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"We Are Proud: History of Co. 'C' 260th Infantry"

[We Are Proud: History of Co. C, 260th Inf]   "We Are Proud: History of Co. 'C' 260th Infantry, Shelby to Linz" by Pfc Nick Catania was a short, informal WW2 remembrance booklet prepared by 260th Infantry Regiment, part of the 65th Infantry Division.

[For more information on the 65th Infantry on this website, see Photo Album: 65th Infantry Division and Right to be Proud: History of the 65th Division's March Across Germany.]



[We Are Proud: History of Co. C, 260th Infantry, Shelby to Linz]



"In the foxholes and pillboxes of each combat zone, in the jungles, hills, besieged towns and cities of all fighting fronts, every day is Infantry Day. There our ground soldiers, with indomitable skill and courage, have forced the best troops of the enemy into devastating defeat and delivered the final blow of each campaign, There they have been tested in the fiercest fire and have demonstrated for all time that free men, once aroused from their peaceful pursuits, have no superior on the field of battle."

Pray that God may watch over them in their hour of peril and guide them safely to their loved ones at home.

General of the Army.







[Officer Company C 260th Infantry]



It is with deep regret that I am forced to leave Company 'C' as our history is about to go to press. But it is a great pleasure to have this day by day report of our travels through the United States, France, Germany and Austria, as a treasured remembrance. This is our history, men . . . written the way you want it . . . the way you did everything . . . the way it actually happened.

We have every reason to be proud of our gang . . . the kind of men that fight together on the field of battle, and devoted friends in times of peace. I am proud to say that the true feeling of cooperation and friendship of the Officers and men of Company 'C' shall never be equalled. I pray that those we loved and lost, shall rest in peace with the same feeling.

My feeling for this company is very deep. Wherever you go . . . whatever you do . . . my last request is that you drop me a line from time to time, telling me how you are and what you are doing. To each and everyone of you, I give you my very best wishes. Thanks for everything, men . . . good luck to you all.

A. F. Teague.    




Acknowledgement is made to PFC Nick Catania whose untiring efforts made this booklet possible. For pages of facts and figures the honors go to First Sergeant "TOP" Allen.








In years to come, when volumes are written about World War II, Charlie Company of the 260th Infantry Regiment will be another 'forgotten Rifle Company'. But to us, who have carried her colors on the field of battle it will mean much more. Those months of preparation at Camp Shelby were not a waste of time. They enabled us to engage the enemy ready to combat any means of destruction at his disposal. We were given the opportunity to put this theoretical knowledge to a practical use and proved ourselves worthy defenders of our country. Thanks to superior leadership, we accomplished this with a minimum of casualties. In the over-all picture, our part was only a small one but we think we have played it well.

In civilian days we will like to recall certain events or experiences 'back in 1945'. Let us hope that this booklet serves that purpose, namely, as a source of information for the recounting of such events.



The Company had reached operating T/O for the first time in two years. The October "dry-run" had been accomplished; all equipment was packed and ready to move and we were restricted over Christmas Day. That was the signal for the 65th infantry Division to start doing things, so, on the 26th of December, 1944 at 0700, Charlie Company left the barracks of Camp Shelby. Oddly enough, there was very little confusion at the railroad siding, for no sooner had we situated ourselves than the whistle blew and we were off to the wars. This can be noted as a recordbreaking movement. No backing-up, roaring around, or other SNAFU's.

Under a supposed veil of secrecy we proceeded up the East Coast -- -- -- 'destination unknown'. But I doubt if there were two men in the company who didn't know or weren't reasonably sure of our destination. For some men in the company this ride was quite an experience -- -- -- the first time they had crossed the Mason-Dixon Line -- -- -- and also the first time they had seen snow. While for others it meant getting home or at least passing through the home town once more. The first two hour delay came in Birmingham, Alabama, and two of our boys got the urge but restrained themselves.

It was a fairly tired lot that pulled into Camp Shanks POE on the 29th of December. The pace going up the ice-covered hill was nothing to be happy about. It was here that we became known as shipment 4848GC and we all held our breaths when the movie would stop to send another fellow back to his barracks. During the next few days we went into our processing, got our first taste of mail censorship and also managed to get a 'Unit tailchewing' from the CO. By this time the rumors were flying thick and fast. We all get at least a three day pass -- -- -- or maybe a furlough. But we all settled for a 12 hour and an 18 hour pass with some doing a little better by other means that were available. The physical training periods that followed these passes made us think twice before asking for another pass but we took them. Here again the boys from the South got their first glimpse of the big city. And Californians began to realize what a large country ours really is. While men from the Midwest just pleaded for a 'few' extra hours to make that round trip.

While this was going on, General von Rundstedt's Wehrmacht had other ideas. They must have heard that we were coming for on the 16th of December they launched their 'do-or-die' counterattack that carried them back into Belgium and got very serious for a while. It was about this time that we started to get serious about this war business, too.

