AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION
World War II Honor Roll

Vincent C. Gorman

First Lieutenant, U.S. Army

O-1011145

Company B
42nd Tank Battalion
11th Armored Division

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: March 29, 1945
Buried at: 
Awards: Purple Heart

 


FIRST LIEUTENANT VINCENT C. GORMAN was born in Pennsylvania in 1915. His family moved to Haddonfield NJ. His father passed away prior to the census taken on April 7, 1930. At that point in time he was living with his mother Anna and younger brother Edward at 435 Lakeview Avenue in Haddonfield. Anna Gorman, had come to America at the age of 13 from Ireland. Then 43, she supported the family doing housework. 

Vincent Gorman enlisted in the New Jersey National Guard. He reenlisted at Camden NJ on September 16, 1940. He was selected to attend Officer Candidate School. He was sent to Fort Knox KY, trained in tanks, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. By March of 1945 he had been promoted to First Lieutenant. His brother Edward also served, and was wounded in July of 1944. Lieutenant Gorman was killed in action near Lougenselbald, Germany on March 29, 1945.


Company B 42nd Tank Battalion, 11th Armored Division

Report of Action March 29, 1945

By William G. Culver

 During the latter part of March 1945 Company B 42nd Tank Battalion was down to 9 tanks and 36 crewmen. There had been a slow, steady drain of lost tanks and men for some time. Captain John Meggesin, the Company Commander, was granted a short leave to Paris with the promise that his Company would not be put into action while he was gone. The Gods of War decided otherwise.

On March 29, 1945 the 42nd Tank Battalion was driving eastward with Company B at the end of the column. The lead element of the Battalion came to a river and found that the bridge had been blown. The only other way to continue the advance was to take a different road which had already been passed. It just so happened that Company B was at that road junction. Rather than turn the entire column around and bring the lead element into the front. Company B was ordered to take the lead with the rest of the 42nd to follow. 2nd Lt Fermanian was in the lead tank with one other behind and then my tank with the remaining 6 tanks of Company B following. The road we were traveling along curved to the left around some small hills. Lt Fermanian's tank disappeared around a small hill. Suddenly, the second tank stopped, backed up rapidly, ran into a ditch and then burst into flames. Somehow all of the crewmen got out. They came back to my tank and told us that Lt Fermanian's tank had been hit. Turning around, I saw that the tank behind me was alright but behind it were 3 burning tanks. The Germans had 2 antitank guns. One started at the head of the column and the other in the middle. The surviving tanks had been protected by the hills. Lt Fermanian and one other man with him were killed. 1st Lt Gorman, acting Company Commander, and 2 other men were also killed in the tanks behind me. There were 5 other men wounded who had to be evacuated. In a matter of seconds our Company had been reduced from 9 tanks and 36 crewmen to 4 tanks and 26 crewmen. I spent the rest of the day watching the tank in front of me burn. When the shells inside the tank exploded, they made perfect smoke rings that rose high into the sky. Infantry latter came up and took out the two German guns.

The History of the 11th Armored Division makes no mention of this action on March 29, 1945. Instead, on page 105, it mentions Task Force Ahee losing 5 tanks to anti-tank fire in an unsuccessful attack on Themar sometime around April 7, 1945. This date does not coincide with the Morning Reports of Company B which has the men being killed on March 29, 1945. These Morning Reports were obtained by John Weeks whose father joined Company B in early April.

The Morning Reports of Company B of April 2, 1945 lists the following men as killed in action:

Gorman, Vincent C.   1st Lt.  KIA  29 March 1945, Germany
Fermanian, Alfred    2nd Lt.  KIA  29 March 1945, Germany
Lindsey, Cecil M.    Sgt.     KIA  29 March 1945, Germany
Weymer, Walter P.    Cpl.     KIA  29 March 1945, Germany
De Prisco, Ralph J.  Pfc.     KIA  29 March 1945, Germany

The Company Report of March 30, 1945 lists the following men as being evacuated to unknown Army hospitals:

Pileggi, Frank       Tec. 4   LWA, Germany
Simmons, Joseph      Tec. 4   SWA, Germany
Stover, Ernest J.    Cpl.     SWA, Germany
Wagner, Harvey M.    Cpl.     SWA, Germany
Alkvardo, Marion     Pfc.     LWA, Germany

Captain John Meggesin, upon his return from leave, was devastated to learn what happened to his Company. I don't think he ever really forgave his superiors.

I joined Company B in early or middle January, 1945. I was originally assigned to Lt Fermanian's tank but he wanted someone with experience instead of a green replacement so he traded me to a Sgt. The man who took my place was killed along with Lt Fermanian during the action described above. I cannot recall his name but I think he was a young Italian fellow from New York. The only enlisted man killed that day that seems to fit this description is Pfc. Ralph De Prisco. I was 19 at the time. Today I am 77. Whoever that young man was that died that day instead of me, I owe him 58 years.

Anyone who served with Company B during this time or his descendants please feel free to contact me. I would also like to recall the name of the Sgt. who was my tank commander and took such good care of me.

William Glenn Culver e-mail: wgcLakewood@aol.com


History of the 42nd Tank Battalion

This history is dedicated to the following 42nd men who died in Europe, 
so we could live freely in America. Their sacrifice was not in vain.

HQ Company
Arden Evans       Glenn Flesvig       Clifford Page 

A Company
Justino Diaz      Howard Forrey       Charles Fulkerson
August Gebhardt   William Hackney     Edward Hallman 
John Helsten      Walter Hoffman      William Kizis
Herman Lendl      David Peirce        Glen Shellhouse
Joseph Shernigo   Murry Winchester 

B Company
Vance Byler       John Coyne          Arden Evans
Alfred Fermanian  Vincent Gorman      Alexander Horowitz
Alfred Jiricek    Homer Koenegstein   Lee Leonard 
Cecil Lindsey     Kenneth McWilliams  Harold Oliver
Albert Sanderson  Joseph Sardeson     Virgil Shaw
Joseph Shull      Walter Weymer 

C Company
George Babe       Wayne Bloom         Leroy Cantrell
Ralph DePrisco    Calvin Edelblute    Thomas Everett
Michael Glynn     Darwin Perry        Harold Richardson
John Rumage       Nelson Sommerlad    Harold Tevoert
Eugene Waugh 

D Company
Alden Ackerman    George Akers        Lewis Bregni
William Brown     Richard Fallon      Robert Freelan
Kenneth French    Marvin Heiden       David Hershkowitz
Floyd Kargus      William Kohl        Vernon Lawver
Charles Lewis     Donald Mc Eachern   Lawrence Mewhorter
Roberto Montiel   Joseph Plevel       Donald Pociopa
Vincent Putzier   Vivian Russell      Paul Stebler
Raymond Volz      George Warriner     Thomas Williams 

The 42nd Tank Battalion was led with honor and distinction in combat by the following officers. 

