After Action Report of the 419th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 10th Armored Division, November 1 1944 – May 1945.

Battalion’s Operations
November 1944

Nov 1, the unit relieved the 344-FAB east of Vionville, France. Nov 3-6, supported the 20-AIB and the 61-AIB in the front of Metz, France. Mainly harassing and interdiction fires. Nov 7, moved 80 miles on blackout to Burmerange, Luxembourg, to act as corps artillery in supporting the 90-ID who was to secure a bridgehead across Moselle River. Nov 8, the battalion supported the attack of the 90-ID. Fired Reinforcing fires. Nov 9, continued to fire as corps artillery. Forward Observer was sent across the river with the 90-ID and was wounded. S/Sgt Shaibley recommended for the Bronze Star and Pfc Danko for the Silver Star. Nov 10, reinforcing fires of the 90-ID. Nov 11, the battalion moved to positions around Fixem, France in order to reach further beyond the bridgehead and also to be ready to cross the Moselle River. Nov 12-14, acted as corps artillery. Nov 15, joined Team Standish and moved across the Moselle, objective: Bouzonville. Advance guard battery committed at 1500. The remainder of the battalion moved into a position near the advance guard battery. Fired on enemy infantry and AT guns holding up the attack. Advance guard halted in Lemestroff.

Nov 16, advance party advanced to Sainte-Marguerite over almost impassable roads, after first taking the wrong road and seizing Budling. Artillery support was very effective in the first preparation on Sainte-Marguerite. The Battalion displaced to a position west of Lemestroff. Capt Kreigsman recommended for Bronze Star. Nov 17, the objective changed – to secure bridge across the Neider River east of Freisthoff. The advance party secured Dalstein. Advance guard battery displaced to Monneren. The Battalion fired in supporting tank attack near Dalstein. Nov 18, Advance guard reached Freisthoff. The Battalion displaced to the vicinity of Dalstein. Fired at AT guns and infantry holding up the advance. Nov 19, Advance held up by heavy fire from high ground east of Freistroff. Bridge in our hands. The Battalion displaced to position 1500 meters west of Freistroff and fired on enemy installations across the river.

Nov 20, moved to Sehndorf with the objective of moving on Saarburg. Supported attack on Nenning and Tettingen. Strong enemy opposition. Fired on enemy infantry, Observation Posts, AT guns, and artillery positions. Nov 21, continued to support the attack. Nov 22-24, the Battalion reinforced fires of 344-FAB. Lt Carter and Lt Dietrich each recommended for Silver Star. Nov 25, the Battalion was in direct support of Team Riley which has taken over sectors with the mission of active defense. Fired on enemy infantry, mortars, and AT guns. Nov 26-28, continued support of Team Riley. Nov 29, we moved to a position near Betting, France.

Nov 29, support the attack of CCB (10-AD), to seize high ground West of Mervig. Nov 30, the Battalion was in direct support of Team Standish, which had the mission of clearing the southern half of the woods which lie between Wellingen and Schwemlingen. Mission was accomplished expeditiously.

Robert C. McCabe
Lt Col, 419th AFAB

December 1944

Dec 1, the 419-AFAB remained in position reinforcing the fire of the 695-AFAB, and fired on enemy troops as they were driven across the Saar River. Dec 2, the Battalion displaced to the vicinity of Silwingen (Merzig), Germany in order to be able to employ time fire east of the Saar River. An observation post was established in Hilbringen, Germany, and also one about 200 yards northeast of Silwingen. The zones of observation from both Observation Posts combined covered the entire sector. The 419-AFAB continued to reinforce the first of the 695-AFAB.

Dec 3, the Battalion continued to reinforce the 695-AFAB. Two M-7’s per battery plus two half-tracks per battery were kept at the Command Post in Betting, France in order to insure by a rotation system that 2/3 of each battery remained in position while 1/3 were T.I., and the personnel given a chance to wash clothing and get a bath. Dec 4-5, continued to reinforce the 695-AFAB. One counter-battery 105-MM landed in A Battery position at 1700. One man wounded by a fragment. Dec 6-8, continued to reinforce the 695-AFAB.

