28TH INFANTRY REGIMENT (8TH DIV.)
18 Nov. - 30 Nov. 1944
HEADQUARTERS, 28TH INFANTRY
APO #8 U.S. Army
18 November 1944.
The Combat Team moved by motor from the vicinity of Wiltz, Luxembourg to the vicinity of Vossenack, Germany. This marked the first time that the bulk of the Regiment entered Germany since World War I. The relief of the 109th Infantry was started upon arrival of the 1st and 3rd Battalions in the assembly area. This relief commenced at 1930. At 2400 the 1st and 3rd Battalions had almost completed the relief. 9Regiment CP received mortar and artillery fire periodically).
The troops de-trucked at 987314, and marched to the Battalion assembly area. Battalion motor pools were established in rear areas halfway between field train and front lines. Storage plans, space for individual clothing and excess supplies should be made immediately upon receiving orders for a move of this magnitude and mission.
19 November 1944.
Relief of 1st and 3rd Battalion completed 0110. The 109th Infantry Battalions closed in their assembly area at 0400. The 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry was in position to effect the relief of the 2nd Battalion, 109th Infantry, the night of 19-20 November at 2400 19 November 1944.
Light casualties were suffered by all Battalions due to mortar and artillery fire coming from three sides. Carrying parties will be necessary to supply the 1st Battalion and possibly the 2nd Battalion. Continued shelling of CP. Antitank Company swapped guns with 109th, all were in exposed positions.
20 November 1944.
The enemy was very active all night and day and artillery was very heavy especially in the Vossenack area. Antitank mine platoon given orders to clear AP mines in 1st Battalion sector. A meeting was held at 1400 at which time the Commanding Officer gave the plan for the employment of the 121st Infantry. They will attack through the 12th Infantry and seize and hold Hürtgen and Kleinhau. 70 or 80 Germans attempted to attack the 1st Battalion but were met by heavy fire and withdrew.
Artillery shells fall at the rate of one per minute in the vicinity of Vossenack. It was estimated that over 2700 rounds. It is very evident that the enemy has a great amount of artillery massed in front of us and due to the fact that the weather is so poor and visibility practically nil, visual observation of this artillery is out of the question. It is absolutely impossible for our artillery liaison planes to fly in this weather.
21 November 1944.
Artillery fire was very heavy especially in the 1st and 3rd Battalion sectors. The 1st Battalion hit an enemy pocket behind their lines and after a firefight fought their way clear and captured 10 PW's. It is evident that the enemy has an organized group behind our lines north of Vossenack. The supply situation is a tough nut to crack. It must all be done under the cover of darkness and it is impossible to use a vehicle, therefore a carrying party is necessary. The right Battalion of the 121st Infantry reported to be on their initial objective so a patrol from our 1st Battalion and one from the Ranger Battalion was sent to make contact. As this contact could not be gained we moved Company B of 2nd Ranger Battalion between the 121st Infantry and our 1st Battalion to protect the right flank of the 121st Infantry. It became apparent today that the liquidation of the enemy pocket behind our 1st Battalion was imperative. Due to their presence in that area the Engineers found it impossible to build a supply road for the 1st Battalion.
22 November 1944.
The weather was a dreary repetition of the past few days. A driving rain making visibility negligible and the roads ankle deep in mud. Road repair is a constant operation and it is necessary to keep a wrecker in a central location. The 2nd Battalion readjusted their lines and pulled Company G on the north side of the 13th Infantry - 28th Infantry boundary. This was done right after dark and the 13th old position of Company G in their zone. Plans were made to clean out enemy pocket behind the 1st Battalion, Company I is attached to the 1st Battalion to do this job. Later, Division Headquarters advised us that they were attaching the 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry to us to clean out the pocket and at 1930 the Commanding Officer of this Battalion reported to the CP to get his order. He felt sure the job could be done in one day. The plan was for Company I, 28th Infantry to "beat" the area south of the fire-head we use for a supply trail, starting at the eastern end and beating to the west. The 1st battalion, 13th Infantry would clean the area north of the trail. This plan was agreed upon present and was to go into effect at dawn the 23rd of November. It was reported at 2100 that the Regimental Mine Platoon had been ambushed in this sector by a patrol armed with machine guns and a flame thrower. The platoon leader and 5 men were missing. This tended to heighten the importance of closing out this area.
The artillery received during the day was again very heavy and about 2000 rounds were received in Vossenack area and a like amount in the 1st Battalion sector.
