|1 January 1945
The squad from "C" Company operated sand pit near Finsterthal.
A shovel remained at work there also. All Companies were working hauling
sand for controlling icy routes within Corps area as well as the secondary
roads. Two trucks and a platoon from "B" Company completed a second task
for the 7th Engrs. of hauling wire to town of Angelsberg. Two officers
new in the Bn. were given their assignment. Lt. Baker was assigned as Asst.
S-3, Lt. Huntington was placed with "C" Company.
2 January 1945
In order to test-fire the Bn. 30 and 50 caliber machine
guns a range was set up one-half mile west of Rollingen. Plans were afoot
to fire each company's machine gun tomorrow. One platoon from each company
was in reserve. The remainder of each company was committed to hauling
sand for stock piling along hazardous stretches of Corps routes, both main
3 January 1945
The Bn's operations continued to be in general support
of the XII Corps Engineer operation's efforts to control any hazardous
road conditions continued. All companies hauled required sand for control
of icy surfaces with one platoon from "B" Company in reserve. The sand
pit was in continual operation by one squad of "C" Company. The Bn. machine
guns were test fired by their ?? on 1000 inch range in the vicinity of
??. During this season a creditable series of entertainment was arranged
by Lt. Hubbard, Special Service officer.
4 January 1945
No vital change took place within the Battalion operations.
Hazardous road conditions prevailed throughout the assigned Corps road
sector. This required constant patrolling and sanding which was done by
two platoons from each company. Particular attention was paid to the routes
along the higher ground where freezing conditions were more severe.
5 January 1945
Conditions remained quite static. The major task remained
the same, sanding and patrolling by each company of the dangerous icy spots
on the assigned routes. Lt. Vose and Lt. Brakey received battlefield commissions
and were assigned to "C" Company. With this addition of officer strength
Lt. Villedsen and Lt. Snow returned to HQ. as Asst. S-2 Recon. officer.
6 January 1945
A second shovel was place in pit near Finstorthal. All
Bn's of Group were loading sand here. The Bn. continued working along the
assigned corps MSR's and secondary roads. Two platoons from each company
were committed to hauling sand and checking all icy points. Remaining platoons
in reserve cleaned equipment.
7 January 1945!
Static conditions prevailed throughout all the companies.
With the shovel working more efficiently through the day and night 180
loads amounting to 450 yards. were produced at the pit. Some reconnaissance
was being made at bridge sites along the Sauer River especially in the
vicinity of Diekirch. This reconnaissance was performed during the night
8 January 1945
Snow which continued to fall intermittently recovered
the routes previously sanded. This required constant sanding. The routes
commence on N-7 at Lintgen running North, Northeast and Northwest to the
limits of the tactical situation. All companies had two platoons each controlling
the hazardous road surfaces. Security was also emphasized. Several homes
of known enemy sympathizers in Rollingen were visited and investigated
by S-2. Lofts of housing carrier pigeons were also searched for.
9 January 1945
Each company was employed in snow removal using blade
mount on 4 Ton truck. The reserve platoon in each company conducted a 3-hour
refresher course in Infantry tactics. Plans for the experimental use of
salt and sand mixture for ice control were affected. "A" and "B" Company's
sent a platoon each to the ?? Engrs. and 166 Engrs areas respectively to
familiarize themselves with the named Bn's barrier plan.
10 January 1945
No improvement in road conditions and the persistent
accompanying hazards was noted. Therefore each company continued minus
one platoon in the routine work of constantly sanding the assigned routes.
11 January 1945
Infantry tactics were being reviewed further in each
company. A bill of materials for the eventual barge and boom construction
was being drawn up by Lt. Baker according to specified instructions. A
visit was paid by Lt. Lyon, former Bn. Adjutant now with Group, to S-2
12 January 1945
Routine operations remained unchanged throughout the
Bn. Our assignment of maintaining routes, both main and secondary in a
sector of Corps area, was fulfilled by two platoons from each Company.
These platoons hauled sand and patrolled icy hazardous points. The three
remaining platoons of each company cleaned and did maintenance work on
their equipment. An experiment of spreading a mixture of 10% salt with
sand was conducted on icy roads. This percentage of salt was found to be
too great and was reduced. This proved satisfactory for dissolving and
ice conditions creating a road hazard.
13 January 1945
No change in duties were received. However, a new area
divided into 3 zones was assigned to Bn. south and west of city of Luxembourg.
Two reconnaissance parties were despatched to find requirements and possibilities
for creating a barrier here. The Bn. procured a dozer. This was mounted
on a Sherman 27-Ton medium tank. One enlisted man from each company was
selected for driving and maintenance instructions on this piece of equipment.
14 January 1945
With the tank-dozer now within the Bn., high interest
was shown in its operative features. Its blade operated hydraulically.
