The Cub

Vol. 52, No. 4, Jul., 1996

 

 

tartness to a Bloody Past   

6i... The sunlit foxhole      

partially covered with        

snow in the Ardermes,      

as photographed by

Chris, is certainly worth a 

thousand words.     

If there is to be any 

beauty in that horrid        

period of time, one might  

find it as such today."       

Sam Popkins, A Company.

271 In! Rem, 69th Int Div  

25 Sept, 1992         

photo by Cluis Van Kerckhoven   

Westerlo, Belgium.  

LIFE ASSOCIATE    

In gratitude, to the 106th Infantry         

Division Association

(See page 5 for Cover Story)         

         

You Might Be Surprised ...

          •

         

          A Bus Driver and a Presbyterian Ministcr arrived at the Pearly Gates at the same time. When wheneter greeted them he told them to wait while he checked the records. Returning in a few minutes, he welcomed the Bus Driver and told him to come right in. St. Peter said that they had been expecting him and had his welcome all planned - and the Pearly Gates opened to admit him.        

          The Presbyterian Minister was somewhat flustered by all of this, but stood and waited as St. Peter had told him to do. There followed a lengthy period of time, during which the minister heard much celebrating taking place in-side. Finally, St. Peter returnedways,im. Curious, the min-ister asked way the Bus Driver had been welcomed with such fanfare while he had been left to wait outside. After all, the minister said, I spent most of my life serving God and he was just a Bus Driver.   

St Peter explained it this way! When you preached many in your Congregation went to sleep, but vvhen drove that bus, everybody started to pray.

The Psalmist writes in Psalm 40: 1-3

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and in the Lord." Psalm 40:1-3

Most of us have raised many prayers to the I,ord, both during the war and since and he has heard and answered. All of us have served the Lord in various vvays, but we can never be certain of how our lives have been lived and the effect we have had on people with whom we have come into contact. Like the minister. some of us might be surprised at the effect someone else's life has had on the people whose paths we have crossed. You and I have been fortunate to have survived the experiences of war and the years since, may we have lived and used these lives which we had, so that those who have gone before us will not be ashamed to have been called our friends.

Father, God, so help us to live our lives that we might continue to service and glorify you. Help us to touch people around us in ways which win bring them to you. AMEN

Rev. Ewell C. Black Jr., Chaplain

I Order of the Golden Lion 1995

'A" Company, 422nd Inf. Reg.

212 Ridge S, Bishopville, SC 29010

803-484-6861

 

2

 


 

          •

From West Burlington, Iowa....

World War II was "nearly over," I have been reminded many times, when hordes of teenagers were ushered into service early in 1944.

It was, 1 guess. except for the beach-head at Anzio, the Marshall Islands cam-paign, thc D-Day invasion, thc Battle of Normandy, the invasion of the Philippines, the Battle of the Bulge, the Battle of Iwo Jima, the landings and mop up fighting on Okinawa, the invasion of Southern France, the invasion of Dutch New Guinea, the assault on Rome, the "Bridge Too Far" airdrop in I lo!land, the invasion of Ger-many and street fighting on the way to the Elbe, the fighting in Leyte Gulf, the firebombing of Tokyo, the atomic bomb attacks on Japan, plus a few dozen other bloody ordeals en route to V-J

1111 in August, 1945.

MIFI have genuine and profound admira-tion for the older men who went to war before I did, of course, but think the home-front observers were off base if they thought the GIs going into service as late as 1944 didn't see much action. They were right in thinking the younger guys missed the mayhem that happened in 1942-43 but wrong if they thought the final 18 months of the war weren't agonizing as well as piv-otal to its outcome.

Over the years I've had dozens of peo-ple ask me "how long" I was a prisoner in Europe. There is no comment, as a rule, when 1 tell them it was "about five months." That isn't much time in this era but, as many of you know, it was almost an eternity in 1944-45 when a "kriegic" wasn't on the top rung of anyone's priority list as Germany went up in flames.

Dan Bied, "A" Co., 422nd Combat Inf. Reg.

108 Leffler Street, W. Burlington, IA 52655

Tele: (319) 752-5708

"We got some Red Cross stuff," I've tried to explain, "but not what we should have or would have if it had been earlier in the war." I've mentioned the bombing raids, which escalated toward the war's end and killed a lot of our prisoners, and otherwise tried to explain how much mis-ery was crammed into a few months for, in particular, the guys nabbed during "The Bulge." We were on a death march, as I recall it, with no media along to people to tell our story in Stars & Stripes.

Once, a woman I worked with in an office told me she didn't think being a POW was "any big deal" compared with what a lot of other men endured during World War II.

"If you'd been with me," I told her.. "you'd know you had been through hell."

SOMEONE sent me an article by a syndicated columnist named Maggie Gal-lagher who, I suspect, was born after the war but had a good grasp of how so many of us from all walks of life teamed up to fight in it.

•        

 

3

 


 

From West Burlington, Iowa....

In her article, titled "Portrait ofJFK as a young man" she noted that military service has been "the great leveler of American social life, one that exposed even a sheltered rich kid from Hyannisport to the knowledge that in a hard, cold, dangerous world, ideas have consequence."

Her point, boiled down to a few lines, was that making sure the sacrifices of our fighting men, including one ofhis own broth-ers, were not in vain "came to dominate John F. Kennedy's ambitions (as he) turned from a life of teaching and scholarship he had con-templated and bec,ame a man ofaction. Some-times, as in Vietnam, too much action."

In a book he wrote after a postwar tour of Europe, including cemetery tours and in-spections of the damage, a young JFK wrote: "Prowess in war is still deeply respected (and) the day of the conscientious objector is not yet at hand."

Warfare was, as Gallagher wrote, a 0 leveler of our social life. Men I got to know and respect in the I 06th were, in many cases, much more impressive than the luminaries I interviewed and photographed during my 40 years as a full and part-time journalist.

EMPATHY: I had to "feel" a bit for the young woman, Shannon Faulkner, who had to dmp out of m i I itary duty after a week in ROTC at The Citadel in August, 1995. She was overweight, I noted, when ex-posed to military. rigors in the South Caro-lina heat.

I was a portly kid, to put it mildly, when reporting to Camp Wolters, Texas, in January of 1944. I cut the mustard, in the cool weather, but am not sure I could have hung in if it had been mid-summer when 1 took those tough 20-milers.

Dan Bled       •

THE GOOD SOLDIER

first hR oilRd his rif1R.

carRd for hi fut, thRn slowlg opsinRd a ration and foreRd himsRlf to Rat.

BEFORE THE VETERANS DIE

from his book of poems by: Dale R. Carver

424th Headquarters A&P Platoon Leader 742 Druid Circle

Baton Rouge, LA 70808

4

 

 


 

 

The CUB of the Golden Lion

Front & Center ...

John Kline, 423/M, editor, The CUB

5401 U. 147th St. West, App. Valley, MN .124

612-423-4837

e-mail: jpk@rnm.corn

Home Page: http://www.mm.com/user/jok

Memorial & Scholarship

Fund Donations

From last CUB up to report # 53

Atiyah, Richard       20

Barnes, L. Preston   100

Bartholomew, Tom   5

Bickford, Florence    2

Breite, Victor 25

Janicke, Jack          5

Jones, VVilliam T.    10

Leibowitz, Samuel    10

Logan, Robert          50

Oelschig, A.C.          10

Phelan, VVilliam      15

Prescott, Eugene      10

Schober, Milt 15

Seevers, Ralph         8

Shudarek, Elmer     100

Wenslow, Marshall   15

COVER STORY....

Chris Van Kerckhoven, Westerlo, Bel-gium (see his photos on page 38) is an en-thusi.tic fine young gentleman who h. an intense interest in the battles that raged over the country where he lives. He is a LIFE AS-SOCIATE member of our Association. The photo that appears on the cover of this issue in "black & white" is tremen-dously moving in its original color and size (approximately 8"x 10"). The stream of light coming through the trees and high-lighting the "fox-hole" is breath-taking. Unfortunately the cost of reproducing it in color would increase the cost of this issue about 50 cents a copy. As it is, the cost of The CUB uses up nearly all of the annual membership fee each year.

Chris presented me with the orginal color photo with the inscription on the backside that moved me deeply.

I am going to talk to Chris about repro-ducing some copies. If you would like one fling cost) let me know. The more we

order the less each would cost.

I will have the color photo with me and to show at Roanoke. J. Kline

LET'S DISCUSS DEADLINES AND SUBMISSION OF MATERIAL FOR THE CUB

Please observe these dates for submis-sion of material to The CUB

Reports, death notices and articles, pho-tos, and New Members reported after the following dates will not be included in the current CUB.

FEBRUARY CUB .... January I

MAY CUB      April 1

AUGUST CUB          July I

NOVEMBER CUB    October I

Articles submitted will be used when there is space, and the material is of such subject matter to fit the theme of the over-all subject matter in that issue, and the urge strikes me. Unfortunately, some mate-rial slips by to be considered later......

 

5

 


 

Front & Center ...

WIVES OF DECEASED MEMBERS ARE URGED TO CONTINUE AFFILIATION

By Sherod Collins, Treasurer/Historian

Widows are always most welcome at our annual reunions and mini-reunions and many have chosen to continue to re-ceive and enjoy The CUB by joining the Association as an Associate Member. We want everyone to know that we are pleased to have these Associate members and it is the only way they can continue to receive the publication. They can continue to pay Auxiliary dues of $2.00, but that gets them nothing except a sense of be-longing.

Annual dues for an Associate Member-ship is $10.00; Life Membership costs $75.00. Those who have paid spousal Life dues of $15.00 are entitled to receive two additional copies of The CUB, but they should let the editor know that they would like to receive them.

Our ladies are special to us and we would like to keep as many as possible as friends and as Associate Members.

If there are any questions, please write to the Adjutant, Treasurer or Editor. Their names appear on the inside cover of every CUB magazine....

Roger Maes, Belgium Attending Roanoke Reunion

Associate member, Roger Maes will be attending. He has searched the Ardennes for over 15 years and has some interesting stories to tell and artifacts to show.

He has been in touch with Gil Helwig and me, and I know with many of you. He is a very entusiastic young man who has a passion for visiting with World War II vet-erans. He visits often with Willie and Adda RIICKEN, our Belgian friends. He will probably have some of his arti-facts in the Hospitality room. Lefs show him a warm welcome. He is thrilled to be able to attend.....

Camp Atterbury

Annual Memorial Service

by O. Paul Merz

Camp Atterbury Memorial Representative John, I am sending a copy of the Camp Atterbury Veteran's Park Committte meet-ing of 15 April 1996.

The annual MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held 4 August, 1996. The cere-mony will begin at 0930 to avoid the Au-gust Indiana heat.

The most important item on the report is that Lt Col Jack Noel, Camp Commander, stated that there would be overnight acco-modations for persons attending.

Colonel Satchel (Ret) noted that guests may be accomodated on post if they come the night before.

Any person needing lodging should call Camp Atterbury, 1-812-526-1103 and ask for Lt Col Jack Noel or the Billeting Officer.

CYBERSPACE Report....

In the MAY Cub, I reported about the Home Page I have on the Web.

To fill out this column- since it is the last space available in this CUB before Press- I will update you on the success of tny Web Pages whose Internet address is: http://www.mm.com.user/jpk

I have had, as of today 6 July, 1996, 1,389 hits (visitors) to my web site. I have had several interesting contacts with 106th veterans who knew nothing about our Association. Among the Colonel Thompson and Colonel Nagle whose story appears in this CUB as wellas several other 106th vets, some who have already joined as new members. I have had con-tacts from relatives of 106th solders K1A and from relatives whose father has passed away. Most were looking for names to con-tact vvho knew their relative. I was able to furnish lists of current Association mem-bers, who belonged to their relatives unit, and have heard back from some that they have had responses. More in next CUB.. J Kline, editor.

 

6

 


 

THE GOLDEN LION ROARS

© Indianapolis Star

The above artist's rendition appeared on the cover of the September 1947 CUB.

That issue, Vol 4. No 1 was dedicated to a review of the July 1947

1ST ANNUAL REUNION.

Read pages 431-462 of The CUB of the GOLDEN LION: PASSES in REVIEW for details of that first reunion which had an attendance of 500.

An interesting highlight from May-June 1947 CUB (page 434 CUB PASSES IN REVIEW). "Letter to 40,000. One last mailing has been sent to every one of the 40,000 names on re-cord with the Association. As it costs $1,500 for such a mailing, this is the last contact the Association will ever have with those who have yet evinced no interest."

"As nearly as we can see from here, this is going to be the greatest convention of its kind ever staged. To miss it would be to pass up one of the opportunities of a lifetime.. Get your application in by July 1, 1947 with $5 for each reservation........"

SEE YOU ALL IN ROANOKE AUG 30 TO SEPT 3, 1996

AT THE 50TH ANNUAL REUNION.. J. Kline.

Front & Center ...

I         .

77411741

•         • • .

4r11.'

          •

 

8

 


 

A Brief Epoch in the life of a Soldiers Wife During World War II

itnita H. Collins wife of John P. Collins Company °A,"

81st Engineer Combat Battalion

106th Infantry Division

At the time John and I were married on January 15, 1943, he was trying to en-list in the Merchant Marines. He was classified on his job "as necessary to the defense" category. (4F, -IA or some other classification) Being frozen on his job, he was not acceptable. However, they told him he would be acceptable if he ob-tained a release from his job and draft board. After obtaining releases, he was told by the Draft Board to report back in a few days to obtain his release papers. Upon reporting to the draft board, he was told that he was being inducted into the Army due to 4 years of previous Military training in the National Guard Engineers. - SO MUCH FOR TRYING TO ENLIST

w we have started our newly married

the Army!!!!

John was inducted in the Army at Ft. Leavenworth in February 1943 and after about 2 weeks, was sent to Ft. Jackson for training and assignmcnt. As everyone was on a status of a "NEED TO KNOW' SSHH SHHH !!! - I only found out where he had been shipped from his first letter.

I was employed by the Federal Re-serve Bank in Kansas City, but being young, in love and adventurous, we de-cided that I should join him in Columbia, South Carolina. I took an extended leave of absence which eventually ended up in termination. I arrived in Columbia, not knowing anyone and John was not there to meet me. 1 tried calling John but was told he was training in the field. (1 later found out he had volunteered for Ranger school)

I had a very difficult time in finding a place to stay as housing of any kind was practically nil. After trying all or-ganizations I was walking along the street and noticed a house with a beauti-ful yard with flowers and more flowers. I approached the house; knocked and an elderly man answered. I told him what a beautiful garden of flowers he had and in our conversation I asked if they had a room to rent and told of my problem. He told me they did not have anything but across the street the couples daughter had just returned to her own home and possibly I could obtain a room and then I could look at his flowers from across the street. Sure enough!! The couple rented us a room.

After picking up my luggage at the bus station I moved in and called John's company to let him know where I was staying. John did not appear until the weekend and until then I spent my time

 

9

 


 

A Brief Epoch in the life of a Soldiers Wife During World Ware

employment if I arrived by the follow

Sgt. John P, Collins, 81st Engineers, Company -A"

and wife, Anita

Fort Jackson, S.C. 1943

in applying for work. John was only a PFC at that time so our finances were not to good. I applied at all the banks includ-ing the South Carolina National Bank which at that time was three stories (now 15 stories). John and I enjoyed our week-end visits and a couple of times during this two weeks I stayed at the Guest House lo-cated near his Company. We attended mov-ies and danced at the USO. On weekends we rented bicycles and rode all over Co-lumbia (too crowded now).

I continued to look for work but no-one seemed to need a bookkeeper and af-ter 2 weeks our fimds were so short we decided that I should return to Kansas City and move back with my life long friend who also worked at the Federal Re-serve Bank. So, reluctantly, I returned to Kansas City and to my old job. In about 2 weeks I received word from John that the South Carolina Bank would give me

Monday. I again gave notice and my boss told me if I returned again to be sure and come back to work. I arrived on Monday and went to work the same day.

This time I knew a little more about where to look for housing and in convers-ing with the bank employees I obtained us an apartment shared by a Lieut. and his wife. I really had Bankers hours , go to work at I 1 AM off at 12 noon for onc hour and then worked until 5 PM. If our books did not balance then we worked until it was accomplished. For overtime you received 1/2 time, so I seldom worked overtime.

John took his soldiering very seriously and would not let me or my problems inter-fere with his training or his base activities. Many a night he did not show up but I had adapted myself to this Army life as many of my friends had done and we knew this type of life was harsh.

I had only been-back a couple of 1111

weeks when John received word his Dad had fallen off a scaffold and was killed. We did not have the money for two of us to return home and not wanting to place my job in jeopardy we decided that only he should return for the funeral. He returned very shortly and our life continued as be-fore. We had our good times and our bad times, but we had each other and felt very fortunate.

We made many friends and when possible we aided other wives in joining their soldiers for brief or longer visits. Sgt. Grannis and his wife were our friends. He joined us as part of the origi-nal Cadre for the Engineers and Divi-sion. He picked up an artillery DUD on the field and brought it home on the bus. After stepping from the bus he walked a few yards and the DUD went off-in his

10      ( U B the Golden Lion

A Brief Epoch in the life of a Soldiers Wife During World War

Ss. He was killed instantly. This tragic accident served some purpose as the engi-neers had no more casualties such as this!

