47TH ARMORED INFANTRY BATTALION (5TH ARMD. DIV.)
HEADQUARTERS 47TH ARMORED INFANTRY BATTALION
|SUBJECT :||Action Against Enemy, Reports After.|
|TO :||Commanding General, 5th Armored Division
APO 255, US Army.
- In compliance with Ltr. Hq 5th Armd Div., 19 Oct 44, Subj: Action Against Enemy, Reports After, the following report for period 1 Nov 44 to 30 Nov 44 is submitted.
- This command for period covered by this report unless otherwise stated herein after, consisted of the 47th Armd Inf Bn., minus Company's A and C plus Company B, 10th Tank Battalion.
- Campaigns: Western Europe
- Commanding Officers during period covered:
- Lt. Col. HOWARD E. BOYER Inf 0218680 Bn Comdr
- 1st Lt. KENNETH A. PETERS Inf 0439608 Hq Co Comdr
- Capt. DOUGLAS G. CORNER Inf 01283029 Serv Co Comdr
- Capt. ROBERT T. GRAY MC 0470066 Med Det Bn Surg since 1330 6 Nov 44
- 1st Lt. DANIEL WIERSMA Inf 0444166 Co A Comdr since 1330 29 Nov 44
- 1st Lt. RICHARD S. LEWIS Inf 0446924 Co B Comdr since 1630 23 Nov 44
- 1st Lt. JAMES P. PAINTER Inf 0447044 Co C Comdr since 1130 29 Nov 44.
- 1st Lt. LEWIS R. ROLLINS Inf 01016668 Co B 10th Tk Bn Comdr
since 1300 25 Nov 44
- Losses in Action: Killed Off 2; EM 15; Wounded Off 7; EM 140; Missing Off 0; EM 3; Known captured: None
- Campaigns: Western Europe
(1) On 1 Nov 44, we continued holding a sector of the Höfen-Alzen area until relieved by the 15th Armored Infantry Battalion at 1730A. The period of 2nd Nov 44 to 25 Nov 44, no contact with the enemy. At 0800 on 25th Nov 44, our "B" Co supported by "B" Co 10th Tank Bn., jumped off to seize Hürtgen. The enemy had the area in front of Hürtgen heavily mined and booby trapped. The two Companies were unable to take the town and requested more infantrymen. Companies A and C were committed later in the day. During the early morning hours of 26th Nov 44, we withdrew from the line to re-organize leaving a small force, one platoon from Co C, under 1st Lt. JAMES P. PAINTER to guard the disabled tanks until recovered. From 26 Nov 44 to 30 Nov 44, no contact made with the enemy.
One PW was taken; two killed; 1 anti-tank gun knocked out; one probably knocked out and the number of vehicles knocked out is unknown.
On 29 Nov 44, the Company Commanders of Company A and C working under command of 10th Tank Battalion were reported as casualties. Capt. LEO R. MARClKOWSKI, commanding Company C, was slightly wounded and evacuated at approximately 1130 on 29th Nov while his Company was attacking Kleinhau, Germany. At this time 1st Lt. JAMES P. PAINTER, assumed command of the Company.
Capt. JOE M. BEISENSTEIN, commanding Company A was killed in action while commanding his Company in the attack on Kleinhau, Germany at approximately 1330, 29th of Nov 44. At this time 1st Lt. DANIEL WIERSMA assumed command. Capt. JOE M. BEISENSTEIN and Capt. LEO R. MARClKOWSKI were in command of their Companies from 1 Nov 44 to date of casualty.
Capt. IRVING SIEGEL, Battalion Surgeon was evacuated to 75th Medical Battalion at approximately 1300 6th of Nov as a non-battle casualty. From the 75th Medical Battalion, Capt SIEGEL was evacuated further to the rear. Capt ROBERT T. GRAY, assumed command of the Medical Detachment and as Bn Surgeon. Capt. SIEGEL was in command of the Medical Detachment from 1 Nov 44 to date of illness and evacuation.
Capt. FRANK C. PASQUALINO, commanding Company B was evacuated as a non-battle casualty following day after being ill. Capt. PASQUALINO was evacuated approximately 1630 23rd of Nov 44 and 1st Lt. RICHARD S. LEWIS assumed command of the Company. Capt. PASQUALINO was in command of the Company from 1 Nov 44 until data of evacuation.
Capt. FRANK M. POOL, commanding Company B, 10th Tank Bn., was wounded and evacuated at approximately 1300 25th of Nov 44 while his Company was attacking the town of Hurtgen, Germany. 1st Lt. LEWIS R. ROLLINS assumed command of the Company. Capt. FRANK M POOL was in command of his Company from 1 Nov 44 to date of evacuation. of evacuation.
(1) Headquarters to which Unit was assigned or attached, Reserve Command 5th Armored Division.
