Sgt James C. Haahr – (101/26-ID) – Yankee Division Data

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The archive below was sent to me by Sgt James “Jim’ Haahr (USA), 101st Infantry Regiment, 26th Infantry Division 1944-1945. You can – of course – use the information provided in this document as long as you credit the source (Fair Use).

Originally from the Department of the Navy
Letter from Bernard F. Cavalcante (Head Operational Archives Branch
To : Ernie Greup, Durham, North-Carolina

[… Enclosed is a list of ships, the sailing directions and the convoy commander’s report from Convoy CU-37, which is the convoy that you describe …]

26th infantry Division Advance Detail
To Utah Beach and Cherbourg, France, 1944

A 25 member detachment, under the command of Brig gen Harlan Hartness, ADC 26th Yankee Division, and including Col Collin Bushway, 726th Ordnance L.M., plus 5000 troops (not from the 26-YD) left New York Port of Embarkation aboard the French liner Ile de France and sailed unescorted to Scotland. From Glasgow, Scotland, the advance party of the 26-YD went by train to a channel port, crossed the English Channel on a British Troop Shif off loaded into a landing Craft (LCP) and thence went ashore on Utah Beach. The mission selected bivouac site for the Division units on the Cotentin Penninsula in preparation to ist arrival on September 7 1944.

Convoy CU-37
– Sailed : New York, 2237Z/27 August.
– Destination : BOMP ETA 1000Z/29 August UK, ETA, 7 September.
– Speed : 13.6
– Escorts : TG 21.6 : USS Tillman, USS Charles Lawrence, USS Daniel T. Griffin, USS Sims; USS Hopping, USS Reeves, USS Cates, USS Earl K. Olsen, USS Gandy, USS Jack W. Wilkie, USS Mason.
– Total Ships : 49
– Reference : PD New York 262210Z, 272246Z, 272334F, 272128Z, 221530Z, PD Boston 251642Z, F321 Davis 151457Z, NSHQ Ottawa 230743Z, August 1944.

US Cargo & Destination
Santa Teresa – Cherbourg (26-YD)
Lightning – Mersey (26-YD)
Poland Victory – Cherbourg (26-YD)
USS Lejeune (AP 74)(Vice Cdre) (104-ID)
USAT George Washington – Cherbourg (104-ID)
USAT Cristobal – Cherbourg (104-ID)
Santa Maria – Cherbourg (?)
Argentina (Cdre) – Cherbourg (?)
Ocean Mail – Cherbourg (?)
USAT J. W. Mcandrew – Cherbourg (?)
USAT Henry Gibbins – Cherbourg (?)
Warrior – Cherbourg (?)
Santa Rita – Cherbourg (?)
African Sun – Cherbourg (?)
Sturdy Beggar – Cherbourg (?)
Robin Tuxdorf – Cherbourg (?)
Cape Diamond – Cherbourg (?)
White Falcon – Loch Ewe (Mersey) (?)
Noonday (*) (Cdre – Boston Sec.) – Cherbourg (?)
Alden Besse (*) – Cherbourg (?)

(*) Sailed Boston, 1100Z/28 August to Join.

US Tankers
Callabee – Swansea
Chatilly – Mersey
Catham – Glasgow
Opequon – Lock Ewe
Frenchtown – Barry Roads
Wolf Mountain – Glasgow
Bulkero – Barry Roads
Hobkirks Hill – Loch Ewe
Stony Point – Clyde
Chickamauga – Milford Haven
Ticonderoga – Swansea
Bear Paw – Mersey
Blackstocks Ford – Manchester
Perryville – Glasgow
Esso Camden – Barry Roads
Wyoming Valley – Swansea
Washita – Barry Roads
Powder River – Barry Roads
Esso Memphis – Manchester
Pine Ridge – Barry Roads
Quemado Lake – Swansea

British Cargo
Largs Bay (Not to WSA) – Mersey
Esperance Bay (Not to WSA) – Barry Roads

British Tanker
Wave King – Glasgow

Other Cargo
Saturna (Italian) – Cherbourg

Other Tanker
Fort Schuyler (Holland) – Barry Roads
Karsten Wang (Norway) – Barry Roads

Miscellaneous
HMS Arbiter (CVE-51) – As directed
HMS Patrolier – As Directed

Forecast of Troops to Arrive – Troops Movement #132

1. The following unit are due to arrive in the European Theater of Operations (Continent) in the near future. Agencies directly concerned with the reception, quartering and transportation arrangements to be accomplished concerning these units will be advised date and port of arrival by separate communication.

