Bridges-&-Engineers-WW-2-001 (Our River)

October 1944

Original Unit.
Designation : 505th Engineer Light Ponton Company; Date of Organization : May 15 1942; Place of Organization : Camp Gordon, Georgia; Authority of Organization : General Order #15, HQs Eastern Defense Command and 1-A, dated May 15 1942; Sources from which original personnel were obtained : Officers, CO, Capt Archibald E. Sutton (0-304319) C.E. by transfer from the Engineer Replacement Training Center, Fort Belvoir, Virginia; EO, 1/Lt Gerald L. Bilbro, C.E. by transfer from the 75th Engineer Light Ponton Company, Camp Beauregard, Louisiana. Platoon Commanders and Motor Officer : By assignment from the Fourth Engineer Officer Candidate School, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, as follow : Francis F. Carnes, 2/Lt, C.E. (0-1100038); James J. Carnes, Jr, 2/Lt, (0-1100039); Burrel D. Carney, Jr, 2/Lt, C.E. (0-1100041) and Francis M. Carson, 2/Lt, C.E. (0-1100043).


Enlisted Men : Enlisted Cadre of twelve NCO’s by transfer from the 75th Engineer Light Ponton Company, Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, in May 1942 as follow : 1/Sgt Morton Kamm, (6878116); M/Sgt George Underwood (0000000); (Mess) S/Sgt John W. Pritchett (6966756); (Supply) S/Sgt William Blankenship (0000000); (Motor) S/Sgt Kenneth F. Whitehead (33035175); (Platoon) S/Sgt Carlton L. Allen (6994429); (Platoon) S/Sgt Thomas L. Beckman (6974589); (Platoon) Sgt Earl Northrup (32033188); (Mechanic) Cpl Ival Cooper (32035482); (Cook) Pvt Spec 3/Cl, Stanislaus J. Andersiak (R-2340718); (Cook) Pvt Spec 4/Cl J. B. Walker (7088340) and (Clerk) Cpl Robert M. Mayo (7086178). Two Mechanics by assignment from the Engineer Heavy Equipment School, Fort Belvoir, Va, on May 15 1942, as follow : Pvt Balmer E. Sinegar (33118318) and Pvt Harold A. Geese (38047063).

Enlisted Fillers : The First group of Enlisted fillers consisting of eleven Selective service Privates were received on September 29 1942 by transfer from Dog Co of the 82nd Ordnance Battalion, Camp Gordon, Georgia per SO 54, 3rd Hq & Hq Detachment Sp Troops, 2nd Army, dated September 29 1942. The second, and principal group of Enlisted Fillers, consisting of 210 Selective Service Privates, were received by transfer from the 1222nd Reception General, Camp Upton, New York, sated December 3 1942.

Changes in Organization during Period : Company assigned to 1105th Engineer Combat Group and assigned to 1-A during entire period.

Strength : Commissioned and Enlisted. Officer Strength at beginning of Period – 6; Francis M. Carson, Capt, (0-1100043) Company Commander; Gilbert E. Moore, 1/Lt, (0446357) Executive Officer; Howard D. May, 1/Lt, (0-1110097) Platoon Commander; John A. McDonald, 1/Lt, (0-1115692) Platoon Commander; Randal Holden, 2/Lt, (0-1114169) Platoon Commander and Clifton M. Hanks, 2/Lt, (0-116497) Platoon Commander. Note : Lt Cliton M. Hanks was lost to Hospital on October 6 1944 due to injuries received in a vehicle accident.

Enlisted Strength. Beginning of Period : Present 201 – Absent 1. Increase during Period : 2. Pvt Herman Davis (15063856) and Pvt Harry C. Parmer (33802679). Note : Above two Enlisted Men assigned to organization by 3rd Reinforcement Depot and reported for duty October 8 1944. Decrease during Period : none. Enlisted Strength of Company at End of Period : Present 203 – Absent 1.

Stations : the company was located at Vierset Barse (K-274123) Belgium, during the entire period.

Operations during the Period
The two Bridge Platoons were engaged during the entire period in the transportation of Engineer Supplies and Equipment from various sources into the 1-A Engineer Depot’s at Modave, Belgium, and later during the month, on up the new location of the Depot at Montzen. The vehicles of these two platoons were kept going continuously, stopping in the bivouac area only to sleep, or have repairs made. Most of the time the demand for this equipment was normal; the trucks being run only during the day. Occasionally, when certain materials would be needed more urgently, hauling was continued at night.

On October 28 1944, the company took over the guard and maintenance job on a Class-40 Armored Steel Tread-way Bridge in Liège. This detail utilized half the personnel of one section. While the job itself was not difficult, life in Liège was most unpleasant due to the heavy V-1 buzz bombing attacks. Refresher training on Infantry Support Raft and Infantry Footbridge construction and operation was conducted by the Light Equipage Platoon at a training site on the Meuse River in Huy. Also the Light Equipage Platoon provided Infantry Support Rafts, outboard motors and outboard motor operators to A Company of the 61st Engineer Combat Battalion to assist them in experimental work on construction of Floating Boom Cables. This experimental work was also conducted on the Meuse River in Huy and was in preparation for the Rhine River crossing.

November 1944

Original Unit : Designation : 505th Engineer Light Pontoon Company; Date of Organization : May 15 1942; Place of Organization : Camp Gordon, Georgia; Authority of Organization : General Order #15, Hq Eastern Defense Command and First Army, dated May 15 1942; Sources from which original personnel were obtained; Change in organization during the period : Unit attached to 1105th Engineer Combat Group for entire period.

Strength : Commissioned and Enlisted : Francis M. Carson, Capt, (0-1100043) Company Commander; Gilbert F. Moore, 1/Lt, (0-446357) Executive Officer; Howard D. May, 1/Lt, (0-1110097) Platoon Commander; John A. McDonald, 1/Lt, (0-1115692) Platoon Commander and Randal Holden, 2/Lt, (0-1114169) Platoon Commander.

Enlisted Personnel, Beginning of Period 204; Increase during Period, None; Decrease during Period, 3. Pvt J. B. Walker, (7008340) Transferred in Grade to 1278th Engineer Combat Battalion per par 6, SO 304, Hq. First US Army, dtd November 5 1944; Pvt Bilik Mike Jr, (33033881) Transferred in Grade to 62nd Engineer Topographic Company and Pfc Patsy J. Colontonio, (32643658) Lost to Hospital as Non Battle Casualty. Strenght at End of Period – 201.

Stations (Perm. or Temp.) of unit or part thereof. Vicinity of Vierset-Barse (K-274123), Belgium, from beginning of period until November 10 1944. This station at Vierset-Barse was the Company’s last outdoor encampment for the winter. Vicinity, Huy, Belgium, from November 10 1944 until end of period. The station in Huy consisted of two large three story private homes on Avenue Godon, along the Meuse River, and a smaller house in the rear, which was used as a CP, Supply Room and PX. Fist Bridge Platoon : At company vicinity Huy from beginning of the period to November 14 1944. Vicinity of Verviers with Baker Co, 49th Engineer Combat Battalion, from November 14 1944 until end of period.

engineer-construction-1944-1

Operations during Period
For the most part during the first phase of this period, the two Bridge Platoons were engaged in transporting Engineer Equipment and Supplies to and from Engineer Depots E-6 vicinity Modave, and E-7 vicinity Montzen, and various other locations. On November 13 1944, the entire 1st Bridge Platoon was placed on operational DS with Baker Co 49th Engineer Combat Battalion located in Verviers to assist in road construction work by hauling rock and other construction materials.

