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Journal of the 305th Medical Battalion, 80th Infantry Division, WW2

 

Believed donated by Captain Henry J. Meyer 01533399

 

Edited By Terry D. Janes

  

30% of seriously wounded soldiers in W.W. 2 died.  Undoubtedly many more would have, but for the efforts of men and women in the Army medical system.  For the 80th Infantry Division, there was the 305th Medical Battalion.  In all the talk about battles, not enough attention has been paid to the men who dealt with the results of those battles, day in, day out.  With the kind assistance of Bob Murrell, I am pleased to present what little we have on the 305th.  Should anyone have additional material for this battalion, please contact the Webmaster.  The following journal seemed to be primarily written by one person.  It consisted of a mix of handwritten and typed pages.  Very often, it was written in abbreviations and sparse wording of someone who is in a big hurry to finish writing.  Considering the circumstances under which it was written, that should not be surprising.  Much of my book is written about what was going on at the front lines, sometimes minute by minute.  An educated person who followed in the wake of the division as it advanced wrote the following journal.  As such, they had a better view of the overall picture, than those who were more intimately involved in the battles.  I found it especially poignant that it should end with a discussion of the casualties of the Our River Crossing, when the 80th Division entered Germany proper.  The horrors of that period are still largely untold.  I have corrected spelling, punctuation, and added words like "the" "and", etc., to make the following more readable, but in not way altered it's meaning or impact.

 

"August 2 1944-Left Concentration Area at 0430 for Marshalling Area, Southampton.  Major Ball and myself as patrol guides.  Arrived destination at 2130 as per order.

 

August 3 1944-Processed in Marshalling Area.

 

August 4 1944-Processed in Marshalling Area.

 

August 5 1944-Left for loading aboard ship at 0330.  Ship loaded by dark.  Left for Far Shore at dusk.

 

August 6 1944-Aboard ship crossing channel.

 

August 7 1944-Ship unloaded unto Rhine and made way for a beach-head already established and now known as the Utah Beach-head.  Waited for high tide, pull to beach and waited for low tide before vehicles could be driven off.  Utah Beach-head on the eastern shore of Cherbourg Peninsula in the vicinity of St. Martin.  Arrived to the battalion area (Clearing Station and Command Post) at 2200.  Prepared for immediate move to forward area to cut-off German thrust through Avranches to the sea to split Normandy and Brittany Allied forces.

 

August 8 1944-Moved during the morning.  Processed to Medical DP while organization moved.  Planned to meet the organization enroute.  Division moved near Avranches but the German thrust was broken during the previous night by Air Corps and artillery.  Moved into assembly area awaiting orders to move to Le Mans sector.  German air raid during the night in the vicinity.  No damage but several of their planes were shot down.  Mortain sector under very heavy American artillery barrage. During the day and night.  Moved at 2330 for Le Mans area in the vicinity of Chassile west of Le Mans.

 

August 9 1944-One infantry regiment to clean Evron; one to clean out St. Suzanne.

 

August 10 1944-Infantry still engaged.  Snipers prevalent.  Some located in our area.  Stray bullets landing near our location.  Free French in the vicinity to mop up.  Everyone tense.  No major action.

 

August 11 1944-Division to clean out Sille le Guillaume and Conlie.  Heavier resistance in Conlie.  Few casualties evacuated through Clearing Station.

 

August 12 1944-Division in assembly area.

 

August 13 1944-Division ordered to move with some elements of Third Army and First Army north to close the gap between Argentan and Falaise.  2nd French Armored Division on our right.  Part of Corps.  Moved in the center column north through St. Suzanne toward Argentan.  Column hit a mined road and was delayed until it was cleared out.  Several men were killed and wounded.  Two tanks knocked out.  Armored units took over and the division moved into an assembly area in the early morning of August 14 1944.

 

August 14 1944-In assembly area waiting for movement orders.  Movement at 1330 into the vicinity of Evron.

 

August 15 1944-No change.

 

August 16 1944-No change.