2. These units, will be handled in accordance with letter HQ CZ (Forward) ETOUSA dated August 15 1944, subject : ‘General Plan for Reception and Staging of Troops and Equipment Received Through Cotentin Peninsula’.

3. For security reasons, when referring to this list by telephone, the number of the page, line and letter of the column concerned will be used.

Field Force – 12th Army Group – (NUSA)

1690-M (NY-230)
Robin Tuxford
Charlie Co, 630th Tank Destroyer Battalion (less 3rd Plat)
– 4 (Off), 93 (EM)

1965-L (NY-230)
Robin Tuxford
Det 56th Armored Infantry battalion
– 1 (Off), 10 (EM)

5562-A (NY-220)
Argentina
Det 26-ID, Hq & Hq Co, Hq Sp Trps w/att Medic, Chaplain, Band
– 29 (Off), 18 (W.O), 227 (EM), 4 (CIV)

5562-A (NY-227)
Saturnia
Det Hq & Hq Co & Hq Sp Trps 26th Infantry Division
– 10 (Off), 60 (EM)

5562-A (NY-229)
Argentina
Det Hq & Hq Co & Hq Sp Trps 26-ID w/att Medic, Chaplain, Band
– 1 (Off), 2* (EM)

5562-B (NY-223)
J.W. McAndrew
Military Police Platoon 26-ID
– 2 (Off), 67 (EM)

5562-C (NY-220)
Argentina
Det 726th Ord L. Maint Co
– 5 (Off), 1 (W.O), 122 (EM)

5562-C (NY-229)
Argentina
Det 726th Ord L. Maint Co
– 1 (Off), 6* (EM)

5562-D (NY-223)
J.W. McAndrew
26th Quartermaster Company
– 8 (Off), 172 (EM)

5562-E (NY-223)
J.W. McAndrew
39th Signal Company
– 6 (Off), 3 (W.O), 207 (EM)

5562-E (NY-229)
J.W McAndrew
Det 39th Signal Co
– 1 (Off), 15* (EM)

5562-F (NY-227)
Saturnia
101st Infantry Regiment w/att Medic & Chaplain
148 (Off), 5 (W.O), 3041 (EM)
Guard Detail : Dog Co, 6 (Off), 186 (EM)
Police : Fox Co, 6 (Off), 187 (EM)

5562-G (NY-220)
Argentina
104th Infantry Regiment attached Medic, Chaplain
– 148 (Off), 5 (W.O), 3042 (EM)

5562-H (NY-222)
Henry Gibbins
Det 328th Infantry Regiment w/att Medic, Chaplain, Hq & Hq Co
– 14 (Off), 1 (W.O), 90 (EM)
Service Company
– 10 (Off), 4 (W.O), 94 (EM)
AT Company
– 7 (Off), 152 (EM)
Cannon Company
– 5 (Off), 109 (EM)
Regt Medic Det, Hq Section
– 4 (Off), (29 (EM)
3rd Battalion Section
– 2 (Off), 32 (EM)
3rd Battalion
– 34 (Off), 824 (EM)
Guard Detail : Mike Company, 8 (Off), 152 (EM)

5562-H (NY-223)
J.W. McAndrew
2nd Bn 328th Infantry Regiment
– 34 (Off), 824 (EM)
Section Regt Medic 2/328
– 2 (Off), 32 (EM)
Guard Detail : How Company, 8 (Off), 152 (EM)

5562-J (NY-229)
Saturnia
Det Hq & Hq Btry 26-ID Arty w/att Medic & Chaplain
– 1 (Off), 5* (EM)

5562-K (NY-229)
Saturnia
Det 101st FA Bn w/att Medic
– 1 (Off), 4* (EM)