Also the Company was engaged in the following activities : Guarding and maintaining a Class-70 Bailey Bridge across the Meuse River in Liège; Guarding and maintaining a Class-40 Armored Steel Tread-way Bridge on the Meuse River in Liège. This detail also called for opening and closing the bridge twice a week to allow river barges, usually loaded with coal to pass through; Supplied infantry support rafts, outboard motors, and outboard motor operators to the 164th Engineer Combat Battalion, and the 61st Engineer Combat Battalion, to assist in experimentation on floating boom cables.

These experiments were both conducted on the Meuse River, the 61st Engineer Combat Battalion in the vicinity of Huy and the 164th Engineer Combat Battalion in the north of Liège; Supplied a Crane and two operators to assist the 49th Engineer Combat Battalion in engaging operations west of Aachen, Germany; Broke in and serviced 57 – 22 HP outboard motors for the Army Engineer Depot. This work was done at the training site on the Meuse River, in Huy; Engaged in some Infantry Assault Training on the Meuse River in Huy. Special emphasis was placed on bringing outboard motorboat operators to a higher degree of proficiency, and in training additional operators; Some Footbridge Construction Company encountered a stream with a relatively swift current. All previous training had been conducted on still water Lakes or slow moving streams such as the Thames and Severn Rivers in England.

During the 1st half of this period the company was in an outdoor bivouac at Vierset-Barse, Belgium, a small village about 9 miles from Huy. While it was cold at night and damp almost all the time, the men made themselves fairly comfortable by living under their truck tarps on the bows placed on the ground, spreading straw over the floor, and buying or improvising beaters. Toward the middle of the month however, it became so cold, and in fact on one occasion snowed, and the bivouac became such a quagmire, that billet were secured in Huy. Entertainment in the form of movies and USO shows were occasionally available at Vierset-Barce, and more frequently available at Huy. Many men of the company made acquaintances with the village folk in Vierset-Barse, and in later months some, while on pass, came back to visit.

Francis M. Carson
Capt 505th Engineer Light Pontoon Company
Commanding

bridge-italy-engineer-1944

December 1944

Original Unit : Designation : 505th Engineer Light Pontoon Company; Date of Organization : May 15 1942; Place of Organization : Camp Gordon, Georgia; Authority of Organization : General Order #15, Hq Eastern Defense Command and First Army, dated May 15 1942; Sources from which original personnel were obtained : Third Reinforcement Depot, First United Sates Army.

Change in organization during period : On December 24 1944 the unit was relieved from attachment to 1105th Engineer Combat Group, and attached to the 1111th Engineer Combat Group, which was in turn, attached to VII Corps, per par 15, Troop Assignment #3, (Administrative) Hq. VII Corps file 370.5, dated December 28 1944.

Strength : Commissioned and Enlisted : Francis M. Carson, Capt, (0-1100043) Company Commander; Gilbert F. Moore, 1/Lt, (0-446357) Executive Officer; Howard D. May, 1/Lt, (0-1110097) Platoon Commander; John A. McDonald, 1/Lt, (0-1115692) Platoon Commander and Randal Holden, 2nd Lt, (0-1114169) Platoon Commander. Note : on December 19 1944 2/Lt William H. Meier (0-1592436), joined the organization from 3rd Reinforcement Depot having been assigned per par 15 SO 211, Hq 3rd Reinforcement Depot, dated December 15 1944.

Enlisted Strength : Beginning of Period, 201; Increase during Period – X. December 4 1944, Pvt Fred P. Benton, (39410049); Pvt Cecil Perry, (36346974); Pvt Peter P. Popkowski, (42080880) and Pvt Stephan W. Czarnecki, (32644928). Note 1 : Pvt Czarnecki, a former member of this unit having been originally assigned December 5 1942, had been hospitalized July 24 1944 for non-battle injuries received while the Company was engaged in cleaning out the town of Pont l’Abbé Department of Manche, France. Note 2 : Four Enlisted Men transferred in Grade to this organization per par 6, SO 196, Hq 3rd Reinforcement Depot, dated November 30 1944 and arrived for duty at 1500-H. December 30 1944, Pvt Cohen Milton (32644724) Assigned to this organization per par 40, SO 194, Hq 3rd Reinforcement Depot, dated December 29 1944 and reported for duty at 1830.

engineer-italy-001

Decrease during Period – 4. Pfc Joseph Newman (32640505) Transferred in Grade to 1105th Engineer Combat group, per par 1, SO 98 Hq. 1105th Engineer Combat Group, dated December 2 1944. T/4 James Lemmo (32644748) Lost to Hospital December 7 1944 as a result of Arico’s accidentally discharging a pistol, shooting himself through the hand, Franklin through the stomach. Strenght at End of Period – 202. Pvt Cohen, originally assigned to the unit on December 5 1942 was lost to Hospital September 9 1944 because of a non battle injury received while the two bridge platoons were delivering a Floating Bailey Bridge to the vicinity of Meulan on the Seine River.

Stations (Perm. or Temp.) of unit or part thereof, vicinity of Huy (K-230164), Belgium, from beginning of period until December 5 1944; Vicinity of La Brouke (K-533222), Belgium, from December 5 1944 to December 20 1944; Vicinity of Xhenenmont (K-643283), Belgium, from December 20 1944 until December 24 1944; Vicinity of Terwagne (K-308087), Belgium, from December 24 1944 until December 26 1944; Vicinity of Nandrin, Belgium, from December 26 1944 until end of period. (1st Bridge Platoon) Vicinity Verviers (K-732262), Belgium, from the beginning of period until December 18 1944; (2nd Bridge Platoon) Vicinity Dolhain-Limbourg, Belgium, (K-732262) from beginning of period until December 18 1944.

Motor Marches, Purpose : To re-locate Company with the 1111th Engineer Combat Group and VII Corps, to which the Company had been attached. Instructions to move were contained in Field Message #590, Hq. 1105th Engineer Combat Group, dated December 24 1944. Length of March is approximately 36 miles. Points between which marched : Vicinity Xhenenmont (K-643283) to vicinity Terwagne (K-308087), December 24 1944.

Conditions of Roads and Weather, Roads : Dry, while Weather : Shies were perfectly clear, and blue, the sun was bright and temperature was well below freezing.

Remarks : The above march was made at a time when the German Offensive power, following the Ardennes Breakthrough the previous week, was still high. The German Air Force was up in comparative strength. During the course of this march numerous ‘dog fights’ were observed off the South and east of the route of march. On two occasions, two German fighter planes came close to the column. Since it appeared that they were coming to strafe, several Cal .50 machine gunners opened up on them, but with no results. However, the planes never did open upon our column, and one was definitely seen going down as a result, presumably, of other Anti Aircraft fire. The above was the only motor march the company made as a complete unit during the period. All other changes of location were accomplished by infiltration of small groups, usually a section at a time.

floating-bridge-italy-1944

Operations during Period
At the beginning of the period, the company was mainly engaged in hauling various types of Engineer Supplies for the Combat Engineer Battalions of the 1105th Engineer Combat group. The 1st Bridge Platoon was on operational DS with Baker Co, 49th Engineer Combat Battalion, remaining at this job until the morning of December 18 1944. The work engaged in there consisted almost solely of hauling rock, slag, and cinders to construct roads in an Ammunition Dump in the area between Herve, Battice, Soumagne, and Verviers, Belgium.