Headquarters    
Commander - Lt. Col. Joe Ahee  
Executive Officer - Major George B. Pickett, Jr. 
S-3 - Major Richard C. Walker 
S-2 - Captain Joseph L. Grodeck 
Communications & S-3 Air - Captain William D. Killen 
S-4 - Captain Marshall R. Thigpen
S-1 - First Lt. Peter S. Carpou
Liaison - First Lt. James E. Bloom 

Headquarters Company
Commander – Captain Joseph I. Moock
Maintenance Officer – First Lt. Robert S. Cadigan
Recon Platoon – Second Lt. Stoddard L. Ogg
Mortar Platoon – Second Lt. Francis J. Buchser
Assault Gun Platoon – Second Lt. Raymond F. Martin 

Company A     
Commander - Capt. Michael J. Glynn  
Maintenance Officer - Second Lt. John F. O’Brien 
Tank Platoon - Second Lt. Oliver W. Squier 
Tank Platoon - First Lt. William P. Hackney 
Tank Platoon - First Lt. Wayne L. Stalcup  

Company B
Commander – Captain John Meggesin
Maintenance Officer – Second Lt. John P. Knight
Tank Platoon – First Lt. Vance K. Blyler
Tank Platoon – First Lt. Addison W. Lee
Tank Platoon – Second Lt. Alfred L. Talcott 

Company C     
Commander - Capt. Lonnie L. Goolsby  
Maintenance Officer - Second Lt. Harold M. Crumb 
Tank Platoon - First Lt. Guy B. Stinson 
Tank Platoon - First Lt. James W. Posey 
Tank Platoon - Second Lt. James F. Brogan  

Company D
Commander - Captain George D. Warriner
Maintenance Officer - Second Lt. Peder H. Espeseth
Tank Platoon - First Lt. Donald McEachern
Tank Platoon - First Lt. William Walton
Tank Platoon - Second Lt. Eli J. Warach 

Service Company   
Commander - Capt. Bernard Brenman  
Maintenance Officer - 1st Lt. William Schmalz 
Battalion Maintenance Platoon - Capt. Charles J. Lemann
Transportation Platoon - 2nd Lt. Howard L. Lumley 

Medical Detachment
Medical Officer - Captain Robert V. Ferrell
Asst. Medical Officer - First Lt. Horace A. Bickers 

On March 19, 1945, the Distinguished Service Cross was awarded to Staff Sergeant William Hess, Headquarters Company, 42nd Tank Battalion. 

The following men from the 42nd Tank Battalion were awarded Silver Stars:

Joe Ahee - HQ             Lonnie L. Goolsby - C
Eli J. Warach - D         James Karasek - D  
Vance K. Blyler -B        Jack S. Noel - C  
Robert A. Freelan - D     William C. Kohl - D  
Richard C. Walker - HQ    Robert N. Miller - HQ 
Arden R. Evans - HQ       Melvin R. Gray - MED 
Walter E. Kelly - HQ      Elmer L. Schultz - HQ 
Kenneth G. Mussleman - B  Nelson E. Sommerlad - B 
Clarence F. Bray - B      Michael A. Vincent - A 
Beryl W. Totman - SV      Louis W. Laford - B
John F. Meggesin - B      George E. Akers - D
Alfred L. Talcott - B     Palmer E. Johnson - B
John P. Knight - B        Thomas Hohnhorst - MED
George B. Pickett - HQ    Theodore Wolownik - B
Herman L. Johnson - A 

The Bronze Star was awarded to the following soldiers:

Garland Blocker -MED     Melvin R. Gray - MED
Addison W. Lee - B       Leroy Cantell -C  
Thomas W. Everett - C    Eugene L. Waugh - C 
Ulysses S. Abel - MED    Wayne A. Bloom - C 
Herman L. Johnson - A    Marvin L. Gooderl - D 
Robert C. Kartje - D     Robert J. Klatt - C 
Gordon F. Nelson - C     Irwin M. Payton - D 
James W. Posey - C       Elwood Ruland - D  
J. A. Turner - MED       William E. Walton - D 
Chester Horton - A       Richard C. Walker - HQ 
George D. Warriner - D   Edward M. Liskowiak - B 
Clifford W. Cook - HQ    Bradley J. Radike - B 
Michael J. Glynn - A     Joe Ahee - HQ  
Ivan B. Buchanan - B     Joseph L. Grodeck - HQ 
Frank Oliver - B         Bernard Brenman - SV 
William D. Killea - HQ   Jerry L. Griffin - SV 
Marshall Thigpen - HQ    John Anastasio - SV 
Virgil S. Shaw - B       Eli J. Warach - D  
Joseph O. Bossler - A    James P. McDevitt - A  
Robert C. Poorman - B    Kenneth McDiffett - HQ 
Herschel Baltimore - A   Frank Pileggi - B  
J. W. Burnett - B        Joseph L. Crooks - D 
Joe J. Jaszczak - D      Joseph H. Schnur - B 
Francis Buchser - HQ     Charles A. Martino - B 
Jerome Sokolowski - HQ   Fulton Broussard - A 
William K. Gilpin - SV   Joseph Wall - HQ  
Russel W. Holmes - SV    James C. Waller - D
Calvin M. Edleblute - C  Michael J. Glynn A
James F. Brogan - C      Thomas Hohnhorst - MED
Charles M. Mansholt - C  George B. Pickett - HQ
Clifford A. Tuff - C     Conrad H. Tietje - A
Robert V. Ferrell - MED  Harold E. Oliver - B
Robert V. Burns - B      James E. Bloom - HQ
Alfred Fermanian - B     Forrest E. Richert - MED
Charles J. Lemann - SV   Horace A. Bickers - MED
Charles J. Beckner - C   Lawrence F. Davis - A
Oliver W. Squier - A     John F. Clancy - HQ
Clark J. Hathaway - D    Joseph A. Porta - D
Guy E. Chambers - HQ     Eugene J. Kaufman - A
Ernest R. Whitmore - HQ

The 42nd Armored Regiment was activate 15 August 1942 at Camp Polk, Louisiana. The original cadre for the regiment was received in bulk from the 8th Armored Division with a few coming from the 3rd and 7th Armored Divisions. The majority of the fillers were received from various reception centers during the months of October and November 1942 with balance arriving during December 1942. The regiment completed individual, unit and combined training, including corps problems at Camp Polk.

The 42nd Armored Regimen participated in Louisiana maneuvers from June 20, 1943 to August 28, 1943. On termination of maneuvers it returned to Camp Polk, to begin preparation for movement to Camp Barkeley, Texas as a unit of the 11th Armored Division. Movement from Camp Polk on September, 1943 was in two sections, by rail and motor convoy. The regiment closed in Camp Barkeley, on September 4, 1943. The training schedule consisted mainly of individual training, with the last few days prior to September 19, 1943 being devoted to preparation for reorganization and turning over of vehicles to the 9th Armored Division.

The Coat of Arms for the standard of the 42nd Tank Battalion was authorized on 20 December 1943.

Shield: Vert zu elephant salient proper (buff) armed argent, languid gules, richly comparisoned of the field, fimbriated of the fowril, and trimmed of the third, upon its back a Howdah with four spears of the last.

Crest: None

Motto: “Never To The Rear”

Description: The charging elephant, equipped with the trappings of war is symbolical of the tanks, as it filled the same position in the armies of ancient days. The motto “Never To The Rear” is expressive of the determination of the personnel of the organization, never to retreat. The numerical designation is indicated by the four spears and two tusks.

The period between September 21, 1943 and October 22, 1943 was spent in individual training and preparation for movement to the desert training. The battalion left Camp Barkeley, Texas on October 22, 1943 for Camp Ibis, California and arrived there October 25, 1943. Upon arrival at Ibis, vehicles and equipment were received from the 9th Armored Division and the Desert Training Center. As soon as the vehicles were processed, various field problems were conducted, battalion, Combat command, and Division, covering the period up to January 5, 1944. On January 6, desert maneuvers were started with the Division and battalion opposing the 95th Infantry Division and which lasted until January 29, when movement was made back to Camp Ibis and preparation begun for movement to Camp Cooke, California. The battalion left Ibis on February 8 by motor convoy and train and closed at Camp Cooke on February 10. There, a garrison training schedule was taken up with the majority of training time being spent in firing individual weapons, and individual and crew-served vehicular weapons for familiarization and forming Army Ground Forces; combat platoon firing problems. While at Cooke, all administrative records, supplies and equipment were prepared through inspections and showdowns for overseas service.