It was a very cold night, as cold as they get in Upper New York in early January, when Captain Teague's 'Packhorses' threw their load on their backs and started for their last train ride for some time. And it was still colder the half hour we waited on the ferry in the middle of the-logged Hudson. And Sergeant Leska's toe after feeling the impact of a carbine dropped from the shoulder of the Company Commander -- -- -- he didn't say a word -- -- -- he couldn't.

Without a doubt, the best cup of coffee most of us ever had was the one which we received from the Red Cross before going up the gangplank. That did more for us than all the martial music that the band gave us prior to embarkation. The TC Officer then began calling off last names as we took our last few steps on American soil for a long time -- -- -- just how long we didn't know. For some, who were to make the supreme sacrifice, it would be the last time. These were the thoughts that went through our minds as we boarded ship and were given our bunks. Needless to say, there was no time wasted between the time we arrived at the port and the time we boarded the ship. We had all heard that we would he living under crowded conditions for the two weeks; we had seen it in the training films and now we believed it when they put our entire company, exclusive of four cooks into one compartment. The bunks were four high and we made a mad scramble for what we thought would be the 'best' location for the two weeks. It made little difference, however, for it was a matter of hours before every man had at least one piece of his equipment on the four bunks in his section. It was on ship that we learned that we would receive just two meals a day -- -- -- breakfast and supper. Mess cards were given out to each man. For some of us, one meal was one too many for the first few days and we were thanking our lucky stars that we didn't say 'Navy' when asked the branch of service we desired. Some of us left our bunks only for bare necessities and these were at a minimum. The ship's PX did a rushing business on candy, tobacco, etc. We had our daily boat drill and 'swing your davits out together' and 'Compartment Commanders, take charge of your troops' were added to our ever increasing vocabulary of famous sayings. An added attraction on ship were the nurses of the Army Nurse Corps. We had movies and some of us saw 'Johnny Apollo' for the third or fourth time. Card games were fast and furious. The financial status of several men quavered seriously. When we were about five days out we were told that we were on the MS John Ericson and were given a complete history of the ship. We were rather pleased to hear that it had successfully carried troops to the Pacific as well as to Italy. A few of the nights we heard strange noises and the rumors of wolfpacks in the area spread like wildfire. Depth charges were dropped and we stood open-mouthed as we watched the speed with which the Naval Personnel manned their battle stations.

Land was sighted on the morning of the 21st and by noon, debarking was under way. It was 0600 hours on the 22nd that we left the John Ericson and boarded a battered LST that would land us on European soil. The first man set his foot on French soil at approximately 0725.

By 0900, we had walked through two battered blocks of Le Havre's finer buildings and had climbed aboard GI trucks. Our destination -- -- -- a tent camp. Location -- -- -- unknown. There was no martial music, confetti or children with flowers to greet us as we slid on our merry way over the Normandy countryside. At 1400, we were at our first permanent installation in the ETO. It was very appropriately named Camp Lucky Strike -- -- -- so fully packed, so frigid on the feet. At the time it was nothing more than row after row of snow-covered pyramidals and it was our first job to make living quarters. We went about this task zealously after receiving gentle reminders that in time we'd wish we were back. Slit trenches were dug for use as air raid shelters. Coal and wood were both scarcities but, as usual, Charlie Company came through just as it was to do on the battlefield, with flying colors. Our marches to Cany and St Valery were characterized by wood details and haversacks were used to conceal our fuel from higher echelons. Nightly patrols went out and never came home empty-handed. In time the snow melted and the mud was knee-deep. The headquarters tent and its '13 little Generals' carried on in fine fashion. Lt Hamburger got the first taste of the front while on a convoy detail to Belgium.

Division and Regimental mess both proved unsatisfactory, so Battalion Mess was tried. Although not too successful, it was nevertheless tolerated. Infiltrations by hungry GI's into Vittefleur were commonplace and passes to St Valery and Cany were practically ignored.

It was here at Lucky Strike that we lost our Mail Orderly, Les Sentz, to the Regimental Chaplain's Office as Chaplain's assistant. Blair Poulsen replaced Les as Mail Orderly.

Due to some unknown reason, Nature called very frequently during the night and the latrine guards had plenty of company throughout the night. The splashing of boots in the mud was his signal that another 'customer' was coming.

The mud eventually dried and the company area began to take on the appearance of a Midway. Each tent was adorned with some sort of artistry which ranged from the original American Indian to the grave of the "guy who bitched". The latter, fittingly enough, was in front of the officer's tent. The appearance of our company area became highly publicized and other companies began to follow suit. Even Colonel Dunkley came down to pay his respects. Training schedules were carried out and a new use for dubbing was found -- -- -- to prevent trench-foot. This led to a lot of greasy feet for the more conscientious men in the company.

