134th Infantry Regiment Crest

134th Infantry Regiment

"All Hell Can't Stop Us"

35th Infantry Division emblem

Report of Action Against the Enemy

320th Infantry Regiment

October 1 to October 31, 1944

 

DECLASSIFIED

Authority 735017

By IM NARA, Date 4/1/06

Auth: CG 35th Inf Div

Initials RGC

Date 11 Nov 44

HEADQUARTERS 320TH INFANTRY

APO 35 U S ARMY

2 November 1944

SUBJECT: Action Against Enemy, Report After.

TO : The Adjutant General, Washington, D. C. (Thru Channels)

 

1. Following report covers the period 1 October 1944 to 31 October 1944 inclusive.

 

At the beginning of the period the 320th Infantry was in position in the vicinity of Foret de Gremecey, the 3rd Battalion on a line extending from 050262 to 057265, the 1st Battalion at a point from 053255 to 053250, and the 2nd Battalion was in the vicinity of 040240. On 1 October 1944, pursuant to Division order, the Regiment attacked to secure the eastern edge of that forest. The action was coordinated with the 6th Armored Division which attacked the enemy positions on both sides and to the front of the Regiment. Coordination with the 137th Infantry was also effected to secure the edge of the forest in its area. Restrictions on use of artillery were lifted and for this action the artillery had unlimited use of ammunition to support the action. Company B, 86th Chemical Battalion, attached to the 216th Field Artillery Battalion, was also in support. The attack jumped off as planned and after sharp fighting the area was cleared of enemy troops, with the northern and eastern edges of the forest taken and secured. Our troops continued to hold these positions until 4 October 1944. On that date, the regiment in addition to its assigned area, took over the defensive sector occupied by the 2nd Battalion of the 137th Infantry; the 2nd Battalion of the 320th completing the relief of the unit at 1835. At 2400 on 4 October 1944 the defensive positions for the 3rd Battalion were from 043263 to 056256, with the 2nd Battalion from 056256 to 058233, and the 1st Battalion in reserve in the vicinity of 025254. On the night of 5 October 1944, the regiment assumed responsibility for the sector previously occupied by the 1st Battalion, 137th Infantry, extending from 058233 to approximately 053196. The 1st Battalion, 320th Infantry, occupied this area, completing the relief during the morning of 6 October 1944. The regiment continued to occupy and improve these defensive positions. On 11 October 1944 the regiment assumed responsibility for guarding and securing all bridges in the area of Pettoncourt. The Regimental CP was located at Bioncourt from 1 October 1944 to 15 October 1944 when it displaced to Attilloncourt, a distance of 1.7 miles. There was no change in the disposition of the troops. On 16 October 1944 coordination was made with the 328th Infantry, 26th Division, on the right including wire communications and mutual patrolling between that unit and the 1st Battalion of our regiment. On 17 October 1944 the 2nd Battalion completed readjustment of its lines with Company F and Company G occupying the entire front of the Battalion sector and Company E in reserve at 053247. The 3rd Battalion was on the line with one platoon of I Company in reserve, and the 1st Battalion had all companies on the line. The regiment continued to hold defensive positions established on the first day of the period with patrols to the front and to the flanks during the hours of darkness on each day. On 24 October 1944, the regiment was relieved in the defensive positions in the Foret de Gremecey by the 134th Infantry and moved back to positions in reserve. The 2nd Battalion and the 3rd Battalion moved to forest areas west of Brin sur Seille. The 1st Battalion moved to a position in the vicinity of Gremecey and remained as a reserve for the 134th Infantry. The Regimental CP displaced from Attilloncourt to Brin sur Seille, a distance of 2.5 miles. Upon moving into reserve, however, the regiment assumed responsibility for securing and guarding the bridges in the area of Brin sur Seille. All bridges had been prepared for demolition. The regiment continued to occupy these positions to the close of period. During this time activities included range firing, checking of all clothing and equipment, ordnance inspections of vehicles and resupply.

 

2. Mission: Mission of the 320th Infantry throughout the period was to secure and defend the Foret de Gremecey.

 

3. Information of the Enemy: At the beginning of the period the enemy expended a considerable amount of artillery and mortar used with effect against our troops in the Foret de Gremecey. Aside from the use of the ordinary type artillery, the firing of large caliber artillery shells was noted, together with 120 mm mortar. The enemy during the period had set up stabilized defense lines to our front. The efficiency and morale of the enemy troops were very good.