The 2nd Bridge Platoon was operational DC with the 61st Engineer Combat Battalion, likewise remaining there until the morning of December 18 1944. The work consisted of hauling road material and cinders from various construction, road maintenance and repair job being performed by the 61-ECB. Fourteen trucks of Light Equipage Platoon did hauling work for the 300-ECB, from beginning of the period until. These vehicles and drivers were scattered out through the battalion, four or five being on operational DS with each company. The work consisted of hauling metal for road construction, and hauling timbers to sawmills operated by the battalion to be cut up for lumber. Four outboard motor operators and some Infantry Support Raft Equipment worked with the 61-ECB and the 164-ECB on Floating Boom Projects at training sites on the Meuse River until December 18 1944. Assault boats and other Infantry Support Equipment was loaned to the 1111-ECG and the 552nd Engineer Heavy Pontoon Battalion, for training purposes during the same period.

A detail of one half section was placed as a maintenance guard on a Class-40 Steel Tread-way Bridge over the Meuse River in Liège from the beginning of the period up until December 12 1944 when the bridge being no longer needed, was dismantled and returned by the company to the Engineer Dump E-7, vicinity Montzen. During the period prior to dismantling the bridge, the maintenance detail opened the bridge twice the weekly to allow river traffic to pass through.

From December 6 to December 15, an outboard motor school was conducted by the Light Equipage Platoon Commander and six outboard motor operators at a training site in the vicinity of Cheratte (K-524327), Belgium. The school was conducted for the purpose of training twenty men of the 61-ECB in operation and maintenance of the 22-1/2 HP Outboard Motor.

On December 18, then 1st Bridge Platoon trucks were dispatched to Spa to assist in moving the 654th Engineer Topographic Battalion. Twenty additional trucks were dispatched to Stavelot to move the 1-A Map Depot, but were unable to get in Stavelot due to tactical situation. These twenty trucks were then diverted to Spa, and assisted moving the 654th Engineer Topographic Battalion to its new location, vicinity Hannut (K-123337). All trucks returned to the company on December 21.

On December 18, the Light Equipage Platoon vehicles were dispatched to Engineer Dump E-41, vicinity Elsenborn, to move equipment there to a new location five miles south of Verviers. While loading equipment at Engineer Dump E-41 Camp Elsenborn, the Light Equipage Platoon was subjected to strafing and bombing by enemy aircraft, but no casualties were sustained. Removal of equipment from this forward dump was completed on December 20. Upon completion of moving the 654th Engineer Topographic Battalion from Spa to Hannut, the 1st and 2nd Bridges Platoon were loaded with Fixed Bailey Bridge at E-41, vicinity Jalhay (K-760184) and returned to the company area on December 21. The Light Equipage Platoon was reloaded with basic equipment and vehicles remained in the state to the end of the period.

Francis M. Carson
Capt 505th Engineer Light Pontoon Company
Commanding

engineer-floating-25-t-bridge1

January 1945

Original Unit : Designation : 505th Engineer Light Pontoon Company; Date of Organization : May 15 1942; Place of Organization : Camp Gordon, Georgia; Authority of Organization : General Order #15, Hq Eastern Defense Command and First Army, dated May 15 1942. Sources from which original personnel were obtained.

Changes in Organization : Company attache to 1111th Engineer Combat Group at beginning of period. Company relieved from attachment to 1111th ECG and attached to 1106th ECG, 4 January 1945 per par e, & 2 e, Engineer Operations Memo. N° 88 Hq VII Corps, dated January 4 1945.

Strength – Commissioned and Enlisted. Officer strength at beginning of Period : Francis M. Carson, Capt, (0-1100043) Company Commander; Gilbert F. Moore, 1/Lt, (0-446357) Executive Officer; Howard D. May, 1/Lt (0-1110097) Platoon Commander; John A. McDonald, 1/Lt (0-1115692) Platoon Commander; Randal Holden, 2/Lt (0-1114169) Platoon Commander and William H. Meier, 2/Lt (0-1592436) Supply Officer. No Change during Period.

Enlisted Stength. Beginning of Period – 202; Increase during Period -X. T/4 Lemmo James (32644748) Assigned to this organization per par 10, SO 20 Hq. 3rd Replacement Depot January 20 1945; Pvt John A. Shannon (33416724) Assigned to this organization per par 33 SO 18 Hq. 3rd Replacement Depot January 19 1945 and Pvt Bernard I. Stumborg (37613879) Assigned to this organization per par 37 SO 18 Hq. 3rd Replacement Depot January 17 1945.

Decrease During Period. S/Sgt James H. Krothe (6947066) Placed on TD with Reception Station N° 2, Fort Dix, New Jersey for 30 days rest and recuperation per par 1, SO 4 Hq XVIII Corps (Airborne) AOP 109, US Army January 7 1945; Pvt George L. Mc Nealy (36517988) Lost to Hospital as non-battle Casualty January 21 1945; Pcf William E. Bettis (13019408) Placed on TD with Reception Station, Fort Meade, Maryland, for 10 days rest and recuperation per SO 12, Hq VII Corps, APO 307, US Army January 27 1945; Pvt Sigmund Czelusniak (20517515) Paced on TD with Reception Station, Camp Atterbury, Indiana, for 10 days rest and recuperation, per SO 12, Hq VII Corps, APO 307, US Army January 27 1945; Pfc James R. Mitroff (13010519); Pfc Warren S. Sekkford (13006055) and Pvt Alfred Veneziale (13026508). Note : Above 3 Enlisted Men on TD Reception Station, Fort Dix, New Jersey, for 10 days rest and recuperation, per SO 12, Hq VII Corps, APO 307, US Army January 27 1945. Pvt John F. Neve (39680392) Lost to Hospital as non-battle Casualty January 29 1945. Net Loss – 5 : Enlisted Strength present for duty at end of Period – 197.