(2) On 1 Nov. 44 , the 47th Armored Infantry Battalion, consisting of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Companies "A", "B" and "C", with 81 mm mortar platoon and one platoon of Company "B" 10th Tank Battalion attached was defending a line extending from Monschau, Germany to 1000 yards 3 south-east of Alzen Germany, a total frontage of approximately 4800 yards. At 0530 1 November 1944 a Company "C" outpost brought in two prisoners of war who had deserted from their position in front of our defensive line.
At 0700 1 Nov. 44, the 15th Armored Infantry Battalion commenced relieving our units in the line. At 1020A, the relief of Company "A" had been completed. The relief was executed in order A, B, C, with Headquarters Company and the Medical Detachment relief being executed concurrently with the other reliefs. The "B" Co. relief was completed at 1420, Medical Detachment 1205, Headquarters Company at 1515 and Company "C" at 1650. Following the completion of the relief of all Infantry Companies the tank platoon relief was effected. During the relief slight casualties were suffered by Companies "A" and "C" due to enemy shelling with mortars and artillery and the landing of one V-1 in Company "A" area. Complete relief at 1910A.
The Battalion then moved to a new assembly area in the vicinity of Schoppen Belgium at which time married formation was taken up. Our troops then consisted of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Company "B" all of the 47th Armored Infantry Battalion , and Company "B", 10th Tank Battalion. The above troops were closed in the new area at 2200A, 1 November 1044 with the CP location at 888995. On November 2nd the troops remained in the area and maintenance was performed on vehicles and equipment. Catholic church services were held in the vicinity of Faymonville, Belgium.
The unit remained in this area during the period 2 Nov 44 to 6 Nov 44 during which time training was carried on and movies were shown for certain percentages of the command daily in the village of Schoppen.
At 1500 on 6 Nov. 44 an alert order was received placing the unit on alert status of 4 hours with the probable mission of going north to the vicinity of Vossenack, Germany and assist the 28th Infantry Division in repelling an expected counterattack in that area. The Commanding Officer, and Battalion S-3 departed on a reconnaissance of that area with a party from the Combat Command Headquarters. The reconnaissance party was able to travel as far as Germeter at which point shelling was too heavy to advance farther. A visual reconnaissance was made of the Vossenack area, and the party returned to the bivouac area arriving at 0100 7 November 44. On the 7th of November 44 the alert status was called off.
On the 9th of Nov, an inspection was made of all gas masks in the Battalion to determine the shortage of equipment and the list of shortages was requisitioned. At 2000 on the 9th of Nov, word was received that the command was attached to VII Corps and a move could be expected. The unit was alerted at 1800 on the 10th of Nov, for a move on the 11th of Nov to a new assembly area north of Eupen, Belgium.
An advance reconnaissance and billeting party departed at 0330A on 11th of Nov. The unit began to depart from the present area at 0900. Much difficulty was encountered in getting vehicles out of the area to the hard surface road due to the muddy condition of the road into the area. Once the vehicles reached the road the march progressed in good order arriving at the new assembly area in the vicinity of Lontzen, Belgium (787341) at 1400A 11 Nov 44. All Companies closed in new area at 0800 12 Nov 44. On the 12th of Nov, the Commanding General, 5th Armored Division visited the area.
During the period 13 Nov 44 to 22nd Nov 44 inclusive, the unit remained in the assembly area in the vicinity of Lontzen, Belgium. During this period, plans were wade for future employment in the Hurtgen area. All men were oriented as to probable action and kept abreast of the situation in the Hurtgen forest. The sex morality lecture was given to the command and movies were shown daily in Lontzen.
Due to the poor condition of the present bivouac area it was decided on the 23rd of Nov to locate a new area. The move was started at 1700 A on the 23rd of Nov and closed in new area at 1730. CP located at 771328 north-west of Lontzen, Belgium. The following were the locations of the Companies, B Co's 770330, Hq & Hq Co 780327 and Med Det 780327.
At 1430A 24 Nov 44, the unit departed from the area to an intermediate assembly area in Roetgen, Germany. This unit had been assigned the mission of taking the village of Hurtgen, Germany. Arrived at the forward assembly area in Roetgen at 1615 and departed for the attack position at 2100. As special equipment the unit had attached one medium flail tank and one M-l6 anti-aircraft vehicle. Unit also had two platoons of Tank Destroyers attached from Company C, 628 TD Bn., and one platoon of engineers from Company C, 22nd Engr Bn. The plan of the attack was to send the infantry forward in half-tracks to a forward assembly area at (025348) where they were to dismount and move forward on foot. Half-tracks were to be guided to an assembly area by the I & R platoon of the 47th Armd Inf Bn. The tanks were to move forward so as to arrive at the line of departure at 0730. Line of departure was designated as the north edge of the Hurtgen forest along the road leading in to Hurtgen from the south-west.