 

4. Decision on Tactical Maneuver: In actions during the month tactical decisions were designed to conform with directives of higher commanders, plan of execution being matters of normal decisions.

 

5. Units Used: During the period, the First Battalion was in command of Major Walton, then Captain, Battalion Executive Officer, who assumed command of the unit when the Battalion Commander, Major Gillis, was killed in action. He remained in command until 5 October 1944 when Major Frank Waring, former Battalion Commander, returned to duty and was reassigned to the command. The Second and Third Battalions were commanded by Lt. Col. Warren T. Hannum and Lt. Col. Joseph Alexander, respectively. Special Unit Commanders were Captain Edmund R. Casey, Headquarters Company; Captain Paul H. Heil, Service Company; Captain A. D. Wilson, Anti-Tank Company; First Lieutenant E. Cammack, Cannon Company, and Major L. A. Smith, Regimental Medical Detachment. The regiment was commanded by Colonel B. A. Byrne, Lt. Col. William F. Northam was Executive Officer. The Regimental staff consisted of Major H. V. Hughes, Major T. P. McElroy Jr., Major G. W. Jamieson, and 1st Lt. Milton Ginsburg, S-4, S-3, S-2, S-1, respectively.

 

6. Weapons Used: Small arms, grenades, mortars, artillery, tanks and tank destroyers.. For a short time the regiment also had the support of 4.2 chemical mortar company.

 

7. Artillery, Tank and Air Support: The artillery support during the time ample ammunition was available was excellent. For most of the period artillery support was hampered by the restricted use of ammunition, with plainly adverse effect upon our action. Tank support at the beginning of the period was excellent. Tanks were available during the balance of the period, but were used on secondary fire support missions, supplementing the limited artillery fires. Tank destroyers were also used in a supporting role for firing missions ordinarily assigned to artillery. The unit had periodic air cover throughout the period. Fighter-bombers effectively attacked enemy rear and some forward installations and also broke a dam which flooded a large part of the area during the latter part of the month.

 

8. Effects of Weather: With few exceptions all operations during the entire period were hampered by rain and mud.

 

9. Supply: During the period supply facilities were occupied with equipping the personnel of the unit for wet and cold weather and resupplying lost or damaged equipment. All vehicles were inspected and given necessary second, third and fourth echelon maintenance. Ordnance teams were secured from two Ordnance Companies and all weapons of the unit were inspected and necessary repairs or exchanges made. Signal Corps teams were secured to inspect, check and repair all signal equipment in the organization. A schedule was set up for showers and every effort made to get the personnel cleaned, rested, and properly equipped.

 

10. Communications: Almost all communications were by wire with radio used in a supplementary role.

 

11. Honest appraisal of troop morale and troop efficiency: Excellent throughout the operations.

 

12. Casualties for this period:

Officers

Enlisted Men

Total

Killed in Action

0

14

14

Wounded in Action

3

115

118

Missing in Action

1

54

55

 

13. Decorations: The following decorations have been recommended for this period.

5 - Distinguished Service Cross

11 - Croix de Guerre

24 - Silver Star

106 - Bronze Star

 

14. Prisoners Taken: 22 prisoners were taken during this period.

 

15. Complete summary of accomplishments, Remarks concerning mistakes, Incidents: All operations of the regiment during this period were performed in an efficient and excellent manner. The ability of the Infantry and their attached units to endure very unfavorable living conditions and keep up a high state of morale and efficiency has been amply demonstrated during this period. Perhaps no more unfavorable and uncomfortable living conditions or fighting positions could be found than those they endured in the wet forest during the past period when rain and mud was almost always the rule rather than the exception, and when every round of artillery or mortar fire resulted in a tree burst equivalent to well placed time fire. This later factor compelled construction of overhead cover as an essential part of all defensive positions in woods and makes worthy of comment the fact that operation of our forces in woods gave German artillery and mortar fire an effectiveness out of proportion to its volume and far in excess of that encountered in more open terrain.

 

B. A. BYRNE

Colonel, 320th Infantry

Commanding

Incl:

Unit J Unit Journals with supporting document

 

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