Stations : At beginning of Period, unit stationed in a Chateau at K-344142 vicinity Nandrin, Belgium. On January 11 1945, company moved to K-4404 Hamoir, Belgium. On January 15 1945, company moved to K-487023 Ferrières, Belgium

treadway-bailey-diedenberg-1944

Operations during Period
On January 5 1945, a 60 Ft. Double Single Bridge was delivered to the 300-ECB by 1st Bridge Platoon and constructed by Baker Co 300-ECB at Xhout-si-Plout P-570914, Belgium.

double-single-bridge-xhout-si-plout-300ecb-1945-1

Note : Tightening riband bolts and inspecting the completed 60 foot double, single Bailey Bridge at Xhout-si-Plout, Belgium, 5 January 1945. Photo : (Riel Crandall) www.300thcombatengineersinwwii.com

double-single-bridge-xhout-si-plout-300ecb-1945-2

Note : Working on traffic funnels and spreading non-skid material on the 60 foot double, single Bailey Bridge at Xhout-si-Plout, Belgium, 5 January 1945. Photo : (Riel Crandall) www.300thcombatengineersinwwii.com

Later on January 5 1945, a 100 Ft Triple Single Bridge was delivered to the 300-ECB by the 2nd Bridge Platoon to be constructed at P-612910.

triple-single-bridge-p-612910

Note : Able & Baker Companies 100 Ft Triple Single Bailey Bridge build by the 300-ECB somewhere around Manhay. Photo: Army Signal Corps

On January 9 1945, a 60 Ft Double Single Bridge was dispatched to Baker Co 237-ECB. Construction of this Bridge was delayed until January 19 1945, when the bridge was put in at P-623747. On January 21 1945, one load of Infantry Footbridge (216′) was dispatched to the 309-ECB. However this equipment was not used, and was returned on January 23 1945.

On January 24 1945, following the successful attainment of its objective in the current drive, VII Corps and attached units were withdrawn from the line for a rest period. During this rest period, this unit participated in scheduled review training in the morning, with all personnel free during the afternoon. A review class Bailey Bridge construction was held, including actual construction of the Bridge. A required training film ‘Germany’ was shown to the company, and daily reveille formations and physical training periods were held. Review classes in use and operation of the Fragmentation MK-2 & MK-2-A1 Hand Grenade and 2’36 Inches Rocket Launcher were held, and extensive work was done on maintenance of equipment, and perfecting more practical methods of loading the Bailey Equipment.

The recreational facilities during this rest period consisted of several movies shown in the local Ferrières. Theater, a visit by the Red Cross Doughnuts Wagon, showers, and passes into Verviers and Huy. During this rest period, on January 27 1945, a 70′ Triple Single Bridge was loaned to the 237th Engineer Combat Battalion for training purposes. On January 30 1945, Second Bridge Platoon picked up a 70′ DS Bridge at Salmchateau (P-698869), and delivered it to Engineer Depot E-47, vicinity Malmedy, on January 31 1945.

flemalle-liege-1944

Francis M. Carson
Capt, Commading

299-ecb-ponton-bridge

February 1945

Original Unit. Designation : 505th Engineer Light Pontoon Company; Date of Organization : May 15 1942; Place of Organization : Camp Gordon, Georgia; Authority of Organization : General Order #15, Hq. Eastern Defense Command and First Army, dated May 15 1942; Sources from which original personnel were obtained : Third Reinforcement Depot.

Change in Organization – none. Strength – Commissioned and Enlisted. Officer Strength at Beginning of Period : Capt Francis M. Carson, (0-1100043) Company Commander; 1/Lt Gilbert F. Moore, (0-446357) Executive Officer; 1/Lt Howard D. May (0-1110097) Platoon Commander; 1/Lt John A. McDonald (0-1115692) Platoon Commander; 2/Lt Randal Holden (0-1114169) Platoon Commander and 2/Lt William H. Meier (0-1592436) Supply Officer. No Change During Period

Enlisted Strength. Beginning of Period : 196, Absent 8. Increase During Period : 3. Pvt Carlo J. Lacovetti (32644959) Transferred in Grade to this organization from 3rd Reinforcement Depot per par 7, SO 39 Hq. 3rd Reinforcement Depot February 8 1945 Arrived at 1500: Pvt Leroy M. Franklin (37725787) Soldier transferred in Grade to this organization from 3rd Reinforcement Depot per par 11, SO 53, Hq. 3rd Reinforcement Depot February 22 1945 and Pvt George L. Mc Nealy (36517988) Assigned to this organization from 3rd Reinforcement Depot January 24 1945 arrived February 2 1945 at 1630. Decreasing During Period. Pvt Leonard J. Klinghoffer (33601370) Transferred in Grade to 83rd Infantry Division per SO 15, Hq. 1106th Engineer Combat Group; Pvt Herman Davis (15063856) and Pvt Sexton W. Lotchie (15012476). Note : the above 2 Enlisted Men placed on TD with Reception Station, Camp Atterbury, Indiana for 30 days rest and recuperation per par. 2, SO #16, Hq. VII Corps, dated February 3 1945. Left Company at 2200 February 6 1945. Pvt Edward F. Grundowski (13007967) Placed on TD with Reception Station Fort Dix, New Jersey for 30 days rest and recuperation per par. 2, SO #16, Hq. VII Corps, dated February 3 1945. Left Company at 2200 February 6 1945. Pvt Kastan Leon (31076081) Placed on TD with Reception Station Fort Devon, Massachusetts for 30 days rest and recuperation per par. 2, SO #16, Hq. VII Corps, dated February 3 1945. Left Company at 2200 February 6 1945. Pvt Cecil Perry (36346974) Placed on TD with Reception Station Jefferson Barracks, Missouri for 30 days rest and recuperation per par. 2, SO #16, Hq. VII Corps, dated February 3 1945. Left Company at 2200 February 6 1945. Pvt Robert C. Johnson (39413320) Lost to Hospital February 27 1945. Seriously Injured, Battle Casualty, Left foot blown off by Schu Mine. Net Loss – 4. Enlisted Strength at End of Period : 192, Absent 13.

Stations. At beginning of period unit stationed at Ferrières K-487023, Belgium. On February 4 1945, the company moved by motor march to Eschweiller K-964475, Germany. On February 28 1945, the company moved by motor march to Düren K-964475, Germany

roer-river-ponton-bridge

Operations during Period
At the beginning of the period the unit was resting, following successful conclusion of VII Corps participation in the campaign to wipe out the gains made by the enemy in their counter attack of December 16 1944 in Belgium. During this period the company underwent training in Bailey Bridge Construction, Mines and Booby Traps, and several other minor subjects. Recreation facilities such as movies, USO Shows and passes were provided.

On February 4 1945, the rest period was terminated, and the organization moved in a company motor march to Eschweiler, Germany, arriving at about 2000. On February 6 1945, 216′ of Infantry Footbridge was dispatched to the 329-ECB (104th Infantry Division) to be used for training in preparation for the forthcoming Roer River Operation. The following day, February 7, 6 Infantry Support Rafts were delivered to the 329-ECB for the same purpose, and on February 8, 6 more rafts went to the 329-ECB for training likewise.

On February 7 1945, 130′ of DB Bridge was delivered to Baker Co 238-ECB and constructed just off the main road from Weisweiler to Düren, over the railroad on a side road to Mariaweiller. On February 8 1945, 432′ of Infantry Footbridge were delivered to the 329-ECB and one Power Utility Boat and operator (Pvt Winter) went to the 238-ECB. Also on February 8 1945, 49 Enlisted Men and one Officer from the 988th Treadway Bridge Company were attached to the unit for rations and billets. On February 9 1945, 150 DS Bridge were delivered to Able Co 49-ECB and constructed on the Autobahn Highway (Actual A-4) just outside Weisweiler. On February 11 1945, 20 M-2 Assault Boats were delivered to the 329-ECB.

