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KING Company


On the eleventh of February, King Company became the first of the Regiment to cross into Germany, relieving C Company of the 417th in that chaotic zone which was the plain above Echternach.  It was the first of many "firsts" for the King Company Doughs.  Their third platoon was the first to get to the top of hill 292, when under the leadership of 1st Lt. George Oakey it captured the two pillboxes on the summit.  The hill was surrounded by Krauts and Kraut pillboxes and there was a veritable rainstorm of artillery and mortars, but the King Company men got to the top and stuck there until the surrounding areas was taken.

After the fall of Irrel, the Company moved on to tangle with the Jerries at Grosslittgen, a never to be forgotten town surrounded by some 300 yards of open ground which somehow had to be crossed.  In the best approved manner, the boys went in using marching fire.  Actually it was an all day battle before the town was cleared and the Germans tell more than 30 dead before they gave up.  Then farther along the Moselle there was Drov, where a Company CP was established only to be driven out later by finely zeroed Jerry mortars and artillery.  And on the other bank of the Moselle, which had been crossed by a small K Company Patrol, there was the town of Wolfe where a squad of Germans came marching unsuspectingly down the street at right shoulder arms.  They gave up when they found that the town was occupied, surrendering without a shot being fired.

But all the towns didn't fall quite so readily.  There was Camberg beyond the Rhine, for example.  It was defended by a company of SS men and proved a tough nut to crack. It alt began when a German patrol approached the American lines carrying a white surrender flag.  This was only a trick, however, and the Heinies opened up with everything when they had gotten to within a range of 300 yards.  And what they had was plenty.

And there was another town called Trupenhausen, where three Companies of SS men tried to make a stand and learned that it doesn't quite pay to play at War with Yanks.  King, after a tough battle had managed to get into the town, but the men had to beat off two violent counter-attacks before the place was secured.  Following the second one, the Germans decided to call it quits and fled, but they left behind more than  70 dead in the town and more than a hundred in the outskirts.  In fact, because of their success in taking this town, and because of the high casualty rate among the German defenders.  King Company got itself quite a reputation.  In nearby German units the outfit became well known as "Roosevelt's Murderers."  All of which, of course, was a source of much satisfaction to the men of "K".

In the final rat race days.  K spearheaded the 3rd Bn, and at one time took more than twenty eight towns in two days.  And the final box score for the drive from Homberg was more than 70 towns and more than a thousand prisoners.  King is a royal name and a royal Company.  The men hold their heads and their rifles high.  And they certainly know Jerries when they see them.

Capt. Robert H. Clagett,  Jr.






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