5562-L (NY-229)
Argentina
Det 102nd Field Artillery Battalion attached Medic
– 30 (Off), 2* (W.O), 461 (EM)

5562-N (NY-223)
J.W. McAndrew
180th Field Arty Battalion w/att Medic
– 25 (Off), 2 (W.O), 450 (EM)
Police : Btrys B & C, 8 (Off), 204 (EM)

5562-N (NY-229)
J.W McAndrew
Det 180th Field Arty Bn w/att Medic
– 2 (Off), 32* (EM)

5562-M (NY-222)
Henry Gibbins
263rd Field Arty battalion w/att Medic
– 34 (Off), 824 (EM)
Police : Battery B, 5 (Off), 92 (EM)

5562-M (NY-229)
Henry Gibbins
Det 263rd Field Arty Bn w/att Medic
– 1 (Off), 4* (EM)

5562-P (NY-229)
Santa Maria
Det 101st Engineer Cbt Bn w/att Medic
– 1 (Off), 20* (EM)

5562-R (NY-220)
Argentina
114th Medical Battalion attached Chaplain
– 32 (Off), 2 (W.O), 404 (EM)

5562-S (NY-229)
Santa Maria
Det 114th Medic Bn w/att Chaplain
– 1 (Off), 39* (EM)

5562-T
Argentina
26th CIC Detachment
– 2 (Off), 5 (EM)

9599-A (NY-221)
George Washington
Det 104-ID, Hq & Hq Co, Hq Special Troops attached Medic & Band
– 39 (Off), 10 (W.O), 268 (EM), 4 (CIV)

9599-A (NY-221)
Ocean Mail
Det Hq & Hq Co, Hq Sp Trps, 104-IR
– 1* (EM)

9599-B (NY-221)
George Washington
Military Police Platoon 104-IR
– 2 (Off), 67 (EM)

9599-C (NY-221)
George Washington
804th Ord L. Maint Company
– 6 (Off), 1 (W.O), 124 (EM)

9599-C (NY-221)
Ocean Mail
Det 804th Ord L Maint Co
– 4* (EM)

9599-E (NY-221)
George Washington
104th Signal Co
– 7 (Off), 3 (W.O), 211 (EM)

9599-E (NY-221)
Ocean Mail
Det 104th Signal Company
– 1* (EM)

9599-G (NY-221)
George Washington
414th Infantry Regiment attached Medic & Chaplain
– 147 (Off), 5 (W.O), 3041 (EM)
Police : Baker & Charlie Cos, 12 (Off), 374 (EM)
Police : Dog Co, 8 (Off), 152 (EM)

9599-H (NY-221)
George Washington
Det 415th Infantry Regiment w/att Medic & Chaplain
3rd Battalion, 415th infantry Regiment
– 34 (Off), 824 (EM)
3rd Battalion Medic Regt Section
– 2 (Off), 32 (EM)

9599-L (NY-221)
George Washington
386th Field Arty Battalion w/att Medic
– 32 (Off), 1 (W.O), 461 (EM)
Guard Detail : 32 (Off), 1 (W.O), 461 (EM)

9599-N (NY-221)
Ocean Mail
387th Field Arty Battalion w/att Medic
– 28 (Off), 1 (W.O), 482 (EM)

9599-M (NY-221)
George Washington
929th Field Arty battalion w/att Medic
– 32 (Off), 1 (W.O), 461 (EM)

9599-R (NY-221)
George Washington
329th Medical Battalion w/att Chaplain
– 34 (Off), 405 (EM)

9599-S (NY-221)
George Washington
104th Recon troop Mecz
– 6 (Off), 124 (EM)

9599-T (NY-221)
George Washington
104th CIC Det
– 2 (Off), 5 (EM)

* Personnel are vehicle drivers

The archive bellow was sent to me by Sgt James “Jim’ Haahr (USA)
101st Infantry Regiment, 26th Infantry Division 1944-1945.

Headquarters 26th infantry Division
APO 26, US Army
February 1 1945

Letter, Hq III Corps, January 25 1945
Subject : Commendation
To : All Officers and Enlisted Men

I desire to express to each member of this command my sincere appreciation for the aggressive and courageous action which merited the enclose commendation from our Army and Corps Commanders.

