon across at points “R” and “C”. Due to heavy MG and other small arm fire, the construction of treadway bridge at point “C” was discontinued at 120130 hours. Remaining elements of 3d battalion, 137th Inf are moving between canal and river at point “B”.
The 737th Tank Battalion and 654th T.D. Battalion forded the river at coord 938876, and are assisting in the clearing of enemy troops between the river and phase line “1”.
CT 320 closed in assembly area near Bois de Ohmes at 120800 prepared to cross river behind 137th Infantry. The 2d battalion remained attached to CCB, 4th Armored Division.
Division artillery continued to support attack; interdicting enemy columns on road in 137th Inf sector by 216th FA Battalion. The 255th FA Battalion broke up an enemy counterattack NE of Ft Pont St Vincent and on river line in that sector. All artillery fired on enemy strong points and enemy batteries during the period.
The 35th Cavalry Troop maintained contact between the 4th AD and the 137 Inf. One platoon was held in reserve near Ft De Pont St Vincent, and one platoon patrolled the area west of Bois de Benny.
The operational results of the division during the period was that of establishing a lightly held bridgehead across the Moselle River at two points “A” and “B”. A treadway bridge was constructed across the canal at point “C”, and a fill and treadway across canal at Point “A”, which is almost complete.
Strong and determined counterattack on the north flank was repulsed by the 134th Inf and Co “A” 654th TD Battalion.
The enemy continued to hold the east bank of the Moselle River in the 134th Inf sector after pushing the 2d battalion back across the river with heavy casualties at 110445 hours September, 1944.
The 137th Inf however pushed the enemy back in their sector.
Hastily built concrete emplacements were encountered in the southern sector of the front.
The 1120th regiment of the 553rd Division, the 3rd Parachute Training Regiment were identified in the sector. The 104th Pz Grenadier Regiment, a part of the 15th Pz Grenadier Division has been identified in the south sector of the front. In addition elements of the 1553rd Artillery Regiment, which supports the 553rd Inf Div have been identified.
At Fort Pont St Vincent, the enemy attacked our positions with element with the 2d battalion 1120th Infantry and with the 4th company, 3rd Parachute Training Regiment, but they were driven back across the river after suffering heavy losses.
The enemy attempted to put a bridge across the rive at 1100 hours in this vicinity.
The enemy is preparing entrenchment in the vicinity of Flagigny, and from Tonnoy to Ft Pont St Vincent he strongly defended the east bank of the river; however, from Tonnoy to Neuvillier he was forced back from the east bank of the river toward the north and northeast.
Single enemy planes were over the are during the day and night on reconnaissance missions only.
Intense and accurate artillery fire fell throughout the sector all during the period.
100 enemy soldiers were killed and 24 captured during the operations.
About 3000 RAF heavy bombers flew over the area at 2210 hours enroute to Strasbourg, which they saturated with bombs during the night. A single enemy ME 109 was trailing the formation some 3 miles, keeping well out of sight of the zooming spitfire escort however.
Prisoners captured in this area say that they were told that “they were the last link between the Fatherland and the Allied Armies, and that they must die rather than give one inch of ground”.
They were pounded from the air all day by P47s and 51s.
The CP, Hq Co and Med Det left Gye at 1300 hours, and set up at the front, 1 mile N of Centrey, France, at 1430 hours, travelling a distance of 21 miles.
Violent artillery duels are raging. Flames and smoke are shooting into the air from the village to our front. P47s and 51s are dive bombing and machine gunning the enemy in excellent weather. Men immediately began digging foxholes as round after round of 88mm artillery landed and exploded in the area. This is one time the CO did not have his mind on a latrine; for the present at least.
At 1855 hours the 137th Inf at coord 786010 reported that an enemy armored column was moving SE out of Nancy, and air strikes requested.
Exactly at 1915 the heavens were swarming with P47s and 51s bombing and strafing the retreating column. It was completely destroyed.
Enroute to Centrey we passed through the old Hindenburg Line. Mute evidence of the struggle remains evident. Entrenchment, pillboxes, bunkers, barbed wire entanglements still remain in some places after 25 years.
The weather during the period was fair and cold; temperature during the night dropping to about 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
French civilians here are still in a fog and dazed. They are not so sure the Bosche is not going to return, as he told them he would.
Company “A” remained in the same location, and repelled two week enemy counterattacks during the morning.
Company “B” moved across the Moselle River and established their CP in the vicinity of Orme, France, coord Z870876. The first platoon fired 15 rounds of HE into enemy dug-in positions with unknown results.
The 3rd platoon with tank and infantry team destroyed two AT guns, 75mm gun, one 40mm gun and killed 60 enemy soldiers and wound 100 others when they laid a barrage into an enemy concentration point.
Due to intensive enemy artillery and mortar fire, the treadway bridge at coord 920925, could not be completed in the 137th Inf sector. The first and third platoons crossed the Moselle River at point “A” (Neuvillier-sur-Moselle) and reached the town of Borey and St Maro, advancing toward Crevechamps. At 0830, the enemy attempted to put in a bridge across to the west bank of the river in the vicinity of point “A”, while he laid a concentration of artillery, mortar, rocket and MG fire into the company’s positions, but his efforts were frustrated when P47s and 51s bombed and strafed his Engineers and followed by a TOT from the division artillery.
After reconnaissance, the company less 1st platoon, crossed the river at 1045 hours, at coord 936871, and the Canal De L’Est at coord 939878. The 2d platoon is in AT position at coord 945901; 3rd at 940895 at 1200 hours. At 1445 hours, 2d and 3rd platoon plus tanks and infantry moved north to clean out enemy pockets of resistence. At the same time the 1st platoon moved into the positions formerly occupied by the 2d platoon in order to cover the sector.
At 1755 hours, the company was in assembly area in the vicinity of coord 935925.
Company “C” who had been alerted, joined the 320th Inf in their assembly area in the vicinity of Jamainville at 0800 hours, and later moved to 1 mile east of Ormes-et-Ville, coord Z885878,in support of the 320th Inf and prepared to cross the river.
The company had no contact with the enemy during the period.
The reconnaissance company moved from their previous command post and established in the vicinity of the battalion command post at Centrey, France. Private Kenyon was admitted to hospital due to illness.
September 13, 1944
132400 September, 1944
The 80th Division’s 317th Infantry crossed the Moselle River at coord U8103001 318th Infantry in vicinity of Bezaumont, and at the end of the period the entire 80th Division was attacking to the southeast.
CCB, 4th AD (w/2d battalion, 320th Inf attached) assembled east of the Moselle River prepared to attack toward Luneville. 2d Cavalry Squadron continued to screen north flank of division, and the 42nd Cavalry Squadron screened the south flank of CCB, 4th Armored Division.
The 134th Inf (w/Co A, 60th Engs and Co A, 654th TD Bn) in direct support. The first battalion continued to occupy Ft De Pont St Vincent, receiving considerable small arms, mortar and artillery fire. Patrol contact established with the 2d battalion in the vicinity of Moulin Boys. 2d battalion continued to patrol the west bank of river. The 3rd battalion also patrolled the west bank of the river drawing small arms and 20mm fire from the east bank in the vicinity of Flavigny. Patrols crossed the river during the night, and reported considerable enemy movement.
The 137th Inf (w/Co B, 60th Engs, Co B 737th Tk Bn and Co B 654th TD B atchd) completed crossing the Moselle River at 121800B; the second battalion secured town on east bank of river (coord Z9293). Company “B” with the assistance of Co B 737th Tank Battalion broke up an enemy counterattack consisting of enemy infantry and armor during the afternoon of 12 September. Several vehicles were destroyed and ammunition dump blown up at Domptail. Treadway bridge completed at Point “A” over Moselle River at 121230 Sept. Regiment attacked at 130700 September and at end of patrol were advancing.
September 14, 1944
142400 September, 1944
The 80th div continued to hold bridgehead over the Moselle River. CCB 4th AD (w/2d Bn 320th Inf atchd) attacking north toward the Foret De Vitrimont; 2d battalion 320th across Meurthe River. 2d Cavalry Sqdn protected north flank of Div from Ft De Pont St Vincent.
CT 134 (W/161 FA Bn, Co A 60th Eng Bn, Co “A” 654th TD Bn, 1 company) 110 Med Bn and 1 Btry 448th AAA Bn attached to Task Force “S” under direct control of XII Corps. 1135th Engineer supporting Division.
CT 134 (-2d Bn) with attachments began movement to assembly area east of Toul, France at 140715B September. Set up patrol and defensive line to protect north flank of division from Ft De Pont St Vincent along SW bank of Moselle River to bridge site “C”.
CT 137th W/Co B 654th TD Battalion in support continued to attack throughout the period to expand the bridgehead across the river.
320th Inf (-2 B) with attachments including Co “C” 654th TD Bn in support continued to expand bridgehead across Moselle River. Elements of organic and re-enforcing artillery (127th and 161st) crossed river and took up positions during the afternoon of the 13th Sept 1944.
The 161st FA Battalion attached to XII Corps as part of Task Force “S” and the 127th FA Battalion placed in direct support of 134th Inf.
A flight of fighter-bombers bombed troop concentrations in the Bois de Flavigny with excellent results.
The 35th Reconn Sqdn assisted the 134th Inf in protecting the north flank of the division.
Treadway bridge at site “C” opened at 131220B Sept 44.
At the end of the period there was scattered enemy resistence. Enemy units in contact were 1st and 2d battalions, 1120th Infantry 553rd Inf Div; 104th Pz Grenadier Regiment, 92nd Flyer Regiment, 305th Air Signal Regiment, students from the OSS at Nancy, sailors, U-boat personnel, Merchant Marines and other types personnel.
The enemy has now been forced back across the Meurthe River.
A little artillery fire has been reported in the division sector during the period.
Ultimatum from General Patton was delivered to Nazi General Mueller under a flag of truce, demanding that he surrender prior to midnight 15 September, 1944, or be annihilated.
Enemy prisoners report that all armor has been withdrawn from the sector.
Two hundred and fifty enemy soldiers were killed and 128 captured during the period by the division and attached units.
There was no change in the locations of the CP, Hq and Rcn companies during the period. Enemy artillery has decreased until it is barely existent, but broke out during the night to such an extent that it felt as tho the wrath of the Almighty was at hand.
The flag waving, kissing and heroism stuff is out from here out. We are approaching the German Frontier, and the people are becoming more distant. A blind man could see the difference. Orders have been issued to the effect that all civilians will be considered subversive regardless, until proven otherwise.
A slow rain started to fall at 0400 hours and the CP group was alerted to move, but the advance was cancelled.
Weather: Rainy and cool throughout the period.
2d Lieuts George C. Little, Robert B. O’Neil and Leonard J. Michaels assigned to and joined battalion during the period.
Lieut. Michaels assigned to Company “A”, Lieut Little to Company “C” and Lieut. O’Neil to Headquarters Company.
Company “A” as a component of Task Force “S” established 1 mile SE of Toul, France, at 1100 hours, coord 675087, and all the company was closed in the assembly area by 1249 hours. Crossed the Moselle River during the afternoon in support of the 134th Infantry.
Lieut. Michaels assigned to and joined company during the period.
Sergeant Farr and Pvt1cl Hatcher spent the night in a pillbox in the Maginot Line after they had been stopped by a FFI agent who had a message for the CG of the Div., and escorting the FFI man to the Div CP.
Company “B” moved from 1 mile SE St Remimont to 1 mile N of the same town (coord Z903904), a distance of 3 miles.
At 0100 hours the 1st platoon fired HE into woods at 2000 yards and killed 20 enemy soldiers. At 1500 hours fired up a ravine on retreating and disorganized enemy soldiers, killed 15 and captured 13. At 1600 hours fired HE into woods at coord 898963 and killed 60 enemy soldiers.
2d platoon fired into woods in support of tank attack and killed 15 enemy soldiers at 3500 yards; fired again in a group of enemy soldiers fleeing across an open field and killed 15 out of a group of twenty five.
Two infantrymen from the 137th Inf were wounded while riding on the back of Sergeant Marbut’s destroyer during the attack.
The total damage and casualties inflicted upon the enemy by the company during the period was the destruction of lone 75mm gun (AT), one 40mm gun, killed 95 and captured 31 soldiers. Also knocked out a house used as a strong point, killing and wounding an undetermined number of enemy soldiers, at 2400 hours.
Company “C” and the 2d reconnaissance platoon in support of the 320th Infantry, moved to new area at coord 971001 establishing their CP at 1900 hours, a distance of 6 miles; this in the vicinity of Romain where Brothers was killed and Tigner were seriously wounded on the 13th.
1st and 2d platoons in direct support of the 320th Infantry took up positions at coord 969939 under heavy artillery and mortar fire.
CP moved with the 320th CP at coord 960933 in the evening. First battalion at coord 972972; 2d battalion at coord 983973. 3rd battalion 137th Infantry have patrols in town at coord 927997 at 1105 hours.
Bridge out at coord 933890 and will have to use bridge at coord 920933 at 1300 hours. At 2145 hours the 1st platoon went into position at 893995; 2d at 943045 and 3rd at 935940.
Company destroyed 1 enemy tank, two half tracks, one ammunition truck, three AT guns, 10 MGs and killed 50 enemy soldiers during the period.
Tank destroyed at coord 975916.
The reconnaissance company remained in the vicinity of Centrey during the period with no enemy contact except for the reconnaissance platoons attached to the companies.
September 15, 1944
152400 September, 1944
80th Inf Div is holding high ground at Mousson (coord U860277) (U877282), (U821269). Task Force “S” attacking and moving through Foret de Haye with little opposition. CCA, 4th AD last reported at Arracourt; CCB at Sommervillier and Vitrimont securing the towns.
Weather during the period was foggy and overcast during the morning but became fair during the afternoon.
The 137th Inf cleaned out woods of the Bois de Flavigny and advanced to the southwest bank of the Meurthe River, and pushed patrols across the river. At end of period 1st battalion was attempting to cross the river in assault boats in the vicinity of St Nicholas, against heavy and accurate machine gun fire from the high ground east of the river and northeast of St Nicholas, France.
CT 320 with Company “C”, 654th Tank Destroyer Bn attached crossed the Meurthe River during the period, and late in the period were receiving heavy MG fire from the high ground north of the Canal near Dombasle.
Task Force “T” protected the west banks of the Moselle River during the period.
The 60th Engineer Bn constructed bridge and supervised crossing of the Meurthe River at Rosiers, France.
In general the operations of the division during the period resulted in the 320 CT crossing the Meurthe River and held a firm bridge head on the east bank in the vicinity of Rosiers, with mopping up operations between the Moselle and Meurthe Rivers.
The enemy continued to defend the high ground north of Dombasle coord U9806 with small arms, mortar and artillery fire; including automatic weapons. Units defending this area are the 1st and 2d battalions, 1120th Infantry.
The enemy laid intensive accurate artillery fire upon our positions in the vicinity of St Nicholas, late in the evening. One enemy plane flew over the area at 1815 hours.
Enemy infantry withdrew to the north and northeast to defend high ground north of Dombasle. FFI reports enemy defensive positions are being prepared at Blamont (V3499) by members of the Hitler Youth.
Estimated enemy casualties during the period: 150, including 49 prisoners captured. Total prisoners taken by division to date: 4900.
The CP group, Hq and Rcn Cos and Medical Det moved from the vicinity of Ceintery, France, at 1320 hours, crossed the Canal L’Est and Moselle River in the vicinity of Chevechamps, and established in the woods 1 mile SE of Coyville, at 1430 hours, a distance of 15 miles.
The CP is located in the middle of the division and corps artillery positions and thunderous barrages are continually jarring the earth
Nancy fell to the 1st battalion, 134th Infantry, and Company “A”, 654th T. D. Battalion at 1300 hours; the 1st platoon spearheading the assault on the city entered the city exactly at 1100 hours, after attacking through the Foret de Haye, and the command post of the company established in the railway station at 1500 hours. The greatest reception ever received by victorious American troops was accorded the 1st platoon as the TDs rolled through the streets, receiving an occasional burst of MG fire and snipers picking at the crews of the TDs from hidden high points. This did not however disturb the celebration and welcome which the French had so long awaited. The street was so jammed with people that it was necessary that the men dismount and clear the streets so that the tanks could get through.
