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EASY Company


 Like the other companies of the Regiment, Company "E" first saw action in the defensive positions along the Sauer, spending days in water-filled foxholes, suffering in the bitter, damp weather of the tag end of January.  Once the Echternach bridgehead was forged, Easy crossed into Germany to relieve "C" Company of the 417th.  Here in the operations ending with the advance to the Prüm.  Easy lost twelve men and suffered some 50 casualties.  A heavy blow for the company, but the figures are still below the estimated losses for the action.  For there were those who said that only inexperienced troops could ever have gotten through the defenses in the sector.  At any rate, the action was decisive, enabling the later advance, down the Moselle to Koblenz.

Following these initial successes Easy moved back to Echternacherbrück, then into a defensive position along the Prüm near Prümzurley.  When the town fell Easy moved out spearheading the 2nd Battalion attack on Niederiders.  Mission completed. Easy moved on to Eisenach, catching a terrific mortar and artillery concentration on the way.  But there were no casualties, and the town fell the following day.  Entering it however. Easy caught another lacing.   There were few days or nights in this period when the air wasn't filled with the scream of something coming in with a load of destruction and death.

Easy had its share also, of the Task Force Onaway, and was glad enough to get back to Division control for the movements culminating in the defensive positions around Bausendorf.

On the 20th of March, the Company relieved the 2nd Cavalry squadron at Werl on the Rhine, and crossed in the attack of 28th-29th.  From here on, things happened fast, with town after town hanging out its white flags.  On April 5th, Capt. Terrance Vangen was captured by the enemy while on a reconnaissance to the town of Ungsterode.  But though wounded, managed to escape after six days, and on the seventh was back in command once more.

There was Noda where the Company fought against a stiff Nazi delaying action and 50 prisoners were taken.  There was Gera and patrol work, and Crimmitschau where 650 PW's were rounded up in two days.  And there was that final long awaited, happy junction with the Red Army.

From Echternach, Easy had come 400 miles in little more than two months, and had captured more than 4,000 prisoners, ranging from arrogant Major Generals to members of Hitler's Jugend.  The number of towns captured runs into three figures.  Easy's officers and men won for themselves 8 Bronze Stars and 6 Silver Stars.

It is a story typical of all the rifle companies, whose gallantry and aggressive spirit were so often demonstrated.  For the men of Company "E" it will be a particular story, however, for each unit has its own peculiar character, compounded of the sum total of men in the outfit, and the officers and NCO's who lead them. Easy's record is second to none.  Of her men, they will tell you there are none finer.  Looking at the record, it is a statement which is easy to believe.


1st Lt. William T. Canaday






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