134th Infantry Regiment Crest

134th Infantry Regiment

"All Hell Can't Stop Us"

35th Infantry Division emblem

35th Infantry Division

Report of Action Against the Enemy - October 1944

Headquarters 35th Infantry Division
A.P.O. #35, U. S. Army
5 November 1944

SUBJECT: Action Against the Enemy Report

TO: The Adjutant General, Washington, D. C.

1. In compliance with C-3, Par. 10, AR 345-105, the following report of action against the enemy by the 35th Infantry Division during the period of 1 October 1944 to 31 October 1944, inclusive, is submitted.

2. In conjunction with elements of 6th Armored Division, the 35th Infantry Division on 1 October attacked in the Foret De Gremecey to reestablish its defensive line along the eastern edge of the forest. 1st and 2nd Battalions, making the main effort for the 137th Infantry, jumped off at 0930 behind CCR, 6th Armored Division. The 1st Battalion, moving slowly against heavy artillery fire, occupied Chambrey at 1900. The 2d Battalion, plodding through the dense tangled undergrowth of the woods, reached a point a few hundred yards short of the edge of the forest by dark.

While the 3d Battalion, 320th Infantry, continued to hold in the northeast corner of the forest against pounding artillery and mortar fire, the regiment's other two battalions punched at the Germans in their sectors. The 1st Battalion, overcoming bitter enemy resistance, reached its objective by 1500. Meanwhile the 2nd Battalion, attacking east behind an artillery preparation, routed the Germans out of recently reinforced World War I fortifications. At end of day, however, it had not gained the edge of the forest.

The 134th Infantry continued to improve its defensive positions.

The 2nd of October was comparatively quiet. The 134th and 137th Infantry Regiments continued to defend and bolster their lines while the 2nd Battalion, 320th Infantry, having reached its objective, relieved the 1st Battalion.

Quiet continued to prevail in the division sector the following day. The 60th Engineer (C) Battalion, given the job of constructing defense works in front of the division MLR, accomplished its mission despite mortar and artillery fire and occasional small arms fire. Most of the work was accomplished at night and, consequently, encounters with German patrols were frequent. Often the engineer squads removed mines from enemy minefields and transplanted them so as to be beneficial to the division. The battalion's secondary mission was to repair and maintain roads in the division sector.

The 2nd Battalion, 320th Infantry, on 4 October, had its sector extended to the south to include the line held by the 2d Battalion, 137th Infantry. The relief was effected by 1830. The MLR along the eastern edge of the Foret de Gremecey now had the 3d Battalion, 320th Infantry, defending the northeastern edge, the 2d Battalion, 320th Infantry, defending to the southeastern tip of the woods, and the 1st Battalion, 137th Infantry, to the division boundary line south of Chambrey.

On 5 October, the 1st Battalion, 137th Infantry, was attached to the 320th Infantry until it could be relieved by the 1st Battalion, 320th Infantry. The plan was to give responsibility for the eastern portion of the division front to the 320th Infantry, to allow the 137th Infantry to regroup in division reserve.

Relief of the 1st Battalion, 137th Infantry, being completed at 2200 on 6 October, the 320th Infantry defended on the entire eastern portion of the division's L-shaped MLR. The 137th Infantry now constituted division reserve.

In the 134th Infantry zone, active patrolling was conducted.

Following a thirty-five-minute counter-battery and ten-minute artillery preparation, the 134th Infantry attacked at 0615, 8 October, to establish new defensive positions along the line Ajoncourt-Fossieux-Fort de Gremecey. At the same time, the 80th Infantry Division, on the left, and CCB, 6th Armored Division, attacked to enlarge the bridgehead east of the Moselle River. Attached to the 134th Infantry were the 3d Battalion, 137th Infantry; 737 Tank Battalion; and Company B, 86th Chemical Battalion. The 3d Battalion, 137th Infantry, supported by the 737 Tank Battalion, made the main effort and drove steadily northwest, encountering only light small arms and artillery fire. Leading elements of the battalion reached the objective at 1025.

Meanwhile, F Company, 134th Infantry, mopping up after elements of CCB, 6th Armored Division, pushed north on the left of the 3d Battalion, 137th Infantry, and arrived at its objectives, Arraye et Han and Ajoncourt, early in the afternoon. They relieved elements of CCB in this sector.