Hundreds of French civilians were killed and wounded due to enemy artillery fire falling in the city as the 1st platoon entered. The assaulting 1st platoon and 1st battalion, 134th Infantry, riding on their TDs rolled through the city to the west bank of the Meurthe River and started firing on enemy positions east of the city. Fierce fighting is raging on the eastern outskirts of the city and the entire area is under artillery barrage. At 1830 hours corporal McDaniel TD gunner in the 1st platoon was attempting to pick up an enemy MG which was firing into our positions from across the river when a burp gun from an enemy sniper shot him through the heart. The 3rd platoon in position at coord 842145 killed 30 enemy soldiers and destroyed 3 MGs. At 1830 hours platoons were in direct assault positions in the eastern section of the city: the 1st and 3rd at coord 865116 and the 2d at coord 854098.
2d Lieut. Leonard J. Michaels assigned and joined company.
All bridges over river blown east of Nancy. The 1st platoon remained in direct support of the 1st battalion, 134th Infantry.
The CP of Company “B” moved from the vicinity of Remimont to 1 mile south of Ferriers at 1515 hours, a distance of 4 miles. Sergeant Marbut received the PH for wounds received in action while rendering first aid to a wounded infantryman who was riding his tank. The entire company was under heavy enemy artillery fire throughout the period.
Lt. McNaught’s TD was hit by artillery fire and the bogie suspension blown off without suffering any casualties.
3rd platoon in anti-tank position at coord 895068. 2d platoon advanced with 1st battalion, 137th Infantry, and captured Rosiers at 1700 hours. At 1830 hours the infantry loaded on TDs and with the 737th tank battalion assaulted St Nicholas. Troops received direct fire from across river at 2400 yards and enemy artillery battery firing from woods NW of the town. All batteries were silenced after the TDs fired a barrage of AP and HE into their positions. Platoon went into AT position at coord 952037 during the night. The platoon during the day’s operations destroyed 5 MG nests at coord 887064; 2 self-propelled guns, 5 AT guns and killed 45 enemy soldiers. As the 1st platoon went into AT position for the night a sniper fired on the leading TD from a building. The building was destroyed and three enemy soldiers killed with five rounds of HE. Sgt. Marbut was lightly wounded during the period by enemy artillery fire.
The CP of Company “C and all platoons moved and established in assembly area in the vicinity of Rosiers, coord V971001, at 1900 hours, a distance of 6 miles. The 1st platoon went into AT positions at coord 003 and 2d platoon at coord 995018 under a heavy enemy artillery and mortar barrage but suffered no casualties. The 3rd platoon in AT positions at coord 983018 had no enemy contact.
At 2100 hours the 1st platoon was in direct support of the 3d battalion 320th Infantry at coord 0003, ready to jump off on an assault mission. The 2d platoon in positions at coord 995018 fired on an enemy column at 1500 yards; firing 14 rounds of HE, killing 65 enemy soldiers. The 2d platoon during the period destroyed 2 half-tracks, 1 MG, captured 1 half-truck and killed two enemy soldiers in the vicinity of coord 995025. Lieut. George C. Little was returned to duty from hospital.
The reconnaissance company established their command post 1 mile SE of Rosiers, France, at 1435 hours. All reconnaissance platoons attached to companies. Other elements of the company had no contact with the enemy.
Task Force “T”, consisting of the 2d Battalion, 134th Infantry, 35th Reconnaissance and 127th FA Battalion, formed at 141200 Sept., still guarding and securing west bank of the Moselle River from Ft Pont St Vincent south.
During the later evening all Company “A” was established in Nancy and the 134th Infantry is planning to cross the river east of the city to secure high ground. Due to bridges being blown it is necessary that the engineers construct bridges before destroyers can cross the river.
American dead litter the area where the 134th Infantry made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the Moselle River on the night of the 10 September and were cut off, attacked by enemy artillery, mortar, armor and infantry assault. A French drum and bugle corps is parading the streets of Nancy with thousands and thousands of cheering Frenchman screaming “Vivi la Amerique, vivi la Amerique” while the city is being subjected to a merciless shelling by the enemy across the river.
September 16, 1944
162400 September, 1944
The 80th Division continued to hold bridgehead across the Moselle River against the determined and fierce enemy counterattacks.
Task Force “S” dissolved after advancing through the Foret de Haye and entering Nancy on the 15th. CCA of the 4th Armored Division at Maxie; CCB at Cedric and south of Harancourt.
CT 134 continued to clean up snipers and isolated enemy troops in and around Nancy; prepared to attack east of Nancy on orders.
CT 137 with Company “B”, 654th T.D. Bn., attached moved 2d and 3rd Bn to vicinity of coord U8908 during the night of 15-16 September, prepared to cross Meurthe River in assault boats. At the end of the period, battalions on the east bank of the river under heavy artillery, mortar and small arms fire. One company east of river securing Varangeville.
Tanks and tank destroyers crossed the LeSanon River at Sommerviller at 160800, and at the end of the period were moving northwest along the east bank of the Meurthe River to support the 2d battalion.
CT 320 with Company “C” 654th T.D. Bn., attached crossed LeSanon River at Dombasle during the afternoon of 15 September; occupied and secured high ground north of Dombasle and Sommerviller. At the end of the period regiment was attacking north in column of battalions.
Artillery laid barrage on east bank of river in support of crossing; fired numerous counterbattery missions and upon roads leading into Bussincourt, France.
The 60th Eng Bn completed 10 ton Bailey Bridge across Canal and the LeSanon River near Dombasle during the afternoon of 15 September.
In general the 320th and 137th Infantry Regiments established two bridgeheads across the LeSanon River.
The enemy’s front lines now extends along the Meurthe River to Jarville, then due east to Buiddoncourt. He is defending a hastily prepared defensive line along the line indicated with automatic weapons, mortar and some artillery fire. It is believed that the majority of his artillery has been withdrawn to the east and northeast.
Enemy units in contact were the 1st and 2d battalions, 1120th Infantry Regiment and remnants of the 92nd Flyer Regiment and 104th Infantry.
FFI reported that there were 1000 enemy infantrymen, 50 tanks, 20 AT guns and some artillery in Rambervillers. During the night, there was some enemy infiltration into out lines near Dombasle. This morning these infiltrations were annihilated or captured.
At 1200 hours the enemy launched a counterattack at coord U8809 with 10 tanks, artillery and about 800 infantrymen. There was intense light artillery fire on the 320th Infantry from 0100 to 0400 hours in the vicinity of Sommerviller.
During the night, the enemy opened the locks and drained water out of the canal in the vicinity of Dombasle.
When the enemy launched his counterattack at 1200 hours, nine battalions of artillery laid a barrage on him to break up the attack, which continued unil 1830 hours, at which time surviving remnants of his attacking troops withdrew to their lines.
Enemy planes, taking advantage of the rainy weather and realizing that US planes were grounded, assisted in the counterattack, but the majority of them were driven off or made ineffective due to the intensive AA barrage form the 448th AAA Battalion’s 90mm guns.
250 enemy soldiers were killed and 205 captured during the period.
There was no change in the positions of the CP, Hq, or Rcn Company during the period. A cold slow rain started to fall over the front at 0400 hours, making visibility poor and grounding all supporting aircraft. Artillery barrages being being laid on counterattacking enemy troops are alighting the sky and rocking the earth as one TOT after another is laid into enemy positions.
One enemy aircraft flew over the area during the night in the rain on reconnaissance. He dropped a few flares but did no bombing or strafing.
At 1225 hours Company “A” reported that nine enemy tanks were in their area and they were attacking them. At 1325 hours company “B” reported that there were 16 enemy tanks in their area, and that with the support of the artillery they were attacking them.
The local FFI reported that there were 500 enemy soldiers with 20 AT guns in Luneville at 0900 hours.
Sergeant William L. Lands, Company “C”, was recommended for commission for outstanding leadership. He has led the 2d platoon for Company “C” since St Lo.
Captured German rations were issued to the battalion during the day.
Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore came to the Division CP, which is in the middle of the division and corps artillery positions, and put on a brief show in the midst of a thunderous artillery barrage, at 1400 hours. They appeared a little nervous, but withstood it better than one would think under conditions. Several men from the battalion attended.
The city of Nancy was subjected to an enemy air attack during the night, and the eastern section has been under continual artillery fire since the afternoon of the 15th September.
The rear echelon moved into the city of Nancy in the vicinity of the city park, at 1120 hours, a distance of 18 miles. Corporal Okey McDaniel who was wounded on the afternoon of 15th at Maxeville, died during the day. The 3rd platoon destroyed 3 MGs across the river and Private Woodrow W. Owens, killed a sniper in the vicinity of the platoons positions, who was sniping at one of the destroyer crews.
All platoons remained in direct support of the 134th Infantry, firing into positions across the river and inflicting undetermined casualties upon the enemy.
The command post of Company “B” remained unchanged. The 1st platoon in support of the 137th Inf in positions at coord 892078, destroyed 2 enemy MG nests at coord 902081 at 0600 hours, and 2 Mk VI Tiger tanks at 895087 at 1130 hours, killing all the enemy personnel operating the guns and tanks. The 3rd platoon in positions at coord 873093 destroyed 1 MK VI Tiger Tank, 3 long barrel 75mm SP guns at coord 890090 at 1200 hours, and two enemy OPs containing MGs and Inf, killing 25 and wounding 15 others at coord 885095. The 2d platoon crossed the Meurthe River at 0800 hours at coord 973013 and attacked to vicinity of Charteuse to relieve pressure on two companies of the 2nd battalion, 137th Inf, who were pinned down by enemy MG fire. After the platoon laid the barrage into the enemy’s positions at 1300 hours all resistence cease, after 20 enemy soldiers were killed and 30 others seriously wounded and all MG destroyed. At the close of the period, the 2d platoon was in positions at coord 918077 in support of the 2d battalion and the 3rd platoon 873093 in support of the 3rd battalion, 137th Infantry.
The rear CP moved from 1 mile south of Ferriul (?) to 1/2 south of Manoncourt at 0900 hours, a distance of 4 miles. Enemy counterattacked at 1430 hours but was repulsed by combined fire of division artillery and destroyers of entire company.
The command post moved and established in the vicinity of Sommerville at 1115 hours, a distance of 10 miles. At 1525 the CP moved to the vicinity of Harancourt under heavy enemy artillery fire, a distance of 3 miles. The CP and area was subjected to a heavy enemy air attack at 2300 hours, without casualties.
1st platoon in AT positions at coord 970079; 2d platoon in vicinity of Sommerviller. The 2d section of the 2d platoon fired on a church steeple which the enemy was using as an OP, in the town of Bussoncourt coord 976096, and in which he had set up a MG nest. The MG and its crew were annihilated. Mortar fire began to fall on the section and their positions were determined when the section opened up on the positions, knocking out the mortar and killing the entire crew, in addition to killing 20 other enemy soldiers in the vicinity and seriously wounding 15. Enemy MGs began to fire direct into the platoons positions from seven different high towers in the village of Sommerviller, when the platoons opened upon them and destroyed them all; killing 40 enemy soldiers and wounding an undetermined number. A column of foot troops were observed withdrawing east of Sommerviller when fire was laid on them killing 100 and wounding about 75-100.
The Reconnaissance Company, less reconnaissance platoons, remained in the vicinity of the command post during the period.
September 17, 1944
172400 September, 1944
The 80th Inf Division recaptured the village of Atton and continued to hold its bridgehead across the Moselle River against fierce enemy counterattacks. CCA, 4th armored division in assembly area in the vicinity of Vures, France, coord Q1511. CCB, moving in two columns, last reported in the vicinity of coord U9820 and Q0717.
Weather during the period was overcast with intermittent showers.
CT 134 crossed the Meurthe River at two points at 161600B and by 161700B had the third and half the second battalions on the east bank of the river. At the end of the period all organic vehicles of the 3rd battalion were on the east bank of the river, and were attacking NE against heavy enemy small arms fire to secure high ground east of Nancy, France. The 2d battalion were cleaning out woods east of the city also. The 1st battalion attacked to the east against heavy enemy small arms and mortar fire near Essey, France.
CT 137 brought the remainder of their troops across the river during the period. At 161200B the enemy counterattacked with 10 tanks and 800 infantrymen against the 2d battalion in the vicinity of Charteuse. Attack was broken up by the combined fire of tank destroyers and nine battalions of artillery. Seven enemy tanks were destroyed. At 1707 hours 1st and 2d battalions began attack to the NE against heavy small arms fire.
CT 320 continued to occupy positions 300 yards south of Buissoncourt, at 162000 September, occupied the town itself, capturing 106 prisoners. The 1st battalion moved from the high ground north of Dombasle to south of Harancourt at 161740 and at 170600 the 1st battalion moved through 3rd battalion attacking to the north. At the end of the period 1st battalion was in Erbevillier, with the 2d and 3rd battalions following south of the town.
During the period, the division established bridgehead over the Meurthe River east of Nancy and advanced 9 kilometers in the 320th CT zone, while the 137th CT repulsed a heavy enemy counterattack.
The enemy has no organized line in our sector. Scattered enemy elements continue to defend the high ground along the north bank of the Meurthe River. There is scattered enemy resistence in our zone of advance.
Enemy artillery in our sector has withdrawn to the north.
Remnants of the 1st and 2d battalions, 1120th Regiment; 104th Training Battalion and 92nd Flyer Regiment were in contact during the period.
The 1st and 2d battalions of the 3rd Paratroop Training Regiment was also in contact in the 134th Infantry’s sector.
Considerable artillery fire fell at Buissoncourt and near Rosiers during the night. Two enemy tanks and 4 self-propelled guns were roving around the vicinity of Pulnoy during the hours of darkness.
Enemy killed during the period 250; captured 254. Grand total of prisoners captured by the division to date: 5359.
The positions of the command post group did not change during the period. The entire period was rainy and cold.
Our artillery continues to pound the retreating enemy with TOTs and interdictionary fire on roads and other escape routes.
One enemy aircraft over the sector during the night in the rain.
Seven enemy tanks reported moving east at 1553 in the vicinity of coord 950120.
A group of French women who had been the girl friends of the Bosche during his period in Nancy, were rounded up by the local FFI in the city, their heads shaved, their breasts branded with the Nazi Swastika their hands tied behind them and paraded down the streets of the city half-naked among thousands of cheering Frenchmen.
The command post of company “A” did not change during the period. The 1st platoon maintained their positions along the banks of the Meurthe River in the vicinity of coord 874109, and are prepared to cross the river as soon as the bridge is complete at coord 874110 and 858129.
One jeep was accidentally wrecked at 1723 hours. One enemy tank was destroyed at coord 878116 at 1830 hours. The 1st and 3rd platoon in support of attacking infantry have fired on strong points and enemy positions throughout the period. At 1723 the 3rd platoon crossed the river and the 2d platoon immediately drew up to the bridge to await orders to cross.
Sergeant Easley and his gunner Corporal Carey, fired 10 rounds of HE into a house containing enemy soldiers at 2800 yards and destroyed it, also knocked out an enemy tank at coord 877811 at 161830 September.
The results of the 3rd platoon’s fire could not be determined.
At 1800 hours, all platoons across the river on pontoon bridge. Fierce fighting is raging to the east of the city and the enemy is contesting every inch of ground. After crossing the river and attacking to the east heavy artillery began to fall around the 1st platoon. Staff Sergeant Walter P. Moore, in the leading destroyer ordered the destroyer buttoned up, while the destroyer was being buttoned-up, a round of artillery fell so near the destroyer that it broke the driver’s periscope head, and as T/5 Earl Paul, the driver put it, “it put a crick in my neck”. Sergeant Moore directing the driving from the turret told Cpl. Paul to pull the left stick and go forward, he misunderstood him and pulled the left stick, hit a bomb crater and the destroyer turned upside down. The crew abandoned the destroyer under a hail of machine gun fire and no one was injured except Cpl Solinski and Private McWherter were bruised and shaken up as the result of the accident. The destroyer lay there 4-5 days before it could be retrieved.