 

August 17 1944-Moved into the vicinity of Argentan to close the gap between Argentan and Falaise.  British and Canadians are driving south from Caen.

 

August 18 1944-Looked like the first major operation for the division minus one combat team.  The German division is dug-in in the vicinity of Argentan and Amenches.  Well defended.  One battalion committed.  First experience.  Did well.  Casualties coming in.  First sign that this is war.  Saw various cases in the clearing station due to enemy action.  Reported German 88's doing a lot of damage and inflicting casualties.  Attached to the First Army temporarily.

 

August 19 1944-Supported in the drive by the French Armored Division and the 90th Infantry Division.  The French were on our left, and the 90th Division was on our right.  Heavy artillery support, shelling Argentan.

 

August 20 1944-Another regiment committed.  Objective is the hill north of Argentan.  Artillery laid five shells each from 87 guns and 155 rifles.  Argentan almost leveled according to reports.  Casualties coming in.  Germans being pushed back.  90th Infantry Division making contact with the British and Canadians coming down from Caen.  German wounded coming in.  POW's being taken.  Visited the forward area to check on medical supplies.  Danny in forward area assisting the surgeon.  Germans counterattack.

 

August 21 1944-Germans being pushed back.  Contact made with the British and Canadians and the gap is closed.  Russians brought in a part of the German Army.  German wounded treated as our own, so far as medical aid.  Argentan taken by one of our battalions.  Report of 700 POW's taken by the division.  Division ordered into an assembly area.  Sector taken over by British and Canadians (Regimental and Division objective taken.).  First major operation for the division, and we did very well.

 

August 22 1944-In assembly area.

 

August 23 1944-In assembly area, no c. (PO) Several civilians treated.  Family of father, mother and two children, one age 5, another 6, injured when family returned to their home for a few belongings in the vicinity of Argentan.  Father and child(child 5 years old) died.  Mother and daughter aged 6, burned severely when German booby trap set by Germans exploded when the father opened the door.  Germans laying trees in rows of three.  The first and third are free, but the middle tree is booby trapped.  Some casualties among the civilians by German booby traps.  Pasture gates being booby trapped too.  Wounded and captured Germans try to impress everyone that they feel defeated.  Their real attitude is different; arrogant and confident.  One German officer claimed to be sick, medical corpsman found nothing wrong, then he became very arrogant and sullen.  General attitude toward them is that each German is a Nazi.  Front troops despise snipers who snipe until all ammunition is gone, and then surrender—"Komrade!  Komrade!"  Some Germans are shooting the medical aid men.  Five killed or injured.  One medical corpsman from the infantry regiment was tied down for three hours by machine gun fire.  General hatred of German soldier, making the tank an excellent fighter.  Artillery being used in superior numbers.  Germans claim artillery is being used to wipe them out instead of hand to hand combat, shows vast superiority of our artillery.  Any thing that moves is subject to artillery fire.  Division had attached 120 pieces on the move to the Argentan sector.  Report that Paris, the capitol, has been liberated by French Forces of the Interior.  Great strides are made by the Allies in France.  Process of annihilation of the German forces west of the Seine River.  Allies liberate city of Sans, southeast of Paris.

 

August 24 1944-Alerted to move to the vicinity of Sens.  Quartering Party left for the new assembly area.

 

August 25 1944-Report of Argentan battle.  3800 vehicles caught between Trun and Argentan, near Chambouis.  Heavy artillery and air bombardment destroyed 3800 vehicles.  Fields and roads littered with dead enemy.  Germans used horses to a great extent as indicated by the amount of animals killed.  Most ghastly sight I have seen.  Stench impermeated our clothes and body.  Can't forget it.  Germans left a great deal of dead behind.  The entire German Seventh Army was cut to pieces.

 

August 26 1944-No change.  Preparing to move.  Orders to clear IP at 1330.  Convoy under way.