The TAT equipment caught up with us and the softball equipment was put to use. Barbed wire entanglements and mines were moved and we had a softball field. The furrows presented quite a problem but these and many more were taken in our stride. The Battalion Sergeant Major and Sergeant Allen had their little difficulties with 'TOP' faring rather well. Lt Higgins and Frank Gleeson took care of the conversion of our American money to French currency, which we thought comparable to Scott tissues. Captain Teague was surprised at the 2700 dollars turned in for conversion since it was only a few days before pay day and he thought everyone should have been broke. Colonel Keller, the Battalion Commander, broke up the tent of the '13 little Generals' by moving the officers into another tent.

We were told that we were in the 15th Army but couldn't write home about it. Moving orders came down on the 26th of February and we departed rather reluctantly on the 27th, at 1330. From Lucky Strike we marched over the familiar road to St Valcry where we were to become members of the '40 and 8' club in a matter of minutes. As usual, things were crowded on the cars with 30 men in each car plus their equipment. Men like John Day and others his size really took a beating. The most unpopular fellow in any car was the one who 'had to go'. This necessitated the moving of about ten men to free one and was quite a problem. Our destination was again unknown and again the rumors flew. Those in the known claimed Rheims and a 'good deal' while the pessimistic claimed that we'd go straight to the front. Lady Luck struck a happy medium and after three days we detrained at Thionville, France, and boarded trucks for our new destination. We arrived at Hamboorg in the province of Lorraine, battleground of World War I. While at Hamboorg we were told that the Division had been transferred to the Third Army and that it was a matter of a few days before we would be in combat.

Our advance party consisting of all the officers except Lt Higgins and all the platoon sergeants and squad leaders left Hamboorg on the 4th of March to make a reconnaissance of the area then occupied by "G" Company, 101st Infantry, 26th Division. On the 5th the rest of the company left Hamboorg and arrived in Fraulautern at 0230, 6 March 1945. Before actually committed, we had our first casualty when Sergeant Rasar was hit and wounded by sniper fire. The squad leaders took their respective squads and put them in position and by 0600 the 26th Division was completely relieved in our sector. The CP's and OP's were manned -- -- -- Charlie Company had hit combat despite all words to the contrary that had been uttered since the days at Camp Shelby.

The First Platoon was holding down the hot spot of the Battalion front with enemy machine gun and sniper fire constantly staring them in the face. Mortar and Artillery fire was intense in the entire area. Certain streets were covered by sniper fire and we all learned just where they were as a matter of self-preservation. Nightly ration 'runs' were a necessity and for the first few nights the pot and pan factory was a real obstacle. We had our first man killed in action on our first day of combat when a mortar shell dropped in front of Bob Lawson, while he was on guard at the First Platoon's hottest spot -- -- -- Red OP 5.

Every house with its doubly reinforced walls was in reality a potential pillbox. The underground tunnels proved to us that the enemy had been preparing for this thing for quite some time.

Mortar fire was constantly disrupting our communications and sending the communications sergeant and his wire men out all hours of the night keeping the lines open. After an unusually heavy barrage on the 8th of March the entire line was out. Sergeant Morris, in attempting to remedy this situation, was killed by a mortar shell.

Our jeep drivers made their nightly mad dash to Saarlautern for food, ammunition and mail. This was usually a few hours before battalion declared the bridge safe for the night. Our first group of reinforcements reported, to Saarlautern to Sergeant Leska 'across the river'. Midnight company commander's meetings were becoming commonplace. Enemy patrol alarms were sounded by a shaky Battalion Headquarters almost every night with orders to double the guard. Perin took over as communications Sergeant with the task of keeping the platoon CP's in communication with the company CP. The USO was opened across from George CP and plenty of hot water for washing and shaving was available. The First Platoon's Red OP 9 was blown up on the morning of the 12th and Slocum, Marincic and Garde were injured. Slocum and Marincic were evacuated. Lt Simon led his men back to the platoon CP where they stayed while the enemy unleashed a terrific mortar and '88' barrage. At 1430 the first group of 5 men left for George CP for a much needed rest. Bill Walsh was killed while crossing Josef Goebbels Avenue. Sergeant Brute Amm's squad sweated it out in OP 5 all day without any communication. The same night the entire platoon pulled out and a new Platoon CP was set up the next day. The Second Platoon accounted for the first dead Heinie in the company when Conley caught one in the sights of his '03. Cameron and Spanover were keeping the Second Platoon in rations. The Third Platoon also had some exciting moments. Lt Hamburger and Epley threw many a grenade into those factories 'across the tracks'. Sergeant Ginther's squad assisted the First Platoon in getting rations up to the forward OP's. The Fourth Platoon's Mortars and machine guns received their baptism of fire before many days had passed. Captain Teague, Lt Higgins and Sergeant Allen made their daily trip to the platoons and never wasted any time on the railroad tracks. Perin made numerous trips up and down the supply route keeping the wire lines patched up. Great times were had by all when Perin would bring a group of men down to George CP. Yells of 'keep your goddam feet quiet' rang through the pot and pan factory. George CP received a big surprise when Sergeant Leska braved the elements and the enemy to cross the bridge and pay his respects. He wasted little time getting back however -- -- -- had to keep those supplies rolling. War or no war, the miles of paper must continue so the 'chair corps' kept pretty busy. We still couldn't disclose our location through the mail so letter writing was at a minimum.

