Author Archives: jtomawski

Contacting Me – Updated Form

To anyone interested in researching various records of the 22nd Infantry Regiment during WWII in Europe, I have copies of the following:

June 1944 to May 1945

1. After Action Reports
2. Daily Journals
3. Journal Files

Some of these records contain maps, as well.

Please feel free to contact me, using the “comments” section at the bottom of this post.

Take care,

22nd Infantry Regiment Journals – July 1944

Incidents, Messages, Orders, Etc.
Saturday, July 1, 1944, 2200HenryKenanKenan notified Henry to Have Captain Maskin, Co D 4th Med to come to this CP to see Maj Kenan and Col Foster sometime tomorrow. 308959
Saturday, July 1, 1944, 2230RugglesKentMust investigate willful destruction of uniforms in 1st Bn. The men responsible will either have to sew them or pay for the clothing destroyed. No laundry available so the entire Division will have to wash their own clothes.308959
Sunday, July 2, 1944, 0105HenrySheehyNotification to Capt Maskin was delivered. Will contact Col. Foster 2 July.308959
Sunday, July 2, 1944, 0140Can CanSheehyNo line through Can Can
Sunday, July 2, 1944, 0143G-3SheehyLocation of Can Can 297927308959
Sunday, July 2, 1944, 0146Blue (3/22)SheehyCapt. Walker informed of Can Can's location.308959
Sunday, July 2, 1944, 1440Blue (3/22)HenleyGave Capt. Walker direction to this CP.308959
Sunday, July 2, 1944, 1730All UnitsKenanWarning order to all units of this command - Be prepared to move by O31200B July 44.308959
Sunday, July 2, 1944, 1739S-3BryantCalling for Col.Foster. Col. Foster was not in at the time so Col. Bryant said he would call back.308959
Sunday, July 2, 1944, 2030During the day we received one snow buggy from AT Co, one snow buggy and one jeep from Cannon Company and one jeep from the I & R Platoon of Hq & Hq Co for redistribution as follows: The jeeps (2) for liaison officers, the snow buggies for Chaplains. We are also receiving a jeep from Service Company for Col. Ruggles.308959
Sunday, July 2, 1944, 2320G-2S-2Major Moon has sent two civilians to CIC for questioning. They were apprehended by Capt. Lemann asking pertinent questions concerning arms and personnel.308959
Sunday, July 2, 1944, 2327MoonScroggsInformed Major Moon that civilians who are to be questioned by CIC should not be sent to Division Hq or any other Hq. CIC should be called to the spot they are apprehended.308959
Sunday, July 2, 1944, 2330G-2MoonMajor Moon asks how to contact CIC308959
Monday, July 3, 1944, 0800S-3DivisionCalled to remind us that we supply 15 of the guides.308959
Monday, July 3, 1944, 0905All UnitsS-3Each Bn. and Separate Co. will send from its quartering party Bn. - One officer for the Bn. and one enlisted man from each company. Separate Co's - 1 NCO each. These shall report at the Regimental CP at 0945. Transportation will be supplied by each unit involved. Regt will move any two hours after 1200 by foot and motor. Foot elements to lead; motors to follow. Orders will follow. Checked all Bns. and separate Companys.308959
Monday, July 3, 1944, 1000S-3Personnel Adj.When personnel section moves they need the following transportation - 4-1/2 T trucks w/o trailers or 3-1/2 T trucks with trailers.308959
Monday, July 3, 1944, 1135FO #16 sent out by liaison officers.308959
Monday, July 3, 1944, 1235All UnitsS-3Change in IP and route on FO #16. New IP at cross roads at 294961 - New route west from new IP to cross roads at 273954 and south along present route.308959
Monday, July 3, 1944, 1445Conference callS-3There will be movement today. This Regiment will move tomorrow (July 4) depending on developments now in progress. All arrangements made will be carried out tomorrow as directed today. Quartering parties will return to their units and be ready for some details tomorrow. The movement will be to the same area.308959
Monday, July 3, 1944, 1618KenanDrakeRoute B is blown out at one point. Alternate for this point will be rerouted east through Picauville. Control point will be 280938 to other intersection on far and of Etienville 283930. This section will be one-way traffic south. Move any two hours plus 0600 tomorrow.308959
Monday, July 3, 1944, 1622CargoHenryAgreed by Major Gowan to retain guides from our I & R Platoon over night and furnish rations for them.308959
Monday, July 3, 1944, 1630DrakeKenanRe-checked route with Major Drake.308959
Monday, July 3, 1944, 1647KentKenanHave billeting detail out tomorrow at 0700.308959
Monday, July 3, 1944, 1800All UnitsS-3Distribution made to all Bns. & Separate Co's of overlay to accompany FO #16 - No change assembly areas.308959
Monday, July 3, 1944, 1932GravrokCactusSaid Cabbage was receiving small arms fire - wanted to know if we were doing any firing. Lt. Gravrok checked 2nd Battalion and AT Co. - We aren't doing any firing at the present time.308959
Tuesday, July 4, 1944, 1050Maj. DeYoung, Div G4, visited CP308959
Tuesday, July 4, 1944, 1155HenryG1Wanted information on Col. Teague in connection with his decorations. Need information for Army. Henry referred him to Col Teague for details.308959
Tuesday, July 4, 1944, 1450HenryGoodwinWe won't move until tomorrow - will move after Cabbage moves. General desires that we have some kind of mass organized athletics - Henry notified all units about organized athletics and what information he had on when we might move.308959
Tuesday, July 4, 1944, 1515GoforthKentTold him that an unusual amount of equipment and ammunition was left in Co. "D" in last area.308959
Tuesday, July 4, 1944, 1815S-3MarrMeeting tonight at Division. Col. Foster and one staff officer to attend.308959
Tuesday, July 4, 1944, 1830S-3MarrMeeting called off for tonight. Will be tomorrow at 0930.308959
Tuesday, July 4, 1944, 1940S-312th Inf.CP of 12th Inf. located at 324866.308959
Tuesday, July 4, 1944, 1955CactusHenryBn. Hq. of Engineers at 282985.308959
Wednesday, July 5, 1944, 1300All CommandersFoster(Conference) We will have seven battalions of artillery in support of us. Will be attacking in very flat ground. Flat trajectory weapons can be used quite extensively. Told officers to be planning their use. At least two river crossings will have to be made. Reconnaissance will have to be made at night and in secrecy as to not disclose our direction of attack. Ammunition supply will be difficult so carry maximum. Resupply will be made after dark. March discipline of new men will have to be stressed. Can't say just when we will move but remain on two hour alert. Will have signs in the future to help troops find their way. SOP for quartering party is one officer per Battalion and one enlisten man per company and separate company. Maps are scarcer then heretofor. Study maps and look for likely 88 MM emplacements.308959
Wednesday, July 5, 1944, 1640FosterLiaisonLast of foot troops of the 8th cleared IP at 1539. CP of 8th at 326872. Motors will not move until 1700 at the earliest.308959
Wednesday, July 5, 1944, 1748HenryAA OfficersThese officers saw the 12th crossing La Madeline river. There was intermittent enemy artillery fire. Cargo CP was ready to move up. Our artillery was in close support. The enemy's 88's were concentrating their fire on the road.308959
Wednesday, July 5, 1944, 2134All UnitsKenanAll units from Keenan warning order to all units: move by motor to assembly area at approximately 3583 061200B July 44. Quartering parties report to regimental CP 0700. Carry "K" rations - Trucks released to battalion and separate companies in the vicinity of Amphreville 06100B July 44.308959
Wednesday, July 5, 1944, 2200KenanGoodwinChange of plans for movement – assembly area 360833 north of good road – trucks report to us 0800. We leave as soon as possible. Front lines at 353792 as of 1830.308959
Wednesday, July 5, 1944, 2205All UnitsS-3Change in warning order: Move by truck to assembly area at 360833 approximately 09006 July. Quartering parties report to adjutant 0600. Have transportation and carry "K" rations. Trucks released to battalion and separate companies vicinity Amphreville 0800 – kitchens revert to Regimental control 0900 at CP. Route: Main road to St. Mere Eglise, right on main road to Carentan then right to new assembly area.308959
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 0307All unitsS-3FO #17 space distribution made.308959
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 0945Fwd echelon moving forward to new CP.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1150Forward echelon arrived at new CP. Roads very congested with military traffic. New CP located at 361836.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1225Col. Foster wants Goforth to report to CP for a talk.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1232EdwardsKenanEdwards says his units are almost all in – Kenan says cargo is making slow progress. Enemy using planned artillery fire. Kenan gave second Battalion a recon area. We probably won't be committed until tomorrow.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1240DivisionKenanCanCan CP located at 343844.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1250KenanHarrison2nd Battalion closed at 1230.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1355S-3WillinghamAT company closed at 1315. CP at 353835.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1410S-3Company C 4th MedClosed at 1350.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1400BlueS-33rd Battalion has not identified its closing yet.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1450BlueS-33rd Battalion closed at 1345.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1455CactusFosterAll of Regiment has closed. CP at 361835.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1540KentDeYoungWants to be informed located of train, ammunition DP, and collecting company at all times.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1547CabbageS-3Location of frontline – haven't moved yet. They are still in assembly area.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1625DivisionS-2A 155mm dud located at 359834.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1626GoforthKenan1st Battalion notified to be on alert to move in one hour to support Cargo.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1630ZollerKenanArtillery notified to be on alert to move with 1st Battalion.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1653CargoKenanCargo White front lines at 355800. Extends N.W. – Blue right behind White.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1705Major Moon got report that many Germans had stolen civilian clothes.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 1720EgglestonFosterWanted Eggleston to report to CP.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 2045S-3CanCanCanCan called and asked for location of Blue and White CP's so as to send forward observers there. Maj. Kenan gave him information. Blue at 366840 - White at 366831.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 2050Red 3S-3Maj. Kenan asked if liaison officer and forward observers arrived from CanCan – Answered yes.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 2110S-3MarrThe 12th will move on to coordinate 35. The 8th will make a night attack to pull abreast of the 12th on the right flank.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 2115All UnitsKenanAll units from Kenan – The 1st Battalion is released from 1 hour alert. The 22nd on 2 hour alert to advance and pass thru the 12th and seize the 12th objective. In any eventuality we will move one bound forward behind the 12th. The 22nd is prepared to move on short notice. Short notice is probable. There will probably be an order out tonight.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 2205S-3EdwardsThere is not enough yellow smoke grenades on hand to use to mark lines. Maj. Edwards was told to go back and draw all he needed.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 2215Cactus 3MoonCapt. Moon request a photographic mission flown tomorrow. Major Swink will fly this mission if it is flown. From Pirier north and east along the river Taute to vertical grid 35. The patient thinks chances are slight but are sending some photos taken in this vicinity if the not answer will endeavor to have the mission flown.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 2220S-2OperatorReported unexploded shell lying exposed in road. This has been reported previously and it was to be taken care of. Since it could not be removed before tomorrow afternoon Capt. Moon will have a barrier put around it.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 2245KenanHenryLocation of CanCan for liaison men – 353827.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 2255S-1HenryReceipt of message to Spec. Co's. This message is reported previously in this journal.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 2300S-3EllasPositions of Battalions at 12th clarified & commitments of C company and one unnamed company made and reported. One company of the 1st Battalion of the 12th has infiltrated in 83rd division area to knock out 30 men and 1 75mm gun in operation. The 12th has taken only 8 prisoners and suffered 50 casualties. Report extensive mines and roadblocks in this area. One roadblock at 342782 surrounded with mines.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 2310Cactus 3S-3Maj. Kenan wanted to know if we should all be awake and alert at daybreak. Answer – No, but be prepared for any eventuality. Call at 0700 in the morning for clear picture of situation.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 2315S-2Noble C Co.Reports to Maj. Moon that he saw F Company on the other side of road. Engineers off road. Antitank there on road. This report was meant for 1st Battalion and misdirected to S-2.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 2325S-1S-3Received a copy of S-3 periodic report for file. These periodic reports are requested by Division.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 2330Cactus 4S-3Want location of Castiron CP. Answer 261982.361836
Thursday, July 6, 1944, 2335Report elements of 6th paratroopers (German) in Division sector. Report element of armored Int. in our sector.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 0015The 8th 1st and 2nd bns will attack at 0330 July 7 under artillery barrage
abreast. The 12th starts 0630. Bombing will be used on objective preceded by heavy artillery barrage. Barrage 0546. Bombing 0600 to 0635.
Friday, July 7, 1944, 0015DivisionDeedyLt. Deedy is bringing to Div S3 Periodic report covering period from 052400B July 44 to 0624002 July 44.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 0049All UnitsFosterWarning order issued. Distribution made and completed at 0135.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 0700S-3Cactus 3Maj. Kenan called and asked for situation. He was told 8th had advanced but not as far as they expected to go. Don't know about 12th.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 0725S-3DeedyReports that the 8th has passed the inundated area and is moving forward to its objective. The 12th got off on time but is moving very slowly because of heavy machine gun fire.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 0746S-3BensonAsked Maj. Kenan if photos sent covered terrain. Maj. Kenan answered no. New pictures will be sent. The mission for these photographs was already flown.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 0830GoodwinKenan12th 1st Bn has moved to pass over and around the 2nd. 8th situation not known.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 0943S-3WillinghamGeneral positions of Bn's of 8th and 12th.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 1053Col. Foster wants all officers from Regiment to report to CP by 1130.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 1614All UnitsFosterAll Bn Comdrs report to Regtl CP and bring one staff officer who can make reconnaissance of area to the rear of the 83rd for a forward assembly area.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 1615S-1S-3Received overlay for files. Reference points to be used in connection with operations in this zone.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 1623All UnitsFosterAll units are alerted to move on one hour notice.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 1625Cactus 3FosterCol. Foster requested that pt #7 be bombed ahead of proposed schedule. He was informed that points 2,3,6 & u had been ordered to be bombed at 1900 this evening. Col. Foster spoke of further missions and was advised that 3 hours notice in advance is best and time limits would always be named. Dive bombing is being used entirely.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 1725S-1Liaison1st Bn of 12th captured a Lt Col and 6 men of the 1st SS Panzer Div. The officer was the commander of the SS Regiment.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 1730HenryBurnside329th west to east dispersed 350790. 1st and 3rd Bn behind 1600. 12th Inf CP 352820. The 70th TD Bn is lined up on main road. The 12th has run against tough young fresh troops. Prisoners sullen. she enemy is dug in deep.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 1755GoodwinKenanMaj. Kenan asked what coordination would be between the 22nd and the 12th so that there wouldn't be any 12th fire on us. Goodwin says the 12th is advised of our position and will use no artillery. They are receiving an overlay which will define the position of the 22nd. Co Co of the 801 TD is attached to us. All of 70th Tank except one Co. Co D of the Chemical Mortars is attached to us. There will be not attack tonight. It is tentatively planned for 0600 tomorrow.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 1945KenanHarrisonHarrison gave Kenan some dope about Division front.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 2130KenanGoodwinAdvance information- attack 0900 8 July- 10D 352795.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 2141FosterDivisionGen. Barton wants Foster to report to Division CP.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 2200All Bns.HenryWarning order - plan to move out 0400 8 July- More details later.361836
