I was with the first platoon of D. Co. in making the charge up Hill 400 on Dec. 7, 1944. The squads from the lst platoon of D. Co. and two platoons from F. Co. made the attack for the 2nd Rangers that morning. There was only 6 of us from my squad that made the assault. About 8 from the other squad. We called them Assault Sections in the Rangers. Infantry called them squads. Made of originally of 12 men. We lost over 65% casualties in the battle of Port of Brest in late August and early September l944 and did not get replacements. We were badly understrength but we were successful in taking the Hill from the Jerries.
Only 3 of us came off the Hill on the early morning hours of Dec. 9th.
Notice the steep slope of Hill 400
I was wounded on the morning of the 8th but hung in there as we had so few
A lot of Rangers were wounded and many died of wounds from shrapnel.
The days on Hill 400 were the most compelling days of my entire life!
~~~ Bud Potratz ~~~
lst Platoon Assault Section
In remembrance of Melvin G. "Bud" Potratz
Bud Potratz passed away on January 31, 2007, at the age of 81 year.