We all felt very badly about this tragic accident. All of us, wives and mcn, had become part of an. "ARMY FAM-ILY. " As wives we shared the problems of ourselves and our Soldier husbands. The Wives stories would make for an ex-tremely good book. (almost comparable to the Battle of the Bulge. ) My story is very tame to what others went through. (A story that should possibly be written for one who has the information - John Kline - uh?)

John had graduated from the Ranger School and things became smoother. He also made Sergeant and we welcomed his pay raise. I visited Ft. Jackson quiet often and on weekends attended the parades and inspections which werc scheduled. Sometimes there were as many wives as Ike were officers in the reviewing-

id. Wives and Spectators were at edge o the Parade grounds but we all enjoyed it - more than our men.

In January of 1944, John obtained a furlough and we went to Myrtle Beach to celebrate our first wedding anniversary on the 15th. Myrtle Beach was very small and deserted at this time of year. We had a glorious time for 3 days when he received orders to report back by rev-eille on January 18th.

Upon our return the division was pre-paring for maneuvers in Tennessee. After finding out what area thc maneuvers were taking place (I had just found out I was pregnant), I quit my job and went to Nashville to stay with friends. John came in when possible and we both knew it was just a matter of time until they were shipped overseas. We had decided to squeeze as much time as possible to-

John P. Collins and wife Anita - 53 years later

106th Infantry Division Association Reunion

Orlando, Florida 1995

gether as we could in the short time allot-ted to us.

When the division moved out to Camp Atterbury, John and his Squad was left to evaluate the damage done to the farmers, ctc. I moved in with a farmers family across the road from their bivouac area. We had a great time for the two weeks we were there then it was time to ship out again. I traveled to Camp Atter-bury via bus and arrived in Edinburgh (near the Base) and at the USO I found an elderly couple who owned a house and would share the kitchen and we could rent it. Needless to say -we moved in.

About this time John was promoted to Platoon Sergeant (S/SGT). I was get-ting big and bigger. The baby was due about the first week in October so we de-cided that I should return home the latter part of August. This I did and again I moved in an-apartment with my life long girl friend. Between the landlady and my friend I had plenty of Ti.c. Being pregnant was not easy for me, however, I gave birth to John II, a healthy, hungry 6 lbs. 7 oz. squalling son, on October 6, 1944.

I did not know it at the time, but the 106th was alerted to move out to the port of embarkation anytime. John applied for

 

 

 

The CUB of the Golden Lion

A Brief Epoch in the life of a Soldiers Wife During World Waio

justice in praying for his existence un

a three day pass and out of the goodness of Lt. Rutledge and Captain Harmon they gave him one. He arrived by train the 8 October and left the next day after spend-ing about 7 total hours with us. I later found out he arrived back at Camp as his company was loading up for shipping out. His barracks bag and rifle was stand-ing with the Platoon. He made it in time.

My next contact was from the port of embarkation but the V letter was riddled and very hard to read. Then came Eng-land with the same riddled letters. Just routine items but still interesting. All other communication came from Newspa-per and Radio and the next time the news was received was a sad day for John 11 and myself. I was well aware of the break-through but had no idea ofJohn's situation until -. a neighbor and friend came to the house and told me she had heard on the radio, that the 106th was in-volved, (all my friends and relatives or anyone else I talked with' knew John was in the 81st Engineers Combat Battal-ion. The next morning it was on the front page of the Kansas City Star. I was very concerned about everyone and especially the part about the 81st Engineers.

I was then notified that John was as-sumed to be captured and my hopes were revived and my prayers intensified. My heart went out to my friends and others who were in the same boat as myself. Nothing further was heard from John un-til about the last of March 1945 when I received a postal card from Stalag VIII-A. In the meantime, horrifying pictures came out showing the PWS and their con-dition. I felt I might be doing John an in- those conditions.

When I next heard from John, I was bathing John II, my landlady came run-ning up the stairs yelling my name and waving a V- mail letter. Needless to say it was from John who stated he was OK and would soon be coming home. He had given the letter to a GI who was being flown to the US, who in return mailed it to me. John was suffering from malnutri-tion (like everyone else) and in the Hospi-tal in Oxford, England. He left England after VE DAY on a convoy. I grabbed the V-mail letter and ran down the street to my friends house. We were all stand-ing out on the street crying on each oth-ers shoulders when I remembered I had left the baby in his Bathinette. I ran back to the apartment but I should have known my Landlady had everything un-der control. TALK ABOUT BEING Eli CITED - really - there are no words th can describe the elation I had.

On June 12, 1945 just one day before John's birthday, we had a great reunion when he arrived home. All this happened over 50 years ago. We have had a very good life and the years after 1945 would make another fabulous story.

In the meantime I have met many of the fellows from the Engineers that I knew back in 1943/44. Some remem-bered and recognized me but had diffi-culty in recognizing my other half. Love and humility has held us together all these years and it gets better as time marches on.

Anita H. C'ollins

 

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The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

From the Papers of

Col. Alan %N. Jones, Jr. USA (Ret)

Formerly

Captain Alan W..lones, Jr.

Operations Officer

1st Battalion, 423d Regiment

Staff Department

THE INFANTRY SCHOOL

Fort Benning, Georgia

ADVANCED

INFANTRY OFFICERS COURSE

1949-1950

OPERATIONS OF THE

423RD INFANTRY

106TH INFANTRY DIVISION

IN THE

VICINITY OF SCHONBERG

DURING

THE BATTLE OF THE

ARDENNES,

16-19 DECEMBER 1944

ARDENNES-ALSACE CANLPAIGN

Personal Experience of

a Battalion Operations Officer

Type of Operation described:

INFA.NTRY REGIMENT

DEFENDING, SURROUNDED AND

ATTEMPTING TO BREAK OUT

ADVANCED INFANTRY

OFFICERS CLASS NO I

Colonel Alan W. Jones, 3d Brigade. 2d Division

November 1966, KOREA

Photo by Div Photo Lab, 122nd Signal Battalion

Notations in the following story refer to numbers be-low eg: (A-3, p. 88) refers to page 88 of A-3.

A-1 Report by the Supreme Commander to the Combined Chiefs of Staff on the Operations of the Alt. Expeditionary Force, 6 June 1944 - 8 May 1945 (TIS Library)

A-2 Crusade in Europe By Dwight D. Eisenhower,

Doubleday a. Co. Inc. 1949 (Personal possession of Author)

A-3 First United States Army Report of Operations, August 1944 -22 February 1945 (TIS Library)

A-4 VIII Corps After Action Report, 1 - 31 December 1944 Film D-75, 1st Item (TIS Library)

A-5 The German Generals Talk By B. H Liddell Hart, VVilliam Morrow and CO. 1948

A-6 106th Infantry Division G-3 Joumal Notes. Per. 5-31 December 1944. Fi. D-7. 1st Item (TIS Library)

A-7 106th Infantry Diwsion After Acton Reports, December 1.4 -March 1945, Film D-9. Items 1345, A, B, C (TIS Library) A. St. Vith: Lion in the Way - By Colonel R. Emest Oupuy Infantry Journal Press, 1949 (TIS Library)

A-5 The 423d in the Bulge- By Colonel Charles C Cavender, Commanding. The CUB of the Golden Lion, November 1946, (Personal Possession of the author)

A-10 The War, Sixth Year-By Edgar Mdnnts, 1946 (T1S library)

A-11 Normandy to the Baltic- by Field Marshall Montgomery, Houghton Mifflin Co. 1948

A-12 The War in Western Europe, Part 2 (Dec 1944 - May 1945). Department of Military Art and Engineenng US Military Academy, West Point, N Y 1949 (TIS Library)

A-13 Strategy of the Campaign Westem Europe 1944 -45-Report of the General Board, USFET, 1946 (TIS Library)

A-14 The Glorious Collapse of the 106th By S Frank. The Saturday Evening Post, 9 November 1946- Personal possession of the author)

A-15 British and American Army Group Commanders Discuss Von Rundst.ts Counterattack, Army-Navy Journal, 13 January 1945 (TIS Library)

 

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The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

INTRODUCTION

By October 1944 the Allied forces in Western Europe had swept across FRANCE and were generally poised along the western frontier of Germany (See map A- NOTE, this map, left out for space requirements, was an overall view of Belgium, Luxembourg and Western Germany. The rapidity of the ad-vance across FRANCE and the resulting ex-tended front, pressed to the limits of

logistical support, had quickly reduced the impetus of advance. As the problem of sup-ply became more acute, large scale advance became impossible and the front stabilized (A-1 p. 66).

Checked as they were at the fixed de-fenses along the German frontier, the mount-ing of a full scale assault became necessary and tovvard this end momentous efforts were directed. However, Allied commanders, deter-mined to maintain the initiative and to con-tinue the drive into Gerrnany at the earliest opportunity, launched a series of limited at-tacks preliminary to operations which were to mean the final destruction of all German forces west of the RHINE RIVER. While maintaining a relentless pressure on the en-emy, supply difficulties had to be solved, re-grouping had to be accomplished and units had to be refitted (A-2, p. 323).

In mid October, it vvas decided by the Su-preme Commander that beginning in Novem-ber the First Army was to advance to COLOGNE from the vicinity of AACHEN while the Third Army struck at the vital SAAR BASIN (A-11, p. 269). To continue a sustained offensive, meanwhile holding a front of more than 500 miles, it was neces-sary to concentrate available forces, reducing to a minimum those forces holding relatively static positions. The largest of these sectors vvas the portion of the first US Army line stretching through the Ardennes region from MONSCHAU to TRIER, a distance of 75 miles held by VIII Corps (A-2, p. 338).

THE GENERAL SITUATION

On 6 December 1944, the First US A issued orders for the continuation of its offen-sive to seize the ROER RIVER dams. the pos-session of which was essential before the attack could profitably continue toward CO-LOGNE (See Map A) VIII Corps, on the en-emy south flank, vvas to continue on its previous mission of conducting aggressive de-fense within the Corps zone and be prepared to advance to KOBLENZ on army order

when the main attack had progressed suffi-ciently to lessen resistance on its Corps

front." The newly arrived 106th Infantry Divi-sion was to relieve the 2d Infantry Division

on the VIII Corps front thus releasing it to the V Corps, to the north, to assist in the army at-tack (A-3. p. 88).

From north to the south, the VIII Corps front on 12 December was held by the 106th Infantry Division, 28th Infantry Division, 9th Armored Division less Combat Command B and Combat Command R and the 4th Infan-try Division. Corps reserve was composed of Combat Command R, 9th Armored Division, and four engineer combat battalions (,.See Map B- See map A- NOTE, this map, lefi for ,space requirements, WCIS an overall view of the VIII Corps area). (A-4, p. 6).

The ARDENNES region through vvhich the VIII Corps front extended was charac-terized by rugged, difficult terrain. High pla-teaus intersected by many deep cut valleys and covered by numerous heavily wooded ar-eas increased the difficulties of large scale tactical movements, while a restricted road net made both supply for defenders and axes of advance for attackers a major problem. Two vital road junctions controlled the road nets necessary for large scale operations in the area: ST vim in the northern portion of the Corps sector, BASTOGNE to the south. Snow, sleet and rain added to the problems of maintaining narrow roads and made cross country movement through the area all but impossible (Personal Knowledge).

Supplies of all classes were generally adequate by mid-December vvith several nota-ble exceptions. Winter combat clothing was

 

14

 


 

          •

The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

MAP C

106th Divsion

15 DEC 44

106 1/06 634 331

short or non-existent and badly needed. Am-munition was closely controlled, particularly 81mm mortar, 105mm howitzer, 155mm and 3" anti-tank ammunition.

These types were restricted in distribu-tion and limited in use (Personal Knowledge).

Facing the VIII Corps were for German Volksgrenadier divisions: the 18th Infantry Division on the Corps north, the 62nd. the 352d and the 212th on the south. In general, these units had been regrouped or reformed during October and filled with personnel from naval and air force units as well as with older men and those with physical defects.

Holding the Siegfried Line, mept for the section which follows the ridge of the SCHNEE EIFEL, these divisions were in strong, well constructed, permanent defen-sive positions. Protected from the harsh win-ter weather by pillboxes, the troops were in good physical condition; while not of the highest, their morale was good (A-4, p. 3).

 

15

 


 

The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

SITUATION OF THE

106TH INFANTRY DIVISION

(See Map C, Prior Page)

In accordance with the plan of the First US Army, the 106th Division was assigned to VIII Corps; and by Corps order, the 106th Di-vision, with attachments, was directed to re-lieve the 2d Division in place and to assume responsibility for the defense of the sector. Attached to the division were the 14th Cav-alry Group of tvvo squadrons and one artillery battalion, the 820th Tank Destroyer Battalion (3" towed) and the 634th Antiaircraft Artil-lery (AA) Battalion. The attaclunents were similar to those of the 2d Division with the exception of the tank battalion attached to the later (A-7, p.2).

The 106th Division arrived at ST VITI I on 10 December after a two day motor march of 270 miles; relief of the 2d Division began at once, one regimental combat team at a time, and was complete by 12 December. The 106th Division assumed responsibility for the sector at 111900 December (A-7, p.2).

After relieving the 2d Division man for man and gun for gun in compliance with Corps orders, the division was disposed with the 14th Cavalry group to the north (left. and three regiments abreast; 422nd Infantry, 423rd Infantry and 424th Infantry to the south. The 2d Battalion, 423rd Infantry was in division reserve (A-6, Part I).

The division sector extended from the vi-cinity of LOSHEIM across the LOSHEIM GAP to the ridge of the SCHNEE EIFEL, thence southward astride the Siegfried Line to the southern nose of the ridge. Here the line was echeloned some 2000 yards to the west of the Siegfried Line where it continued south following the high ground just east of the OUR RIVER to the vicinity of GROSSKAMPENBERG, a ground distance of some 27 miles (A-6, Part I).

From the east two major routes enter the zone, both converging on ST. Vith, the divi-sion command post; one from the north of the SCHNEE EIFEL down to the OUR RIVER VALLEY, the other south of the SCHNEE EIFEL.

SITUATION OF THE

423RD INFANTRY REGIMENT

(See Map D, Nert Page)

By 111600 December, the 423rd Infan-try less one battalion had completed the relief of the 38th Infantry, 2d Division and as-sumed responsibility for the defense of its sec-tor. Troop B, 18th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron and Company B, 33Ist Medical Battalion were attached to the regiment. Com-pany C, less one platoon, 820th Tank De-stroyer Battalion, Company B, 81st Engineer Combat Battalion and the 590th F'ield Artil-lery Battalion were in direct support (A-6, Part I).

Holding the southern half of the

SCHNEE EIFEL within the division lines, the 3d Battalion on the regimental left and the 1st Battalion, bent around the southern nose of the ridge, were in relatively strong po-sitions. Along both sides of the ridge in the 1st Battalion area were under enemy observa-tion, concealment was good, pillboxes were sufficiently numerous to allow their use as command posts down to and including pla-toons, and observation and fields of fire we relatively good (Personal Knowledge).

From the 1st Battalion right to the vicin-ity of BLEIALF the line refused some 1500 yards to the rear and west leaving a diagonal gap of about 20000 yards. The defensive posi-tions then continued southward along the high ground just west of the narrow ALF RIVER for another 3500 yards. The Antitank Company with one platoon of Cannon Com-pany and one rifle platoon from the 3d Battal-ion held the line from BLEIALF inclusive to the railway tunnel exclusive, all elements de-fending as riflemen. Troop B, 18th Cavalry Squadron, extended the front to the regimental right boundary. These troops were organized into a provisional battalion under command of the antitank commander. Company C, 820th Tank Destroyer Battalion was in the area of the provisional battalion (A-6, Part I).

Elements of Service Company and Regi-mental Headquarters Company were in regi-mental reserve (A-9, p. 2). To garrison a six mile front of the regimental sector, depth in

 

16

 


 

The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

defensive positions had been sacrificed.

On the left contact was maintained with the 422d Infantry by patrols and on the right with the 106th Reconnaissance Troop, at-tached to the 424th Infantry, and occupying GROSSLANGENFELD, by patrols.

Wire lines existed to all units down to companies and lateral lines had been laid be-tween regiments. While two channels existed between the division and regimental com-mand posts, both were single cable; nor were alternate wire lines laid between other units. Teletypewriter communication was likewise available to the division. Radio silence was maintained among all units. Radios had been issued to all units in England, but since radio silence had been imposed continuously no oppor-tunity for proper calibration or testing had been available except such as could be done without actual radio operation (Personal Knowledge).

