|1 November 1944
The battalion D-7 Dozer now has armor plating on operator's
cab, also required a change to a 20-ton trailer for transporting same.
Cold was sufficient to make a probable freeze come about. The drivers therefore
emptied water from their radiators. The road net's major difficulties liquidated,
efforts were now placed on widening certain sections. ASP areas were being
stocked between Champenoux and Erbeviller.
2 November 1944
The rotation of companies at rock crusher was discontinued.
Each company having had a day for care and cleaning of equipment, now reverted
to placing two platoons on duty, having one as reserve. A wood-burning
stove was installed in the operations tent. Tire patches being scarce there
is a possibility of deadlined equipment due to tire failures.
3 November 1944
A 2 ton dump truck of Company "C" was made unserviceable
due to a tank hitting it. Headquarters continued placing steel netting
in the muddy areas of bivouac to make walking more convenient to frequented
points. The maintenance of main supply routes and secondary roads of the
Bn. area remained our prime duty.
4 November 1944
Lt. Edmonston was directed to serve as Liaison Officer
with 4th Armored Division Headquarters. An officers call was held at which
time impending new operations were discussed and newly assigned officers
to the Bn. were introduced. Among the latter was Lt. Oldre, the first battlefield
commission made within our Bn. The Red Cross Clubmobile again was welcomed
to the Bn. with its coffee and doughnuts.
5 November 1944
Evidences in the battalion showed new impending operations
were due. Preparations were on to put all things in a very mobile condition.
Map segregation and proper distribution kept S-2 well occupied. A report
came that Lt. Edmonston was a victim of an accident and Lt. Villadsen was
sent to replace him.
6 November 1944
The battalion was relieved of its current areas of road
responsibilities with Engineers of 1157th Group assuming the task. The
new priority roads for maintenance included main routes bounded roughly
West by Sorneville - Pettoncourt road, East by line drawn according to
tactical situation, North by Pettoncourt - Chambrey road and South by Sorneville-Bezange
road. Group moved to Moncel today with Lt. Grey maintaining Liaison.
7 November 1944
Priority on production at "B" Company's quarry at Remereville
was given solely to 24th Armored Engrs. All flame-throwers were ordered
returned to Third Army. The operations dug-out finally required evacuation.
Weather deteriorated so that drainage was overtaxed by day and night rains
despite use of a booster pump.
8 November 1944
Activities increased with "A" Company preparing approaches
and commencing Bailey bridge construction at Chambrey. Flood control along
dikes from Bioncourt to Brin was "C" companies main effort plus road maintenance
and operation of Remereville rock quarry. "B" company remained on the alert
9 November 1944
The 110' Bailey bridge was completed at Chambrey. A change
of area and quarters proved an advantage. The Burthelcourt Chateau also
billeted Headquarters Operations. "B" Company was ready to move to 24th
Engrs. area. "C" Company continued its prior assignment. The reconnaissance
section was of paramount importance and ably constructed during these particular
10 November 1944
A full schedule found "C" Company completing its 50'
Bailey at Sallonnes. Bridge was started at 1400 hours, material arrived
at 1600 hours. The bridge erection was complete at 2000 hours. It was a
very good and rapid piece of work. "C" Company besides mine sweeping and
road repair also erected a Treadway bridge in Sallonnes. "A" Company removed
a 1500' abatis and farm machinery road block in Chateau-Salins. Also putting
tread on Chambrey Bailey. "B" company is as yet detached to work and travel
11 November 1944
No moment lacked activity. Numerous reports of enemy
minefields on through Chateau-Salins North to Lubecourt kept "A" &
"C" Companies well occupied clearing roads of mines and posting signs.
"B" Company was on the march with CCB. Chateau-Salins in a second visit
by the battalion was overhauled for enemy obstacles while plans were afoot
to move further East. The Recon section bolstered the whole units morale
when Lt. Christiansen with T/S Szychulski, T/4 Castle, T/5 Pitts, and Benoit
found themselves in a bee-hive of sudden retreat as a part of enemy troops
in Vaxy. Finding cover in a corner building they eliminated the enemy troops
in Vaxy. Finding cover in a corner building they eliminated the enemy troops
plus destroying a staff car and a halftrack. A complete and calmly executed
12 November 1944
No longer was it a muddy area but proper housing which
interested us in claiming quarters for billet and operations. Even the
dead had to be removed to furnish proper areas to function. "B" Company
reported their 4 ton prime mover damaged with trailer and the 1st platoon
had received eleven casualties, one fatal due to harassing artillery fire.