 

August 27 1944-Arrived at destination southeast of Paris in the vicinity of Sens, after twenty hours on the road.  The division is now spearheading the Allied drive to the east and the German frontier.  The men are very tired after the drive.  We went through French towns where we were the first Americans they have seen in this campaign.  Most welcome us by waving and cheering.  French people threw flowers, brought out wines and other items.  They insisted on shaking hands and were very happy to see us.  One of the most impressive things to see is the liberated peoples and their expression of gratitude.

 

August 28 1944-The division is part of XII Corps spearheading attack to the northeast to take Chalons.  XX Corps is on our left, and the 35th Infantry Division is protecting our right flank.  The bulk of the TUSA is in the vicinity of Paris.  We are 155 miles from the German Frontier.  Civilians are visiting our installation.  It seemed like a County Fair.  I talked to a civilian girl whose fiancé had been a prisoner of the Germans for some time.  People report that the French have been whipped and tortured.  The young people (Male) seem to be missing, taken away by the Germans to work in military occupation.  French women who have taken up with German soldiers have their hair clipped off entirely.  Report that a girl married to a German has been killed by the resistance organization.  Most of the German opposition is made up of make-shift units made up of service units, etc., with some armor and artillery.

 

August 29 1944-The division is moving forward.  The Germans are retreating before the division.  Chalons falls.  Rheims taken by XX Corps on our left.  The division moved forward 35 miles since the 26th.  We have liberated ninety-three villages and towns.  We have taken approximately 3,000 prisoners since entry into France.  Passed through Chalons Sur Marne (Scene of the World War One battle.).  People lined the streets welcoming the Americans.  The scene was similar to a big parade for a celebrity.  Captured POW members of Luftwaffe, indicating the plight of the German Army in France.  Hospital captured from the Germans inspected by myself for a report to division on salvage materials of medical supplies and equipment-negligible.  Germans have inferior equipment and supplies; mostly captured or taken from the French.

 

August 30 1944-The division was ordered to move east.  The first objective for regiment was Bar le Duc, taken August 30 1944.  Objective for the 7th was taken the same day.  Little opposition from the Germans who are still fleeing before Americans.  Two towns, which were liberated; Mortain du Val and Noyers were burned to the ground by the retreating Germans.  The towns were of no military value.  The division troops are very angry and sad.  The Germans are only harming themselves by their actions.  The Germans in retreat before our division have taken French women with them, stolen and looted various items such as jewelry and items of personal value.

 

September 1 1944-The division is moving east towards Metz and Nancy.  Among the towns liberated were Nattancourt, Mortain du Val and Noyers, where incidents to be remembered have happened.  Towns of Mortain du Val and Noyers were burned to the ground by the retreating Germans.  The towns were of no military value whatsoever.  Hatred is developing for the Germans amongst our troops that have passed these towns.  The town of Nattancourt was liberated today and a story of a fallen American soldier takes place-morbid, but beautiful.  French have picked up the fallen soldier in a field, placed him in state in a Catholic church, and reported to military authorities.  A funeral service was held.  Lt. Ross and Chaplain Woods attended.  The church was crowded to capacity.  The soldier was covered with flowers brought by the French.  The sermon was very beautiful.  Many people cried.  The body was brought to our area where a Guard of Honor was maintained until it was removed by Graves Registration organization.  Six French women who cohabitated with Germans were paraded before the soldier's body.  Prior to that, their heads had been shaven clean.  This honor was paid by the French to a boy who came with the Americans who freed them.  Lt. Ross and I passed through this town a few hours after liberation and couldn't get through for the people crowded in the street in front of us, who wouldn't let us pass, insisting on shaking hands, along with a great deal of yelling and singing.

 

September 2 1944-The cities of Commercy and St. Mihiel were taken by TUSA.  Division operation after taking Commercy; awaiting orders.  Inspected captured German medical supply depot.  The town of Essay retaken from the enemy.  The Germans are falling back to prepared position on the east bank of the Moselle River.

 

September 3 1944-The division is in an assembly area.

 

September 4 1944-Regimental battalion moving reconnaissance in force towards the Moselle River.  Enemy reported digging in on the east bank of the Moselle River.  The division was ordered to move towards the Moselle River at approximately 1630.  XX Corps is on the left flank.