Friday, July 7, 1944, 2300All Bns.HenryConfirmed warning order. Will move out 0400 8 July 1944. Orders will be late. (Maj Kenan called and said it is definite we will move 0400)361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0030S-5S-3Maj. Kenan called and said he would be back about 0100. Bn. Comdrs and Sep Co comdrs to meet at Regtl CP at 0100. Conference to be held.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0300S-3Marr0915 bomb #'s 4 & 5 0905 to 0915. Overlay coming down to us to show artillery and bomb concentration. If we want more targets bombed send word. Be ready to move out at 0915.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0302WhiteS-3Informed Maj. Edwards of delay in bombing and that he can call for more plane support if necessary.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0305RedKenanNo change except line of departure time 0915.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0309KenanWillinghamLt Willingham requests a jeep. Maj. will try to get him one. Cannot think of one off hand.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0326CanCanKenanMaj. Kenan informed CanCan of change of time of attack to 0915. Will send CanCan overlay and list of concentrated artillery from 0915 to 0930. Maj. Kenan wants this continued to 0945. It is to tie in with an aerial bombardment. (see order).361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0345KenanWarrenInformed Maj. Kenan that three Battalions will concentrate on point #1.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0348S-3WarrenPoints to be fired on were questioned. Answer was they are OK.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0407All UnitsHenryDefense overlay of enemy position already now, but liaison is out at present. Either send for it or wait until order is out then we'll make distribution. Order will probably not reach Bns until they are on the road.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0512All UnitsKenanEnemy tank assembly area located at 345784.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0525KenanHillChange in bombing target, by Blackstone #6- #6 355779, #7-351777, #8-345776. #9-345771361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0730Cargo 5S-3Maj. Kenan asked if Col. Marr called 12th and told them to cooperate as much as possible with 22nd in forthcoming attack. Answer - Yes. Cargo 3 said that about all that can be done is observe our fire. Will also use cannon and mortars for supporting fire.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0800S-6Red 3Maj. Goforth called and inquired of any new changes. None.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0804S-2Col. HansonCol. Hanson called and said that enemy were attacking at 37647680 with heavy tanks with 88mm followed by infantry.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0825S-2Capt. PorterTold Capt. Moon bombing would take place 0925. Attack changed to 0945. Artillery from 0945 to 1000.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 08301st Bn CP at 361799361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0905Co "C", 4th Engr CP at 314877.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0930G-3S-5Col. Ruggles called Div. and asked if bombing schedule would be adhered to. Yes it would.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0930Hear planes overhead. Bombing underway.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0945S-5Capt. PorterReported to Col Ruggles air mission completed. (Said some bombs fell short of targets) Col Ruggles called Kenan at 1st Bn and notified him.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 0945LiaisonS-31st and 2nd Bn jumped off at 0945.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1007HickeyS-5Hickey said new CP location would be satisfactory for communication.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1012DelaneyMoonInformed Maj Delaney that Maj Kenan will report to Maj Delaney upon his return.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1025RedS-5Can't contact Maj Kenan at this CP. He is at fwd CP.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1027S-5CanCanHave completed mission standing by for call missions.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1045CabbageHenryCP 329839. Sending liaison officer to get information, if any, from prisoners.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1050S-2PorterBombing targets requested by cabbage, 1 & 2 before 1200- 331804-326801; others 1200-1500 328798-317791-311755.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1053S-2GoodwinLeading Bn is 2nd - 2nd has crossed barrier. Casualties from S mines- no other resistance. Will send position of 1 & 3 upon receipt of same.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1055S-3WhiteWhite crossed LOD at 1008.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1057RedS-2Asked for Maj Kenan- No line thru to forward CP where he is working on line.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1100KenanRugglesAsked about a move. This seems to be coming but we haven't the area yet. Maj Keenan reports White meeting resistance at 348786.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1117S-5KenanNew CP is in vicinity of 358805.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1120S-2CanCanCamber called CanCan to find if they were firing any white phosphorus. CanCan is not. Wants to know if we are firing in area 333795.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1129RugglesCanCanThe 8th picked up some voluntary prisoners.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1136S-2DrakeCargo reports WP 347794 in 1st Bn area.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1145S-2BurnsideSouthwest of stream - Center 346786 - Not using WP.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1205Henry20th F.A.Wants some information. 2nd Bn called for mortar fire on 347785. This and general information given by Lt. Henry.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1210S-2Burnside2nd Bn CP at 360797. Shell fire at 220 mag azimuth of fairly heavy caliber peaking over this CP.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1217S-2Red 1Red forward CP. Troops are following titbits and meeting no re resistance. Capt Moon reports White stymied by automatic fire right now. S3 and S6 are forward visiting.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1225Camber 2S-2360797- Maj Moon reports this point having heavy caliber fire passing overhead at 5 minute intervals.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1230GoodwinS-2We are not responsible for white phosphorus fire. Maj Moon gives location of 2nd Bn at 347787 held up by small automatic fire. Reports 331st leading elements at 362780 at 1210- Moon sending I & R patrol in the gap between this point and our troops.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1305Art.FosterCaisson 6 asked for Artillery fire on 318752.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1307RugglesBurnsideNo change - still held up - Co "G" made little progress with tanks.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1323HickeyRugglesWhite located at 348784.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1330WatsonFosterPoints to be worked over in artillery spare time 321743-316746-308743-302737. Watson notified FDC Jealous is putting 15 rounds per hour until 1700.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1353RugglesCargo 3Ruggles gave cargo 3 our situation - Cargo 3 gave Ruggles his situation. Cargo CP at 353822.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 14451st Bn located 361800- 3rd Bn 363603361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1453White front lines at 345785- CP at 361800.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 14568th Inf CP 349621361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1500S-3RedFront lines at 351788 - mixed in with reserve co of white.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1507GoodwinMoonCo "G" advancing- Co "F" pinned down - lost one tank.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1615Red 5Henry"K" Co of Cabbage is in our sector at 338796. Receiving fire from point 338794. They plan to call for artillery. Called 1st Bn. to see if all is clear. Everything clear go ahead and fire.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1700S-5S-3Maj. Kenan called and Col. Ruggles told of situation as he knew it.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1735S-2White 6Receiving small arms fire on left flank, right flank, and front.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1800Forward echelon moving up to new CP soon.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1810S-2Maj. SwinkAsked for 1st Bn location. Just south of 351788. Capt Moon also gave him "F" Co location of 345785 and "G" Co at 345782.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1815S-5S-3Button up at 2100 tonight - Resume attack in morning at 0730. Arty concentrations to be carefully registered and sharp watch kept on flanks tonight.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1817S-1LatimerBn. swinging around and getting set to attack objective. Sending out patrol to contact Cabbage.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1900Forward echelon moving forward to new CP.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1940Arrived at new CP - located at 368819.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 1945G-6S-61st Bn reported on objective. Told to keep pushing to southwest. But stay in Zone of Action.361836
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2002General Roosevelt arrives at new CP for visit.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2007General Roosevelt left after a short conversation with Col Foster.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2016Blue 3FosterTold them to move to advanced area immediately.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2018WhiteFosterCol. Foster asks what progress is being made. The progress has been very slow because of artillery fire. White his seen tail end of Bn. Red also progressing slowly. White is further informed to disregard previous instructions to button up at 2100 but to keep pushing and advising Col. Foster of progress.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2025BlueFosterAsks for location of leading elements. Foster directs that Bn. keeps pushing and advise him of progress.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2030FDC CanCanKenanConcentrations to be done right away. Red Bn. at present pushing south and west making good progress. All other concentrations ignore at present. Wilco and report when concentration on pt 322776 is made. Other concentrations are 318765-323765-327764-333768-326767-318773.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2102CanCanKenanFiring concentration 322776 - Kenan asks for 10 minutes. Wilco & fire longer if required.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2108Cactus 4S-4Foster wishes to make a complaint about the German dead left by the 83rd Division. Maj DeYoung advises that Maj. sent must gather up these dead and let DeYoung know how mane he turns over to the Quartermaster.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2219Red and forward White out so far.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2125KenanCanCanCamber wants our OK to fire on 32467821. Its OK'd by Maj Kenan.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2131S-2Opr.Have wire into White and Blue, CanCan, Cannon Co, and two lines to Division at present.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2138KenanCampus Red 5Wants the release of our tanks if our 1st Bn is digging in for the night. We plan some attachments tomorrow-this latter statement made as a warning.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2147RedKenanKenan orders they stop at present point and button up for the night. Continue attack on same plan tomorrow at 0730. Asked for present lines - Unknown - Bn. is moving CP forward - Before doing so Kenan asks for tentative location of same. Wilco.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2151WhiteKenanHalt your attack in present point and button up. Prepare to contine attack to same objective with same attachments tomorrow at 0730. Cannot stop now - receiving an attack. Kenan advises they keep tanks as long as necessary and that we can supply more antitank protection.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2151HenryDrakeHenry reports that Maj. Edwards is being attacked by several tanks from his right flank. Drake asks situation of 1st. Henry informs him that it is not known. Drake asked to be kept advised. Wilco. Drake wishes to speak to Col. Foster. Asks Col. Foster what change there is in dispositions. Col. foster talked of tanks and everything attacking 2nd Bn.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2205KenanEdwardsNeeds a Co for aid to F Co who is flushed out of it place. Kenan will send Co of Infantry and antitank units.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2209Blue 6KenanWhite needs aid. Kenan is sending platoon of antitank. Col. Teague will commit L Co to White's aid. Situation is grave. The tank infantry attack is in hand. Col. Teague is sending machine gun section to F Co Edwards doesn't know how many German tanks & Infantry there is in his area. Col. Teague orders Blazzard down hedgerow in middle of two roads. One tank, 60 ton job, is moving back. One tank in flames. F Co rallied. Ordered 60 rds of WP mortar fire on road. Blazzard ("K" Co) going down to consult with Edwards leaving his company alerted. White was moving antitank gun around burned out tank when attack started.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2230HenryPorterPorter will call back in ten minutes. Wished to discuss air targets.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2345HenryPorterTalked over targets for air mission.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2253KenanWillinghamLt. Willingham believes that other platoon should not be committed. Kenan agrees.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2300KenanCampus RedOrder will be out tonight. Kenan asks that Campus send a man down to pick up information. Kenan indicates that it will be first and second in Battalion echelon with 3rd in reserve. Attachments and plans the same. 0800 tomorrow.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2305Cactus 3S-3CP of 8th Inf 349821. 357778 - 2nd of 331st, 3rd 367789. Cabbage is moving up to 334793.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2310KenanEdwardsEdwards reports that the 2nd Bn got two tanks today. Says they are big ones for they have 88MM mounted on them. Wiped out a lot of Infantry with tanks. Estimate of enemy attacking force is one company of Infantry. There is still Infantry and three tanks to "K" Co front.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2325PorterKenanAir missions for 0800 9 July 332779-337777-331775-336774- Bombline from 335786 to 350780.368819
Saturday, July 8, 1944, 2359ShortKenanKenan asked Short if he could clear the main asphalt road of mines up to the front lines tonight.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0001KenanArt.331st Inf wants to fire S and E of 341776 - This point is in our zone of action - answer, no.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0020KenanShortGoing to clear road early in the morning.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 00303rd Bn of Cabbage at 329793.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 00322nd Bn. Radio MessageWire destroyed completely- Can we expect help from you? Kenan notified and Hickey too. We are sending a radio message to 2nd Bn to start working towards us and we will work toward them.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0045KenanCabbage 33rd Bn of Cabbage have a little activity on their flank - Want to know if its us or not - Kenan going to check - Red wire out.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0130KenanArt.331 Inf. can fire anywhere SE of 341777.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0205Red 3S-6Col. Foster discussed days events with Maj. Goforth. Had a few casualties caused by enemy arty while moving up to 2nd Bn. Col. Foster to him to continue attack in morning and keep pushing. Maj. Goforth told the Col. slow progress was due to not being able to call for arty becase of troops in front. 368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0400S-3Capt. PorterAir missions to be flown from 0740-0750 + on 0800. First mission will take in point 332780. Others will be bombed at 0800 to 0810.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0415S-3Capt. PorterCo. D 87th is allowed, only 1/3 basic amm. of firing today.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0445Attack orders sent out by liaison officers. (See copy order)368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0545S-32nd BattalionThe 2nd Battalion has received their orders.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0608S-3WalkerThe 3rd Battalion hasn't received its orders as yet.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0615Opr.HenryWires to all Battalions.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0616HenryBatesCheck on 1st Battalion. On objective and were pushed off. Wanted to know if they were to take yesterdays objective together with today or to bypass the former.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0620S-3BlueBlue reports receipt of its orders.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0627S-3EllisAll Battalions have received their orders. Reports that the 2nd Battalion knocked out the German 60 ton job.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0700JournalS-3Receipt of S3 periodic report and overlay.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0722S-2Can Can33767780 is the coordinate and the road junction. Do not jibe. 33907796 are the coordinates which are right. 33807780 S. end 34017801 N. end are the bounds of #5. They are going to shell this 155mm rifles.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0735S-2DelaneyJump off at that area- no air support- to get it it will have to be requested through Porter368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0740Caisson 6BartonMajor Goforth's Bn pull back clear off the position. Because of artillery plan, 1st and 2nd continue the attack. To get by Saltiny- Saltiny should be cleared by 8th and 12th.368819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0755S-5WatsonOther objectives fired by Arty 0820 to 0830. Air not flown.
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0800LanhamCactus 6The ground lost yesterday was invaluable it must be reclaimed. The 1st Bn's failure must be investigated but this is not paramount. We must deep a net with Cactus 6 today at all times. Col. Foster has been relieved of command. Col. Lanham to take command. Col. Foster to remain as assistant to Col. Lanham.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0803FosterPorter331780 target which was cancelled will be hit at 0850.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0810S-5WhiteCol. Lanham tells Maj. Edwards that the attack must be reclaimed and that the fall back was responsible for the Regiment's failure yesterday. Try to outflank the enemy who has moved into the lost ground. Use artillery all possible. (Line went dead)366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 08251st Bn.S-6Col. Lanham tells Capt. Latimer that this Bn. must take back the lost ground. Nothing to stop them under any circumstances. Tells the Capt. to inform Maj. Goforth that he was largely responsible for Col. Foster losing command.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0839RugglesGoforth1st Battalion 200 yds past LOD- Ruggles told him that air mission was coming in on point #331780 at 0850. Red is moving fast, no resistance. 1st Bn. jumped off at 0830.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0914RugglesCabbage 3Request permission to fire artillery on points #332783 and 330781- Ruggles checked and said OK. Cabbage sent a company between gap between his 1st Bn. and our 3rd Bn.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0924Blue 5Casson 6Col. Lanham wants Col. Teague to report to CP for a conference.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0935CP Red at 346791- Front lines as of 0900 at 343788.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0943LanhamBartonBarton gave Lanham some advance information. We will have to hold up 2nd Bn. until 331st take their objective.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0945Col. Ruggles sent to 2nd Bn. to take command.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 0953DelaneyKentHenry gave Delaney the situation.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 1020WatsonArtilleryChecking firing points.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 1040WatsonArtilleryArtillery checking point #348778- No dice- can fire 340774.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 1053Capt. Kent8th Inf.Approval to bomb point #330780 at 1330. We OK it. Bomb line 340780 Northwest to 333789- Porter said it is disapproved.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 1100KentG-2Black Bird reported enemy tanks 342778 along road at 1025. 1st Bn. CP 345792- Front lines 341788- No change in right flank.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 1120KentCabbage 3Checking firing points - OK to fire 334788.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 1145KentBurnsideReports 1st Bn. 344785. Not quite up to them.366819
Sunday, July 9, 1944, 1150S-6Gen. BartonOne battalion from 12th will be put on right flank of 1st Bn. to help us and 8th.366819
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Battle of Luxembourg – 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division