Dec 9, continued to reinforce the 695-AFAB. A formation was held at HQ, A & C Battery positions to present decorations. In a martial setting with the batteries firing on targets east of the Saar and with an air corps bombardment of Merzig, Germany the following awards were made: Silver Star to Lt Henry G. Carter; Soldier’s Medal to Capt Gerald J. Murray and S/Sgt Robert S. Tellalisn; Bronze Star to Capt. Albert O. Kreigsman, S/Sgt. William R. Kneebone, and Pfc Mark T. Welch.

Dec 10-13, continued to reinforce the 695-AFAB. Dec 14, Officers school on Battlefield Experiences, 1500 at Battalion Fire Direction Center. Recommendations submitted to Division Artillery. Dec 15, continued to reinforce the 695-AFAB. Dec 16, the Battalion was alerted at 2130 to be ready to move at daylight. Destination and route were unknown.

Dec 17, the Battalion moved out at 0730, meshed into the column of CCB, and marched to Steinsel, Luxembourg a distance of 70 Kilometers. Upon arrival at Steinsel the Battalion reverted to Division Artillery control. Dec 18, the Battalion was alerted at 0100 to be prepared to support an attack at 0800 on Echternach, Luxembourg by Task Force Riley. Liaison Officer had trouble locating Col Riley’s Command Post to get initial point, route, and plan of attack so the Battalion moved 25 miles to the vicinity of Altrier, Luxembourg, and went into position in front of the attacking force. The Battalion supported the attack which was successful. Battalion displaced forward 2500 meters at 1500 in order to reach the river with time fire.

Dec 19, American troops withdrew west as Germans continued to expand their bridgehead north of Echternach. Strong forces of enemy infantry and armored vehicles were reported filling the bridgehead. The Battalion remained in position supporting TF Riley as it withdrew west.

Dec 20, the Battalion continued in support of TF Riley, and also took over support of TF Standish when the 423-FAB was withdrawn to another sector. When both Task Forces were withdrawn at dusk the 419-AFAB remained in a position to reinforce the 4-ID’s Artillery. Investigation of the front revealed that our sector was defended by the 2/12-IR, the 159-ECB, and the 4-ID’s Engineers, and of this force, only the 2/12-IR had artillery support. The 419-AFAB immediately sent Liaison Officers and Observers to both engineer units and a liaison officer to the 2/12-IR.

The situation was precarious with gaps between companies and with absolutely no contact with units to the right. Artillery support was urgently needed with enemy attacks coming constantly along with the entire sector and the 419-AFAB was firing almost constantly, beating back one attack after another. Reports from the left sector revealed and the 419-AFAB would be cut off to the rear. Reports from the right part of the sector revealed that enemy infantry was infiltrating through our lines and that there was a 1500 meters gap on our right flank 2000 meters from the Battalion position.

The Battalion Commander and Battalion S-2 went forward to attempt to determine the dispositions of units ahead and to our right, but were pinned down by enemy machine-gun fire from the right and had to withdraw. There were obviously no friendly troops to our right and the Germans knew it. The Battalion was in imminent danger of either attack from front and flanks or of being cut off to the rear by enemy action. So urgent and constant were the calls for artillery that the Battalion could not lose 1/3 of its firepower by displacing to the rear by the battery. The decision to remain in position was made and all batteries were alerted for direct fire against ground attack. All avenues of approach were blocked with mine daisy chains and bazooka teams and the attached anti-aircraft protection and mesh into the perimeter defense of the Battalion for defense against ground attack. During the night the 419-AFAB swept the one-mile gap to our right with harassing fire and no Germans penetrated through. Three hundred fifty (350) enemy dead from the fire of the 419-AFAB were counted in one ravine later by Able Co 159-ECB. The Germans were marching up the ravine in the approach march prior to deploying when one of our advanced Observer heard them and cut them to pieces with artillery fire. The Battalion fired 2952 rounds in less than 24 hours. Most of this was on observed missions with excellent effect.