The company post of company “B” moved from 1/2 mile south of Manacourt to the vicinity of Rosiers, coord Z967008, at 1430, a distance of 8 miles.
The 1st platoon as part of Infantry-TD left Chartreuse during the morning and immediately contacted enemy infantry in woods. The platoon laid a barrage of HE into their positions and they were flushed out after 60 were killed and 19 captured. At 1600 hours Sergeant Ellis with Corporal Seymour as gunner came head-on into an enemy 88mm self-propelled gun in the vicinity of coord 935123. Corporal Seymour opened fire on it and knocked it out; the crew of four surrendered to the destroyer crew. AT 1630 hours, Staff Sergeant Brock with Corporal Driggers as gunner fired on an enemy MK IV tank at coord 940128, from coord 932123, blowing it up and setting it on fire.
At the same position at 1800 hours the same destroyer fired on another MK IV tank at coord 925133, and at 1630 hours Sergeant Ellis and Corporal Seymour knocked the turret off an additional MK IV tank at coord 943125. At 1830 hours, the platoon withdrew to the woods at coord 932114 and Sergeant Ellis’s destroyer received a direct hit form an enemy artillery gun, knocking out the motor and forcing the crew to abandon it in an exposed position. The enemy opened fire on the destroyer with AP trying to destroy it but never did hit it.
Lieut David J. McNaught’s 2d platoon destroyed a crane in the town of Varangeville across the Meurthe River where the enemy had set up an OP. While Lieut. McNaught and Sergeant Moses were on a foot reconnaissance in the town of Saulxures-les-Nancy, the enemy laid a barrage on the town and both were severely wounded. Lieut. McFerron, while on a foot reconnaissance in the vicinity of coord 920120 was wounded in the leg when an enemy machine gun opened up on him from 500 yards.
Private Dobbs, 3rd reconnaissance platoon, attached to company “B” was wounded when an enemy hand grenade which he was examining exploded in his hands. Enemy tanks were reported in the sector in the vicinity of coord 900130.late in the evening. AT the end of the period, the 1st platoon was in AT positions at coord 910100-930120; 2d at 933115 in support of 2d battalion, 320th Infantry and 3rd platoon at 898097. The 3rd reconnaissance platoon maintained contact with all platoons throughout the period.
The command post of company “C” moved to coord 008128 at 1625 hours, a distance of 8 miles; and during the afternoon moved again to the vicinity of Mazerualles, coord U004188, a distance of 5 miles. Company supported the 320th Infantry throughout the period. The 2nd platoon in AT positions at coord 000184., 3rd at 995085 and 1st in support of the 2d battalion at coord 998194. Sergeant Prichett captured 5 prisoners in the vicinity of the command post at 1630 hours; two tried to escape and were killed as they fled from the area. Company had no enemy contact during the period but were under heavy enemy artillery and mortar fire.
September 18, 1944
182400 September, 1944
The 80th Division continued to hold their bridgehead across the Moselle River in the face of strong enemy opposition. CCA, 4th AD remained in the assembly area vicinity of Reghicourt; CCB moved to assembly area in the vicinity of Delme. Task Force “S” attacking north at end of period to secure east west RR line north of Nancy. 6th Armored Division has not yet joined Task Force.
Task Force “S” activated, consisting of the 134th Inf, 161st FA Bn., Co “B” 737th Tank Battalion, Co “A” 654th T.D. Battalion, Co “A” 60th Eng Bn and Co “A” 110th Med Bn and two batteries of 448th AAA Bn, with
CC from 6th Armored Division, under XII Corps control, with mission of clearing enemy from the Bois de la Rumont and Bois de Fauli.
Weather during the period was overcast, foggy, and slow rain fell.
CT 137 continued their advance east of Nancy. At end of period 1st and 2d battalions were holding high ground north of Cerrueil against heavy enemy artillery and mortar fire. Three tanks were lost in mine field east of Cerrueil.
CT 320 continued attack north against scattered enemy resistence, and at the end of the period closed into assembly area in vicinity of Mazerulins, France.
The 60th Engineer Battalion opened 110 foot Class 40 Ton Bailey Bridge at coord U859129 and completed Treadway Bridge at coord U875110.
Maintained roads and cleared mine fields.
All elements of the division and attached units are preparing to move to assembly area for a further mission of undisclosed nature.
The enemy continued to defend the high ground north of the division sector. Remnants of the 1st and 2d battalions, 1120th Regiment, and remaining elements of other chewed-up units organized into CT Sauer, Sautter and Meisner. All these units have suffered severe casualties.
Two mixed columns of tanks and infantry were reported proceeding NW during the afternoon; one moving NW at Magnieres at 1300, reported to consist of 14 tanks and 2 companies of infantry. The other in the vicinity of Luneville, consists of 20 tanks and 1 company of infantry, moving in the direction of Dombasle.
The enemy was forced to withdraw to the north during the period, but harassed our advance with accurate and intense artillery fire from the north. 200 enemy soldiers were killed and 141 captured during the period.
The Command Post, Headquarters and Reconnaissance Company remained in the vicinity of Coyviller until 1530 hours, when they departed from the area and established 1 mile SE of Remerville, coord U9841, at 1710 hours, a distance of 12 miles.
While enroute an SOS flashed over our radio to halt in place as we were coming head on into a column of enemy tanks, about 30 in number, all Mark VI Tiger, with infantry riding them, advancing down the road from Luneville, and were going to attack Dombasle. The column halted, set up machine guns and bazooka teams and sent out a reconnaissance party but the srace (?)resulted in the tanks being American.
During the period, enemy tanks were attempting to infiltrate into our lines from all directions; some succeeded, were cut off and destroyed. It is thought that these tanks were cut-off by our swift advance and are attempting to get back to their lines.
At 0930 hours, 6 enemy tanks were reported travelling west from Luneville in the direction of Dombasle, and at 0600 hours our patrols reported an undetermined number of enemy tanks in the vicinity of coord 945125.
Task Force “S”, with “A” company as a component was formed around the 134th Infantry to attack to the north to relieve the pressure on the 80th Infantry Division.
A free-for-all fight between three girls and civilians was observed in the eastern section of Nancy during the period; under artillery fire. Investigation revealed that a group of civilians had met three girls who had been friendly with the Germans during their stay in Nancy, and the men were clipping their hair with scissors. The FFI intervened and took the girls into custody, not until however, half their hair had been cut-off in chunks.
General Patton visited the front during the afternoon and held an office meeting in the division command post.
The enemy is still shelling the eastern parts of Nancy which has been reduced to debris already.
Rumors are afloat that the XII Corps is going to attack the Siegfried line in the vicinity of Mannheim, Germany; personally led by General Patton.
One enemy plane was over the area during the night. The nights are about the darkest that any American has ever witnessed; visibility in this darkness is actually zero. I have known men to lose contact with each other only five feet apart.
Little artillery has fell in our lines during the past 24 hours.
The battalion was issued class “B” rations for the first time in over a month; this due to capturing a German Ration DP east of Nancy. The men could not go the canned limburger cheese, which is a component of the German soldiers’ ration.
Lieut Barnes and Lucas were promoted to the grades of Captain and 1st Lieut., respectively, effective 15 September, 1944.
Company “A” attached to TF “S” with the 134th Infantry, moved their CP to the TF Headquarters in the vicinity of St Max, coord 881126. The 1st, 2d and 3rd platoons placed in direct support of the 1st, 2d and 3rd battalions, 134th Infantry, respectively. The 1st reconnaissance platoon to patrol and secure the right flank of the attack in the vicinity of coord 0827. Attack began at 1300 hours after artillery preparation and all elements advancing to the north. At 1330 the forward command post moved to coord 977110. The entire attack is meeting stiff enemy resistence and are advancing against automatic weapons, mortar and artillery fire. The 1st and 2d platoons are attacking Pain-de-Sucre and will take up positions on high ground in vicinity of coord 905152. The 3rd platoon is attacking the town of Plyerecourt and will take up positions in the vicinity of coord 862162, at 1630 hours.
Heavy casualties have been inflicted upon the enemy as the result of the deadly fire of the tank destroyers spearheading the attack of Task Force “S”, and all elements have been under intensive machine gun, mortar and artillery fire throughout the attack ; without suffering any casualties however.
The 1st reconnaissance platoon, attached to company “A” and securing the right flank of the attack, under command of 1st Lieut. Smith and Staff Sergeant Williams, attacked at 0700 hours, 9 kilometers east of Nancy, France to capture the high ground which the enemy was using as an OP. The platoon was advancing up the hill with company “A”, when two enemy soldiers ran out over the high ground to the front of our lines. When the platoon was about 1/4 mile from the town of Agincourt, the enemy opened fire on the advancing troops with mortar and artillery fire. The attack and advance continued however. The M8 in which Sergeant Williams, Privates Peterson, Boldin and Peeks, were riding received a direct hit from an enemy mortar; knocking out their 37mm gun and the .50 caliber machine gun. No one was wounded, however.
A reconnaissance jeep in which Corporal Jennings, Privates Black and Sinclair were riding, received a direct hit form a mortar. Black was slightly wounded in the hand. Privates Helbock, Menegolla and Prough of the Medical Det gave Black first aid and evacuated him under heavy barrage. Helbock was also wounded in the hand during the course of this operation, but remained on duty.
The reconnaissance jeep in which Corporal Metzner, Privates Kane and Grider were riding received a direct hit with an enemy artillery shell and it was destroyed. Metzner was wounded and evacuated.
The jeep belonging to Corporal Jennings had to be temporarily abandoned but was recovered after the hours of darkness, after the second attempt by Jennings, Helbock, Black and Menegolla, under heavy enemy fire.
Privates Bach and Sherman Jones were also wounded in this attack but received first aid and continued to attack.
The 1st platoon of Company “A” spearheading the attack on Agincourt forced the enemy to withdraw from the town, but due to the lack of supporting infantry were forced to withdraw from the town after darkness, due to the enemy infiltrating into our lines and posing as FFI members.
Several times prior to withdrawing a group of enemy soldiers in civilian clothing would walk up to within talking distance and shout to the platoon “COMERADE AMERCIANO”, but our men knew that there were no Frenchmen allowed out after darkness and opened fire upon them.
In the attack on Agincourt the enemy was well dug-in on the western outskirts of the little town, and the 1st platoon had a field day; driving around at will from foxhole to foxhole, from dugout to dugout firing point blank into the holes from 10-12 yards range.
The enemy established a strong point in the cemetery and was laying heavy machine gun fire from those positions when the 1st platoon opened up on them with HE., blowing monuments, statues, coffins and human bones out of their graves, but completely annihilating and leaving the enemy troops who established the strong point in the cemetery along with the other dead. As they tried to escape from the cemetery, what few that was able, they became hysterical. One enemy soldier running, screaming, holding his hands to the seat of his pants jumped behind a small tree for protection from the powerful TD fire. As he looked around to verify his safety a round blew him into a thousand pieces.
The command post of Company “B” moved form Meurthe to 1 mile N of Buissoncourt at 1500 hours, a distance of 4 miles. The 1st platoon captured 4 prisoners at coord Z932120. All elements of the company were under heavy enemy mortar and artillery fire during the period. One enemy tank destroyed at coord 943424 and one at 924126 at 0856 hours.
One destroyer disabled after being hit by a round of 150mm artillery fire. At 0500 hours the destroyers found themselves without infantry support and were forced to withdraw under a hail of enemy steel at 1830 hours. 1st platoon in position at coord 932114; 2nd at 950100 and 3rd at 973108.
Lieut. O’Neil and Little joined company and were assigned as platoon leaders in the 3rd and 2d platoons respectively.
Enemy tanks infiltrated into company area during the night, bearing US serial identification panels on the back of vehicles, and were roving around over the area after daylight. They were detected and destroyed; one at coord 943424 and the other at 924124. TDs position was coord 933128.
At 2008 hours the S3 ordered that one platoon be dispatched to coord 990080 and one to 009126 without delay to contain an armored threat, which failed to develop.
The command post of company “C” moved from Mazerville, coord 004187 at 1000 hours and established 1 mile east of that town at 1015 hours, a distance of 2 miles under heavy enemy artillery fire. The 1st platoon took up AT positions at coord 000181, the 2d at 998193 and the 3rd at 022189, under heavy artillery fire. At 1700 platoons advanced and went into positions at 1st platoon 998194; 2d at 999180 and 3rd at 024194, while the command post remained in the vicinity of coord 017184.
The command post was heavily shelled for two hours beginning at 1630 hours but no casualties resulted.
Lieut. Little was transferred to company “B” during the period.
The company remained in direct support of the 320th Infantry.
The Reconnaissance Company, less reconnaissance platoons established 1 1/4 miles NE Buissoncourt without enemy contact during the period.
September 19, 1944
192400 September, 1944
The 80th Division continued to clear up bridgehead East of the Moselle River. CCA, 4th AD with 3rd Bn 137th Inf attached assembled in the vicinity of Reichicourt prepared to attack NE upon clearing up of the enemy situation in and around Luneville, France. CCB, 4th AD with 1st battalion, 320th Inf attached moved to the NE at 190630A. 2d Cavalry Group patrolling and protecting XII Corps south flank from Luneville to Wittring. CG 5th AD moving from vicinity of Nancy to vicinity of Luneville to destroy enemy in that sector. Task Force “S” continued to attack north of Nancy; mopping up enemy in that sector.
Weather was overcast throughout the period.
CT 134 remained as a part of TF “S” during the period.
CT 137 in assembly area, less 3rd battalion attached to CCA, 4th A.D.
CT 320 remained in assembly area, less 1st battalion attached to CCB ?th Armored Division.
161st and 127th FA battalions continued as part of TF “S”. All Corps and Division Artillery turned in the direction of Luneville to meet enemy threat from that sector.
Combat efficiency of the division: 90%.
In general, the division completed closing in assembly area prepared to attack to the NE on Corps order.
The enemy continued to defend north of Nancy wit the broken and scattered parts of the 1120th Regiment. To the east, the enemy has been contacted at Chateau Salins, Arracourt, Bouzemont, Luneville and at Xermamen. The u8nit in the vicinity of Luneville has been definitely identified as the 115h Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion, a component of the 115th Panzer Regiment, which indicates that division is preparing to attack in this sector.
Early last night, the enemy counterattacked in the vicinity of coord U9015, and continued to harass our lines to the north with artillery fire. Counterattack was broken up and heavy losses inflicted upon the enemy. Tanks moving to the attack in the vicinity of Arracourt with 26 enemy tanks involved in the attack. 14 of the his attacking 26 tanks were destroyed.
Enemy dead during the period is about 100; prisoners 79.
P47’s knocked out a battery of enemy 105mm guns on the hill just to our front at 1700 hours, after which they strafed enemy positions.
The enemy continues to counterattack with small isolated groups of infantry, supported by a few tanks and self-propelled guns. CCA 4th (?) A.D. destroyed 50 enemy vehicles when they came in behind a convoy moving to the east, killing over 1000 enemy soldiers. Tanks are being reported in sectors all over the front, in numbers of two, three and sometimes as many as five in a group, but the majority of these tanks are being taken care of by our artillery and AT fire.
There is no front line in this sector. The enemy is in front of us, on our flanks and in our rear. It is thought that they are remnants of the once powerful 19th German Army trying to escape from the 7th U.S. Army pushing up from the south.
Enemy re-enforcements and tanks were brought in from the east last night and detrained in the vicinity of Jallaucourt, and were committed at once evidently for a counterattack.
One enemy plane was over the area during the night on reconnaissance, but extreme darkness and overcast weather made visibility impossible.
According to prisoners, Hitler has personally ordered that the Third U.S. Army be held where it is at all cost. “Patton and his gangsters must never be allowed to enter upon the sacred soil of the Reich” is the manner in which the prisoner told it.
The CP group, Headquarters, Rcn company and the Med Det remained in the assembly area in the woods near Remerville, France, during the period.