Class I and III supplies were normal and adequate while only a major shortage of win-ter combat clothing, previously mentioned, was present among Class II and IV items. The available rate of supply of ammunition per weapon per day was; 81mm, 8 rounds; 105mm (for howitzers of the Cannon Com-pany), 5 rounds; 105 mm (for artillery howit-zers), 42 rounds; 3 inch, I 5 rounds. With the exception of artillery ammunition, only half of this daily available supply was authorized for use; the other half remained under regi-

 

17

 


 

The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

mental control loaded on unit vehicles kept near the regimental ammunition supply point. Other types of ammunition were unrestricted in use. The rapid movement of the regiment across FRANCE and into the lines had re-sulted in units entering the lines with less than basic loads of or no mortar or artillery ammunition. The 2d Division had generously turned part of their surplus stocks over to the 106th Division on position when relieved; and every effort was made at once to fill all basic loads of ammunition. Surplus stocks were not authorized (A-6, Part II). A request for anti-tank mines made on 14 December brought a curt replay from the army ammuni-tion supply point that 48 hours advance no-tice was required (Personal Knowledge).

During the period 11-15 December the weather was cold and damp with tempera-tures generally ranging between 30 degrees and 40 degrees. Snow, sleet and rain fell inter-mittently maintaining 6 to 12 inches of snow over the area and making roads to the rear all but impassable. Added to those difficulties vvere almost daily heavy fogs vvhich re-mained in the valleys until late in the morn-ings (Personal Knowledge).

On the day it entered the lines the regi-ment was at nearly full strength. It training over a year and half period had been rigorous and thorough. However in the six months prior to the debarkation for overseas, the regi-ment had lost more than fifty percent of its ri-flemen as overseas replacements; its last shipment was made after the regiments itself had been alerted for overseas shipment. Their vacancies had been filled with men from mis-cellaneous units, good soldiers but not trained riflemen. Ln spite of the extreme discomfort of the cold, damp weather and inadequate winter clothing and the obviously extended and ex-posed positions, moral was high. This was a quiet sector where men could leam rapidly and safely. (Personal Knowledge). OPERATIONS OF THE 423D INFANTRY,

I 1-15 DECEMBER

The relief of the 38th infantry on II De-cember, although made during daylight, was covered by fog and was completed without mishap or confusion. Every advantage take* of the opportunities presented to gain max, mum experience. Patrolling was active, albe initially over cautious, with maximum num-bers of officers and men participating. Small unit leaders and staff rapidly settled into their jobs and routine operations ran smoothly. De-tailed counterattack plans were prepared, mi-nor fire fights occurred, and harassing fires were frequently laid down on the enemy lines. In short, the routine activities of a unit in defense in contact with an enemy on the defensive continued (A-9, p. 2, Personal Knowledge).

Commanders of all echelons wcre dissat-isfied with the defensive positions which they had been ordered to occupy, a defense based in part on tank support, extra communications equipment and additional crew-served weap-ons, none of which the 106th Division had (Per-sonal Knowledge). Every effort was made to obtain authority to make desired adjustments without success, although on 14 December divi-sion directed that list of additional weapons by type necessary on the present position be sub-mitted." (A-6, 14 December).

During this period, enemy patrols were active; each night one or more infiltrated through the regimental line. Propaganda leaf-lets were found tacked to trees in the rear ar-e.. Prisoners, however, indicated no new enemy units and higher headquarters seemed generally to view activiti. as those normal in any quite sector. Wheeled and tracked vehicle movements were reported by patrols on the nights of 14 and 15 December; the comment re-ceived from Corps conceming these reports was that the sounds were undoubtedly from enemy loudspeaker systems (Personal Knowledge). THE GERMAN COUNTEROFFENSIVE

PLAN

Even as the Allies were striving to over-come the tremendous logistical problem fac-ing them during October and November, the German Army, taking advantage of the tem-porary slow-down of the Allied advance, made Herculean efforts to build and train new units and to equip and supply them for a gigantic offensive planned to cut off the Brit-

 

18

 


 

          •

The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

Vorces on the north from their bases and ulti-' ly destroy them or force a withdrawal from ui continent. To accomplish this, the major port of ANTWERP was selected as the main objec-tive (See Map E. This Page) (A-5 p. 275).

The general plan was to break through the weak American forces in the ARDENNES with the Sixth SS Panzer Army making the rnain ef-fort and striking toward the MEUSE RIVER be-tween LIEGE and HUY, then driving on to ANTWERP. The Fifth Panzer Army on the left was to wheel northward to cross the MEUSE in thc vicinity of NAMUR and push on to BRUS-SELS, protecting the left flank of the main ef-fort. To the north, the Fifteenth Army was to attack toward LIEGE protecting and assisting the main effort made by the Sixth SS Panzer Army. To the south, the Seventh Army of one Corps was to make a diversionary attack into LUXEMBOURG (A-5, p. 275).

For this offensive, 24 divisions with sup-porting elements, including those on the VII Corps front were to be used. Training, re-equipping, and concentration in assembly ar-eas were accomplished with the utmost secrecy: and favored by overcast and foggy weather which made aerial reconnaissance impossible, complete tactical surprise was ob-tained (A-2, p. 346).

NARRATION

THE GERMANS STRIKE

Ileavy artillery fire, interspersed with mortar and nebelvverfer f ire began to fall along the division front on 160530 Decem-ber. The last German offensive had begun (A-6, Part II).

The 423d Infantry Staff immediately alerted all units. By 0600, wire communica-tions with Antitank Company, Troop B, 18th

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19

 


 

The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

Cavalry Squadron and the 590th Field Artil-lery was out. Radio nets were opened (A-6, 16 December).

Particularly heavy fire in the area of Service Company and the regimental ammu-nition supply point in HALENFELD de-stroyed a large number of vehicles and much of the regiment's extra ammunition (State-ment by Major Carl H. Cosby, then Execu-tive Officer, 1st Battalion, 27 January 1950) (See Map F, This Page).

As the German preparatory fire began to lift shortly after 0600, German Infantry struck BLEIALF in force driving Antitank Company back through the village house by house. Assisted by the reflected light of searchlights playing against thc low-hanging clouds, the enemy moved rapidly through the half light. The stubborn resistance of the somewhat disorganized element of the Anti- tank Company, supported by preplannedc, lery barrages and the firc of the Cannon . pany, broke up repeated enemy infantry attacks toward and within the town (A-9, p. 2 Personal Knowledge).

Simultaneously, another enemy group had moved up the railroad on the regimental right and quickly pushed between the Anti-tank Company and Troop B cutting off and destroying the right platoon of Antitank Com-pany and breaking contact bctween the two units (A-6, Part II).

By 0800 the enemy held most of

BLEIALF; wire lines were still out between the regimental command post and the right flank; and pressure against Antitank Company

seemed unrelenting. Service Company and Can-non Company were alerted and by 0930 had moved into BLEIALF. Here this force of about 100 men, all that were available, were commit-

 

20

 


 

The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

as part of the provisional battalion (A-6, VI II, Personal Knowledge).

Meanwhile authority from division had been requested by and granted to the regimen-tal commander to use Company B, 81st Engi-neer Combat Battalion as a rifle company. The company was immediately ordered and moved from SCHONBERG to BLEIALF. Only 70 men were available.

Upon arrival, the company launched an independent attack against the west shoulder of the penetration with limited success before it was stopped (A-6, Part I).

With this addition force at his disposal, the provisional battalion commander was di-rected to clear BLEIALF and regain contact on the right flank. By noon with the forces on hand plus officers and men from the Regi-mental Headquarters Company whom the regimental commander subsequently moved to BLE1ALF, a counterattack was launched with the fire support of Company C, 820 TD Battalion and the 590th FA Battalion which developed into a bitter house-to-house strug-gle. The enemy was gradually cleared from a village and by 1500 was driven out. Over

enty prisoners were taken, identifying the enemy assault as the 293d regiment, 18th Volksgrenadier Division (A-6, Part II).

The regimental commander placed his executive officer in comrnand of the provi-sional battalion about 1300; it was he who re-organized the original defenses with the remaining elements of the Antitank and Can-non Company holding BLEIALF and Com-pany B, 81st Engineers extending the line toward the railroad on the right. Service Com-pany was held in mobile reserve north of BLEIALF. The enemy dug in 300-500 yards to the front (A-6, Part II).

Attempts to regain physical contact with Troop B on the right flank and through it with the 424th Infantry were unsuccessful. Attacked during the first German rush, Troop B had remained under constant pressure. By noon finding his unit running dangerously low on ammunition and attacked from the vi-cinity of GROSSLANGENFELD where the 106th Reconnaissance Troop had been, the troop commander finally was able to contact the regimental command post by radio and re-quested authority to withdraw.

Knowing the situation on the right, the regimental commander granted this request. Troop B withdrew to WINTERSCHEID and organized a perimeter defense (A-6, Part II).

Throughout the day the 1st and 3d Battal-ions had been subjected to sporadic artillery and mortar fire; minor enemy attack, appar-ently patrols in force, had hit the battalion re-peatedly. During the afternoon two tanks separately nosed toward the ist battalion from the vicinity of BRANDSCHEID, but withdrew when fired on from close range (Personal Knowledge).

The 590th Field Artillery had rendered unfailing support, particularly in the

BLEIALF area, despite heavy Gerrnan counter battery fire and resulting losses in-cluding one battery commander and several howitzers (A-8, p. 51).

Still under divisional control, the 2d Bat-talion had been moved during the afternoon to the vicinity of SCHONBERG, there to block the roads running to the northeast and south and to hold this vital road center (A-6,

16 December). By 1730 defenses had been or-ganized. Three hours later orders from divi-sion were received by the 2d Battalion to move to the northeast to relieve the left flank of the 422d Infantry and to protect the dis-placement of the 589th Field Artillery Battal-ion. Moving by motor under blackout conditions through sleet and mud via the cir-cuitous route from SCHONBERG south to RADSCHEID and then north, the 2d Battal-ion reached the area of the 589th Field Artil-lery Battalion at 170100 (Statement by Captain Oliver B. Patton, then Platoon Leader, Company F, 24 January 1950).

At the end of the first day the 423d Infan-try had maintained its original positions de-spite heavy enemy attacks and numerous communication failures. Wire lines had been interrupted by enemy artillery concentrations and radios had been unsatisfactory at best. Lack of previous calibration and adjustment, unfavorable terrain and weather and enemy jamming, had made radio contact fleeting or non-existent at all echelons (A-6, Part I, Per-

 

21

 


 

The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

sonal Knowledge).

Some eighteen hours after the Getman Army had launched its attack it had failed to reach its objective for the day - ST. VITH (A-3, p. 117). Division was informed by the regi-mental commander A(I) will hold present po-sition until ordered differently." (A-6, 16 December).

THE BREAKTHROUGH

(See Map G, This Page)

Artillery fire began to fall on BLEIALF again beginning at 170300; the provisional battalion reported armor followed by infantry approaching its positions. Communications with the 590th Field Artillery was again dis-rupted as was communications with the 423d Infantry to its north (A-6, 17 December).

Before dawn the enemy struck in force all along the front of the provisional battalion overrunning defensive area and penctratin between Antitank Company and Companylik 81st Engineers. By 0630 enemy forces had taken BLEIALF and a large force rapidly moved toward SCHONBERG.

Within two hours it had joined another enemy infantry-tank column which had driven south to SCHONBERG after a break-through in the 14th Cavalry sector to the north. The 423d and 422d Infantries were sur-rounded, (A-6, Part I).

Forced back in disorder but fighting every step of the way with fire support of one platoon of Cannon Company, the provisional battalion withdrew to high ground just west of BUCI1ET. Regimental headquarters and defense platoon personnel joined the fight against scattered enemy groups as the regi-mental command post fought to disengage it-self and displace. This was accomplished and

22

 

 


 

 

The CUB of the Golden Lion

The 423d infantry Regiment in

*command post and regimental collecting

ion moved to the vicinity of the 3d

n command post (Personal Knowledge).

Troop B, 18th Cavalry Squadron and Company B, 81st Engineer Battalion were now definitely isolated, having physical con-tact neither with each other nor to either flank. Troop B, again in radio contact with regiment, was ordered to fall back to MUTZNICH and later to join the regiment if forced to withdraw again (A-6, 17 Decem-ber). There, with remnants of the 106th Rc-connaissance Troop from the 424th Infantry's left flank, Troop B remained until it was real-ized that the regiment could not be joined. Late in the afternoon the regimental com-mander authorized Troop B to withdraw to-ward ST . Vith if unable to reach the regiment. Withdrawing via SCHONBERG, the leading platoon broke into a column of American trucks moving toward ST. VITH only to find that they were loaded with armed Germans. Racing down the left side of the road toward the end of the column, firing at point blank range, this platoon was finally de-ired by enemy tanks Regiment last heard

Troop B as the remaining elements pre-pared to infiltrate through to ST. VITH (A-8, p. 93). Contact was not to be regained with Company B, 8Ist Engineers. One platoon had been overrun and lost in the first German attack but the company continued to hold its position. Another enemy assault in late afternoon overran a second platoon and remaining elements with-drew only to be captured some two days later west of SCHONBERG (A-9, p. 2).

With the regimental right flank driven back towards BUCHET and a known gap of some 8000 yards open to the south, the regi-mental commander began organizing a pe-rimeter defense. Company C vvas moved to extend the 1st battalion right to the high ground west of BUCHET. The provisional battalion was disbanded and the remnants pulled from the line. The gap left between 1st and 3d Battalions by Company C's move was filled by the Ammunition and Pioneer Pla-toon, cooks helpers, truck drivers and head-quarters personnel of the 1st Battalion organized into a provisional company (Per- the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

sonal Knovv ledge).

Meanwhile the 2d Battalion in the 422d In-fantry rear area to the north had been heavily en-gaged since dawn protecting the displacement of the 589th Field Artillery Battalion from the Ger-man drive toward SCHONBERG from the north. By 0700 its radio in the division command net had been hit. The battalion destroyed seven en-emy tanks but continuing enemy tank-infantry at-tacks were forcing the battalion back. Supported by the 590th Field Artillery battalion the 2d Bat-talion began a daylight withdtawal (A-8, p. 84).

During the morning the 590th Field Artil-lery Battalion had received orders form the Di-vision Artillery Commander to displace to the vicinity of SCHONBERG. Upon learning that SCHONBERG was filled with German armor. The battalion commander, contacting the 2d Battalion commander whose withdrawal he was supporting, decided to fall back into the SCHNEE EIFEL positions of the 423d Infantry with the 2d Battalion (A-8, p. 89).

By 1100 the 2d Battalion and the 590th Field Artillery Battalion, with three hovvitzers entered the area of the 423d Infantry (State-ment by Major Cosby, then I st Battalion Ex-ecutive Officer, 27 January 1950). The regimental commander placed the 2d Battal-ion in position at once extending the perime-ter defense some 1500 yards further to the northeast from the vicinity of BUCHET. The 590th moved into positions vvithin the perime-ter generally west of the 3d Battalion com-mand post. Cannoneers who could be spared were put into the perimeter defense as rifle-men. Informing the division of the arrival of these units, the regimental commander also stated, Will hold perimeter. Drop ammuni-tion, food and medical supplies until route open." (A-6, 17 December).

Shortly before 1500 a message from divi-sion was received, five hours after it had been sent; "Expect to clear out area west of you this afternoon with reinforcements. Withdraw from present position if they become untenable. Save all transportation possible." All in the command post felt that Combat Command R, 9th Ar-mored Division was surely on its way (A-6, Part I, Personal Knowledge).

Enemy pressure slackened during the

 

23

 


 

The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

late afternoon and by nightfall the situation of the regirnent was not too bad. True, the regi-ment was cut off, but a perimeter defense had been organized and the regiment had its three battalions again. Artillery support was avail-able although the 590th had only slightly more than 100 rounds. Patrols were still in contact with the 422d to the north, still in po-sition although its north flank was bent back to the east. Casualti. within the regiment numbered about 250, 150 of which had been in units that had made up the provisional bat-talion. Troop B, 18th Cavalry Squadron, Company B, 81st Engineer Battalion and the guns of Company C, 820th Tank Destroyer Battalion had been lost. Mortar ammunition was running low, but small arms ammunition was on hand. About two thirds of a K ration remained per man (Statement by Major Cosby, 27 January 1950). Word had been re-ceived that the requested air drop would be accomplished within the perimeter the next morning and Combat Command R, 9th Ar-mored Division was thought to nearing the position. The 423d Infantry would hold.

THE THIRD DAY

About 172330 the regimental com-mander had held a meeting with his battalion commanders during which the situation and conduct of the defense had been discussed in-cluding plans for the probable arrival of the 9th Armored Division. Plans were also made to receive the supplies to be dropped the next morning. During this a radio message in-itially sent some seven hours earlier was re-ceived ordering the 423d and 422d Infantries to withdraw to the line of the OUR RIVER evacuating all vehicles and equipment as pos-sible. Relaying the message to the 422d Infan-try not then in radio communication with division, the two regimental commanders agreed that this message was now obsolete and that they would remain in position since subsequent to its origination both had re-ported their situations and instructions had been received concerning the air drop to be made within the perimeter defense. However, some initial planning in the event of a possi-ble future withdrawal, probably via SCHON-

BERG, was completed although such a wi dravval vvas now considered unlikely in vie* of the reinforcements and resupply expecte shortly (A-9, p. 3, Personal Knowledge).