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On February 11 1945, 14 men of the 23-ECB were attached to the company for rations and billeting. 26 more M-2 Assault Boats were delivered to the 237-ECB. On February 13 1945, an additional 168′ of Infantry Footbridge were delivered to the 329-ECB. This additional bridge has been drawn from the Army Engineer Dump to supplement the equipment prepared for the Roer River crossing.

On February 14 1945, a 160′ DS Bridge was delivered to the 238-ECB and a 110′ TS Bridge was delivered to the 49-ECB. Both bridges were constructed on the Autobahn Highway (Actual A-4) between Weisweiler and the Roer River. Late in the afternoon of that day, a third bridge, also 110′ TS was delivered to the 49-ECB and likewise constructed on the Autobahn Highway near the two bridges mentioned above.

On February 16 1945, equipment was specially pre-loaded for a 140′ DS Dual Carriage Bridge to be built by Able Co 238-ECB over the Roer River at Hoven. The equipment was all loaded on the trucks since it was expected that difficulty would be encountered in backing trailers down the approach to the site.

On February 19 1945, a Storm Boat Section of the 552nd Engineer Heavy Pontoon Battalion (18 Enlisted Men and one Officer with 16 Storm Boats and Mortors) joined the unit for rations and billets. Five of the Boats were immediately dispatched out to the 329-ECB, three to the 238-ECB, two to the 237-ECB and three were held at the Company in reserve.

For the time the company arrived in Eschweiller until February 23 1945, all the activities were directed toward preparation for the Roer River crossing. During this period the company was billeted right in Eschweiller in private home which had been badly battered by bombing and artillery shelling. However, the billets were made quite comfortable and equipped with stoves. Coal was plentiful; the manner in which every collar was stocked with coal would not indicate that the German residents had been hard put for the necessities of life. During this preparatory period, many comforts and recreational facilities were provided. Showers were obtained at the Group shower point. Two theaters in town showed movies four times daily, and several USO Shows ‘played in town’. PX supplies were as usual plentiful. Quite a large quote was received by the company to send to the men to the VII Corps Rest Camp.

When the Roer River offensive opened on February 23 1945, most of the Light Equipage Platoon was attached to the 237-ECB and 329-ECB. During the early hours of the offensive on February 23 1945, the Light Equipage Platoon delivered their equipment to the river with no casualties. It was found impossible, due to enemy action to commence construction on the proposed Bailey Bridge at Hoven until the morning of February 24 1945. The Bridge was completed by 1130 the same day and Tanks passed over it immediately.

Just across the Roer River Bridge in Birkesdorf, the road was found to be blown out over a small stream. A 70′ DS Bridge was immediately delivered and put up by the 239-ECB. In the evening of February 24 1945, another 50′ DS was delivered to the 329-ECB and constructed in Birkesdorf just East of the Roer River. On February 26 1945, the first loads of equipment for a continuous bridge to be constructed on the Autobahn Highway across the Roer River were delivered to the 237-ECB. Two piers were found necessary and were also constructed of Bailey equipment.

On the following day (February 27 1945), the remaining equipment needed for the Roer River Autobahn Highway Bridge was delivered. The bridge when complete was 240′ long and contained two Bailey Piers. Also on February 26 1945, and 80′ DS Bridge was delivered to the 238-ECB and constructed in Birkesdorf, just East of the river, across from Hoven.

roer-river-bridge-1945

On February 27 1945, the second bridge in Birkesdorf, a 50′ DS built by the 329-ECB was dismantled and removed by the company. Later, that day, one 80′ DS Bridge was delivered to the 329-ECB but was not constructed immediately. Early in the morning of February 28 1945, the 80′ DS Bridge sent to the 329-ECB on February 27 1945 was sent forward to the 23-AECB and had to be replaced with another 80′ DS Bridge.

During the morning of February 28 1945, the company moved in Düren. In the afternoon a 110′ DS Bailey Bridge, 6 Infantry Support Rafts, 45 M-2 Assault Boats, and 216′ of Infantry Footbridge were sent forward the the 329-ECB in the vicinity of Buir F-192513, in preparation for the crossing of the Erft Canal. Also a 110′ DS Bailey Bridge and a 216′ Infantry Footbridge were sent to the 49-ECB in the vicinity of Elsdorf F-174595, likewise in preparation of the Erft Canal crossing. Having crossed the Roer River and broken through the German defense around Düren, the attack also along the Corps front was not rolling fast. So much Bailey Bridge was needed to span rivers, streams and railroad crossings, that the Bridge Platoon drivers had by this time run for three days with little or no sleep. As soon as the trucks returned from one bridge delivery and reloaded, a call would come in for another bridge. It was unquestionably the most intense activity yet engaged in by the unit.

Francis M. Carson
Captain, Commanding

crossing-roer-rover-birkesdorf-1945

March 1945

Original Unit. Designation : 505th Engineer Light Pontoon Company; Date of Organization : May 15 1942; Place of Organization : Camp Gordon, Georgia; Authority of Organization : General Order #15, Hq Eastern Defense Command and First Army, dated May 15 1942; Sources from which original personnel were obtained.

Officers : Company Commander, Capt Archibald E. Sutton (0-304319), C.E. by transfer from the Engineer Replacement Training Center, Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Executive Officer : 1/Lt Gerald L. Bilbro, C.E. by transfer from the 75th Engineer Light Ponton Company, Camp Beauregard, La.; Platoon Commanders and Motor Officer : By assignment from the Fourth Engineer Officer Candidate School, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, as follow : Francis F. Carnes, 2/Lt, C.E. (0-1100038); James J. Carnes, Jr, 2/Lt, (0-1100039); Burrel D. Carney, Jr, 2/Lt, C.E. (0-1100041) and Francis M. Carson, 2/Lt, C.E. (0-1100043).

Enlisted Men. Enlisted Cadre of Twelve (12) NCO’s by tranfer from the 75th Engineer Light Ponton Company, Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, in May 1942 as follow : 1/Sgt Morton Kamm, (6878116); M/Sgt George Underwood (0000000); (Mess) S/Sgt John W. Pritchett (6966756); (Supply) S/Sgt William Blankenship (0000000); (Motor) S/Sgt Kenneth F. Whitehead (33035175); (Platoon) S/Sgt Carlton L. Allen (6994429), (Platoon) S/Sgt Thomas L. Beckman (6974589); (Platoon) Sgt Earl Northrup (32033188); (Mechanic) Cpl Ival Cooper (32035482); (Cook) Pvt Sec 3rd Cl Stanislaus J. Andersiak (R-2340718); (Cook) Pvt Spec 4th Cl J. B. Walker (7088340) and (Clerk) – Cpl Robert M. Mayo (7086178). Two (2) Mechanics by assignment from the Engineer Heavy Equipment School, Fort Belvoir, Va, on May 15 1942, as follow : Pvt Balmer E. Sinegar (33118318) and Pvt Harold A. Geese (38047063).

Enlisted Fillers. The First group of Enlisted fillers consisting of eleven (11) Selective service Privates were received on September 29 1942 by transfer from D Company of the 82nd Ordnance Battalion, Camp Gordon, Georgia per SO 54, 3rd Hq & Hq Detachment Sp Troops, 2nd Army, dated September 29 1942. The second, and principal group of Enlisted Fillers, consisting of 210 Selective Service Privates, were received by transfer from the 1222nd Recep General, Camp Upton, New York, sated December 3 1942.