Capacity production was being maintained at the sand pit operated by a
squad from "C" Company. The usual quote of two platoons continued work
along all routes of hazard.
15 January 1945
A trial inflation was made by one platoon from "A" Company
of Pneumatic boats and loading on vehicles with the saddles was conducted
at 509th LP Co. Control of road hazards due to frozen snow and ice continued
to be SOP. Awards within the Bns. were presented at ceremonies held in
Mersch theater. One of the more notable features was the unexpected yet
deserved award of the D.S.C. to Lt. Col. Reagan. All awards including Bronze
and Silver Stars were personally presented by XII Corps Commander, Major
16 January 1945
The sand pit produced 149 loads totaling 285 yards. One
squad from "C" Company was operating the pit. One platoon from "A" and
"B" Company were each occupied cleaning and maintaining their equipment..
The balance of all companies were active in the routine operations of ice
17 January 1945
Operations were developing and of a more interesting
nature in the Bn. area. One platoon from "A" Company prepared and assembled
equipment to construct Treadway Bridge in the vicinity of Gilsdorf. This
was also true of "B" Company whose materials were being assembled for construction
of Treadway in the vicinity of Diekirch. "C" Company completed Bailey Bridge,
80' D/S at Ettelbruck. Control of all hazardous road areas caused by snow
or ice was still continued as an important Bn. mission.
18 January 1945
All companies were at work on bridges with varying success.
"C" Company completed a second 80' D/S Bailey Bridge North of Ettelbruck
uninterrupted despite sporadic artillery fire in the vicinity. "A" Company
worked at Gilsdorf with progress more slow. After evaluating the situation
a decision to commence work was made at 1200 hours. However, nothing could
be accomplished until 1400 hours and then was terminated by an immediate
mortar barrage. Resumption started at 1840 hours. The Treadway Bridge over
the river near Diekirch could not be placed. Mines and booby traps plus
the tactical situation made work impractical. Plans to commence as soon
as feasible. With these missions done, injuries were counted up. It was
found that Lt. Gray was lightly hurt. Also four from "A" Company.
19 January 1945
"A" Company, having finished their floating Treadway
at Giladorf, placed an anti-mine beam 300 yards west of the bridge. One
platoon worked on the approaches and maintained same while another provided
security here. While standing by to build a Class 40 Heavy Pontoon Bridge
at Diekirch "B" Company cleared mines and obstacles on roadway leading
to bridge site. "C" Company placed Treads on both Bailey Bridges at Ettelbruck.
Two squads provided security for these bridges. A road to bridge located
Northeast of Ettelbruck was also constructed. Promptness in Treading Baileys
was very necessary now due to the substantial peril the chess created by
tanks now using snow and grousers on there treads.
20 January 1945
"A" and "C" Companies worked on placing two Bailey Bridges
Northeast of Ettelbruck. The first named Bridges finished 120' D/D over
RR with a continuing Ramp to "C" Company T/S Bailey Bridge of 90' over
the Sauer River. Treading was placed by midnight. The task of "B" Company
at Diekrich was completed at 1050 hours. This 160' Heavy Pontoon erection
had been substantially delayed due to enemy placed mines. Also the time
was consumed awaiting an additional heavy Pontoon required beyond previous
position caused this addition. Final Treading was put on by 1430 hours.
21 January 1945
"A" Company was well occupied disposing of minefield
in the vicinity of their bridge site. Total destroyed was 642 Schu mines.
18 Tellermines (No. ?) and 9 U.S. anti-tank mines. One squad from "B" Company
was placed to operate sand pit west of Mersch. "C" Company maintained three
Bailey Bridges with one platoon which were previously constructed by the
company. One squad also worked removing minefields near Ettelbruck.
22 January 1945
"B" Company oriented two platoons in the rear barrier
zone of 5th Division. A minefield was cleared by one platoon from "C" Company
at bridges where a second platoon did maintenance work in the vicinity
of Ettalbruck. "A" Company was mainly occupied sanding hills and curves
along MSR's. Two platoons where used.
23 January 1945
"A" Company had three platoons occupied all the day.
Two were working on a 120' D/D Bailey Bridge, South of Lipperscheid. It
was now not the site but the steep hair-pin turn road leading to it which
presented problems for vehicles bearing construction material. This delayed
a rapid conclusion of the task. The barrier zone in 5th Division rear area,
manned by two platoons from "B" Company. "C" Company besides its maintenance
work on bridges North of Ettelbruck a platoon on more sanded roads.
24 January 1945
"A" Company retained one squad to maintain the D/D 120'
Bailey Bridge which was finished just south of Lipperscheid at noon. "B"
company in addition to squat operating sand pit, placed 2 platoons on a
4-hr alert to non Barrier zone. The adjoining Bailey Bridge in Ettelbruck
were under constant maintenance by a "C" Company squad. All companies had
men removing snow and sanding roads. The routes followed the Rippweiler
Northeast thru Boevange and Bissen to Colmar and Ettelbruck. Also main
route from Luxembourg North to Mersch with secondary roads containing hazards
which are located between these main supply routes.