Across the river, Leska, Alesch and Poulsen had their hands full with the new replacements. By this time each platoon had its own cook and 10-in-1's were plentiful. The Stars and Stripes brought news of Patton's closing of the Saar-Palatinate pocket; the Remagen bridgehead being widened and other startling news from the Russian Front. With an optimistic outlook we expected things to start popping -- -- -- they did!

On the morning of the 19th, the Second Platoon reported that they had captured three prisoners and were sending them to the CP for interrogation. Now we were strictly a combat outfit; prisoners and all. The enemy was reported to have pulled out of Fraulautern in a disorganized manner. Lt Christensen and a five man patrol crossed the street and searched out the buildings. By 1700 we had lost contact with the enemy and received orders to move out in pursuit. An estimated one platoon of the enemy were holding out in Company A's sector so Lt Simon took his First Platoon over to finish them off. We left Fraulautern at 1800 expecting to meet resistance at any moment.

By 1930, we had moved into Ensdorf and stopped for the night while Rothacher and Fister spent the night moving supplies up. At 0630, we left Ensdorf and proceeded along the first Adolf Hitler Strasse still in pursuit. After an hour's marching we arrived in Buss. Here, we saw our first civilians since we left France. Here, also, we got our first glimpse of white flags waving in the wind -- -- -- a signal of surrender. The Company was given a number of houses and after a few hours of arranging, we were all ready for a good night's sleep. Houses were cluttered with swastikas and pictures of 'der Feuhrer' but still we heard the cry that was to be reechoed thousands of times across Germany -- -- -- 'nix Nazi'. At 1215 we were told that we had fifteen minutes to get out on the street, ready to move. This gave us an idea of what to expect in all our movements across Germany. We sat on the curb for three hours and moved out at 1515. This movement was also on foot and after eight hours of marching we moved into Hillsbach and our first overnight billets in Germany. Hillsbach is sometimes referred to as our first stop on the 'manure pile' circuit. In this same town we got our first replacement since Saarlautern when we took 'Molly John' a Polish slave laborer. We put him into uniform and brought him along. We left Hillsbach and spent eight hours climbing the hills of Western Germany through ruins of the seemingly impenetrable Siegfried Line. On the roadside, horses, used to pull Jerry ammunition waggons lay riddled with bullets. Our packs were heavy and as the day progressed, equipment began, to fall by the wayside until all we had left was what we were wearing. More white flags in the towns and the people standing on the sidewalks looking at something that they could hardly believe. But it was true and they were better off for it. More cries of 'nix Nazi'. GI's leaning out of windows in their billets cheering us on and all glad that they weren't in the Infantry. Battalion hit the wrong road again and we walked five miles extra -- -- -- just another bad guess.

We arrived at Göttelborn at 1900 on the 21st for what we thought would be another one night stand. The Germans were, at this time, reported to be retreating to the Rhine and our Air Corps was having a field day strafing retreating enemy columns. We had to stop for a few days to allow our supplies to catch up with us and enjoyed a much needed rest. We stopped long enough to get clean clothing for the first time in a month. After a few days in the showers, the dirt which had accumulated in the cellars of Saarlautern began to wear off. 'Peace by Easter' rumors began to spread until we almost believed there were just a few days to go. Lt Burns, Baade and Johnny Moreno went back to Metz to check our duffle bags which were in storage there. Civilian automobiles were 'borrowed' and we all got our first ride in a German vehicle. For those who were interested, wine and schnapps were plentiful. Russian slave laborers in the collieries gave us a little trouble and displaced persons were jamming the road in seemingly endless streams. Fair-looking German women were walking the streets and after Saarlautern even they looked good but we were told 'no fraternizing'.

At 1620, on the 27th of March we left Göttelborn by truck and after breaking a few altitude records on these German hills, we arrived at Schiersfeld at 0130 on the 28th. As far as we are concerned Schiersfeld is famous for one thing and that was 'the biggest pile of all'. By this time we had added two words to our German vocabulary -- -- -- 'eire' and 'kartoffeln'. These two words when added to the English words 'give me' usually resulted in a meal. Le Roy Cox and Jack Davis probably won't forget this town for a while. We moved out of Schiersfeld at 1940 on the 28th of March and arrived at Neder-Saulheim at 2300 the same night. While at this town we were told that we would cross the Rhine the next day. We got another day's rest while waiting for supplies to catch up along with the company's rear echelon and supply force. Surprisingly enough, wine was more plentiful here than at our last two stops and the day's rest was put to good use.