Interview with:

Captain Arthur C. Newcomb, Bn S-3 (by Lt. S.J. Tobin) at Berbourg, Luxembourg, and interviews at Beaufort, Luxembourg, 21 January 1945 (by Lt. Col. Wm. T. Gayle) with the following:

Captain Robert B. McLean, Bn S-1

Captain James W. Graham, then Cmdg. H Co. 22nd, and during the action with the Bn. Command Group.

1st Lt. Harold Simon, Bn S-4

Captain James B. Burnside, Ex. O., 2nd Bn, 22nd.

The following is an official overlay map from the 22nd Infantry Regiment:

(Click the map to view a larger version)

Battle of Luxembourg - Area Map

On Dec. 16 the 2nd Bn. was in 22nd Inf. regimental reserve at Oetrange. In the afternoon orders were received to move by truck next morning to the 12th Inf. area for attachment to that regiment. The battalion moved out of Oetrange at 0730 Dec. 17 and proceeded to an assembly area about 300 yards south of Bech. About 1030 Co. F entrucked and moved to Berbourg where they mounted on tanks of Co. A 19th Tank Bn. of the 9th Armored Division, to go to the aid of Co. L 12th Inf. at Osweiler.

Co F. joined the tanks and moved from Berbourg thru Herborn, thence north towards Osweiler. As they passed the Miesbusch woods (064310) they received small arms fire. The column stopped, the infantry dismounted and fanned out, and then with the tanks advanced thru the western edge of the woods. The Germans withdrew before this attack and 16 men of Co. C 12th Inf. were recaptured.

Co. F and the tanks returned to the road and moved into Osweiler arriving in the middle of the afternoon. As they neared the town an American plane attacked the column and knocked out one tank. Panels were immediately displayed and the attack by our planes was stopped, but as the tanks entered the town the enemy put down a heavy artillery and mortar barrage. One tank suffered a damaged track from this fire but was evacuated after dark. The situation at Osweiler was well under control by this time. An enemy attack, the last made on Osweiler, had been beaten off that morning. Co F. remained, reinforcing Co. L 12th, while the tanks withdrew to Berbourg that night.


While Co. F was moving to Osweiler (Start), the rest of the battalion marched northeast from Bech, with companies in column G, E, H.

One section of heavy machine guns and a section of mortars were with Co. G and a section of machine guns with Co. E, which left four machine guns, four mortars, and 48 men, and four officers with Co. H at the tail of the column. The Battalion Command Group was between G and E. At a road junction a thousand yards south of Michelshof, the column turned right on the trail which leads to the eastern part of the woods. About 800 yards beyond the RJ, just beyond the point where the trail crosses the small road to Geyershof, the column encountered a mudhole at least knee deep.  They were never able to get any vehicles thru this obstacle and from there on the move was entirely by foot.

The advance continued, following the trail around to the north along the crest of the ridge. (Omit) Exact location was difficult to determine in the woods and the march went on past the point where they should have turned east to get on the road to Osweiler. The battalion commander, Lt. Col. Thomas Kennan, realized this about 1500 when the head of the column was at approximately 041330. He ordered Co. G to turn to the southeast and move out on the nose at the edge of the woods (046327) where they could get observation to the east. (<- out) (Start again) (No paragraph here) It was just after this move started that the column was attacked.

The Germans had evidently been moving south at the foot of the steep bank on the east edge of the woods. They came up this bank at several points, cutting and eventually passing thru the American column. The first attack hit the head of Co. H. The Germans were apparently as much surprised at the first encounter as were the men of Co. H. The first enemy seen was a single scout who reached the top of the bank, (omit) (at about 040318), to find himself face to face with the Americans. The Germans opened fire with a burp gun, but the radio operator of Co. H killed him with a carbine. Then more Germans came up attacking Co. H on the right flank and also passing across the front of their column and getting on the left flank also. Practically all of the German troops had automatic weapons and they also opened fire with a 50mm mortar. The men of Co. H had been caught flatfooted while carrying machineguns and mortars. There was a dogfight for a while until Co. H succeeded in pulling back a few hundred yards to a draw at 03613 where they formed a circular defense. There Co. H was surrounded for the rest of the afternoon, fighting off an enemy which considerably outnumbered them.

The machine gun section which was at the rear of Co. E’s column had also been involved in the first enemy attack. But as the Germans came up in force between then and the rest of Co. B, they moved forward to catch up with Co. E. It was a while before the rest of the battalion knew that Co. H was in a fight. The battalion headquarters heard the firing but it sounded so distant that they did not suppose it to be in that battalion; they had been hearing considerable remote firing all afternoon. The first information that the battalion had of this attack was when the Executive Officer of Co. E ran up to the command group and said that Co. H was in a fight. About the same time the radio operator of Co. H. – the same man who had killed the first German – got thru with a message to the same effect. Col. Kennan ordered Co. E to turn around, go back astride the trail, and relieve H. Co. E made hardly any progress before they ran into strong German forces and were stopped. The enemy had evidently come up from the east in at least company strength between companies E and H. At the same time they came up all around Co. G. For the rest of the afternoon these two companies were under heavy small arms and 50mm. mortar fire and for a while were separated from each other as well as from Co. H. The battalion suffered a number of casualties during the afternoon skirmish.

That night contact was restored between E and G and they formed a circle near the east edge of the woods, with the battalion command group and a section of machineguns completing the circle on the north. There was no contact with Co. H, the last radio message having been received shortly after the attack started when the H Co. operator said, “Don’t call me any more; the enemy are too close”.

Apparently there had been no enemy activity north of the positions of Companies E and G; during the afternoon it had been possible to move to the trail junction about 500 yards north of Co. G and back down the other trail to E without encountering the enemy. After dark there was no contact and no firing thruout the night. Evidently the hostile force had gone its way to the southwest. Co. H. also was able to withdraw after dark and returned to Bech.


When the battalion first moved out the Bn CP remained at Beck. Later I went forward to reconnoiter the supply route. Finding the mudhole in the trail at 029309 impassable, I went to Michelshof to look for a route from there. When I got near the CR at Michelshof, I came under artillery fire that followed me around so closely I’m sure it was observed. There was one TD somewhere near Michelshof, and they were taking great care to keep hidden on account of the enemy fire.

Seeing that we would not be able to use a route thru Michelshof, and having heard from Co. F that they had reached Osweiler without difficulty, I asked permission by radio to move the CP to some point on the Herborn–Osweiler road. Col. Kennan replied emphatically, “let me tell you my situation”, and he made it clear that the battalion was pretty well surrounded. He ordered the CP to move to Geyershof.

Captain Burnside, the Bn. Ex. O., brought the CP up on foot except for a few wire vehicles, but later all the battalion transportation was brought to Geyershof and dispersed in an open field just back of the CP.

An AT gun was placed about 800 yards north of Geyershof on the road to Michelshof, near the south edge of the woods. Captain

McLean moved to the same point with the radio because of difficulty with reception in the low ground at Geyershof. The cannon platoon which was attached to the battalion also went into position nearby. But this position soon came under heavy shelling. The cannon platoon and the radio moved back down to the vicinity of the building in the northern part of the village where the CP was set up.

The AT gun remained in the exposed position.