Orders were received about 180730, dated 180215 from division, which stated: "Panzer Regimental Combat Team on SCHONBERG-ST. VITH road-Mission to destroy by fire from dug in positions south of the SCHONBERG-ST. VITH road. Ammuni-tion, food and water will be dropped. When mission accomplished move to area ST. VITH." (A-6, 18 December). The two regi-mental commanders agreed to move out to-gether toward SCHONBERG with regiments abreast, the 423d on the left moving along an axis HALENFELD-OBERLASCHEID-SCHONBERG (See Map H, Next Page). Af-ter a map reconnaissance the regimental commander formulated his plan and at about 0800 issued the regimental order to his battal-ion commanders and staff. The regiment was to move out at 1000 in columns of battalions: 2d, 3d, regimental separate companies, 1st via HALENFELD- OBERLASCHEID-RADSCHEID- ENGINEER CUTOFF-SCHONBERG. The 2d Battalion was to bee advance guard; the 1st battalion was to fur-nish the rear guard. Both the 1st and 3d Bat-talions were to leave covering forces in their battalion sectors. The 590th Field Artillery Battalion was to move by bounds within the column. All kitchens, baggage and supplies which could not be carried were to be destroyed and abandoned; and those command and com-munication vehicles and vveapons carriers on position were to accompany the column. Non-transportable casualties vvere to be left at regi-mental collecting station with some medical personnel. (Personal Knowledge).

The 2d Battalion crossed the initial point at 181000. Elements of the 422d Infantry could be seen to the north about 1200 moving west as planned. As the 2d Battalion moved on through RADSCHE1D and approached the BLEIALF-RADSCHEID road, known as Sky-line Drive, about 1200, it en-countered heavy rifle, mortar and artillery fire from the left front. Its leading company was aggressively engaged and attempted to push the enemy to-

 

24

 


 

The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

1

i

ward the south to clear the route of march. Heavy mortar fire pinned this company down and the next company was committed on its right. Supported by the battalion heavy weap-ons company and the fire from one howitzer of the 590th still in position, the battalion pushed the enemy some 800 yards to the southeast where it was stopped (Statement by Captain Oliver B. Patton, then Platoon Leader, Company F, 24 January 1950; Per-

sonal Knowledge). The almost impossible ra-dio contact and the need to conserve artillery ammunition rendered further support impossi-ble (Personal Knowledge).

As the 2d Battalion was approaching Skyline Drive a radio message from division canceled previous instructions and ordered the 423d and 422d Infantries to seize SCHONBERG, then move west to ST. VITH. With this in mind, as the 2d Battalion

*        

 

25

 


 

The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

pushed the enemy south the regimental com-mander ordered the 3d Battalion, then in OBERLASCHEID, to move to the right of the 2d Battalion and to cut the BLEIALF-SCHONBERG road (A-9, p. 3). Taking the right fork west out of OBERLASCHEID the 3d Battalion moved out, quickly crossed Sky-line Drive and pushed across 1HREN

CREEK into BELGIUM.

As the battalion crossed RIDGE 536 its leading company was halted by heavy small arms fire and 40mm antiaircraft artillery fire from the vicinity of SCHONBERG. The bat-talion commander quickly moved a second company on line and with the supporting fires of its heavy weapons company the bat-talion attacked, still under heavy direct fire from antiaircraft guns, and gradually moved forward until the left flank company was astride the BLEIALF-SCHONBERG road. Here the battalion dug in 800 yards from the outskirts of SCHONBERG. Since noon the battalion had been out of radio contact with the regiment and messengers sent to the rear failed to reach the regimental command post. Late in the afternoon, patrols sent to the right to gain contact with the 422d were unsuccess-ful (A-6, 17 December; Personal Knowledge).

As the 3d Battalion cleared OBER-LASCHEID about 1300 the regimental com-mand post was established there. The 1st battalion, with the head of its column in HALENFELD and halted by the action of the 2d Battalion near RADSCHEID, moved off the road. As the covering forces left at the original positions drifted in, a hasty defense was organized by the rear guard to protect the regimental rear. Learning that the enemy fac-ing the 2d Battalion was being rapidly rein-forced by enemy troops from the vicinity of BLEIALF, the regimental commander at about 1600 ordered the 1st Battalion to attack toward the southwest on the 2d Battalion's left to assist that battalion and to cut off the flow of reinforcements from BLEIALF.

Moving rapidly, the 1st Battalion, le. one company as rear guard, deployed along HILL 546 just south of OBERLASCHEID. Supported by its heavy weapons company, the battalion launched its attack at dusk, about 1700, in what amounted to a night at-e tack over unfamiliar territory, down into DUREN CREEK DRAW and up the lower slopes of the ridge extending south from RADSCHEID against a now heavily rein-forced enemy. Against direct fire from Ger-man 88s, one of which was taken, and heavy automatic weapons and mortar fire the battal-ion drove some 1200 yards. Disorganized, nearly out of ammunition, and with about 70 casualties, the battalion pulled back to HILL, 546 by 2200 (Personal Knowledge).

Shortly after darkness the regimental command post moved just north of IIILL 575 to a house which had originally been the com-mand post of the 590th Field Artillery Battal-ion. The regimental executive officer remained in direct command of the 1st and 2d Battalions then still engaged. The regimen-tal commander sent patrols out to locate the 3d Battalion and to contact the 422d Infantry, and a motor patrol north along Skyline Drive to contact the enemy in that direction. The 3d Battalion was contacted and wire communica-tion established; no contact could be made with the 422d Infantry; and the motor patrol sent to the north was badly shot up in the e darkness by an enemy roadblock some 3000 yards from the command post on Skyline Drive (Personal Knowledge). Contact was again made with division shortly after 2100, the first since about 1600, through consider-able interference and the regiment was in-formed that "supplies for you and the 422d to de dropped at bend of road one half mile south of SCHONBERG on 19 December. You will advise 422d."(A-6, 18 December). About 182230 division was informed of the regimental situation and instructions were re-ceived that "it vvas imperative that SCHON-BERG be taken." (A-9, p. 3). This was the last radio contact between the division com-mand post and the 423d Infantry.

Based on this information, the Regimen-tal Commander decided that the 1st and 2d Battalions must be disengaged at once and concentrated in the vicinity of the 3d Battal-ion in preparation for a daylight attack on SCHONBERG the next morning (A-9, p. 3).

'The 590th Field Artillery Battalion,

 

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The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

th had displaced to OBERLASCHEID

ut 1600 was moved to positions just north of HILL 575 to support the ncxt mornings at-tack. The remaining platoon of Cannon Com-pany, vvhich had been with the artillery, moved into position further down the IHREN VALLEY. The regimental command post with the remnants of the other regimental scparate companies displaced to thc south-east slope of RIDGE 536. The 2d Battalion, relieved of some enemy pressure by the at-tack of the 1st Battalion, was withdrawn and inoved across IHREN CREEK to the assem-bly area northeast of the 3d Battalion and on the reverse slope of RIDGE 536. Leaving one company as a covering force to the south and east, the 1st Battalion withdrcw along the north fork from OBERI,ASCHEID, picking up near IIILL 575 the company which had been the rear guard, and crossed the IHREN VALLEY to an assembly area between the 2d and 3d Battalions and further down the slope of RIDGE 536. At 0300 its heavy weap-ons company was directed to occupy posi-tions in the area of the 590th Field Artillery atalion to protect this unit and the regimen-Wrear. Seriously wounded had been left with medical personnel in the vicinity of OBERLASCI IEID (Personal Knowledge).

During the day the 2d Battalion had lost some 300 casualties, including 16 officers. Five of eight heavy machine guns and four of six light machine guns had been destroyed, all 81mm ammunition had been expended and only 2 rounds per 60mm mortar re-mained. The 1st Battalion had lost 70 men in-cluding 3 officers. Mortar ammunition was negligible. The 2d Battalion had only moder

- ate casualties but was also short of mortar am-munition. In all units small arms ammunition was low, rocket launcher ammunition was nearly gone, and machine guns averaged about 400 rounds per weapon (A-8, p. 125, Personal Knowledge).

THE LAST DA Y

Before dawn 19 December, concentra-tion of the regiment along RIDGE 536 was complete, as complete as is possible at night over strange terrain following a disengage- ment with the enemy (See Map I, Next Page). Such extra ammunition as remained, about 8 rounds per rifleman, was distributed as battal-ions moved into their assembly areas. Al-though an effort vvas made to have men dig in for the remaining hours of darkness and until the attack order they knew was coming could be issued, little was accomplished. The men were wet, cold, hungry and exhausted. Ex-cept as previously mentioned, security con-sisted of listening posts only to the northeast, northwest and southwest. There were no pa-trols sent to SCHONBERG or to the flanks to maintain contact with the enemy and such se-curity measures as were taken were not coor-dinated by the regimental staff. The l&R Platoon was maintaining a roadblock just south of RADSCHEID and was therefore of no other use to the regiment. Contact had not been gained with the 422d Infantry on the right (Personal Knowledge).

As dawn broke, the regimental com-mander made a rapid reconnaissance and completed his plan of attack. At 0230 the bat-talion commanders were assembled at the regimental command post and orders were is-sued for the attack on SCHONBERG (A-9, p. 3). For this attack the 423d Infantry could muster about half of its rifle strength. The 2d Battalion on the right was about half strength in officers and men. The 1st Battalion in the center had two rifle companies, each at about two-thirds strength. The company left near OBERLASCHEID to cover the regimental rear had not been heard from. The 3d Battal-ion was the strongest having suffered only moderate casualties to date. The regimental separate companies vvere hardly to be consid-ered after their losses of the first two days in BLEIALF. Mortar ammunition was nearly non-existent, small arms and machine gun ammuni-tion was limited, rocket launchers had little or no ammunition, and slightly less than 100 rounds of artillery ammunition were available. Medical supplies were critical and evacuation impossible. There had been no aerial resupply.

The regimental plan of attack envisioned battalions echeloned to the right rear, the 3d Battalion on the left making the main effort with its left generally following the BLEIALF-

 

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The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

SCHONBERG road. The trail flouting north-east along the crest of RIDGE 536 was to be the line of departure for the 1st and 2d Battal-ions. Time of attack: 1910000. The 590th Field Artillery Battalion with one platoon of Cannon Company was to support the attack by fire. All remaining vehicles were to be de-stroyed.

As the regimental commander completed issuing his order about 0900, heavy artillery fire began to fall in the area from the vicinity of Skyline Drive. Much of the initial concen-tration landed near the regimental command post; and in his attempt to return to the 1st Battalion, the battalion commander was mor- tally wounded. For some thirty minutes gli heavy fire of various calibers continued toW blast the southeast slope of RIDGE 536, greatly interfering with reconnaissance and the preparations for the attack within the as-sembly area. As the fire lifted German infan-try were seen sweeping over the positions of the 590th Field Artillery. The attack would have to be made without artillery support. Com-pany D had been decimated, six of its eight offi-cers killed or wounded, the company

commander killed. Company M commander was killed. Casualties continued to occur in all units; vehicles in the IHREN VALLEY were destroyed (Personal Knowledge).

28      The CUB o f the Golden Lion

The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

9 With the enemy rapidly closing in to the r, the regiment could only drive forward. 1 remaining vehicles vvere ordered de-stroyed. The regimental commander pushed the attack and in spite of the interference from enemy artillery fire, the 3d Battalion jumped off in good order at 1000. The Battal-ion left quickly ran into heavy direct fire from enemy antiaircraft artillery and was stopped. An American tank came up the road from SCHONBERG, fired on attacking pla-toons and then withdrew. At this time the left company, along the BLEIALF-SCHON-BERG road, became further engaged with an estimated Gennan rifle company moving from south towards SCHONBERG. Counter-attacking to the south with part of the assault platoons the company commander drove the enemy back but became separated from the battalion, was attacked aeain and by 1330 had been captured. The battalion continued to push forward. Both remaining rifle compa-nics reach the southern outskirts of SCHON-BERG where the were stopped by intense direct antiaircraft artillery fire. By 1500 the it,talion Commander began pulling the rem-

ts back up the slope of HILL 504 (Per-sonal Knowledge).

The 1st Battalion added little to the at-tack from the beginning. Because the battal-ion commander had taken none of his staff with him to receive the regimental order, valuable time was lost while thc executive of-ficer learned of the battalion commander's wound, assumed command, and was rapidly given the essentials of the attack order. Prop-erly sending his staff forward for such recon-naissance and coordination as was possible, the new battalion commander was able to lead the battalion across the line of departure only fivc minutes late. Already less one rifle company lost at OBERLASCHEID and the heavy weapons company lost along Skyline Drive that morning, another rifle company was pulled out of the battalion as it moved to-ward the line of departure to become the regi-mental rear guard. The 1st battalion, in reality now Company B and part of Battalion Head-quarters Company, pushed through the heavy woods along the eastem slope of IIILL 504 under constant mortar and artillery fire, fi-nally reaching the road running north from SCHONBERG. Here Company B remained under constant fire, until enemy tanks over-ran their positions. By 1400 the 1st Battalion had been eliminated.

The 2d Battalion, on the regimental right, crossed the line of departure as ordered; but as its advance progressed it became sepa-rated from the I st Battalion by a deep, rug-ged, wooded draw. Unable to contact the regimental commander, the battalion com-mander decided to attack SCHONBERG from the northeast. As the leading elements moved down into LINNE CREEK DRAW they came under heavy small arms fire from the right. Contact had finally been made with elements of the 422d Infantry. While this er-ror was quickly corrected by aggressive ac-tion on the part of small unit leaders, both units were temporarily disorganized. Coordi-nating with the elements of the 422d present, one battalion plus miscellaneous elements un-der command of the regimental commander, patrols were sent out to the north and north-east. By mid afternoon it was known that 1500 yards to the northeast 30 enemy tanks were forming, apparently preparatory to at-tacking; that in the OUR VALLEY there was a strong enemy force to the front; and that en-emy artillery could be seen going into posi-tion west of the OUR RIVER (Personal Knowledge).

In the meantime the 423d Infantry com-mand post, now on HILL 504 with the the 3d Battalion, had also made contact with the 422d Infantry by patrol. With one battalion eliminated and one out of his control, with heavy enemy forces and artillery forming, his remaining elements ralced by artillery, mortar and automatic weapons, and with casualties increasing and unaided, no food and only 5- 10 rounds of MI ammunition per rifleman re-maining, the regimental commander decided that "it was apparent that further resistance was a useless sacrifice of life." Small groups were selected and sent out in several directions to attempt infiltration though to ST. VITH; few escaped (A-9, p. 3). At this time with the en-emy armor moving towards his northern

 

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The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

flank the regimental commander of the 422d had independently reached a similar decision.

At 191630 Decembcr the remaining ele-ments of the 423d Infantry were surrendcred (Personal Knowledge).

Within the short period of four days the 423d Infantry had been engaged with the en-emy in a defense, a counterattack, a with-drawal, a meeting engagement and an attack. While it is not known how many Germans were killed or wounded during this period, large numbers vitally needed in the battle for the critical ST. V1TH road center were de-flected from this main German objective and delayed as they contained the surrounding regiments at a time when the Germans could ill afford to delay.

ANALYSIS AND

CRITICISM

I. THE BATTLE POSITION

The defensive positions occupied by the 423d Infantry had been previously organized by another unit and were taken over without change. Few of the companies had support platoons; neither of the front line battalions had a reserve company and the regimental re-serve was meager and composed of troops not primarily riflemen. With such seriously reduced reserves and a rather wide frontage for a regiment less one battalion, the defense was cordon and, of course completely lacked depth. In reality, the positions of the 1st and 3d Battalions were not extensively extended with frontages of about 2000 yards each. Well constructed pillboxes, concealment and well dug in positions added to the natural de-fense of the area. The heavy woods covering the SCHNEE EIFEL, however, had required maximum use of units in front line positions. South and west of the 1st Battalion was a 2000 yard gap to BLEIALF. For another 3500 yards, the line was held by units neither trained nor equipped to hold a position against a determined attack. Yet it was this area through which the best road net entered the regimental sector. During the winter months, with accompanying adverse weather, the road net assumed incmasing importance; but these ap-proach. were the mos-t lightly held. The Germans apparently were familiar vvith the organiza.) tion of the defense for they properly select

the weakest sector for their initial penetratio .

'The combination of the weakest unit hold-ing the least desirable defensive position, which controlled an important avenue of approach, could have resulted only in success of the en-emy's attack. The lack of reserves to eliminate such a probable penetration could have resulted only in a complete enemy breakthrough.

2. COMMUNICATIONS

Throughout the period, communications were erratic or non-existent. Wire lines, taken over intact during the relief, were in single ca-bles and alternate lines had not been installed. Heavy cnemy artillery fire and later enemy tank movement in the rear areas resulted in frequently cut lines. Weather conditions. Ad-verse terrain and enemy jamming made radio contact infrequent and unreliable. Radio op-erators not fully experienced in combat com-munications problems were often unable to break through thc interference that might oth-erwise have been overcome. The radio si-lence imposed from the time radios had been issued until an emergency required their uslik allowed no previous testing and resulted inv.,/ perhaps one third of the radios being unable to enter the assigned nets. As a consequence, artillery fire as well as that of other support-ing weapons was often delayed at a critical time. Command control was also inter-ruptcd. Troop B, 18th Cavalry Squadron and Company B, 8Ist Engineers could have been employed more effectively on 16-17 December if the radio contact had been con-tinuous. Contact with the 3d Battalion on the afternoon of 18 December might well have speeded concentration of the regi-ment. Contact with the 422d Infantry dur-ing 18-19 December would have made possible a coordinated effort against SCHONBERG. Contact with Company A on 19 December would have warned the regiment of a pending German attack that overran the 590th Field Artillery. Careful staff supervision of communications during periods of planning and during later periods of execution would have overcome most of

 

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The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

ifserious omissions by assuring that alter-

methods of communications were avail-. e and that primary means were operative.