The unit jumped off in the attack at 0730. Tanks advanced as far as the crater in the Hurtgen road. One tank attempted to go through the crater and was bogged down. The southern edge of Hurtgen was screened by smoke. Immediately upon the start of the attack intense and accurate artillery and mortar fire was encountered by our attacking troops. It was decided to span the crater with a treadway bridge. Much difficulty was encountered in the attempt to lay the treadway. Infantry was suffering heavy losses due to artillery and mortar fire and hundreds of anti-personnel mines. The Company Commander of B/10th Tank Bn., was wounded at beginning of the battle and Lt. Rollins assumed command. Treadway bridge was finally laid but found that they didn't have enough tread-way. Another load was sent up and laid with some difficulty as first load. Bridge was finally laid and first medium tank crossed it. Fifty feet beyond the bridge the leading tank hit a mine and was disabled. At 1015 the Commanding Officer requested more infantry and Company A, and C, 47th Armd Inf Bn., were started forward. The lead tank was hit by AT fire after it hit the mine. Another tank was sent forward to pull the lead tank out of the road and it was immediately knocked out. The road was completely blocked and it was decided to attempt to take the town with infantry. Request was put in for more smoke but the supply was finally exhausted. The Air Corps came in and worked over possible targets in Hurtgen. Claimed to have destroyed one tank.
Company C, 47th Armd Inf Bn., arrived in area and began an attack through B/47. Progress was well until they hit a mine field at edge of forest. Lost 7 men in 10 minutes to anti-personnel mines and swung to right to attempt to move up highway. Moved up the highway a few yards and were pinned down by machine gun fire from six machine guns and one AT gun firing direct fire at them. Continuous and accurate mortar and artillery fire was received. At this time an attempt was made to evacuate the disabled tanks but artillery fire was too intense and the attempt was unsuccessful.
Company C received order to withdraw to edge of forest and hold on the left of B/47.
At 2300 orders were received that the 47th Armd Inf Bn., was to withdraw from the Hurtgen Forest and move to an assembly area in Roetgen. Order of withdrawal A, B, and C Companies. Hq Co., to move to assembly area immediately. Withdrawal started at 0130 26 of Nov. All Companies withdrew from forest by 0700. Bn Hq., CP departed en-route to rear assembly area at Roetgen at 0730. Much difficulty had been encountered in bringing vehicles forward to troops due to the darkness and many were stuck in ditch en-route. Unit closed in assembly area at Roetgen at 0930 26 Nov 44. Troops were ordered to rest and clean up during day and commanders were to reorganize their Companies. At this time the unit consisted of troops of the 47th Armored Infantry Battalion only. At 1300 Commanding Officer CCR visited the CP in Roetgen and gave plans for future employment on the following day.
At 0830 27th Nov the unit was alerted for movement back to the Hurtgen area where the command again would take up the married formation. Departed for the forward area at 1045 and arrived at 1430 in the vicinity of the 13th Inf CP. (983311) A married formation was adapted and troops were dispersed along the highway. In the new formation the command consisted of Hq & Hq Co, 47th Armd Inf Bn., and B/47th and B/10th Tank Bn. The mission of the command was to be prepared to support the 10th Tank command in an attack on Kleinhau, Germany.
During the 28th and 29th of Nov the command remained dispersed on the highway with the CP at (983311). During the night of 29th-30th Nov., the tank retriever was sent forward to Hurtgen Forest and recovered two tanks belonging to B/10. One tank had been recovered by the 10th during the day of 28th of Nov. One tank which was blocking the road and had been burned was blown off the road by the Engrs in order to open the highway into Hurtgen.
During the day of the 30th of Nov the unit remained dispersed along the highway in the present locality awaiting further employment.
The supply section spent the first ten days of the month in re-supplying of all types of organizational equipment and clothing. Special attention was given to the securing of odds and ends which might mean convenience and comfort in later days of battle. Glass for windows in the CP wagon was very difficult to obtain and was finally obtained by salvaging from wrecked German vehicles. In the course of hunting, a tank for a portable power unit, and various odds and ends were found.
For the next fourteen days, this unit worked closer to CCR than ever before. Daily trips to Division Rear Echelon were made alternately by us and the 10th Tank Battalion. At first the mail was handled together with supplies, but the time element involved suggested the wiseness in divorcing mail from supply altogether. CCR set a schedule for the turn in of outgoing mail, sent mail trucks to rear and informed us upon arrival of new mail.
The receipt of the majority of the much needed overshoes was finally effected. The only great shortage now was in not receiving Prestone antifreeze for the vehicles. The S-4 section went forward with the Bn., on 25th of Nov 44 when the Bn was committed. This was found to be necessary in order to receive and distribute the supplies faster to Companies that requested them. The movement forward on foot by the infantry troops proved very forcibly the need for not only having the authorized number of reserve rations but that a portion must definitely be made up of emergency rations of the C and K variety.
In future battles, field recovery will be actively engaged in by this unit. Further a truck will be available to recover such items as are removed from the wounded at the Medical Detachment station. Further education received from this latest battle showed the need for re-supply of gasoline, ammunition, water, etc., must be a continuous proposition and that immediately upon withdrawal from contact with the enemy, a thorough re-supply of the above mentioned items must be made.
Prestone was finally received but only a fraction of that required.
No comments by Commanding Officer.
Lt Colonel, Infantry