When you initially attacked for seven days and nights without halting for rest, you met and defeated more than twice your own number. Tour advance required the enemy to turn fresh divisions against you, and you in turn hacked them to pieces as you ruthlessly cut your way deep into the flank of the ‘Bulge’. Yours feats of daring and endurance in the sub-freezing weather and snow-clad mountains and gorges of Luxembourg are legion; your contribution to the relief of Bastogne was immeasurable. It was particularly fitting that the elimination of the ‘Bulge’ should find the Yankee Division seizing and holding firmly on the same line held by our forces prior to the breakthrough.

I am proud of this feat by you all as well as those you performed earlier. We shall advance on Berlin together.

W. S. Paul
Major General, US Army
Commanding

Headquarters III Corps
Office of the Commanding General
APO 303, US Army
January 25 1945

200.6 GNNCG
Subject : Commendation.
To : Commanding General 26th Infantry Division, APO 26 US Army

1. The following letter from the Army Commander is quoted to all III Corps units which participated in the relief of Bastogne.

Headquarters Third United States Army
Office of the Commanding general
APO 403

January 20 1945
Subject : Commendation
To : Commanding General, Officers and Men of the III Corps, APO 303, US Army

1. The speed with which the III Corps assembled, and the energy, skill and Persistency with which it pressed its attack for the relief of Bastogne, constitute a very noteworthy feat of arms.

2. You and the officers and men of your Command are hereby highly commended for a superior performance.

3. You will apprise all units concerned of the contents of this letter.

/s/ G. S. Patton, Jr.
/t/ G. S. Patton, Jr.
Lieut. General, US Army
Commanding

2. The Corps Commander is gratified to transmit the Army’s Commander’s commendation to this units of Corps troops and divisions participating in the relief of Bastogne. The uncertainty of the enemy situation, the stubborn enemy resistance, the disregard for losses and the team work which all units displayed in gaining the goal of relieving Bastogne were the contributing factors that made the operations such an outstanding victory, and will be highly valued in the history of each unit.

3. The Corps Commander adds his commendation for the performance of this task well done.

4. The contents of this letter will be made known to all officers and enlisted men of your organizations at the earliest practicable time.

/s/ John Millikin
/t/ John Millikin
Major General, US Army
Commanding

Submitted by Mark Trobough (USA) on April 12 2018

T/Sgt James C. Haahr’s (Charlie 1-101/26-YD) account (shown here with his permission)

The 26th Infantry Division, with the 101st Infantry Regiment aboard the ship Saturnia, arrived at Cherbourg on September 8, 1944. The YD was the first division to arrive in France without debarking in the UK. We anchored in the outer harbor among lots of ruins and sunken ships. We went over the side of the ship with helmet, rifle and 50 lb. pack on nets with rope steps into landing craft which were bobbing around beneath us sometimes separated from the rope net and ship side by 3-4 feet.

Not fun. Went to a long concrete mooring strip with steps cut into the side up which we scampered to load into 2 1/2 ton trucks which drove off the area not through the city or what was left of it and in the midst of a harbor with tremendous damage We drove off in columns of trucks not much to see and traveled I do not remember how far down the Cotentin Peninsula to where tents were established and the regiment settled in. The largest city of the Cotentin is Carentan. While there, the 101-IR was in reserve to guard against any attempts by German troops to get to France from Jersey or Guernsey in the Channel. Lots of training and lessons learned by other divisions before us.

Mark Trobough : my grandfathers account.
He was one of the first wave of replacements to join the 2-101 following the carnage on Hill 310 on November 8-9 1944, left New York in early October and arrived in Glasgow, Scotland 8 days later. He arrived in France in very late October. Here is his account of that arrival. I’m posting this for the enjoyment and historical enrichment of the EUCMH’s Knowledge Data Base.

