Acknowledgments/Regimental Crest/In Memoriam
The contents of this book represent the combined efforts, wholeheartedly offered and eagerly accepted, of many individuals and units within and without the regiment. The materials received from the battalions and the companies, from the voluminous files of S-1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 were all anonymous. Credit is nonetheless due to all those who compiled and mode available such materials. References and data were frequently of such high order that the possibility of verbatim quotation considerably lightened the historians' work.
For the original incentive to this history, for his continued supervision, his painstaking examination of the various sections as they evolved, for his solid, constructive criticism, for his many original suggestions and for all of the material and personal correspondence which he laid at the disposal of the Editors, the first individual thanks are due to Colonel Wallace A. Choquette.
CT 304 was not just a matter of battalions and companies. The allied units were an integral part of it. The whole team is what secured the battle victories. In like manner, this history would be incomplete without the help of the records of these units. The copious records and research material contributed by the 778th AAA, 302nd Field Artillery, 301st Medical Battalion, 301st Engineer Battalion, 808th and 691st Tank Destroyer Battalions and of the 6th Armored Division have been of inestimable value in this task.
What background and color this history has and what interest of the reader it may hold is a large measure due to the early and fortunate acquisition of three diaries which were liberally used throughout the writing of this book both in quotation and as source material. A very special acknowledgment is therefore made to both Captain James J. Ryan, 3rd Battalion Surgeon, to 1st Lt. J. H. Singleton of the 302nd Field Artillery and to T/4 Frank E. Knapp, Regimental Chaplain's assistant in the 304th. For his invaluable assistance in the collection of much of the material herein contained sincere recognition is due to 1st Lt. Marion D. Cloud of CT 304. Many favors in the matter of records, of after-action reports, of technical guidance, of photographs and, from time to time, a considerable amount of "fatherly" advice call for a special type of gratitude towards Captain George H. Feil and Lt. Joseph J. Hutnik of 76th Division Headquarters.
To all these and to scores of others who are, unfortunately, too numerous to mention by name grateful acknowledgment is made.
The crest of the regiment was first conceived as a symbol of the American heritage of freedom which the regiment was destined to defend on the battlefield. In the fiery test of combat it has become ever more meaningful -- more deeply significant of that heritage and of the unconquerable spirit of every man in the regiment. The insignia was adopted by the first 304th during the last war, and the archives of the War Department record it with the following heraldic comment: "Shield per fess azure and argent, on a low mount an oak tree fructed of thirteen acorns proper. Motto -- Forward." With a double significance the white and blue shield includes not only the infantry color, but also the colors of the state of Connecticut, which sent its men to fill the ranks of the original 304th Infantry Regiment. The oak tree, besides presenting the heraldic symbols of living strength, virility and sturdiness, also represents the "Charter Oak," famous in Connecticut history as the hiding place of the state's royal charter during the days preceding the American Revolution. Emphasizing the American tradition are the thirteen acorns for the original colonies. The motto "Forward," has from the beginning been the regiment's inspiration. Today it epitomizes in a single word the combat record of a battle-proved organization.
||The Vengeance of the Justice of the Lord,
the Tempest and the Fury of His Wrath,
have swept a swath, have full wide hewn His Path --
and we have been the edge unto His Sword.
The Vengeance of the Justice of the Lord,
page: Roll of Honor/Colonel's Message and Biography