Changes in Organization during Period. Relieved from attachment to VII Corps and attached to Sixth Army Group per par. 10, Troop Assingment #29, Hq. First United States Army March 21 1945. Attached to Seventh United States Army per par. 8, Unit Assignment Order #52, Hq. 6th Army Group March 20 1945. Attached to 1114th Engineer Combat group for operations per par. 5, Letter Subject, Assignment and attachment order, Hq. Seventh United States Army March 27 1945.

Strength : Commissioned and Enlisted. Officer Strength at beginning of Period. Capt Francis M. Carson, C.E. (0-1100043) Company Commander; 1/Lt Gilbert E. Moore, C.E. (0446357) Executive Officer; 1/Lt Howard D. May, C.E. (0-1110097) Platoon Commander; 1/Lt John A. Mc Donald, C.E. (0-1115692) Platoon Commander; 2/Lt Randal Holden, C.E. (0-1114169) Platoon Commander and 2/Lt illiam M. Meier, C.E. (0-1592436) Supply Officer. No Change in Period

Enlisted Strength. Beginning of Period : Present 197; Absent 12. Increase during Period : 3. Pvt Ernest H. Snoot (33529771) Transferred in Grade to this Organization per par. 2, SO #68, Hq. Third Reinforcement Depot March 9 1945; Pvt Vincent P. Ferraro (31325667) Transferred in Grade to this organization per par. 2, SO #68, Hq. Third Reinforcement Depot March 9 1945 and Pfc Joseph V. Rivers (32575749) Transferred in Grade to this organization per par. 2, SO #68, Hq. Third Reinforcement Depot March 14 1945. Decrease during Period – 7. Cpl Jack Greveling (35312134); Pfc James P. Gallagher (32642799) and Pfc Ben F. Martin (18020831). Note : above 3 men transferred in Grade to the 104th Infantry Division, per VO CG Hq. VII Corps. Pvt Patrick J. Candelora (31327121). Note : Non Battle Casualty, Death caused by drowning during night assault boat training vicinity of Cologne, Germany March 13 1945; Pfc Matthew Connell (32643582); Pvt John A. Shannon (33416724); Pfc John P. Broderick (32643373). Note : the above 3 men lost to Hospital as non battle Casualties. Net Loss During Period – 4. Enlisted Strength at the End of Period : Present 187, Absent 13.

Stations. At beginning of period unit was stationed in Düren F-107464, Germany. Moved by Motor Convoy to Quadrath F-263607 Germany, on March 4 1945. Moved from Quadrath, Germany, by Motor Convoy, to vicinity of Lunneville V-0697, France on March 23/24 1945, stopping for the night of March 23/24 1945 in Verdun, France. Moved from Rehainviller, France, (vicinity of Lunneville) by Mortor Convoy to Kaiserslautern, Germany, March 27 1945.

771px-pontoon_bridge_rhine_river_1945

Operations during Period
The beginning of this period found the organization busily engaged in support of VII Corps’ 104th Infantry Division and 3rd Armored Division, along with the other units of the 1106th Engineer Combat Group, following the successful crossing of the Roer River and subsequent breakthrough to the Rhine, and capture of the third largest German City, Cologne.

On March 1 1945, an 80′ DS Bailey Bridge was delivered to the 238-ECB, and constructed by them at Sindorf, Germany, across the Erft Canal. On March 3 1945, a 60′ Double Single Bailey Bridge was delivered to the 324-ECB (99th Infantry Division), and constructed across the Erft Canal in the vicinity of Bedburg, Germany. A 60′ DS Bridge was likewise delivered on March 1 1945, to the 49-ECB, and constructed over the Erft Canal at Glesch, Germany. Also on March 1 1945, an 80′ DS Bailey Bridge was delivered to the 237-ECB, and constructed across the Erft Canal at Paffendorf, Germany.

On March 4 1945, the company moved on to Quadrath, Germany, and established in private homes in that town after having been ousted by the 3rd Armored Division’ Ordnance Battalion from the first location selected by the quartering party. On March 5 1945, an 80′ Double Single Bailey Bridge was delivered to the 237-ECB and constructed across the Erft Canal in Paffendorf, Germany. This bridge restored to use the last of the principal roads running East and West and crossing the Erft in the 104-ID and 3-AD sectors, all of the original bridges having been demolished by the retreating Germans. From this point on, the Bailey Bridges constructed on the Erft in this locality by the 324-ECB (99-ID), the 329-ECB (104-ID) the 23-AECB (3-AD) and the units of the 1106-ECG were removed one at a time and replaced with fixed timber treatle bridges by Army Engineer Units.

army-engineer-timber-bridge-1945

Shortly after the breakthrough to the Rhine River on the VII Corps Front, the III Corps on the right flank of VII Corps likewise broke through the enemy main line of defenses, and moved rapidly to the Rhine River. The large number of demolished bridges in that ares caused a greater demand for Bailey Equipment than the 501-ELPC (1111-ECG – III Corps) could supply. Subsequently, on March 7 1945, the two Bridge Platoons of this unit, carrying 260′ Double Single Bridge were temporarily attached the the 501-ELPC, and moved down with that unit to the vicinity of Euskirchen. The Bridge equipment of the 1st Platoon was used the following day March 8 1945 to construct a bridge across the Erft River just East of Euskirchen. This 130′ Bridge was built by the 299-ECB, and replaced a bridge of the same type which collapsed the day before when two medium Tanks got on it at the same time.

collapsing-bridge-1945-us-armored

The 2nd Bridge Platoon remained with the 501-ELPC until March 20 1945 although no necessity arose for the use of its equipment. The Corps front now consisted of the Rhine River. For a few days no actual operations were engaged in, but an intensive assault stream crossing training program was instituted. This training was conducted, starting on March 10 1945, on a lake just outside Cologne. The objective of the training was to familiarize the Infantrymen of the 104th Infantry Division with the use of the M-2 Infantry Assault Boat Pontoon propelled by a 22 HP Outboard Motor. The training was under the direct supervision of the 329-ECB (104-ID). The equipment and outboard motor operators were supplied by the Light Equipage Platoon of this company under the supervision of Lt McDonald, the Platoon Commander. The training scheduled one Infantry Battalion per day to cross with full equipment, first during daylight, and again at night. Stress in the training was laid on properly entering the boat, distribution of personnel on the ponton so that it would ‘ride’ well, correct seating in the boat, and proper method of leaving the boat. In addition to the training with the M-2 Assault Boat Pontoon, a storm boat section of the 552-EHPC was attached and Infantrymen were trained in the employment of the Storm Boat, propelled by a 55 HP Outboard Motor.

storm-boat-lifted-manufacturing

On the night of March 13 1945, an accident occurred resulting in the loss by drowning of 10 Enlisted Men and 1 Engineer soldier who was the outboard motor operator.

training-with-storm-boat-1945

Though the reports of this accident seemed somewhat garbled, probably due to the excitement at the time, the following general summary of circumstances surrounding this accident. From one cause or another, probably due to too many men being loaded too close to the front of the boat, some water was shipped on over the bow. Apparently the men on board became excited, and instead of remaining calmly in their places, got up or moved toward one side of the boat. This caused the ponton to overturn, although it did not sink. As there were other motors running on the lake, and as it was very dark, the cries for help were not to promptly heard. By the time the situation was realized and other boats reached the scene of the accident, only a few of the men could be saved. After a thorough search and check, eleven men were determined to be missing. The whole thing happened so quickly that even those who had been saved could hardly explain what happened.