Dec 21, upon being informed that the 159-ECB were withdrawing slightly in order to reorganize, it was found that the new main line of resistance in this part of the sector was so close to the Battalion that it could not use indirect fire to support it. During a temporary lull in attacks, the sector could be constantly covered even though the leading battery might be masked. The Battalion was covering a plus 2500 square kilometers front.

The Battalion fired almost constantly throughout the day repelling attack after attack with heavy losses. During the day one Forward Observer Team with the 159-ECB was cut off but worked back through to American lines that night. The tank was ordered back in time to save it from German Panzerschreck and Panzerfaust teams. Late in the afternoon the Germans apparently abandoned their attacks and went on the defensive. Calls for artillery became less frequent and the artillery began harassing fires on probable or reported assembly areas or routes of approach.
Dec 22, the dangerous situation on our right flank was relieved by the arrival of the 10-IR (5-ID). The 419-AFAB immediately established liaison with the direct support artillery battalion of this combat team and fired several missions for them. Dec 23, the sector was rather quiet. Fired several missions for the 10-IR as they attacked toward Echternach. Fair visibility so the plane was ordered up to search for enemy bridges across the river. Located one and we began adjusting on it with a 155-MM gun. The pilot went into the fire for effect but was driven away by anti-aircraft fire. The results of the adjustment are unknown. The Battalion moved out at 1700, and marched to Nommern, Luxembourg. There it reinforced the fires of the 695-AFAB.

A later check-up of the 419-AFAB sector near Echternach by the 4-ID revealed more than 2000 dead Germans, most of them killed by artillery fire. The number wounded is unknown, but it is probably much more than the dead. Since the 419-AFAB fired practically all the missions in this sector it is believed that most of the Germans killed and wounded can be credited to the Battalion. The Battalion expanded 6232 rounds in this sector with most of it fired on observed targets. At one time this Battalion had out 12 observers and liaison officers.
Dec 24, the Battalion displaced east of Stegen in the afternoon in order to reach the river with time fire. Dec 25, Battalion still reinforcing the fires of the 695-AFAB. The Battalion enjoyed excellent Christmas rations, which included fresh eggs and ham for breakfast, and turkey for dinner.

Dec 26, during the night of December 25 to 26, the Battalion fired its first rounds using the new Proximity Fuze. The sector was relatively quiet all day. During the morning, arrangements were made for the relief of the Battalion by the 128-AFAB (6-AD). Late in the afternoon, the firing batteries of that Battalion took over the positions of this Battalion, one battery at a time. Our batteries displaced to near-by assembly areas. At 2045, the 419 began its march to Heisdorf, and vicinity; the tail closed in at 2345. The purpose was to put the Battalion within convenient distance of the Initial Point in Dommeldange at which it had been directed to join the column of CCR.

Dec 27, the 419-AFAB marched at 0715 and closed into its assigned area in Metz at 1630. The march was uneventful except for difficulties encountered on a steep, icy stretch of road between Echternach and Angevillers. The steel tracks of our M-7s slid like skates on an ice rink. While the leading howitzer battery, (A Bat), tediously worked its way foot by foot up the icy road by putting dirt, rocks, logs, pieces of wire fence, etc. under the tracks to make them hold, recon for a better road was instituted by the Battalion Commander. By re-routing B and C batteries and the steel-track vehicles of Service Battery over a much better road which was found, the head of the diverted column reached the junction point in Fontoy almost the same time as the head of the other column so that a smooth junction was effected. Personnel is established in a group of buildings which at various times must have comprised excellent quarters for their French and German garrisons. Our vehicles are well dispersed in adjoining fields.

Dec 28, the 419 started at once in an intensive schedule of vehicular maintenance, clothing and equipment inventories and inspections, and police the area. The building and surroundings had been left in a filthy condition by the former occupants. Dec 29, the program of the 28th continued today. Dec 30, Saturday morning inspection found men, vehicles, equipment, and the area to be in very good condition. It is a little short of amazing how the battalion personnel have succeeded in cleaning up the occupied building and area. The Division G-4, Col Weber, accompanied the Battalion CO in his inspection. He gave particular attention to the condition of the clothing and equipment and appeared well satisfied with what he found.