On the 12th and 13th of September, 1944, the 42nd Tank Battalion departed from Camp Cooke by rail for their Point of Embarkation at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey and arrived there September 18, 1944. While temporarily stationed at Kilmer, final preparations were made for overseas shipment departing September 28, 1944 for duty in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) from Brooklyn, New York. The Atlantic crossing was made on the British ship “Samaria” by convoy and arrived at Liverpool, England on October 11, 1944. Disembarking on October 12, the battalion boarded the train for arrived at Chippenham, England on the same date. There, the 42nd Tank Battalion was quartered at Hardenuish Barracks and Camp Cocklebury until the 19th and 20th of October, when the battalion was moved to West Downs Camp near Tilshead, England.

On the 17th of December, 1944, the 2nd Tank Battalion departed from West Downs Camp by motor convoy and arrived at Southampton, England on the same date. The Battalion embarked by Landing Ship Tank on the 18th of December from Southampton and arrived in Cherbourg, France on the 19th. At this point the Battalion disembarked and moved to an assembly area at Carteret, France.

The battalion moved for the front, combat-loaded by vehicle convoy in the order shown below:

21 December - The Battalion marched from Barneville, France to Falaise, France. 

22 December - The Battalion marched from Falaise to Damville, France. 

23 December - The battalion marched from Damville to Soissons, France. The balance of ammunition needed to bring the battalion to a full combat load was secured at this point. and the battalion moved out in combat order.

24 December - At 0600, the battalion was alerted for movement north to the vicinity of Charleville, France and given the mission of defending the Meuse River from Charleville to Sedan, France. At 0930 the 42nd Tank Battalion, reinforced with 1st Platoon, Company A 56th Armored Engineer Battalion; Company A 63rd Armored Infantry Battalion (AIB); 3rd Platoon C Battery 575th AAA Battalion; and Battery C 492nd Armored Field Artillery Battalion (AFA), marched to a concealed bivouac in the vicinity of Rouvroy, France. The main bridges over the Meuse River were prepared for demolitions and the 3rd Platoon Battery C 575th AAA Battalion was put into a position to protect the main bridges over the Meuse at Charleville and Sedan from attack by German aircraft. 

25 December - The 42nd Tank Battalion remained in concealed bivouac, perfected defenses and waited for further orders. Orders were received from HQ Combat Command A (CCA),11th Armored Division at 2000 to move to bivouac in the vicinity of Fumay at 0930 on 26 December. 

26 December - The 3rd Platoon Battery C 575th AAA, located at the main bridge over the Meuse at Sedan shot down a FW-190 at 0140 and a ME-210 at 0245. At 0930, the battalion marched to a concealed bivouac SW of Fumay, France. The battalion closed into bivouac at 1200. At 1204, enemy paratroops were reported to have been dropped South of Rouvroy, To take care of this threat the Reconnaissance platoon and Company D 42nd Tank Battalion were sent to investigate this area. This force reported back at 1630 with the following report:

1) No enemy paratroopers were found in this area.

2) There were, however, indications that paratroopers had been dropped in this area.

This information was reported to higher headquarters. At 1215, the 3rd Platoon Battery C 575th AAA reverted to Combat Command A (CCA), 11th Armored Division control. 

27-28 December - The battalion remained in concealed bivouac and conducted maintenance of vehicles, radios, and weapons in preparation for further action. Track extensions were received, and installation began immediately. At 2300, the battalion received an order that it would move at 0215 on 29 December to an undisclosed destination over a route which would be marked by guides. Additional information of the move would be received enroute. Radio silence was stressed. The battalion was alerted and the march order was issued to Company and attached unit Commanders. 

29 December - Preceding elements of CCA were late in reaching the initial point due to icy road conditions and as a result the battalion did not leave bivouac until 0220. The battalion marched a distance of 78 miles, most of it during darkness to a new concentration area north of Tornquay, Belgium. Bivouac security was immediately set up and contact was established with the 63rd AIB which was located on our east flank. The preparation of vehicles and weapons for immediate action was stressed. 

30 December - The 42nd Tank Battalion was assigned to the mission of seizing the villages of Remagne, Tillet, and the high ground NE of Flamierge, Belgium by CCA order at 0130.The 42nd Tank Battalion (except for Company A which was attached to the 63rd AIB) was to be known as Task Force Blue and to be composed of the following troops:

Task Force (TF) Blue: 42nd Tank Battalion (minus A Company); Company A 63rd AIB; Company B 602nd Tank Destroyer (TD) Battalion; and 1st Platoon Company A 56th Engineer Battalion

The plan of attack was that TF Blue would follow TF White (63rd AIB Reinforced) until terrain suitable for a tank attack was reached, at which time TF Blue would pass through TF White and continue the attack. In the case that TF Blue was held up by round that was too soft for tanks and would require Engineer work, TF White was to pass through TF Blue and continue the attack. The order of advance for TF Blue:Company B 42nd Tank; Company A 63rd AIB; Company B 602nd TD;1st Platoon 56th Engineers; 42nd Tank Battalion Headquarters; Headquarters Company and support weapons of the 42nd; C Company 42nd; and D Company 42nd. Trains reverted to Service Company of the 42nd. At 0745 TF Blue proceeded North to the vicinity of Leneville, Belgium where it deployed behind TF White. When the advance of TF White was held up by strong enemy resistance consisting of SA, AW, and AT fire South of Remagne, TF Blue sent patrols to both flanks to determine enemy positions and possible routes for envelopment. Also Company B 602nd TD was sent to protect the left flank of the Task Force and later one platoon of Company B, 42nd Tank Battalion was sent to give additional protection. During all this time the position occupied by TF Blue was under moderate artillery and direct weapons fire. Orders were received from CCA at 1400 to remain in the present location and position awaiting further instructions. On order from CCA, TF Blue covered the withdrawal of TF White under cover of darkness to a position South of Rondu, Belgium. 

31 December - On order of CCA, TF Blue at 0145 marched to a new assembly area located SE of Morhet, Belgium, where the Battalion prepared immediately for action. At 1230 the Battalion Commander briefed Company and attacked unit Commanders on the plans for the attack. The mission of the 42nd Tank Battalion was to seize the high ground in the vicinity of Renuamont, Belgium. The route of advance was as follows: Morhet, Lavaselle, Brul, Houmont, along the ridge North to Rechrival, Hubermont, Millomont, and to the high ground in the vicinity of Remuamont. Order of advance was: Company C 42nd Tank Battalion; Company A 63rd AIB; 42nd Tank Battalion Headquarters; Headquarters Company and Battalion support weapons, 1st Platoon Company A 56th Engineers; Company B 42nd Tank; Company D 42nd Tank; and Company B 602nd TD. Combat Command B (CCB) of the 11th Armored Division having shifted to the West and attacking Brul and Houmont, the direction of advance was shifted and these villages were by-passed, and Rechrival was attacked from the West of the ridge. At 1800, the village of Rechrival was taken and due to darkness the town was organized for defense. During the night of 31 December and the early morning of 1 January 1945 the village of Rechrival was the target of very intense enemy artillery, mortar, and rocket fire causing numerous casualties to the infantry and personnel not in tanks. An enemy infantry counterattack at 2200 was repulsed with considerable loss to the enemy. No further counterattacks by the enemy were made. Harassing and interdictory fire by friendly artillery was conducted throughout the night. During this period considerable German activity could be heard. A German equipped with a radio was captured on the outskirts of the village at 2400.  