Although opposition was relatively light, over 150 prisoners were taken. It was a day of revenge for K Company, 137th Infantry. A few days before it had suffered heavy losses during a counterattack in the Foret de Gremecey, and the Germans broadcast this information through propaganda leaflets dropped in the division area. The reorganized K Company took 104 prisoners.

The 134th Infantry's attack in the Fossieux sector being successful, the division on 9 October defended on the line Ajoncourt-Fossieux-Foret de Gremecey-Chambrey, as ordered by XII Corps. An enemy counterattack by seven enemy tanks with infantry in Fossieux interrupted the 134th Infantry's organization and construction of its MLR to the extent that its own A Company, and K and L Companies, 137th Infantry (3d Battalion, 137th Infantry, remained attached), were ordered to meet the threat in and around the town. During the morning, six of the enemy tanks ventured forth from their well-concealed, well-protected hiding places, a wall in the northern portion of the town, only to find tank destroyers from the 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion waiting to strike. Four of the six tanks were knocked out and a hit was scored against a fifth. At dark, elements of the enemy were still present in the northern end of the town. The action continued the next morning with another tank destroyed, bringing the total to five destroyed.

Except for intermittent artillery fire, no enemy activity was reported on the 320th Infantry front. The 137th Infantry (3d Bn) continued in division reserve.

With the exception of the 134th Infantry's mopping up of Fossieux and the shelling of enemy railroad guns of the 137th Infantry's CP and 35th QM Company area, little activity was reported on the division front on 10 October. In the Fossieux cleanup, 42 prisoners were taken, including the commander of the force. Otherwise, the division continued to consolidate its positions.

Late in the evening, the 60th Engineer (C) Battalion suffered a severe blow at Ajoncourt when two truckloads of anti-tank mines exploded, causing 47 casualties. Investigation did not at first determine the cause of the explosion, but it was known that enemy artillery and mortar fire had been falling in the area. A sergeant who had been wounded in the explosion was interviewed later, and stated he thought that a direct hit by a mortar shell on one of the trucks of mines was the cause of the accident.

Activity at the front was at a minimum on 11 October. Main action was the final clearing of Fossieux and the assembling of 3d Battalion, 137th Infantry, at Aboncourt after its mission at Fossieux had been completed. 1st Battalion, 134th Infantry, now defended on the division left flank.

During the night a report from XII Corps announced that friendly aircraft had destroyed an enemy railroad gun, which, possibly, was one of the weapons dropping large artillery shells into the division area for a week or more.

On 12 October, patrols operated in enemy territory at night, division artillery fired normal missions, and supporting aircraft bombed and strafed the woods southwest of Lemoncourt. Otherwise, the division front remained as inactive as it had been the two previous days. One exception to this occurred in the 134th Infantry area. The 1st Battalion was relieved in its zone by the 2d Battalion at 2245 and went into regimental reserve in vicinity of Manhoue. Earlier, the 3d Battalion, 137th Infantry, had been released from attachment to the 134th Infantry and returned to control of the 137th Infantry. It remained in the same assembly area at Aboncourt.

Supporting aircraft continued to attack the enemy along the division MLR on 13 October. They bombed and strafed the woods southwest of Lemoncourt for the second straight day. A report received during the evening stated the forest was on fire and flashes were visible indicating that, possibly, an ammunition dump had been hit. The 134th and 320th Infantry Regiments continued to occupy and defend in their zones. The 137th Infantry remained in division reserve.

Only activity on 14 October was the reconnaissance of the 134th Infantry MLR by the 137th Infantry for its forthcoming relief of the 134th; and the landing of heavy enemy shells, apparently from railroad guns, in the division area. The woods southwest of Lemoncourt was hit again by fighter-bombers and the railroad at Benestroff was also bombed.

Relief of the 134th Infantry completed at 2230 on 15 October, the 137th Infantry (Company B, 86th Chemical Battalion attached) took up its positions with the 1st Battalion on the left and the 2nd Battalion on the right. The 3d Battalion became regimental reserve at Aboncourt. The regiment was supported by Company C, 737th Tank Battalion; Company A, 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion; and Company B, 60th Engineer (C) Battalion. The 134th Infantry reverted to division reserve with the 1st and 2d Battalions in vicinity of Brin and the 3d Battalion, to be prepared to support the 320th Infantry, at Gremecey.

The next two days were confined to patrolling and firing of normal artillery missions. A local change in the boundary between the 1st and 2d Battalions, 137th Infantry, on 16 October furnished the only other activity.