Early the next morning the ship got underway, from Southampton, and by mid-afternoon we sighted the coast of Normandy. The shoreline was strewn with debris and wreckage that gave mute evidence of the fierce fighting that took place here on June 6. We anchored about a half-mile from shore and soon the landing craft came alongside. The swells were rather heavy and the landing craft would rise and fall five or six feet alongside the ship, which made transferring rather difficult. The landing nets were thrown over the side and we started climbing down with full packs and rifles. We would wait until a swell would bring the landing craft up and then we would jump into the craft. One misstep and you could fall into the water between the ship and landing craft and be crushed to death. When we reached the shore we jumped into waist-deep water, waded ashore and set foot on historic Omaha Beach.

The Normandy coast at this point had a narrow strip of sandy beach which merged into steep bluffs. We arduously climbed these bluffs and came out on a flat area that stretched for miles. We marched past a newly made cemetery covered with neat rows of white crosses marking the last resting place of thousands of men who fell during the invasion. Soon a cold drizzling rain set in and we halted and set up pup tents. [Name withheld] and I set up our tent and made a ditch around it to keep the inside dry. After eating our issue of Spam, we crawled inside and settled down for a chilly, miserable night.

Early the next morning we were loaded on trucks and driven to Carentan. We were assembled in the marketplace in the center of the town to await the arrival of trucks to take us to our next destination. While waiting there, a young girl came down the street with a basket of eggs on her arms. Apparently she had a call from nature, for she set down her basket, lifted her skirts and proceeded to turn over the gravel [James : have you ever heard that phrase?]. All of the men stood there bug-eyed and slack-jawed. Then they began to whistle and yell. Undisturbed, she straightened her dress, picked up her basket and walked on down the street.

26th Infantry Division – Brief Diary
Capt James C. Popham (Asst G-3) – Capt John O. Dickerson (Asst G-3)
Interviewer : 1/Lt W. J. Dunkerley
Date : January 11 1945.

November 8 1944 : Captured Moyenvic and Vic sur Seille. The 328th Infantry attacked at 0700 following a 3) minute artillery preparation cleared Bezange la Petite as well as Moncourt, 2000 meters to the South-East.

November 9 1944 : At 0900, Task Fore A crossed at Moyenvic and attacked full North in the direction of Morville-lès-Vic and Hampont. Cleared Morville-lès-Vic under heavy artillery fire, advanced to the high ground northeast of Hampont. On the left flank, the 104th Infantry cleared two-thirds of Château-Salins.

November 10 1944 : The 101-IR and the 104-IR continued the attack against medium resistance. Château-Salins was finally captured and this allowed the 4th Armored Division to pass through the Yankee Division

November 11 1944 : A counter attack by the 11.Panzer-Division on the positions of the 1/104-IR at Rodalbe was broken by artillery and direct fire from attached AAA Battalion. The Haboudange Forest, Obrek and the high ground East of Hampont were secured. The 3/328-IR and 3/101-IR began clearing the Koecking Forest. Then 101-IR, plus Task Force B, plus the 3/328-IR attached, protected the division right flank and mopped up to the vicinity of Hill 310.

November 12 1944 : The 104-IR, with CCA (4-AD), advanced slowly to the North-East against heavy resistance. At 1500, the 3/104 received a violent counter attack of enemy infantry supported by tanks. The 328-IR cleared the Koecking Forest, but meet resistance at the Bérange Farm (Beringen). The Ballation was held abreast behind a farm because of intense fire from pillbox emplacements and heavy automatic weapons fire. The 101-IR attacked and successfully against Saint-Médard. The troops received heavy concentration of direct artillery fire from the southeast. The 2nd Cavalry moved up to Hill 310 and relieved the 101-IR.

November 13 1944 : The 26-ID attack was slowing down. The 3/104, on north flank of the division counter attacked by heavy infantry and armor attack. Meanwhile, the 328-IR was meeting heavy resistance in the Koecking Forest.



November 14 1944 : Today, the division attacked with little progress. The 104-IR maintained the line along the Conthil – Lidrezing road. The 101-IR was held in reserve. The 328-IR attacked, three battalions abreast, making progress in the Koecking Forest.

November 15 1944: The 104-IR was holding his positions. The 328-IR broke defensive positions along the lateral road through the Koecking Forest. The 101-IR, with the assistance of the 2nd Cavalry, put patrols into Haraucourt and Marsal.