 

September 5 1944-Division elements preparing to cross the Moselle River.  Very difficult to establish a bridgehead.  Casualties are coming in.  Reports that Germans were waiting twelve days for the Americans to approach the river.  The entire east bank of the Moselle River between Metz and Nancy is well fortified.  Weather is bad.  No air support.  No troops across as yet.  One battalion was ordered across tomorrow morning.

 

September 6 1944-Two companies are driving southeast to the Foret de Avant Garde to take the high ground.  Heavy artillery moving into position.  No success as yet.  Casualties coming in.  Heavy shelling of the east bank today.

 

September 7 1944-Continued shelling of German fortifications.  Company A lost three men and an ambulance by a lucky hit from a 88mm.

 

September 8 1944-No change.  The division pulled back.  Heavy bombardment of the river supported by aerial bombing.

 

September 9 1944-The division is preparing to establish a river crossing.  35th Division attempting to cross south of Nancy.

 

September 10 1944-No change.

 

September 11 1944-The division was ordered to cross the river at 0400.  CCA plus one battalion of motorized infantry is swinging north.  Moving up to support the division in the central point.  Set up in Martincourt.  The town was burned to the ground by the retreating enemy.  Many atrocities found.

 

September 12 1944-Heavy artillery fire during the night.  Concentrated artillery prior to assault.  Terrific vibration.  Bridges established.  German Air Force bombing during the night trying to blow out the bridges were not successful.

 

September 13 1944-Two regiments are across the river.  The Command Post of the 318th Regiment was captured.  The hills were taken against stiff resistance.  Heavy artillery fire predominent.

 

September 14 1944-Combat Team 319-minus is moving south and east to take Nancy.  The east bank of the Moselle is being secured.  Germans counterattacking.  One American armored column moving southeast, and another to the northeast to encircle the enemy.   [Blank space-Patton?] reported killed.  Heavy artillery fire continued.  Stiff resistance.  Positions not too secure.

 

September 15 1944-Nancy falls.  Combat Team 319 & Combat Team 134 take the city.  Combat Team 319 return to reinforce the east bank of the Moselle.  Reports that this operation is the most severe since the invasion.  This is comparable to the St. Lo offensive.  Positions improving.  Germans counterattack in force-27 tanks moving-in in one sector.  Air Force is supporting us by strafing late in the evening.  Operation is succeeding, although in the second week.  Took plasma to the air-strip to be dropped by plane to the battalion temporarily cut-off.  Other supplies are being dropped.  Situation relieved.  Several German casualties-this is always an indication of the collapse of the enemy and that we are ready to move forward.  Moselle River is the last obstacle before the Siegfried Line.  The men are tired.  Reports that the Germans were prepared to hold the river line for 8 to 10 weeks.  Broken in two weeks by our division.  The division [Allies] led the widest front from North Channel coast to the Swiss border.

 

September 16-21, 1944-Positions being strengthened on the east bank of the Moselle.  Stiff resistance continuing.  Moved to the east bank to the Tactical Evacuation area.  Air Force strafing the enemy lines.

 

September 22 1944-The division is preparing to attack to the southeast to secure the right flank.  Cities of Morey and Bratte to be taken.  Artillery in general support.  Air Force strafing and bombing.

 

September 23 1944-Objectives taken.  Tank company used as security force for service trains moving through forest near Morey.  A German (A former American who left 6 years ago) possessed snapshots of German atrocities on the Russians and Poles.  Bad weather continues.  Division attacking since September 1 1944.  Report that the men are fighting well.  Morale excellent.  Tanks fanning out over a wide salient to the east.  I was almost hit by artillery fire.  It was very close.  I took cover plenty fast.

 

September 24, 25, 26 1944-Constant actions continue.  Artillery fire continues.  There was counter-battery fire in one of our artillery sectors.  Concentrated artillery barrage last night.  Bad weather continues.  Rained all the time, except for a day or two let-up for two weeks.