The 18th and 19th of October saw no change occur in the 35th Division's relatively inactive front lines. Enemy artillery continued to harass forward troops and, occasionally, rear areas, but no action of major importance took place.

The 134th Infantry, in division reserve, conducted combat training and serviced vehicles and equipment.

The execution of a plan to flood the Seille River by bombing the earthen dam on the north end of Lindre Lake, southeast of Dieuze, was the center of interest on 20 October. It was believed flooding of the river valley would cut off front line units from the rest of the division for four days. To prevent the enemy from executing any plan advantageous to them, it was decided the dam would be blown during this lull. The 60th Engineer (C) Battalion removed bridges at Bey and Bioncourt and made necessary dikes and improvements in preparation for the flooding. At about 1330 on the 20th, twelve P-47's approached the dam and dropped their loads. Results were not definite, but it was believed no serious damage had been caused. Twenty-four P-47's (two squadrons) were over the target at 1630 to complete the destruction. The first squadron unloaded its bombs. As the second went in, it was noticed that a fifteen-yard gap, through which water was running, had been blasted in the dam. Seeing no need for additional strikes, the second squadron left without dropping its bombs.

On 21 October the division had no activity to report. The next day brought a slight increase in action. In the 137th Infantry sector, the 3d Battalion completed relief of the 1st Battalion at 2000. Earlier, the division encountered its first robot bomb in France. At about 1300, the flying bomb landed in the forest south of Lay St. Christophe. No damage was reported.

The 23d of October brought no change in the division situation. Patrols operated and defense of the zone was continued. The 134th Infantry made preparations to relieve the 320th Infantry. Engineers reported the Seille River had reached its high water mark of five feet above normal. The river rose to the level of the dikes, but did not flood the valley as had been anticipated. No supply or communication lines were destroyed. Normal traffic flowed across the bridges over the river.

Relief of the 320th Infantry was completed at 2045 on 24 October. The 134th Infantry now defended on the division's eastern front. The 1st Battalion was on the left, the 2d Battalion in the center, and the 3d Battalion on the right. The 320th Infantry became division reserve, placing the 2d and 3d Battalions in vicinity of Brin and the 1st Battalion at Gremecey. The 1st Battalion was to be prepared to support the 134th Infantry. The Seille River began to recede.

The next three days little activity was reported. Front lines remained stable and the Seille River continued to recede. The 320th Infantry in division reserve, conducted combat training. On the 27th, 1st Battalion, 137th Infantry, relieved 2nd Battalion, 137th Infantry.

For 40 enlisted men and four officers, the 28th of October meant the beginning of a two-day holiday in Paris. The group was the first contingent from the division to visit Paris under the plan to give combat troops the opportunity to see the city. Each unit was given its quota and method of selection was left to the discretion of unit commanders.

At the front, the 134th Infantry shifted its troops so that each battalion had one company in reserve.

The 29th and 30th of October arrived and passed as quietly as preceding days. Defense of the division zone continued while the artillery, assisted by the 737th Tank Battalion and the 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion, fired interdictory and harassing fire on enemy targets.

The last day of October found the division defending on the line Ajoncourt-Fossieux-Foret De Gremecey-Chambrey, with the 137th Infantry on the left, the 134th Infantry on the right, and the 320th Infantry in division reserve.

The 35th Infantry Division had completed its quietest month in combat in World War II.

3. Number of prisoners of war captured by the 35th Infantry Division during the period: 484. Total to date - 7,495.

4. Number of awards to members of the 35th Infantry Division during the period is as follows:

Type of Award Officers Enlisted Men
Silver Star Medal 33 60
Silver Star w/Oak Leaf Cluster 7 1
Bronze Star Medal 122 439
Bronze Star Medal w/Oak Leaf Cluster 13 15
Purple Heart 34 324
Purple Heart w/Oak Leaf Cluster 5 21
Air Medal 2 0 2 0
Air Medal w/Oak Leaf Cluster 14 1
Soldier's Medal 1 1

5. Total number of casualties sustained by the 35th Infantry Division during the period is as follows:

Type of Casualty Officers (Oct 1944) Enlisted Men (Oct 1944) Officers (Year to Date) Enlisted Men (Year to Date)
Killed in Action 7 251 79 1229
Died of Wounds 3 38 19 207
Missing in Action 10 260 28 850
Died of Injury 0 0 0 2
Seriously Wounded in Action 6 72 30 406
Seriously Injured in Action 1 0 1 5
Lightly Wounded in Action 30 704 231 4602
Lightly Injured in Action 1 60 15 450
TOTALS 58 1386 403 7751

For the Commanding General:

<signed>
Richard G. Chadwick
Lt Col, A G D
Adjutant General

5 Incls:
Incl No. 1 - G-1 Journal w/supporting documents
Incl No. 2 - G-2 Journal w/supporting documents
Incl No. 3 - G-3 Journal w/supporting documents
Incl No. 4 - G-4 Journal w/supporting documents
Incl No. 5 - GO 39 thru 48, HQ 35 Inf Div.