Maj Averett, the Division Sanitary Inspector, made an inspection in the company of Lt Waldrep, the Battalion Surgeon. He, too, was very pleased with what he found. Dec 31, Catholic services at 1100. Protestant services at 1400. The recreation schedule includes movies in the afternoon and evening. Vehicular maintenance continues.

Robert C. McCabe
Lt Col 419-AFAB

January 1945

Jan 1-16, the 419 remained in Metz, France. All vehicles, weapons, and equipment were thoroughly inspected; necessary repairs were made and replacements were obtained. Steel tracks were removed from the M-7’s, and replaced by rubber tracks. A battalion drill schedule was prepared and followed, in keeping with Division and Division Artillery directives.
The usual routine was relieved on the Jan 13, by a ceremony and presentation of awards. At 1130 the entire battalion formed in the quadrangle, in line of batteries, with batteries in mass formation. Col Luebbermann, Division Artillery Commander, formally presented the Battalion Standard to the Battalion Commander, Lt Col Robert C. McCabe.

Following the presentation of the Standard, Col McCabe presented the following awards to personnel of this organization: Pfc Michael J. Danko, 36540839, Silver Star; Lt John R. Fray, 0467185, Silver Star; Maj James M. Hutchinson, 0284563, Bronze Star; Maj Arthur C. Ball, 0328166, Bronze Star; Capt Roger M. Keefe, 0414613, Bronze Star; Capt David Anderson, 0438577, Bronze Star; Capt Sewell H. Corkran, 01166693, Bronze Star; 1/Lt Joseph T. Gebhardt, 01178160, Bronze Star; Pfc Kenneth N. Manning, 18193570, Bronze Star. During the ceremony, music was furnished by the 10-AD Band. After the awards were presented, the battalion passed in review before Col McCabe, his staff and the persons who had just been decorated. The entire ceremony was smoothly executed and very impressive, despite the fact that marching was made difficult by snow and ice.

Jan 17, the Battalion marched in convoy to Donnelay, France.

Jan 18, the Battalion left Donnelay at 1330 and marched to Merlebach, France, where it went into firing positions. Our mission, pending the arrival of the 342-AFAB, was direct support of the 106-CAV Group, which comprised the 106-CRS and the 121-CRS.

Jan 19-31, situation was defensive. There was very little activity in the sector. As part of our preparations for a possible enemy attack, B Bat displaced on Jan 24 to a position just South of Merlebach, and C Bat displaced on Jan 25 to a position in the vicinity of Bettingen, France.

By this maneuver, the batteries were echeloned in-depth to the rear in such fashion that, if necessary, they could leapfrog to other positions one-at-a-time; the battalion was able to support the existing front and was in excellent position to support the line which had been selected as the new front to be formed by our troops in the event they were forced to give ground.
Jan 25, the 342-AFAB was ready to take over its mission of direct support of the 106-CG. The 419-AFAB reverted to a general support role, reinforcing the fires of the 342-AFAB. However, since the 342 was not in a position from which it could adequately support the whole front, it was agreed that the 419 would continue to provide direct support to the 121-CRS. Consequently, the 419 continued to man and operate two static Observation Posts, and to keep a liaison officer and section at the headquarters of the 121-CRS as well as the headquarters of the 342-AFAB. In preparation for possible employment of the battalion in support of the CCA, the battalion on Jan 29 sent a liaison officer and a section Headquarters CCA, one RO section and one FO section to Team Richardson, which was part of CCA. Two FO sections remained with Team Standish, which was still stationed in Merebach.

Robert C. McCabe
Lt Col 419-AFAB

February 1945

Feb 1-8, the Battalion remained in position in Merlebach. Our supported units maintained their defensive roles throughout this period. The sector was quiet. Feb 9, the Battalion Commander made the following presentations of awards:

Pfc Earl B. Dougherty, 6955813, Btry C, 419-AFAB, Air Medal; 2/Lt Bernard M. Winsberg, 01178392, Air Medal; 1/Lt James R. Chappell, 01182392 Air Medal; T/5 Andrew Nastasi, 33399987, Hq Btry, Bronze Star; Pfc William D. Lewis, 6134586, Bronze Star, 2/Lt Marion C. Dietrich Jr, 0535597, Bronze Star; Sgt Bernard O. Langston, 6397627, Bronze Star; Cpl Harold S. Lorah, 33371461, Bronze Star.

