101st Airborne Division (E-506) Dec-1944 – Jan-1945, Bastogne

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E-506-Ste-Marie-du-Mont-Forrest-Guth-Frank-Mellet-David-Morris-Daniel-West-Floyd-Talbert-CT-Smith

After Action Report
Headquarters 506-PIR
E Company (Period Dec 1944 – Jan 1945)



December 17 1944
At 2300, Battalion and Separate Unit Commanders were notified that this Regiment would be prepared for truck movement to combat at 181400A.

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December 18 1944
The Regiment minus advanced party commenced trucking at 1500 leaving Camp Mourmelon, France (T541648) at 1630. Personnel on 40 trailers, equipment and supplies in Regimental Transport. The advanced party closed in 101st CP (P4599599) at 2200 hour.

December 19 1944
The advanced party established the Regimental CP in Champs, Belgium (P521621), 3 miles North-Northwest of Bastogne (Belgium)(P553577) at 0130 and having placed guides at road junction Barrière de Champlon-Bastogne Highway (Road N4) and Mande Saint-Etienne Road (P501593), 3 miles Northwest of Bastogne, commenced to pickup our vehicles between 0300 and 0605 when when last troop came in. The enemy position at this time was obscure.

Situation Map : Crossroad Barrière de Champlon on the RN-4

Situation Map : Mande Saint Etienne along the RN-4

Situation Map : North/Northwest of Bastogne

At 0830, the Regimental Combat Team in Route Column

    1st Battalion
    3rd Battalion
    Regimental Headquarter
    321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion
    2nd Battalion

marched to Bastogne, the point halting on its outskirts (P554587) at 1030. At 1050, 1st Battalion by Divisional order proceeded to Noville (P593647), 4,5 miles north of Bastogne, where, with elements of the 10th Armored Division and B Company 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion, it formed CCB (Combat Comman B), with 1st Battalion Commanding Officer in Command. At 1400, the 3rd Battalion (506) marched to Foy (P573625) between Bastogne and Noville, and established a line

    G Company
    I Company
    H Company

with contact to the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (101 A/B) (right flank) and 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (101 A/B) (left flank). The 2nd Battalion (506) followed the 3rd Battalion (506) out of Bastogne, halting at Luxery (P563594), where it remainded in Regimental Reserve.

The commanding ground to the east and North of Noville being in enemy hands, at 1430,

    C Company (506) attacked to the East
    A & B Companies to the North

against extremely heavy artillery and small arms fire. A counter-attack against A and B Companies by a battalion of infantry supported by 16 Tanks, 5 of which our Tank Destroyers destroyed was repulsed. By evening, this objective not having been reached, a perimeter defense of the town was initiated.

Situation Map : Luxery, Belgium

During the night, many attempts by the enemy to force an entrance in the MLR (Main Line of Resistance) were made. His method was to employ 2 or 3 Tanks with accompanying infantry as assault troops. During this period 2 more enemy Tanks were destroyed and others immobilized by 2’36 Rocket Launchers fire. Artillery and Tank fire continued heavy during the night.

At 2130 2 platoons of the 705th TDB were attached to the Regiment (506). Both were sent to Foy with 1 platoon being instructed to to repair 1st Battalion as soon as practicable. 4 PWs were taken this date.

