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Journal de Marche du 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion (16 Août 1944)

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Journal de Marche du 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion (16 Août 1944) Empty Journal de Marche du 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion (16 Août 1944)

Message par Fab le Mar 28 Fév - 12:10

Ce journal de marche du 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion U.S. pour le 16 Août 1944 nous renseigne sur les combats pour la libération d'Orléans, Ormes, Meung Sur Loire ...

At 1800 hours the command post group departed from the little town and proceeded to the vicinity of Thiville, France, where the command post was established under light and intermittent enemy artillery fire at 1930 hours.

The gas and oil section having spent the night on the roadside during the night was directed to proceed to Orleans, France, to refuel company "B" who were in support of the 137th Infantry and Task Force "S", attacking the city of Orleans, France.

When the two trucks and the section, plus three motorcycle guides approached the outskirts of Ormes, France, a member of the FFI and down the road toward them and told them that CCA of the 4th Armored Division had just attacked the town, killing a number of Germans but that the town was full of the enemy in dug in positions and that they were going to resist and fire on anything that looked like an allied vehicle or soldier.

Corporal Tauber and his crew, plus the motorcycle guides immediately dismounted and forming a skirmish line, attacked the town from all sides. The section killed and wounded an undetermined number of the enemy who were firing upon them from foxholes in and round the village, and after about one hour seventy five enemy soldiers surrendered to the section. After the prisoners were placed under guard they set out to search any foxholes which might still contain German soldiers and found one Polish prostitute hiding in a dugout where she had been living with a German soldier. The woman was turned over to the local FFI, who immediately stripped her clothing from her body, shaved her head and eye brows and when the gas and oil section departed were horse-whipping her with whips. For this heroic and meritorious act on the part of the section each member was awarded the Silver Star Medal.

The prisoners were turned over to CCA of the 4th Armored Division for internment. At 1400 hours the local FFI reported enemy troops in the town of Meung, France, and two platoons of the reconnaissance company were dispatched to obtain further information. Company "A" departed from vicinity of Binas, France, and established CP 1 mile northwest of Ferte Villeneull, France, at 1955 hours, a distance of 11 miles.

The command post of Company "B" departed from vicinity of Lemans, France, and established command post 1 mile northwest of Bucy, France, coordinates W5344, 1/250, 000, at 1800 hours; traveling a total distance of 80 miles without enemy opposition.

All platoon occupying primary positions in the city of Orleans in direct support of 137th Infantry. 1st platoon supporting the 1st battalion; 2ns platoon 2nd battalion and 3rd platoon, which entered the city of Orleans at 1300 hours, the 3rd battalion, 137th Infantry.

The 3rd platoon, Company "B" destroyed 2 enemy tanks, one 75mm self-propelled gun, one truck, observation tower and an undetermined number of enemy soldiers at a concentration point on the south bank of the Loire, River. One M-10 was slightly damaged when it was hit by enemy artillery fire but remained operational. There were no personnel casualties.

Company "C" departed from Binas, France, and established in the vicinity of Chateau-de-Champs Romain, France, at 1910 hours, a total distance of 13 miles. No enemy contact was made during the period. Company remained in direct support of 320th Infantry.

The reconnaissance company departed from vicinity of Benias, France, where they were bivouacked in the wheat field with the remainder of the battalion, less company ?B? and proceeded to Chateaudun, France, at 2000 hours, a distance of 25 miles. Enroute to Chateaudun made contact with enemy and participated in fire fight after which the enemy withdrew and company proceeded to Chateaudun, France.

The 3rd reconnaissance platoon commanded by 1st Lieut. John W. Spain and staff sergeant Raymond R. Wilson, and attached to Company "B" with positions in Orleans, France, established and maintained an observation post in the steeple of the tallest church in Orleans during the first part of the period. The enemy realizing that our forces were using the steeple as an observation post fired upon it continuously attempting to knock it out, but sergeant Wilson and Pvtlcl Joseph A. Ebert and Pvtlcl Italo P. Gatto, eventho they were under a continual artillery and mortar barrage and also small arms fire, refused to leave the position, from where they were directing the fire of the 3rd platoon of Company "B" on enemy positions, tanks, troop concentrations, etc. They were not relieved until 1900 hours, at which time the platoon was given the mission of patrolling the road leaving Orleans to the southwest throughout the night.