A few rounds of enemy artillery fell around the area but no casualties were suffered.
This area must have been recently a high echelon German headquarters as destroyed vehicles throughout the woods contain all types of administrative documents, office supplies, records, etc., which were, of course, for the most part destroyed in so far as military value is concerned.
As in other areas and along the ground which we have covered from the Normandy beaches to this location, there are hundreds of empty alcoholic beverage bottles as wine, cognac, champagne, schnapps, and thousands of others; this area is about as bad as we have seen as yet. This explains for one reason that the enemy is putting up such fierce resistence; he is staying drunk on looted drinks from occupied countries.
Private John O. Robinson Headquarters Company returned to duty from hospital during the period.
The command post of company “A” remained at St Max, coord 881126 during the period. The 1st and 2d platoons are in Pain-De-Surce, and the TD that overturned in the 1st platoon on the 18th is now in enemy hands, but all crew members are safe. Heavy artillery concentrations fell in and around the CP and in the city of Nancy during the period. The 3rd platoon destroyed 4 enemy strong points at coord 873158. One destroyer overturned during the night at cood 9115 and had to be abandoned in enemy territory.
The .50 caliber MG was shot off the turret by enemy tank fire. One jeep also hit by enemy artillery fire. The 2d platoon captured 1 enemy vehicle at Selchamps on the 17th Sept and the 1st platoon knocked out 2 20mm guns at coord 990137 , and 12 MG nests at coord 905173, and killed 42 enemy soldiers and wounded 86.
The 2d platoon under Lt Healey and Staff Sergeant Finger entered the town of Agincourt, and were in position at 0330 hours when the enemy launched a counterattack and drove US forces from the town. Sergeant Finger and Corporal Samuel Cash were in the platoon command post and have been missing in action since that date. They are presumed to have been taken prisoner by the enemy during the attack.
Staff Sergeant Mitchell, platoon sergeant, 2d platoon in AT position on the western edge of Agincourt when a MK VI Tiger tank came coasting down the road. Sergeant Mitchell and his gunner, Corporal Ervin, got him in their sights and waited until he was at 300 yards and opened up on him, exploding the tank with one round, following by another round of AP when one member started to jump out of the turret when Sergeant Mitchell shot him through the head with his carbine. The platoon during the day destroyed 8 MG nests, killed 30 enemy soldiers and wounded 20 others.
The combat efficiency of the company is becoming poor due to the men being without sleep for such a long period; 72 hours. All platoons have fired continuously on enemy MG nests, strong points, troop concentrations and other targets throughout the period. Results are unobtainable due to the targets still being in the hands of the enemy.
Sergeant Easley and Wright fired on bazooka teams in the vicinity of Pulnoy and both have bazooka holes in the rear of their destroyers.
1st Lieut. Elcano wounded in the leg by enemy sniper. Sergeant Roscoe F. Reeves, SW in the vicinity of Malzerville, coord 904153 b y enemy MG fire; both Lt. Elcano and Sgt. Reeves were evacuated to hospital..
Pvt McWherter and Pfc. Solinski awarded PH and returned to duty after being wounded by enemy mortar fire in the vicinity of Agincourt.
The 320 Infantry with Co C 737th Tk Bn and Co C 654th TD Bn in direct support crossed river at point “A” at 130804B. Attacked north and E on right flank of 137th Inf against heavy enemy artillery, mortar and small arms fire. The 2d battalion remained attached to CCB, 4th AD.
Prior to attack seven battalions of artillery laid a barrage into the enemy sector, beginning at 130630B on Hills 348,334 and 335.
Crossroads and area targets were interdicted during the night 12-13 September 44, with special attention to the Bois de Flavigny Foret.
All battalions delivered fire on the woods in the vicinity of Babbonville and Vigneulles, and all battalions after 320th crossed, were alerted for river crossing.
The 737th Tank Battalion destroyed 3 enemy tanks at 121900 Sept.
Enemy strong points and OPs NE of Ft De Pont St Vincent hit by medium bombers at 121800 Sept. Large columns of black smoke followed strike.
An enemy division command post was hit by artillery fire SW of Nancy on the afternoon of the 12th;destroyed.
Direct bomb hits were scored upon enemy concentration points E of the river and Nancy. Troops became hysterical and disorganized and fled the sector; many being shot by SS troops in their ranks.
Three flights of fighter-bombers scored direct hits on enemy artillery positions in the Foret de Vitrimont west of Luneville on the afternoon of the 12th. Two direct hits scored on artillery guns E of Nancy by P47s. One flight of P47s attacked RR bridge across the Moselle River in the vicinity of Flavigny and strafed enemy troops, with excellent results.
General George S. Patton, Jr., CG, Third U.S. Army visited the front during the afternoon, and held a meeting of all division commanders operating in the zone. It was reported that he was dissatisfied with the progress, and done some reaming, along with setting a minimum objective for the ensuing 24 hour period.
Generally, the division, during the past 24 hour period established additional bridgeheads across the Moselle River, all of which were enlarged and strengthened. Treadway Bridge across river at Point “A” was completed at 121230 Sept, and the treadway bridge under construction at Point “C”, was held up by accurate and intense artillery and mortar fire.
There was no change in the positions of the CP, Hq, and Rcn Com during the period; remaining in the vicinity of Centrey, under intermittent artillery fire.
Violent artillery duels raged throughout the day and night and our air forces bombed and strafed the enemy from daylight until darkness.
At sunset the skies became overcast and reduced visibility but the greater portion of all enemy targets had been reduced to smoking and charred ruins during the day.
There is every indication that the enemy is withdrawing from Nancy to the southeast. Unidentified columns of vehicles have been moving from snipers in the vicinity of the CP at dusk dark.
Company “A” in direct support of the 134th Infantry assisted in repulsing another strong enemy counterattack on Ft de Pont St Vincent at 2000 hours. When the counterattacked was repulsed at 2000 hours, the enemy began to lay a barrage of artillery and mortar fire on the positions of the 1st battalion of Joplin and Company “A”.
At 1800 hours while the security section of the 1st platoon were in position just east of Flagigny, coord 845982, an air burst showered over the destroyer of the first platoon, thought to be from 151 mm, wounding Sergeant George L. Lewis, the tank commander, and Privates McPeek, Moncier and Adair. The company has been detailed to spearhead attack on the Foret de Haye on the morning of 14 September, 1944, and will go into an assembly area in the vicinity of coord 680070 when relieved; sometime during the afternoon or night.
Company “B” remained in support of the 137th Infantry during the period.
The 3rd platoon assaulted and captured town at coord 939983; killing 25 and captured 18 enemy soldiers. A house was observed which the enemy was using as a strong point and OP. The platoon opened up on the building simultaneously and the building was totally destroyed killing 30 and seriously wounding 75 enemy soldiers while they attempted to escape.
At 2100 hours Staff Sergeant Wilson, 3rd reconnaissance platoon, attached to the company, while making a reconnaissance of the sector, made contact with the enemy at the approaches of the little town of Saffais (940960).
Two enemy soldiers started to run and Sergeant Wilson opened fire on them and killed done; the other escaped.
At 1130 hours while Sergeant Strickland was in direct support of the 2d battalion, 137th Infantry, in the vicinity of Laueville, France, he observed two enemy tanks pulling down toward the Moselle River, at a range of about 800 yards. Sergeant Strickland gave his gunner, Corporal Boyd Driggers the range and ordered him to fire upon them.
Corporal Driggers pumped two rounds of AP into him, followed by a fast round of HE to take care of the personnel situation. It done the job. The enemy tank burst into flames and blew up. No enemy personnel escaped.
On enemy tank destroyed and 60 enemy soldiers killed with HE by 2d platoon. One M10 of the 3rd platoon had a bogie wheel shot out by artillery fire at coord.
Regimental objective for the period: Coord 900980 – 930000 – 970010
Company “C” in direct support of the 320th Infantry maintained positions as follows as of 0930 hours: Company post at coord 976923 – 1st platoon at 965934 and 956922 – 2d platoon at 9791 and 3rd at 9792. At 1015 hours the command post moved to coord 938916 and at 1430 the 2d platoon moved to position in vicinity of coord 975916. . The entire company, less 3rd platoon who is securing right flank of the regiment, in direct support of the 137th Infantry attacking to the east and southeast, attacking jumped off at 0700 hours, with the mission of capturing high ground at coord 978915. At 1100 hours, Staff Sergeant Ruel R. Windham, and his 2d reconnaissance platoon, observed an enemy tank at coord 999916, and relayed information to Staff Sergeant William L. Lands, platoon commander 2d platoon, who was in position, and in turn Sergeant Lands ordered Sergeant Lonzo P. Miller, whose destroyer was in position at coord 978915 to destroy it. Private Stivers, Sergeant Miller’s gunner opened fire on the tank at 800 yards range, firing 5 rounds of AP and 1 round of HE into the Mk IV tank, after which it exploded and killed all the enemy personnel. At 1000 hours, the 2d platoon came face to face with 5 enemy anti-tank guns at coord 972914 and 3 trailers loaded with ammunition at coord 968918. The platoon opened fire on them, destroyed all five guns, the three trailers and killed 20 enemy soldiers trying to escape. The 1st platoon, catching a group of enemy in disorganized flight opened fire on them with HE and killed 23 and wounded 30 others. The 2d reconnaissance platoon captured two “trembling supermen” at coord 997916 from the 104th Pz Grenadier Regiment, who were expecting to have their throats slit from ear to ear any second by the savage, blood-thirsty Americans.
The first platoon while in position at coord 969939 had a terrific artillery barrage laid upon it, and during this barrage, a round of 150mm hit the open hatch of sergeant Dillender’s destroyer and killed Tech 5 Grade Brothers instantly and seriously wounded T/5 Tigner, who later died of his wounds. The destroyer exploded and burned and Brothers’ body was completely destroyed by the fire.
Positions of the platoons at 2300 was 1st platoon at coord 904153, 2d 904153, and 3rd at 861161.
Corporal Roscoe F. Reeves promoted to sergeant; Pvt1cl Edward H. Solinski promoted to corporal during the period.
The command post of company “B” remained in the vicinity of Buissoncourt (Z977110) during the period. The 1st and 3rd platoons in assembly area at coord Z973108, alerted for attack. The 2d platoon moved from coord 950100 at 1650 hours and established AT positions at coord Z967127 at 1715 hours. Staff Sergeant Brock was wounded in the vicinity of Cereveil, coord Z932123 by enemy mortar fire. Sergeant Ellis was wounded at the same place; both on 17 September. The 3rd reconnaissance platoon maintained contact between the command post and all platoons during the period.
Company in direct support of 137th Infantry during the period.
Sergeants Brock and Ellis wounded at coord 932123.
Company “C” moved into assembly area 1 mile north of Harancourt at 1740 hours, a distance of 10 miles form previous command post. Company relieved from 32oth Inf and placed in support of the 1117th Engineer ( C ) Bn., recently attached to the division. All platoons on an alert status to meet enemy counterattack from the east along line extending from Mazerulles to Maxie; Surres and Moncel.
Platoons went into AT positions on the following coordinates: 1st platoon at 982085, 2d at 986085 and 3rd at 998076. The command post is located at coord 987076. Liaison maintained between company and the 1117th Engineer Battalion.
The company had no enemy contact during the period.
No change in the reconnaissance company during the period, except that T/5 Metzner and Pvt1cl Dobbs were admitted to hospital due to wounds on the 18th inst.
September 20, 1944
202400 September, 1944
The 80th Division continued to enlarge and secure their bridgehead across the Moselle River.
CT 134 was released from attachment to Task Force “S” and continued to hold positions NE Nancy against determined enemy resistence and counterattacks. Agincourt was captured during the period.
CT 137 attacked to the north with mission of capturing the high ground in the vicinity of Armee, but the attack was halted by enemy small arms, mortar and artillery fire on highway running east from Nancy.
The 2d and 3d battalions resumed attack at 0545 and immediately ran into strong enemy resistence in woods north of the highway. At the end of the period companies “I” and “L” were in woods north of the highway and the remainder of the battalion was pinned down by heavy enemy fire of all types.
CT 320 was attached to the 4th Armored Division during the period.
There was a strong air strike on the town of Armee during the after noon with undetermined results.
Enemy artillery fire fell over the front throughout the period, and artillery duels rocked the earth. The enemy counterattacked the 134th Infantry and company “A” on the high ground NE of Nancy, apparently all drunk, after darkness with bayonets; charging across the sector screaming, yelling, shouting and giving the war whoop. They were massacred by a TOT from supporting division artillery, company “A”‘s destroyers and small arms fire from the 134th Infantry. One enemy soldier was found hiding under the destroyer of the 2d platoon and was attempting to drop a grenade in the turret when he was found and shot through the head.
The weather is at present our worst enemy as it has been raining with heavy fogs in the hours of daylight restricting visibility and operation to a minimum.
The rear echelon of the division, including the personnel section of the battalion set up headquarters in the city of Nancy during the period.
At the end of the period, the town of Agincourt was captured after a hand to hand fight with elite SS troops. The enemy thoroughly shot up the town and massacred the population prior to leaving or abandoning it, due to the fact that our destroyers had entered the town two days previous and the population thought that it was safe to put out flags, which they did , and we were forced to withdraw. The SS troops murdered every family in the town who had flags flying from their homes, and many others.
The enemy continued to defend the high ground north of the RR to Luneville in the 134th Inf sector. He is also defending the Foret De Champenoux. Our forces continue to contact elements of the 1120th Regiment, 92nd Flyer Regiment and 3rd Parachute Training Regiment. The FFI reports that there are elements of the 15th Pz Grenadier Division in Luneville.
Enemy killed during the period: 150; captured 17.
Our cavalry screening line Javelize, Einville, Rosiers and Mont made contact with enemy at Luneville and Einville, and at 1220 hours they reported 20 enemy tanks moving west into attack position in the vicinity of coord Q148115. And additional 12 enemy tanks reported at Arracourt, preparing to attack.
The command post did not change during the period; remaining in the vicinity of Remerville.
At 1700 hours our fighter-bombers, through error, bombed and strafed positions held by the CP Group, Headquarters Company and Company “C”. Also the 448th AAA Battalion. One AA gun was destroyed and the crew killed when a bomb made a direct hit on the gun. Sergeant Walston and Corporal Lehman of Company “C” were slightly wounded in this action.
The 79th division occupied positions south of Luneville during the night and are preparing to attack the enemy in that sector. CCB, 4th AD are in Chateau Salins and CCA are around the towns of Bezange-La-Petite, Xures, Coincourt and Bures. Enemy troops and equipment are being unloaded in the town of Arrancourt, having been brought up via train.
There was an air strike at 1800 hours directly to our font upon enemy positions. One ammunition dump was seen to explode.
We are now fighting over the same ground that many of our fathers fought the same army over in the last world war, in the old Hindenberg Line. Many of its defenses are yet intact, such as pillboxes, and trenches, which of course, have grown up in vegetation, but still provide cover.
Class “B” rations are still being issued from the captured enemy ration DP in Nancy. The limburger cheese is “traded” to the French.
The German army is filthy from a sanitary standpoint. Excreta litters the ground in every area in which we drive them out. Evidentially they know nothing of a straddle trench. Latrines are taboo. Women’s wearing apparel is still being found in abandoned dugouts, which indicates that they are still carrying their women along with them in their retreat to the Fatherland. Numerous French and Polish prostitutes have been captured along with their “boyfriends” in this section.
There was no air activity during the period due to the weather.
French civilians continue to search all debris and rob enemy dead of any valuables on their person.
Unconfirmed reports that Breast, with its 40,000 enemy soldiers have surrendered.
Only about a 4000 meter advance was made during the period by the division due to fierce enemy resistence.
The enemy launched another vicious counterattack against Agincourt during the night but the attack was repulsed. Sergeant Beall was SW at 0815 hours by enemy tank fire. At 0815 the enemy launched a counterattack against Anacord (?) supported by two tanks and he also recaptured hill at coord 906153 from 134th Inf (Joplin). One enemy plane flew over the area at 1716 hours on reconnaissance.