Communication was difficult and uncertain thruout Dec. 17 and.l8. When the battalion advanced from Bech in the morning a wire vehicle accompanied the command group in the usual way, but it was stopped at the mudhole north of Geyershof. The wire crew then removed the reel from the vehicle and tried to follow the advance on foot, but they were unable to keep up. Thruout the afternoon this

crew was by itself in the woods doggedly laying wire, but they never succeeded in reaching the forward CP. Thruout the fight in the afternoon and the passage of the German battalion thru the woods, the wire crew was never attacked, but next day German wire was found tapped in on our line. Apparently the enemy deliberately allowed our linemen to go on with their work.

There was only intermittent wire communication from the CP at Geyershof to the rear. The line back to Bech was cut repeatedly by artillery fire and though repair was continuous the line was out a great deal of the time. During the night this line stayed in but just south of Bech the wire to the 12th Inf. CP was cut by shelling. Because of this difficulty with its wire, most of the communication to the rear during the late afternoon and night was transmitted thru the artillery, which managed to keep in its line from Geyershof to the battery at Bech, which had a line to 42nd FA Bn. and thence to 12th Inf.

There was, however, little positive information to transmit to the regiment that night. About all that was known at the CP about the situation was that the battalion was surrounded by enemy in unknown strength. There was no wire forward and little use could be made of the radio partly because of poor reception in the Geyershof hollow and partly because Col. Kennan was unwilling to talk much on the radio. Again the artillery battery (B44th) did an excellent job of maintaining communication in spite of the difficulties. When the artillery radio jeep was stopped at the mudhole, the radio operator showed excellent initiative in finding a way to operate in spite of being left behind. He brought his jeep back to Geyershof and parked it at the window of the switchboard room at the CP.  He remained in contact with the forward observer by portable radio, and the next day successfully controlled fire by receiving radio messages from the FO, and shouting them in the window to the telephone operator who transmitted them to the battery at Bech. (This man was killed next day when a shell fragment hit him in his hole).

Supply was also a problem. The impossibility of getting vehicles thru the mudhole on the route followed by the battalion and the fact that the enemy was putting observed fire on Michelshof, made it necessary to resort to carrying parties. Supply jeeps went as far forward as possible, which was about 200 yards east of Michelshof, and there they were met by the A & P platoon which handcarried everything for the remaining mile and a half to the battalion. It was a source of amazement to the battalion officers that in spite of the enemy battalion which was somewhere in the woods nearby, the A & P Platoon worked without interference all night and completed the carriage of supplies.

The lone TD which was in Michelshof was very uneasy about its exposed position and asked for infantry protection. This the battalion was unable to furnish and the TD wanted to withdraw. With much persuasion they were induced to remain, Captain McLean pointing out that members of the carrying party and the jeep drivers would be near their position most of the time. McLean was very anxious to keep the TD there to furnish a little protection for the sensitive transfer point on the supply line. After the last trip the carrying party remained with the TD until morning, which led to their being cut off when the Germans advanced.


On the morning of Dec. 18 the battalion up in the woods found itself free of any enemy contact. They moved south to the lateral trail, turned east, and marched toward Osweiler without any opposition from the Germans. But as they came out of the woods on the road, north of Fromburg Farm they received heavy fire from American tanks, the same tanks that were with Co. F. These tanks, which had spent the night at Herborn, had returned to Osweiler in the morning and had been sent eastward to assist the battalion. In view of the situation which had existed the previous night, it was not reasonable to expect that the battalion would march out of the woods unopposed, without the firing of a shot, and the assumption by the tanks that they were the enemy was natural. It was a difficult situation for nearly two hours with the infantry battalion pinned down and suffering some casualties. Eventually a patrol with a white flag made its way around thru the draw on the right and made contact with the tanks.

A little before noon Companies E and G entered Osweiler and joined Co. F. For the rest of that day and the 19th they remained at Osweiler taking no action except the out-posting of the town. Here the three rifle companies were reunited but were far separated from the battalion headquarters at Geyershof and the service elements and the greater part of Co. H at Bech. (Omit) Co. H after its fight in the woods had made its way back to Bech during darkness). These elements were ordered to move to Herborn but before the move could be made they became heavily involved with the German 316th Regiment. (Stop go to page 11 narrative)


All was quiet at Geyershof until about noon. Realizing how uncertain the situation was, Captain Burnside had made all arrangements for security which his means permitted. There was still the TD at Michelshof and 500 yards south of it the battalion’s AT gun. Outposts composed of battalion headquarters personnel were occupying some abandoned artillery positions about 200 yards northwest of the CP. The two infantry cannon were in position just west of the CP sighted to fire up the hill to the northeast. The only possible exit from Geyershof was via the CR to the north; the road and trails leading south were not passable for vehicles.

The CP received some shelling a little before noon. Sometime afterward small arms fire was heard to the south. This was from a platoon of towed TDs (2A802) which was in position a thousand yards south on the Jacobsberg road. This seems to have been the first American unit hit by the German 2nd Bn. 316th as it advanced southeast from Scheidgen. This platoon being unable to get out southward to Jacobsberg, retreated to the north, passing thru Geyershof. As they approached the CR 500 yards north of the village, they were fired on from northeast and northwest and were unable to get thru. About the same time a platoon of the 803rd TD Bn. (SP) which had been in position 500 yards east of Geyershof firing as artillery, tried to withdraw thru the village but found the road blocked by the towed platoon.

It was obvious now that all the Americans at Geyershof were bottled up. Accordingly Captain Burnside had the TD’s pull back to the village and put them in position on the east alongside the cannon platoon. All three of these units were manning their guns with minimum personnel and put the rest of their men out as infantry. The part of the A & P Platoon which was present took positions in the houses in the southern part of the village covering the south. The west was still held by the outposts of the battalion headquarters in the old artillery position up the hill. It was a slim defense and the enemy were now all around. They did not close in but their presence in the woods on all sides was proved by the heavy small arms fire they were delivering. Considerable numbers of enemy were also observed on the open hilltop a thousand yards to the east.

The TD and the infantry carrying party at Michelshof were completely cut off. However they seem to have escaped detection and later in the day escaped down the highway to Wolper. The AT gun south of Michelshof was overrun. Two of the crew were found dead there later, the balance presumably captured.

The enemy kept up a heavy fire on the Geyershof defense, both small arms and observed artillery fire; they scored two direct hits on the CP building. They also placed artillery on our vehicles knocking out a jeep and two trailers. When the attack first developed, an ambulance with a casualty, and a jeep, had made a run for it. The enemy poured a stream of bullets at these vehicles as they went thru the CR but they escaped. However the volume and close range of the fire decided Captain Burnside against trying to make a dash out with all the vehicles. The defenders could not reply effectively to the hostile fire since the enemy stayed out of sight in the woods, although the TDs did some firing into the woods to the northeast. What may have been the enemy’s intentions as to attacking the place never appeared, for the siege was broken by the arrival of our tanks.

Co. C 70th Tank Bn. had been detached that morning from TF Luckett and ordered to report to 2nd Bn. 22nd. During the morning Captain Taynton ?, having left his company in Bech had reported in at Geyershof and been instructed to bring his company there. At that time Captain Burnside did not yet know that the battalion had marched out of the woods without opposition. During the time that Captain Taynton returned to Bech and led his company forward, the enemy attack developed. As the tanks moved up the trail toward the CR north of Geyershof they were fired on by the Germans in the woods. Captain Taynton attacked into the woods but his own tank was knocked out by a bazooka. Deciding that he could not break thru the enemy without infantry support, Captain Taynton mounted another tank and returned to Bech were he called on the Battalion S-4 for assistance. Lt. Simon the S-4 had no men except cooks and supply personnel and apparently was not very encouraging about the possibility of using them for infantry. At any rate Captain Taynton then went to the 174th Field Artillery Bn. (l35G), obtained 25 men and took them back to join his tanks. The attack on the Germans in the woods was renewed, but they were unable to dislodge the enemy, who were present in considerable numbers. Then the tank captain decided to move around by the trail. The tanks did an enormous amount of firing on this move with all their guns, especially into the woods to the northeast where the main body of the enemy seemed to be. Under fire from our tanks the hostile small arms fire slackened considerably and the tanks moved down to the CP.

All arrangements for departure had been made during the tank action, which had lasted an hour and a half. The column was quickly formed, with tanks at the head and tail and a few dispersed thru the column. Just at that time the weather intervened on our side. A heavy fog came down like the dropping of a curtain. Under this concealment the column moved out and returned to Bech without loss. The enemy continued firing but with the visibility limited to a 100 yards got no hits.

When the head of the column was in motion a sergeant went back into the field where the vehicles had been parked, to unload some equipment from the damaged trailers, but was driven away by close range machinegun fire. Apparently the enemy moved in from the south the moment we pulled out to the north. On the way out a party went up the road to Michelshof. The squad was missing except for two dead but the gun and halftrack were untouched. The halftrack motor could not be started so the platoon leader removed the pin from the gun and it was abandoned.

The CP went thru Beck to Herborn.

The TD at Michelshof and the nine men of the 2nd Bn. 22nd who were with them (carrying party and wire men) remained there during the fight at Geyershof, watching large numbers of the enemy pass thru the woods just south of them. Later they rode down the highway to Wolper without interference.


About 1330 Dec. 18 I had just returned to Bech after a trip to the Service Co., when the tank company commander ran in and said, “I’ve just had a tank knocked out. How about giving me some infantrymen to help get the tank out.” Since I had nobody ready for action, the tank captain went off to 174th Field Artillery, I rounded up 22 men- cooks, KP’s, and others- and loading them in jeeps along with rations and other supplies moved forward to the RJ (023305), where the trail for Geyershof leaves the road. We stayed there at the RJ and watched the tanks a few hundred yards away trying to get into Geyershof and having a hell of a fire fight. Too much artillery was falling on the road so I sent the jeeps back to Bech. After the tanks broke thru, I tried to follow them, but the Germans were still in the woods and we could not get thru. I led my men back to Bech and was standing at the CR when the column came thru. Captain McLean told me as he went by that the CP was moving to Herborn. But the service elements remained in Bech that night.

Since the Jerries were all around the area, we had to get up a defense for Bech. I had thirty-some men of the service personnel of 2nd Bn. 22nd. I looked around the town and found several other outfits – Battery B 44th Field, Co. Hq. of A and B 12th Inf., the Service Battery 174th Field Artillery, and some TDs. We got together and organized a defense. Battery B of the 44th took the east side of the town, Service Battery 174th the northeast, and I organized cooks, clerks, and so forth, including the Co. Hq. of A and B 12th, and outposted the open hill northwest of Bech. The TDs took position to cover the west. One of the 12th Inf. companies had a 60mm. mortar, but the only man we could find who knew anything about a mortar was one of Co. B 12th who was back there awaiting courtmartial. We put this man in charge of the mortar and set it up to cover the road to the north. We took two 50 caliber machineguns off the trucks and a couple of 30’s from the jeeps. During the night Lt. Turchin brought in the part of H Co. which had been surrounded in the woods.

We were not disturbed at Bech during the night; there was no firing. But next morning just as I was ready to move my outfit to Berbourg, Bech got a terrific shelling.


The Battalion CP first set up in Herborn in a cafe at the road fork in the north end of the town. About Dec. 20 we got a terrific shelling with 210mm. – identified by the artillery from fragments. The first shelling destroyed both our radios which were on the upper floor, and cut every wire line. When we thought the shelling was over, I left the basement with several men and went back to the CP in the top floor. Immediately afterward the Jerries threw some more 201s in, one of which made a direct hit on a small basement window, taking out the whole base of the front wall of the building and completely wrecking the basement. This shelling immobilized all our transportation; the jeeps that weren’t wrecked had flat tires. We then moved in with CP of 3rd Bn. 12th, which still had wire to the rear and radio communication with Osweiler.


On Dec. 20 patrols were sent out, to Rodenhof, and to the woods where the battalion had been surrounded on the 17th. The latter got well into the woods before meeting enemy, and did not return until after dark. The other patrol found the enemy holding the high ground in front of Rodenhof strongly. This patrol got back to the battalion under cover of artillery fire called down by the forward observer who was with them.

The battalion organized an attack on this resistance, getting started in the late afternoon. They got just across the steep ravine which runs southwest from Rodenhof and were stopped by enemy strongly entrenched on the opposite bank. E and F organized their position for the night. After dark the Germans made a strong counterattack on F, which lost about 20 men.

On Dec. 21 G relieved F and at 7:30 E and G moved forward and ran head on into an enemy attack. The fire fight lasted all day with no further change of position after our initial 200 yard advance.

That night orders were received from 12th Infantry to hold our ground, and the battalion remained on the defensive until relieved on Dec. 24th by 3rd Bn. 22nd.