Mines, road and bridge maintenance in area from Sallonnes North and West
to Fresnes and Northeast to Morhange and Conthil. New quarters were established
at Gerbecourt 2 miles North of Chateau-Salins at 1000 hours.
13 November 1944
"A" Company was now located in new quarters in Lupecourt.
"C" Company was well occupied sweeping for mines North of Chateau-Salins
and building a Treadway bridge in the vicinity of Brehain. Also repaired
tank trap near Vaxy. All roads were being thoroughly traveled by much and
heavy traffic. First snow fall scarcely covering tilled fields. Homes now
being reached were completely abandoned. Enemy it seemed were crowding
all civilians ahead of them as they withdrew.
14 November 1944
Two of the more noteworthy happenings were the surrender
to the reconnaissance, several of the enemy troops, one a casualty and
the explosion of a mine by an R-4 dozer on job with Lt. Sultrom in the
vicinity of Brehain. Operator though blasted clear, was unhurt. A third
incident would be the bogging down of D-7 requiring a ten ton wrecker to
free it. Besides filling a good-sized crater "C" Company constructed two
bridges, 48' & 56' long, North and South of Brehain. A 50 ft. D/S Bailey
bridge completed "A" Company prepared approaches for a second Bailey bridge
North of Hampont plus usual road maintenance and mine sweeping routing
- an important detail though not unusual. 250 new sleeping bags were issued
to the letter companies by S-4. Other men received one added blanket each.
15 November 1944
A good portion of engineer effort on the battalion work
sheet included Bailey and Treadway bridges, abatis, road blocks and several
large craters. Major Knight visited "B" Company in the vicinity of Sotzeling.
Capt. Monsione related how the Company had furnished security for artillery
units, cleared mines and road blocks in support of CCA. Morale was high
and company was happy to receive rations and new bed rolls. Battalion D-7
was again in operation. Corps received a squad with mine detectors from
"A" Company to clear its headquarters area beyond doubt in Chateau-Salins.
16 November 1944
Work was afoot all along the traveled routes. Minefields
were everywhere being destroyed and all barriers and blocks leveled. Lt.
King found some previously undiscovered S-mines in the vicinity of Aichen.
Two fatalities were removed by Lt. King and remaining mines were marked
and eliminated. Lt. Martin working with a squad in and about Corps HQ.
discovered a formidable arsenal. It added up to over 500 mines, bazooka
shells and varied firing devices. "B" Company was contacted regularly as
it worked along with CCA. One day of sunshine was a most bracing element
and every bit welcomed.
17 November 1944
Operations continued with units practically exchanging
quarters. A 4th Armored Medical unit took up the battalion's quarters at
Gerbecourt as Niverlach - two miles South of Morhange - was established
as Battalion CP at 1600 hours. With "B" Company released from its assignment
with CCA and located at Haboudang. "C" Company in turn was attached to
the 2nd Cavalry. Its CP was located in Rechicourt. A new and quite extensive
area for operations was given the battalion. It stretched West to Bausemont
and Bathelemont, Chateau-Salins North and East as far as was tactically
possible. Our southern boundary again paralleled the canal at Parroy.
18 November 1944
Up until now the battalion had been at work straddled
on the limits of the 35th and 26th Inf. Divisions. Now it is in general
support of 26th Division along with "C" Company detached. "A" Company completed
a single double 40' Bailey South of Puttigny as well as placing tread on
ramps on Hampont Bailey and removing road block between Haraucourt and
Mulcey. Efforts to find new locations were less difficult due to the enemy
evacuating all civilians. However the numerous friendly troops in turn
19 November 1944
Varied offensive operations were impending. Armor awaited
dawn to thrust out which required construction of two Bailey Bridges S/S
(20' and 30') along route from Haraucourt to Mulcey. "A" Company was called
and had bridges ready at 0300 hours, "B" Company maintained roads in sector
drawn from Chateau-Salins to Burlioncourt to Hampont and Norville. "C"
Company operated with 2nd Cavalry Group clearing mines and laying Treadway
bridging. During the day Major Reagan relinquished his atipathy to hospital
confinement and went for a rest to overcome persistent cough and feverishness.
20 November 1944
Night operations were more prevalent. "C" Company still
attached to the Cavalry place two Treadway bridges completing the dual
operation by 0500. The first was over the Marne Canal and the second on
the Mulcey - Dieuze road. They were 18 and 31 feet respectively. Mine sweeping
and road maintenance was a cardinal point. "A" and "B" Company filled their
day on this Bn. work. Preparatory investigations were on to find quarters
to take up operations nearer responsibilities assigned Bn.