Feb 10-18, (10), the 419 was released from its mission in the Merlebach area and was ordered back to Metz. The march was uneventful. The 419 returned to the same area that it had vacated Jan 17.
After thoroughly cleaning and policing the area, and after performing necessary maintenance on vehicles and equipment, the Battalion entered upon a regular garrison training schedule, closely supervised by the Battalion CO and Staff, by the Division Artillery Commander and Staff, and by representatives from Division Hqs.

Feb 19-20, during this period the battalion was in direct support of CCA in the operation which drove the Germans out of the Triangle, the roughly triangular area between the Moselle and Saar Rivers, with its apex at the confluence of the two rivers.

One lesson learned during this attack is that when a determined tank force attacks constantly against comparatively light resistance, and when it by-passes towns or roles through them without stopping to mop up, the tank force can outstrip its artillery and pass beyond supporting artillery range. This situation developed on Feb 20, when TF Chamberlain made his non-stop drive to its final objective. The gap was closed by displacing the 419 forward behind Team Holehouse, which comprised the reserve of TF Chamberlain and whose mission was to mop-up the towns in the wake of the advance elements of the task force.
Feb 21, in the morning, the 419-AFAB had the unique experience of being attacked by a friendly force. The Battalion had spent the night with its CP in the town of Merzkirchen and with the howitzer batteries in firing positions in fields adjacent to the town. About 0800, things began to happen. Snipers in a church steeple fired at our men in the streets; the positions of A and C batteries from over a crest to the east. Prompt and overwhelming fire from our attached AAA weapons and individual small arms weapons quickly silenced the snipers. A and C batteries displaced immediately to alternate positions that afforded sight defilade.

The pilot of a field artillery liaison plane, by several times flying almost at ground level between the attacking forces and the town, succeeded in conveying to the people on the ground that something was amiss. Investigation disclosed that the attacking force was Task Force Billet, composed of tanks and infantry from Task Force Richardson. Our little war was called off, fortunately before either side had done damage to the other.

Feb 25-28, (25), the 419 took its place in the column of CCA, and crossed the Saar River at Serrig on the 26. The 419 fired very effectively in support of the Division’s columns in the attack northward toward Trier.

Robert C. McCabe
Lt Col 419-AFAB

March 1945

Mar 1-2, the 419 continued its direct-support mission during the final stages of the capture of Trier. Mar 3-5, the Battalion was in firing position at in Trier, with the mission of providing defensive fires to cover the regroupement of the Division. On Mar 5, the 417-IR relieved the infantry of the 10-AD.

On Mar 6, observers from the 901-FAB relieved our observers. Our mission was changed to reinforcing the fires of the 901-FAB. Mar 7-10, Trier to Wittlich, the 419, with A Btry of the 776-FAB of 155-MM howitzers attached, gave continuous direct support of CCA in the attack toward and capture of Wittlich. CCA advanced in two main columns, TF Cherry and TF Hankins.

The former progressed much more rapidly than the latter, which complicated our problem of providing both columns with continuous direct support.

The mission was accomplished by sending C Bat of the 419 and A Bat A of the 776-FAB forward to support the faster column and by keeping batteries A and B of the 419 back where they could cover the slower column. Fire control was maintained by establishing a Forward Fire Direction Center in Wittlich and a Rear Fire Direction Center in Salmrohr.

Mar 11-12, Wittlich to Bullay, TF Cherry, had the mission of attacking toward Bullay and to seize, intact if possible, the bridge across the Moselle River at that point. TF Hankins had the mission of holding the high ground east of Wittlich. Initially, the 419 could give direct support to both Task Forces from its positions in Wittlich. To assure continuous support for TF Cherry during its attack, B Bat was attached to that Task Force at 1405 on Mar 11. Orders received at 0730 on Mar 12, made it apparent that TF Cherry had the primary mission, so the 419 assumed direct support of that Task Force. Our S-1, as liaison officer to the 775-FAB, could reinforce our fires with the 20.000 meters range of that unit’s 4.5″ guns. Artillery support for TF Hankins in its defensive role was provided by placing our Asst S-3 in the Fire Direction Control of the 33rd Field Artillery Brigade in Wittlich. TF Cherry reached its objectives on Mar 12.