The command post of Company “A” remained at St Maxe during the period, coord 881126. Sergeant Travis L. Beall was seriously wounded in the vicinity of Pain-de-Sucre as a result of enemy tank fire, and was evacuated by the 110th Med Bn at 0900 hours.
Staff Sergeant James D. Finger and Corporal Cecil S. Cash, missing at 0430 hours along with their jeep, thought to have been captured by the enemy during the counterattack upon Agincourt at 0400 hours. The two men were last seen by Lieut. Healey at 0430 hours in Agincourt.
Company supported the 134th Inf during the period. The 1st and 2d platoon moved from high ground at coord 904153 at 1500 hours to assembly area at coord 900035. The 3d platoon remained in AT positions at coord 861161 engaging the enemy counterattack, but had to withdraw due to lack of infantry support.
At 0400 hours, a German soldier, dressed in an FFI uniform made his way to our lines and approached Sergeant O’Brien’s destroyer. In the darkness the crew saw him approach and called “Halt”. “Comerade” the soldier said and started walking around the destroyer. Tech 5 Grade, the TD driver saw the enemy soldier leading his bazooka and shouted “kill the sonofabitch”. Corporal Johnnie Johnston pulled the pin from a grenade and lopped it over the turret onto the Jerry, killing him instantly, and also knocking out the destroyers motor.
The 3rd platoon captured 2 40mm guns, destroyed 2 trucks and 30 MG nests and bazooka positions, killing 60 enemy soldiers and captured 75 others and wounded an undetermined number at coord 875163.
All elements of the company under heavy artillery and mortar fire during the period.
Lieut. Healey assigned as company Ex O during the period. Lieut. Malone assigned and joined company from replacement pool, and took over command of the 3d platoon.
The CP of Company “B” remained at Buissoncourt. Two enemy tanks reported in company area at 0800 hours. The 1st platoon in AT positions at coord 970122, 2d at 953155 and 3rd at 960159. There was no enemy contact during the period but entire company was under heavy enemy artillery and mortar fire throughout the period. Company supported the 137th Infantry (Jury) in attack, with mission of taking high ground at coord 930190.
Corporal Doscher returned to duty from hospital.
The 3rd reconnaissance platoon maintained contact between the 137th Inf and the command post and supported the attack.
The CP of Company “C” moved from Harancourt and established in the vicinity of Remerville, coord V008124, a distance of 5 miles. The 2d and 3rd platoons in direct support of the 1117th Engineers, occupying AT positions at coord 986085 and 998085 until 1530 when they moved to AT positions at coord 008129 and 020107, in the vicinity of Remerville. The 1st platoon occupied AT positions at coord 982085 in the vicinity of Harancourt until 1800 hours when it moved and took up positions at coord 015117, when three US P47’s mistook them for the enemy and bombed and strafed the platoon; wounding Sergeant Walston and Corporal Lehman. The platoon after bombing moved to assembly area at coord 015117. At the end of the period, the command post was at coord 008124; 1st pl at 005117; 2d platoon at 009129 and 3rd at 016108.
The reconnaissance company, with reconnaissance platoons attached to companies remained in the vicinity of the CP. T/5 Metzner, SW by mortar at Selchamps, at 1730 hours, at coord 920137, to hosp.
Pvt. Garrison Barnes, Hq Co., was admitted to hospital during the period.
September 21, 1944
212400 September 1944
The 80th Division moved elements into the town of Merville, Monocourt through woods NE of Lauvremont and through Boys De La Rumont against light resistence. CCA, 4th AD repulsed several armored counterattacks from the south and east in the Recricourt-La-Petite area; CCB is fighting in the vicinity of Chateau-Salinas.
CT 134 cleared woods in the vicinity of coord 8816 encountering several well dug-in positions. Sent patrols into Bouxieres and Lay-St-Christopher. Continued to hold high ground northeast of Nancy.
CT 137, 2d and 3rd battalions continued to attack in woods north and east of highway during the afternoon. Heavy field fortifications with strong overhead cover, roving guns, mortar and small arms fire was extremely heavy on both battalions. Little gains were made. The 1st battalion protected both flanks and patrolled the east and west sector of the front.
CCB 4th AD was attached to division at 211000A, moving from Luneville to assembly area in the vicinity of Jallaucourt. The 35th Division QM Company was bombed and strafed by our P47’s in the vicinity of Harancourt. The same planes dropped one bomb in the vicinity of the division command post.
The enemy re-enforced his positions in the Foret De Champenoux and Bois De Faulx, north of our sector, with infantry and tanks during the night.
A concentration of AT guns reported in vicinity of coord U957168 and U964185.
Enemy continued to defend ground north of the RR in the division sector.
Additional artillery batteries located during the period. The enemy harassed the division sector with intermittent and interdiction artillery fire during the period. Artillery fell in the vicinity of the CP and Remerville during the afternoon and evening.
Enemy tanks were reported in Foret De Parrey and Foret De Mondon, and 35 reported dug-in between Bures and Coincourt.
Enemy killed during the period 600: 7 prisoners captured.
The following Field O was issued by XII Corps this date:
XII Corps attacks early 22 Sept to clean up resistence in Pont-A-Moussen, Nancy and Luneville areas. 4th AD will operate E of 35th Inf Div; 80th Div to the N and 35th Div attack E. XIX TAC supports atk with armed rcn missions. Units in support 182nd FA Gp, 410th FAGp and 1117th Eng Bn ( C ) 35th Div atks 220700 hours Sept to destroy enemy in Foret De Champenoux and in Bois De Faulx, and secure high ground.
CT 134 atk 22 Sept on Div O to secure high ground in Bois De Faulx and destroy enemy in Regimental zone.
CT 137 atks N 22 Sept to destroy enemy in Foret De Champenoux. Main atk preceded by tks carrying not to exceed 1 rcn co to woods E of Champenoux in westerly direction, sweeping south edge of woods. Employ heavy weapons on ridge 287 (952127) prior to daylight 22 Sept 44 to cover possible enemy move to S from vicinity of Amanee. Hvy wpns units prepared to move by motor to join battalion.
CCB, 4th AD atk at 220700 hours to SW, secure high ground vic Amanee.
Rest of CCB in readiness vic Allincourt, prep to exploit success or to assist atk of CCB.
Co C 654th TD Bn in support of 1117th Eng Bn ( C ).
Determine at the earliest moment any indications of w-drawal of the enemy from his present location to the N or NE prior to hour of atk. Determine any movement at AT wpns fr present posns to E or NE. Panels will be displayed. Vigorous patrols during nigh t 21-22 Sept 44. Report any sign of enemy w-drawal.
There was no change in the position of the CP during the period.
Artillery both “out-going:” and in-coming” rocked the earth throughout the day and night. Several rounds fell in the area of the CP but no casualties were suffered. The enemy’s lines to our front were torn up by P47’s during the afternoon when there came an unexpected break in the weather. Black columns of smoke from several points rose to over a 1000 feet, indicating hits on ammunition or fuel dumps. The planes encountered a little AA fire but a few sweeps across the area with their MGs open soon silenced the fire. The washer during the period was overcast during the morning but became clear in the afternoon with a low haze hanging over the front.
The enemy continues to put up fanatical resistence. We are facing the thorough-bred Nazis now; the die hard type. No ground is taken unless they are killed; yes down to the last man.
The 80th Div is attacking on our left flank; the 79th on our right, the 6th AD spearheading the corps attack.
Prisoners are extremely young, some as young as 15 years, but Nazi to the core.
Drunken fanatical enemy soldiers staged a small counterattack during the night with bayonets but all were annihilated. There was no enemy air activity over the sector during the period.
200 enemy infantry with three tanks were reported in company “B”‘s area during the night. They have either infiltrated through our lines or they are trying to surrender. Battalion placed on an alert status and all defenses re-enforced for a possible attack.
The enemy troops are attempting some of the most fantastic actions in order to kill an American soldier that we have ever encountered. Mines and booby-traps are strewn over every area and attached to every conceivable item which a GI might touch or stumble over, but the majority of them, thanks to being booby-trap wise, are detected before they can do any damage.
The country around Nancy is rolling and mountainous and from his Ops to the east the enemy can look directly down our throats and for that reason we are suffering undue casualties. The Nazi OSS was located at Metz, France, just to our north, and in this emergency the students which used this terrain on maneuvers, and with which they are familiar, were put in the lines by the enemy, and they are a tough lot; thorough bred Nazis and intelligent with the terrain in their favor makes it rough going for attacking troops.
We are encountering the outer defenses of the Maginot Line, and the enemy is in a life and death struggle to hold them. Prisoners say that Hitler has personally assumed command of the Western Front, and has promised his forces that the new secret V-3 weapon would be employed against the Americans within 10 days, and that it would kill every US soldier on the continent of Europe, and that they must hold until death before giving another inch of territory.
1st Lieut. Donald T. Dunne, assigned and joined company during the period and was assigned to Headquarters Company. Corporal Cecil A. Vernon and Private Charles U. Givis, assigned to and joined battalion from replacement center.
The CP of Company “A” remained at St Max, coord 881126 during the period.
The 3rd platoon in support of the 2d battalion, 134th Inf destroyed 4 strong points in houses in Pl de Malzerville, coord 873158 on 19 Sept.
They also captured 2 40 or 50 mm guns intact, destroyed 2 enemy trucks, 30 MG nests and bazooka positions; killed 100 enemy soldiers, captured 75 and wounded 150. Platoon moved from its positions coord 861161 at 2000 hours 20 Sept to assembly area at coord 900135 for motor maintenance.
2d Lieut. Maloney, Pvt1cl Alfred A. Waiter, Edmund T. Boyk, Oscar Pollard, James L. Lehan, Privates William L. Rowland, Elmer R. Wenz, Paul T. Newberry, Edward F. Znaniski, Louis P. Yanko and Ernest W. Zimmermann assigned and joined company from replacement center.
Lieut. Maloney assigned to 2d platoon; Lieut. Michaels to 1st platoon.
Corporal George A. Fischer was returned to duty during the day.
Company also destroyed 2 40 mm AT guns at coord 956168 during day.
The CP of company “B” did not change during the period. The company is in division reserve performing motor maintenance. The positions of the company during the period were: CP at coord 975140; 1st pl at Z970149; 2d at Z970123 and 3rd at P197012; all in AT positions on alert status. No enemy contact during the period.
The CP of company “C” remained near Remerville. The entire company in direct support of 1117th Engineer Battalion ( C ) on an alert status along a general line Mazerville to Moncel, south to Serres and Maxie, north to Remerville. The 1st platoon maintained AT positions at coord 015117, 2d at 008129 and 3rd at 020124. No enemy contact during the period.
Tech 4 grade Howard Madden, Privates Anthony Sanzo, Burt Elkire, Alvie Renik and Pete Rogers assigned to and joined company from replacement center.
The CP of the Reconnaissance Company did not change. Privates Gatto, Fawcett, Lay and Cockfield promoted to Private 1cl. Private James H. Richards, assigned to and joined company from the replacement center.
Sergeant Marbut of Company “B” was admitted to hospital with a sprained ankle caused by a wire pulling him off his destroyer as he drove under it.
September 22, 1944
222400 September, 1944.
80th division attacking north with objective as coord U9027. At the end of the period 317th and 318th Infantry in vicinity of coord U8725. CCB, 4th AD mopping up west of Chateau-Salinas; CCA continued to mop up NE of Reichicourt. Elements of CCA being counterattacked by enemy armor near Juvelize.
Weather: Clear except for ground fog.
CCB, 6th AD attacked to SW at 0700 hours and at the end of period were at Armaucourt and Aboncourt moving south against scattered resistence.
134th and 137th Infantry attacked to the north at 1200 hours against stubborn enemy resistence. 320th Inf attached to 4th AD.
Air strike on Amanee and Foret De St Jean Fontaine. 20 enemy vehicles destroyed. 35th Cav Rcn Sqdn maintained OP on Hill 262 at coord U948152, with one platoon patrolling Mazerulies and Gremecy.
Artillery preparation for one hour beginning at 1100 hours in zone of attack; counterbattery fire was heavy until enemy batteries were silenced.
At the end of the period the enemy did not have an organized defensive sector in the division zone. There was decrease in artillery. CCB, 6th AD reported prisoners taken from the 1121st Infantry from the 553rd In Division.
The enemy attempted to defend his positions until late in the evening when he attempted to withdraw to the east and northeast under a heavy attack. Tanks and Inf reported toward our sector from the east.
Enemy soldiers killed 250; captured 8.
The division ordered that German soldiers captured in civilian clothing will be evacuated from the front separate from others.
Fighter-Bombers hit enemy troop concentration at coord 9719; dense clouds of smoke rose upward and 10 vehicles were destroyed. An enemy horse-drawn column was caught on the road attempting to retreat to the north and was annihilated by a squadron of P27s at 1500 hours.
There was no change in the position of the CP during the period. 1st Lieut. Dunne was assigned to Headquarters Company as company executive officer.
A number of the men from the battalion were granted passes to Nancy during the afternoon to see the USO show “PRIVATE HARGRAVE.” The men enjoyed the passes greatly and after the show walked around the city and purchased sourviners. A few enemy shells fell in the city during the afternoon.
The French, like the English and Irish, are losing no time in taking advantage of the reckless manner in which the average GI handles his money. When we first entered Nancy on the 15th large glasses of win and cognac were selling for 5 Francs per drink; two days later the price went to 10 Francs per drink. Today when the GIs visited the city it was 50 Francs, or 1.00 per drink; less than a ounce.
The eastern section of the city is simply kaput. All bridges have been destroyed and he lopped shells into the city as long as possible from his positions to the east, and is still doing it. The people have a burning hate for the Bosche. The greater part of all alcoholic drinks were confiscated by the retreating enemy and carried along as morale builders for his broken army.
Censorship regulations have been relaxed to a certain degree as of this date. Personnel may now mention planes in which they have been, and send pictures of places of interest home when they are 25 miles or more distant from the location.
The city of Nancy is modern and up to date. It is full of GIs during the afternoon, sightseeing and shopping, and other things–
The French are very courteous and hospitable. They like the GIs.
There was no change in Company “A”‘s CP during the period. All the company was under heavy artillery and mortar fire during the period.
The 1st platoon, attacking in support of the 1st battalion, 134th Inf fired 4000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition into enemy foot troops, killing 180 and wounding over 200. The 2d platoon was in reserve during the period. The 3rd platoon moved form assembly area at 1830 on 21 September and went into AT positions at coord 859174 , and attached with the 3rd battalion, 134th Inf at 1200 hours, firing on enemy strong point and foot troops with undetermined results.
The CP of company “B” remained at Buissoncourt during the period. The 2d platoon in AT positions with 1 section at coord U953154 and 1 at the rear guarding engineers removing a road block, which joined the 1st section at coord U960160 at 1830 hours. Company had no enemy contact during the period. Indirect support of the 137th Infantry.
Private Kramer was admitted to hospital during the period.
There was no change in company “C”s status during the period; remained in support of the 1117th Engineer Battalion on an alert status in the vicinity of Remerville, France. The 2d platoon moved at AT positions in support of Company “B”, 248th Eng Bn in vicinity of Cerrveil, to secure gap between 134th and 137th Infantry, at coord 953118.
T/5 Swanger aptd T/4 Gr. Pvt1cl Rollie Shelton and Jake Collins aptd T/5 grade on the 19th Sept. Private Wix returned to duty from hospital during the period.
1st platoon in AT positions at coord 004124 and 3rd at 018108.
No enemy contact during the period.
T/4 Geigas promoted to S/sgt; Corporal George P. Carey and Willis P. Hood promoted to sergeant and Pvt1cl Myles D. Fowler promoted to corporal, all of company “A”.
September 23, 1944
232400 September, 1944.
Leading elements of the 318th Infantry, 80th Division are in woods at coord U865240-869252. CCB, 4th AD, in assembly area between Chateau-Salins and Fresnes. CCR, 4th AD in vicinity of Reichicourt. The 315th Inf, 79th Div fighting in NE portion of Luneville at end of period.