After Action Report
October 1944
Annex to G-1 Journal

1. Battle Casualties (from BCR's)

Unit KIA DOW SWA SIA LWA LIA MIA TOTAL
Hq 35th Inf Div 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Hq Sp Trs, Band, & Med Det 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MP Plat 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 4
Hq Co 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
35th Sig Co 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
35th Rcn Tr 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
35th QM Co 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
735th Ord Co 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 4
110th Med Bn 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
60th Engr Bn 21 0 3 0 19 8 15 66
134th Inf 109 19 30 0 261 22 47 488
137th Inf 69 10 18 0 180 10 196 483
320th Inf 45 11 20 1 234 19 11 341
Hq 35th Div Arty, Med Det, & Hq Btry 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
127th FA Bn 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 2
161st FA Bn 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 5

216th FA Bn

1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2
219th FA Bn 0 0 1 0 5 0 1 7
DIV TOTAL 247 40 75 1 711 59 270 1403

 

ATTACHED UNITS KIA DOW SWA SIA LWA LIA MIA TOTAL
448th AAA Bn 2 0 3 0 10 0 0 15
654th TD Bn 6 1 0 0 12 0 1 20
737th Tk Bn 3 0 1 0 2 2 0 8
Attached Unit Total 11 1 4 0 24 2 1 43


2. Replacements

1 Oct - 493 9 Oct - 13 17 Oct - 2 25 Oct - 4
2 Oct - 88 10 Oct - 4 18 Oct - 36 26 Oct - 2
3 Oct - 257 11 Oct - 64 19 Oct - 23 27 Oct - 15
4 Oct - 547 12 Oct - 3 20 Oct - 7 28 Oct - 6
5 Oct - 12 13 Oct - 145 21 Oct - 14 29 Oct - 0
6 Oct - 61 14 Oct - 59 22 Oct - 49 30 Oct - 2
7 Oct - 1 15 Oct - 6 23 Oct - 70 31 Oct - 8
8 Oct - 0 16 Oct - 96 24 Oct - 20

Total replacement for month of October - 2107

3. Prisoners of War Captured

1 Oct - 62 9 Oct - 78 17 Oct - 0 25 Oct - 0
2 Oct - 73 10 Oct - 63 18 Oct - 0 26 Oct - 0
3 Oct - 14 11 Oct - 14 19 Oct - 0 27 Oct - 0
4 Oct - 4 12 Oct - 3 20 Oct - 2 28 Oct - 2
5 Oct - 1 13 Oct - 3 21 Oct - 0 29 Oct - 1
6 Oct - 4 14 Oct - 0 22 Oct - 0 30 Oct - 1
7 Oct - 4 15 Oct - 2 23 Oct - 0 31 Oct - 2
8 Oct - 179 16 Oct - 0 24 Oct - 0

Total prisoners of war captured during the month of October - 512

4. Awards

Awarded by this Headquarters

Silver Star Reg.

Posthumous

MIA Cluster
Officers 27 6 0 7
Enlisted Men 36 19 5 1

 

Soldier's Medal Reg.
Officers 1
Enlisted Men 1

 

Bronze Star Medal Reg. Posthumous MIA Cluster
Officers 118 3 1 13
Enlisted Men 413 21 5 15

 

Air Medal Reg. Cluster
Officers 2 14
Enlisted Men 0 1

 

Purple Heart Awards 368
Purple Heart with Cluster 26

Forwarded to Higher Headquarters

Distinguished Service Cross Reg. Posthumous
Officers 0 3
Enlisted Men 4 1

 

Legion of Merit Reg. Posthumous
Officers 4 0
Enlisted Men 0 0

 

Distinguished Flying Cross Reg. Posthumous
Officers 3 0
Enlisted Men 0 0

 

Croix de Guerre Reg. Posthumous
Officers 42 2
Enlisted Men 12 4

 

Legion of Honor Reg. Posthumous
Officers 11 0
Enlisted Men 0 0

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