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Presidential Citation Ceremonies

 Copied from the HAMBONER,

313th FA publication of 7 July 1945

 

Assembled on the parade grounds of the 80th Division at Kaufbeuren, Germany on Independence Day, 1945 the 313th FA Bn and the 2nd Bn, 318th Infantry each received the unit Presidential Citation from Major Gen. Louis A. Craig, Commander of the XX Corps and Acting Commander of the Third Army.  Citation ribbons were pinned on the battalion officers and flag bearers by Gen. Craig, following which each enlisted man received similar awards presented by battery officers.  Prior to the presentation a Battalion of the 317th Infantry and one from the 319th, plus a provisional battalion paraded past the reviewing stand and the units to be decorated.  The 80th Division band resplendent with white helmets, white leggings, and white web equipment led this parade and its fine music appropriately fitted the occasion.

 

The 313th received this honor for its outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy on 12-21 September 1944.  For the first five days of this action it was the only artillery unit East of the Moselle River where it was supporting the 317th Infantry with artillery fire.  The situation became critical on the night of Sept. 14 when enemy infantry and tanks penetrated deep into our positions.  Under the quick and able leadership of Lt. Col. Frederick W. Ellery all men of the 313th, except those needed to service the pieces were deployed as infantry, and making use of bazookas, machine guns, carbines and other primary weapons repulsed the enemy without loss of materiel.  Two enemy tanks were destroyed in this action.  We were particularly glad that Colonel Ellery, now with Corps Artillery, was able to be with us on Wednesday to take part in the ceremony.

 

In a forceful address to the assembled troops, Gen. Craig emphasized the fact that 80th Division has reached its present position at great cost, one not measured in dollars.  It is therefore our duty to maintain our efficiency while here by a continuance of training which may at times seem arduous and unnecessary.  We are in a country the people of which were until recently our enemies.  Most of them are still unfriendly underneath, and will be glad to see us go home.  During the time that it is your duty to stay here we should never forget that.

 

At the conclusion of Gen. Craig's address, forty-eight rounds of something that sounded like either heavy ammo, or dynamite was fired off in rapid succession.  With a loud roar for each of the forty-eight states it made it seem like the 4th of July celebration at home and was a fitting climax for this impressive ceremony.

 

(Editor's Note: The above, copied from the 313th Hamboner, did not detail the citation for which the 2nd Bn 318th Infantry received the award for its dash into Bastogne, along with the Fourth Armored Division, to break the Nazi encirclement of the 101st Airborne Division.)

 

 

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