After a 'dry run' we left Neder-Saulheim on TD's to cross the Rhine. We crossed the Rhine at 2345 on the 29th. We travelled all the next day on the TD's, passing through many small towns where bewildered crowds of German people stood waving white handkerchiefs and trying to force a smile as we passed. Captain Teague will probably remember this move for some time since he, an Infantry Officer, was directing an Armored Column through the Rhineland. It was on the night of the 30th that his face must have been red. Our convoy was lost and when asked by a Division Staff Officer why this delay was not reported to the Regimental Commander, he snapped back with 'I haven't seen the Regimental Commander in two days'. The Colonel came back with, 'Well, you have him down there in the field now, you'd better go tell him'. We got our first look at a fairly large German city when we stopped Friedberg at 1430 on the 30th.

Here we left the TD's and travelled 'Infantry style' from 1930 that night until 0530 the following morning, except for a half-hour ride that brought us into Gonterskirchen. It was the Saturday before Easter and here we were just about in no man's land without a Company Commander, Executive Officer, communications sergeant, or supply sergeant, no food and without any means of transportation to establish contact with Battalion Headquarters. The food situation, as usual, was easily solved. In addition to the abundance of farm products it was the Saturday before Easter and the peasants very thoughtfully 'donated' Easter pastry to our cause. By 1330, Lt Burns had arrived with a jeep and with orders to prepare to leave. Sergeant Arnold had a little trouble rounding up his squad since they were spread all over town. However, all were present when we boarded tanks at 1700 -- -- -- including the Company Commander, Executive Officer, Communications Sergeant, Supply Sergeant and BOTH jeeps.

We arrived in Ulrichstein at 2330, put the peasants into the barns and billeted for the night. We boarded tanks at 0600 and after travelling four hours on Autobahn, we arrived at Rainrode at 1000. Regiment had contacted the enemy six miles to the Northeast. We moved out at 0130 to the high ground overlooking Neumorschen to make preparations for a dawn attack. Everything was set and we 'jumped off' at 0530. We moved into town to find that it had been abandoned. We then crowded on artillery trucks, passed through Nazis with more white flags, waving people and manure piles and arrived at Rohrda at 1700 for billets. In Rohrda we found an enemy supply dump and were amazed at the weight of a pair of German GI shoes. It was here, too, that Perin came out with the company's first fur jacket. We'll remember this town best as the town where we received a rude awakening at 0530 and spent the rest of the day getting on and off the same trucks without moving an inch. We finally left at 1700 and after eight hours we found that we had travelled only 15 miles to Falken, where we stayed for the night. It was while we were at Falken that General Eisenhower asked for the knockout blow and promised that the end was 'in sight'. From Falken we proceeded due east following up the Sixth Armored Division, which was setting a fast pace. Our job was cleaning out small enemy pockets which were harrassing our supply lines. The Sixth Armored Division was driving into Muhlhausen at the same time we were setting up defensive positions in Bollstedt in a heavy rain on the 5th of April. It was while at Bollstedt that jeep patrols succeeded in clearing the enemy from the two towns to our immediate front. Sergeant Mason and Frank Gleeson accounted for the same Heinie while on guard. At this time we were the farthest East of all the divisions in the ETO. We were so far advanced at the time, in fact, that higher headquarters believed the danger of being cut off too great so we left Bollstedt at 1640 on the 8th of April. We were supposedly going to a Corps rest camp approximately fifty miles to the rear. As the rumble of artillery became more faint we were all ready for a period of rest, clean, clothing and plenty of entertainment. Sergeant Leska was swamped with requests for athletic equipment which was stored at Metz, France prior to our departure for Saarlautern. It was here at Wunschensuhl that the first 'B' rations since Hamboorg were issued. Our rest was short lived for on the 9th of April we received notice that we would leave the following morning. We departed from Wunschensuhl at 0640 on the 10th, on trucks. We were told that the 89th Division needed a little help and though that perhaps in a few days we would go to a rest camp. By 0900, Captain Teague told us that our mission was to flush a specific wooded area in the Nurnberg area since snipers in these woods were attacking supplies to units of the Third Army driving on Nurnberg. Throughout the entire day we failed to make contact and moved into Siligenthal at 1900 for billets. This town will be remembered as the one we moved into after walking the entire day without rations. After arriving in the town we were to be ready to move on twenty minutes notice. We did manage to get a nights sleep and overdid it a little for at 0840 a Battalion runner came down telling us to be ready to move out at 0830. By this time, half the Battalion was on the move but it was a matter of minutes before we were ready to move and it was Charlie Company up front for the days 'flushing'. While all this was going on, Sergeant Alesch and all his kitchen force except Marshall were parked back on the Autobahn along with Rex Smart and Jim Peacock -- -- -- strictly rear echelon. After another day of flushing woods we moved into Finsterberg for billets. For the second time 'B' rations were issued to the platoons and Marshall made his presence felt by turning out a meal comparable to a home-cooked special. Perin came up with the family linens, china and silverware and had the peasants set up a banquet table. The meal was eaten by candle light and with only one intrusion -- -- -- Poulsen charging through the door with two bags of mail. It was at Finsterberg that we got our second group of replacements at midnight and Perin had to put the 'damn peasants in the damn barn' to make room for them. Battalion sent for all company commanders a little after midnight and the house shook under the strains of "If I have to get up, everybody has to get up. Wake up Perin! Hey Leska! Get up!" It was here that Marshall displayed his ability to handle civilian KP's as well as he did GI's. A loud 'kommen ze here' echoed through the Gasthaus frequently. By this time, we all thought that we were strictly combat soldiers and had no business flushing out woods. We changed our minds a little the next morning when Captain Teague, sensing that something had to be done, really chewed tail. We left Finsterberg and were in Battalion reserve for the daily task of flushing. We moved into Oberhof, a German Winter Resort town, at 1500 on the 9th of April and set up for the night. It was here at Oberhof that we met the original 'ton of fun' and we thought that we were off the manure circuit at last. Marshall came up with another super meal as 'B' rations were again issued. It was here at Oberhof that some of saw MP's of the 89th division pack 89 prisoners of war in one 2 1/2 ton truck -- -- -- and we thought that we were crowded on our vehicles. Here the 259th took over the wood flushing duties and the 260th moved into reserve. We left at 0840 on foot and arrived at Grafenroda at 1230. As usual the Company CP was in the local gasthaus but Sam Dew was our representative on the quartering party. He managed to have his platoon CP in a German Major's house with a few lovely added attractions. Some of us visited the concentration camp at Ohrdruf and saw for ourselves the height of Nazi bestiality. We left Ohrdruf a little more conscious of what we were up against and with at least a partial answer to the oft-asked question -- -- -- 'Why we fight'. We left Grafenroda at 0920 on the 14th on foot after six hours of hill climbing we arrived at Hausen. The road to Hausen was not lined with flag-waving Germans but with dead Poles and other Nazi slave laborers, killed attempting escape from Ohrdruf. Captain Teague left in the middle of our march to take a trip to Division Finance for our payroll. For us, in Hausen, it was back to the manure circuit.