 

September 27-30 1944-The division takes all objectives east of the Moselle.  Secures all ground and establishes a defensive line.  318th Regiment is in reserve.  The division operations are limited to defense.  This is our first relief after 28 consecutive days of operations and attacking.  Clearing Company & HQ moves into a building P.P. near Millery on the Moselle.  Operations Plan set up for possible large counterattack.

 

September 28-four flights of P-47's engaged in strafing mission near the 318th sector, and made three separate attacks.  German planes come over only at night to avoid our fighters.  Then, there is no AA to prevent disclosure of location.  3760 prisoners have been taken as of this date.  [Blank space-Patton?] visits the division and awards several medals.

 

October 1-5 1944-Situation unchanged.  Localized action by battalions or companies.  Still consolidating positions.  Visited Company F to check on the death of Sgt. Doyle's brother who was reported killed in action.  The rain is still continuing.  I haven't seen the hardship of war when I see the doughboys trudging forward, wet, and tired mentally and physically.  All boys forward age.  Saw Captain Mullens-isn't the same.  Heavy bombers with escort are overhead and headed out.  Well over two hundred in our sector alone.  P-47's still support the division by bombing and strafing.  They usually come over in the early evening.  The Germans usually make their "bed-check" trip over our lines.

 

October 6 1944-Actions limited to patrols and artillery shelling.  P-47's are strafing German positions.

 

October 7 1944-I went forward to presentation of the Silver Star Medal to Bowers and the Bronze Star Medal to four enlisted men.  Mac presented the awards.  While this was going on, artillery in the location continued shelling.  P-47's are dive-bombing the German positions.  The division is ready to attack.  Late evening, P-47's as thick as flies.  328th Infantry Regiment relieved the 319th Regiment sector.

 

October 8 1944-The attack is underway at 0630.  The 319th Regiment from the north to take Mt. Toulon, which is absolutely necessary before the towns of Serrieres and Lixierres can be held.  Both towns were taken.  Mt. Toulon taken in one hour.  The Germans were taken by surprise.  The entire attack came off well with rocket barrage supported by chemical mortar platoon with smoke.  318th Regiment takes towns and commanding ground of Manoncourt and Clemery.  The 317th Regiment drive on Mt. St. Jean from the south.  All objectives were taken by early evening.  Hundreds of prisoners were taken.  They claimed that no American would have taken Mt. Toulon alive.  CCB moves on Jenouncourt from the east and move to the northeast.  Casualties coming in.  Still the same.  It is the mine casualty that is the worst to see.  One Yank Lr[?] Engineer casualty when removing mines.

 

October 9-10 1944-Sector Ph[?] under way.

 

September 23 to November 8, 1944-Holding along the Moselle River.  TUSA preparing for an attack as indicated by the amount of supplies coming up.

 

November 8 1944-Third Army, two corps abreast, three infantry divisions abreast attack at 080600, preceded by 60 minute barrage by all available artillery.  The shelling was terrific!  The 80th Division with three regiments abreast cross the Seille River at 0600 in assault boats.  All rivers are swollen by torrential rains that has been falling for several days.  Air bombardment in advance of the attack by thousands of heavies.  The 317th crosses at Clemery.  The 318th was held up by Germans holding out in Nomeny.  The 319th crosses at Ajoncourt in the 35th Division sector.  Speakers were brought up to Nomeny to get the Germans to surrender.  No success.  City shelled-enemy surrenders-approximately 1,000 POW's.  The bridges in the vicinity of Nomeny being used.  The 6th Armored Division crosses in the 317th sector D plus 1.  The first objective of the division: St. Jure, Thezey St. Martin, and Claincourt were taken.  Enemy tanks are in the vicinity of St. Jure and Alemont.  The 6th Armored Division repels a counterattack and takes Vigny.  D plus 2-the division is still attacking, supported by air, takes Mailly, Sur Seille, Alaincourt, Secourt, Sailly and Achatel.  The 319th attacks Delme Ridge.  2nd Objective taken.  D plus 3-the division advances.  The 6th Armored places road blocks along escape routes from Metz.  The 4th Armored Division is on our right flank.