November 16 1944 : The 104-IR was still holding his positions. The 328-IR completed the clearance of the Koecking Forest. The 2nd Cavalry occupied without opposition Juvelize, Lezay, Ley, Blanche-Eglise and Hill 257.

(Period-Illustration) French commandos support a 5th French Armored Division M4 Sherman tank during the liberation of Belfort, France on November 20, 1944
(Period-Illustration) French commandos support a 5th French Armored Division M4 Sherman tank during the liberation of Belfort, France on November 20, 1944

November 17 1944 : The 26-ID regrouped and took positions on the MLR (Main Line of Resistance) prepared to attack the Guebling – Bénestroff line. The 2nd Cavalry cleared Mulcey and Haut de Croix.

November 18 1944 : The Division attacked at 0800 preceded by one thirty minute counter battery fire and thirty minute artillery preparation. The 101 and 104-IRs advanced against heavy resistance but penetrated the enemy MLR.

November 19 1944 : The 328-IR attacked at 0700 preceded by a thirty minute artillery preparation on Dieuze. Heavy resistance was met the the town of Kerprich and Guestroff were secured. The 101 and 104-IRs, continued to attack against heavy resistance but failed to take Bourgalstroff and Bénestroff.

(Period-Illustration) Val C. Pope served with a US Army Signal Corps company during World War II. He was one of the first combat cameramen to make it ashore on D-Day. He landed on Omaha Beach with still photographer Walter Rosenblum sometime during the morning of June 6th.
(Period-Illustration) Val C. Pope served with a US Army Signal Corps company during World War II. He was one of the first combat cameramen to make it ashore on D-Day. He landed on Omaha Beach with still photographer Walter Rosenblum sometime during the morning of June 6th.

November 20 1944 : The 328-IR supported by the 51-AIB and the 761-TB attacked Dieuze, seized the town without opposition, secured the high ground North of Dieuze. The 101-IR broke through to Torcheville and Lhor. The 104-IR cleared Bénestroff and Marimont-lès-Bénestroff and advanced to Montdidier.

November 21 1944 : Tne 104-IR seized Montdidier and positions overlooking Albestroff. The 328-IR (motorized) moved to Nébing for an attack on Munster and Honskirch. The Advance of the 101-IR on Insviller was impeded by flooded condition of the Rode River.

November 22 1944 : The 104-IR advanced slowly against heavy resistance and secured high ground South-East of Albestroff. The 101-IR began clearance of the Fénétrange Forest North of Saar Canal. The 328-IR reached Munster.

(Period Illustration) P-38-J Lightning 42-67780 Mary Rose II, (Pilot) 2/Lt Roy Smith of the 485th FS 370th FG at Florennes Juzaine Airfield A-78 Belgium, November 1944
(Period Illustration) P-38-J Lightning 42-67780 Mary Rose II, (Pilot) 2/Lt Roy Smith of the 485th FS 370th FG at Florennes Juzaine Airfield A-78 Belgium, November 1944

November 23 1944 : The division makes slow progress in the entire zone. The 104-IR clears Albestroff.

November 24 1944 : The division readjusts positions and constructs bridges for the supply routes.

November 25 1944 : The 101-IR cleared the Bonne-Fontaine Woods, Vibersviller against heavy resistance and secured the high ground overlooking Altwiller. The 328-IR secured the high ground in the vicinity of Honskirch. The 104-IR pinched out by the 328-IR and elements of the 35th Infantry Division.

(Period Illustration) At Cattenom, France, American artillery and vehicles of the 90th Infantry Division prepare to cross the flooded Moselle River via a newly constructed treadway bridge - November 1944. (US Army Signal Corps )
(Period Illustration) At Cattenom, France, American artillery and vehicles of the 90th Infantry Division prepare to cross the flooded Moselle River via a newly constructed tread-way bridge – November 1944.

November 26 1944 : The positions of the units were reorganized for the attack against permanent entrenchments and fortifications extending across the division zone from Honskirch to Altwiller. The 101-IR patrolling the South flank on the Saar Canal.

November 27 1944 : The 101-IR secured Altwiller. George Co, 328-IR broke the defenses of Honskirch.