Co. E then had 78 men and Co. F 50.

Battle of Hürtgen Forest – B Company, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division

B Company, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Division.
16 November – 13 December 1944
Interviews with:
Lt. Tony Bizzaro, platoon leader, 2nd platoon; later CO.
Lt. William Murray, platoon leader of 1st platoon after 25 November,
Lt. Voyage Ramey, forward observer of 44th FA Bn, with B Company.
Lt. Robert Wessman, company Executive Officer.
S/Sgt. Joe W. Forrester, platoon guide of 2nd platoon; later platoon sgt, 1st pl.
S/Sgt. Stanley T. Jozwiak, squad leader and later platoon sergeant, 3rd platoon.
Sgt. Christopher C. Neal, squad leader and later platoon sgt., weapons platoon.
Pfc. Thomas P. Ward, bazookaman and later squad leader, 2nd platoon.
Pvt. Alton Byerly, radio operator in Co. Hq.
Capt. James McLane, CO Co B., (later S-3 1st Bn, 22nd Inf Regt).
Vic. Gostingen, Luxembourg, 15-16 December 1944: Interviews by Capt. K. W. Hechler, 2nd Info & Hist Sv. (VIII Corps).

On 16 November, B Co. started to move forward at 1245, and passed through the 2d Battalion. Little opposition was encountered, except from artillery and mortar fire, and the move was carried out in columns of platoons. Nine casualties were suffered the first day from artillery and mortar fire.

On 17 November the company had its first major engagement, in wooded area and hilly terrain, where the enemy had erected hasty defenses and some strong points reinforced by layers of logs and communication trenches. The first strong point was close to the crossfire breaks at (009379). The enemy had some mines thickly along the firebreak, and defended the firebreak with a pair of machine guns on each side. The left (northwest) side of the firebreak was a little more heavily wooded than the right side. Visibility was limited to 20 yards but the enemy apparently had better observation from high ground. These observation enabled the enemy to zero in artillery on the possible approaches.

Four tanks accompanied the advance of B Co. on 17 November. The tanks jumped off online with the infantry, but quickly spread out along the firebreak until it was about 25 to 30 yards between tanks. The company advanced with three platoons online, covering 200 yards to the right (Southeast) and 100 yards to the left of the firebreak. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd platoons were arranged in that order from left to right, with the 2nd being closest to the firebreak. Initially, the 2nd and 3rd had started out abreast, but the first platoon was committed on the company’s left flank in an attempt to push forward more quickly.

The tanks had advanced scarcely more than 50 yards before the lead tank hit a group of mines in the firebreak at (009379). There had been no attempt to clear mines in advance of the tanks. Shortly thereafter a second tank hit a mine, causing two casualties from concussions in the crew. The tank commander attempted to bypass the knocked out tanks, but they blocked the firebreak. Then the tank commander put the other two General Stuarts online, about 100 yards apart on the left side of the firebreak. They are machine guns sprayed in the underbrush, and a few rounds of 37 were fired from a stationary position, and no further advance was made. The tanks were initially effective as a morale factor but did not materially assist.

About 50 yards beyond where the tanks were knocked out, a machine gun on the left firebreak opened up, followed by two on the right of the road. Pfc. Marcario Garcia and Pfc. Charles Jeffries, the lead scouts of the 2nd platoon, went out with their BAR’s, 30-40 yards in advance of the rest of the platoon and about the same distance from each other. Successively, the three machine gun positions were reduced by one of these scouts opening fire to draw fire, the second working around to the flank of the gun and firing and then an assault squad of about 15 men assaulting the gun with a steady rush and a maintenance of fire superiority.

“Garcia and Jeffries were to the best scouts I have ever seen,” said Lt. Tony Bizarro. “They had just plain guts, and they were always well forward.” Regarding Jeffries, Pfc. Ward relates that throughout the campaign, he would never stay in his hole during even the heaviest artillery or mortar barrage, but would be constantly hopping around and firing at possible targets. “I wanna to make ’em think there’s a battalion here,” Jeffries would always say.

On 17 November, the light machine guns were employed right on the line with the assaulting elements. The heavy machine guns were used only for defensive purposes and were not set up for firing until after the company had dug in for the night. 18 casualties were suffered on the second day of the attack.

For the next few days, B Company was not very actively engaged. On the 18th after A and C Co. had attacked, B C. moved up and tied in with the other companies to form an all-around defense. On 19 November, B Co remained in the same position; considerable difficulty was encountered hand-carrying supplies up the hill.

On 20 November, B Co. remained in position until noon, when they went to tie in with A Co’s right flank, as A and C companies had pushed ahead for 600 yards. After remaining in position on 21 November, B Co. moved a mile on 22 November the right flank of the second Battalion to assist them in securing a vital road junction they just obtained in that area. On the evening of Thanksgiving Day, according to the company Journal, a radio message came in announcing that turkey was awaiting the company. “Believing this to be a code word for something else, a small detail was sent out to find out the score;” the turkey could not be consumed at night because the company underwent another heavy artillery barrage, but the following day it was made available.

On 24 November, B Co. rejoined the 1st Battalion, on 25 November move up to the old 3rd Battalion positions 800 yards ahead (with two casualties) and on 26 November sees five casualties from shell fire when C Co. attacked to secure the patch of woods west of Grosshau.

On 27 November, B Co. had a bitter fight to recapture the woods which C Co. had lost the previous day. The 1st platoon started off in the lead in what was to have been a column of platoons jumping off at 0900, the 17 men in personal tunes started off in an irregular skirmish line, crouching in the three-foot grass to avoid detection. They moved without detection to the 30 yards from the edge of the wood, and started firing. Lieut. Murray was in the lead, hurting his men onward, but a hail of artillery, order and small arms fire greeted the platoon as in the open fire. For two hours the platoon tried to advance and succeeded only in crawling up 5-6 yards closer. Lt. Murray was still in the lead, but fortunate enough to have the refuge of a large shell crater. The rest of the platoon behind him was annihilated; all 17 were either killed or wounded.

The company then reorganized, and the 3rd platoon prepared to advance toward the same ground, around the right flank of the 1st platoon. The platoon got about 20 yards from the edge of the woods and then received the same artillery and shell fire which the 1st platoon had received. The platoon was pulled back and there were 12–13 men left, and the company once again reorganized in preparation for pressing the attack with the 30 men it had remaining. 4.2 mortar fire was called for, and it raked the field west of the woods.

The 2nd platoon then tried to slip across the field a squat at a time in skirmish line. Ten men got up as far as 20 yards from the woods, when a machine gun had them helplessly pinned down. Pfc. Charles Edwards was the first man who endeavored to knock out the gun.

Edwards, a former member of the 4th Engineer Battalion, had asked repeatedly to join the company; his wish had finally been granted when the company was in its hottest action around Brandescheid in assaulting the Siegfried Line. Edwards crept up toward the gun, but had not advanced more than 5 yards before quick a burst drilled him. S/Sgt. Thomas F. Dyess tried to worm his way around through the woods to fight the gun from the right, but he too was wounded in the attempt. Pfc. Marcario Garcia, acting squad leader in the support platoon, then went into the woods. Lt. Bizarro heard several grenades explode, and saw Garcia’s form advancing into the edge of the woods. In a few minutes several reports from an M1 rifle were heard. Then Garcia emerged from the woods, saying: “God damn, I killed three Germans and knocked out that machine-gun.” No sooner had he said this when another machine-gun open another section of the woods and Garcia, though wounded, reentered the woods, completely annihilated the machine-gun crew of three and took four prisoners without assistance. This enabled the rest of the company to advance into the woods.

As soon as they had set up, tanks started to deliver direct fire into the B Co. position, in the same way in which they had fired on C Co. in the same situation the preceding day. Snipers were also firing from a frame house no more than 50 yards away from the B company positions. It was very difficult to spot all the places where fire was coming from but, as Bizarro put it later, “We figured we had paid so dearly for the ground that we would hold it at all costs.” Later in the evening, E Co. came over and reinforced the depleted ranks of B Co.

The tank which had been firing direct fire to the B Co. positions from west of Grosshau was not knocked out, but it withdrew during the night and B Co.’s lines held firm. There were only 25 men left in the company by the close of the day on 27 November. What few of the older men were left were redistributed and spread as evenly as possible among the platoons.

During the fighting on 27 November, B Company suffered 54 casualties, including Lt. Daniel Dickinson, CO; Lt. Bizzaro then took over the company. Lt. William Jordan, platoon leader of the antitank company of the regiment, drove his half-track and 57mm gun down the uncleared road close to Grosshau and set it up in a defensive position for the night.

After a relatively quiet. 28 – 29 November, on 30 November B Company moved into and outpost Grosshau. Very little except scattered my proposition was encountered in this task.

On one December, B Company attacked in the rear of C and A Companies. The second and third platoon advanced a breast across the open ground. Casualties from artillery fire, which had been extremely heavy in A Company, were not as heavy as expected – – there were only five crossing this open ground. Relatively little difficulty with experience advancing through the woods, although some direct tank fire was being received from the talents of Gey and Strass, both of which afforded the enemy excellent observation of the movements across the open ground.

On three December, B Co. was hit by a strong counterattack on its left flank, which threw back the left flank and was not stemmed until both A and C companies had rushed reinforcements to assist. The counterattack, consisting of approximately 150 infantry unsupported by armor but aided by 15 strafing planes hit B Co. in the area of vicinity (068390), 200 yards south of the Grosshau-Gey road, in a southeasterly direction for about 50 yards. C Company was on B’s right flank extending to the southeast, while A Co. extended around to the southwest and right rear. On the left flank of B Co., I Co. extended to the northwest; the previous day the enemy had counterattacked the 3rd Battalion’s positions and made a deep dent in I Co’s lines.

After daylight on 3 December, the enemy delivered heavy mortar and artillery concentrations on the house at the edge of the woods and also on the other B Co. positions. Several B Co. men were occupying the house, had dug fox holes in and around old farm and shell craters close to the house, and two-man foxholes extended every 10-15 yards toward the southeast for about 100 yards.

The enemy attack came directly down the road from Gey toward the B Co positions. Lt. Voyage Ramey, forward observer with B Co. from the 44th Field Artillery Battalion, called for concentrations on the area of approach, approximately 25 enemy infantry with automatic weapons and bazookas swarmed in around the corner of the house. Pfc. James F. Townsend, A B Co. man operating a heavy .30 caliber machine gun borrowed from D company, was entrenched at the corner of the house. Sgt. Jozwick, watching from his hole sixty yards to the right rear, saw Townsend’s position overrun. Townsend operated his machine-gun until it was destroyed by a hand grenade pitched into his position. Then he grabbed a “burp gun” from the debris around the house and continued resisting until the gun was actually shot from his hand and the enemy overpowered him. Pvt. Melvin L. McNamee also fired his rifle steadily from the same position, but probably inflicted fewer casualties than did Townsend before both positions were overrun.

Sgt. Stanton Swerlein and Pvt. William Hall of the B Co weapons platoon, the front of the B Co. lines by firing from 100 yards from the house in a northwesterly direction. Their position was not directly assaulted, but all present testified to the value of the rapid firing which Swerlein and Hall were doing across the front.

After taking the house and the position held by Townsend and McNamee, 10 to 15 infantrymen assaulted another hole held by three C. Co. heavy machine gunners (Cpl. Robert M. Adkins, Pfc. Jay B. Gaskey and Pfc. John J. Coylex, Jr.) and one rifleman from B Co., Pvt. Harry Guthrie. Two squads of enemy rushed this hole, throwing hand grenades. Two grenades lit in the hole, one blowing the gun out of Atkins hand. All four men continued firing until a bazooka round killed Guthrie and stunned the other trio and they were captured.

8-10 yards to the right rear of the captured position, Sgt. Curtis Evans, D Co. section leader, and Pfc. Thomas P Ward, B Co. squad leader held another position from which they were firing steadily. Evans and Ward were within grenade-throwing range of the assaulting enemy, and one grenade burst a tree right over there hole, but entered nobody.

10 yards farther to the rear of the position held by Evans and Ward were Lt. Ramey, artillery observer, and Sgt. Jozwiak, 3rd platoon sergeant; S/Sgt. William Sparks, T/Sgt. Nicholas J. Variano, Pvt. Melvin Brunson, and Lt. William Murray. This position was also subjected to heavy fire of all types, and just after the enemy had overrun the Adkins-Caskey-Coyle-Guthrie position, two bullets penetrated Pvt. Brunson’s helmet and rifle stock. He was unable to fire at the enemy, but continued to point his rifle up above the hole and fire into the air. “Did I do right?” he kept asking his mates; he later died from his wounds.