3. SUPPLY AND EVACUATION

The supply shortages effecting the regi-ment before the German offensive, were rela-tive minor at that time. Because of its recent arrival in the lines, trench foot was not a prob-lem with the regiment in spite of the shortage of winter clothing. The available supply rate for ammunition established by First Army was sufficient for a quiet sector, especially as ammunition was badly needed by troops at-tacking elsewhere. It would be provident to authorize troops in defense in an exposed po-sition with only weak reserves to have on po-sition ammunition over and above basic loads. It is to be expected that the enemy will cut supply routes if possible. Expenditure might still be controlled except in emergen-cies. The basic loads certainly should have been available to the gun positions; the shell-ing of the Service Company area caused seri-ous losses of badly needed ammunition. Rations were last drawn on 14 December. ako rations of the K or D type were required We on hand. Little could be done by the regimental commander or his staff to remedy this subsequent shortage. Similarly the ex-treme shortage of medical supplies by 19 De-cember could not be corrected. Evacuation of wounded was not possible. Those who could not walk could only be left with medical per-sonnel a.s each aid station was displaced. If the planned air resupply drops had been ac-complished on either 18 or 19 December the ultimate outcome would certainly have been delayed. Reasonably continuous resupply vvould have maintained the fighting strength of the regiment at a higher level. In spite of the difficult vveather and later discovered heavy enemy antiaircraft defenses near SCHONBERG, it seems that a calculated risk might well be taken to resupply a surrounded force of two infantry regiments and one field artillery battalion. 4. COORDINATION

Insufficient attention was paid to the co-ordination of plans and sections among com-manders generally. The initial attack of Company B, 81st Engineers against a west shoulder of the enemy penetration in

BLEIALF was made without coordination with the provisional battalion commander and was only partially successful. In contrast, however, coordination between the 590th Field Artillery and all elements regiment was superior in spite of communications difficul-ties and resulted in each case in the infantry being greatly assisted. Most important and most neglected was the staff coordination nec-essary for the simultaneous assaults of the two regiments on SCHONBERG. As a result contact between the two regiments vvas lost during the critical period of the advance on SCHONBERG; and the final attack became a series of piece-meal attacks by small units rather than a coordinated attack of two regi-ments. The two regimental staffs should have made every effort, to include continuos per-sonal liaison and to maintain the closest possi-ble coordination.

5. SECURITY

Prior to the German attack and during the following days security was well handled at all echelons. The actions of advance and rear guards were aggressive and rapid. The operations of the covering forces left by the 1st and 3d Battalions on the original positions vvere properly executed. Twice, more aggres-sive security measures might have been prof-itable. Few efforts were made to regain contact with Company A south of OBER-LASCHEID early 19 December. While it was not intended that Company A remain in posi-tion longer than was necessary to cover the withdrawal, it seems logical to assume that if nothing had been seen or heard from Com-pany A within a reasonable time that some-thing had happened and that every effort should be made to reestablish contact. The lack of security elements sufficiently far to the rear the morning of 19 December exposed the regiment to surprise, direct fire and the re-sulting casualties. Lack of security on the left

 

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The 423d Infantry Regiment in the Ardennes, 16-19 Dec. 1944

flank of the regiment on 19 December al-lowed an enemy company to launch an attack on the left company of the 3d Battalion even-tually eliminating it.

6. NON-RIFLE UNITS IN DEFENSE

Antitank Company, one platoon of Can-non Company and Troop B, 18th Cavalry Squadron were on the main line of resistance of the 423d Infantry as rifle units, each re-sponsible for the sustained defense or as-signed zone. It was, of course, this section of the front selected by the Germans for their in-itial penetration. These non-rifle units lack the training and equipment to maintain a sus-tained defense. Although trained in necessary supporting roles, they may be used effec-tively as riflemen for short periods in emer-gencies. It is felt, therefore, that an extended front might better be defended by organizing strong points supported by mobile reserves. If supporting units must be used in other than their primary role, they might well be used as part of the reserve. If this operation, their part in cordon defense against an aggressive attack re-sulted in such losses that their further use in their basic missions was considerable curtailed.

7. FAILURE TO KEEP

STAFF OFFICERS INFORMED

Upon being ordered to the regimental command post on 19 December to receive the regimental attack order, the battalion com-mander, 1st Battalion failed to take a member of his staff with him. The heavy artillery fire which mortally wounded him was completely unexpected; therefore, the battalion com-mander's loss with the attendant confusion and lost time resulting the 1st battalion cross-ing the line of departure almost on time but with its company commanders on partially oriented with the barest of information, unit disorganized and confused, coordination with adjacent units hasty and incomplete and con-trol sketchy. Had a member of the statTac-companied the battalion commander it is felt that the new battalion commander would the have received the attack order in sufficient time to formulate his plan, issue his order, verify control measures, and properly super-vise the activities of his companies. •

LESSONS

1A• In defense of an extended front, extreme care must be exercised in the selection of positions and of units to defend those positions.

1B. Every effort must be made to have available an effective reserve, especially when the position cannot be covered properly by defensive fire.

2. Constant command and staff supervision of communications is required at all times under all conditions.

3- Ordinary quantities of supply and routine methods of resupply must be freely and quickly modified to fit special combat situations.

4. Coordination between adjacent e units must be continuous.

5. Security elements must be far enough from the main body to warn it of enemy activity in sufficient time for countermeasures to be taken.

6. Units trained in supporting roles should not be used as rifle units except in emergencies and then only for limited periods.

7. Commanders must assure themselves that in the event they become casualties, their current information, plans and orders are immediately available to their successors.

Captain Alan W. Jones, Jr (1949)

 

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New Members ...

NDREACCHIO, COL NICHOLAS USA (Ret)

LIFE ASSOCIATE

9215 ZIRCON DR, SW

TACOMA. WA 94498 (Editor's Note - I met the Colonel (.11 him Andy) through my Web Page display on the Internet the later part of May. His e-mail ad-dress is "tanker_six@wow.com" and he has an intense interest in The Battle of the Bulge. I could write a book about this man and the e-mail conversations that have flowed between us. Little did I realize what a source of informa-tion and friendship would follow. We have ex-changed well over 60 pieces of e-mail and I have downloaded from him seven chapters from an unpublished book that he wrote while he was an instructor at the ARMORED SCHOOL (those chapters pertaining to the 106th Infantry Division in the Bulge, plus twenty 106th position maps). I hope to, over a period of time, to reproduce some of his material in The CUB. Unfortunately, this issue is so crowded that I can only pay tribute to his "dis-covery" and to express my enthusiasm, and thanks, for him joining our Association. VVhen *k him about his "Military Career'' he an-

red as follows:)

y father enlisted in the Army in 1922, when he was 15 years of age. I spent the first eight years of my life on a horse cavalry post - Fort Myer, Virginia. The sound of a bugle or the smell of horse manure still gives me an instant flashback. Trying to avoid stepping on horse manure is good preparation for a military career (laughter). My desire to become an officer came from listening to my father and his fellow NCOs. I enlisted two days after I gradu-ated from high school, and spent the next three years in the AAA, made Sergeant, then went to Infantry OCS and was com-missioned Annor. I have served in Ger-many, Thailand, Viet-Nam (got my C1B), Uruguay and Panama [where I com-manded the School of Americas]. I Com-manded a tank battalion and Brigade in Germany. Retired after 32 years - loved it all. Been married to a lady from El Salva-dor for 41 years, have three kids and five

grand kids. That's it, except for spending a good part of my life writing a book, that no one wants to publish.

I have great admiration for Colonel Thomas Riggs, Jr. CO of the 81st Engi-neers. When I was preparing my class at the Armored School, which I taught for two years, he was one of the few who responded. What he and his 81st Engineers did was truly outstanding. When you read my book, I think the admiration for him comes thru. Superb performance under impossible con-ditions - and no credit, not even a Combat Infantry Badge. I used the radio messages that flowed between the units as a basis for presenting the situation to the students of the class. From the situations that the mes-sages provided they, the students, would have to come up with the strategy to coun-teract thc endangering situation. My class was voted as the Best Class. I used the experences gained from those classes to write my book.

Oh yes, I forgot. I was co-author on "Schwarzkoph, an Insider's View." It was pub-lished in paperbacic, in the US, Germany, Fran. and Israel I have also had two poems published. You can use whatever you want in The CUB, just try to explain my concept.... Andy (Editor's Note - I haven't gotten into Andy's story too far. I find the method he uses very interesting and informative. He uses three "fictitious soldiers - a couple officers and a non-com" in the basis of his story. These characters, which the story revolves around, are faced with a dearth of situ-ations as the battle develops. Those situations, as I said before, were the springboard for the Armored School students to appraise the situ-ation then to formulate plans to counteract the enemies thrusts. It is so real, that you recognize many of the situations that we were in. Other parts of his book relate to the 99th and the 28th and several other units that were in support of the defense and counter-attack of the American troops in the Bulge. I have a half-ream of paper, just in the seven chapters, that I downloaded from him. We'll try to pass some of this by you in another issue. Thanks Andy, nice to know that you are now one of us, and we have some Armored support.... J. Kline)

 

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New Members ...

BALLOWE, THOMAS G. 423/K

7802 CANYON RD

JUNCTION CITY, KS 66441-8348

913-238-7026 To Gil Helwig, I was captured on 19 December 1944 I was incarcerated in Stalags 4-A and 4-B. I worked at Kom-mando 557 in Stalag 4-A. I was liberated by the Russian Army 8 May 1945, linked up with the Americans in Karlsbad on or about 11 May. Evacuated by Air to Camp Lucky Strike, boarded ship for USA 17 May. I was processed through Camp Kil-mer, new Jersey. I remained in the Army, retired 30 Sept 1972 at Fort Riley, Kansas as a Command Sergeant Major. 29 years active military service, Civil Service em-ployee, Chief of Protocol, First Infantry Division and Fort Riley, Kansas. Retired from Civil Service 1 January 1991. Now fully retired.

Gil, I was so glad to hear from you and happy to rejoin my old outfit. I hope to see you all at the reunion in Roanoke.

BANET, PAUL H. 424/HQ 1BN

1420 31 ST

GALVESTON, TX 77550

409-762-2478

BARKER, VIRGINIA ASSOCIATE

2938 HALE sT PHILADELPHIA, PA 19149

BOYAJIAN, JOHN 106 SIGNAL

139 HARMON DRIVE

LARCHMONT, NY 10538

914-834-7233

COHN, BERNARD J. ASSOCIATE

3814 CI IERRYI3ROOK

RANDALLSTOWN, MD 21133 John, find my status report on the search of the archly.. Here is my membership fce as an Associate member. I'll get back to you later. (Editor's Note - Bernard is a member of the 84th Infantry Division. He is also on the Inter His e-mail address is," laurenzo@aol.com. you're into CYBERSPACE, give him a jingle via e-mail. He is very active in searching the "Ar-chives" in Washington. He could be of great help, and we will hear more from him later.. J. Kline)

COLBY, KENNETH C. 424/M

1930 NO. LAUREEN #102

FRESNO, CA 93703-2816

209-252-5400 (Editor's Note - Ken contacted around the first of May when he found my Web Pages on the Internet. His e-mail address is "caycee@ix.net-com.com." I sent him a return e-mail with a list of the 424/M Association members. He immedi-ately joined the Association. Some of the on-go-ing correspondence via e-mail follows. Welcome back Ken... J. Kline)

John, got your information and a copy of The CUB. 1 was really thrilled to the list of names from my old outfit. I know about one-third of them, including my Company Commander and a 1st Sergeant I was with. Great News!!!

(In another e-mail): Went to Fort Jackson about 20 March 1943. Was assigned to 2nd Platoon. Company M, 424th RegimW and staycd with that platoon until my sepa-ration at Fort Lee, NJ in September 1945. I missed a number o POEs for one reason or another and am a little mixed up about who was with me at Jackson. I remember an influx of ASTP. I alinost made it to that Specialized Training Course. I also almost made it to Air Force Cadet School, until they stopped transferring men from the in-fantry. I was 2nd gunner, 1st gunner, Jeep driver, company runner, loaned out Battal-ion runner and general jack-of-all-trades. In all of this I was never hurt bad enough to be hospitalized or sent back. Avery Luck Guy, to say the least.

(In another e-mail): I can't believe that the person you mention , William Mueller, can be the guy I think it is. If it is, he and a guy from New York names Bob Oppenheim and I spent a lot of time together and became very close. My main objective in getting on the

 

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New Members ...

Ornet was to try and track them down.

the service we nicknamed Bill "Wimpy" because he had a man-sized ap-petite. It must be the same guy.

(Later he e-mailed.): Thanks for re-sponding to my joining the Association, also for being so thoughtful in keeping in touch. I have written "Wimpy" Mueller and hope to hear from him soon. Just sent for the CUB of the Golden Lion: PASSES in REVIEW.

(Editor's Note - Ken, you just solved a mystery. When Mueller was with us in Germany in Sep-tember 1995 - I always wondered where all those nice German "morning buns" disap-peared to. - Now I know.. All kidding aside Bill Mueller is one great guy... J. Kline)

DENNIS, GEORGE D. ASSOCIATE

154 M11.1. EAS"l• 11AVEN, c*r 06512

(Editor's Note - George D. Contacted me through my Web Pages, stating he was the son of a 106th Infantry Veteran. After passing Son George a list of 422/K vete, glithat belong to the 106th Infantry Divi-W, George F - whose membership follows below - joined and Son George D. Followed suit. Nice to see a Father/Son membership. It appears that George F. 422/K was a medic (attached). I think he might have been, according to the e-mail, attached to the 66th Inf Div at one time, and also the 167th General Hospital in Paris. For a minute "167th" struck a bell - I was, as I looked at my old diary, in the 197th General Hospital, in Paris from 4/26/1945 until 5/4/1945, when I was flown home. Welcome to both Dennis' ... J. Kline)

DENNIS, GEORGE F. 422/K

81 HOUSTON AVE

BRIDGEPORT, CT 06606

203-473-5317 George, I'm happy your son contacted me. Nice to see you aboard... J. Kline

DOVELL, CLARK W. 422/M

8304 RAYMOND LANE ParomAc, MD 20854-3729

GOLDSTEIN, ELLIOTT 589/HQ

191 PEACIITREE NE 16TH FLOOR

ATLANTA, GA 30303

(Editor's Note - Elliott comes to us from Colonel

Kelly, who had the great story about the 589th in

the last CUB. Welcome back to the 106th.. JK)

GRENNIES, VINCENT 592/B

317W 7 MILERD

VALPARAISO, IN 46383 (Editor's Note - Vincent come to us as a compli-ment from our old friend "PAPPY CONNER." Thanks Pappy and welcome to Vincent... J. Kline)

FISCHER, JOSEPH A. 81st ENG/A

96 KING ARTHUR DR

NOKOMIS, FL 34275

941484-7734 (Editor's Note - The following from a paper Joseph included with his application for membership which is dated 8 February, 1946 - Princeton University) My unit vvas billeted in Auw, Germany On the 16th of December 1944 we were forced to withdraw from Auw. We eventually ended up in positions outside of St. Vith, Belgium in "foxholes." My partner's name was T/5 Hedico and our job was to operate a light 50 caliber machine-gun. Towards the evening of 21 December our position was under intermittent German artillery and mortar fire. Around 7 p.m. 1 was struck in the back by the top section of a tree which had been blown off by an artillery shell. I was carried to the aid station by T/4 Le-htones and Sgt. Brooks of my outfit, along with two aid men. From here I was to an-other aid station then to the 28th General Hospital in Liege. There I was put into a body-cast, shipped to Paris, France by train. Within the week I was flown to England. There I was placed in the 106th General Hospital. After several weeks I was shipped to Boston, USA and landed there on 24 February 1945. I was taken to the Woodrow Wilson General Hospital, Staunton, VA.

 

35

 


 

New Members ...

I stayed at this hospital several months during which time my cast was taken off and a steel brace substituted. My last stop was at the Convalescent Hospital and Sta-tion Hospital, Fort Story, Virginia. From which I was discharged on 7 July 1945

HUNTER, CHARLES F. 422/CN

805 GLASCOW DR

WACO, TX 767 I 0 I was Mess-Sergeant for the Cannon Company, 422nd Regiment. I was cap-tured 19 December 1944, held in Stalags 9B, Bad Orb and 9A, Ziegenhain. I re-mained in service and saw combat in the 10th Corps Artillery in Korea. I was in-volved in the Inchon Landing, left Korea after the cease-fire. Retired 30 May 1959 as CWO-3.

JONES, WAYMAN M. DIV/HQ

12019 PARADISE VALLEY DR

HOUSTON. TX 77066-2717

713-537-9707

I was a T/4 in Division Headquarters. I

have not been in touch with the 106th for

many years, but I hope to attend the Nash-

ville Reunion next year, at which time I

hope to meet you all.