 

November 9 1944-Moselle River overflows its banks completely, isolating the Clearing Station from headquarters.  The river rose several feet during the early morning hours.  All equipment was taken to high ground.  The later morning is still threatening.  Evacuation of some casualties is being done by boat.  All communications are out.  Boat used to communicate with division.  Corps sends up Coll. Company (A) to act as Clearing Station in the vicinity Manoncourt.  Water subsides.

 

November 10 1944-Clearing Station and headquarters move forward to Nomeny.

 

November 11 1944-The second objective was taken east of Delme Ridge.  Some elements of the 317th are across the Nied River.  Clearing Station and headquarters move to Alincourt in the 155mm Rifle area.  Continued shelling all night.  The rain is still falling.  The weather is turning cold.  Headquarters moves up with only one truck.  The remainder is in the process of bringing up supplies on this fast move.  Air support is with the division.

 

November 12 1944-Clearing Station and headquarters preparing to move forward to Alleincourt.

 

November 13-24 1944-The division moved to the vicinity of Faulquemont, which fell the night before, to one company.  This city was the center of German Corps Headquarters.  Headquarters and Clearing Station move to the hospital at Herrenwald, approximately three miles from the front, within artillery range.  A few shells dropped in our vicinity.  Clearing Station and headquarters pulled back on division operation.  Corps line is now running east and west.  The division racing north; Germans will be pinched out.  The morning of the 24th at 0755, the division opens the attack to take St. Avold, the objective of the 319th Regiment.  The high ground northwest of Longeville is the objective of the 318th Regiment.  The 317th Regiment is to pierce the Maginot Line and flank large area.  Tank destroyer battalion and tank battalion attacked.  Artillery preparation for twenty minutes was very heavy.  Clearing Station and headquarters set up in a hospital building in Charbonnages overlooking valley in full view of at least seven batteries of artillery.

 

November 24-28 1944-Attack continues.  St. Avold falls on the morning of November 28th.  The division moves to the east, attempting to take Farebersviller.  The Germans counterattack with tanks.  The town became untenable.  The division pulls out to take ground west of town.

 

December 2-3 1944-Patrol activity.  Clearing Station moved to military hospital at the top of the hill east of St. Avold.  The Germans threw a few shells near this area the night of the 3rd, evidently trying to hit roads on either side of St. Avold, hitting short.

 

December 4 1944-More shells land at approximately 0700.  The Germans will usually shell early night and early morning.  The wall around the hospital afforded us some protection.  Some shells landed within 60 feet of the headquarters detachment.  Some fragments hit their building.  No one was hurt.  This was the closest any shells fell in our area.  More are expected until we are told to clear the Siegfried Line.  150mm howitzer believed firing.

 

Typed page; "November 23 1944-1st and 9th Armies are encountering fierce resistance.  A critical battle in the Ruhr valley is pending.  The 7th Army is meeting light resistance.  There is an estimated one German division against one Allied Corps.  2nd French Armored Division of the 7th Army is located in the vicinity of Pfalsburg.  The 1st French Armored Division is on our left flank (Thus, we are on XX Corps right flank.).  The 5th Division will mop up the remaining forts at Metz.  The 95th Division is moving on the north flank of XX Corps.  The 35th Division is on the right flank of the 80th Division.  There was a slight gain in the vicinity of Hellimer.  Patrols of the 80th sent out to encounter German patrols in the following towns: Bambeiderstroff, Tritteling and Teting.  Anti-tank ditch in front of the Maginot Line is estimated to be 15 by 15 feet in spots.  Pillboxes thought to be used as shelter.

