Back to January 1945
1 February 1945 
"B" Company's two platoons were progressing on the 290' D/S Bailey Bridge at Bettendorf. 40% of the task was done with 3 Feb the estimated completion date. The 240' D/S Bailey Bridge at Gilsdorf still posed its difficulties with a continuing flood stage and accompanying ice flows and a rapid current. The required welding of cap stills and transoms was being performed by the motor section. A second arc welder was procured for the job. "A" Company resorted to a high line at Gilsdorf to transport materials too intermediate piers when boats became a liability. Roads were being watched by all platoons from "C" Company minus one squad employed at Sand Pit. A good part of their effort was the stock piling of sand along potential hazardous sections. 

2 February 1945 
Flood conditions in the river contained fixed bridge destruction potentialities. Reconnaissance of needed requirements against any eventualities was made. "C" Company placed guards on fixed bridge at Colmar. 85% of Bettendorf 290' Bailey Bridge of "B" Company was done. Work was still going on at Gilsdorf on the piers and cribbing. Drainage and minor road repairs apparent after the thaw was being done in Bn. Assigned area of responsibility by platoons from "B" and "C" Company's. 

3 February 1945 
Steady progress on "A" Companies continuous Bailey Bridge of 240' at Gilsdorf was made. The Launching was expected to start at noon tomorrow. Bettendorf Bailey Bridge of 300' which is to be 130' D/D and 170' D/S was opened to class 40 traffic at 1800 hours. Approximately 80' of approach ramps were used on the bridge. Some welding was still required and being done. "C" Company maintained patrols along roads of the Bn. assigned areas & guarded bridge located at Colmar. Having no vital need of sand the squad operating Sand Pit west of Mersch was relieved. Equipment was permitted to remain with on non-com in charge in order to hold it for use whenever necessary. 

4 February 1945 
"A" Company commenced construction work on Bailey itself with the starting of the launching move. With this 80% of bridge complete traffic was expected to move over it by 1800 hours tomorrow. At Bettendorf "B" Company put the final weld on their bridge. A 80' D/S Bailey was specially built at Reisdorf by "C" Company. It was started at 1730 hours and done at 2300 hours. This was over the Sauer River. Reconnaissance was made of bridge and area for an assault crossing at Wostroff. The information was procured although Lt. Swenholt, our recently assigned Recon. Officer, was injured by enemy action. drainage and minor repairs on roads in Bn assigned area was furthered by one platoon from "B" and "C" Company. 

5 February 1945 
Due to preparations and preliminary work required for impending operations "A" Company was relieved of it's assignment of Bettendorf Bailey Bridge. The 1303 Engr. took over the remaining fractional section to bring it to completion. Demonstrations to the 319th Inf. Of the use of Inf. Footbridge and assault boats for river crossings was made by a platoon from "A" and "C" Company. "B" Company was alerted for an assault boat river crossing as well as "C" Company. "A" Company was assigned task of constructing reinforced Footbridge. The river to be crossed was the Our. A forward CP to facilitate command and operations was set up at Bettendorf for above named missions. 

6 February 1945 
With the forward CP of the Bn. set up in Bettendorf operations functioned through it. All companies were occupied hauling equipment into position for river crossing. Two platoons of "A" company hauled Infantry footbridge into Hosdorf. "B" Company hauled boats to a point southeast of the same town along the Our River. The assault mission was to commence in the darkness of early morning at 0200 hours. 

7 February 1945 
The battalion was engaged in the assault crossing of the Our river. One platoon from "C" Company of the 179th Engrs assisted with two platoons held in tactical reserve. The assault was made on a somewhat broad front stretching from Hosdorf to a point 1 1/4 miles South and East on the river. A measured success was achieved in getting some elements across. Plans were to put in a reinforced Foot Bridge as soon as initial elements had landed. However this was not brought to a realization due to a current of about 12 miles per hour. Strong persistent as well as accurate enemy small arms and shell fire was also a decisive reason as it was directed from interlocking trenches on opposite shores. These circumstances made continued use of boats necessary. Exhaustion and loss of equipment combined with the fact swollen stream made this operation a most difficult one. 