With the enemy milling around the Evans-Ward position, Sgt. Variano returned to Lt. Bizzaro several hundred yards back to apprise him of the situation. Lt. Bizzaro immediately mobilized his reserve personnel, consisting of approximately 16 radio operators, cooks, and headquarters personnel. Lt. Robert Westman, company executive officer, took command of this group and they pressed forward to aid B Company’s hard-pressed forces. “We worked our way down to where the fighting was the hottest,” said Pvt. Alton Byerly, radio operator, “dropped off a few men at each defensive position along the way, and set up a heavy machine gun to give covering fire for the advancing rifle. We picked up a Heinie burp gun along the way and used it with our miscellaneous weapons. As I was coming up I saw a lot of effective firing being done by Pfc. Al Benge and S/Sgt. William Sparks. Sgt. Sparks was the coolest man I ever saw. He just lay behind a stump and picked off one after another.” “Well, I think that one got him,” Sparks would say, and then after another shot with his M1: “That one got him for sure.”

Lt. Donald A. Warner, A Co. CO, rounded up 15 of his men to assist in repelling the counterattack. Grabbing a light machine gun off a nearby half-track, Lt. Warner led his men over and started firing from a shell crater.

T/Sgt. John R. Straub, D Co. platoon sergeant, mobilized the heavy machine gun squads which had been supporting A and C Co.’s and sent them over as reinforcements. They arrived just in time to prevent the position held by Sgt. Evans and Pfc. Ward from being overrun. “I’m glad to see you,” said Evans simply and unsmilingly when Cpl. Ernest Frye arrived and set up his heavy machine gun in the same hole.

Sgt. Evans, a D-Day man, said he had never faced as tough a situation in a battle as this one.

Simultaneously with these developments, Capt. Morgan Stanford, CO of C Company, informed S/Sgt Louis Pingatore, platoon leader of C Company’s weapons platoon, that 10 men were needed immediately to assist B Co. Pingatore are really rounded up 2 or 3 men from each platoon by the “you, you, you, let’s go” method. Every man was a fresh replacement. One of them, Pvt. Stanton R. Dick, had cried to Capt. Stanford and Sgt. Pingatore the day before that he was so scared he couldn’t bear to face battle. Before the day was over, Pvt. Dick had distinguished himself and at the height of one of the counterattacks said to Pingatore: “Sarge, I’m not scared anymore; I’ll kill all of those bastards.”

Pingatore’s group set up a heavy and light machine gun in one of the bomb craters, and Pingatore and five of the men started to crawl toward the house. Sniper fire from the house wounded to ammunition bearers in the other group which had come up with Pingatore.

The five who had started crawling toward the house were pinned down by machine gun fire. Pingatore then yelled to his other eight men: “Well men, we can’t do a f—–g thing sitting still.” According to Pingatore’s account: “Then I got up out of the hole, took about ten steps, and we all started shooting at once.”

By this time, the other reinforcements which had reached B company– the headquarters men from A and C Companies and the heavy weapons men from D Company– had beated off the threat to the position originally held by Sgt. Evans and Pfc. Ward. Sgt. Straub and his men advanced board, and set up in the various shall craters and foxholes along the line. Cpl. Frye set up a light machine gun in the crater with Lt. Ramey and Sgt. Jozwiak, and fired on the crater which the enemy had overrun. Five riflemen of the group which had come up with Lt. Westman then assaulted this crater by rushes. When the position was finally taken, eight dead and one wounded enemy were discovered in the position. Sgt. Straub states: “At least thirty enemy dead were within 20 yards of the position and I think that Cpl. Adkins killed most of these with his heavy machine gun before the bazooka knocked out.”

At this point Sgt. John Zolnerick came over with a heavy machine gun squad which had been dispatched from C Co. This squad delivered supporting fire on the house, and five or six riflemen started around the right side of the house, accompanied by a light machine gun. No enemy opposition was encountered within the house; apparently they had all withdrawn, and there were only three or four American wounded left in the house. About a dozen were sniped at and they escaped back to Gey, but probably enemy casualties were in the neighborhood of 75.

Our casualties for the repelling of the counterattack for approximately 15. No casualties occurred when the enemy sent over approximately 15 planes which strafed but did not drop bombs.

(Note: For that portion of the B company story concerned with the counterattack of 3 December, all of the men listed under B, C, and C company accounts were interviewed.)

Battle of Hürtgen Forest – A Company, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division

A Company, 22d Inf. Regt., 4th Div.
16 Nov.-3 Dec., 1944

Interviews with:
Lt. Donald A. Warner, plat ldr. of 2d plat., later CO
Lt. Richard H. Bernasco, plat ldr. of 1st plat. until 27 Nov (wounded)
Pfc. Harold Rush, squad leader, 1st plat.
Pfc. John L. Page, squad ldr and later plat leader, 2d plat.
Pfc. Fern L. Hartman, squad ldr. 2d plat.
S/Sgt. John E. Smith, mortar section leader, wpns plat.
Pfc. Elton K. Fisher, squad leader, 1st plat.
Pfc. Arthur A. Bonaldo, squad leader and later plat. ldr., 1st plat.
T/4 Leon R. Wagner, company clerk
Pfc. Percival Coggins, Jr., company hq.

Vic. Lenningen, Luxembourg, 21 December 1944; interviews by Capt. K.W. Hechler, 2d Info & Hist. Sv. (VIII Corps)

On 16 November, A Company moved out in a column of platoons on B Company’s left flank, paralleling B’s advance northeast up a fire break extending toward (012583). The front was no more than twenty yards wide during the approach march, and the men advanced in column of twos, staggered 5-10 yards apart. They moved out at 1130, and at 1430 started to receive scattered sniper fire as they advanced along a ridge. The enemy must have expected an advance through the ravines and draws, for that is where they dropped their first artillery and mortar concentrations; they soon showed, however, that they were also registered on the ridges because the company started to get casualties from shell-fire on the ridges along which they advanced.

The light machine gun section of the weapons platoon was following the 2d platoon during the approach, and was hit the hardest by the enemy mortar and artillery, being almost wiped out. Turning to the right close to the objective, the 2d platoon led the way up a hill and passed through E Company, the reserve company of the 2d Battalion. 1000 yards from the line of departure, vicinity (008380), the 2d, 3d and weapons platoons started to dig in on the left of B Company.

The 1st platoon was then given the mission of establishing contact between the 1st and 2d battalions, by tying the right flank of B Company to the left flank of E Company. When the 1st platoon started on this mission, there was a gap of about 600 yards between the two battalions, with E Company to the southeast of B. Lt. Bernasco swung his platoon around to the left flank of E Company and then started them back toward the northwest in an effort to find B’s right flank. He had his men spread out in platoon column with a 20-25 yard front, with two scouts 25-50 yards in the lead. As the column advanced, he started dropping a man off every 10-15 yards, but the platoon would not stretch far enough to reach B Company; it only reached 300 yards and there remained a 300 yard gap.

S/Sgt. Frank Espino, S/Sgt. Elvie Ingram, and Pfc. Raymond Fraher then ventured out to patrol and find B Company. By this time it was already after dark and communication had been lost with A Company because, as the men said, “the SCR 536 is the sorriest excuse for communication in this terrain that Uncle Sam ever dreamed up.” On level terrain, this radio might carry several miles, but despite the fact that new batteries were put in daily, it was found that communication was immediately broken as soon as they crossed a hill or draw. The three-man patrol stumbled ahead in the dark and fifty yards out they tripped over several sleeping Germans. The patrol drew no fire, but it beat a strategic retreat and told Lt. Bernasco that they would go out again with blood in their eyes.

On the second trip, they observed a 4-man enemy patrol advancing, allowed them to get within 25 yards, and then Pfc. Fraher from a covered position shot and killed a German officer. The patrol warned the 1st platoon’s left flank to be alert, and then ambushed another enemy patrol. This one was broken up when Sgt. Ingram fired an anti-tank grenade which hit the lead man of the patrol in the chest; two others fled. Repeated enemy patrols tried to penetrate but were all beaten off, even though the 1st platoon failed to establish contact between the 1st and 2d battalions. Documents were captured from the dead enemy, showing all the 2d battalion positions, and also plotting our mortar fires.

About midnight 16-17 November, E Company supplied a squad of men which augmented the 1st platoon of A Company and went out again to clean out the enemy between the 1st and 2d battalions. This little task force started out in squad column and when a few shots were heard it formed a skirmish line with three squads abreast and the fourth about 25 yards in the rear. The E Company squad was on the left of the skirmish line; one man from this squad threw four grenades in rapid succession into a German entrenchment, and shortly thereafter four prisoners were taken. This strongpoint was defended by barbed wire, log-covered emplacements, and some trip wires which were not mined. No casualties were suffered.

Meanwhile, the other platoons of A Company were digging in on the forward slope of a hill on the left flank of B Company. The company positions covered a 350-yard front, with three mortars set up 35-40 yards back and the machine guns defending the center and flanks. The next morning the company was due to jump off on B Company’s left flank, and they delayed until 1100 hoping that the 1st platoon would reappear. Part of the delay was also due to the extremely heavy shelling which caused a number of casualties, including the battalion commander. According to Lt. Warner, Capt. Clifford M. Henley, acting battalion commander, did yeoman work getting the attack coordinated and started under these circumstances. Having no radio contact with the companies, Capt. Henley went up and down the lines on foot, issuing orders to the leaders and urging the men forward. He stayed on the line with the assault companies until the attack was well under way.

A Company kept a skirmish line during the advance, 300-400 yards wide; about 35-40 yards to the rear of the front elements, three light mortars were set up and one light machine gun fired on the right flank between A and B Companies while another machine gun fired from the same relative position in the center of the company. The left flank of the company was uncovered by friendly troops, but protected by a draw.

Proceeding to the left/of (northwest) the firebreak up which B Company was advancing in a northeasterly direction, A Company met heavy artillery, mortar, heavy small-arms fire, mines and booby traps. The company suffered 1 killed and 23 wounded for the day.

In the area of its objective, vic (005579), about six dugouts were encountered. These dugouts were about fifty yards apart, surrounded by communication trenches. They were covered over with several layers of logs and dirt. According to the men of A Company, these entrenchments constructed by the enemy always seemed to be drier than the hasty ones which our forces could construct during the short period of time which they spent on each day’s objective; they had sufficient logs and dirt to prevent seepage of rain and sleet. Communication trenches surrounded these dugouts. A machine gun manned by three or four men was in each dugout, and their capture involved advancing steadily and maintaining a fire superiority. A squad of men usually advanced in skirmish line on each of the dugouts, firing rapidly as they advanced. A final rush was made when the men had advanced at walking speed to within fifteen yards of the dugouts.

On 18 November, the company started off in column of platoons, with the 1st platoon leading. A heavy barrage of mortar and artillery once again greeted the advance; tree bursts were particularly frequent, and the scrub pine was slashed and tangled across the path of advance. An artillery shell killed Lt. Donald H. McCracken, company executive who had just been promoted from his position as weapons platoon leader. Lt. McCracken’s old platoon sergeant, T/Sgt. Clement Schelsky, cracked completely upon receipt or the news; he was evacuated for combat exhaustion.

As throughout the campaign, the leading platoon advanced with the fewest casualties from artillery and mortar fire. According to Pfc. Elton K. Fisher, “I’d rather lead with an assault platoon any day than wait and have to wade through all that shellfire which the support always got.” The 1st platoon made the quickest progress initially, advancing along the firebreak commencing at (015388) and proceeding in a northeasterly direction toward the small stream which cut across the battalion front in a general north-south direction close to the north-south road. Pfc. Alfred Van Camp fired rifle grenades with effectiveness along this firebreak, blowing off the head of one enemy and killing a second by concussion.

When the 1st platoon reached the stream, the men waded across the knee-deep water. Some slipped and fell, and nearly all the men were more or less wet to the skin. “I never dried out, and neither did most of the rest of us for the next two weeks,” says Pfc. John L. Page. “The heavy mud caused most of the boys to throw away their galoshes, and the constant rain and sleet made us that much colder and wetter. Not so bad when you keep moving during the day, but not so nice when you sleep with your sopped shoes on in a foxhole which leaks.”

After crossing the stream, the company took a new formation and advanced with three platoons abreast in order to keep contact and comb the woods more effectively. The men advanced about 5-7 yards apart, but even so contact was sometimes difficult. All radios were out and S/Sgt. Elvie Ingram went back to contact battalion and make sure that no resistance was being bypassed and that the supply lines would not be harassed. On the way back, Sgt. Ingram accounted for another German with his rifle grenade.

Mortar and artillery fire increased in intensity after the platoons started out again from the stream. Contact was then broken between the 1st and 2d platoons, and the 2d platoon skirted to the right (south) of an area just north of the east-west firebreak, which was being heavily shelled. The east-west firebreak, which was the battalion axis of advance and the nominal boundary between the companies, was well covered by a machine gun which was firing from (028387) and had an excellent field of fire in a westerly direction; this machine gun was not knocked out on 18 November.