The lessons learned from this unfortunate accident are that men must be impressed with the necessity of keeping calm, sitting still, and staying in position when a boat ships a little water. This is extremely difficult to accomplish, as was evidenced on the following day when a similar incident occurred in broad daylight. Another boat, this time as storm boat, shipped a little water over the bow, the men again got excited and moved about, and in an instant they were all in the water. This time none were lost; but it clearly shows how easily men will loose their heads when they think a boat is going under (which it would not have, had they all remained still.) Secondly no more than 6 infantry riflemen with full equipment should be placed in the front half of an M-2 Assault Boat Pontoon. False ponton bows will help prevent shipping water over the bow, thereby cutting down chances of the probable cause of such an incident. Men must be made to unfasten all web equipment upon entering the boat, so all they have to do should they go into the water, is slip their equipment off over their heads. An NCO should check each man as he enters into the boat to see that this is complied with. It may always be practical or possible in actual combat, but it should certainly be S.O.P. in an any training exercise. When the bodies were recovered after dragging the lake, most of the men appeared to have drowned while still trying to get out of their equipment.

Following this one unfortunate accident, the remainder of the training went off smoothly, and was completed on March 21 1945. However the loss of the one Engineer Soldier, Pvt Patrick J. Candelora, with the others on the night of March 13 1945, was a sad blow to the Company. Candelora had not been with the Company for a long time, but had made many friends, and a fine impression by his cheerful attitude, his efficient performances of duty, and his military bearing.

african-americans-wwii

On the evening of March 10 1945, at about 2230, the 1106-ECG Executive Officer called Capt Carson, the 505th Engineer Light Ponton Company Commander, and informed him that a major change was imminent for his Company. Col Cofer stated that the matter was Secret, and of course could not be discussed over the telephone. He stated that there was nothing urgent about it and Capt Carson could wait until morning to come up and discuss it with him, but that if his curiosity got the better of him to come up immediately. The bit of information aroused Capt Carson’s curiosity to the extent that he immediately wen up to the Group Headquarters where he learned that the Company was to be attached to the Seventh United States Army, and was to move down by March 25 1945. Further instructions were to be obtained from Col Black, the VII Corps Engineer Executive Officer the following morning.

Col Black’s information the next day confirmed Col Cofer’s remarks of the evening previous, and added instructions to the effect that Capt Carson should proceed as soon as practicable to Seventh Army Headquarters for further information. Capt Carson left on the afternoon of March 11 1945 with driver T/5 Callahan, T/5 Moulder and Pfc Thoren, and proceeded via Aachen, Liège, Marche, Bastogne, Luxembourg, Metz, Nancy to Luneville, France where Seventh Army Headquarters was located. After obtaining necessary information relative to the Company’s future expected operations during attachment to the Seventh Army, Capt Carson returned to the Company CP in Quadrath, Germany. After reporting information obtained to Col Black, it was decided that the Company should leave on March 23 1945

One result of Capt Carson’s trip was to start a top-notch rumor as to why’s and wherefores of the trip. It was ‘authoritatively’ circulated about the Company that Capt Carson had gone up to Antwerp to make necessary arrangements for shipment of the Company to the Southwest Pacific or China, Burma, India Theater of Operation. In further substantiation of evidence offered, T/5 Moulder (the Company Carpenter) had been taken along’ to obtain information regarding crating up the Company property, office and kitchen equipment, and so on. Far fetched though it was, this ‘authoritatively’ rumor had a wide following of believers within a very few days. Upon returning to the Company, the Enlisted Men who had made the trip were thoroughly pumped for information, but obeyed their instructions to a ‘T’ and gave out none.

large-colapsed-bridge-germany-1945

However, several days later when the First Bridge Platoon went down to the Army Engineer Depot to turn in their Bridge, the enlisted men of the Depot Company knew all the details of the ‘Secret’ information, and subsequently, ‘let the cat out of the bag’. On the morning of March 23 1945, the Company Departed from the VII Corps area in a motor convoy of four march units. The route was through Aachen, Liège, Marche, Arlon, Bouillon, and to Verdun, where an overnight stop was made at an Ordnance unit located in that city. The area through Liège and to about 10 miles below that city was familiar territory to the Company, but the rest of the trip was through strange country. In perfect spring weather, the Company thoroughly enjoyed the trip through some of the worlds most historic and picturesque battlegrounds. The second day of the trip took the Company through Pont-à-Mousson, Nancy and to the destination, Luneville arriving at about 1500 on March 24 1945.

The location piked out for the Company headquarters by Lt May and the advance detail was in a large farm house just outside of Luneville. The line platoons were bivouaced in open fields, as indoor billets were not available. The unit was immediately attached to the 1140-ECG and on the evening on March 24 was committed to support that Group in its operations of supplying the Seventh United States Army with Engineer Materials and Maintenance. The particular part of the Company was to play in support of the Group’s operations was in transporting Engineer materials from the Army Engineer Base Depot at Luneville, France to forward depots. Due to rapid advance of the Seventh Army, this mission was quite a difficult task. The combat troops of the Seventh Army had already reached the Rhine River and a few days later forced a crossing. On March 27 1945, the Company moved forward to Kaiserslautern, Germany, establishing in five large private homes near the center of town. The Company continued to support the Group operations by transportation of Engineer materials from the Army Engineer Base Depot to forward depots until the of the period.

Francis M. Carson
Captain, Commanding

african-americans-1945

April 1945

Original Unit. Designation : 505th Engineer Light Pontoon Company; Date of Organization : May 15 1942; Place of Organization : Camp Gordon, Georgia; Authority of Organization : General Order #15, Hq Eastern Defense Command and First Army, dated May 15 1942; Sources from which original personnel were obtained.

Officers. Company Commander, Capt Archibald E. Sutton (0-304319), C.E. by transfer from the Engineer Replacement Training Center, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Executive Officer : 1/Lt Gerald L. Bilbro, C.E. by transfer from the 75th Engineer Light Ponton Company, Camp Beauregard, La. Platoon Commanders and Motor Officer : By assignment from the Fourth Engineer Officer Candidate School, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, as follow : Francis F. Carnes, 2/Lt, C.E. (0-1100038); James J. Carnes, Jr, 2/Lt, (0-1100039); Burrel D. Carney, Jr, 2/Lt, C.E. (0-1100041) and Francis M. Carson, 2/Lt, C.E. (0-1100043).