8 February 1945 
With the Bn. Assault operations in any scale only possible during the dark of night more elements were scheduled to make the crossing. No foot Bridge was yet built. A number of light casualties from flying fragments were reported. Supplies were sent over in boats including food and ammunition. 

9 February 1945 
Operations continued at Hosdorf crossing. "B" Company took up the task of evacuating wounded and sending over supplies for the infantry. Plan adopted was to use but four assault boats in this process. A section of rope was tied to each end of the boat with working parties hauling boats in the desired direction from each shore. This was found to be a workable solution to the problem of overcoming swift stream. Much effort was going into this assault mission and many handicaps prevented a foot bridge from being placed to further support the operation. "C" Company moved out to Dillingen preparing to put in a floating Treadway. This to be started in the night. 

10 February 1945 
"F" Company 317th Inf. Conducted fire fight 200 yards from bridge supported by Tank 75's and 50 calibers. Resistance cleared before dark and bridge started at 1800 hours. Guy cables were strung but work was held up by F.A. fire which knocked out power boat at 2200 hours. Five floats with cables were in water by dawn. 

11 February 1945 
Work continued but slowly. More cables were strung. Breakdown of crane and power boat failure served to further slow operations. Estimated 8 to 10 ft. /sec. current made it inadvisable to launch bridge without adequate guys to hold in place. Work suspended during night because of hazard of losing bridge already constructed. "A" Company replaced "C" Company 1600 hours. 

12 February 1945 
Work continued and by dark all floats were in place. Rise of water surface extended bridge approximately 75 ft. Approach ramps put in place overnight proved to work extremely well. 

13 February 1945 
River at flood stage caused complications on approaches. Some Treadway Bridge trucks and Bailey bridging was passed to repair road on far side. Medical traffic was allowed while approaches were being completed. All traffic was allowed to travel on bridge at 1600 hours while work continued on approach and placing trestles under floats. "B" Company replaced "A" Company 1500 hours. 

14 February 1945 
Trestles placed under floats continued. Completed 1800 hours by "B" Company. Approaches still being worked on, water receding. After reconnaissance proved site clear "A" Company prepared site for 110 ft. T/S Bailey Bridge in the vicinity of Wallendorf of two craters along same road. "C" Company went to work on construction of 290' D/S Continuous Bailey Bridge at Wallendorf at confluence of Our and Sauer Rivers. 

15 February 1945 
The 110' T/S Bailey Bridge was completed North of Wallendorf on Gaybach R. at 1945 hours. Some shell fire was encountered but not sufficient to hamper the task in any major degree. "C" Companies 240' D/S Continuous Bailey Bridge at the confluence of Sauer and Our Rivers in Wallendorf was progressing with 20% for its construction done. "B" Company worked on the roads starting at Fels to Christnach thru Waldbillig to Haller. One squad was employed also on approaches to Treadway at Dillingon for maintenance. 

16 February 1945 
"C" Company resumed work on the 240' Continuous Bailey Bridge at Wallendorf. Bent construction was similar to Bettendorf bridge. Welding was again done by the motor section of all the crib stills. Completion was estimated at 1800 hours on the 17th One squad from "B" Company swept road from mines along river North of Wallendorf. Roads from Fels to Dillingen in Bn sector were worked over by "A" Company. 

17 February 1945 
"A" and "B" Companies were engaged in road maintenance with Company "A" working from Wallendorf to Reisdorf to Frusdorf. "B" Company employed men on Fels road to Mendernach and Ermsdorf. All companies received minefield clearing assignments which were partially completed. Work continued on those fields which were both friendly and enemy. Two platoons brought the Wallendorf 250' Continuous Bailey Bridge to completion at the 1630 hours. Major Mersweiler was presented to the headquarters as Bn. Ex. Officer. Lt. Kuczynski was reassigned as the Rcn. Officer. 

18 February 1945 
The Rock Crusher and quarry started production at Bettendorf. "C" Company furnished one squad for its operation. One platoon worked roads from Fels to Ermsdorf. The company was placed on alert to put Bailey of 80' D/S on Gaybach River road. "B" Company completed its 110' T/S Southwest of Wallendorf at 2015 hours. The assignment of clearing a friendly mine field was completed by "A" Company at 1730 hour.