1 January 1945 - During the early hours of the morning all buildings were checked over and 15 Germans were taken prisoner. While this check was being made tanks were moved up from the village in order to forestall any possible counterattack by the enemy. Though coming under strong Anti-Tank (AT) and S/A fire the tanks knocked out several enemy SP guns which had been moved into position during the night. Several were destroyed by 88mm AT fire at this time. At 1130 an enemy counterattack of approximately a reinforced company of infantry supported by five tanks, artillery and mortars developed from the woods 800-1000 yards North and Northeast of Rechrival, but were repulsed by the Battalion with heavy losses to the enemy both in personnel and material. At 1515, the 42nd Tank Battalion with Air Support and all available artillery made a coordinated attack against AT guns, infantry and AW fire in the Millomont-Hubermont area. In spite of the large number of Anti Aircraft (AA) weapons, SP guns and tanks, the objective was taken, but due to the lack of troops to hold the ground gained and keep supply lines open the 42nd was ordered by CCA to withdraw to Rechrival and organize at the town for defense. The town was immediately organized for defense and no counterattack was made by the enemy. Between 1930 and 2000, one enemy airplane bombed Rechrival three times scoring a near miss on one tank which was not damaged. However, two men standing near-by were killed. The rest of the night was marked with scattered artillery fire which did no damage. 

2 January - On CCA’s order, the 42nd Tank Battalion was relieved by the 63rd AIB which took over the front line positions. The 42nd withdrew to the vicinity of Brul, and the new position was organized for defense. On order of CCA, Company A 63rd AIB and Company A 42nd tank Battalion reverted to control of their respective parent units, and Company B 602nd TD reverted to control of CCA of the 11th Armored Division. 

3 January - During this period the 42nd reorganized and conducted maintenance of vehicles, radios, and weapons in preparation for further action. 

4 January - On order of CCA, the 42nd moved to Jodenville, Belgium where it became part of the mobile reserve for the 17th Airborne (AB) Division. 

5-7 January - The 42nd remained in reserve at Jodenville, prepared to reinforce the 17th AB on order. During the day, maintenance of vehicles, weapons, radios, and equipment were performed. The Battalion was completely resupplied and administrative details were expedited. The Battalion reconnaissance Platoon reconnoitered routes and areas proposed for further operations and all personnel were briefed on the current situation. The Battalion Medical Detachment helped evacuate casualties of the 17th AB Division. 

8 January - Company B 602nd TD Battalion, having been attached to the 42nd on order of CCA at 1000, was disposed along the North edge of the woods SW of Millomont. At 1300 Task Force Pickett, consisting of Company C 42nd Tank Battalion and the 42nd Tank Battalion’s Reconnaissance Platoon, left the Battalion area with the mission of taking up a defensive position in the vicinity of Chenogne and to reconnoiter routes and areas for defending this position. 

9 January - The 42nd moved from the vicinity of Jodenville to Villeroux, Belgium, on order of CCA, in order to perform its mission more effectively. The Battalion closed into bivouac at 1645. 

10 January - During the day extensive reconnaissance was made by the Battalion Recon Platoon, Company commanders and Battalion staff, of routes and areas to the NE for defending this area. In order to improve the camouflaging of the tanks and halftracks, all combat vehicles were painted white. The Assault Gun Platoon, consisting of six 105mm howitzers, went into position with the 490th AFA Battalion and fired harassing fire missions during the night. First Platoon Company A 56th Engineers checked trails in the vicinity for mines and located a minefield along the edge of woods 1000 Yards NE of Villeroux. The West end of the minefield was gapped and marked, and information concerning the gapping of the minefield was reported to CCA. 

11 January - Liaison with the 193rd Infantry Regiment of the 17th AB Division was established and minefield information was secured. At 1500 Company C 42nd Tank Battalion was moved to bivouac 800 yards north of Isle La Hesse, Belgium, and established liaison with the 513th Infantry Battalion of the 17th AB. The Assault Gun Platoon continued firing missions with the 490th AFA during the night. 

12 January - During the morning the Battalion Commander and the Executive Officer went on a reconnaissance for routes and areas to the North and NE of Bastogne, Belgium. At 1300 a warning order for the move of the Battalion was issued by CCA and at 1725 he Battalion moved from bivouac in the vicinity of Villeroux to the vicinity of Longchamps, Belgium. There it relieved at the 101st AB Division. The Battalion Commander received the attack order from CCA and returned and issued it to the Company Commanders and attached unit Commanders at 0030. Company C 811th TD Battalion was enroute to Longchamps from a position South of Bastogne. The mission of the 42nd was to follow the 63rd AIB by bounds giving fire support to the leading elements of the 63rd AIB. The leading company of the 42nd was Company A which was to pass through and continue to advance if the advance of the 63rd AIB was held up. The remainder of the Battalion was to be committed on order of the Commanding General of CCA, Willard A, Holbrook. Tank dozers were prepared for removal of obstacles and roadblocks. Company C 811th TD was to follow the 42nd by bounds and afford flank protection. 

13 January - The 42nd attacked at 1030 and when the 63rd AIB was held up by S/A, AW, and mortar fire the Battalion passed through the Infantry and continued the advance for about 500 yards when the leading Company was held up by a minefield. First Platoon Company A 56th Engineers was rushed forward and gapped the field. After the field had been gapped the advance was continued until the high ground 500 yards South of Bertogne was reached where the attack was stopped on order from CCA at 1330. Company C 811th TD Battalion was released to CCA control at 1400. The position was organized for defense and the battalion remained in this position for the night. Heavy mortar, artillery, and high velocity weapons fire was received during the night inflicting several casualties. A searchlight located North of Bertogne was used by the enemy most of the night lighting up the area for evacuating vehicles and withdrawing from the area. Friendly artillery fired harassing and interdictory fire throughout the night. Numerous white and red flares were sent up by the enemy most of the night over the Bertogne-Compogne Road. the lighting up of these flares was followed by German Aircraft flying over this area, however, no attack was made by them. 

14 January - At 1130 Company B 42nd Tank Battalion was attached to the 55th AIB which had been assigned the mission of clearing the woods and high ground to the SE of our position. On order of CCA, Company C 42nd Tank was alerted for action with Task Force Sheeley. During the day tanks, assault guns, and mortars fired on enemy personnel and vehicles located along the Bertogne-Compogne Road and the Pied du Mont woods which were 1200 yards NE of our position. A large number of casualties were inflicted upon the enemy. At 2200, the Battalion Commander went to CCA Headquarters to receive the attack order for the next day. At the same time, Company B 602nd TD Battalion was attached to the 42nd. The enemy fired harassing fire with mortars during the night inflicting casualties. Enemy mortar fire during the day killed three enlisted men and one officer while wounding eight other enlisted men. One tank was knocked out of action due to a direct hit in the turret by enemy mortar fire. 