December 20 1944

At 0715 the Tank Destroyer at Foy, attached to 1st Battalion (506), moved to Noville. At 0800, the 3rd Battalion line was attacked, I and H Companies, by an estimated 2 Companies supported by 3 Tanks and G Company by 1 Company and 3 Tanks. At 1000, the 2nd Battalion (506) (less one platoon F Co in security for the 321st GFA Bn) moved forward along the Foy – Bastogne Road (RN-30) being ordered at 1100 to take portion or the 3rd Battalion’s line East of the highway and inclusive the Station (P583607) at RR crossing Foy – Bizory Road and Bastogne – Bourcy RR. At 1030, the 3rd Bn withdrew to the high ground immediately South of Foy and stopped the enemy attack. In Noville, enemy teams consisting of 5 Tanks with infantry support had attacked during the morning, at one time bringing the town under attack from 3 sides. The armored unit being unable to fully maintain their Tanks, 3 of them were manned by 1st Bn. The unit having been isolated from the remainder of our forces by enemy action had with ammunition and manpower waning, the command was ordered to withdraw to and trough the Bastogne defense. At 1130, the command moved from Noville towards Foy along the main road (RN-30), the advance guard consisting of C/506 and 3 Tanks, the rear guard, B/506 and 4 Tanks (TDs), the Tanks with C/506 being destroyed at an enemy road block North of Foy, the column swung to the right trough the fields entering Foy further South were 3/506 had taken considerable portion of the town in an attack which had coincided with the withdrawal of Combat Command B. Starting at 1400, this attack eventually cleared Recogne, taking Foy and ground 200 M to the North.

Note from Snafu : we have in the area 2 towns wearing the name of Recogne. Recogne (1) (road Foy – Recogne – Monaville and up to Bertogne – 6000-M North of Bastogne) Recogne (2) (Recogne – Libramont – Chevigny RN-40, 50-KMs Southeast of Batogne

The 2nd Bn (506) failing to take the station (P583607), made patrol contact with the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, some 1000-M to the South. The 1st Bn (506) constituted the Regimental Reserve at Luxery with 1 platoon of A Co forming a strong point (592596) behind 2/506 and the 501st PIR on the RR. They had suffered casualties of 13 Officers and 190 Enlisted while being part of the command that destroyed 31 armored vehicles and over 50% of the of the German 304. Infantry Regiment at Noville. The armored vehicles were identified as equipment of the 2. Regiment, 2. Panzer Division. 84 PWs were taken that day.

December 21 1944
At 0330, 3/506 was attacked. t 0600, G Co moved to high ground south of Recogne (P571635). In spit of the use of all Battalion reserve, the enemy continued to press his attack. The Bn withdrew to high ground and the enemy tank and infantry attack was stopped. At 0830, 2/506 located an estimate 2 enemy platoons in the vicinity of (P578607). 1/506 was ordered to reduce this group. An intense small arms and bayonet fight ensued, 1/506 killing 50 and taking 85 PWs, the remainder being killed or captured by 2/506 and 2/501. Firm contact was established between the 2 regiments; the RR station being jointly held after 1730. Enemy activity now decreased noticeably.

December 22 1944
Due to the lack of enemy activity, vigorous patrolling were conducted by 2/506 and 3/506 resulting in the location of remunerative mortar and artillery target in the vicinity of Recogne (P570634), Foy (P573625) and Bois Jacques (P535612).

December 23 1944
Being the first day of clear weather since the arrival of the Regiment. The Army Air Force flew many missions, some on information reported from our forward units. The enemy was quiet. At 1900 the 1/506 was placed on one half hour alert for the remainder of the night due to enemy attacks 327th Glider Infantry Regiment area to the Southeast. 9 PWs were taken that day.

December 24 1944
At 0830, 2/506 was attacked in the Bois Jacques by an enemy company. This company having as tis mission reconnaissance in force, attacked along the entire battalion front was destroyed by 1100 from which time this and 3/506 sector stayed quiet for the remainder of the period. 3PWs were taken.

December 25 1944
At 0525, 1/506 was placed on one-half hour alert due to attack in the 502nd Parachute Infantry sector in the Northwest. At 0845, they moved from Luxery West to Savy (546599) where they remained in reserve. At 1530, Regimental CP moved from Bastogne to Luxery. No offensive enemy action.

December 26 1944
No offensive enemy action. Regiment patrolled as usual.