The weather was overcast during the day but fair during the night.
CT 134 attacked at 221200 with objective high ground NE of Lay-St-Christopher. 2d battalion attacked by 221200 north of Bouxieres.
Fierce resistence was met by both the 1st and 2d battalions but both battalions reached objectives by 22300 Sept. Lay-St-Christopher, Bouxieres and Eulmont were occupied during the period. The 3rd battalion reached Hill 365 and recaptured Agincourt. At the end of the period the 1st and 2d battalions were advancing forward to contact 80th Division.
CT 137 attacked at 221200 with 2d and 3d battalions abreast. Company “C” riding tanks made initial assault against the right flank. Entered woods against heavy opposition. The 3rd battalion was committed during the late afternoon to help clear out woods, and by dark two thirds of the woods had been cleared. During the night 22-23 Company “G” captured and secured the town of Amanee and the high ground in the vicinity.
During the morning they continued to clean up enemy soldiers, mines, booby-traps and road blocks in regimental zone.
The 320th remained attached to the 4th AD during the period.
The advance of CCB, 6th AD was slowed due to fierce enemy resistence, ground fog and blown bridges. Cleared up pockets of resistence along zone of advance and captured 350 prisoners. At the end of the period they were advancing to secure Leye, France.
Devastating TOT artillery fire was laid on large forces of retreating enemy soldiers when they were caught in the open when enemy resistence cracked early in the afternoon of 22 September. Targets consisted of enemy batteries, foot troops on roads and concentrations of company size and larger. All fires observed with excellent results.
The 737th Tank Battalion carried Company “C” 137th Inf on back of their tanks to the edge of the Foret De Champenoux where the Infantry dismounted and attacked and the tanks protected the flanks, and fired on targets of opportunity.
A squadron of fighter-bombers attacked Amanee and gun emplacements around the town during the morning, and at noon were called to check enemy vehicles parked in the town camouflaged, and along the east slopes of the hills from Leye north. They immediately bombed and strafed this sector until all vehicles were destroyed and two gasoline DPs blew up. Enemy vehicles that escaped this attack begin to flee to the east when another squadron appeared and went to work on them. 56 vehicles of all types were destroyed and the highway was a smoking twisted mass of wreckage when the P47s headed west to reload for another attack.
In general the division destroyed a large amount of enemy equipment and material and forced him to withdraw to the north after suffering heavy casualties. The 137th Inf entered the Foret De Champenoux which was heavily fortified and occupied enemy troops, composed of at least one enemy regiment and several tanks. The enemy was forced to withdraw from the Foret after suffering heavy casualties.
Artillery Co CCB, 6th AD, destroyed a large number of enemy vehicles guns and inflicted heavy personnel casualties upon the enemy as he was forced to withdraw to the north under heavy pressure.
At the end of the period the enemy did not have an organized front line in the division sector. The division was in contact with the 553rd Infantry Division during the period. Elements of the 15th Pz Division are still in and around Luneville, France.
During the afternoon the enemy attempted to retreat to the north and northeast in disorder and suffered severe casualties. During the night the enemy attempted to get out of Leye but this move was blocked by artillery fire.
During the period the division killed 800 and captured 682 enlisted men and 7 officers. 63 vehicles and numerous items of equipment were captured and 18 vehicles, two Mk V tanks and numerous guns were destroyed during the attack.
There was no change in the CP during the period. A slow steady rain prevailed during the day, restricting operations to a minimum, and giving the enemy time to withdraw his forces and organize a front line. Typically “Hitler Weather”. All supporting aircraft were grounded during the period.
Another quota of men were allowed to visit Nancy during the afternoon.
Heavy fighting raged on all sectors during the day and night. The enemy brought up re-enforcesments during the night, detraining in the vicinity of Luneville, and immediately went into action.
All elements warned of an enemy threat from the north and northeast during the hours of darkness. All positions and strong points are manned and every one alerted.
The enemy is contesting every foot of ground which we take; every foot is being paid for with American blood.
Violent artillery duels have raged throughout the day and night and some of the most violent explosions occurred just to the east during the night that has ever been heard on the western front, all in the direction of Luneville. The earth trembled and the explosions were of 10 seconds duration. and the sky was alighted in the area for one and two minutes at the time following each explosion. No one knew what was happening, and there was speculation, with apprehension that Hitler had at last loosed his long awaited new V-3 secret weapons upon us. It was no good feeling.
There was no enemy air activity during the period due to weather.
The CP of company “A” remained at St Max until in the afternoon when it moved with the CP of the 134th Infantry. 1st platoon in support of the 1st battalion, 134th Inf attacking the town of Beye, France, the 2d platoon relieving the 3rd platoon in support of the 3rd battalion who are assaulting the town of Leye. Both objectives taken during the period with the 3rd battalion also taking Bouxieres. One M10 out of action due to enemy activity.
The CP located at coord 857161. During the attack 30 enemy soldiers were killed, 16 captured and 79 wounded; 3 20mm guns and one ammunition dump destroyed at coord 875177 and 847183. The 1st platoon and 1st Bn attacked and captured Lay-St-Christopher. The 3rd platoon from AT positions at coord 859179; destroyed 4 enemy strong points 20 MG nests, 2 20mm guns and killed 30 enemy soldiers. The 3rd platoon went into assembly area at coord 9000135 at 2300 hours being relieved by the 2d platoon.
Sgt. Mitchell promoted to staff sergeant; T/5 Nelson B. Griffin to sergeant; Pvt Charles A. Leary promoted to corporal; Pvt1cl William E. Day and Pvt1cl Fred Burkhalter to Tech 5 Grade. Privates George Smerek Jr, Johnnie A. Johnston promoted to Privates First Class.
The CP of company “B” moved and established 3/4 mile SE of Lanerwelatte, France, 0930 hours. Forward at coord U950148. Company in support of 137th Inf had no enemy contact during the period. All elements under heavy artillery and mortar fire. No casualties were suffered. Sergeant Moses WIA by mortar fire at coord Z900110 on 17th Sept and evacuated by 110th Med Bn.
There was no change in company “C” during the period. Pvt1cl Tigner WIA 14th died of wounds the same date on the battlefield. The company remained in support of the 1117th Eng Bn with AT positions at Gelloncourt and Remerville during the period. No enemy contact during the period. Company was shelled during the night. No casualties. Privates Lester Gilbert and Everette Gay assigned to and joined company from replacement center. Pvt1cl Virgil Griffin returned to duty from hospital during the period.
There was no change in the reconnaissance company during the period.
September 24, 1944
242400 September, 1944.
Enemy armor has been attacking our lines from the south and east along line from Delme – Oriocourt – Faie since early this morning. Chateau-Salins is occupied by enemy infantry; strength unknown. The 2d Cavalry reports increased activity, mortar, artillery, and small arms fire in the Monacourt – Coincourt area.
XII Corps defends along line Seille River – Foret De Gremecy – Foret De Bezange La Grange. The 4th AD on divisions right; 80th Inf Div on left. 6th AD just east of Nancy. 182nd Field Artillery Group and 1117th Engineer Battalion in support of division.
The 35th Division will occupy, organize and defend battle positions in zone. 137th Inf on the right; 134th Inf on left and 320th Inf in reserve. Units will move to assigned units 250900 September. Boundaries, limiting points, main line of resistence, regimental reserve line and OPIR. The 134th Inf will relieve 6th AD in zone. 137th Inf same as 134th. 320th Inf in division reserve in south portion of the Foret De Champenoux, prepared to counterattack in any part of division zone.
The 216th FA Battalion in general support will re-enforce fires of 161st FA Battalion. 127th FA Battalion in general support. At least two light artillery battalions able to reach line Delme – Gerbecourt.
127th FA Battalion prepared to reach Fremery and Chateau Prehain.
Company “A” and “B” in direct support of 134th and 137th Infantry Regiments respectively; Company “C” prepared to fire secondary missions while supporting 1117th Engineer Battalion.
35th Cav Reconnaissance Troop in division reserve prepared to move.
60th Eng Battalion prepared to lay mine field and prepare road blocks in division defensive zone.
737th Tank Battalion prepared to counterattack enemy in any part of division zone.
1135th Eng Battalion prepared to lay mine fields and prepare road blocks in division zone.
EEI will determine when, where and what strength the enemy will attack with and report strength, movement and location of enemy armor in division zone.
The 80th Division advanced to high ground between Contency and Jeddekincourt. CCB 4th AD fighting off tank threat vicinity of Fresnes. CCA, 4th AD holding in the vicinity of Juvecourt.
CCB, 6th AD holding vicinity of Armoucourt and containing counterattack in the vicinity of Ajoncourt.
134th Inf cleared out Bois De Fauly during afternoon of 23 September while the 6th AD secured Leye.
137th Infantry completed clearing out Foret De St Jean Fontaine.
320th remained attached to 4th Armored Division.
The 6th Armored Division is securing Armoucourt, Aboncourt, Leye and HaLight forces holding Aboncourt were pushed south by a strong and fierce enemy counterattack during the night 23-24 September.
The enemy is preparing dug-in positions between Coincourt and Moncourt supported by MG and mortar fire. Enemy activity on all other sectors is of offensive nature.
Prisoners captured during the day were from 959th Security Battalion; 1120th Infantry and 115th Pz Grenadier Regiment.
A strong concentration of enemy artillery is known to be in the Foret De Parroy and he continued to re-enforce his troops in the Foret De Chateau Salins sector with infantry and armor, thought to be elements of the 113th Panzer Brigade. Two regiments of infantry identified as the 1125th and 1126th of the 559th Inf Division moved south into the Corps sector during the night 23-24 September and may be employed in the division sector at any time along with troops and armor concentrated in the vicinity of Chateau-Salins.
The enemy armor attack from Delme – Oriocourt – Faxe was repulsed at 1000 hours, but it may be regrouped and employed with other troops in the division sector.
The 2d Cavalry Squadron reports increased enemy activity in their sector, and the enemy forced them to withdraw their OP to the vicinity Q190137, due to heavy tank and MG fire.
The 35th Reconnaissance Troops encountered enemy reconnaissance forces consisting of two armored cars and two light tanks at 1800 hours on 23 September in vicinity of Sallonnes and enemy infantry was reported moving south from Ajoncourt.
Enemy casualties during the period was 50 killed and 138 enlisted men and 4 officers taken prisoner. Grand total of prisoners taken by the division to date is 6583.
Units directed to stop all civilian movement in their respective areas at once. Estimated strength of enemy in and around Chateau-Salins is 60 tanks and two regiments of Infantry with artillery.
The weather was overcast with showers and heavy fog.
At 0800 hours enemy tanks were reported attacking south from Faxe, Delme, Oriocourt and Foret De Chateau-Salins; type and number of tanks not determined.
The command post did not change positions during the period.
There is evidence of the division and attached units going into a static defensive position;likewise, there is every indication that the enemy is preparing to launch his long awaited counterattack, as he has been piling troops and equipment into this sector for the past two weeks. Violent tank and artillery battles have raged over the front during the entire day and night, especially in the northern and eastern sections of the front. Corps artillery, consisting of 2 40mm guns, have been committed in our sector and their salvos, especially at night makes one think that the earth is falling apart, or that the end of time is at hand.
The enemy continues to make use of the railroad north of Luneville, which runs directly into the heart of Germany, in bringing up supplies and re-enforcements. The railroad has not been bombed for some unknown reason.
All elements are hastily preparing defensive positions in anticipation of the attack which is sure to develop very soon. The division artillery has been re-enforced and units placed in rese4rve to our rear, so that when it does come and we fail to hold or contain the assault we will not be left holding the bag. The attack is expected to be at night or prior to dawn, and that paratroops will be dropped in our read; possibly in or around Nancy to disrupt communications.
An additional group of men from the lines were allowed to visit the city of Nancy during the afternoon for a three hour period.
The command post of Company “A” established at Ecuelle, France, coord 927208 at 1015 hours, a distance of 8 miles from their previous location. The 3rd platoon went into reserve during the morning. The 2d platoon is at coord 8626 and the 1st at Bouxieres in mobile reserve with the 1st battalion, 134th Infantry.
Corporal James W. Beal, SW at 1600 hours, 20 September in vicinity of coord 879173, the result of enemy artillery fire.
The company killed 15 soldiers and wound an undetermined number on attack upon Bouxieres at 1055 hours.
The command post of Company “B” remained in the vicinity of Lanencelotte, coord U950148. One M10 lost due to enemy action on 20 September. The 2d platoon destroyed 1 enemy assault gun (75mm) on 20 Sept at coord 901166; 1 general purpose vehicle at Agincourt; 2 MG, one wooden pill box and killed 4 enemy soldiers in attack on Agincourt.
The command post of Company “C” remained in vicinity of Remerville, coord V008124 in support of the 1117th Eng Battalion. The company , on an alert status maintained AT positions along line E of Mazervulles – Moncel – Serres – Maxie and Remerville. The 2d section of the 2d reconnaissance platoon maintained an OP in Mazerulles at coord 008186 during the period.
At 1845 hours the company was released from supporting the 1117th Eng Battalion and reverted back to battalion control.
There was no change in the position of the reconnaissance company’s CP.
Private Anders was admitted to hospital on the 23rd September due to illness.
All elements of the battalion on alert status to help counterattack the enemy when he launches his attack, which is expected momentarily.
September 25, 1944
252400 September, 1944.
The 80th Inf Division on our left and 4th AD are holding, defending and improving their defensive positions.
The weather during the period was cold, rainy with fog.
All elements of the division alerted, defending and improving defensive positions in anticipation of enemy counterattack.
Enemy activity reported to the north and east of division sector during the period. Prisoners, stragglers lost in the shuffle, were captured from 553rd Inf Division, 1125th and 1126th Inf Regiments moving south, have not(now???) been identified in our sector. The 113th Pz Grenadier Brigade is located in the Foret De Chateau Salins. A regiment of infantry plus tanks about 30 of them, are reported in the Foret De Parroy.
Reports also say that the 3rd SS Panzer Gren Regiment plus tanks are moving to the west from the vicinity of coord Q 2530.
In the corps sector the enemy is moving troops toward the south and west.
CCA 4th AD reports that infantry and 30 tanks are concentrated in the vicinity of Marsal. There is increased enemy activity in that sector also.
Enemy killed during the period 50; prisoners taken 59.
Engineers report that the enemy is more thorough with mines and road blocks in division sector than any other place in the corps sector.
The CP group, Headquarters Company, Reconnaissance Company and Med Det departed from 1 mile SE Remerville, France at 1530 hours in a cold rain and established at DomMartin, coord U910168 in a farmers barn in the center of the village, at 1640 hours, a distance of 10 miles, after getting lost, that is taking the wrong road and almost finding ourselves in enemy territory before we were stopped by elements of the 4th armored division.
A cold rain has fell all day and night. The men are wet hungry, muddy and cold, plus being disgusted, and they trek through the mud and slush up to their knees.
Violent artillery barrages have raged throughout the day and night. The enemy is feeling out our lines for a weak spot to launch his counterattack, which we know is coming, and coming soon. The division sector has been decreased and the lines shortened, and we have gone into a purely defensive position in anticipation of a violent and determined counterattack.
We are now in an apple orchard in the village of DomMartin in the black sticky mud of France. It’s hell!
Some men slept in the loft during the night. It is susceptible to artillery fire but that’s the chance one takes in war; after all it is better than sleeping on the wet cold ground.
A battalion of long ton 155mm artillery is located to our rear under a hill and they have really been throwing out the artillery for the past few hours. A few rounds of counterbattery fire passed over us but none fell in our immediate sector.
The French civilians here are afraid. They have an apprehension for some reason. They don’t say, but one can read fear in their eyes.
I wonder if they know what the enemy is planning. I never noticed this expression or attitude in any other place that we have been. They may know something and they say the SS troops tried to kill every person in town as they retreated but the Americans were too close on their heels for them to complete the job.
Destroyed German equipment litters the area from 88mm guns to gas masks; strewn and torn as the result of our artillery fire.