15 January - The Battalion Commander returned from CCA with the attack orders at 0100. Company and attached unit commanders were issued verbal attack orders. The 42nd Tank Battalion (-C Company) was attached to Task Force Bell with the mission of supporting by fire the attack of Task Force Stubbs on Pied du Mont woods. Company C was attached to 2nd Battalion 193rd Infantry Regiment 17th AB Division which was to make the Tank-Infantry attack on Pied du Mont woods after air support and a fifteen minute artillery preparation had been placed on the objective. Companies of the 42nd were disposed at first light so as to be able to give fire support to the attack. At 1010 the order was received from CCA to launch the attack. Encountering very little enemy opposition the objective was taken at 1130, and the command was reorganized in preparation for continuing the attack on Compogne, Belgium. Company C 42nd Tank Battalion reverted to control of the Battalion and was moved to the high ground SW of Compogne from which position it could give fire support if necessary. During the attack on Pied du Mont woods no casualties were suffered by the 42nd. From the light opposition it was apparent that the preparation fire of the artillery and the air support had driven the enemy from the woods. At 1300, the 42nd and the 63rd AIB attacked the villages of Compogne, and Rastadt, Belgium. The plan for the attack was that the 42nd would furnish supporting fire from the West and SW of Compogne and be prepared to envelop the objective from the North and NW while the 63rd AIB, with Company B 42nd Tank attached, was to attack from the South and SE of Compogne driving North to seize Rastadt with the tanks leading, closely followed by the infantry. At 1530 Compogne and Rastadt were taken and the town was organized for defense. The action resulted in heavy casualties to the enemy in personnel and equipment. 17 enemy officers and 350-400 enlisted men were taken prisoner. The 42nd had one casualty and two tanks were temporarily out of action when their suspension systems were damaged by an enemy minefield. At 1630 Task Force Bell issued orders to the 42nd to continue the attack to Villeroux, Mabompre, and Houffalize, which was the Division’s objective. The Battalion immediately started the attack and ran into very heavy enemy AT and Tank fire in the vicinity of Mabompre. At 1700 Villeroux was seized and the supporting infantry of Company C 63rd AIB started to clean out the town. The enemy immediately launched a strong counterattack consisting of one company of infantry and 10-15 tanks. Due to darkness, Company C 42nd Tank and Company C 63rd AIB withdrew to high ground on the West edge of Villeroux and reorganized for defense. A Company 42nd Tan advanced along the Compogne-Mahompre road to the outskirts of Mabompre, encountered heavy AT gun fire, but continued the advance to the outskirts of Mabompre. On order from Task Force Bell, A Company withdrew at 1700 to Compogne. The 42nd and the 63rd organized the Compogne-Rastadt area for defense. Unobserved enemy mortar fire landed on this area during the night, however, no casualties were suffered. During this action, Company C 42nd Tank suffered no personnel or material losses. A Company 42nd Tank had six tanks put out of action by enemy fire during this action. Three of these tanks were later returned to action; the other three burned when hit. Light casualties were suffered and one Officer and five enlisted men of Company A are missing in action as a result of this attack. 

16 January - On order from CCA the 42nd and 63rd attacked at 1000 with the mission seizing the high ground South of Houffalize, Belgium. The objective was taken at 1320 and organized for defense. Enemy resistance consisted mainly of S/A, AW. and mortar fire. No casualties were suffered during this action. At 1600, on order from CCA the 42nd was relieved by the 17th AB Division and withdrew to a position on high ground South of Houffalize. 

17 January - At 1000 , 1st Platoon Company A 56th Engineers reverted to company control. Orders were received from CCA at 1800 that the 42nd would move at 0800 on 18 January to the vicinity of Longchamps, Belgium. Company B 42nd Tank was released to battalion control, effective at the same time. 

18 January - The 42nd marched from bivouac at 0800 to Longchamps. Due to icy condition of the roads the Battalion did not close in bivouac until 1500. The balance of the day was spent in maintenance and cleaning of vehicles and equipment. 

19 January - The Battalion remained in bivouac at Longchamps, refitting and conducting maintenance in preparation for further action. 

20-21 January - 42nd Tank continued refitting, reconnoitering routes to Rachamps and Hardigny, Belgium in the morning. On order from CCA the Battalion moved at 1525 from Longchamps to bivouac in the vicinity of Hardigny and prepared for action to the East and NE. The Battalion Commander having been evacuated for frozen feet, the Executive Officer went to CCA at 2200 and received the attack orders for the following day. Liaison was established with the 63rd AIB and plans were completed for the attack the next day. 1st Platoon Company A 56th Engineers was attached to the 42nd. At 2330 all company and attacked unit commanders were issued the attack order. The mission of the 42nd was to attack East from Hardigny to Bouer, Buret and La Villette, Belgium ad seize the high ground 800 yards to the East of La Villette. The Assault Gun Platoon and the mortars were initially attached to Task Force Sheeley for the assault on Bouer, upon completion of which they were to revert to Battalion control. The attack was scheduled to start at 0730, but due to very icy roads the attack was not launched until 1030. The village of Bouer was taken at 1130 against very little enemy opposition. Eleven PWs were taken. At this point the attack was held up by a blown bridge and the Bouer-Buret Road was extensively mined. While a treadway bridge was being installed by CCA, engineers began gapping the road. At 1330 the treadway bridge was installed and the attack on Buret was continued. The assault guns and mortars furnished abase of fire from the high ground 800 yards East of Bouer while A Company of the 42nd and B Company 63rd AIB attacked the towns of Buret and La Villette. The objective was taken at 1445 and the area was organized for defense. CCA patrols were put out on the flanks and patrols of the 42nd were relieved and took up positions in the village of Buret for the night. Eleven PWs were taken and from all indications the enemy had made a rapid withdrawal from the area. No enemy activity was noted during the night. No casualties were suffered by the 42nd during the action. 

22-31 January - All attachments of the 42nd reverted to their respective parent units on order of CCA. The 42nd conducted maintenance of vehicles, radios, weapons, and equipment during this period. Ice studs were welded on tank tracks. Training was conducted in Tank-Infantry platoon and company problems with Tank-borne infantry and tank-infantry communications being stressed. All new and repaired weapons were test fired, and platoon training stressing the assimilation of reinforcements was conducted. Routes and areas of probable zones of action were reconnoitered. 42nd Tank Battalion casualties for the period 23 December 1944 to 31 January 1945 were as follows: 42 KIA; 130 WIA; 13 Missing. Material losses included 23 M-4 tanks; 12 M-5 tanks; and 2 General Purpose vehicles. 

1-3 February - The beginning of the period found the 42nd in bivouac in Buret. The strength of the battalion was 34 officers and 587 enlisted men. During this period the 42nd conducted maintenance of equipment. Ice studs were welded on all tracks and all new vehicles were camouflaged white. All new and repaired weapons were test fired. All personnel were shown training film “Your Job In Germany”.  

4 February - The Battalion continued with preparation for further action. At 1300, a warning order for movement of the Battalion at 0600 on February 5 was issued to the companies. During the afternoon preparations for the movement were completed. At 1900 on information from S-3, CCA movement of the battalion was delayed for approximately 24 hours. 

5 February - At 0930, billeting party with the Battalion S-2 in charge left for the new bivouac area in the vicinity of Schlierbach, Belgium. Instructions concerning the change were issued and at 1900 the billeting party returned to the Battalion CP. At this time the billeting party was instructed to move to the new bivouac area at 0900 on February 6. 

6 February - The billeting party left Buret for the new bivouac area according to previous instructions. At 1130 a verbal order from S-3, CCA to be ready to move to the new area at 1330 was received. Due to icy road conditions and deep snow drifts the head of the column did not move out until 1347. After having marched a distance of 19.8 miles the head of the column closed into bivouac in the vicinity of Grombach, Belgium at 1740. Upon closing in the new concentration area the whole combat command became part of the Corps reserve. 

7-23 February - During this period the Battalion remained in Corps Reserve. 66 reinforcements were received and these men were processed and assigned to companies immediately. Reinforcements were assigned to tanks with experienced crews and crew drill, tank gunnery, small arms firing, training in technique of driving in mud was conducted throughout this period. Training in German mines and booby traps was given to all personnel. All tanks were equipped with track extensions and the white camouflage was removed from all combat vehicles. Numerous inspections were made by the Commanding General, CCA and the Battalion Commanding Officer of Company areas, billets, and training. Due to the thaw and heavy shell fire the roads in the area had received, large details of 150-200 men daily were employed in repairing these important supply roads. Much of this work was done under Corps Engineers and 56th Engineer control. The reconnaissance platoon was reconstituted and intensive training in scouting and patrolling mines, and booby traps was conducted. Routes and areas to the East, NE, and SE were reconnoitered for possible employment of tanks. New equipment was received and the Battalion was brought up to Table of Organization strength in medium tanks and light tanks. At 2100 on 23 February a warning order on a probable move was received from CCA. All companies were alerted and preparations were made for the move in the morning of the 24th. 