December 27 1944
Regiment defending line high ground south of Recogne – Foy and along the Foy – Bourcy Road as it cuts trough woods inclusive of RR Station. 3/506 inclusive of Bastogne – Noville highway to left, 2/506 exclusive of highway and inclusive of RR Station. 1/506 in Reserve at Savy. The enemy was quiet.

December 28 1944
Regimental sector same and quiet. Weather foggy. At 1900 1/506 due to enemy attack on in the 502nd PIR Sector was placed on 30 minutes alert.

December 29 1944
Regimental sector same. Littler enemy activity. Weather being clear, the Army Air Force flex several missions against Noville, Foy and Recogne which were observed en results reported by our OPs.

December 30 1944
At 0710, enemy planes Bombed Regimental CP area causing no casualties. Enemy artillery light. Our Army Air Force flew many missions to North of the Regimental sector.

December 31 1944
Sector same, enemy very quiet.

January 1 1945
At 0001, both sides welcomed the new year with artillery and mortar. The remainder of the period was quiet.

January 2 1945
At 0600, 1/506 started to march from Savy (P546599) to 2/506 where they were to take over the latter’s positions and secure the left flank as 2/506 moved forward. The column being attacked in Luzery by enemy planes (3 or 9) in which attack 3 casualties were sustained. At 0930, 2/506 attacked trough Bois Jacques (P585612) to the Foy – Mageret direction? 1200-M to the North.

Little resistance was encountered until the objective and area some 200-M to the South was reached. Resistance was strong initially, but of short duration. At 1530 the objective was taken.

    F/506 in contact
    A/506 & E/506 in the center
    D/506 in the right doing patrols with 501st PIR at 2013

That day, 7 PWs were taken.

January 3 1945
At 1500, 2/506 having taken over 1/506’s positions, the latter started marching toward Savy reverting to Division Reserve at 1730, closing in at 1800. Enemy artillery, mortar and nebelwerfer was on the uptrend. 2 PWs were taken that day.

December 4 1945
The Division having decided to withdraw to the old MLR along the FGoy – Bizory Road (P576619 E to P583607), this was accomplished, 2/506 being relived by 501st PIR at 2130 and repairing to the Regiment reserve in wood North of Luzery and West of the Bastogne – Noville Highway (P568611). 3/506 remained in its sector.

January 5 1945
At the commencement of the period 3/506 manned the line South of Recogne – Foy. 2/506 was in Regimental Reserve, and 1/506 was in Savy in Division Reserve. During the afternoon, 2/506 displaced 2000-M West to another wooded reserve area (P558820) closing at 1509.

January 6 1945
1/506 moved to Savy at 1840 in order to relieve 2/502 PIR on that portion of the MLR running Southwest from Monaville (P548641) to the 3/506 area South of Recogne (P566630).

January 7 1945
The Regimental positions remained the same. The Fazone Woods (P566647) were patrolled intensively.

January 8 1945
The day passed with little incident, save an extremely heavy snow storm.

January 9 1945
At 0500 the relief of 3/506 by 3/501 commenced. At 0908 when completed 3/506 moved to forward assembly area in woods South of Bonne-Fontaine (P557623). At 1018 the Regimental CP closed in the 1/506 CP at Bonne-Fontaine (P556626). At 1100 the regiment with Task Force Cherry of the 10th Armored Division attached, attacked after an artillery preparation with the mission of cleaning the Bois de Fazone to the draw in Southeast of Vaux (P570652), an area some 2500-M in length and 1000-M in breath. The 2/506 was base Battalion and at 1100 moved inside the Fazone Woods followed by 3/506 at 1110 which, passing trough the rear took position on the left. At 1110, E/506 took an enemy platoon prisoner. This was the last enemy encountered until the 3/506 liquidated 4 small enemy outposts at 1300. 1/506 having been passed trough by 502 PIR which was attacking the Bois de Assins (P554648) to the left the Bois de Fazone, staring moving behind 2/506 as Regimental Reserve at 1345. The Regimental objective was reached by 1630, after having received heavy artillery, mortar and Tank fire. From 1800 on, the enemy shelled our positions. 39 PWs were taken this date.