21 November 1944
New quarters were now placed in Dieuze. Established at
1500 hours. Armor had found the enemy in speedy withdrawal. This caused
a bit of a problem to furnish "C" Company, racing on with the calvary its
proper rations. "B" Company maintained its road net with "A" Company placing
a 48' Treadway and 80' Bailey in Dieuze. The bridges were commenced at
2100 hours Nov. 20 and completed 1115 hours today. "C" Company with all
platoons and squads partialed out to the various. 2nd Cavalry troops pulled
mines both Riegel and S mines in the vicinity of Lagarde. Reconnaissance
was in operation to maintain intelligent information regarding possible
coming areas for work and its requirements. "B" Company constructed one
10' D/S and one 40' D/S vicinity of Dieuze.
22 November 1944
"A" Company completed a 60' D/S Bailey between Lostroff
and Guinzeling. In addition mines and road blocks and bridge maintenance
kept the whole company busy. "B" Company was also maintaining its section
of road area. "C" Company was traveling fast with the Cavalry tearing out
abatis, placing Treadway Bridges and a timber bridge. The command echelon
made plans to move on to Domnom.
23 November 1944
The usual bridge and road efforts were conducted by "A"
and "B" Companies. The command echelon moved on to Domnom and quartered
itself and the CP there at 1500 hours. Communications were well exercised
in stringing wire to properly receive information. Distances were sometimes
quite lengthy to complicate matters.
24 November 1944
Perhaps one of the more troublesome sites at which a
Bailey was constructed was the 100 ft. T/S at Fenstrange. The job required
24 hours constantly interspersed with mortar and artillery fire. "A" Company
worked hard to complete the bridge. Many large and far-stretching defensive
features were now being encountered with "B" Company at work filling in
one of them - an anti-tank ditch. This was placed just West of Mittersheim.
Also repaired ramps over canal just before entering the same city. "C"
Company was taken up with activities in conjunction with 2nd Cavalry. "C"
Company commander paid regular daily visits to HQ.
25 November 1944
After blasting a house in part to get fill "A" Company
continued improving the bridge approach which task required a 50' radius
of roadway. In the process two men received shrapnel wounds and two became
fatalities. The 4-Ton prime mover was also destroyed in Fenstrange by heavy
artillery fire. "B" Company maintained Treadway bridge at Mittersheim and
widened and completed filling in anti-tank ditch further West on same road.
26 November 1944
"B" Company was placing a fixed Timber Bridge in Mittersheim
and maintaining filled crossing of anti-tank ditch. A culvert was constructed
in Fenstrange also. "C" Company was still detached. "A" Company put finishing
touches on their Bailey Bridge approach and its maintenance. New sites
for billeting the Bn. were in process of investigation near Fenstrange.
Shells from artillery were yet too much in evidence.
27 November 1944
Quarters for operations and all of H/S were set up at
Pontency farm just East of Fenstrange. "A" Company arranged their place
in Fenstrange proper. "C" Company was in a major portion being occupied
by a minefield in area of defensive entrenchments and of Mittersheim which
procedure was at the expense of platoon Sergeant Kazner's death. "C" Company
stationed at Berthelming returned to Bn. duty from 2nd Cavalry Group. It
was noticeable how territory with its elements were growing increasingly
indifferent, even non-sympathetic.
28 November 1944
Verbal commendations proffered by Gen. Patton at Fenstrange
Bailey Bridge site was of a distinctive nature for the men on the job.
This 100 ft. T/S Bailey was the first to span the Sarre River and was constructed
by "A" Company covering a 24 hour period. A Stars and Stripes reporter
paid a visit to the officers and EM of this Company also. "B" Company cleared
over 270 Riegal mines today in a field of 1000 or more. "C" Company finished
a 100' Bailey Bridge a bit further North on the Sarre at Diederdorf. Besides
the vital Bailey construction all companies were employed sweeping road
and shoulders on all MSR and alternate routes of our area.
29 November 1944
Mines have been "B" Company's nemesis the last days.
They continued work on the large field of Riegal mines near Mittersheim.
"A" Company was at work sweeping, posting and draining roads North and
East of Fenstrange. "C" Company maintained the MSR from Corps rear boundary
30 November 1944
The care and cleaning of equipment was on the agenda
during the lull prior to impending offensives. "B" Company completed its
task of clearing the extensive field of Riegels in the vicinity of Mittersheim.
"A" Company & "C" Company were engaged in road and bridge maintenance.
Awards were being received within the Bn. in plentiful number. Quarters
were becoming more scant as the actual German border was being neared.
The many troops made constant and prompt moving essential. The maintenance
section did good work in acquiring a 2 ton shop truck with appurtenances.
Also they arranged so that each Company was now equipped with their 4 ton
prime movers again.