I was in Nashville a few weeks ago played golf with Lyt Anderson, an old friend of mine from our college days at Vanderbilt University. He gave me a copy of The CUB, which I look forward to receiv-ing regularly now. 1 retired some years ago as a Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army Reserves.

NAGLE US(Ret), COL FREDRICK 423/HQ

84-273 HOLT ST

WAIANAF, 96792

808-696-5939 (Editor's Note - Colonel Nagle was brought to us by Colonel Roland Keller USA (Ret) a younger retired US Army Officer, after Keller saw my 106th Infantry Division Web Pages. Keller had been editing a story by Colonel Donald F. (Tommy) Thompson, CO of the Third Battalion, 422nd Combat Infantry Regiment. Thompson's story was added to (collaborated) by Colonel Nagle. We of the 423rd remember Colonel Na-gle as the Executive Officer of the 423rd Infantry Regiment. It was his duty, under order, to deliver the flag of surrender to the Germans on Lin-scheid Hill, 19 December 1944. Just as all of was happening (our recent contact) I lear that Colonel Thompson had passed away. You will see Thompson and Nagle's story, as a fea-ture story, elsewhere in this CUB. Thanks to Colonel Keller we have renewed contact with Colonel Nagle. Welcome back Colonel Nagle and thanks for your part in an excellent story... J. Kline)

PHILIPSON, HERMAN L. 423/H

1545 W. MOCKINGBIRD LN.

DALLAS, TX 75235

(Editor's Note - Johnnie Beaver has sponsored

the membership of his good friend Herman

Philipson. Beaver writes, "During the day on the

hill in Germany, he (Philipson) went mortar hole

to foxhole giving us encouragement right up to

the last. This young Lieutenant and three of us

finally left the hill, only to be knocked out across

the road. He and I were wounded and captured.

I cannot give this man enough praise." ... J Kline)

 

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New Members ...

eESCOTT, EUGENE L. 422/H

740 WESTON RD APT 411

110T SPRINGS, AR 71913

501-767-9424 I was discharged form Camp Hood, Texas, on November 30, 1945, as a Tech/Sgt. While at Camp Hood, I served as 1RTC Base Supply Sergeant.

I worked for the South Central Bell Tele-phone System for 39 years and retired on July 1, 1984. I have been blessed with a good wife, Lorene for 52 years. We have two sons, two daughters-in-law and four grandch ildren.

ROSS, REECE M. 423/A

57 COCO HOLI,OW RD

ELKVIEW, WV 25071

304-965-063 I

I was assigned as a Pvt to the 2d Platoon,

then transferred to the 3d Platoon as a squad

leader (S/Sgt). Then while on Tennessee

Maneuvers was given Platoon Guide of the

3d Platoon, replacing S/Sgt Bill Lane. Pla-

Sergeant of the 2d Platoon was T/Sgt

arits and 3d Platoon was T/Sgt Bob Mills.

I stayed in the 106th until Camp Atterbury

then requested transfer to the Paratroopers.

I was transferred, in rank (S/Sgt) and was a

Platoon Sergeant at Benning, up for Platoon

Sergeant -T/Sgt. Sicicness at home, my wife

43 days in hospital - Red Cross approved

emergency leave. This and personal prob-

lems got me reduced to rank of Private.

This was all caused by a snafu of Red

Cross orders. I went to Europe via the

Queen Elizabeth and was assigned as Secu-rity for an Artillery Battalion, then on to the 1257th Engineers, then the 172nd Combat Engineers. I was soon promoted to Corporal and remained with the 172nd until dis-charge 26 February 1946.

I have six sons, one daughter. I worked in the West Virginia coal mines for a couple of years. I then went to driving buses with West Virginia Transit, Consolidated Bus Lines, Greyhound and others. Moved back to West Virginia. Have been tour Bus driver since 1986. I love to play golf (shot in the mid 70's) do woodwork. Send me all you got about 423/A.

(Editor's Note - Reece, in the meantime you have received your membership, the most recent CUB and a list of the 423/A members that belong to the Association. Hope to see you at Roanoke. Welcome back... J. Kline)

UCCHINO, DR. JOSEPH ASSOCIATE

2838 HOWLAND-W1LSON RD NE

CORTLAND, OH 44410

330-856-1074 Sherod, I have been talking with John Kline and am joining in honor of my brother memory, Sergeant Domonic M. Ucchino, a member of "I" Company, 423rd Infantry Regiment. Domonic lived a very full life. He was captured in the Bulge. Thanks to you and John for all the help you have given. (Editor's Note -An announcement of the death of Sergeant Domonic Ucchino appeared in the me-morial section of the MAY 1996 CUB. Thank you Doctor and thank you for joining in memory of your brother... J. Kline) §§§

1

IMPORTANT NOTICE

TO PAST DUE ANNUAL DUES PAYING MEMBERS

(Annual Memberships run from July 1 to June 30 next year)

PAY NOW!

On 4 July, we had 650 ANNUAL FEE MEMBERS "NOT PAID"

 

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Chris Van Kerckhoven, Associate Member- Belgium

Chris Van Kerckhov

and Rosa.

EJ Van Gansenstraat 21

8.2260 Wester.

BELGIUM

Thanks to Chris for the beautiful photo that appears on the front cover of this CUB.

Chris and Rosa in front of Panzer 401, Houffalize, Belgium. Chris a professional photographer works closely with LTC John Greene, Waterloo, Belgium. Both Chris and John are LIFE ASSOCIATE Members.

In front -

Jagdzpanzer

''German Tank

Hunter' often taken for a German Tiger in the Ardennes.

Chris and American Sherman, mid-picture.

Bastogne Mardasson Cemetery and Historical Center in background

In background, Bastogne Mardasson and Historical Center.

All photos furnished

by Chris Van

Kerckhoven

Life Associate

106th Infantry

Division Association

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The CUB of the Golden Lion

From the Ardennes to Hammelburg, Moosburg and Nuernberg

--

II, KALEIDOSCOPE OF MISERY

Ed. by: Lt. Colonel Roland A. Keller USA (Ret). who says he is a relatively "young pup' and is

a fne. of Colonel Thompson who was the best man at his (Keller's) mother and father's wedding. Keller's father. Lucien Keller command. an Infantry Battalion in the 65th Infantry Division. VVW1I

(CUB Editor's note - On 4 May 1996 1 reamed through Colonel Roland Keller via his reading my Web Page, that Colonels Thompson and Nagle had collaborated on this story. Colonel Keller e-mailed it to me on 6 May 1996 I sent Thompson a. Keller information about the Assocretion, inviting them to join. On 24 May 1996, Colonel Keller informed me that Colonel Donald F. (TommY1 Thompson died of double pneumonia. Colonel Nagle has since joined the Association. His name is listed as a new member in this CUB. We dedicate the inclusion of this story to both men, especially in honor of Colonel Thoritpson, in his untimely death He was anxious to make contact with his former soldiers. May he Rest in Peace.

Story follows, Thompson writing.)

I am 80 years of age now and things that happened 50 years ago tend to blur around the edges at times. I remember there being four of us in the Non-Coms' room of what had been a German troop barrack.

IOC Fred Nagle, formerly Regimen-

Executive Officer of the 423d In-tantry, 106th Division, and I, LTC Donald Thompson, of late, Com-mander of the 3d Battalion of the 422d Regiment of the 106th Infantry Division, were old friends. We had re-ceived our Regular Army commis-sions in 1936 under the provisions of the Thomason Act and had then met in Hawaii where we had spent nearly two years in the grade of 2nd Lieuten-ant. In with us were two former mem-bers of the 28th Division, Colonel Ted Seely, of late commander of the 112th Infantry Regiment and Major "Buck" Payne, heretofore an Artillery Battal-ion S-3. It was January, 1945, and we, as POWs, were interned in Oflag Ham-melburg, XIIIB.

The days following surrender were a kaleidoscope of misery. I was caught in a British night bombing

By. Col Donald F (Tommy) Thompson Infantry USA (Ret)

(deceased 24 May 1996) Formerly Lt Col

3d Battallon

422d Infantry Regiment In Command

while entrained for movement to Hammelburg. One blast tore the door off our boxcar and I, along with oth-ers, took off, only to be brought up short by small arms fire from the guards. Following that incident, our first real stop was at a camp in Bad Orb where the officers and enlisted men were separated. Here, Fred Na-gle and I, he with a bullet wound in his thigh, met for the first time since our departure from Camp Atterbury in October. Fred was obviously some-what worse for the wear but other-wise considered himself lucky to be alive. Following the surrender of the 423d Regiment, Fred, who under or-ders personally delivered the surren-der of the 423d, was mistaken to be the commander of troops. Along with his interpreter, a Lieutenant, the two were then taken away in a staff car, supposedly for interrogation. After several hours of travel, they arrived at a farmhouse in use by the Ger-mans as a local headquarters. There, the Lieutenant overheard the Ger-mans discussing whether or not they should be shot. The decision made, Fred and the Lieutenant were taken

with contributions by:

Col. Frederick Nagle

InfantrY. USA Met)

Formerly Lt. Col.

Executive Officer 423d Infantry Regiment

The CUB (fthe Golden Lion 39

From the Ardennes to Hammelburg, Moosburg and Nuernberg

out back and stood up in front of a wooden fence. Just as they were agreeing to rush their guards, a Ger-man staff car pulled into the yard and from it, a furious German officer erupted, berating the guards until they were completely cowed. Fred and the Lieutenant were then placed into another staff car, taken away, and the next day joined with the PW procession for the final leg of their journey to Hammelburg.

If capture and the movement to Hammelburg weren't bad enough, the Germans proved to be ill equipped to handle the thousands of prisoners generated by the events of the Ardennes Offensive. By foot and train, they had removed the Ameri-cans into various PW camps (Officers into Oflags - for Offizier Lager) as far away as Posen, Poland. Most of the Officers of the 106th were moved to Lager Hammelburg. Situated some 50 miles east of Frankfurt a.m., the camp was of permanent construction and large enough to accommodate, though not with any degree of com-fort, the nearly 6,000 POWs that it was to eventually hold.

The barracks Fred and I were in had been built to accommodate some 30 to 40 men, or double or triple if double or triple bunks were installed. The Lager (compound) was built be-fore the war as a permanent camp for training of German troops. On this day, it housed principally some 4,000 Officers of the former Yugoslavian Army, separated by the usual barbed wire fences from the newly arrived American PWS. Given the devastat-ing experience of having been so over-whelmed in the Ardennes, we, along with the majority of the American PWS were a dispirited lot with no real appreciation of how to fight the!" utter desolation of being prisoners

war. As such, we quickly degenerate into an unshaven, unkempt rabble, lost to the dignity of our uniforms. To add to the misery, many of the junior officers held their seniors in con-tempt. Such was the regard for Colo-nel Charles Cavender who, along with Colonel George Deschenaux, made the decision to surrender the remnants of the 422d and 423d Infan-try Regiments. Bereft of artillery sup-port, without their vehicles, fighting only with what the individual could carry on his person, and out of com-munication with higher headquar-ters, these two men came to the toughest decision any commander could face. Not all agreed. I have only dim memories of our last day on the Schnee Eifel. I received orders to send all my vehicles to Service Com-pany and to move overland to the

Our river, taking only what we coule carry. Regimental Headquarters

joined the tail of my column. I

thought we resembled a column of Mexican bandits - belts of ammuni-tion for the machine guns slung over the shoulders and the 81mm mortars broken down to manhandling pieces with rounds protruding from carry-ing vest. I have no recollection of food during our two day march but on the second day, I remember being called back down the line to face a sticky situation. The men of "I" company had somehow taken about a half-dozen German prisoners - home-guarders from their looks -for whom we were in no position to either manage or care. What to do? The Lieutenant in charge wanted to shoot them. Shades of Mal-medy. I set them free.

I remember that before conced-ing to surrender, Major Stub Oseth,

-43

 

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1

From the Ardennes to Hammelburg, Moosburg and Nuernberg

ning. Thanks to him and the teach-

ing of those who came with him, we

who had not been in captivity for

6.% Executive Officer, proposed that glir attempt to evade capture by tak-ing off through the woods. The ques-tion then became: "Suppose we made it back to General Jones (Command-ing General of the 106th Infantry Di-vision)?" What would we say when he asked: "Well, here you are...now, where are those 800 men with whom you were entrusted?" We stayed.

Daily life in the lager vvas monoto-nous in the extreme. The Germans prescribed tvvo roll call formations - one at 0800 and the other at 1700. Lacking the wherewithal to do other-wise, a favorite pastime became the imaginative "building" of Dagwood sandwiches, the fantasy of the truly resilient. The four of us established a routine whereby, lying in our bunks, each in turn provided the elements of the sandwich -the bread, the first layer, the second layer, and so on, ed so on - one sandwich a night. ch vvere the mental and physical circumstances under which life was simply endured.

Then, about 9 March, we were surprised by an influx of American prisoners vvho were being evacuated from a camp in Poland where capture had been threatened by the oncoming Russians. As Fred Nagle was later to recall, there were approximately four hundred in this group of arrivals which reportedly had numbered roughly 1,400 when it left Poland, about six weeks previously.

Of this new influx, the senior offi-cer was a venerable old Colonel by the name of Paul "Pop" Goode. Accom-panied by a gaggle of hardened veter-ans from North Africa and

Normandy, "Pop" Goode made the in-mates soldiers again - shaves every day and Retreat formations each eve-

very long learned to take the nicks off a safety razor blade with an ordi-nary drinking glass by working the edge of the blade against the inside surface of the glass. After that, every man shaved daily - often over thirty days with the same blade and sans shaving cream.

Staying healthy was difficult. Our normal fare consisted of ersatz coffee and black bread for breakfast, bread and little else for lunch, and bread and some watery soup for din-ner. A staple was "Green Hornet Soup," so named for its pastel color. It vvas made from reconstituted vege-tables of some sort, with an occa-sional lump of meat and a smattering of weevils of some sort (also reconsti-tuted.) Most simply regarded the wee-vils as an added source of protein (the alternatives vvere to either laboriously pick each vveevil out or retreat to a dark corner and eat blind - a choice commonly accepted of necessity.)

After a month or so we learned that the Yugos were receiving a regu-lar supply of International (mostly American) Red Cross parcels contain-ing food, candy, and cigarettes. In some fashion Pop Goode prevailed upon the Germans and the Yugos to cut us in and after that, tvvice over the course of what remained of our captivity, we were treated to half a parcel per man - what a treat! Con-centrated oatmeal, chocolate, and cigarettes, the value of which cannot be overstated. Non-smokers traded their cigarettes for other items while the smokers were in seventh heaven for weeks. (It vvas not uncommon at all for an enterprising smoker to

•        

 

41

 


 

From the Ardennes to Hammelburg, Moosburg and Nuernberg

build new cigarettes from the butts of old in order to stretch each ration as far as possible.) Two inmates built a dish consisting of chocolate from the Red Cross parcels and water. Calling the concoction "bread flur according to them it was guaranteed to satisfy the hungriest, as there was no limit to the vol-ume t.ha.t could be achieved. All one had to do was whip vigorously and the com-bination would increase accordingly.

Card Games were a mainstay. My roommates and I played gin; the stakes were a brandy each, to be set-tled in Paris after liberation.

Seely and I met in the Phillippi-nes in 1948, but were unable to run the tab to completion.

Keeping warm was another prob-lem. We enjoyed the luxury of a pot bellied stove and enough charcoal bri-quettes each day to keep water from freezing. This is where Buck Payne - whom we generally regarded to be the most fabulous pack rat in captiv-ity -brought new meaning to the term enterprise. Daily he "found" scraps of wood which he would secrete under his clothing and bring in to be hid-den. The favorite hiding place was under the bed clothes and over weeks of inspections, the guards were never to notice. The inmates almost came to grief however, when Buck disman-tled and made off with the frame from the camp bulletin board. Incred-ibly, the guards were convinced that some of the Lieutenants were the only ones likely and agile enough to perform such an endeavor and they therefore gave the more senior

POW's only a cursory search.

Notwithstanding the marvels of Buck's exploits, one of the most as-tounding accomplishments of "Yan- kee ingenuity" occurred when Pop 0 Goode and his contingent from the Poland camps neared Hammelburg. Upon their arrival outside the camp, the Germans sent out a small ad-vance party - in which there were two American prisoners -to greet the nevvcomers. Although the incoming POWs were kept at a short distance from the advanced party, they man-aged to convey the fact that within the group was a radio, broken down into individual parts, and concealed on the bodies of some of the most trusted. Each such person had a bit of white cloth outside his body, either in that person's hand or displayed in some manner on clothing or gear. In what was one of the most amazing feats of hide-and-seek ever at-tempted, the transfer of every radio part from its carrier to a trusted camp resident was successfully ef-fected in the less than 100 yards which separated the front gate of t lager from the "strip-and-search" bhai. rack through which all the newcom-ers first passed. (As a precaution, a decision was made not to operate the set; but, soon enough they were tun-ing in to BBC once a day to get the war news.)

