10th Armored Division – AAR (419-AFAB) (FR-LU-DE) – 1944-1945

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France – Luxembourg – Germany
10th Armored Division
419th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
After Action Report

Battalion’s Operations

November 2 – Relieved 344-FAB east of Vionville, France.
November 3-6 – Supported 20-AIB & 61-AIB in the front of Metz. Mainly harassing and interdiction fires.
November 7 – Moved 80 miles on blackout to Burmerange, Luxembourg, to act as corps artillery in supporting the 90-ID who were to secure a bridgehead across Moselle River.
November 8 – Battalion supported the attack of the 90-ID. Fired Reinforcing fires.
November 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.
November 10 – Reinforcing fires of the 90-ID.
November 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.
November 12-13-14 – Acted as corps artillery.
November 15 – Joined Team Standish and moved across the Moselle. Objective : Bouzonville. Advance guard battery committed at 1500, and remainder of battalion moved into position near advance guard battery. Fired on enemy infantry and AT guns holding up attack. Advance guard halted in Lemestroff.
November 16 – Advance party advanced to Sainte-Marguerite over almost impassible roads, after first taking the wrong road and seizing Budling. Artillery support was very effective in first a preparation on Sainte-Marguerite. The Battalion displaced to position west of Lemestroff. Capt Kreigsman recommended for Bronze Star.



November 17 – Objective changed – to secure bridge across the Neider River east of Freisthoff. Advance party secured Dalstein. Advance guard battery displaced to Monneren. The Battalion fired in supporting tank attack near Dalstein.
November 18 – Advance guard reached Freisthoff. The Battalion displaced to the vicinity of Dalstein. Fired at AT guns and infantry holding up advance.
November 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.
November 20 – Moved to Sehndorf with 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.
November 21 – Continued to support the attack.
November 22-23-24 – The Battalion reinforced fires of 344-FAB. Lt Carter and Lt Dietrich each recommended for Silver Star.
November 25 – The Battalion was in direct support of Team Riley which has taken over sectors with mission of active defense. Fired on enemy infantry, mortars, and AT guns.
November 26-27-28 – Continued support of Team Riley.
November 29 – We moved to position near Betting, France. Support the attack of CCB (10-AD), to seize high ground West of Mervig.
November 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
Commanding

419th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
After Action Report

December 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.
December 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. Continued to reinforce the first of the 695-AFAB.
December 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.
December 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.
December 6-7-8 – Continued to reinforce the 695-AFAB.
December 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.
December 10-11-12-13 – Continued to reinforce the 695-AFAB.
December 14 – Officers school on Battlefield Experiences, 1500 at Battalion Fire Direction Center. Recommendations submitted to Division Artillery.
December 15 – Continued to reinforce the 695-AFAB.
December 16 – The Battalion was alerted at 2130 to be ready to move at daylight. Destination and route unknown.
December 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.

December 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.

December 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 Task Force Riley as it withdrew west.

December 20 – The Battalion continued in support of Task Force Riley, and also took over support of Task Force Standish when 423-FAB was withdrawn to another sector. When both task forces were withdrawn at dusk the 419-AFAB remained in 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 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 were 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 attacks 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 fire power by displacing to the rear by 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.

December 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.

December 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.

December 23 – Sector was rather quiet. Fired several missions for the 10-IR as they attacked toward Echternach. Fair visibility so 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. Pilot went into fire for effect but was driven away by anti-aircraft fire. Results of adjustment are unknown. The Battalion moved out 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 twelve (12) observers and liaison officers.

December 24 – Battalion displaced east of Stegen in afternoon in order to reach river with time fire.
December 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.

December 26 – During the night of 25/26, the Battalion fired its first rounds using the Pozit Fuze (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. 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.

December 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, (Battery A), 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 batteries B and C 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 are 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.

December 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 filthy condition by the former occupants.

December 29 – Program of the 28th continued today.

December 30 – Saturday morning inspection found men, vehicles, equipment and the area to be in very good condition. It is little short of amazing how the battalion personnel have succeeded in cleaning up the occupied building and area. The Division G-4, Lt Col Weber, accompanied the Battalion Commander 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 company of 1/Lt Waldrep, the Battalion Surgeon. He, too, was very pleased with what he found.

December 31 – Catholic services at 1100. Protestant services at 1400. Recreation schedule includes movies in the afternoon and evening. Vehicular maintenance continues.

Robert C. McCabe
Lt Col 419-AFAB
Commanding

419th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
After Action Report

January 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; 2/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.

January 17 – The Battalion marched in convoy to Donnelay, France.

January 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 106th Cavalry Group, which comprised the 106th Cavalry Squadron and the 121st Cavalry Squadron.

January 19-31 – Situation was defensive. There was very little activity in the sector. As part of our preparations for a possible enemy attack, B Battery displaced on January 24 to a position just South of Merlebach, and C Battery displaced on January 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 leap frog 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.

January 25 – the 342-AFAB was ready to take over its mission of direct support of the 106th Cavalry Group. The 419-AFAB reverted to a general support role, reinforcing the fires of the 342. However, since the 342 was not in position from which it could adequately support the whole front, it was agreed that the 419 would continue to provide direct support to the 121st Cavalry Squadron. 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 121st Cavalry Squadron 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 January 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
Commanding

419th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
After Action Report

February 1-9 – Battalion remained in position in Merlebach. Our supported units maintained their defensive roles throughout this period. The sector was quiet.