We remained in Hausen for three days -- -- -- three days of much needed rest and relaxation. This was our first stop of longer than 24 hours since Göttelborn and names like Lucky Strike, Hamboorg, and Saarlautern seemed almost like dreams. It was at Hausen that the cooks finally caught up with us and told stories of how they were roughing it back on the Autobahn and that night that they had to sleep on the side of the road. We left Hausen on the morning of the 17th on artillery trucks. We passed through Coburg and for the first time saw what a German woman looked like who was dressed up and didn't have a plow. This was the convoy that moved along at a steady 10MPH pace with other convoys passing us every half hour. All Main Supply Routes were jammed with supplies and men and we couldn't help but feel that something 'big' was up. It was in this convoy that one truck overturned sending four men to the hospital. The convoy commander of this convoy insisted on stopping the convoy every ten minutes and taking his jeep and checking the column. We arrived in Salmsdorf at 0200 for the night. This was the town that Perin put on his exhibition that cost him one of his most prized possessions. We left Salmsdorf at 0830 proceeding approximately fifty miles in a southeasterly direction. We arrived in Sittenbach at 1900 on the 19th of April. At 1930, a platoon of Division Reconnaissance Troops brought in a few prisoners to be turned over to Battalion for interrogation and told us that they had occupied Treuf, a small town to our flank and front. The Company had dug in defensive positions on the road leading into Sittenbach and we expected another night of peace and quiet. However, at 0330 the Recon Platoon that had been at Treuf was forced to withdraw. They returned to our CP and gave us the particulars, estimating the strength of the enemy at 400 with a few tanks in support. Captain Teague immediately contacted Battalion attempting to obtain permission to retake Treuf. Battalion refused permission as did Regiment so 'Tonic Red Charlie Sun Ray' contacted Division by radio and permission was granted. Regiment had orders to move out at 1400. We moved out of Sittenbach at 0630 to attack Treuf. We were told that a platoon of TD's was available at Battalion, if needed. At 0750 the Second and Third Platoons moved down the hill toward the town. The Third on the right flank, the Second on the left flank with the First Platoon in reserve farther back on the hill. The plan was to regroup the Second and Third Platoons in town and then to formulate a plan of attack on the jerry positions farther down the hill. The Second Platoon had just moved into the left flank of the town when they spotted five jerries running across a field about two hundred yards to the left front. Lt Christensen sent Sergeant Van Daele and five men in pursuit, then took Sergeant Spanover and his squad up on line. The enemy brought up three tanks, which fired point blank at the second Platoon. Enemy 88's and mortars opened up and we thought that all hell had broken loose. The tanks then commenced firing into the town. When the firing had ceased Captain Teague ordered a withdrawal to the wooded hill overlooking the town. In the meantime Captain Barber sent back for a platoon of mortars. By the time we had completed our withdrawal the mortars were in position and it wasn't long before Lt Long had his men 'zeroed in' on the enemy positions. During the withdrawal word came back concerning our casualties.