 

November 24 1944-Enemy forces; two battalions of the 261st Regiment is opposing the 80th.  347th Battalion is opposite the 90th Division.  The 36th Division is opposite the 80th Division.  The US 45th Division at Luneville may be committed.  The 10th Armored Division is reported to be at Merzig (unchanged).  The 35th Division is in the vicinity of Hillespricht.  The 26th Division has not reported any new developments.  The 95th Division is on our left flank.  The 2nd French Armored Division has been reported as being at the outskirts of Strasburg.  (Unchanged).

 

November 25 1944-All 80th Division Combat Team objectives were taken.  Ten forts were taken in the advance.  Bambeiderstroff, Laudrefang and Zimming were all occupied.  The 42nd Cavalry is at Zimming.  The general is very well pleased.  He said the Corps Commanding General considers this division the brightest spot of the corps.  The following enemy forces are believed to be in front of this division: 165th Regiment-one battalion, 87th Regiment-one battalion, 860th Regiment-three battalions, and 861st Regiment-three battalions.  The last two regiments are from the German 347th Division.  Enemy troops are believed to have withdrawn towards the northwest.  Tedding is cleared.  However, Lelling is dug-in.  Five aerial bombs reported in this sector.  There were 463 prisoners taken.  The anti-tank ditches behind the forts gave our forces the most trouble.  All three combat teams occupy high ground in the sectors occupied."

 

December 21 1944-Alerted to move to Rawling, in the vicinity of Rohrbach.  Captain Meyer is in charge of the convoy.  We left St. Avold at 1010 and closed at 1350.  Immediately alerted to move to Luxembourg to stop the thrust of Germans along a 60 mile front.  The first regiment cleared the IP at 0700.  Entire division moved to position to defend Luxembourg in 24 hours.  Distance traveled was 125 miles.  Planned change.  The division to attack north of the city of Luxembourg and make contact with enemy elements.  During the night, several Luftwaffe came over, probably on recon.  The concentrated power in Luxembourg opened fire-the entire sky was lit up by tracers at multiple 50's and AA's.  The division advances.  Prisoners have been taken.  Volks Grenadier division only on the southern flank of the German salient.  I saw General Patton in Luxembourg.

 

December 23 1944-Moving to Hollenfels.  Set up in the vicinity of the medieval castle built in the 10th century.  Hundreds of heavies pass overhead.  Weather continues clear.

 

December 24 1944-The division is moving forward.  Air support.  One V-2 in sector.

 

 

 

 

 

December 26 1944-Move to Brisson on MSR.  Village was strafed during daylight, and bombed by night.  Several casualties in Company D.  Bomb landed 300 yards away.

 

January 11 1945-The division is occupying a line from Dahl to Ettelbruck.  During the relief of Bastogne, the 318th Regiment sent two battalions with the 4th Armored Division.  The salient is being narrowed.  The Germans had to change plans.  Instead of continuing the drive to Liege and Antwerp, they had to shuttle all armor to the south to meet the TUSA drive.

 

February 7 1945-The attack on the line began this morning at 0300.  The weather is against us again.  Two regiments, the 319th and 318th attacked.  Several companies got across early.  The Our River current is very fast, making it impossible for bridges except for infantry bridges.  Serious wounded.

 

February 8 1945-Attack continues with more companies across the river.  Casualties light in the Clearing Station, but evacuation across the Our River is very difficult.  Two battalions of the 318th Regiment and two battalions of the 319th Regiment are across.  Progress is slow.

 

February 9 1945-Bridges not in as yet.  Medical supplies dropped by plane.  We were able to have our medical supplies first at the air strip and first supplies taken off about 2200.  The casualties who couldn't be evacuated across the river and who were held in pillboxes and so were laying in the open air twenty-seven hours are brought in.  Now at a time like this, these men are being brought, makes ones heart bleed for them.  What suffering is endured by the men is beyond anyone's comprehension.  People see the pictures of wounded in hospitals where they are clean and possibly recovered from shock.  But if one is able to see them at this stage, it is entirely different.  Wet, dirty, tired and which they may be pretty well mangled up and don't care if they live or not.  I have seen a traumatic surgery performed on a young boy possibly 21.  His left leg was blown off."

 

 

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