25 January 1945
A squad from "A" Company cleared debris from road at
bridge site South of Lipperscheid. A second squad maintained bridge at
first named site. "B" Company continued operation of the Sand Pit and had
two platoons on four hour alert to man 5th Division rear area barrier zone.
The bridges were still on "C" Companies work assignment for maintenance
North of Ettelbruck. Roads requiring sanding, plowing, or any other work
to hazards were attended to by each company in its sector.
26 January 1945
Reconnaissance has been quite extensive in an effort
to find a suitable grade and location of a sand or gravel pit. A 140' T/S
Bailey Bridge was placed over the RR and Sauer River about one mile north
of Bourscheid. Construction started at 1415 hours and at 2030 hours it
was completed. This mission was a "C" Company accomplishment with 2 platoons.
Besides a fairly complete coverage of all more traveled routes which were
being plowed of snow and sanded by all companies. "A" Company kept its
Bailey Bridge South of Lipperscheid in working order. "B" Company with
one squad supplied sand from pit west of Mersch and was ready to man barrier
zone on a 4-hour notice. "C" Company maintained their bridges at Ettelbruck.
27 January 1945
Plans for a coordinated move of HQ in an exchange of
location with 133rd Engr. was arranged to take place in the morning. A
110' T/S Bailey Bridge was 15% complete at 1800 hours with plans to resume
work on it tomorrow. Two platoons were on this task. The road from Bourscheid
to a point 5 miles north was being swept and cleared of mines by a "C"
company platoon. Also an airstrip at Ettelbruck was cleared of snow by
&laqo; squad from the same company. At 2050 hours a 140' T/S Bailey
Bridge was completed by two platoons from "C" Company located at ?? South
of Schlindermanderscheid. The routine but vital tasks of keeping roads
cleared from snow and ice continues with all companies.
28 January 1945
Bn.. HQ. with H&S Company established new operational
quarters in the morning at Colmar. "C" Company also found quarters with
its CP here. "A" Company relocated in Berg. With one air strip cleared
of snow by "C" Company yesterday the D-7 was dispatched from "A" Company
to remove snow from a second strip between Bissen and Colmar. Two platoons
were also occupied placing a Bailey Bridge of 110' Length T/S on Sauer
River slightly North of previous "C" Company Bailey Bridge. Besides working
Sand Pit and remaining as yet on 4 hour alert to man barrier zone "B" Company
as did all the other companies patrolled, sanded, and plowed all their
vital routes. Slippery conditions were common requiring constant vigilance.
29 January 1945
"C" Company disposed its entire company sanding roads.
A defined area of responsibility had been received from Group for Bn..
Coverage. "B" Company also minus one squad which operated the Sand Pit
worked its road assignment. "A" Company completed a 110' T/S Bailey Bridge
in the vicinity of Schlindermanderscheid, with one platoon in reserve.
A third platoon was on a working road patrol.
30 January 1945
Two companies were given assignments of building a Bailey
each. These bridges were of quite long length. "A" Company operated at
Gilsdorf site clearing it of debris and mines preparatory to building their
240' D/S Bailey Bridge. "B" Company was preparing the second site at Bettendorf
was a continuous Bailey and was to be 290' long and located at Bettendorf.
"C" Company employed all platoons sanding roads and plowing. "A" and "B"
Companies also had one platoon each on road hazard control. Experience
in manipulation of the M-29 cargo carrier was being received by officers
and men in headquarters. The vehicle is assigned to Gp. for appropriate
uses. An accident investigation was in progress as to the disabling of
a dozen or more men, one fatally, in a 6x6, 2 Ton vehicle returning from
an entertainment in Mersch. Battalion headquarters entertained Col. Keller
accompanied by Capt. Martin both of the 1135 Engr. (C.) Gp.
31 January 1945
The Bailey Bridge projects were continuing. "A" Company
was at Giladorf with two platoons on the 240' D/S Bailey Bridge. The site
posed some difficulties. One prior was not very satisfactory and a sudden
thaw created a flood stage with a swift current hampered efforts to reinforce
it. This in addition to lack of a readily available supply of lumber for
cribbing. "B" Company's 290' D/S Bailey Bridge was progressing a bit more
rapidly and was 25% complete at 1800 hours. The bridge at Gilsdorf was
expected to be completed Feb. 4 and "B" Company's at Bettendorf 3 Feb.
Operation of Sand Pit was taken over by one squad from "C" Company. The
balance of the company was disposed on a road control. One platoon each
from "A" Company and "B" Company also worked in there respective areas.