When a strong force of enemy troops were reported in the village of Meung-sur-Loire, France, the 1st and 2nd reconnaissance platoons under 1st Lieut. Alexander H. Smith, Jr., and Staff Sergeant Ruel R. Windham, respectively, were immediately dispatched to the vicinity of the town to investigate the report. They arrived in the village at 1700 hours, being the first U.S. Troops to enter the town since 1918. The platoons were on the outskirts of the village by the local FFI as guides and as they entered the city the population first thought them to be Germans and all went inside their homes.

The village 'crier', which is a custom of the French who still maintain the old ancient custom of announcing special news events by a village or town crier who walks or rides up and down the street crying out the new, when he realized that American solders had entered the village started running up and down the streets calling to the top of his voice 'les Amerique'. The people of the town at first refused to believe the report. But, when they finally realized that U.S. troops had entered the village they went absolutely wild. Within ten minutes the village was decorated from end to end with French and American flags. In short order the vehicles of the platoons ere covered with flowers and each jammed full of girls hugging kissing the men. The platoons were utterly mobbed. They could not move! The girls kept scrambling up the sides of the dusty, grease-soaked vehicles and kissed the dirty, dusty and unshaven faces of the men. This was another duplication of the demonstration at Ouzour-Le-Marche. The platoons remained surrounded for three hours with girls, women, men and boys, and when the FFI did re-establish order it was determined that the Germans had passed through the village during the night and morning; some walking, some riding mules, some limping, some riding oxen, goats, wheel-barrows and pulling donkey carts, muttering "too many Americans"; "too many airplanes"; "too much artillery". Some were crying as they staggered to the east under the onslaught of the 35th Infantry Division and Third U.S. Army.

The platoons departed from village at 1900 hours and rejoined the command post in the vicinity of Chateaudeun where they made a thorough reconnaissance around the town and of all roods running east, south and northeast, going as far east as Yevres, France. Task Force "S" advancing down the Lemans-Orleans Highway entered Orleans city hall at 161900 August against stiff resistance, and the city was completely occupied by 170600 August, 1944.

The 320th Infantry advancing on Chateaudun, detrucked in the vicinity of Vogay, France, and attacked town of Chateaudun against fierce enemy resistance. Patrols entered the town at 161950 August, 1944, but stiff resistance in the vicinity of Jallone, France, held up the main body of the regiment and made it necessary that a readjustment be made of the lines south and southeast of the town. The 3rd battalion captured the town of Cloyes at 161930 August, 1944, where the battalion was relieved by then 167th Engineer Battalion.

Heavy concentrations of artillery were placed on enemy positions on the outskirts of Orleans and south of the Loire, River on enemy artillery, mortar and machinegun positions. Also on strong points, observation posts and troop concentrations points. One platoon of Company "A" ordered to Cloyes, France, to protect vital crossings on the Loire River.

CCA, 4th Armored Division spearheaded the attack upon Orleans by Task Force "S"; overcoming resistance at Ormes, France, and assisted Task Force "S" in capturing Orleans. During the period the division and attached units captured the cities of Cloyes and Orleans in the most part and were attacking Chateaudun on the outskirts of the city. At the end of the period the enemy was retreating to the northeast out of Chateaudun, France, but he was determinedly defending roadblocks in the city of Orleans, France. He is also laying minefields in the streets of Orleans, all of which are covered with automatic weapons.

No artillery fire fell in the Chateaudun sector but light artillery fire fell in the northern approaches of Orleans, France. Troops from all branches of the service have been identified in the Orleans sector, but nothing but SS troops have been identified in the Chateaudun sector.

Two enemy ME109's bombed and strafed our positions in the Orleans area at 1100 hours. One enemy plane over Chateaudun at 1530 on reconnaissance. No strafing or bombing reported. A total of 40 prisoners were captured by the division and attached units during the period.

Weather during the entire period was warm and clear with excellent visibility.

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Message par Blue Devil le Mer 29 Fév - 0:29

Rapport d’après action
HQ 654th TD Bn
Du 1 aout 44
Au 31 aout 44

1. le 654th TD Bn reste attaché à la 35th Inf Div et autre attachement à la 35th Div Arty

2. mission secondaire assurée durant le mois a été par une compagnie. Ouvrant le feu sur 2 concentrations. Type tirs d’interdiction et sans observation. Résultat inconnu.