Mar 13-15, Trier, the 419 made the return march to Trier on the morning of Mar 13. Vehicles, equipment, and personnel were much in need of maintenance. An intensive maintenance program was begun as soon as we reached our positions in Trier. However, this work was seriously handicapped by a 3-hours alert upon which the 419 was placed on Mar 14, and to a greater degree when the alert was shortened to 1 hour on Mar 15.

Mar 16-18, Trier to Sankt-Wendel, the 419, less A Bat moved out at 0315 on Mar 16, in direct support of TF Hankins.

Earlier, A Bat had joined the Task Force as Advance Guard Battery. The evening of Mar 18 found the 419 in position at Bliessen, from which it could fire into and beyond Sankt-Wendel to assist in the capture of that town. For the members of the HQs Battery, Mar 18 was a day that will not soon be forgotten. As the Battery Commander was reconnoitering the area about 800 yards South of Selbach that had been selected for his battery, he saw a German helmet appear out of a fox-hole. He at once opened up with his carbine and called up reinforcements. While one of the AAA half-tracks swept the area with the fire of its multiple machine guns, the available personnel of HQs Battery deployed as an infantry skirmish line.

Then, covered by the AAA weapons and our own machine guns, they advanced across the fields. Their version of a dismounted attack with marching fire might not have been recognizable to an infantryman, but it seemed to have the desired effect. Net results: 60 German prisoners, all SS troops; numerous rifles, light machine guns, and a few pistols captured and no casualties.

Mar 19-23, Sankt-Wendel to Landau. This period was characterized by the constant attack and fast movement. The 419 made its first move over one of Hitler’s super-highways, of which we heartily approve. It provided a comfortable ride at maximum marching speed and very great convenience. Near Kaiserslautern we began to encounter liberated slave-laborers, many of them quite ecstatic and some of them weeping with joy; and we saw mobs of the reputedly highly-disciplined German people looting their government warehouses.

Because of the fluid situation, the 419 had the interesting experience of occupying a position in the eastern edge of Landau while a battery of 88’s fired straight down our avenue of approach from a distance of about 800 meters. Fortunately, all the rounds landed just too soon or too late, and did no damage.

Mar 24-27, Landau, the 419 was comfortably located in Landau, and kept busily engaged with maintenance. On Mar 25 we went on a 36-hour alert. This was shortened to 8-hours in the afternoon on Mar 26. Mar 28-29, Landau to Mannheim, the 419 left Landau at 1210 Mar 28, and traveled in convoy to the assembly area at Lampertheim, arriving there at 1810. We crossed the Rhein via a heavy pontoon bridge at Worms. Our leading vehicle was in the middle of the span at 1647, Mar 28. The 419 moved to another assembly area in Mannheim on Mar 29, arriving at 1450.

Mar 30-31, Mannheim to Heidelberg, the 419 provided direct support for Task Force Reilly in the attack toward Heidelberg. the Battalion reached Heidelberg at 2030 and took up firing positions in the town. Combat Command started its attack with Heilbronn as its objective. The 419 in direct support of Task Force Riley.

Robert C. McCabe
Lt Col 419-AFAB

April 1945

Apr 1, the 419 moved out early in the morning from Gaiberg. Howitzer batteries leapfrogged each other. About 1100, the CG of CCA notified our battalion CO that Task Force Roberts was going to hook wide to the South and east.
To provide artillery support for this maneuver B Btry was attached to Task Force Roberts. The battalion less B Btry spent the night at Bargen.