Just before reaching their objective, in a draw, Capt. William Q. Surratt, the company commander, observed a group of five enemy to the northeast. Two were standing and three were sitting, looking away from Capt. Surratt. Putting his finger to his lips for silence, Capt. Surratt beckoned three headquarters men– Pfc. James Armstrong, Pfc. Aloysius H. Masensas and Pfc. Percival Coggins– to come close. He then said quietly and deliberately: “One, two, three, FIRE!” Capt. Surratt fired his .45 caliber pistol, Pfc. Armstrong fired his carbine, Pfc. Masensas fired his BAR, and Pfc. Coggins chimed in with his M1. The five Germans hurriedly started to run, but all were mowed down. Since they were running in an area which was downhill from Capt. Surratt and his crew, and the area was clear of trees, they made excellent targets.

At dusk, Just after starting to dig in on the objective, five prisoners were captured. The 1st platoon saw them approaching, and they were fired on from a distance of about 150 yards; they then gave themselves up.

After reaching the objective, steps were taken to prepare defensive fires in front of the company. The cannon company, 44th Field artillery battalion, 60mm mortars, and 81mm mortars were zeroed in in front of the lines. There was enough time to complete the registration while the company was in position on the 19th, and several arcs of fire were planned for in front of the company. The artillery was placed far out and then it crept toward our lines, taking eight rounds to register. Three rounds each for the 60 and 81mm mortars were sufficient, while the cannon company was able to pin-point its target (a water tower) on the first round.

At 1600, on 18 November the company was informed that a battalion of enemy was moving toward them, was on the lookout for them. A patrol was sent out by Lt. Bernasco in an endeavor to draw fire, but nothing was found or heard. After dark, when everybody had settled down for the night, the two heavy machine guns covering the crossroads at (028387) suddenly opened fire at about 1900. This caused the company to call for its protective fires at about 2000. The machine gunners saw the patrol, and held their fire until it advanced within a few yards, when they annihilated them. (1)

Total casualties for the company on 18 November were 1 killed and 17 wounded—again mostly from the artillery fire.

(1) See account of D Company for details of the action of the machine gunners.

On 20 November, A Company resumed the offensive on the left of C Company, whose objective was the general vicinity of the horseshoe turn. The company started out as customary in column of platoons: 1st, 2d, weapons and 3d, with two squads forward and one in support in each platoon. The two leading scouts, Pfc. Harold Rush and S/Sgt. Richard Hopkins, were advancing through the woods about 100 yards apart when Hopkins spied a group of enemy pillboxes. Motioning back to the remainder of the 1st platoon to come up and get in on the kill, Sgt. Hopkins held his fire until the platoon and the rest of the company had swung into a 200-yard skirmish line to the left of the pillboxes. Then everybody started firing at once, advancing at a steady walk through the woods. The bunkers were actually in the C Company area, but as Lt. Sweeney, C Co.’s CO, states: “Lt. Bernasco’s 1st platoon of A Company spied the bunkers and ramrodded through in such a way that we did not have very much trouble in capturing 50 prisoners.”

The company sector was quiet on 21 November, and the troops remained in place. The following day, A Company did not participate in an attack, but made a fake firing demonstration, using all their weapons except bazookas. The platoons were echeloned to the left rear, with the 1st platoon on the right (south) flank. Therefore, the 1st platoon could fire straight to the front, while the other platoons were forced to fire up into the air. The 3d battalion then moved around the left flank of A Company; the fake attack worked so well that the 3d Battalion advanced without a great deal of difficulty. The object of the diversionary was to draw fire away from the 3d battalion, and it certainly accomplished this mission.

“It all sounded O.K. until they started returning our fire,” said Lt. Bernasco. Very severe mortar and artillery fire dropped on A Company’s positions, but they continued to stick their shelters and deliver additional diversionary fires to deceive the enemy. The 1st platoon, firing forward and making feints as though they were going to jump off on an attack, was hit the hardest by this fire. S/Sgt. Elvie Ingram, 1st platoon guide who had (according to his platoon leader, Lt. Bernasco) done an outstanding job in leadership and had personally accounted for at least three enemy with rifle grenade shots, was killed outright when a shell fragment struck him in the head as he was directing fire for the fake attack.

Sgt. George Mahner was firing to the front when a tree was felled in front of his field of fire. Unable to continue his mission, Sgt. Mahner ran out to try and clear a place to fire. He had hardly left his hole when a tree burst killed him instantly. S/Sgt. Hopkins came over to Lt. Bernasco’s hole, and informed him that a shell had struck his hole and badly injured Pfc. William Delaney. Pfc. Delaney died before he could be evacuated.

Total casualties in the 1st platoon alone were three killed, 8 wounded, and 1 battle fatigue– 61% or their effective strength at the start.

On 23 November (Thanksgiving Day), the company remained in position behind the 3d battalion. On 24 November, a patrol was sent out to the 3d Battalion, and a portion of the company moved up to protect the left flank of the 3d Battalion. Enemy shelling continued, but not as heavily as during the fake attack or 22 November. Each platoon made a reconnaissance with the Executive Officer of Company I, to ascertain the positions which were to be occupied on 25 November.

The company moved out on schedule at 0830 on 25 November to take over the positions formerly occupied by I Company. Sniper fire and heavy mortar fire, with many ricochets along the enemy front, hampered the replacement. The 2d platoon froze from the mortar fire while crossing an open field before reaching the I Company positions, and the 2d and 3d platoons had to go around it.

This move on 25 November was part of a coordinated battalion move behind the attacking 2d and 3d battalions. A Company suffered few casualties in mopping up small pockets of enemy left behind by the attacking forces. At the close of the day a line of defense was established 200 yards west of the town of Grosshau. The move was made in column of platoons in the following order: 2d, 3d, 1st and weapons. One squad was on each side of the road and the third squad split in two so the move-up took the form of two columns in approach march. The advance was made up a firebreak, then south down a draw, where some casualties were suffered from the artillery fire; at (0595925) they crossed the road, and then tied in with I Company for the night, also tying in with C Company on A Company‘s right flank and rear. With 27 men, the company covered a front of approximately 300 yards.

On 26 and 27 November, the company remained in the same position, and casualties were not unduly heavy. However, on 27 November one shell hit very close to the foxhole of Capt. William Q. Surratt, the company commander, and he had to be evacuated. Lt. Donald A. Warner took command of the company after the company commander had been evacuated.

On 28 November, the company moved again– this time to take over the area of K Company. No casualties were suffered during the move. On 29 November, after the 2d Bn. had seized Grosshau, the 1st Bn. reverted to regimental reserve, and A Company moved to the black-top road running north-south into Grosshau. A Company was placed on the left flank of the battalion, with B Company in the center. The following day, 30 November, the company moved across the black-top road and went into a defensive position at the outskirts of Grosshau on the northeastern edge of the village. A defense was established with A Company and one section or the 2d platoon of heavy machine guns of D Company on the left.

On 1 December, A Company was the second in line of the three companies which crossed the open ground in the vicinity of (062387) and attacked enemy positions which were holding up the 2d Bn. east of Kleinhau. The plan was for A Company to attack across the open ground and then turn right (in the direction of Kleinhau) and clean out the enemy pockets which were holding up the 2d Bn.’s front to its east.

A smoke screen was provided for C Company prior to crossing the open ground. According to the CO, Lt. Warner, and the men of A Company, this smoke screen had dissipated by the time A Company got ready to jump off. Furthermore, C Company had had the assistance of tanks, which were not designed to accompany A Company. A Company’s heaviest casualties were suffered in crossing the open field in a southeasterly direction. The field was about 500 yards in width and the first and third platoons advanced abreast, with the second platoon in support. A line of skirmishers was established across the field, 400-600 yards wide, in a continuous line. The enemy had excellent observation from the Gey area and also from the woods into which the 1st battalion was advancing, and was able to place accurate mort ar and artillery fire on the advancing troops. “Every step you’d take there’d be a shell to help you along,” said Pfc. Arthur A. Bonaldo.

Three tank destroyers were supporting the attack, firing generally in a northeasterly direction from the point before the company crossed the open ground. At (061385) the enemy had emplaced a towed 88mm gun, which was later knocked out and found at that spot. This 88mm gun was delivering direct fire on the advancing troops; direct fire was also coming from the northeast edge of the woods, delivered on the open space across which the troops were advancing.

Since the entire weapons platoon had been wiped out prior to the start of the attack, it was impossible to use any mortars or machine guns in support. BARs were distributed as liberally as possible on the flanks, but for the most part the company had to rely on the standard M1s for the bulk of their firepower. The advance continued in a skirmish line, which was unbroken despite heavy enemy fire.

“C Company had apparently barreled through the wooded area without too much trouble, but they stirred up the commotion which greeted us,” Lt. Warner states. That day, A Company suffered 65% casualties, 20% of which were killed, and at the close of the day dug in with 35 men. The next day these 35 were given the mission of holding the left flank of the battalion at all costs; six of these men were then attached to B Company to help strengthen the lines and to maintain contact. The remaining men repulsed several enemy attempts to infiltrate into the battalion’s left flank.

On December, the 2d platoon of A Company was almost annihilated. “The enemy captured two of our men and they must have talked or something,” said one of the company officers, “for soon afterward mortar fire started coming down on our positions. “It wasn’t just the ordinary type of mortar fire which came near our positions, but the shells walked our lines and dropped with uncanny accuracy every ten yards precisely into the holes of the men of the 2d platoon. There were only one or two men left and thereafter the 2d platoon was not considered as a fighting unit and its survivors merged with the 3d platoon.”

On their final day of the Hurtgen Forest fighting, A Company sent 75% of its strength (15 men) under command of Lt. Warner, the company commander, to assist in repelling the counterattack which hit B Company. (1)

(1) See account of B Company for the way these A Company men assisted in repelling the counterattack.

At the close of the day’s fighting on 3 December, A Company had 20 men left, plus the company commander, Lt. Warner. Six of these men had started the forest campaign on 16 November; the remainder had been killed, wounded, or captured. Included among the killed and wounded were eight platoon leaders. During the final three days of the campaign Pfc. Arthur A. Bonaldo led the 1st platoon, while Pfc. John L. Page was the platoon leader of the 2d platoon. All of the platoon leaders among the officers had been killed or captured, and there were insufficient officer replacements to fill the vacancies.

During the campaign, water shortages became more serious as the days progressed. “We had plenty of rats, food and ammunition, but never enough water,” said one of the boys. At one point toward the end of the campaign, the men of A Company went for three days without water. “We put raincoats over our holes and tried to catch some of the rain and sleet,” said Pfc. Fern L. Hartman, “but inevitably a shell would come along and splash some mud into what we had carefully collected.” Much of the water supply early in the campaign was obtained from the north-south stream which paralleled the north-south road. Thereafter, it was a question of finding small streams or springs which could be utilized to fill canteens and hand-carry to the front line troops.

Replacements which streamed into A Company throughout the operation were generally of a high caliber, according to Lt. Warner and Lt. Bernasco, platoon leaders of the 1st and 2d platoons. “They had to be good quick, or else they just weren’t,” Lt. Bernasco stated. “They sometimes would take more chances than some of the older men, yet their presence often stimulated the veterans to take chances they otherwise would not have attempted. Wherever possible, the lines were rearranged in such a fashion that there were never two veterans together, and they were spread as thinly as possible in order to give the replacements benefit of their experience.”

Action Against Enemy, Reports After/After Action Report – July 1944



8 August 1944

SUBJECT: Action Against Enemy, Reports After/After Action Report.

TO: The Adjutant General, Washington, D. C.

THRU: Channels.

During the period 1 July 44 to 6 July 44, the 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, was located in an assembly area near Amfreville, Normandy, France. The time was used to train, to clean equipment, and to prepare for future operations on 6 July 1944.

The Regiment moved to a forward assembly area west of Carentan in preparation for an attack south along the Carentan-Periers road. Immediately upon arrival in the new area, the 1st Battalion went on a one hour alert status ready to support the 12th Infantry if the need arose.

Throughout 7 July, the Regiment was on a two hour alert status but was not called upon for movement. During the day Company “C”, 801st TD Battalion, Company “D”, 87th Chemical Battalion, and the 70th Tank Battalion less one  company, were attached to the Regiment.