Janvier 10 1945
The enemy artillery and other fire increased markedly around 0230, at which time the enemy combat patrol of 20 men supported by 2 platoons attacked our positions (P567646) being repelled at cost to them. The 326th Airborne Engineer Battalion, as in the past, cut a considerable amount of logs which were used by the Regiment as Foxhole covers. At 0830 1/506 moved 1300-M to the Southwest (P560632) due to especially heavy artillery in their area. At 1430, it having been determined to withdraw to the old MLR with 1/506 taking their old sector, 2/506 taking their old positions and 3/506 going to Regimental Reserve in Savy, withdrawal was commenced. At 1730, 1/506 closed, 2/506 and 3/506 leaving at 1830 reached their new areas at 2300. Casualties from enemy artillery the previous night and early morning was 126. 4 PWs was taken this day.

January 11 1945
The Regimental CP leaving Bonne-Fontaine, closed in Hemroulle (P533602) on the Champs – Bastogne Road. 1/506 patrolled extensively while enemy fire was light.

January 12 1945
At 1800, 3/506 left Savy to relieve 3/327 in the Recogne – Foy defensive sector. Relieve was complete at 2112. Enemy artillery remained light.

January 13 1945
Regimental CP closed 2000-M West of Luzery (P566604) on the Bastogne – Foy Road. E Company having been attached to 3/506 moved during the morning to their area. At 0900, E Company attacked Foy (P578625) meeting increasing resistance as they entered the town from the West. At 1015, I Company attacked the town from the South, the Foy – Bastogne Road. By 1100, both Companies were well into the town and approximately 23 prisoners having been taken. At 1113, F Company was attached to 3/506 and ordered to take over H Company positions just South of Foy (P574619), the later moving to Foy to assist E and I Companies in the attack. The town was cleared at 1630, E Company released to 2/506 at 1730. At 1800, the defense of the town was G Company on the old MLR, H, I and F Companies in the defense perimeter with F Company in contact with the 501st PIR. Shelling of the town continued and 69 PWs were taken during this operation.

January 14 1945
The enemy attacking with 6 or 7 Tanks with accompanying infantry at 0415, our force under continued pressure withdrew to the old MLR at 0600 to reorganize. 2/506 as alerted at this time and moved to a line extending from 3/506 CP to Foy Road to the rear of 3/506 positions (P572619). At 0900 CCB 10th Armored Division passed through our lines to Foy. 2/506 assembled at 1220 and started moving towards Cobru (P579644) at 1300. At 1300, 1/506 moved forwards from the MLR some 2500-M through the Fazone Woods to the high ground overlooking Cobru (P567646). 3/506 followed 1/506, stopping with their lead elements 1000-M past the MLR in the vicinity of the Etang de Fazone (P536643). Their mission being to contact 1/506 and the 17th Airborne Division, the former solidly the later by patrol. Both, 3/506 and 1/506 were in position by 1500. 2/506 having received some artillery and mortar fire on entering Cobru, heavier fire in attacking the high wooded hill to the East of that town and South of Noville (P588646). Their final disposition at 1800 were E Company on the South edge of Noville, with D and F Companies on left and right of the high ground. Contact was continuous across Regimental and adjacent unit front. 5 PWs were accounted for this day.

January 15 1945
At 0600, 1/501 was attacked moved into the woods at Bonne-Fontaine (P560623). At 1030 1/506 attacked from Frazene Woods 1500-M accross open field seizing the wooded ground directly Southwest of Cobru (P580652). Formation : A, B and C Companies echeloned to the right rear. Simultaneously, 2/506 attacked Noville taking and establishing a defense perimeter in the town. 3/506 occupying the old positions vacated by 1/506 in the Frazene Woods, theirs was taken by 3/501. The Regimental CP now moving, closed in Recogne (P568634) at 1400. 17 PWs were taken that day.