The command post of company “A” remained at coord 927208 during the period. The 1st platoon at Bey in support of the 1st battalion; 2nd platoon at coord 968242 and 3rd platoon in reserve. No enemy contact during the period. Company defended and improved defensive positions.
The CP of company “B” remained 3/4 mile SE Laneuvelotte, coord U950148, during the period. The forward CP established 1.4 mile S of Gremecy, France, coord K021228. The 1st platoon moved into AT positions 1/2 mile south of Pettoncourt. The 2d 1mile east of Moncel-Sur-Seille and the 3rd 2 miles NE of Gremecy, where they received heavy machine gun fire form the vicinity of Chambrey, coord K060210.
The CP of company “C” moved to the vicinity of Brin-Sur-Seille, over treadway bridge at Mazerulles. Company was held up at 1730 by enemy small arms fire. Company dismounted, attacked forced the enemy to withdraw and captured 4 prisoners and 1 mortar.
Company in division reserve during the period with one AT position maintained at coord 973211.
The CP of the Reconnaissance company departed from 1 1/2 mile NE Buissoncourt at 1600 hours and established in Brin-Sur-Seille, coord 927205 at 1640 hours, a distance of 9 miles without enemy contact. The 1st platoon in support of company “A” and 134th Inf came under heavy mortar and MG fire SW of Selchamps, coord 930130 at 1015 hours, from 1000 yards. T/5 Metzner was SW and evacuated to hospital. Pvt1cl Bach, Black and Jones were wounded about the hands by mortar fire but remained on duty. The 2d platoon captured one noncommissioned officer prisoner in the vicinity of Arrage-et-Ha(?).
September 26, 1944
262400 September, 1944.
The 80th division attacked to the north in vicinity of coord U920251 to strengthen line between 35th and their sector. 6th AD assembling and preparing to move to corps reserve. 4th AD holding line coord Q0620, Ianey, Q1517. CCB enroute to assembly area SW Reichicourt. CCR holding line Ianey-Bezange.
The weather during the period was cold with rain and fog. The 134th Infantry relieved 6th AD. 2nd battalion prepared to advance to Mir in coordination with 80th divisions advance.
No change in the positions of the 137th Infantry. The 320th Infantry moved to assembly area vicinity of Brin. All field artillery displacing to permanent defensive positions.
60th Eng Battalion blew enemy ammunition dump in Foret De Champenoux; constructed expedient bridge vicinity of Bey; treadway bridge at Manhoue and established road blocks in the 137th Infantry sector.
The division CP established at Amance on the 25th.
In general the division relieved the 4th and 6th Armored Divisions and continue to prepare defensive positions in division sector.
The 137th Infantry reported small groups of enemy soldiers at Amelecourt and at Chateau-Salins, also at Chambrey. There was also enemy activity in the vicinity of Fossieux.
The division was in contact with enemy stragglers only during the period. Intermittent artillery fire fell at Fossieux, Malaucourt and Jallaucourt at 1200 hours.
Enemy killed during the period 50; 4 prisoners captured. The division and attached units preparing defensive positions in depth in anticipation of enemy counterattack.
The 3rd US Army went into a complete defensive position effective 25 September.
Artillery duels raged over the entire front during the period. The command post group was alerted for movement at 1800 hours, and at 1830 the CP group only left DomMartin and established in the chateau Fontaine, on Fontaine Farm, in the vicinity of Amance, France. Sergeant Moon’s armored car overturned during the trip and Sergeant Hudson, Sergeant Quick, T/4 Mackey and the driver Pvtlcl Kohl were forced to remain in the area, which was subjected to enemy patrol activity and small arms fire for four hours. No casualties resulted however. Enemy planes were over the sector during the night in the rain; evidentially on reconnaissance missions as no bombs or strafing was reported.
Headquarters Company and Medical Detachment remained at DomMartin during the night.
The morale of the men is low due to being continually wet and cold. Clothing, bedding and all equipment has been soaking wet for 10 or 12 days.
Company “A” with CP at Ecuelle, coord 929208, withdrew all platoons from the front into assembly area in the vicinity of 927208, 873258 and 978237. All elements alerted for possible enemy attack. No enemy contact during the period was made by the company.
Company “B” CP at Moncel-Sur-Seille, coord K033192. 1st platoon in AT position ½ mile SE Pettoncourt, coord K025203; 2nd platoon at 1 mile NE Moncel-Sur-Seille, coord K020200 and 3rd 1 mile S Fresnes-en-Saulnoir, K047253. No enemy contact during the period.
The CP of company “C” remained 1 ½ mile NW Brin-Sur-Seille, coord 973211 during the period, in division reserve. No enemy contact during the period. Area thoroughly reconnoitered for any possible enemy and for tank approaches during the period.
The CP of the reconnaissance company moved from Brin-Sur-Seille at 1820 hours and established 1-3/10 miles NW of Brin-Sur-Seille. No enemy contact during the period.
The 1st reconnaissance platoon under Lieut. Alexander H. Smith, Jr. captured 9 prisoners during the period; all mere kids, but nazi fanatics.
September 27, 1944
272400 September, 1944.
80th Infantry Division after attacking to the north on 26 September to strengthen their lines are now occupying defensive positions NW of 35th Div from Leye – Moivron – Bevry – Manche Selie – Bonnicourt. CCB 6th AD maintaining contact between 80th and 35th Inf Division; CCA on the left in the vicinity of Foret De St Jean Fontaine; CCB on right vicinity of Arracourt .
The weather during the period was cold with rain and fog. The 137th Infantry repelled enemy counterattack at 261800 hours in the vicinity of Contures, encountering armor and infantry which penetrated Pettoncourt at 271100 hours. 1st battalion, 320th Inf attached to 137th infantry.
In general the division improved defensive positions and threw back an enemy counterattack from the east with heavy losses.
Two new enemy regiments have been identified in the sector by the 137th Infantry; the 1126th and 1127th Infantry Regiments, of the 559th Inf Division.
FFI reports enemy troop concentration in vicinity of Delme. Enemy launched peace-meal counterattacks from vicinity of Chambrey, Chateau-Salins and Manhoue with tanks and infantry during the period. There was heavy enemy artillery fire in and around Manhoue during the morning. Artillery in our forward elements increased in intensity during the period.
Three flights of tow planes each, identified as ME 109s flew over our lines at 0945, 1020, and 1300 hours on strafing missions. Two planes were destroyed by the 448th AAA Battalion. No bombing was reported.
Infantry and tanks attacked Manhoue at 0600 hours supported by a company of infantry. There were also tank-infantry attacks at Chateau-Salins and Chambrey at the same time. In each case at least a company of infantry supported the tanks.
It is believed that the 1137th Inf Regiment is in our sector and that the 2nd battalion of that regiment attacked this morning and captured portions of Hill 262, coord Q0322. In the latter part of the period enemy infantry was driven from Hill 262 and also were driven out of Manhoue.
20-25 tanks attached at Chambrey this morning; 8 tanks attacked Manhoue. These tanks, less losses, withdrew during the afternoon.
Enemy killed during the period 250; 28 prisoners captured. Eight enemy tanks were destroyed during the attack: sic at Chambrey and two at Manhoue.
The CP remained at Fontaine Farm near Amance during the period. Headquarters company and Med Det joined the CP during the morning, having moved from DomMartin. Private Rosen, was admitted to hospital during the day due to illness.
The enemy launched a strong counterattack against Company “A” and “B” about daylight (report contained under each company).
To date the battalion has inflicted the following casualties upon the enemy since it entered combat: Killed 531 officers and enlisted men and captured 10 officers and 536 enlisted men.
The enemy counterattacked and recaptured the town of Manhoue just after daylight.
At 0700 hours a report was flashed that 5 enemy tanks were moving toward the 137th Infantry, and that the enemy was clearing one of our roadblocks at coord 063217, followed by tanks. Company “B” was directed to move the necessary destroyers, if necessary, to meet enemy tanks moving west through Manhoue. At 0820 hours four enemy tanks were reported at coord 015305, and one tank and a company of infantry had entered Manhoue at 0944 hours. At 1126 hours 10 enemy tanks were observed at coord 043225, and at 1230 hours 14 enemy tanks at coord 062225.
The G-2 section of the division reported 50 enemy tanks dug-in at coord 169222, and at 0720 hours two enemy tanks were moving south from Fossieux in the vicinity of coord 966290.
At 1200 hours the following message was received from the CG 35th Inf Division: All personnel in forward areas will be on the alert from 1830 hours until 1 hour after darkness, each day, and from 0530 hours until the fog has lifted, each morning, for enemy counterattack and paratroops. A strong enemy counterattack is expected momentarily in the vicinity of Lemoncourt and Laneneville. Be on the alert!
At 1140 hours the following message was received: Two enemy tanks moving south through Ellaep; enemy engaged at Chambrye by Company “B”, who have knocked out two of his tanks.
The command post of Company “A” remained at Ecuelle during the period. When the enemy counterattacked and recaptured the town of Manhoue, the 2nd platoon in support of the 2nd battalion, 134th Infantry, moved from their positions at coord 993259 and two destroyers moved around the south of the town and took up positions to the SE of the town at coord 983263. The other two destroyers took up positions on the southwest side of the town covering the bridge to the west. The 1st platoon destroyed 1 enemy 75mm SP gun at coord 979262 at 500 yards. The two destroyers on the east side of town destroyed an enemy tank. The two destroyers on the southeast side of town, Staff Sergeant Mitchell and Sergeant Wright received a message that the enemy infantry was overrunning the infantry and that they needed help. They pulled up into positions about 400-500 yards from their positions. When they were ready to fire on enemy foot troops they came face to face with three enemy Mark V tanks. Henderson, Sergeant Mitchell’s gunner knocked out two of the enemy tanks, and Sergeant Mitchell called for our artillery to lay in on the position where the enemy was located. Our artillery began to fall short of the enemy and Sergeant Mitchell backed his destroyer up a few yards and just as he stopped an enemy tank from the hill fired a round direct into Sergeant Mitchell’s tank, killing Lieut. Maloney, the platoon leader, Corporal Ervin the gunner, Pvtlcl Day the driver and Private Bowden the assistant gunner, and seriously wounding Sergeant Mitchell, Private Harrell, and slightly wounding Private Henderson.
Henderson, the only one of the crew members who was able to walk got out of the tank amid exploding ammunition, got the wounded out of the destroyer and attempted to make his way in the direction of the medical air station for help, when an enemy machinegun opened up on him, and pinned him down in a ditch. Dazed, and suffering from shock, Henderson jumped up out of the ditch, in the face of deadly MG fire from 500 yards and ran in a zig zag manner for the woods, where he reported the situation to the medical officer.
Sergeant Wright’s destroyer in position about 150 yards from Sergeant Mitchell, and seeing the catastrophe, told Private James to “give me my binoculars” and jumped out of the turret on the front of the destroyer. Those were the last words that Sergeant Wright ever spoke. No sooner had he cleared the turret of the destroyer than an enemy mortar shell landed on the front of the destroyer and killed him suddenly. Private James climbed out of the destroyer and laid Sergeant Wright’s body down in the grass.
We again called for friendly artillery to lay on the enemy positions. The forward artillery observer seeing the burning and exploding destroyer, and the other sitting in position mistook us for the enemy and our own artillery laid a terrific barrage on us for three hours while the enemy peppered us with mortar and white phosphorous shell fire. The destroyer was pinned down by an enemy tank on the side of the hill who could not fire on it from his position, and neither could the destroyer fire on him, and after being subjected to a barrage both enemy and friendly all day, the crew consisting of Private James, Corporal Schimek, Privates Campell and Yanke, abandoned the destroyer at 1730 hours and made their way to the CP of the 134th Infantry under a hail of MG and other small arms fire. It was however retrieved after the hours of darkness.
At 1800 hours the 3rd platoon relieved the 2nd of their positions, at coord 927208. The two tanks were destroyed at coord 979270 and two enemy soldiers killed, from positions at coord 983264.
The 1st platoon remained in reserve during the period at coord 927208. No enemy contact.
During the day action the 2nd platoon destroyed three enemy tanks, 1 75mm SP gun and killed two enemy soldiers and wounded an undetermined number of others.
The forward CP of Company “B” remained ¼ mile south of Gremecey, coord K021228. The rear CP moved from Moncel-sur-Seille to vicinity of Bioncourt, coord 990225 at 0730 hours, a distance of 5 miles. The 1st platoon in AT position at coord K028204 moved two destroyers to coord K025212at 1000 hours, leaving one destroyer in position at coord K028204. At 1400 hours the destroyer fired on enemy tank and knocked out enemy half-track personnel carrier at coord K050230, ¾ miles NE Chambrey. The 2nd platoon maintained AT positions 1 mile SW Chambrey at coord K052202. One section fired on enemy tanks at coord K045227, knocking out two tanks. The same section destroyed another tank at coord K056216.
The 3red platoon was forced to withdraw from their positions 2 miles NE Gremecey at coord 055265 when enemy infantry and tanks attacked from their right flank. In the sector 1-1/2 miles NE Gremecey coord K044254 they knocked two enemy tanks and moved back into positions at coord 055265.
The 1st reconnaissance platoon had a tire blown off by enemy artillery fire during the period.
Most of this action occurred between the hours of 1000 and 1400. The CP of Company “C” remained 1-1/2 mile NW Brin-Sur-Seille, coord 973211. Sergeant Jacon Blazer duty to hospital (ss). Company in division reserve continued to perform motor maintenance during the period. Company had no enemy contact during the period but remained on alert status during the enemy counterattack.
The 2nd reconnaissance platoon under Staff Sergeant Windham maintained liaison between the 134th and 137th Infantry and the company.
September 28, 1944
282400 September, 1944.
The 80th Division continued to occupy defensive line NW of division sector from Leye – Villiers-Les-Moivron – Merey – Lendremont – Benicourt – Port-Sur-Selle – Les Meniis. 4th AD continued to occupy and defend positions on right of division at Q055201 – 0901192 – 120180 – 143183 – 150157 – 152140 – 140110. CCB 6th AD continued to maintain contact between 35th and 80th Divisions and to occupy defensive positions N of Leyr. 1135th Engineer Group in support of division.
The weather during the period was partly cloudy and generally fair. The 134th Infantry continued to hold, defend and secure line, maintaining contact with 80th division on left; also maintained contact with 44th Armored Infantry, 6th AD on left and 137th Infantry on right. Repulsed enemy counterattack at Manhoue by a company of infantry on 27 September. Repulsed another counterattack at Manhoue and Jallaucourt during the morning.
In the 137th Infantry sector the enemy attempted penetration from the east to Pettoncourt and Gremecey and from the NE into woods. Threat was repelled. The attack consisted of armor and infantry. At the end of period was securing defensive line. Some enemy infiltration into woods. The 320th Infantry less 1st battalion, attached to 137th Infantry in Corps Reserve. All organic(?) fired in defense of enemy counterattack during 27th and this date. Very effective fires were placed on enemy troop concentration vehicles and armor on roads.
The 737th Tank Battalion assisted in repelling enemy counterattack. Destroyed three enemy tanks.
Air strike against enemy gun emplacements and personnel in vicinity of Chateau-Salins at 271730 September with excellent results. At 281200 Sept fighter-bombers bombed and strafed enemy columns and gun emplacements vicinity of Jallaucourt with excellent results.
The 134th Infantry was in contact with units of the 553rd Infantry Division during the period and the 1120th Infantry Regiment. The 137th Infantry was in contact with the 2nd battalion, 1127th Infantry Regiment, 559th Division and elements of the 106th Pz Brigade.
Units reported at Delme yesterday identified as the 3rd Pz Division. The enemy also has the 1125th and 1126th Infantry Regiments, 559th Division in reserve.
The enemy attacked the 134th Infantry sector on the 27th from positions at Jallaucourt and Han. In the 137th Infantry sector the enemy counterattacked west of Chateau-Salins with tanks and infantry. In the latter part of the day some enemy and one or two tanks infiltrated into the Foret De Gremecey.
