|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
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
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
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
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
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.