In the latter part of March, the camp was visited by a Swiss Red Cross delegation inspecting to verify that the Germans were abiding by the rules of the Geneva Convention. The head of the delegation told Pop Goode that we would be well advised not to attempt escape. According to him, the end was near and Hitler had issued orders that escapees were not to be re-captured but were to be "shot while attempting to evade re-capture." Then, one morning not too many days thereafter, we heard gun-fire and shortly afterwards, the lead

42      /he CUB Hith, Golden Lion

          •

From the Ardennes to Hammelburg, Moosburg and Nuernberg

glikk of an American Task Force We through the bather fence. It was 27 March, 1945 and from all appear-ances. Lager Hammelburg was liber - ated.

Task force Baum, named for it's leader, Captain Abraham "Abe" Baum, - was a lone force from the Fourth Division's Combat Command B. The task force had been personally dispatched to Hammelburg by Gen Patton for the purpose of liberating the "estimated" 300 or so PWS. Unbe-knownst to most at the time, General Patton's son-in-law, Colonel John K. "Johnny" Waters (in later years to serve as Chief of Staff of the Army) was a PW at Hammelburg. I believe it is generally acknowledged that Pat-ton's reason for sending the task force in the first place was to rescue Johnny Waters. Unfortunately, in the process of attempting to surren-

46 the camp to the approaching

erican Task Force, Waters who was in the party sent outside the camp to arrange the transfer, was al-most killed by a German rifleman who had not been informed by his highers of the Camp surrender. and shot Waters in the lower torso

shortly after he exited the front gate of the compound. Waters underwent surgery in the POW hospital and was still there when the camp was finally liberated by elements of the 7th Army's 14th Armored division. By the time task force reached the camp, however, it was depleted in force due to the severe fighting it had encoun-tered on its trip of some sixty or so miles from Aschaffenberg. It ap-peared to Fred that Cpt Baum, the task force commander, was dismayed by the number of prisoners he found at Hammelburg but no more so than were we, the prisoners, upon our dis-

covery that the task force was so small and that there were no friendly troops due shortly in follow-up. Never-theless, to most, this task force was our ticket to freedom.

It was almost dusk by the time we were organized and ready to march out of the camp toward the west. As Fred was to later recall, about one mile west of camp a halt was made by the task force while Baum and his team leaders met to de-cided upon a route. It was at this time that the full impact of the situ-ation appeared to strike Pop Goode for he then called a meeting of his leadership. The full situation, as best he knew it to be, was explained and everyone given a choice of either (a) accompanying the task force to fight it,s way back; (b) attempting to escape on foot in small groups; or (c) return-ing to the camp. Fred and approxi-mately 200 others decided to stick with the task force and they began finding vehicles upon which to ride. Of the remainder, a few small groups started off on their own while those left, including me, returned to the camp. Fred watched Pop Goode re-turn to camp with the majority, and was moved by the image. Knowing Pop Goode to be the type of person who in all likelihood would want nothing more than to join the task force and fight his way back to allied lines, he realized that as the Senior American Officer, Pop Goode must have felt his responsibility was to the majority who could not hope to over-come the difficulties of escape and were therefore returning to the com-pound and whatever fate might await them there. Fred could only imagine Pop's feelings of frustration.

By the time the task force again

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From the Ardennes to Hammelburg, Moosburg and Nuernberg

began to move it was dark and move-ment, very slow. Almost immedi-ately, the lead tank, upon which Fred was riding, was struck by a panzer-faust fired at point blank range. The survivors, suffering from shock, were rescued and the column then continued on, by-passing the disabled tank and heading into the woods in the hope of avoiding any other road blocks.

The next morning, and after being once more engaged by highly accurate tank and anti-tank fire, Fred and sev-eral others determined that no favor-able decision could be derived from their situation and that they personally could no longer be of assistance to the task force. They therefore decided that the only choice left was to escape on foot and, if possible, reach allied lines on their own.

Not long after Fred left the rem-nants of the task force (which by then was only hours from total destruction), those of us who had returned to lager were formed up by the Germans and moved out on foot. We assumed that we were headed for the "Bavarian Re-doubt" a final destination where we had heard we were to be held for bargain - ing purposes.

From Hammelburg to Nuernberg, the road march went reasonably well. The first days march was of about 25 kilometers and Colonel Seely and I finished my cigarette that day. Generally, we were billeted in barns and food was somevvhat ir-regular. For most, feet were ex-tremely painfid. Buck Payne ultimately lost most sensation and control of his left foot which flopped loosely at the end of his ankle and made walking all but impossible. Nevertheless, when the Germans de-

cided to move the more seriously inca-

pacitated by rail, Buck demurred. Having no desire to be blown to bill/ by strafing Alli.ed planes, he contin-ued with his comrades. Our guard contingent consisted of about 40 old men, with a Colonel and Captain in charge. The column was a matter of great interest to the villagers. At one village, a woman engaged me in con-versation. With my limited German and her limited English, we did fairly well. Her son was a prisoner of the Americans and she learned that he vvas in a place called Texas; we had quite a gabfest. As the column ap-proached a village, word was passed down to shape up and march smartly. From the obvious interest that could be read on the faces of the villagers, the most striking of the prisoners was a Negro 1st Lieutenant, who, over six-feet in height and presented an aura of manliness and presence of command. The march to Nuernberg took nine days.

At Nuernberg our column was halted for instructions and refurbish-ing. The weather was lovely and mild and the stop uncharacteristically dragged on for hours. Suddenly, air raid sirens erupted. As it turned out we had been resting near a railroad marshaling yard on the city's outskirts that was about to become the target of an American Flying Fortress raid.

As an audience at the theater, we watched. Formation after formation passed - "V" shaped and unswerving despite the billowing white clouds of anti-aircraft shells exploding all about them. As each "V' reached the proper point, from the belly of the lead plane a white smoke flare would exit and immediately, each aircraft in the "V" would release six 500 pound bombs. At that height the

•

 

44

 


 

From the Ardennes to Hammelburg, Moosburg and Nuernberg

ilknbs appeared as mere toys, per-Wos a foot long. After the drop the planes would execute a seemingly lei-surely turn to the North and soon would follow the mighty crunch of the explosions, shaking the earth while we cheered lustily. It went on, seemingly forever, until finally the last "V' appeared. By this time we had become experts on the procedure being followed by the Bombers. When the familiar white smoke flare did not appear on schedule however, we began to fidget. When the "V" began its final turn, not to the north away from us, but to the south, directly over head, we did more than fidget. At ex-actly the worst moment, out came the flare and its followers.

In our midst were some old bomb craters, souvenirs of previous excur-sions to which some made a futile dash, seeking what seemed the best *poor lot of choices. Others, I

ng them, clawed at Mother barth, face down, and arms hugging. The sensation at burst was of being lifted up in the air and then buffeted in one mighty wallop by a six foot long two by four. As I lost conscious-ness I'll never forget thinking: "what a hell of a way to die".

When I came to, I discovered that Buck Payne, was one of 29 PWS killed in the bombing. Col Seely and I were bleeding, bruised, and barely able to move. Nevertheless, we de-cided we had to get out of the area in the event more bombers were on the way. We managed to move a few hun-dred yards when a German civilian took us in tow, led us to the base-ment of his home, and gave us each a glass of schnapps, all the while com-miserating with us as with no hint of the castigation we had somewhat ex- pected. When the all clear sounded, and after much deliberation, Seely and I returned to the scene of the bombing only to again be taken pris-oner. From there, we made it to the next stop but by that time I was so im-mobilized that the German com-mander directed I be transported to a hospital on the outskirts of Nuemberg.

I had no way of knowing it at the time, but Fred Nagle, once again a PW, was only about ten kilometers south of Nuernberg during the Flying Fortress Raid. When Fred left the task force, he and those with him, traveling mostly at night, spent the next seven days attempting to make it back to allied lines. On one occa-sion, forced by circumstances to cross a long bridge at night, they were half-way across the bridge when a German squad began moving toward them, in a formation of sorts, from the other end of the bridge. Upon closing, Cpt Avery, formerly regimental communication.s officer for the 423d, gave the approach-ing squad a casual salute and shop-worn "Heil Hitler." That greeting was returned in bored fashion and both parties continued on their respective ways, unmolested.

On the seventh day since his es-cape, Fred and three others, LTC Barney Ladd, (As was the case of both Fred and me, Barney Ladd en-tered the Army under the Thomson Act and knew both from having served together in Hawaii) the 423d's Comm officer, CPT Avery, and a Ma-jor Kelly from another outfit, reached a deep woods situated on high

ground overlooking a German de-fense position. From their observa-tions, they estimated that they were betvveen the German main line of re-sistance and the German's reserve.

•        

The CUB qi the Golden Lion         45

From the Ardennes to Hammelburg, Moosburg and Nuernberg

Given the heavy volume of firing that was coming from their west, it ap-peared that the Allies could be advanc-ing rapidly and, if so, should overrun their position within a days time at most. They therefore decided to stay concealed and hold tight until rescued by the advancing Allies. It was not to be.

By noon of that same day, as a German skirmish line moved back. Fred, Maj Kelly and Cpt. Avery, the only ones in their position at the time, were stumbled upon and recap-tured by the Germans. (Barney Ladd, being in better condition, fled on foot as soon as it became apparent that the Germans were about to stumble upon them. The sounds of his hasty departure were assumed by the Ger-mans to be that of a deer. Reportedly, Ladd made it safely to friendly lines the next day). For days thereafter, they were shunted from one German command to another, each one trying to get rid of them as soon as possible. Though they were obviously escaped prisoners, the apparent disintegra-tion of control had reached such pro-portions that instructions on such matters could no longer be transmit-ted from SS Headquarters. It vvas therefore ostensible that no one wanted the responsibility for trying and executing them. Finally, after seemingly endless hand-offs, suffer-ing from malnutrition and the effects of his travels, Fred wound up in-terned in Moosburg at the large Luft-waffe controlled camp located there. Incredibly, the three comic opera weeks he spent at this camp proved to be a tonic.

The German form never varied at Moosburg. Each evening, the Adjutant, with an impressive coterie of guards, would march into camp, turn out agik "guest,s" and announce seriously inig. official proclamation that "apper' (rev-eille) would be at 0700 hours and that

all officers would be in ranks for roll call and a count at that time. This an-nouncement was invariably greeted with hushed cries of approval and ac-claim, "0-Boy, - just what this camp needs", etc. Invariably, the next days re-sults would be similar to those of the day before, but with a twist -necessarily, in the form of a few new ideas put in ef-fect by the PWS. The average day would go somewhat like this:

The German guard detail under camp Adjutant would march into camp promptly at 0700 to be greeted by silence, unbroken except for an oc-casional snore. The shocked guards would then route out the American bugler who would blow his version of reveille. Nothing would happen. By this time, the Adjutant would start., turn red and order the guards into the barracks to waken the prisoners. This vvas always carried out by the guards with enthusiasm. Threats were made as per routine. and vague motions made with rifle butts. At this point, interest picked up. This was especially interesting, since most of these guards understood English and could, therefore, appreciate most, if not all, of the comments made. There were always cries of con-sternation at the lateness of the hour by several innocent PWS; others re-marked at the salubrious nature of the Bavarian climate, and promises were made by all that they would "im-mediately" present themselves for roll call. The guards would depart and everyone would go back to bed. Fifteen minutes later, the guards vvould be back, voices curlier, ges-tures more threatening and many

          •

\ 46    The CUB of the Golden Lion

From the Ardennes to Hammelburg, Moosburg and Nuernberg

aks of "aus". More profuse apologies WPWS about "Just dozing off for a minute", a few would even begin to dress. After what was felt to be a suf-ficiently violent exhibition, the guards would leave with everyone ap-parently engaged in dressing. A few PWS by this time would begin to drift out for formation. Explicit in-structions would then be given to the effect that four ranks must be formed and that it was very important that each man "cover" behind the man ahead of him to facilitate the count. The "uniform" for this formation was carefully prescribed in camp regula-tions but it was the lack of uniform-ity that was the attention-getter. Although taste varied widely in such matters, the favorite dress seemed to consist of pajama top, dirty pink trou-sers (with a length of rope in lieu of braces or belt), combat Boots, unbuck-

41 and one trouser leg tucked into

boot top. It was also considered to good form to have a long hank of hair hanging in one's eyes and to en-joy the first cigarette of the morning while in this formation. As time pro-gressed, the Adjutant's face turned from red to purple, his voice grew higher and his motions more violent. The guards were directed to use any means to clear the barracks. At this point, a few of the guards who had been "indoctrinated" would try the art of gentle persuasion: "Come on now, please, the Hauptman is furi-ous—We will all get in trouble—Please come to the forma-tion—Soon this will all be over, etc." Others of a more martial type would cock their weapons and threaten to shoot if all did not leave immediately. With many protestations of injured

feelings, all PWS would leave the bar-racks. Many, at this point were

forced to feel the call of nature and the waiting line in front of the latrine soon exceeded the number in forma-tion, for, by this time, the first arri-vals had grown bored and sauntered over to the fence to chat with some-one in the neighboring compound. This, of course, destroyed the count already in progress and it was neces-sary to make a new effort to get a "correct" formation. By this time, the Adjutant would be in a state of de-spair, imploring the senior officers to use their influence to correct this "re-grettable" conduct on the part of offi-cer-prisoners and pointing out that the 'formation' could not be dis-missed until a correct count was ob-tained. At this, more PWS would drift into formation, but others, less concerned with not being dismissed would have their small "cookers" alight, brewing a pot of tea. This jock-eying would continue until mid-morn-ing. The Adjutant would arrive at some figure for those present and would inquire of the senior American of-ficer of the compound if the figure was correct. Invariably, the answer would be "yes" . The figure varied daily and was never more than a close approximation of the number present. Thus the first busi-ness of each day was concluded.

Each officer had some pet project or projects to occupy him throughout the remainder of the day. For many, this consisted of getting firewood for the small "cooker" over which all meals were prepared or re-prepared to suit the individual's fancy after the daily issue of "slum" from the camp kitchen. Since no issue of wood for this purpose was forthcoming, the barracks presented the only ready supply. All non-essential bed slats, joists and rafters were the first to go. This continued into the "less essen-

•        

 

47

 


 

From the Ardennes to Hammelburg, Moosburg and Nuernberg

tial" class, and ceased only when the buildings took such a pronounced lean that one was afraid to enter for fear that an unwary action would col-lapse the entire structure. Getting wood then became an acute problem until it was discovered that the fence posts could be rooted out, detached from the wire, and cut into unrecog-nizable splinters by many eager hands in a matter of moments. This was a favored sport because it involved team play, had to be carried out under the noses of the armed guard, and then had to be disposed of before one of the German "stooges" might discover it. Soon all compound wires drooped sadly, supported only by an occasional post.

Clearly, the ingenuity displayed by the average PW was amazing when it came to "goofing off', upsetting the Germans' orderly scheme of things and completely "fouling up" every project in-itiated by the camp authorities. When one considers the methodical and pre-cise mold descriptive of the German character and their passion for exacti-tude, it is only short of a miracle that all those exposed to this subtle torture from American PWS did not turn into gibbering idiots.

Finally, liberation was near at hand. In mid-May, Fred witnessed a brief fight put up by a company of die-hard SS troopers after which Moos-burg was liberated and two days later, the majority were on their vvay to reception centers. For me, how-ever, there was yet to be another har-rowing, albeit in retrospect

humorous, episode. Still hospitalized in Nuernberg, I had just returned to an ambulatory status and was sitting on the side porch of the Hospital when out of nowhere an American tank appeared and rolled right up to

the porch. Out of the hatch popped burly Yank, who, following cordial- 411/ ity's, asked me if I would like a drink. Not knowing what he had in mind, I nevertheless responded politely that I would. To my utter astonishment, the Yank produced a bottle of whis-key and poured what must have been the best Bourbon I've ever tasted! The tanker told me to stay put and he'd have an ambulance dispatched to pick me up shortly. He did , but the ride turned out to be an experi-ence. We became lost and, fearful of being recaptured, I got hostile with my liberators. Finally, and in re-sponse to my exaggerated conduct, the young soldier serving as my escort fi-nally turned and said "Oh, shut up, Colonel, I am as scared as you are."

Needless to say, we finally reached a field hospital and I was at last, free.

The field hospital was literally i a field, with no local security. While. lying out in the sun, awaiting the air-craft which was to more me and oth-ers, I was entertained by two aircraft which the more knowledgeable identi-fied as German Jets -although no one had seen one before. The two planes took one look at us and left. Soon thereafter, a DC-3 touched down. We were placed on board for an unevent-ful, though long awaited, flight to Paris  §§§

 

48

 


 

In MRrnoriarn

11111-rioll Rahn informed us that "Andy" passed away on 4 June 1996. He is survived by three sons. Thomas, the erson, Haskel "Andy" T. 422/E 10462 Coss Rd, Hillsboro, OH 45133

oldest son informed Carroll.

Barlow, Franklin S. DIV/HQ

Franklin's son Bryon advised that his father died on 11 April, 1996.11e is survived by his wife Betty, brothers Dr. Harold E. And Donald C.; sons Bryon and Donald; daughter Hester Barlow McCarthy, three grandsons and a granddaughter.