23 November 1944.
Company I, 28th Infantry and the 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry moved into their temporary assembly area without casualties at 0645. Company I moved out on their mission. The 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry sent patrols out at 0645. Company I reported that they were making very slow progress as they are running into AP mines. They hit small groups of enemy from time to time and reported that they had liquidated them. At 1216 Company reported that they had completed sweeping the woods from east to west and that they had captured 50 PW's. Meanwhile , the 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry had started out on their mission and were advancing very slowly. At 1500 we received a report that this Battalion was receiving heavy artillery fire and as a result heavy casualties were suffered; at 1600 the Commanding Officer of this Battalion requested his Battalion be relieved as they were all shot up. The Regimental Commanding Officer told him to reorganize in place and be prepared to continue the attack in the morning with the aid of Company A, 28th Infantry to finish the mission.
Company I later reported that while beating through the woods from west to east they had captured 46 more prisoners making a total of 96 for Company I for the day. At 2045 higher headquarters relieved the 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry from attachment and was given orders to return the Battalion to the 13th Infantry area.
Company E beat off a counter-attack from their front after quite a fire fight. Artillery continued to be heavy and the concentrations in Vossenack were still as heavy as the three days previous. Our liaison planes are still grounded and observation continues to be poor.
24 November 1944.
The 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry returned to their own area prior to dawn without any casualties being inflicted. Company A was given the mission of continuing the search in the area north of the supply road to try to locate any enemy pockets that might have been been left. Artillery in Vossenack was not quite as heavy as on previous days with only about 800 rounds landing in that area. The Engineers wee still having trouble clearing the firebreak so we can use it for a supply trail with vehicles rather than by carrying parties. Contact with 121st infantry on the left was maintained constantly. Rain and mud were still trying to the men and visibility was generally poor.
25 November 1944.
Continued mission of defending sector against enemy. Very little patrol activity today, but the enemy artillery was still pouring it out in force especially in the 1st Battalion sector. The roads are still muddy and the Engineers mine sweeping is much more important than working on roads. The 2nd Battalion is constantly working on the road which goes by their CP. Contact is still being maintained with the 3rd Battalion of the 121st Infantry on the left.
26 November 1944.
Slight patrol activity by our troops. Sporadic firing by enemy artillery and mortars. Plans being made to exchange positions between the 1st and 3rd Battalions to give the 1st Battalion some relief from the elements, relief to be effected the night of 27 - 28 November 1944.
During the afternoon the 1st and 2nd Battalions sent patrols to ascertain enemy positions and strength. After darkness the 3rd Battalion sent patrols to cross the valley and determine presence and activity of the enemy. Usual intermittent firing after dark by enemy artillery.
27 November 1944.
At 0155 the 3rd battalion reported their patrols contacted the enemy but were forced to withdraw in face of his machine gun fire from both flank positions. Artillery fire continued throughout the night.
At 1050 thy 1st Battalion patrol contacted flank of 121st Infantry. It is believed enemy is withdrawing artillery and infantry to prepared positions, PW's continue to confirm this report. Contact was maintained with 121st Infantry throughout the day.
At 1930 the relief or exchange of positions by the 1st and 3rd Battalions started and proceeded smoothly. At 1700 enemy was reported by the I & R platoon as leaving Hürtgen, however, 121st patrols were fired on after dark when entering the town. This was the best day for weather in a long time.
28 November 1944.
Relief complete except Company L which was to relieve Company B with daylight approaching this deemed advisable. Active patrolling by our troops all day to determine enemy installations and formation. Patrols encountered enemy and engaged in a small arms fire fight. Company B was relieved by Company L as scheduled. Usual sporadic artillery fire. The 1st Battalion received a mortar barrage later in the evening, casualties were light.
29 November 1944.
L and K Companies moved out and encountered enemy mine fields, cleared paths and engaged in small arms fire fight. Company L and Company K continued the advance capturing several prisoners. At 1530 L Company accomplished their mission in their area and suffered light casualties. The 2nd Battalion outposted line as per fragmentary orders and receive mortar and artillery fire. 12th Engineers continued to work on supply routes. Physical contact was maintained with the 121st Infantry.
Carrying parties are still being used to get supplies to the 3rd Battalion which replaced the 1st Battalion. Weather was generally good and visibility had improved over previous day.
30 November 1944.
Sporadic artillery fire continued during the night, the 1st Battalion reported some casualties. The 1st Battalion was given the mission to clear enemy out of houses east of Vossenack. The 3rd Battalion given mission to gain contact with 3rd Battalion 121st Infantry on their left. The Battalion outposted the draw running northeast to southwest between present position and Vossenack.
By 1315 the 1st Battalion reported their mission completed but were counter-attacked from the woods on the southeast and forced a slight withdrawal of our troops and the enemy occupied four houses in the east end of the town at 1900. The 3rd Battalion secured their outpost line, taking some prisoners by 1600.
At 1800 a warning order was received for the Regiment and the plan for the attack was for the Regiment to attack, three Battalions on line. The 3rd Battalion to secure the high ground west of Brandenberg, the 2nd and 1st Battalions to secure line "CC", see Field Order #23 for dispositions.