Nbre d’obus tirés………………….. 101HE
Nbre de canons en action…………. 12

3. missions primaires assurées durant le mois par les compagnies du Bn utilisées en appui direct des Inf Regts. Les liaisons sont maintenues entre le TD Bn et les Inf Regts. Les cibles engagées sont des points d’appuis renforcés ennemis (dans des maisons). Les nids de MG ennemie, tanks, SP guns et postes d’observations.
« A » Co – contact avec l’ennemi pour cette période à MORTAIN et MONTARGIS. A MONTARGIS destruction de matériels ennemis ; un Mk IV tank et plusieurs camions américains et un 75mm gun capturé par les allemands. A Co perd 3 M-10, détruits (1 par le feu de l’artillerie et 2 par tirs directs d’un Mk IV tanks)
Un véhicule un & demi est incendie par le feu ennemi. A MONTARGIS A Co est en position juste à l’angle de la ville et est stoppée par un barrage routier miné et piégé. Il est retiré avec l’aide des T-2 (char de dépannage) de la A Co, qui ont soulevé les grands troncs d’arbres hors de la route.
« B » Co – contact avec l’ennemi à MORTAIN, ORLEANS et GIEN. A MORTAIN la Co est sous le feu intense de l’artillerie durant 3 jours et capture un nid de MG et 2 prisonniers. A ORLEANS la B Co détruit 2 tanks ennemis, 2 canons tractés, et un nombre inconnu de servants de la pièce Anti char, un SP 73mm gun, un camion et une tour d’observation ennemie.
Une M-20 est légèrement endommagée par le feu de l’artillerie. A GIEN la B Co capture la ville avec les éléments de la Rcn Co et capture 19 prisonniers.
« C » Co – contact avec l’ennemie à MORTAIN et MONTARGIS. C Co envoie une patrouille de 5 hommes dans la ville de LeTEILINEL. Capt Benton et 5 volontaires arrivent jusqu’aux lignes allemandes et capturent 10 allemands, aperçus précédemment à ce point lors d’une reconnaissance. A MONTARGIS la C Co est en appui du 320th Inf Regt. Dans cette ville la Co Co avec un peloton de la Rcn Co entre dans la ville de MONTARGIS avant que l‘Inf établisse leurs positions libérant la ville. Les équipements suivant sont détruits : deux Mk IV tanks, un 20mm AT gun, quatre 37mm guns, 10 MG (cal.30), un SP assault gun, 3 points d’appuis. 145 PW (10 officiers) sont capturés, 12 chevaux, 10 000 cartouches de cal.30, 3 véhicules légers, 5 automobiles, 1 véhicule de 1/4t .. La liste ci dessus est approximative suite aux trop nombreux équipements pris mais la C Co ne peut contrôler les français submergeant les lieux et s’emparant des armes et munitions.

« Rcn » Co- Rcn plats sont attachés pour chaque gun co, pour chaque mission et d’une valeur importante dans chaque cas. A ORLEANS ils établissent un poste d’observation sous le feu intense de l’artillerie. A MONTARGIS le Rcn plat leader a son peloton en reconnaissance des routes pour l’entrée en ville et puis mène le Rcn pour assurer avec grande aide la sécurité (de l’unité)
Un peloton de la Rcn est attaché à l’Inf à CORUTNEY (dans le texte) et assure des Rcn vers le sud et jusqu’à TROYES donnant nombres d’informations sur l’ennemi. Ce peloton perd un véhicule 1/4 t et une MG, lorsqu’il entre en contacte avec l’avant garde d’une colonne allemande traversant APPOIGNY.
Le « Pion » plat érige un pont à Troyes qui supportent le point d’un M-10 ou approximativement 35tonnes. Le pont est d’une grande utilité en permettant de faciliter la circulation à travers la ville alors qu’il n’y a plus qu’un pont au dessus de la SEINE.

Le Bn déplace pour le mois d’aout de CONDE SUR VIRE à TROYES.

PW pour la période
266 hommes et 10 officiers

Matériel ennemi détruit :
5 Mk IV tanks
2 SP guns 75mm
5 37mm AT tracté
2 20mm tracté
1 mortier
1 camion
1 poste d’observation
3 points d’appuis
10 MG

Materiel ennemi capturé

15 AT guns (37mm)
6 AA guns (20mm)
21 MG (MG-34)
15 mortiers
3 camions (chargé de couvertures et d’effets)
2 camions cuisine
12 chevaux
2 transports de troupes 10 places
1 transport de troupes 30 places
5 automobiles
1 véhicule 1/4t

Ci dessus sont totalisés cependant plus d’équipements est présent mais les Forces Françaises ont emprunté d’innombrables MG, fusil et pistolets.


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Blue Devil
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Message par Fab le Mer 17 Juil - 8:32

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