Cox, Evert Glen 423/HQ 3Bn       2111 S Pearl St Janesville, WI

Donald Betlach writes, "Evert, my good friend, w. a cook with me. He was a member of our Association for a year. He suffered a lot from his incarceration. May his soul rest in Peace.

Evert died 13 May 1996 at the age of 73. He manied his lifetime love, Ella Mae in 1942. Survivors include his wife, nine children; 27 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, two sisters; five brothers; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister; two brothers and a granddaughter."

Hateh, H. M. (Jim) DIV/IIQ %Sherill Piotraschke, 5248 Abbott Ave So., Mpls, MN 55410

Sherill. Jim's daughter informed us of his death. He died 8 April, 1996 at the age of 83. He was a President of the As-sociation, serving his tcrm 1960-61. He did not attend reunions in later years because of the health of his wife . Jim gained notoriety when a 1945 letter to his daughter became a Father's Day Classic, published several times in Cedric Adams column. In recent years, Jim prided himself with his 12 years service as a volunteer (6,200 hours) at die Ab-bott-Northwestem Hospital, Minneapolis. Preceded in death by his wife Helen, his brother Stuart; granddaughter Lynne Piotraschke. He is survived by sister, Lesley Willis; daughters Sherrill Piotraschlce, Minneapolis, Kathy Alle-grone, Paris; son Richard Fon Lauderdale, and a host of grandchildren, their spouses and seven grant-grandchildren.

Lorah, Mary E., wife of Elwood, 592/C    548 Mohns Hill Rd, Reading, PA 19608

Mary died May 1996, reponed in a 21 May article sent by John Gallagher. Survived by Elwood; two sons, Leslie and Terry, a brother, four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

Maw, Sr., Thomas J. 592/A         PO Box 727. Rockland, MA 02370

Ben Britton advises us that Tom died 8 May, 1996. Retired from Crreyhound Bus Lines. A former Board member, Co-host at thc Worcester, Mass. 1983 Reunion. Tom is survived by his wife M. Elaine; son Thomas; daughter Paula and sister Nancy.

Oer, Franklin 422/M

thy, his wife, notified the Adjutant that Franlc died 1 May 1996, He was a member of our Association and

12813 Lakeshore Dr, Green Harbor, NY 14098

erican Ex-POW. He was held at Stalag 9-B.

Perkins, Lawrence C. 423/E         RR 1 Box 1481, Shell Knob, MO 65747

Dean Sandahl notified the Adjutant that Lawrence died 7 April 1996. Survived by his wife Barbara, three daugh-ters, two sons, a brother, two sisters, 16 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Post, Lawrence W. 422/11 4510 Goldfinch Dr., Madison, WI 53714

Date of death 8 December 1995, survived by Virginia his wife. No other details known.

Edmond, Dean T. 422/HQ 3Bn    611 N. Center St., Statesville, NC 28677

Date of death reported as 5 April, 1996, survived by Peggy, his wife. No other details known.

Sharpe, Thomas W. 423/C Box 27, Blythewoo4 SC 29016

The Adjutant was informed that Thoma.s passed away 1 April 1996. He is survived by his wife Barbara, a son, daughter-in-law, grandson and sister.

Summers, Gerald R. (Shady) 424/F        8605 Belleview, Kansas City, MO 64114

A retired Sr. Vice-Pres. Of Kansas City Bank and Trust, Shady died on 26 May, 1996 at his home. His great loves werc his family, baseball and golf A proud mernber of our Association, a patriot in his life and teaching it to his chil-dren. Surviving is wife Shirley, sons Garrett and Stephen; daughter Stephanie and three beautiful granddaughters.

Tester, Wilbur J. 422/C     107 Oakes St. East Tawas, MI 48730

Arriving late for the May CUB, we were notified that Wilbur died 24 August 1995. Survived by his wife Mildred

Thompson, Col. Donald F. USA (Bet) CO 3d Bn, 422d Regiment 135 Claywell, San Antonio, TX 78209. Date of death 24 May, 1996 - see his story, collaborated with Col. Nagle (423d) on page 39 of this CUB.

Vastine, D.D.S., Frederick 423d (Unit unknown)          50 Philadelphia Dr., Wernersville, PA 19565

Frederick had just joined the Association 13 April, 1996. Mary, his wife, wrote that Frederick died 11 May, 1996.

Wilson, Glenn R. 423/1     2381 Remington Rd. Green Bay, WI 54302

The adjutant was advised that Glenn died 4 May, 1996. A native of Milwaukee, he moved to Green Bay when he retired

from the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad in 1979. Survived by wife Lorraine, two children and three grandchildren.

•         Mag ThRg RfZ5i in PRaeR

          106th Division        

          -The Golden Lions -

Please note: The Px is a new service offered to the members and families of the 106th Infantry Division Assn. 20% of all profits are returned to your association. We ask for your support.

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Book by Turner Publishing

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•

meCUB

A quarterly publication of the

106th Infantry Division Association, Inc

5401 U. 147th St West, Apple Valley, MN 55124

Membership fees include CUI3 susbscription.

Association membeiship 7/1/06, 1,640 members

President       Richard L. Rigatti

Past-Pres. . . . .        Thomas J. Riggs, Jr.

1st Vice—Pres         Major Hill

2nd Vice Pres          John P. Kline

Treasurer      Sherod Collins

Adjutant   Pete House

Historian        Sherod Collins

CUB Editor   John P. Kline

Chaplain        Rev. Ewell C. Black, Jr.

Memorials Chairman .... Dr. John G. Robb Atterbury Memorial Rep  O. Paul Merz St. Vith Mem. Rep ..... Dr. Richard Peterson Membership Chairman  Gilbert Helwig Scholarship Chairman ... Jerome Eisenman Resolutions Chairman . . . Alan W. Jones, Jr.

Washington Liaison Officer.          Jack Sulser

Order of the Golden Lion . .          Gil Helwig

Send editorial matter and photos to:

John P. Kline — CUB Editor

5401 U. 147th St. We, i ,p;p213e:stey, MF,1 55124-6637

Business matters, deaths, address changes to:

Pete House — Adjutant

5662 Clifton A,v0e,Akssomille, FL 32211

Memorial matters and inquiries to:

Dr John G. Robb — Memorial Chairman

238 DeVOre Dr., Meadville, PA 16355

814-333-6364

Membership dues, Memorial Fund

contributions and Historical items to:

Sherod Collins — Treasurer

448 Monroe T43 coe),12r3n2ecsr . GA 30144

The Life Membership fee is payable one time

only, with no annual dues thereafter.

Life Membership      $ 75.00

Life Auxiliary            $ 15.00

Life Associate $ 75.00

For those choosing to pay Annual dues, pay

by July 1 each year. (July 1 to July 1 term)

Annual Membership            $10.00

Annual Auxiliary      $' 2.00

Annual Associate      $10.00

Make checks payable to

"I06th Infantry Division Association."

Board of Directors 1995 -199

Alphabetical by year term expireS.          111/

Gilbert Ilelwig 423/M         C96)

2006 Ontario Rd, #55, Niles, MI 49120

616-683-8714

Jerome Eisenman 423/HQ 3BN    (.96)

227 Buena Vista Ave, Daly City, CA 94015

415-756-8330

Richard I,. Rigatti 423/B (Exec. Committee)       C96)

113 Woodshire Dr. Pittsburgh, PA 15215

412-781-8131

William K. Rowan 424/K    C96)

213 Country Tou4b.411,dglAby, NC 28150

MajOr H. Hill 424/B (Exec.Committee)    ('97)

36750 N. Kert 7,iitgloc7side, IL 60041

Lyman C. Maples, 422/K   (.97)

608 Wilkins St. Dalton, GA 30720

706-278-2533

Dr. Richard W. Peterson, 423/1    (`97)

1285 Rubenstein, Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007

619-632-1213

Edwin C. Huminski, 424/F          C98)

RR 2 Box 258,Ao412w6V6 rA 15557-9223

Alan W. Jones, Jr, 423/HQ 1Bn   (.98)

9100 Belvoir Woods Pkwy #233, FL Belvoir. VA 22060

703-781,629

William E. Malone, 423/B  (.98)

3911 1 hackcry Drive, Nashville, TN 37207

615-865-1271

Thomas J. Riggs, 81st Eng/HQ    ('98)

6 Olive Stre41;i1",r,tpileinicoe, RI 02406

John A. Swett, 423/H

10691 E. Northsc27g2r:6Totic6son, AZ 85748

Levan Weigel, 422/H          (.98)

1380 Democracy40/MItrrne, FL 32940

Nolan L. Ashburn, 424/11 C99)

1212 Raintree Dr: /9114M9F3aCollins, CO 80525

Lloyd J. Diehl, 423/11       C99)

R3 Box 212. 365 ChantlIV.. Sewell. NJ 08080

John A. Gregory, 424/E     (.99)

4624 Ashton Dr.. Sacrament, CA 95864

916-481-3353

Art Van Moorlehem, 423/B          C99)

206 W. Bircti:S):4.11.imii, SD 57212

Richard J. Brax, 423/K      (.2000)

14 Porter St , Quaker Hill, CT 06375

203-443-1685

Walter G. Bridges, 424/D   (.2000)

225 Laird Ave. Hucylown, AL 35023

205491-3409

Sherod Collins, 423/SV     C2000)

448 Monroe Trim12(zileosr. GA 30144

John P. Kline, 423/M (Exec.Committee)  t2000)

5401 U 147th St. W., Apple Valley, MN 55124

612423-4837

HONORARY Board Member

Col. Joseph Matthews 422/HQ     (LIFE)

4706 Western Blvd. Raleigh, NC 27606

919-851-4851

•

•

 


 

Index for: Vol. 52, No. 1, Ct -, 1995


100th Inf. Div., 70

106th Div., 19, 22, 56, 69, 70

106th Inf. Div., 10, 12, 14, 16, 19, 45, 51, 56, 69, 71

106th Infantry Division Association, 12, 71

106th Rcn. Trp., 21, 26

106th Sig. Co., 47

112th Inf., 56

112th Inf. Regt., 56

14th Armd., 62

14th Cav., 19, 28

18th Cav., 19, 20, 29, 31, 40, 44

18th Cav. Rcn. Sqdn., 19

18th Cav. Sqdn., 20, 29, 31, 40, 44

18th Volksgrenadier Div., 26

28th Inf. Div., 16, 56

2nd Inf. Div., 14, 16, 19, 22

38th Inf., 19

422/K, 49, 72

422nd Inf., 2, 19, 21, 26, 28, 31, 33, 34, 36, 39, 41, 56

422nd Inf. Regt., 51, 56, 69

422nd Regt., 51

423rd Inf., 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 33, 34, 36, 38, 39, 40, 42, 44, 51, 53, 57

423rd Inf. Regt., 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 31, 33, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 51, 53, 57

423rd Regt., 14, 56

424/D, 72

424/E, 72

424th Inf, 19, 21, 26, 29

424th Inf. Regt., 19, 21, 26, 29

589th FA, 26, 29

589th FA BN, 26, 29

590th FA BN, 26, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 38, 41, 42

7th Army, 62

81st Engr., 11, 13, 26, 28, 42, 45

81st Engr. BN, 29, 31

81st Engr. Cbt. BN, 10, 19

820th TD, 19, 20, 31

820th TD BN, 19, 20, 31

9th Armd. Div., 16, 31

Aachen, 16

Africa, 59

Alsace, 14

Antwerp, 24

Anzio, 3

Ardennes, 7, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 31, 33, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 55, 56, 57, 59, 61, 63, 64, 65, 67

Ardennes Offensive, 57

Auw, 49

Auw, Germany, 49

Bad Orb, 51, 56

Banet, Paul H., 47

Barlow, Frank, 68

Barlow, Franklin, 68

Barlow, Franklin S., 68

Barnes, L. Preston, 5

Bastogne, 16, 55

Battle Of The Bulge, 3, 11, 45, 70

Before The Veterans Die, 4

Belgium, 1, 7, 16, 34, 49, 55

Berg, 31, 34, 38

Bickford, Flo, 5

Bied, Dan, 3

Black, Rev. Ewell C., 2, 71

Bleialf, 19, 25, 26, 28, 32, 34, 36, 37, 38, 40, 42

Brandscheid, 26

Brax, Richard J., 72

Bridges, Walter G., 72

Britton, Ben, 68

Buchet, 29, 30

Camp Atterbury, 7, 12, 53, 56

Camp Lucky Strike, 47

Carver, Dale R., 4

Cavender, Charles, 57

CBT CMD B, 16, 61

Co. B, 81st Engr. Cbt. BN, 19

Co. C, 820th TD BN, 20, 31

Collins, John P., 10, 12

Collins, Sherod, 7, 71, 72

Cologne, 16

Cosby, Maj. Carl H., 25

Crusade In Europe, 14

Div. HQ, 51

Dovell, Clark W., 49

Duren, 34

Eisenhower, Dwight D., 14

Eisenman, Jerome, 71, 72

Elbe, 3

Fifteenth Army, 24

Fifth Panzer Army, 24

First Army, 16, 42

First Inf., 47

First U.S. Army, 19

Fort Jackson, 11, 47

Fort Jackson, S.C., 11

Frankfurt, 57

Ft. Jackson, 10, 11

Gallagher, John, 68

Geneva Convention, 61

Germany, 3, 16, 45, 49, 51

Goldstein, Elliot, 49

Goldstein, Elliott, 49

Greene, John, 55

Grosskampenberg, 19

Grosslangenfeld, 21, 26

Halenfeld, 25, 31, 34

Hammelburg, 56, 57, 59, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 67

Harmon, Capt., 12

Helwig, Gil, 7, 47, 71

Helwig, Gilbert, 71

Hill 504, 38, 39

Hill 575, 36

Houffalize, 55

House, Pete, 71

Huy, 24

Ihren, 36, 38

Ihren Creek, 36

Ihren Valley, 36, 38

Indianapolis Star, 9

Inf. School, 14

Iwo Jima, 3

Jones, Alan W., 14, 71, 72

Jones, Alan W., Jr., 71

Jones, Capt. Alan W., 44

Jones, Gen., 59

Jones, Wayman, 51

Jones, Wayman M., 51

Kennedy, John F., 4

Kline, J., 5, 9, 46, 47, 49, 51, 53, 54

Kline, John, 5, 11, 53

Kline, John P., 71, 72

Koblenz, 16

Korea, 14, 51

Lascheid, 34, 42

Leibowitz, Sam, 5

Leibowitz, Samuel, 5

Liege, 24, 50

Linne Creek, 39

Lion In The Way, 14

Lorraine, 69

Losheim, 19

Losheim Gap, 19

Lucky Strike, 47

Luxembourg, 16, 24

Malone, William E., 72

Maples, Lyman C., 72

Mardasson, 55

Matthews, Col. Joseph, 73

Memorials, 71

Merz, O. Paul, 7, 71

Meuse, 24

Meuse River, 24

Monschau, 16

Montgomery, Field Marshall, 15

Moosburg, 56, 57, 59, 61, 63, 64, 65, 67

Mueller, Bill, 49

Nagle, Col., 7, 51, 56

Namur, 24

New Guinea, 3

Normandy, 3, 15, 59

Oberlascheid, 31, 34, 36, 38

Okinawa, 3

Order Of The Golden Lion, 2, 71

Our River, 19, 31, 39, 57

Our Valley, 39

Oxford, 13

Paris, 49, 50, 61, 67, 68

Paris, France, 50

Patton, Gen., 62

Patton, Oliver B., 27, 33

Perkins, Lawrence C., 68

Peterson, Dr. Richard, 71

Peterson, Richard W., 72

Philipson, Herman, 51

Philipson, Herman L., 51

Poland, 57, 59, 61

Post, Lawrence, 68

Post, Lawrence W., 68

Queen Elizabeth, 53

Radscheid, 26, 31, 34, 36

Rhine, 16

Rhine River, 16

Rigatti, Richard L., 71

Riggs, Col. Thomas, 45

Riggs, Thomas J., 71, 72

Robb, Dr. John G., 71

Robb, John G., 71

Roer, 16

Roer River, 16

Rutledge, Lt., 12

Saar Basin, 16

Saturday Evening Post, 15

Schnee Eifel, 18, 19, 29, 40, 57

Schonberg, 14, 26, 28, 29, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 41, 42

Seventh Army, 24

Siegfried Line, 18, 19

Sixth SS Panzer Army, 24

Skyline Drive, 33, 34, 38

St. Vith, 14, 28, 29, 31, 33, 39, 49, 71

Lion In The Way, 14

St. Vith, Belgium, 49

Stalag 4-A, 47

Stalag VIII, 13

Stalag VIII-A, 13

Sulser, Jack, 71

Summers, Gerald R., 69

Task Force, 61, 62

The Battle Of The Bulge, 45

The Glorious Collapse Of The 106th, 15

Third Army, 16

Thompson, Col., 69

Tokyo, 3

Trier, 16

V Corps, 16

Van Moorlehem, Art, 72

Vietnam, 4

VII Corps, 24

VIII Corps, 14, 16, 18, 19

Volksgrenadier, 18, 26

Volksgrenadier Div., 26

West Point, 15

Winterscheid, 26

Ziegenhain, 51