On the morning of 8 July, the 22nd Infantry with its attachments passed through elements of the 83rd Division and attacked to the southwest in the order; 2nd Battalion, 1st Battalion, with the 3rd Battalion in reserve in the vicinity of La Varimesnil. The 2nd Battalion had as its mission, the breaching of the enemy line southwest of Culot and continuation of the attack to seize La Maugerie. The 1st Battalion had as its mission the capture of high ground in the vicinity of Neuville. Late in the afternoon the 1st Battalion moved through the breach in the enemy lines effected by the 2nd Battalion and at approximately 2030 was reported as being on its objective. At about 2130 the 2nd Battalion received a counterattack to its front and right flank by German infantry and tanks and by 2300 the situation was under control.

The attack was resumed on 9 July with two Battalions abreast,  1st Battalion on the right to seize objectives in the vicinity of La Maugerie. Colonel C.T. Lanham assumed command of the Regiment and Lt. col. John F. Ruggles was sent to assume command of the 2nd Battalion in order that the attack might be pushed. The 2nd Battalion seized Sainteny and at dark the Regiment halted for the night along the line Les Forges-Sainteny.

The Regiment continued the attack on 10 July with the 1st and 2nd Battalions in the assault. The 3rd Battalion was committed on the left (east) of the 2nd Battalion with orders to seize that portion of the Regimental objective east of La Maugerie. At approximately 1800, the 3rd Battalion movement masked the fires of the 2nd Battalion and the 2nd Battalion reverted to Regimental Reserve. The 1st Battalion advanced to the outskirts of La Maugerie and that position was held for the night with the 3rd Battalion on their left.

On 11 July the attack was resumed. The 3rd Battalion was directed to seize the high ground in the vicinity of Raids by envelopment from the east. This Battalion struck a strong defensive position almost immediately and was held up. The 2nd Battalion was employed on its left. During the day Company “C” mopped up La Maugerie. The end of the days operations found all three Battalions on  line extending from La Maugerie to the southeast.

The 2nd and 3rd Battalions continued the attack on 12 July to seize the objectives in the vicinity of Raids. The 1st Battalion reverted to Regimental reserve and moved from La Maugerie to an assembly area in the left rear of the 2nd Battalion. The advance progressed slowly and the Regimental Commander employed the 1st Battalion in an enveloping action on the east. The 1st Battalion advanced to a position southeast of La Roserie. By 0300, 13 July the 22nd Infantry less the 3rd Battalion was relieved by elements of the 12th Infantry and moved to  Division reserve in the vicinity of Les Forges.

The 3rd Battalion was attached in place to the 12th Infantry and remained in its position until late on the afternoon of the 14th when it was relieved by  the 3rd Battalion of the 8th Infantry.

On the 15th July the Regiment was alerted for movement to a new assembly area in the vicinity of Montmartin-En-Grainges. This movement was accomplished on the 16 July by motor and without mishap.

From the 17th July to 18 July the Regiment remained in the assembly area carrying out a training schedule, resting, and taking advantage of Quartermaster showers and Special Service facilities.

On the 19th July RCT 22 moved to the Vicinity of La Kine where it was attached to the 2nd Armored Division as a part of Combat command “A”, commanded by Brig. Gen. Maurice Rose. The Combat Team consisted of the 22nd Infantry, 44th Field Artillery, Company “C”, 4th Medical Battalion, one platoon from Company “C” 4th Engineer Battalion, and the 427th and 428th Quartermaster Truck Companies. The mission assigned the combat command was to break through the hostile position on the front St. Gillis-Marigny and to seize, occupy, and defend the dominating terrain in the vicinity of Le Mesnil Herman. Bad weather delayed the planned saturation bombardment until the 26th. This period was used to train Infantry-Tank teams, to instill the offensive spirit and to perfect plans.

On the 26th of July, Combat Command “A” began its breakthrough operation in  the direction of St. Gillis and Canisy. Originally the Combat Command was to attack in two columns with the 1st Battalion in the left column and the 2nd and 3rd Battalions in the right or north column. The 3rd Battalion was the reserve Battalion and rode in two and one-half ton trucks in rear of the Infantry-Armored assault elements. This plan was revised the night of 25 July by the VII Corps. This plan directed the attack from a single column with all elements on the north route. Considerable difficulty was experienced in changing the plan of attack at this late hour but by daylight of 26 July, Combat Command “A” had moved assembly areas north of the breakthrough area and the attack ready to roll. Infantry-Tank teams worked together perfectly. The device for breaching hedgerows was of great assistance. Cross country with infantry riding tanks proceeded at about a mile an hour. Hedgerows plus craters from the air saturation the  previous day precluded faster progress.

Late in the afternoon Combat Command “A” was directed to revert to the two column plan and to continue its advance on roads in order to accelerate the advance. Owning to the great length of the column, the disposition then in effect, and the badly cratered roads, this split was not completed until St. Gillis was secured.

By daylight 27 July the objective was taken. The 22nd Infantry was digging in for all round defense and coordinating its fires all in accordance with detailed defense plans previously prepared. Reconnaissance teams were pushed to the south. Infantry patrols combed the area gathering up prisoners caught in the onrush. The colored truck drivers of the 427th and 428th Quartermaster Truck Companies participated in the roundup of prisoners. By noon the position was secure and the area thoroughly cleaned up.

Late in the afternoon two task forces, each consisting of a company of tanks and a company of infantry were dispatched to make a reconnaissance in force to the south. Company “K” in the western force drove as far south as Villebaudon where it was picked up the next day by the remainder of the 3rd Battalion attacking  south to Percy.

On the afternoon of 28 July, Combat Command “A” issued orders for a three column attack. The 3rd Battalion was attached to the 3rd Battalion of the 66th Armored Regiment and attacked south along the Le Mesnil Herman-Percy road. The 1st Battalion was attached to the 2nd Battalion of the Armored Regiment and attacked south in the direction of Moyon but ran into a strong position south of that town and were unable to advance. The 2nd Battalion was attached to the 1st Armored Battalion and attacked south on the eastern route toward Tessy sur Vire. It encountered an RCT of the 30th Division held up by a well dug in and determined enemy. An effort to break the position was thwarted by a stream and the task force dug in and held several kilometers south of Le Mesnil Herman. At the end of the day’s operation, Combat Command “A” was halted with the 3rd Battalion near Percy, the 2nd Battalion approximately one and one-half miles south of Les Mesnil Herman, and the 1st Battalion occupying Moyon.

On 29 July the 1st and 2nd Battalions resumed their attacks, but were unable to dislodge the Germans from their positions along the stream south of Moyon. The 3rd Battalion attacked and seized the high ground northeast of Percy.

On the night of 29-30 July the 1st and 2nd Battalions and their armored teammates disengaged and moved west to the Les Mesnil Herman-Percy axis and attacked south toward Villebaudon starting about 1100 on the 30th July. Near Villebaudon  Command Combat “A” encountered enemy columns attacking from three directions and a violent battle ensued. By nightfall the enemy had been defeated and the situation was stabilized. During the 29th and part of the 30th July the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, and the 3rd Battalion, 66th Armored, were cut off from the remainder of Combat Command “A”.

On 31 July the 3rd Battalion remained near Percy holding the high ground to the northeast; the 1st Battalion was disposed around Villebaudon; and the 2nd Battalion attacked west from Villebaudon to reduce enemy pockets of resistance. During the night 31 July-1 August Combat Command “A” was attached to the 29th Division and orders were received that all elements of the 29th Division would attack and seize Tessy sur Vire the following morning.

Colonel, 22nd Infantry,

Action Against Enemy, Reports After/After Action Report – June 1944



21 July 1944

SUBJECT: Action Against Enemy, Reports After/After Action Report

TO 5 The Adjutant General, Washington, D. C.

THRU: Channels

On 6 June 1944 the Allied Expeditionary Force landed on the coast of France. The 22nd Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, landed on Utah Beach starting at H plus 75 minutes. The Third Battalion, 22nd Infantry, initially attached to the 8th Infantry, landed in small craft with the mission of crossing the beach seawall, turning to the northwest, and reducing the fortified positions along the coast. The First and Second Battalions landed in LCI’s, crossed the beach and inundated area, with the mission of attacking to the northwest, reducing the strong points at Crisbecq and Azeville, and than securing the high ground west and southwest of Quineville. The landing was made approximately 1500 yards south of the proposed beach. By nightfall, the Regiment was short of the initial objective, but had reached the general line Utah Beach-Foucarville.

On the morning 7 June, the Regiment continued the attack. The Third Battalion continued the attack on the beach strong points; the Second Battalion moved forward and launcled an attack on the strong point northeast of Azeville; the First Battalion moved through Ravenoville, St Marcouf, and attacked the strong point near Crisbecq. Later in the afternoon the First and Second Battalions received counterattacks in some force and were driven back about 800 yards. During the night the First Battalion received another counterattack at about 0040 and.repulsed this action without casualties.

On 8 June the First and Second Battalions attacked the strong points at Azeville and Crisbecq but were unsuccessful. The Third Battalion continued its mission of reducing the beach strong points until late in the afternoon at which time they reverted in place to the Regimental reserve with the mission of gloating an expected enemy attempt to break through the First Battalion to the beach.

A task force commanded by Brig. Gen. Henry A. Barber was formed on 9 June. The decision was made to contain the enemy at Crisbecq with “C” Company, 22nd Infantry and one company of the 899th T.D. Battalion; the remainder of the Regiment was to attack in column of Battalions in order Third, Second, First; after the Third Battalion had seized the town of Azeville and the strong point to the northeast of Azeville. The attack jumped off at approximately 1800 and was met with strong enemy defensive fires.

On 10 June, the Third Battalion moved toward the strong point at Ozoville with the Second Battalion containing the enemy at Chau de Fontenay. The First Battalion attacked the town of Fontenay Sur Mer to relieve the pressure on the Third Battalion, which was receiving flanking fire from that point.

The 11th of June found the Third Battalion preparing to assault the Ozeville with the Second Battalion still containing the enemy at Chau de Fontenay. The First Battalion continued the attack on Fontenay Sur Mer.

On the following day the Third Battalion reduced the Ozeville strong point and by nightfall had almost completed the mopping up operation.

On June 13th, the Third Battalion seized the town of Ozeville and moved toward west of Quineville. The Second Battalion made a wide flanking movement through the 12th Infantry area to attack west along the ridge toward Quineville, and met stiff resistance the entire day. The First Battalion moved from its position near
Fontenay Sur Mer to a position to the left of the Third Battalion in preparation for a coordinated Regimental attack on the following morning.

The Regiment attacked with all three battalions on the morning of 14 June, seized the high ground west of Quineville, and organized the position for defense. During  the period 15-17 June the 22nd Infantry reorganized and re-equipped without other enemy interference than sporadic artillery fire. The First and Second Battalions remained in the front lines and the Third Battalion moved to the rear with Company “I” held in Division mobile reserve. Late 17 June, the Third Battalion moved to an assembly area southeast of Montebourg and began preparations for an attack on that town.

On the following morning, the Third Battalion was established in its assembly area; the First Battalion was attached to the 12th Infantry; and the Second Battalion was in mobile reserve.

On 19 June, the Third Battalion attacked and seized Montebourg and the Regiment assembled northeast of that town preparatory to an attack to seize the high ground in the vicinity of Le Theil.

Throughout 20 June the Regiment moved rapidly with little or no resistance covering some eight miles and securing the high ground near Le Theil. The enemy had withdrawn to the prepared defenses in and around Cherbourg.

The Regiment attacked early on the morning of the 21st and attained some success although resistance was much heavier. The enemy began infiltrating behind the front lines, making it necessary to supply the assault battalions by tank convoy.

When the attack was resumed on 22 June, the Second Battalion attacked across the rear of the Third Battalion to clear out pockets of resistance. The First and Third Battalions made more progress toward the strong point on the high ground north of Le Theil.

On 23 June the First and Third Battalions mopped up the Regimental objective. The Second Battalion, assisted by Company “C”, 4th Engineers, mopped up an abandoned village north of Hau

The following day the Second Battalion was attached to the 12th Infantry; the First battalion held the high ground, patrolling vigorously; and the Third Battalion attacked south on another mopping up mission in an effort to drive the infiltrating enemy troops away from the main supply route.

On 25 June, the Second Battalion rejoined the/Regiment, attacked to the north, and reached the coast. The Third Battalion seized Bretteville and the First Battalion continued to hold the high ground astride the St Pierre Eglise- Cherbourg road.

On 26 June the/Regiment changed its direction of advance from west to east with the mission of destroying the enemy garrison holding the northeastern part of the Cotentin peninsula. On this and the following day ( 27 June) the Regiment met with soc success although the enemy was a determined defender. Late on the 27th, the airport north of Gonneville fell and negotiations for the surrender of the garrison manning the coastal defenses were begun. The negotiations were completed early on the morning of the 28th and the surrender of 990 German officers and men was effected by 1330, 28 June, ending the fighting in the northeastern part of the Cotentin peninsula.

The/Regiment moved to an assembly area for a short rest period prior to further operations.

Colonel, 22nd Infantry