The Score:
Company 'C'  . . . . . . .  Wounded:
Lt Christensen
Died from wounds:
German Casualties:
Wounded: 30
Killed: 92
Prisoners: 58

The TD's finally moved into position a few hours later and scored direct hits on a half-track and towed gun. By noon we had moved back into town. The Regimental orders to move out at 1400 remained unchanged. It was a HOT Treuf that we left at 1330 on the 20th of April. Every building in the town was burning -- -- -- the town of Siegholz to the front of Treuf was also in flames, and an obviously large ammunition had been set afire by D Company's mortars. It was obvious to the men of C Company that many enemy were still alive north of Siegholz and permission was asked, to continue the attack and complete the annihilation of the enemy. It was a discouraged company that received the news that we had to move out and leave the job half done. The CO explained that regiment had made contact about 65 miles south and were moving there -- -- -- but C Company had contact all the time -- -- -- many had been killed -- -- -- more wounded -- -- -- the initial and hardest task, that of disorganizing the enemy, had been accomplished -- -- -- the only part that was left was the revenge that C Company had in store for the enemy which they so rightly deserved to have. But the Regiment had orders to move -- -- -- the trucks were waiting for us and to the rear of C Company one would think that we were merely late for entrucking. Of equal importance was the fact that the morning report had to be turned into Battalion immediately. The enemy had been disrupted to our front but it was useless to combat the confusion from the elements to the rear from whom we needed so much support. In the 'big picture' our engagement at Treuf meant so little but to the officers and men of C Company plus Captain Barber, Lt Long and the men from D Company it was the most important in the battle of Germany. The company left Treuf and entrucked for another town . . . but why? . . . the men asked. Only because the Regiment had made contact to the South and orders are orders.

The convoy took the long way again and after considerable backtracking we arrived at Mazerhof at 1900 and set up defensive positions. Lt Long and his Mortar Platoon from D Company were in support at 1400. On the 21st following an artillery barrage we moved out and cleared two towns to our front, returning at 1700. It was on this march that Frank Gleeson left us to transfer to Battalion as Sergeant Major. We left Mazerhof on foot at 0800 on the 22nd and arrived at Forcheim at 1400 to relieve the Third Battalion. Here we lost Perin to the hospital as a result of the 'accident' at Salmsdorf. Our orders were changed and we were to move out at once, take Kastl, and hold the city until the 71st Division should arrive. When we reached the outskirts of the city our orders were again changed. We moved into Ulmansdorf and the entire company was billeted in three houses and two barns. The German truck which we picked up at Oberhof couldn't stand all these changes in orders and refused to move any further. Prior to our departure from Ulmansdorf, rumors were circulating to the effect that there was an American prison camp in the district and we went about our wood flushing seriously determined to liberate our less-fortunate comrades-in-arms. We were to board artillery trucks at 0900 but as usual we entrucked at 1400 and after considerable confusion and uncalled-for delay we arrived at Hohenfels and for the first time saw the expression of joy on the faces of English, Australians and New Zealanders captured on Crete. While at Hohenfels we were told by our Battalion S-2, Lt Lawson, that we were to proceed with reckless abandon to the Danube. Sergeant Orvik was evacuated with yellow jaundice as were Byron, Shull and Wagenhoffer. The First Platoon remained at Hohenfels to guard the hospital there while the rest of the company departed, at 1700 on artillery trucks and arrived at Kuhschlag at 0200 on the 25th of April. Here we were to prepare for the crossing of the Danube -- -- -- we had proceeded in reckless abandon. With fourteen battalions of artillery in support, together with available armor we all knew that we were getting something big. On the night of the 25th we learned that we were to cross the Danube, establish a bridgehead and capture Regensberg, Bavarian city and key supply point for all German troops west of the Danube. For the Danube crossing Captain Teague had little more than a platoon of men since the first platoon was still at Hohenfels and the Third and part of the Second were assigned to tanks for this engagement. We crossed the Danube in assault boats at 0500 on the 26th and contacted the enemy at Abbach at 1400 after a minor skirmish that morning. Company 'A' had entered the town but was forced to withdraw. TD's were brought up to blast the city with their 90 mm guns. We billeted in Abbach that night while chemical mortars were pounding Abbach. After considerable difficulty, the engineers completed a bridge across the Danube enabling Sergeant Leska and his supply force to move up. The hill in Oberndorf overlooking Abbach was about the steepest we had encountered and Walt Friedle had a rough time with the '300' on his back. Marshall captured his first prisoner in a cave on the hillside in Oberndorf. The Third Platoon arrived at 0700 the next morning with the tanks they had been 'protecting' and preparations were completed for the attack on Abbach. We were ready to enter the town at 0730 when word came back that the enemy had retreated toward Regensberg. We continued in pursuit with only slight opposition on the way. At 1715 we entered Regensberg without firing a shot. The Company was fairly well set-up. The CP was in the home of a former German General Staff member who had retired in 1929. Military trophies of all kinds adorned the walls, some of which were to our liking and consequently confiscated. The next day Sgt Alesch, Joe Saenz, Poulsen, Rex Smart and Larry Knobe finally caught up with us after a week of rear echelon activity. This was our first rest since Göttelborn and most of us took advantage of it despite the abundance of wine and liquor. Bob Castor pulled special CP guard one afternoon and Lt Hamburger took to amusing children. Fister made a daily ration reconnaissance into the suburbs and very rarely returned empty handed. Division opened a PX and new flashlights were seen throughout the company but still Captain Teague couldn't find his. Cpl Petras visited us and told about the rugged life of a Personnel Clerk in combat.

