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The Moselle

An Infantry Perspective

 

The following is made possible by Jeffrey Wignall, whose diligent research and great generosity in allowing his work to be shared here will I'm sure, help clarify some of the confusion that exists regarding the battles in the Moselle River area during September and October 1944.  My profound thanks to Jeff!  We all owe you a great debt for your labor of love. The following is focused on Jeff's late father's A Company, 1st Battalion, 318th Infantry. Jeff's Dad, William H. Wignall was K.I.A. at Farebersviller, France.

 

Men from the 317th Regiment writing home from the Moselle, September 1944

 

"1 September, 1944: Our advance continued through Savonnieres, Longeville, and Lerouville, about 10k south of St. Mihiel, on the Meuse river, and the regiment arrived at Mittenwald, the bivouac point, two miles west of Commercy early in the afternoon - about 40 miles east of Bar le Duc in the Foret de la Ville - where we went into division reserve, relieving the 4th Armored Division. A supply-laden freight train was discovered here, and placed under guard.  The 2nd and 3rd Bns set up defensive positions northeast of the city. It was cloudy today, but warm. There was only light resistance from the enemy, mainly in the form of bridge destruction, and blocking the roads with abandoned equipment and supplies to hold us up. Seven ME-109's and two Stuka's were spotted at 1400, and two hours later enemy planes bombed and strafed in the area.  We were told in the evening that a group of about 40 German vehicles and 200 to 300 troops were in our immediate front.  As of today, General Eisenhower assumed direct operational command of all the Allied forces in northern France. The US 7th and French 1st Armies, moving rapidly northward through the Rhone valley, had reached the city of Lyon.  Floyd Blankenship (WIA Oct), Ralph Valente (WIA 9 Nov, DOW 24 Nov), John Webb (WIA Sept, hosp 28 Sept), and Harold Yanoff  (WIA Oct, again 10 Nov), joined A Co from the 53rd Repl Bn.

 

 

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