November 28 1944 : The 26-ID advanced without resistance. The 104-IR occupied Le-Val-de-Guéblange.

(Period-Illustration) US M-10 Tank Destroyer Wolverine of the 2nd French Armored Division in Halloville France November 1944
(Period-Illustration) US M-10 Tank Destroyer Wolverine of the 2nd French Armored Division in Halloville France November 1944

November 29 1944 : The 101-IR occupied Bissert, relieved by 328-IR, moved to Wolfkirchen in preparation to launching attack in conjunction with 4-AD and seize Saare-Union. The 328 and the 104-IRs defended their positions and patrolled the sector.

November 30 1944 : The Division made plans and reconnaissance for an attack on the town of Saare-Union.

December 1 1944 : The 101-IR attacking South of Saare-Union. Item Co entered the town but withdrew for night security. The 104-IR moved to Wolfkirchen to support the 101-IR. The 328-IR held its positions.

(Period-Illustration) Captured Hetzer Halloville France 1944
(Period-Illustration) Captured Hetzer Halloville France 1944

December 2 1944 : 1/101, supported by a battalion of the 104-IR cleared and occupied Saare-Union. The 101-IR pushed up to close the escape routes from Saare-Union to the east.

December 3 1944 : The 26-YD out posting Saare-Union received a strong counter attack in the town.

December 4 1944
: The 101-IR moved to Oermingen behind the 4-AD. The 328-IR secured the North flank of Division above Saare-Union.

(Period-Illustration) German machine gunner lies next to his MG-42 weapon during fighting with advancing British and US troops in north eastern France, November 1944
(Period-Illustration) German machine gunner lies next to his MG-42 weapon during fighting with advancing British and US troops in north eastern France, November 1944

December 5 1944 : The 328 and the 104-IRs passed through the 101-IR to take position for an assault on the Maginot Line Defenses at Wittring and Achen.

December 5-6 1944 : Preparations for the attack on the Maginot Line.

December 7 1944 : Artillery preparation, Air attack, and patrolling along the Maginot Line Fortresses.

December 8 1944 : The 104-IR seized 4 Maginot Line Bunkers at Achen. The 328-IR unsuccessfully attacked some other Maginot Line Bunker at Wittring with the 4-AD on the right flank relieved by the 12-AD.

December 9 1944 : The 328-IR completed the capture of fortresses at Wittring. The Division advanced to Gros-Réderching and in the vicinity Bois Brucken where the 328-IR was counter attacked. The 101-IR relieved by one Regiment of the 87-ID began movement to Metz.

December 10-11 1944 : The 104 and the 328-IRs attacked to clear the Bois Brucken. The 346-IR (87-ID) relieved the 104-IR during the evening.

December 12 1944 : The 328-IR (26-ID) attacking with the 346-IR (87-ID) for the German border. The 1/328 met heavy resistance but crossed the border and entered Germany. The 347-IR relieved the 328-IR that evening. The 26-ID began movement to Metz.

Destroyed Wirbelwind, Metz, France, December 1944
Destroyed Wirbelwind, Metz, France, December 1944

Loraine Campaign
26th Infantry Division
Operations October 5 1944 to December 13 1944

The first elements of the 26th Infantry Division arrived at Hoéville (Meurthe-et-Moselle), on October 5 1944. The main elements moved from Valognes by way of Fontainebleau and arrived in the vicinity of Hoéville, on October 10 1944. On October 12, the Division officially took over command of the sector which was then held by the 4th Armored Division. At that time, the 101/26 and 104/26-IRs were with the Division and the month of October was spent in defensive warfare. Lines were straightened and units in the line were relieved by new units of the Division. On October 15, the 328/26 was relieved from attachment to the 80th Infantry Division and moved to Bezange-la-Petite where it was placed under the command of the 26-ID. Patrolling by the 42nd Cavalry Recon Squadron on October 20 beyond the Division’s MLR resulted in local night gains of 2000 yards on the Division’s South flank.

On October 22, the 104 and the 101-IRs attacked and seized high ground between Bezange-la-Petite and Moncourt. There was a change of sectors between the 104 and the 328-IRs on October 24. The remainder of the month was spent in relieving and relocating troops on the MLR (Main Line of Resistance). The first seven days of November were occupied with defensive action similar to that of October. Additional training was carried on, including special work width flame throwers.

