THE RED BATTALION__Headquarters Company 1st Battalion
Company 1st Battalion
First combat position. Good-bye duffel bags. (The Channel would've been better!) Now on out combat-packed. First taste enemy fire.
Forward CP--Relieved 87th Infantry Div.--Golden Acorn--They earned their rest. Baptism of fire for us--Jerry 130mm--as 3rd Ban. moved in to relieve us
|Jan. 30||BERBOURG||Regimental reserve and rest. Security guards against German patrols.|
|Feb. 4|| OSWEILER,
Billets are "battle-torn and worn." Anti-Tank has positions forward of us--for a better look across the Saucer. A & P platoon gets "privilege" of nightly patrols and charge of assault boats down on river. First battle casualty.
|Feb. 23|| DIESBURGERHOF,
|Across the Saucer. Through Echternach. What a mess!|
Gaining momentum. Hot chow just before moving out in attack. Casualties are growing.
|Feb. 27||ALSDORF||"Local" stop. This is an express.|
Won't forget this one. A & P platoon hit hard--very hard--on an ammo. Detail. CO hit by fragmentation. Beaucoup PWs--but morale slid down when we got the news.
Infrequent shelling. Sister regiments seem to be squeezing 304th off line. (What's the score? Are we becoming rear echelon?)
|Mar. 3||MVHN||Good" rumor today: Stopping for 3-day rest! Could be.|
3-day "rest" was a quickie. Banks of the Kyll. Steep--really steep--wooded bluffs--roaring river--Engineers worked railroad bed into a path for vehicles--Kraut thought ht this was way we wouldn't take--Screaming meemies--regular swing rhythm!
Moved in under terrific barrage--really zeroed in-cellars (with or w/o wine) popular as all get-out! Battalion is pinched out here. Movement so fast we are in "Division Reserve" all of a sudden. Traveled all night to catch up. Artillery still pretty fierce--caught "D" Co. jeep and trailer with load of mortar rounds. Vehicle concentration must have been spotted. Soon cured that! Practically whole company on ammo. detail for troops storming high ground.
First big town. Plenty of warehouses--plenty of cognac--plenty of chow. Billet was large enough for entire company--apartment house!
|Mar. 13||OSANN||"Trip" to the Moselle. This is an artillery show here.|
The "quietness" here is funny. Kesten (just below us) catching it. Communication platoon hit hard by one--just one--mortar shell. Our first U.S.O. show here-American girls--Oh, boy! Moselle wine!
|Mar. 19||DAXWEILER||Dug in gun positions--bridge guard--holding force for Rhine crossing.|
|Mar. 24||DVRTH||Over the Rhine--Luftwaffe showed up.|
Relieved 65th Division--Luftwaffe again--stronger this time--these became daily visits from the Jerry. After awhile became monotonous--50 cal. and AAA getting good workout.
On the move again--Commo. Platoon hard put to keep up with new tempo of advance. Luftwaffe tried some strafing.
|Apr. 10||GEBESEE||Took five towns today--used 57 mms. for direct fire. Nice target practice.|
Long run to catch up with 6th Armored. Plenty of 88 fire here as well as 128 mm. Casualties fairly heavy from artillery.
Attacked Zeitz with armor. Tanks sure attract a lot of fire! - as hot an action here as most we've seen. But cleaned the town out! Kept going with 6th Armd. - on to Mittweida - 35 miles
Dead stop here! Russians are too close. Broke up a counter-attack. Helped secure bridge. Beaucoup artillery. The Kraut maybe licked at this point but their guns don't know it yet.
|Apr. 25||LANGENLEUBA||Withdrew. Giving the Russians elbow room.|
|June 11|| PENIG
| Life is becoming GI again. Guard duty.
Ditto. When do we -go home?
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