19 February 1945 
"B" Company went to work on 140' Bailey Bridge at Mostroff and its dismantling. 100' was T/S and 40' D/S. Treading was placed on 110' T/S Bailey on road to Mostroff. A squad from "C" Company operated Rock Crusher in Bettendorf quarry. "A" Company maintained all Battalion roads assigned. Both "A" and "B" Company had one platoon each clearing mines. Capt. McCann left Bn as S-3 to report to Group as Asst. S-4. 

20 February 1945 
The Diekirch, Medernach, Fels road and route just North of Sauer River from Diekirch through Bettendorf to Wallendorf was being maintained by "A" Company. "C" Company had major part of company clearing mines. One squad finished Tread on 110' T/S Bailey Bridge at 1600 hours. 

21 February 1945 
"B" Company maintained the roads of Bn. area using all its platoons. Emphasis was placed on shoulder conditions using rock from Bettendorf quarry. Minefield clearing, both friendly and enemy, occupied all of "C" Company. One squad from the company was employed in operation of rock crusher in Bettendorf. 

22 February 1945 
Routine operations continued with road repair and demolitions our main tasks. One squad from "A" Company worked the rock crusher at Bettendorf quarry. One platoon of the company repaired and maintained the road section from Diekirch to Medernach and Fels in additions to two squads. A third platoon cleared friendly mines and demolitions. "B" Company maintained a second stretch of road from Diekirch East to Bettendorf, Mostroff to Wallendorf. Also from Reisdorf Southwest to Ermsdorf and Wedernach. "C" Company was in reserve cleaning and maintaining their equipment. 

23 February 1945 
Interesting demolitions in blowing pillboxes were going on. "C" Company destroyed four using 3000 lbs of explosives in the process. These pillboxes were located just north and west of Wallendorf. The purpose was to make them uninhabitable and unprofitable to reconstruct. "B" Company dispatched six men equipped to clean and repair Corps HQ at Fels. The routine but important road repair included filling a good sized crater near Roth continued. 

24 February 1945 
"A" Company completed their D/D 180' Bailey Bridge south of Roth at 1630 hours. Work of treading bridge was finished during the night. A squad was on the posted road landing South of Bettal to Roth. "B" and "C" Company maintained roads in area of responsibility. "B" Company kept one squad at Rock Quarry and used another to construct culvert as grater on road between Bettal and Roth. "C" Company continued blowing enemy pillboxes. 

25 February 1945 
The prosaic but vital duties and missions continued. Main efforts were the maintenance of roads and this required a good bit of effort. All platoons of "B" Company and one platoon and one squad from "C" Company were employed in this task. Demolition of pillboxes and mine sweeping along road and shoulders as well as clearing both enemy and friendly minefields were the task which "A" company and the balance of "C" Company were doing. Plans were made to move forward in support of 4th Armored division. 

26 February 1945 
The battalion with all its companies moved to forward positions to effectively operate in support of the 4th Armored Division. "A" Company constructed 100' Bailey (T/S) at Oberweis. Completion was reached at 1315 hours and Tread was on at 1430 hours. A Third platoon filled crater and collected materials for a fixed bridge. "C" Company maintained the regular assigned road area. "B" Company cleared and maintained MSR. 

27 February 1945 
"A" Company filled crater installing culvert at Oberweis. A second platoon widened and floored a 36' Treadway at same town. The first platoon repaired and maintained road from Niedergeckler to Outscheid. "B" Company maintained roads from Roth to Niedergeckler. One platoon of "C" Company repaired roads from Neuhaus to Oberweis. A second platoon repaired existing bridge at Rittersdorf. 

28 February 1945 
Road repair and its continued maintenance was a big factor in the battalion tasks. Many craters were prevalent blocking or making roads passable only one-way. Two platoons from each of the companies were therefore assigned road areas for repair. One large repair was being made by a platoon from "A" Company on crater at Oberweis. A culvert pipe was emplaced and fill was expected to be complete at 2100. "C" Company reinforced bridge at Rittersdorf with one squad. "B" Company was assigned the construction of an 80' D/S Bailey at Stahl. 

Click here for March 1945

Email: Click here for email
Back ButtonBack to the Reports index