Apr 2, a flight of enemy planes was overhead about 0700, Apr 2. The same thing happened yesterday. The enemy planes seemed to get up earlier than ours. The 419, still less B Btry continued to support the advance Task Force Riley all day, batteries leapfrogging each other. We were in positions at Biberach in the dark. B Btry still attached to Task Force Roberts. Apr 3, CCA tried, without success, to seize the bridges over the Neckar River. Apr 4, the 100-ID took over the sector. Apr 5, knowing little of the situation, except that CCR had advanced toward the east as far as Windischbach and that CCA had been ordered to follow the same route, the battalion moved out at 1330 and took its place in CCA’s column. We crossed the Neckar River through the bridgehead of the VI Corps in the vicinity of Neckarel and Mosbach. The march continued throughout the night and became increasingly more difficult. Just before dawn, the battalion reached the town of Windischbach.

Apr 6, the Task Force of CCA resumed their advance early in the morning. The battalion displaced to Assamstadt in the morning. At 1700, we moved out behind Task Force Riley. There followed another harrowing all-night march over poor roads, involving some cross-country by-passes. Apr 7, the 419 arrived at Groningen at 0500 and went into position. A Btry moved out about 0930, following the leading team of Task Force Riley. Passing through Crailsheim, the 419 occupied positions at Ilshofen and then at Wolpertshausen. Enemy cut supply route between Hollenbach & Blaufelden, and our trains had to run a gauntlet of direct fire from MG’s and AT guns.

Apr 8, situation was fluid, and orders were changed several times. As a consequence, the battalion displaced from Wolpertshausen to Ilshofen, then forwards to Wolpertshausen then back to Ilshofen. Intermittently throughout the day, the battalion was strafed by enemy fighter planes and was also shelled by enemy artillery. Information was received during the day that the only supply route to Crailsheim was definitely cut somewhere north of that city.

Apr 9, the 419 was bombed and strafed at 0700. C Btry followed Task Force Roberts early in the morning. B Btry and Hq Btry moved out at 1500, following the route taken by Task Force Roberts. Battalion occupied positions near Berndshausen.

Apr 10, At 1000, the 419 made contact with the leading elements of the 3-254/63-ID. The battalion made a night march to Sindeldorf, where it would be within ready distance of the bridgehead of the 63-ID at Weissbach. Apr 11, Battalion moved to positions in the vicinity of Crispenhofen, from whence it could take its place in the column from CCA for the crossing of the Kocher River. A, C, & Hq batteries occupied positions at Neufels just at dark. B Btry crossed the river about dusk and went into position at Hermersberg.

Apr 12, B Btry displaced early to a position at Kirchensall and was soon followed by A Btry and Hq Btry. C Btry moved to Kleinhirschbach and was joined there by B Btry. A & C Btrys moved to Weinbach. Our teams of Task Force Riley occupied Ohringen with no trouble this morning. As soon as engineers of Task Force Riley had cleared the roadblock formed by the blown railroad bridge west of Ohringen, the first team moved out toward Bitzfeld. When our forward observer with that team reported that they were entering the town, B Btry was displaced forward to a position about 900 meters west of Ohringen. Early in the evening, C Btry moved to a position near B and Hq Btrys occupied an area of the Northeast outskirts of Ohringen. A Btry remained at Weinsbach to cover Task Force Roberts (Ulrich), where the mission was to advance parallel and south of the main axis of CCA.

Apr 14, contact was made with the 100-ID to our west and then we waited for the 63-ID and 100-ID to take over our sector. Apr 15, after our sector was taken over by the 63-ID and 100-ID, the Battalion displaced at 0900 from Ohringen to Masholderbach. Apr 16, Battalion spent most of the day at Massholderbach, and supported Task Force Riley as he advanced to the south. Battalion moved at 1955 to Pfedelbach where it spent the night. Apr 17, Battalion displaced to Lachweiler at 1335. The column was slowed considerably by mines and roadblocks. Apr 18, at 1605 the 419 displaced from Lachweiler to the vicinity of Hutten, and at 1925 moved forward to go into position for the night at Kornberg.

Apr 19, the Battalion displaced from Kornberg to the vicinity of Waldech at 1045. Firing Btry’s were continually leap-frogging each other to keep in supporting a range of rapidly moving elements. Battalion moved to Neustetten at 1340, Kaisersbach at 1515, Burgholz at 1620, and Breech at 1910.