24 February - Plans for the move were delayed and at 0730 the Battalion Commanding and Executive Officers went with the Commanding General, CCA to reconnoiter routes for the move. Location of probable bivouac was in the vicinity of Wassheid , Germany. At 1630 the Battalion received notice from S-3, CCA of change in plans for the movement area. The new area was in the vicinity of Manderfeld, Belgium, The Executive Officer returned at 1800 from route and billet recon for the newly assigned areas. 

25 February - At 0200 a letter of instructions was received from CCA covering missions and movement of troops. XXA was attached to the 87th Infantry Division on VIII Corps order with a mission to defend and/or counterattack on order. The Battalion was alerted immediately for movement during the morning. At 1300, on CCA order the battalion moved to a temporary assembly position of Schonberg, Belgium, where all the tanks with 75mm guns in the Battalion were assembled under control of B and C Companies. A Company was filled to T/O strength of tanks with the tanks with 76mm guns from the other companies. The balance of the 76mm tanks were attached to D Company. When this was completed the Battalion moved to its final assembly areas. B and C Companies went into position in the vicinity of Manderfeld, Belgium with the 490th AFA, closing in these positions at 0200 on 26 February. The balance of the Battalion went into bivouac 1.75 miles West of Manderfeld From the 25th of February to the end of the period these tanks were employed in indirect fire. At 2000, verbal orders (later confirmed in writing) were issued to unit commanders by CCA, covering the role to be played by CCA in the attack by the 87th Infantry Division on the Siegfried Line at 1600 on February 26. The 42nd was to support the attack of the 87th by fire commencing 1600 on the 26th lifting on call from CCA and be prepared to attack on CCA order to capture high ground in the vicinity of Scheid, Germany, after the 87th had seized its own objectives. 

26 February - At 0900 S-3 made a recon with the Commanding Officer and Platoon Leaders of A Company for firing positions in the 63rd AIB sector. At 1300, the Battalion Co and staff went to CCA and received additional instructions concerning plans to support the attack of the 87th. A Company left bivouac area at 1530 to take up previously selected firing positions and at 100 commenced firing from these positions. At 1800 the fire of A Company was shifted to the SE and firing ceased at 1900 at which time they returned to their original bivouac area. During this period fired 133 rounds of 76mm and 170 rounds of 75mm tank ammunition. 

27 February - In the morning one section of the recon platoon reconnoitered routes to Losheim and Hergersburg, Belgium, to determine if the movement of the tanks over the roads had made them impassable for wheeled vehicles. It was found that with the exception of one or two mined places in the roads they were still passably for wheel vehicles. Drainage of the Manderfeld-Helsheim road was conducted throughout the day. The balance of the Battalion proceeded with maintenance work and the improvement of billets. 

28 February - During the day drainage work of the Manderfeld-Holsheim road was continued throughout the day. In the afternoon when the visibility had improved considerably, visits to the front line Command Posts (CP) were made by the Battalion Staff. At 1400 the Company Commander of A Company made a recon flight of the section of the Siegfried Line in the vicinity of Scheid, Germany to locate likely avenues of approach for a tank attack upon that town. He reported that due to a deep railroad cut the only avenue of approach to the town that the tanks could use would have to be a frontal attack from the West. In order to give the recon platoon additional training in night patrolling it was decided to send a section of the recon platoon reinforced with a Browning Automatic Rifle out on a night patrol with the 63rd AIB. At 1600 these men were sent to the 63rd AIB CP where they were oriented on the patrol for the night. The patrol was made that night into a section of the Siegfried line in the vicinity of Scheid. The patrol was not able to take any prisoners but they reported that the Dragon Teeth were mined with anti-personnel (AP) mines and numerous trip wires. At 181, fifteen enemy tanks were reported in the vicinity of Neureuth, Germany. A and B Companies were alerted for possible counterattack. Our casualties for the month: none. 

1 March - The beginning of the month found the 42nd in bivouac in the vicinity of Manderfeld preparing for further operations against the enemy and the Siegfried Line. Four batteries of 75mm tanks controlled by the 42nd under supervision of the 490th AFA were employed in indirect fire on the Siegfried Line. The assault guns of the Battalion were formed into a battery and fired indirect fire under the control of the 490th. To give the recon platoon additional training in night patrolling, a section of the platoon went out on patrol with the 63rd AIB and another section with the 41st Cavalry Recon Squadron. At 1400, section were sent to the 63rd and 41st CPs and were oriented on the patrols for the night. The patrols were made into a section of the Siegfried Line in the vicinity of Scheid. No prisoners were taken and patrol was driven back by heavy automatic weapons and small arms fire. At 1445, a public address system was sent to the 63rd AIB to be used in propaganda attack. A and D Companies were alerted for possible counterattack, and the Company Commanders went to the 63rd AIB CP to look for possible enemy avenues of approach and firing positions for defense against counterattack. 

2 March - At 0900, the Battalion Commanding Officer and Staff visited the 63rd AIB to formulate and coordinate plans for attack against the Siegfried Line. The Battalion CO and XO went to CCA at 1330 to receive attack order issued by the Commanding General, CCA. At 1430 the Battalion CO sent S-3 and Communications Officer to the 63rd AIB to work out tank-infantry communications with the 63rd. the Battalion received verbal orders from CCA at 1600 that the attack was postponed for 24 hours. The CO briefed Company Commanders on plans for attack on the Siegfried Line with personal reconnaissance to be made on the morning of 3 March. 75mm tanks continued to reinforce the fire of the 490th AFA. Assault guns continued indirect fire mission under the direct supervision of the 490th. The balance of the Battalion conducted maintenance and improvements of the bivouac area. 

3-4 March - At 0900, reconnaissance was made of front line positions and routes of advance. Orders were received at 1200 from CCA to send A Company CO and Platoon leaders on night patrol with the 63rd AIB to reconnoiter routes of advance within outer row of Dragon’s Teeth. 75mm tanks continued firing H & I missions. The patrols reported at approximately 2400 that stream and soft ground made area reconnoitered impassable to tanks, that there were not suitable crossings over the railroad tracks and that the bypasses had been cratered. The balance of the Battalion conducted maintenance. CCA issued a warning order of movement to vicinity of Wascheid, Germany which was received at 1400 on 4 March. The Battalion less A Company left Manderfeld at 1530.After marching 18.8 miles, the Battalion, minus A Company, closed in bivouac at 2100 in the vicinity of Wascheid. A Company remained in position at Manderfeld under control of S-3. 

5-6-March - The Liaison Officer returned from CCA at 0930 with warning order for movement to vicinity of Wallersheim, Germany. The Company Commanders were called at 1115 and given verbal orders for movement to the bivouac area and moved out at 1215. After marching 11.5 miles, the Battalion (minus Service Company) closed in bivouac at 1630. A Company joined the Battalion enroute to the new bivouac area. The Battalion spent the remainder of the day preparing for action, At 2100, the XO returned from CCA with alert orders. Companies were immediately alerted for movement on 50 minute notice after 0730 on 6 March. At daylight the CO left on a reconnaissance of routes with CCA Officers. Service Company 42nd Tank marched from bivouac from Washeid and joined the Battalion at Wallersheim at 1300. CCA sent word at 1600 that alert for movement was lifted. At 1700, the CCA S-3 sent a verbal order placing the Battalion on a one hour alert for movement. 