On November 8, at 0600, the 26-YD participated in the large Allied Offensive begun that month. Preceded by artillery preparation of the Division and Corps Artillery, the 104-IR advanced rapidly toward Vic-sur-Seille. The 101-IR attacked toward Moyenvic. The 328-IR jumped off at 0720 and cleared Bezange-la-Petite and Moncourt. The 2nd Cavalry Group protected the right flank of the Division and the 26th Recon Troop screened the left flank and maintained contact with the 35th Infantry Division.

On the first day of the drive one of the outstanding actions of the campaign took place. This was the capture of Moyenvic and Hill 310. Capt John O. Dickerson, S-3, related that the 2/101 jumped off at 0800 November 8 after a tremendous artillery preparation and advanced across an open ground. The companies were in column, George, Easy, Fox and Howe, heading north toward Moyenvic. The estimated enemy holding the town was of battalion strength. Enemy fire consisted of small arms, mortars, and six 75-MM. The town the was enveloped at first. Fox-101 moved around to the left (West) and swam the Seille River; Easy-101 moved around the town to the right (East), with some of the elements using a foot bridge which had not been blown and the remainder of the company crossing the river. Before the town was cleared (at 2130) Easy-101 on the right and Fox-101 on the left attacked Hill 310. This Hill was the South-West extension of a long ridge held by the Germans. Hill 310, was take on November 9 at 0930, but the enemy still held high ground to the North-East which extended to the Forest in Val-de-Bride as well as the Forest in Haut-de-Koecking.

On November 10, the 101 and 104-IRs continued the attack and met only medium resistance during the clearing of Château-Salins. On November 12, the 101-IR secured Saint-Médard. On November 16, Blanche-Eglise, Juvelize, Lezey and Ley were secured. On November 17, Haut-de-la-Croix then Mulcey, were taken. On November 18, the formation was the 101-IR to the left, the 104-IR to the right and the 328-IR in reserve. On November 19, the 328-IR secured Kerprich-lès-Dieuze, Guénestroff and Guébestroff. On November 20, the 101-IR and the 3/328-IR seized Torcheville and 81 POWs during a night attack. On the following day, the 104-IR seized Montdidier and the 328-IR advanced to Munster (France).

On November 26, the Division took up defensive positions temporarily, from Honskirch to Altwiller, and on the next day, the 101-IR occupied the latter town while Charlie 328 took the former. On November 29, the 101 occupied the Le Freiwald Wood, the 104 took Gueblange, Dentzviller, and Kirviller. Later, that day, the 101 took also Bisset. November 30, the final plans for the attack on Sarre Union by the 101 were made and on December 1, at 0900, the 26-ID attacked northeast to seize Sarre Union. Heavy tanks, artillery and mortar fire were used. At dusk, elements of the 3/101 entered the town, but were forced to withdraw to the hight ground to the south. On December 2, the 104 on the left and the 101 on the right took Rimsdorf and Saarwerden. on December 4, Sarre Union was cleared. On December 5, the 101 and the 104 seized Oermingen, Voelleringen, Kespastel and Herbitzheim. The Division’s gains on this day were greater than for any other single day’s operations since the Lorraine Campaign had begun.

On December 6, the Maginot line of Fortresses was reached. Writting and Kalhausen were entered. The 101 was in the vicinity of Oermingen. On December7, the 101 took Etting while the 328 took the Schlosswald and the Muhlenwald Forests. On December8, Achen and the Maginot line bunkers in the area were seized by the 104 after a thirty minute artillery preparation and straffing by the 405 and 362 Fighter Bomber Groups. The 328 was then at Le Grand Bois. On the 10 or december, the 101 moved back to Metz; the 328 cleared the Blies Woods. Bruchen was not cleared due to heavy tank and infantry fire. On December 11, the 104 was relieved by the 346/87-ID. On the 13, the 87-ID assumed command of the 26-ID’s zone.




(NB : Published for Good – March 2019)
Note that Jim Haahr has published a book about his WW2 unit and experiences. See below.

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