Enlisted Men. Enlisted Cadre of Twelve (12) NCO’s by tranfer from the 75th Engineer Light Ponton Company, Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, in May 1942 as follow : 1/Sgt Morton Kamm, (6878116); M/Sgt George Underwood (0000000); (Mess) S/Sgt John W. Pritchett (6966756); (Supply) S/Sgt William Blankenship (0000000); (Motor) S/Sgt Kenneth F. Whitehead (33035175); (Platoon) S/Sgt Carlton L. Allen (6994429); (Platoon) S/Sgt Thomas L. Beckman (6974589); (Platoon) Sgt Earl Northrup (32033188); (Mechanic) Cpl Ival Cooper (32035482); (Cook) Pvt Sec 3rd Cl Stanislaus J. Andersiak (R-2340718); (Cook) Pvt Spec 4th Cl J. B. Walker (7088340) and (Clerk) Cpl Robert M. Mayo (7086178). Note. Two (2) Mechanics by assignment from the Engineer Heavy Equipment School, Fort Belvoir, Va, on May 15 1942, as follow : Pvt Balmer E. Sinegar (33118318) and Pvt Harold A. Geese (38047063).

Enlisted Fillers. The First group of Enlisted fillers consisting of eleven (11) Selective service Privates were received on September 29 1942 by transfer from D Company of the 82nd Ordnance Battalion, Camp Gordon, Georgia per SO 54, 3rd Hq & Hq Detachment Sp Troops, 2nd Army, dated September 29 1942. The second, and principal group of Enlisted Fillers, consisting of 210 Selective Service Privates, were received by transfer from the 1222nd Reception General, Camp Upton, New York, sated December 3 1942.

Changes in Organization during Period. Company relieved from Assignment to First United States Army and Twelfth Army Group and Assigned to Sixth Army Group per Troop Assignment #88, Hq. 12th Army Group, File 322 (AG-O) April 8 1945, effective April 8 1945. Company relieved from Assignment to 12th Army Group, from Attachment to 6th Army Group, and assigned to 6th Army Group, and further assigned to 7th United States Army per Letter Hq. 6th Army Group, Subject, Unit Assignment Order #65, File AG 370.5/VC-O, April 13 1945, effective April 8 1945.

Strength : Commissioned and Enlisted. Officer Strength at beginning of Period. Capt Francis M. Carson, C.E. (0-1100043) Company Commander; 1/Lt Gilbert E. Moore, C.E. (0446357) Executive Officer; 1/Lt Howard D. May, C.E. (0-1110097) Platoon Commander; 1/Lt John A. Mc Donald, C.E. (0-1115692) Platoon Commander; 2/Lt Randal Holden, C.E. (0-1114169) Platoon Commander and 2/Lt William M. Meier, C.E. (0-1592436) Supply Officer. No Change in Period.

Enlisted Strength. Beginning of Period : Present 188; Absent 12. Increase during Period : 7. Pfc Matthew Connell, (32643582) Assigned to this Organization per (par) Paragraph 40, (SO) Special Orders 103, Hq. 2nd Reinforcement Depot April 16 1945. Pfc Robert H. Nuss, (35543582); Pvt Carl C. Dugan Jr, (33267749); Pvt Alfred J. Ippoliti, (32644023); Pvt Ernest H. Lewis, (3458427); Pvt Jake M. Marrow, (36653191). Note. The above 5 Enlisted Men Assigned per paragraph 19, Special Orders 105, Hq 2nd Reinforcement Depot April 18 1945. Joined organization April 20 1945. Pfc John P. Broderick, (32643373), Returned from Hospital to duty April 24 1945. Decrease during Period – 4. Pfc John J. Murray, (32640587), Died in Hospital April 17 1945 while undergoing operation for appendicitis; Pfc James F. Berry, (35360330), Lost to Hospital as Non Battle Casualty. (Illness) April 20 1945; Pvt Joe L. Blaylock, (14015945), Lost to Hospital as Non Battle Casualty (Bullet Wound); Pvt Carl C. Dugan Jr, (33267749), Lost to Hospital April 20 1945 as Non Battle Casualty (Previous leg injury). Net Gain during period : 3. Enlisted Stength at the end of period : Present 190, Absent 13.

corps-of-engineers-channelization-1930s

Stations. At beginning of period unit was stationed at Kaiserslautern WR-0293, Germany. Company moved by motor convoy from Kaiserslautern to Wurzburg W-N 5934, Germany on April 15 1945, establishing new CP at 1830. Company moved by Motor convoy from Wurzburg, Germany to Ulm WX-6679, Germany, April 30 1945, establishing new CP at 0030.

Citations. On April 17 1945, at a Company formation, the Bronze Star Medal was presented to Captain Francis M. Carson (01100043), 505th Engineer Light Ponton Company for ‘Meritorious Service in support of active combat operations from February 24 1945 to April 8 1945, in Germany’. The presentation was made by Lt Col Everett, 1144th Engineer Combat Group’s Commander. On April 22 1945, at a Company formation, the Silver Star Medal was presented to Pfc Melville I. Kramer, (32644006), Corps of Engineers, 505th Engineer Light Ponton Company, United States Army for gallantry in action and disregard for personal safety displayed on February 23 1945 in Germany which reflects highest credit upon himself and the armed forces of the United States. The presentation was made by Brig Gen Garrison Davidson, the Seventh United States Army Engineer Commander.

nimroddamconstruction

Operations during Period
The operations of the company during this period consisted almost solely of the transportation of Engineer materials from Army Dump at Luneville – France to Kaiserslautern – Germany, and thence to more advanced dumps successively at Walldurn, Wurzburg, Hamm, Crailsheim, Goppingen, Ulm and Donauworth. These operations were distinctly hampered during the period by a lack of ordnance replacement parts for 2 1/2 ton trucks. Where an average of 50 trucks should have been kept on the road, it was only possible to keep about 40 in constant operations. At that, most of the major assemblies obtained, came from wrecked vehicles in Ordnance collecting points.

On April 5 1945, a River Reconnaissance was begun for the purpose of determining the possibility of transporting Engineer materials in River barges from Worms on the Rhine River northward to the confluence of the Main River with the Rhine River thence eastward along the Main River to Bamburg. This reconnaissance was accomplished by an officer, a power Utility Boat Operator, a boat mechanic in a power utility boat. The reconnaissance clearly revealed that transportation on River Barges was impossible due to the large number of demolished bridges obstructing the River. The reconnaissance was concluded on April 19 1945.

Francis M. Carson
Capt 505th Engineer Light Potoon Company
Commanding

War is Over

Final Roster 505-ELPC.
Organization : Engineer Light Ponton Company, Camp Shanks, New York, November 26 1945.
505th inactivated this date per General Orders # 119 ASF NYPE Cp Shank NY Dtd 26 Nov 45
Capt Opuda John CE (0-485030)
Trfd to 9223 TSU-TC
Debarkee Transient Det 2C
505th Engineer Light Poton Company Deactivated.

Dear reader,

You have probably see the quality of the work in this archive. The quality of the layout and the images as well. This is only possible because some of you takes the time to put some coins in the Juke-Work. Remember that the whole thing is a one-man work. Not even some kind of US 501-C etc …! I am doing alone, a remake of Rio Bravo, just when Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Walter Brennan and John Wayne are singing “Just my Rifle, Pony and Me”. In fact I could sing “Just my Keyboard, my Brain and your Donations”. That’s what keep this site alive and online. One last very important point! For God’s sake, if you have anything relevant to this archive, and I repeat – anything – do not leave that treasure in the dust of an old cardboard box in the shadow of an attic. If it’s a few photos, papers, badges or whatever, send them to me. If it comes to more important things contact me.

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