January 16 1945
At 0930, the Battalions attacked with objectives along the line Neuf-Moulins (613636), 4500-M Northeast of Noville, along ther Bastogne – Foy – Houffalize highway to Rachamps (P607668) 2500-M along and 1500-M East of the same highway. A reserve was to be established at Wicourt. A considerable amount of open ground covered in their advance with objectives being reached at 1800; 3/506 Neuf-Moulins area, 2/506 Rachamps, 1/506 high ground between 2/506 and 3/506 and 3/501 in Wicourt. The enemy was particularly sensitive to the loss of Rachamps. Attached for this movement were A Co, 811th Tank Destroyer Bn, B Co, 705th Tank Destroyer Bn and a Recon Co from the 705th TDB. Regimental CP closed in Vaux at 1505. 88 PWs were taken in today’s operations.

January 17 1945
Battalions in same position, sector quiet. At 1315, 3/501 reverted to 501st PIR. At 1950, 17th Airborne Division started relieving 1/506 and 3/506. This was completed at 2110. At 2130, 2/506 was ordered back to Regimental bivouac to be established in woods South of Recogne and Bonne-Fontaine. All Battalions closed by 2400. 5 PWs were taken today.

Januay 18 1945
At 0800, Battalions left the assembly area by truck for La Petite Rosière area (P457486), 10 KM South of Sibret where they established in Corps Reserve. Regimental CP left Vaux and closed in La Petite Rosière at 1000. At 1700 the Regiment was placed on alert for move to South to 7th Army Sector.

January 19 1945
Remained in La Petite Rosière. All units alerted and ready for move. Advance Party left for vicinity Sarrebourg at 0800.

January 20 1945
At 0900, troops started loading in 10 tons trucks for move. By 1200 all troops at cleared IP P444480.

January 21 1945
At 0030 Regimental CP opened in Dimeringen (Wq599380). At 1350 the first troops arrived. The convoy was badly broken up due to road conditions. By 2230, all but 2 trucks and one medical vehicle had closed in their areas. 1/506 was located in Weisslingen (Wq646357), 2/506 was located in Waldhambach (Wq620365), 3/506 was in Dineringen. Division Reserve in same location.

22 to 25 January 1945

During this period the Regiment remained in Division Reserve in the same locations.

January 26 1945
At 0830 the Regiment moved by truck convoy to Wickersheim (Wq 852205). The Regimental CP opened there at 1330. All units had closed by 1445 with 1/506 in (Wq812213), 2/506 in (Wq845217), 3/506 in Geisweiller (Wq829210). Regiment in Division Reserve.

January 27 1945
Regiment remained in Division Reserve.

January 28 1945
At 1245, 3/506 moved by marching to Lixhausen (Wq864217) closing there at 1440. At 1330, 1/506 moved to Bossendorf (Wq870202) closing at 1440.

January 29 1945
Troops location same. Regiment in Division Reserve.

January 30 1945
At 1300, 2/506 moved to Grassendorf closing there at 1515. The Regimental CP moved to Ettendorf (Wq889238) opening there at 1615.

January 31 1945
At 1200, A and F Btry, 81st AA Bn and 807th Tank Destroyer Bn (-) 3rd Platoon were attached to the Regiment in preparation of relief of the 409th Infantry Regiment (103rd Infantry Division). At 1800 1/506 and 3/506 started moving by truck to forward positions in the vicinity of Pfaffennhoffen and Niedermodern. By 2145 Battalions had completed relief of the 409th Infantry Regiment on the line in sector from (Wq899270) to (Wq928270) with 1/506 on the left and 3/506 on the right. 2/506 remained in reserve in Grassendorf.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Hello
    This is the Coordinations wich point to the town of Champs according to the Map used for the report. You should come on Facebook in our Group (History Chat Board) and ask #Erik Brun about this. He will explain that better than me and he will even give you the N° of the Map to use.

    Doc Snafu

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