HEADQUARTERS 
150TH ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION 
A.P.O. 403 
AMMEX TO NARRATIVE OF ENGINEER BRIDGING OPERATIONS ON THE RHINE RIVER 
First Bridge:
    At 2100 hours 20 March 1945 this battalion was assigned the Mission of constructing a Treadway Bridge across the Rhine River in the vicinity of Oppenheim, Germany. The battalion moved very shortly thereafter to Undenheim, the chosen bridge dump and rear assembly area, and started inflating floats and placing saddles thereon. 
    During the period 0800 hours 21 March to 2300 hours 22 March 1945 the necessary reconnaissance was made, bridging and boom construction materials were assembled and final plans were made for the construction. The plan adopted was to load 2 1/2 ton trucks with one section each, including inflated floats, at the rear assembly area at Undenheim which was approximately 8 miles from the construction site and then to Dexheim, a control point 3 miles from the site. The final step was to bring them into a somewhat protected basin just upstream from the site for assembly into rafts. 
    One letter company was charged with the assembly of floats and loading of trucks, of which there 40 assigned for the mission, and were also to supply all equipment as needed. A second letter company was assigned the assembly of rafts in the basin and the actual construction of the bridge. The third company was charged with construction of anti-mine booms. Two Trailway Bridge companies plus a platoon of another were attached to the battalion. Their mission was to operate cranes, power boats, etc. and to provide the required materials and technical supervision of all phases of construction. A platoon of the 1306th G.S. Regt. was attached for construction of an antipersonnel boom and one company of another combat battalion was attached for reserve. 
    At 2400 hours 22 March 1945, two hours after the assault, orders were received to move in and commence construction but priority was given to unloading of Naval LCVP's. No crane capable of handling the LCVP's was available and some time was lost unloading them with a dozer and quickway crane. About 0600 hours the first raft was assembled and moved across with extra treads for the far shore. At 0700 hours, with increased visibility, the enemy discovered the operation and began leaving F.A. directly on the far shore work party. Every attempt to continue work met with a barrage of fire. F.A. fire was also being directed against the raft assembly crews in the basin but did not slow up operations to any extent. 
    The platoon commander of the far shore work party, realizing the fire must be directed by someone in the near vicinity, made a hasty reconnaissance and uncovered 17 Germans in a hasty fortification directing the fire by telephone. We took them as prisoners and while the fire continued for an hour or so, it had only a harassing effect. The only other deterring effect by the enemy was a strafing and bombing run made by 2 planes at approximately 1130 hours resulting in a damaged raft which was quickly repaired and about a half hour delay. At 1745 hours the bridge was opened to traffic while additional anchor cables were being emplaced to further guy the bridge. 
    The bridge was constructed from the far side because power boat failure while pushing rafts out of the brain into the current would have resulted in a raft floating into the partly completed structure. Total length was 972 feet. Room construction, being upstream and out of the bridgehead proper, was slowed all morning by enemy small arms fire, but once begun the first anti-mine was completed at 1800 hours. Lack of familiarity and difficulties of construction of the antipersonnel boom delayed its completion until 1800 hours 25th March, by which time the second antimine boom was in and work well under way on the anti-barge boom. The two latter booms were installed by Company C 145th Engr. c. Bn. attached as reserve. 

Second Bridge:
    At 1500 hours 24 March 1945 this battalion was assigned the mission of constructing a second Treadway Bridge across the Rhine River in the vicinity of Oppenhein, Germany. 
    A site was selected which was approximately 1000 feet upstream from the first Treadway Bridge. The near shore approach road was a dirt road. On the far side the exit road was a river to path. "Company was given the mission of constructing the bridge from the near shore. "B" Company was given the mission of inflating and assembling all pneumatic floats. "A" Company was given the mission of constructing the far shore approach and joining single float rafts on the far shore. 
    At 1630 hours work was started in the basin placing the steel trends on the reserve floats of the first bridge. By 1830 hours 8 floats had been assembled and made into two 4 boat rafts. At 1800 hours the 997th Treadway Bridge Company arrived with their equipment. At that time it was decided to inflate and assemble the rest of the bridge upstream of the bridge site. Due to the high levels on the near shore the plan adopted for assembling the floats was as follows: Two quickway cranes were located on the water's edge in the area cleared by the D7 dozer. The inflated floats were to be brought up on 2 1/2 ton trucks from an assembly area which was in a clearing about 100 yards from the river. One crane was in the assembly area to unload bridge material from semi-trailers and to load the steel treadways on the 2 1/2 ton trucks and the inflated floats with saddles. Two air compressors were used in the inflation of the floats. After the floats had been placed in the water and the steel treads fitted upon them, they were moved into place by a power boat.
    By 2200 hours the two 4 float rafts that were constructed in the basin had been floated around into place and the up stream shore assembly site was in full operation. If the river constructing crew was held up for any reason, the completed floats were taken over to the far shore and made into a raft. At 0930 hours 25th March there was only a narrow gap of water between the near shore assembled bridge and the twelve float rafts on the far shore. It was decided to connect the two at that time. Difficulty was encountered in joining the two parts. The twelve foot raft was too large to handle easily. By 1100 hours the two parts were connected and work was started on the far shore ramp. The completed bridge was 1116 feet long and open for traffic at 1200 hours 25 March, 1945. During the construction there were three enemy attacks in the vicinity.

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