Peace rumors filled the air as we left Regensberg at 0515 on the 2nd of May. Our company was attached to tanks of the 748th Tank Battalion and TD's of the 808th TD Battalion. We arrived at Pocking at 1725 and were left at the Pocking Airport to guard some 7500 prisoners of war. Since we had only 63 men with the company upon arriving at Pocking, the Hungarians were guarding their own men as well as the 2000 Germans and 1500 Russians. Pistols were rather plentiful and were distributed throughout the company. From Pocking we boarded TD's and arrived at Mettich at 1500. By this time our ration supply was practically nonexistent, but Company 'A' of the 808th TD's came through in fine fashion. Units of the First Army had met the Russians and we had heard rumors that we were not far from doing the very same thing. We left Mettich on TD's and crossed the Inn River, entering Austria at Scharding on the 4th of May. We were still detached from the Battalion when we arrived in St Agatha for billets. We rejoined the battalion the following morning at Eferding and learned that the rest of the Battalion received quite a surprise when they entered the town the night before. We left the TD's at Eferding and remained in a large field on the outskirts of town while the surrender of the Hungarian garrison in the town was taking place. Rumors that the war had ended were repeated until all of us believed it. We left Eferding on trucks bound for Linz and were ready to make a triumphal entry into the city behind all the non-combatants when word came back that the enemy was still in the city. The non-combatants withdrew and we entered Linz at 1700 on the 6th of May. We were still in Linz when hostilities officially ended at 0001, 9 May 1945.

On the morning of the 8th, the Captain of the First Danube Flotilla surrendered his flotilla to Captain Teague making our company the only amphibious unit in the Division. We also had a private yacht for excursions up the Danube. On the first few trips our Flagship drew fire from guards mistaking us for fleeing remnants of the enemy. We had a softball field built and competition between the platoons was keen. The daily writeups of the games on the company bulletin board served to stimulate rivalries among the platoons. By the 13th of May the First Platoon had returned from Hohenfels with one addition to their roster. Lt Higgins, Perin, Goyette, Kern and Byron returned to the fold after fighting the 'Battle of the Repple Depples'.

We are proud of our achievements in this war and are proud to have been of service to our country in her hour of peril.


     Sergeant Richard M. Morries
     Private Stanley I. Sclarenco

     First Lt. Frank F. Hamburger
     First Lt. Harry J. Simon
     Technical Sergeant Elmer A. Anderson
     Technical Sergeant Lyman Johnson
     Staff Sergeant Richard L. Ginther
     Staff Sergeant August J. VanDaele
     Sergeant Richard M. Perin
     Sergeant Emeric W. Kordan
     Technician Fifth Grade Dale E. Rothacher
     Private First Class Russell D. Fister
     Private First Class Kenneth E. Goodwin
     Private First Class Joseph P. McGarry

     First Lt. Harry J. Simon
     Staff Sergeant Walter C. Arnold
     Staff Sergeant Abraham Spanover
     Sergeant Bruce L. Daniel
     Sergeant Emeric W. Kordan
     Sergeant John L. Lowman
     Sergeant Earl L. Mills Jr.
     Sergeant William E. Rasar
     Sergeant Robert J. Slocum
     Technician Fifth Grade Albert J. Marincic
     Private First Class Richard N. Andrews
     Private First Class Frank J. Baade
     Private First Class Leonard Brown
     Private First Class Daryl D. Conroy
     Private First Class Daniel C. Garland
     Private First Class Raymond Giede
     Private First Class William W. Goodin
     Private First Class Donald M. Goyette
     Private First Class Irwin Kanengiser
     Private First Class Woodrow W. Pickeral
     Private First Class Alfred C. Trautz
     Privale First Class Edgar D. Zeak
     Private Charles E. Wade
     Private Luther E. Whidden
     Private First Class Raymond Culver
     Private Joseph Racz

     Technician Fourth Grade James J. Hill
     Technician Fifth Grade James W. McCartin
     Technician Fifth Grade Salvatore Vinci
     Private First Class Wilfred J. Lefebvre



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