February 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.

February 10-18 – On Feb 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 January 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.

February 19-24 – 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 dtermined 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 20 February, when Task Force Chamberlain made its non-stop drive to its final objective. The gap was closed by displacing the 419 forward behind Team Holehouse, which comprised the reserve of Task Force Chamberlain and whose mission was to mop-up the towns in the wake of the advance elements of the task force.

February 21 – On 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 which 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 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.

February 25-28 – On Feb 25, the 419 took its place in the column of CCA, and crossed the Saar River at Serrig on Feb 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
Commanding

419th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
After Action Report

March 1-2 – the 419 continued its direct-support mission during the final stages of the capture of Trier.
March 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 March 5, the 417-IR relieved the infantry of the 10-AD. On March 6, observers from the 901-FAB relieved our observers. Our mission was changed to reinforcing the fires of the 901-FAB.

March 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, Task Force Cherry and Task Force 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 Btry C of the 419 and Btry 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.

March 11-12 – Wittlich to Bullay, Task Force Cherry, had the mission of attacking toward Bullay and to seize, intact if possible, the bridge across the Moselle River at that point. Task Force 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 Task Force Cherry during its attack, Btry B was attached to that Task Force at 1405 on March 11. Orders received at 0730 on March 12, made it apparent that Task Force 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 Task Force 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.
Task Force Cherry reached its objectives on March 12.

March 13-15 – Trier, the 419 made the return march to Trier on the morning of March 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 3.5 hour alert upon which the 419 was placed on March 14, and to a greater degree when the alert was shortened to 1 hour on March 15.

March 16-18 – Trier to Sankt-Wendel, the 419, less A Btry moved out at 0315 on March 16, in direct support of Task Force Hankins. Earlier, Btry A had joined the Task Force as Advance Guard Battery. The evening of March 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, the 18th of March 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 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.

March 19-23 – Sankt-Wendel to Landau, This period was characterized by 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 a 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.

March 19-23 – Because of the fluid situation, the 419 had the interesting experience of occupying 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.

March 24-27 – Landau, the 419 was comfortably located in Landau, and kept busily engaged with maintenance. On March 25 we went on a 36 hour alert. This was shortened to 8 hours in the afternoon on March 26.

March 28-29 – Landau to Mannheim, the 419 left Landau at 1210 March 28, and travelled in convoy to 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, March 28. The 419 moved to another assembly area in Mannheim on March 29, arriving at 1450.

30 March 45 – 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.

March 31 – 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
Commanding

April 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.

April 2 – A flight of enemy planes was overhead about 0700, April 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 at dark. B Btry still attached to Task Force Roberts.

April 3 – CCA tried, without success, to seize the bridges over the Neckar River.
April 4 – the 100-ID took over the sector.
April 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 thru the bridghead 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.

April 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.

April 7 – The 419 arrived at Groningen at 0500, and went into position. A Btry moved out about 0930, followig 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.

April 8 – Situation was fluid, and orders were changed several times. As a consequence, the battalion displaced from Wolpertshausen to Ilshofen, then forward 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.

April 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 route taken by Task Force Roberts. Battalion occupied positions near Berndshausen.

April 10 – At 1000, the 419 made contact with the leading elements of the 3-254/63-ID. Battalion made a night march to Sindeldorf, where it would be within ready distance of the bridgehead of the 63-ID at Weissbach.

April 11 – Battalion moved to positions in 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.

April 12 – B Btry displaced early to 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.

April 12 – Our teams of Task Force Riley occupied Ohringen with no trouble this morning. As soon as engineers of Task Force Riley had cleared the road block 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 position about 900 meters west of Ohringen. Early in the evening C Btry moved to 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.

April 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.
April 15 – After our sector was taken over by the 63-ID and 100-ID, the Battalion displaced at 0900 from Ohringen to Masholderbach.
April 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.
April 17 – Battalion displaced to Lachweiler at 1335. The column was slowed considerably by mines and roadblocks.
April 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.

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

April 20 – Displaced forward from Breech at 0923, and arrived in Holzhausen at 1025. Left Holzhausen at 1620, and arrived in Rosswalden at 1730. Jet plane dropped two bombs in center of 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.

April 21 – During the day enemy infantry estimated to be two companies, engaged us in a fire fight. 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.

April 22 – Battalion displaced at 1305 to positions near Torfgrube arriving there at 1925.

April 23 – Battalion moved from Feldstetten at 0935 to Gross-Allmendingen. Plans were formulated for our advance the east over the Danube River, and the Battalion started moving behind Task Force Riley at 2350.

April 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.

April 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.

April 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.

April 27 – Battalion started moving forward at 0945 with the batteries trying to keep in position when possible. Battalion arrived in Tannenberg at 2300.
April 28 – Battalion moved from Tannenberg to Burggen at 0930, and waited for a bridge to be built over the Lech River.
April 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.
April 30 – The 419 moved from Murnau to Partenkirchen at 0925.

419th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
After Action Report

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 Div. level inspection on May 14.
May 11-15 – No enemy activity during period.
May 16 – Battalion moved to Lenggries, Germany and assumed the responsibility for all guards from the town south to the Austrian border. Battalion also set up an AMG office under the supervision of a Battalion Officer.

May 21 – Battalion moved from Lenggries to Fleck a distance of two miles. The duties of our assignment remained the same.
May 22-31 – No change in assignment.

Robert C. McCabe
Lt Col 419-AFAB
Commanding



 

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