Artillery from SP guns harassed all forward positions during the period. Nebelwerfers were used in the 137th Infantry sector during the night.
Two ME 109s flew over the sector during the morning on reconnaissance. Five enemy tanks attacked the 134th Infantry and six in the 137th sector. Enemy soldiers killed during the period 200; 103 prisoners captured. The 137th Infantry destroyed 6 armored vehicles during the morning. Prisoners say that the 103rd armored reconnaissance battalion is also operating in the 137th Infantry sector.
The positions of the battalion did not change during the period; still on a strictly defensive status. The enemy shelled the entire division sector with heavy artillery during the day and night, and several enemy planes were over the sector after darkness. Nancy was bombed and some positions in our sector were strafed from the air. The nights are fair with a full moon; excellent for airborne operations and the entire front, realizing that the enemy is preparing to launch a strong counterattack, are alerted to this threat also. The weather during the day is rainy and cold and has been for two weeks or more, buth the nights are fair and cool.
Staff Sergeant William L. Lands was seriously wounded by artillery fire in the Gremecey Forrest at 1630 hours in the vicinity of coord 043252.
September 29, 1944
292400 September, 1944
CCA, 6th AD moved to assembly area in the vicinity Foret de Champenoux.
4th AD received enemy armored attack during night 29-29 September.
1st and 2d battalions, 134th Inf continued to defend and improve their defensive positions. Two vicious enemy counterattacks, one in the vicinity of Jallaucourt and Manhaue, were repelled with heavy losses inflicted upon the attacking enemy troops. 3rd battalion in reserve.
There was considerable artillery and mortar fire in sector during the period.
In the 137th In sector enemy penetrations were made in the woods NE of the Gremecey Forrest and a considerable number of the enemy succeeded in getting into the rear of the 3rd battalion by infiltration. The 1st battalion, 320th battalion by infiltration. The enemy continued to re-enforce his gains and the 2d battalion was committed to hold Hill 282 and clean up enemy in the rear. Enemy pressure forced the 1st battalion, 320th Inf to withdraw 1000 yards.
A counterattack by the battalion supported by Company “C” 737th Tank Battalion and Company “C” 654th TD Battalion restored the positions and drove the enemy from the rear of the 1st battalion, 320th Inf.
All troops were in contact and reorganized by nightfall.
Enemy concentrations to the front were reported by forward observers and artillery shelled their positions.
The regiment, re-enforced attacked at 290500 hours and retook the NE edge of Foret De Gremecey.
The 320th Inf reverted from corps to division control at 281600 Sept and moved to position of readiness in the vicinity of coord Q013238, with regimental CP at Bioncourt.
Regiment attacked at 290430 September from vicinity of Hill coord Q270031, NE along road to secure east edge of Foret De Gremecey between 134th and 137th Infantry Regiments. At close of period objective was reached and contact established with adjacent units.
Division artillery laid TOTs on enemy troop concentration and targets of opportunity with interdiction fire on roads and towns and supported attack at 0500 hours. At 0600 hours all battalions massed fire on Hill 2872 and on roads leading south from Fresnes-en-Saulnois on enemy attack which was broken up and routed.
Fighter-bombers bombed and strafed enemy targets in the Chateau-Salins Chambrey sector. Also targets were hit in the towns of Jallaucourt, Malacourt and Fresnes.
35th Reconnaissance Troop reconnoitered sector between Leyr and Bey and Bioncourt with a view of seizing it at a later date.
In general the division during the period maintained and improved its defensive positions, repelled enemy attack in the Foret De Gremecey at Manhour and Jallaucourt.
At the end of the period the enemy had no organized front line or defensive positions in our sector. The 134th Inf were in contact with the 1120th Inf Regiment, 553rd Division and the 137th wit the 559in IN Division.
At 0655 hours five enemy tanks supported by a company of infantry were reported approaching our left sector south of Malaucourt, with another five and a company of infantry moving SW out of Jallaucourt.
There is a definite armored threat in the sector, and Colonel Miltonberger wants tank destroyers in the line immediately. Ordered into lines at 0700 hours and at 0710 the entire division and attached units were alerted for enemy armor attack.
At 0756 hours 15 enemy MK V tanks supported by infantry moving SW in the vicinity of coord 010275; at 0845 six Mk V tanks moved into Jallaucourt and two moved into position at coord 004265 at 0900 hours.
At 0908 hours seven enemy tanks in vicinity of coord 061258 moving west, supported by infantry and at 1035 two tanks were at coord 980265 moving south. At 1000 hours two tanks reported at coord 050256 moving SW supported by infantry and at 1148 hours two Mk V tanks reported at coord 056262 moving SW. At 1150 hours General Baade, CG 35th Inf Division ordered 1 platoon of Company “C”, in division reserve, to take positions covering bridge at Brin, coord 986213.
At 0600 hours the enemy launched a series of vicious counterattacks with tanks and infantry but so far he has been held and in some cases thrown back with heavy losses. The weather gave us a break today and fighter-bombers assisted in breaking up counterattacks.
Accurate and confirmed information indicates that the enemy will launch a combined tank-infantry counterattack 290600 September, involving two regiments of infantry and 30 tanks. All units alerted.
1st Lieut. Donald T. Dunne transferred to Company “A” during period.
The forward CP of Company “A” established with the 134th Infantry at Atincourt, coord 983238. The 1st platoon went into AT positions at coord 948255, and at 1500 hours the 1st and 3rd platoon moved into positions in the vicinity of coord 923208 to meet enemy tank threat.
The 2d platoon which had been in reserve was committed and took up positions at coord 927208 at 1800 hours.
Lt. Dunne assigned as platoon leader, 2d platoon.
The CP of company “B” remained at Bioncourt, coord K990251 until 1500 hours when it moved and set up at Alincourt E of Bey-Sur-Seille. All platoons engaged with enemy in vicinity of Aboncourt-Sur-Seille, and are being subjected to a fierce artillery barrage. The 1st platoon in position at coord K032222, 1 mile NE Pettoncourt 2d 1 mile NE Chambrey, coord K048253, destroyed two MK VI enemy tanks and 1 AT gun 1/4 mile N Chambrey, coord 050225 at 1800 hours. Two destroyed knocked out by enemy artillery fire and Lieut. O’Neill the platoon leader was wounded 1 mile north of Gremecey by artillery fire, at coord K035255. One enemy tank destroyed at coord 050256 at 1100 hours; 2 others in the vicinity at 1300 hours.
Total score for the day 8 tanks destroyed, 1 SP gun, AT gun and about 75 enemy soldiers killed and 150 wounded. The 3rd platoon had one destroyed slightly damaged by artillery fire and are still in action.
The 3rd platoon was replaced by the 2d platoon of Company “C” who took over their positions at coord K020230, 1/4 mile north of Gremecy. Company in direct support of the 137th Inf during the period.
The CP of Company “C” remained 1 1/2 mile NW Brin-sur-Seille with AT positions in the vicinity of Brin-sur-Seille, coord 973211. At 1030 hours the 2d platoon moved to the vicinity of Gremecey where it relieved the 3rd platoon of company “B”. At 1130 the platoon forded the Seille River and went into position. The 1st and 3rd platoon forded the AT positions at coord 013238 and 009248 at 1730 hours in support of the 320th Infantry. Light artillery and small arms fire was received in all positions during the period.
There was no change in the position of the reconnaissance company during the period. Reconn platoons attached to companies.
(Due to a discrepancy, we are not exactly sure which day is correct for the next section. Since other references list the date of September 29 1944 as the date that Sergeant Zalowitz was wounded, we decided to put this next section under September 29 1944)
The enemy counterattacked at 0530 hours with a battalion of infantry in the direction of Foret De Gremecey with a part of his forces coming south out of Fresnes an a portion from the east.
A small group of the enemy also attacked the 134th Inf moving south out of Ajoncourt.
In the later part of the period the enemy was forced to withdraw. He fired 20 rounds of artillery into our position just prior to the attack in the 134th Inf sector. Intermittent artillery fire fell in the 137th Inf sector throughout the period.
During the night some enemy soldiers infiltrated into the Foret De Gremecey supported by a few tanks.
Enemy killed during the period 251 captured; captured 44.
The weather was clear with considerable ground fog during the period.
The command post remained at the Chateau Fontain during the period.
A few enemy planes were over the area during the night but no bombs were dropped or strafing reported.
Major Minton was promoted to Lieut-Colonel effective 27 September.
Private Rosen of Headquarters Company was admitted to hospital.
When enemy planes attempted to bomb Nancy after darkness one was shot down and the other three fled to the east in a hail of steel from AA guns in and around the city.
At 0610 hours enemy tanks were reported moving north at coord 045232 and east at coord 060257 and at 1105 hours tanks in undetermined number were in the vicinity of coord 0122276, and at 1300 hours two enemy tanks were reported at coord 012276.
The enemy launched a desperate counterattack at 0500 hours with bayonet supported by tanks but was thrown back with heavy casualties.
Staff Sergeant Boone Ayres has named out present static location “The Bookoo Barracks”.
The CP of Company “A” remained at Ecuelle. Sergeant Rude, Privates Friis, Beaumann, Chicola, Beagles and Barrett assigned and joined company.
The 1st and 3rd platoons supported the 1st battalion, 134th Inf in securing the town of Manhoue during the period. The 2d platoon was in reserve. No enemy contact or action during the period except for an occasional round of artillery.
The CP of Company “B” remained at Brin during the period. Privates Mueller and Galvano assigned to and joined company during the period. 1st platoon in AT positions 3/4 mile SE Gremecey, coord K033223, 2d at 1 mile SW Chambrey and 3rd at cord K020230. No enemy contact during the period.
The CP of Company “C: remained at Bioncourt, coord 992226. Sergeant Zalowitz was WIA at 1700 hours in the vicinity of 048236 as a result of enemy artillery fire. Company supported the 320th Inf during the period, with 1st platoon at coord 048236, 2d at 045253 and 3rd at 009243. The 1st and 2d platoons were under heavy enemy artillery fire during the period.
Captain Benton and his armored car were caught with the first platoon during an artillery barrage and Sergeant Zalowitz was wounded during this barrage. The command post moved and established at present location at 1700 hours, a distance of 3miles. Company CP crossed treadway bridge in the vicinity of Alincourt.
Corporal Prados was admitted to hospital during the day.
The CP of Reconn company left Brin-sur-Seille at 1540 and established 1 1/2 mile east of Amance, France, coord 915184 at 1615 hours, a distance of 4 miles.
Privates Minnie, Herron, Harald, Jakusiak, Ivacko and Moyle were assigned to and joined the company from replacement center.
September 30, 1944
302400 September, 1944
The 4th AD repulsed enemy attack consisting of 14 tanks and 200 infantry at coord Q125100 during afternoon 29 September.
134th Inf continued to hold and improve their positions. The 1st and 2nd battalions cleaned up the town of Han during the afternoon 29th Sept.
3rd battalion established contact with 320th Inf on right during afternoon 29 September. Received enemy counterattack estimated to be two companies of infantry at 300530, forcing a limited withdrawal, but they counterattacked and re-established lines before the end of the period and at close of period were cleaning up infiltrations in the rear.
The 137th Inf repulsed repeated enemy counterattacks during the afternoon 29 September. Attacked at 0630 and re-established lines lost to the enemy during the attacks.
1st battalion, 320th Inf attacked at 300530 to re-establish lines along east edge of Foret de Gremecey. At end of period little progress was reported. The 2nd battalion in reserve during period, and the 3rd battalion occupied line along NE corner of Foret de Gremecey and established contact with 134th Inf during afternoon 29 September.
At 0630 began mission of clearing woods east of positions and entered woods at coord Q055263.
Fighter-bombers bombed and strafed woods at coord Q0123.
The enemy at the end of the period had penetrated into the woods on our east and small elements have infiltrated into the woods from the north.
The 135th Inf is in contact with elements of the 1127th Regiment, 559th Division, 106th Pz Brigade, and 1st and 2d battalions, 73rd Inf Regt, 19th Inf Division.
The identification of the 73rd regiment of our northern sector indicates that elements of the 19th division are in reserve and may be committed in our sector.
The enemy counterattacked from the north this morning with two battalions of the 73rd Inf Regiment and penetrated the woods south of Jallaucourt in the vicinity of coord Q556.
In the 137th Inf sector the enemy counterattacked into woods from the east with all three regiments of infantry from the 559th Division, and had forced the regiment to make slight withdrawals.
Intensive and accurate artillery fire supported the attack.
Enemy casualties during the period were 350 killed and 159 captured.
Enemy capabilities are that he can attack from the north with elements of the 19th Inf Div and can continue the attack from the east with elements of the 559th Inf Div, exploiting any breakthrough with elements of the 106th Pz Brigade now in the vicinity of Chateau-Salins.
There was no change in the CP during the period; but was alerted to move at 1700 hours, to be replaced by the CP 320th Inf who due to enemy infiltrations were in a serious position, but move was cancelled.
The enemy infiltration tactics to our north and east have come to a critical stage at 2000 hours and plans are being formulated to deal with the situation.
Heavy artillery fire fell around the CP during the period from a long range 170mm artillery piece and a few enemy planes were over the area during the night.
Also of midnight this date the battalion is officially credited with inflicting the following casualties upon the enemy since entering combat on 12 July, 1944
Tanks destroyed: 22 – SP guns destroyed: 15 – AT guns destroyed 34. MG destroyed: 173. OP’s destroyed: 5. Mortars destroyed: 36. Miscellaneous guns destroyed: 58. Enemy killed: 527 and 519 captured.
Fifty enemy tanks were reported dug in at Harraucourt, coord 175328; 1126th Inf in vicinity of Harraucourt and the 3rd Pz Div at Delme.
The entire XII Corps, consisting of the 4th and 6th armored divisions and the 35th and 80th Inf Divisions are holding defensive positions due to ammunition and gasoline shortage in the ETO.
During the last few days numerous enemy agents have been arrested and turned over to the CIC for trial, including two bonified Gestapo agents.
The population in this sector are not very friendly. The town mayors seldom, if ever speak the French language; speaking German altogether.
The population in all the towns east of the Seille River, which Hitler has declared a part of the Third Reich, are all German, and units have to be kept on the alert at all times for subversive action.
Lieut. Frederick joined the battalion during the day and was assigned to Headquarters Company.
The CP of Company “A” remained at Ecuelle during the period. The 1st and 3rd platoons supported the 1st and 2d battalions, 1345th Inf in securing the town of Manhoue during the period with the 2d platoon in reserve at coord 927208.
No enemy contact but all the company were under heavy artillery fire.
The forward CP of Company “B” remained at Bioncourt, but the rear CP moved to Lanevuelotte at 1730 hours, a distance of 5 3/4 miles. The 1st platoon maintained AT positions 3/4 mile SE Gremecey; 2d at 1 mile SW Chambrey. The 3rd platoon moved AT positions 1/4 mile SE Attilcourt, coord K005213 at 1200 hours.
The enemy is infiltrating over the entire sector, especially in the vicinity of coord 030250. All the company were under heavy enemy artillery and mortar fire throughout the period. No enemy contact.
The CP of Company “C” remained at Bioncourt maintained AT positions with the 1st platoon at 048263, 2d at 045253. At 1500 hours the town of Bioncourt was subjected to a terrific enemy artillery barrage along with some small arms fire. At 1630 hours the CP left Bioncourt and set up 1 1/2 mile NW of Brin-sur-Seille, a distance of 7 miles. The 3rd platoon moved from coord 009243 to AT positions in vicinity of the CP at 1800 hours.
The 2d reconnaissance platoon captured 1 prisoner at coord 013256.
The entire company was under heavy artillery, mortar and small arms fire throughout the period. Sergeant Seliga was wounded at 1400 hours by artillery fire at coord 992226.
Corporal Prados was returned to duty from hospital. Private Raeder, assigned to and joined company. Corporal Benjamin appointed sergeant. Pvt1cl Thigpen appointed corporal
Company remained in support of the 137th and 320th Infantry during the period.
There was no change in the positions of Headquarters, Reconnaissance Companies or the medical detachment during the period.