7 March - The XO returned from CCA at 0900 with a Field Order and mission for Task Force Ahee. The Task Force was constituted as follows: 42nd Tank Battalion (-C Company); A and B Companies 63rd AIB; and A Company 56th Engineers (-1 Platoon). C Company 42nd Tank was assigned to Task Force Brady, in CCA reserve. At 0915 company and attached commanders were assembled and the order of march and the mission of Task Force Ahee was given by he XO. The recon platoon moved out at 0930 to mark routes and establish contact with the enemy. The mission of Task Force Ahee was to move along Blue Route as prescribed in Field Order M-16 of he 11th Armored Division, clearing enemy on the axis of advance to the West bank of the Rhine River. The Battalion moved out at 1000. At Pelm, Germany, TF Ahee changed route of advance due to road blocks. An alternate route was taken and the towns of Kirchweiller and Hinterweiller were captured. Only light resistance was encountered from the time contact with the enemy was established at 1300, two miles East of Pelm. TF Ahee proceeded rapidly until the leading elements met the first stiff resistance at Cockwilere, Germany. One Mark VI and one Mark IV tank were knocked out and numerous infantrymen were taken prisoner, after which the TF continued to advance taking in turn the towns of Dreis and Boxburg against light resistance. Heavy enemy resistance was encountered at Kelberg, Germany. Numerous road blocks were defended by small arms fire and bazooka teams supported by heavy nebelwerfer fire. The town was secured at 1820. B Company of the 63rd advanced one mile to the East overlooking Hunerback to establish line of departure for the next day’s operations and to seize the stream crossing between Kelberg and Hunerbach. The crossing was captured in tact. Infantry elements outposted the town for defense. The remainder of the TF occupied Kelberg during the night of 7 March. Task Force Ahee made preparations for continuing the mission at daylight. Personnel losses during these actions were: 4 KIA and 10 WIA. The TF also lost 3 medium tanks, 2 light tanks, and 1 half track. The Battalion CO and S-3 Officer were evacuated for wounds, so the XO assumed command of TF Ahee. During the night of 7-8 March, TF Pickett made preparations for expected move and continuation of the mission in early morning of 8 March. The Commanding General, CCA arrived at the CP and conferred with company and unit commanders on plans for an attack on the morning of the 8th. 

8 March - At 0700 on 8 March, TF Pickett was reconstituted and committed to CCA reserve. Composition of TF Pickett was: 42nd Tank Battalion (-A and C Companies) and A Company 56th Engineers (-1 platoon). TF Pickett moved out at 1210 along Blue route in support of TF Brady. At 1400, Company B 55th AIB was attached to TF Pickett, and assigned the mission of protecting the 58th AFA Battalion. Activity consisted in mopping up scattered enemy resistance in support of leading elements. 

9 March - TF Pickett occupied Plaidt, Germany at 0205. Company B 55th AIB outposted the 58th AFA for the night. Company B 63rd AIB outposted the 490th AFA in the vicinity of Plaidt. At 0915, the Battalion CO returned to the unit and assumed command. The Battalion spent the rest of the day performing maintenance and preparation for further action The TF suffered no casualties during this period. 

10 March - During this time, TF Ahee remained in location at Plaidt on alert in support of TF Brady and alerted to move. D Company moved out at 1138 to position on the West bank of the Rhine River in the vicinity of Andernach, Germany. Its mission was to fire on and neutralize infantry in gun positions on the East bank of the Rhine. At 1400, the CO received a mission for TF Ahee to mop up and clean out all enemy activity and resistance in the area West and NW of Eich. At 1530, the Battalion recon platoon on patrol in area NW of Eich observed dismounted enemy personnel in the woods and attacked the positions and succeeded in capturing 30 prisoners. D Company was released from TF Brady at 1530 and returned to its parent unit. Our losses for the period were 1 KIA and 2 WIA. One A Company tank was also lost. Plans were formulated by the TF commander to mop up and clean out areas North and NW of Eich. Formulated plans were to organize elements of TF Ahee into three Task Forces to mop up in areas designated by CCA. TF Cunningham consisted of : 1 platoon Company C 63rd AIB; 1 platoon A Troop 41st Cavalry; and 1 platoon Company D 42nd Tank. TF Walton consisted of: 1 platoon D Company 42nd Tank; 1 platoon Company B 63rd AIB; and 1 section 705th TD Battalion. TF Houston was made up of: Company B (-1 Platoon) 55th AIB; 1 section 705 TD; 1 platoon Company D 42nd Tank; and the Mortar Platoon 42nd Tank. TF Dunn had 2 platoons of C Company 63rd AIB. 

11 March - TF Cunningham attacked at 0600 and captured Nichenich at 0945. It met light resistance and captured four mortars, on AT gun. and 78 PWs during the day. TF Houston attacked at 0830 and reached its objective at 1115. It encountered light resistance and destroyed one Mark VI tank and took 75 PWs. TF Walton attacked at 0830, encountered very light resistance, and captures 8 PWs. TF Dunn was assigned the mission of assisting in mopping up operations and arrived at Nichenich at 1610. CCA ordered attack delayed until 0800 on 12 March. The TF remained in position at Nichenich and was reinforced by TF Dunn and Company D 42nd tank. Other elements returned to their parent organizations.. This Task Force was designated as TF Grodeck. 

12 March - At 0830 TF Grodeck continued operations clearing woods East of Loucher See. No organized resistance was encountered. At 1330, the XO and Recon Platoon moved to Thur to reconnoiter billeting facilities. At 1330 the TF returned to Plaidt. At 1800 Company C reverted to Battalion control. Mopping up operations in CCA designated areas were completed. 

13 March - The Battalion remained at Plaidt and conducted maintenance of vehicles and equipment. At 1315, B Company 55th AIB was reverted to control of its parent organization. CCA ordered at 1530 a 30 minute alert status for one Platoon A Company 705th TD; one platoon Company D 42nd Tank; and the Assault Gun Platoon. The mission of this TF was to reinforce and support the 6th Cavalry if needed. One platoon of B Company was placed on 90 minute alert, and A Company 42 Tank on a 2 hour alert for the same mission. 

14 March - During the entire day, the Battalion remained on alert for possible move in support of the 6th Cavalry Group. Maintenance was stressed. At 1230, 1st Platoon Company A 705th TD was released. At 1815, CCA sent a warning order of a move to a new location at Ettringen.
 

15 March - The Battalion moved at 0945 to Ettringen, closing at 1135. The remainder of the day was spent at maintenance. 

16 March - The Battalion was placed on four hour alert status at 1000 for a move to vicinity of Lutzbereth, Germany. Orders were received from CCA at 1130 to begin move at 1700. Company Commanders and staff were assembled and orders and route of march was given by the CO. At 1500, S-3 left for the vicinity of Lutzereth with a billeting party. At 1745, the Battalion commenced movement and closed at Dreish, Germany. 

17 March - TF Ahee was constituted by CCA with the mission of spearheading the attack of CCA and clearing the enemy along the route to the West bank of the Rhine River. The TF was composed of the following troops: 42nd Tank Battalion (-C Company); A and B Companies 63rd AIB; one Battery of the 490th AFA; Company A 56th Engineers, and 2nd Platoon Company A 705th TD Battalion. At 0800, the companies were alerted and the CO gave company and attached commanders the mission objective and necessary orders. At 1445, TF Ahee jumped off and advanced rapidly on route, crossing the Moselle River and passing through the 89th Infantry Division. At 1825, the Task Force encountered defended road block in the woods 2 km North of Kirchberg. Road block and resistance were eliminated and the high ground overlooking Kirchberg was secured by leading elements of the task force. The remainder of the task force advanced into Kludenbach and secured and organized defense of the town for the night. Total advance during the day was 13 miles. 

18 March - The attack was resumed at 0645. Intense mortar fire was encountered on route beyond Dickensheid at 0945. TF Ahee received heavy mortar, small arms, and automatic fire in Gmunden at 1025 and encountered blown bridge at Gehlweiler defended by direct fire from two 150mm guns, mortar, nebelwerfer and small arms fire. The XO cleared the town with dismounted infantry as tanks took mortar positions under fire. The TF continued its advance to Konigsau and encountered another road block supported by mortar fire. Tank dozers were used to reduce the road block. Advance continued to the vicinity of Dhaun where the TF encountered a road block of rock blasted from the mountain side over the road. Tank dozers cleared the block at 1600. One mile from Simmern a road block, a dynamited mountain side, and blown bridge were encountered. Dismounted Infantry advanced into Simmern and secured town at 1945. Other infantry elements cleared high ground near the town at 2000. 