Apr 20, displaced forward from Breech at 0923, and arrived in Holzhausen at 1025. Left Holzhausen at 1620, and arrived in Rosswalden at 1730. One Me 262 Schwale jet plane dropped two bombs in the center of the HQ position at 1745 and two in A Btry’s position around 1400. A total of 9 EM and 2 Off wounded and evacuated, and one EM killed. Moved from Rosswalden at 1905, and arrived in Wellingen at 1935.

Apr 21, during the day enemy infantry estimated to be two companies, engaged us in a firefight. They were attempting to break out of the pocket created by our rapid advance to the south. Our unit suffered two casualties and succeeded in driving them off. Approximately 30 prisoners and one German ambulance were taken during the day. At 1900, the Battalion moved 3.2 miles to Kircheim in a heavy rain.

Apr 22, Battalion displaced at 1305 to positions near Torfgrube arriving there at 1925. Apr 23, Battalion moved from Feldstetten at 0935 to Allmendingen. Plans were formulated for our advance the east over the Danube River, and the Battalion started moving behind Task Force Riley at 2350.

Apr 24, the Battalion was on the road and crossed the Danube at 0030. At 0925 the Battalion displaced to Ob-Holzheim and almost immediately moved forward to Beuren. Apr 25, Battalion spent most of the day reinforcing fires of the 44-ID, while they attempted to put a bridge over the Iller River. Prior to completion, CCA was ordered to cross on a completed one to our southeast. At 2205 the Battalion left Beuren and was on the road yet at 2400.

Apr 26, Battalion went into firing position at 0415 near Illertissen, after crossing the Iller River. Battalion displaced to rear Dottenhausen at 1027, Osterberg at 1235, Engishausen at 1530, and Ober-Kammlach at 2035. Apr 27, Battalion started moving forward at 0945 with the batteries trying to keep in position when possible. Battalion arrived in Tannenberg at 2300. Apr 28, Battalion moved from Tannenberg to Burggen at 0930 and waited for a bridge to be built over the Lech River. Apr 29, Battalion moved from Burggen, crossed the Lech River and stopped in Kohlgrub at 1520 until the blown-out road could be repaired. At 1715 the 419 moved to Murnau where the supported units curled for the night. Apr 30, the 419 moved from Murnau to Partenkirchen at 0925.

May 1945

May 1-8, the 419 performed rigorous maintenance, and worked continually toward cleaning up personnel and equipment. May 9, the 419 participated in a Division review before the Corps Commander. Btry A fired the 13 gun salute to the Corps Commander and 21 gun salute as the American Flag was raised over the soil of a conquered nation. It was necessary to use live ammunition and the high altitude bursts over the snow-covered peaks were timed perfectly. May 10, Vehicles, Arms and instruments were the object of much work in preparing them for a Division level inspection on May 14. May 11-15, no enemy activity during period. May 16, the Battalion moved to Lenggries, and assumed the responsibility for all guards from the town south to the Austrian border. The Battalion also set up an AMG office under the supervision of a Battalion Officer. May 21, the Battalion moved from Lenggries to Fleck a distance of two miles. The duties of our assignment remained the same. March 22-31, no change in assignment.

Robert C. McCabe
Lt Col 419-AFAB

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or even sponsored, just use the Donate button below and beleive me,
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If you really want to support the European Center of Military History, why not doing this while having someone paying for you? Yeah, no lie, do it and have someone else paying for you! To Do this, and if you plan to buy tools, books, garden equipment, automotive parts, computer, Television, Monitor, Electricity materiel, in one word every kind of thing you could need, go the Amazon webshop (use the link bellow) to make your shopping. Note there will be no difference and you will pay the exact same price as using the other way.

The European Center of Military History has been for over a decade and counting, an Amazon Affiliate. If you go to the Amazon Shopping site from here, it’s Amazon and not you which will send EUCMH a couple cents for the amount you gave out. I think it is the perfect world for all of us. You Happy, Amazon Happy, EUCMH Happy!

[Amazon Shopping Center]

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