THE "4TH" BATTALION__Cannon Company
Relieve 87th, sub-zero weather. Began firing one hour after setting up guns. Area nicknamed "Mud Flats"--crews, trucks operating day and night in knee-deep mud. 15 Feb., 1st platoon to direct fire on Edingen, 24-hour period; rejoins us at Dickweiler for "busy?" session; 700-round all-night mission Washington's Birthday.
|4 days continuous firing at enemy personnel, positions Support Prüm crossing.|
Achievements: fired over 300 rnds. In hour; help 2nd Bn.--only artillery ready, able to fire. Sad note: first casualty, determined to "pour it on."
Stay just long enough to dig in, fire, move forward again. Chase is on! Stay just long enough to dig in, fire, move forward again. Chase is on!
Forward observer groups with rifle troops, guns close behind. Men joke about "fire and movement"--howitzers instead of M-1!
Terrific blasts, fire flashes alert all gun crews in middle of night--155s firing almost on our necks. Join them, to help crossing of Kyll.
Another bright (and hot) spot! Meemies, artillery harassing GP and CP. Fire over 1200 rnds. in 3-day period; aid 3rd Bn. against bitter counter-attack, Orenhofen. Co. Hqs. turned "745s"; even mess personnel drop skillets, throw up skirmish line; possible breakthrough.
Gun crews fire; get to spend night in honest-to-goodness house--first time in 42 days!
|Mar. 8||HERFORST||"Schnapps" plentiful; moving too fast to take advantage.|
Night firing to support attack; Kraut artillery starts 2 fires in immediate vicinity. Glad to move on. Too much light.
|Mar. 10||HUPPERATH||Rain; sleeping "holes" a bit damp.|
Nice large city. Visions of billets and rest--CP remains. Guns move on through. Set up outside city. (Maybe next time!)
|Mar. 12||WENGEROHR||Move to Moselle; large-scale firing again.|
Called "rest" area. On 16th, Kraut artillery hit CP, long and short on GP; 20-odd rounds in vicinity; counter-battery eliminates trouble. Coincidence: at Noviand, informed we will get Combat Infantry Badge, eligible for extra pay; days like this we feel we earn it.
Watch on Rhine," Platoons moved out, 1st with T-F Lawlor moved ahead, crossed Rhine at St. Goar; 2nd and 3rd guarded bridges, installations.
|Mar. 28||DÖRREBACH||Reorganize, except 1st platoon; still with 1st Bn.|
|Mar. 29||PFALZFELD||Rumors rampant: Patton primed for Berlin; morale--excellent.|
|Mar. 30||HEFTRICH||The Rhine is blue--strangely quiet. Move beyond, guns mobile.|
|Mar. 31||ESCH||Outpost; 1st platoon rejoined. Defense of Regtl. CP. Eleven PWs.|
|Apr. 3||GROSSROPPERSHAUSEN||Long, fast move, guns in mobile position on overnight stop.|
Unable to fire; armored, rifle units advanced too rapidly; moved close behind them.
Set up; dug in--then mission changed before registration began. Patton really moving! "Home Alive in '45," new watchword.
|Apr. 7||KAMMERFORST||First taste of decrepit Luftwaffe. Counter-attack threat dies.|
Advance elements already guarding hospitals, warehouses; remainder of Co. joined. Happy, restless--anxious to move again.
Platoons with Bns.; travel with rifle elements; enjoy direct fire on enemy towns, softening up for dough's. Aid capture of many towns.
|Apr. 11||KLEINVARGULA||Platoons still with Bns.; "lightning" push.|
|Apr. 12||OSTERFELD||Follow and help 6th Armored!|
Black Friday. 1st plat. (direct fire position near Zeitz) in trouble. Evacuate engineers who suffer heavily in attempt to rebuild bridge; project abandoned till Kraut direct fire weapons silenced; 1st rejoined Co. Low flying "piggy-back" plane shot down near CP.
|Apr. 14||RIPPICHA||2nd and 3rd plats. with Bns.; Co. followed 6th Armored; mobile positions.|
|Apr. 15||ALTENBURG||Plats. with Bns. So rapid, control difficult - but resistance light.|
3rd plat. rejoins Co.; 1st and 2nd still with Bns.; division halts for oncoming Russians. Disappointment! Sights had been set on Elbe. Co. sets up defensive position for possible "last chance" counter-attack.
New defensive sector, protective position; intermittent, harassing fire. "Eat up" Stars & Stripes for news. Remained in position, firing covering fire while Bns. moved back.
The war is over for us - in Germany. Sweat out V-E Day. Our feelings mixed; but, above all, we are proud!
"4TH" BATTALION__Cannon Company_pictures
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