19 March - At 0030, road blocks were cleared and the bridge spanned by engineers.. The Task Force moved into Simmern for the night closing at 0130. The advance for the period was 16 miles. Combat patrol was prevented from securing the bridge at Martinsheim by enemy fire. Advance continued at 0640. The bridge at Martinsheim was blown by the enemy as the lead jeep of recon platoon was making the crossing. B Company 42nd Tank reinforced with infantry and engineers was immediately dispatched to Sobernheim to seize the bridge and secure a crossing. The bridge was blown and intense mortar and small arms fire encountered. The infantry cleared the town while engineers made plans for a crossing. A crossing at this point would necessitate too long a delay so the TF Commander decided to ford the stream at Martinsheim and continue the advance from that point. Heavy mortar and small arms fire was encountered during the fording. Artillery fire was directed at mortar positions on the high ground dominating the crossing. Infantry crossed mounted on tanks and the TF continued the advance to the vicinity of Marxheim. Tanks were deployed around town as infantry dismounted and cleared the town in the face of heavy AT, small arms, and automatic weapons fire. the TF advanced rapidly and encountered CCB 1 km North of Meinsheim. The TF moved into Meisenheim and organized defense of the town, closing at 1830, Advance during the day was 17 miles. 

20 March - CCA ordered a new route of advance for the Task Force Ahee. At 0700, the TF continued its advance moving rapidly until meeting resistance at Dannenfels. Anti-tank guns, road blocks and infantry were neutralized by artillery, tank gun fire, and dismounted infantry action. The Battalion XO in command of a force of one tank company and one infantry company moved on alternate route through the woods and high ground SW of Dannenfels to protect the TF’s south flank. This force cleared Stalheim and contacted CCB After breaking through at Dannenfels, TF Ahee continued its advance and contacted elements of CCB at Dreisen. The Commanding General,CCA and the TF Commander initiated plans and established a route for the drive to the final objective. Two Task Forces were organized to attack the town from the NE and SW: TF Ahee and TF Pickett. Due to the depleted strength of the task force, CCA ordered movement in one column. Small arms fire and mortar fire at Marxheim and Albisheim was neutralized by tank fire. At Marxheim the bridge was blown. The TF advanced along a trail parallel with the stream to Monsheim and encountered another blown bridge. Infantry cleared and secured the town as engineers spanned the stream. The TF closed at 1030. Liaison with the 4th Armored Division was established and it was learned that they were in TF Ahee’s objective at Pfeddersheim. Total advance for this period was 33 miles. 

21 March - At 0930, recon patrols were sent into Hohen-Sulzen and Kreigsheim to mop up and clear enemy stragglers from the area. Infantry patrols were sent to high ground dominating Monsheim with the same mission. At 1330, infantry patrols retuned with 130 PWs. Liaison returned from CCA at 1740 with information that attached units would revert to parent units. Maintenance of vehicles, weapons and radios was conducted. Troops rested and improved billets. Company C reverted to Battalion control and moved to Monsheim. 

22 March - At 0800, the 2nd Platoon 705th TD Battalion reverted to control of its own Battalion. At 0830, one platoon of light tanks and one platoon of medium tanks were alerted to move on call to support the 63rd AIB. Headquarters and C Companies moved to Harxheim closing at 1000. An order was received at 1130 from CCA placing the Battalion on two hour alert for a possible move to the NW. this order was modified at 1437 lifting the alert until 0600 on 23 March. Usual maintenance was continued. 

23 March - The Battalion was informed by CCA that the alert status and possible movement had been delayed for 24 hours. Liaison brought an order at 1245 to have two platoons of 7mm tanks report to the CO of the 41st Cavalry at Alsheim. The rest of the Battalion stressed maintenance of equipment. An order was received at 2330 alerting the Battalion to move at 1020 to the vicinity of Weinolsheim-Uelversheim. 

24 March - S-3 and the Battalion recon platoon left at 0700 to reconnoiter routes and prepare to billet the Battalion. The Battalion marched in one column closing in Uelversheim at 1220.  

25-27 March - During this period, the 42nd remained in position at Uelversheim conducting maintenance and rehabilitating troops. On the 26th, a battalion formation was held with the Commanding General, 11th Armored Division and the Commanding General of CCA presenting awards and decorations to personnel of the Battalion. 

28 March - The Battalion was placed on one hour alert effective 1200. CCA issued verbal orders on objectives, routes of advance and the mission of TF Ahee at 1115. Composition of the TF was as follows: C Company 63rd AIB; A company 56th Engineers (-1 platoon); one Battery of the 490th AFA; one platoon of the 245th Engineers; one platoon of A Company 705th TD Battalion; and the 42nd Tank Battalion (-B Company). The mission of the Task Force was to cross the Rhine River in the vicinity of Oppenheim and advance along a route given in verbal instructions by CCA. .At 1330, the TF crossed the Rhine in the vicinity of Oppenheim. The TF was delayed in crossing the Main River as the bridge was not completed. The column coiled along the axis of advance and waited completion of the abridge. The Task Force’s CO crossed the Main River and established liaison with the 317th Infantry. At 1700, verbal orders were received from CCA to remain in position and await further orders. The Task Force CP was established at Bischofsheim. At 2300 verbal orders were received to move the TF at 2400 to an assembly area in the vicinity of Hanau, and prepare for a Main River crossing. The mission of the TF was to pass through the 26th Infantry Division, advance rapidly clearing enemy on the axis of advance, and to seize and hold Fulda. At 2400, the TF marched to an assembly area in the vicinity of Steinheim and closed in bivouac at 0415 on 29 March. 

29 March - At 0630, the TF crossed the Main River in the vicinity of Grossauheim and passed through the 26th Infantry Division at Hanau. A defended road block was encountered 1.5 miles East of Hanau at 0715. Our infantry outflanked dug-in enemy infantry and bazooka teams, and the road block was neutralized and cleared at 0750. the TF continued its advance until reaching Ruckingen. that town was heavily defended with numerous infantry, bazooka teams, automatic weapons and supported by AT and mortar fire. Plans were formulated to assault the town with a flanking and enveloping movement. the XO of the 42nd organized a TF consisting of one infantry company supported by two platoons of medium tanks and assaulted the town from the SE as the remainder of the TF moved in from the East. Mortars, assault guns and artillery gave supporting fire during the attack. Fanatical enemy resistance necessitated street and house to house fighting before the town was cleared at 1350. The TF regrouped and the advance was continued. A blown bridge on route was by passed and leading elements entered Lougenselbald at 1410. From all indications and the nature of the resistance more infantry would be needed to spearhead the attack. By order of CCA, the TF remained in position at Lougenselbold and the infantry Task Force Brady passed through. At 1500, TF Ahee closed and a CP was established.the TF remained on alert in support of TF Brady. Total distance traveled during this period was 54 miles. The distance of advance was 7 miles.

30 March - At 0800, Company A 42nd alerted and moved to Rothenbergen for support to TF Brady. At 1630, TF Ahee moved to Rothenbergen,establishing a CP there at 1745. At 2330, CCA reconstituted its troops, and A Company 63rd AIB was attached to TF Ahee. CCA gave TF Ahee the mission of spearheading CCA’s advance the following day. Troops were alerted to move at 0630 the following day. 

31 March - TF Ahee continued the advance at 0630 bypassing friendly forces at Breitenborn. A vigorous raid advance was initiated from this point and the towns of Vittengenborn, Spielberg , and Streilburg were captures and cleared. As each town was reached, a road block defended by small arms fire was the nature of resistance. Each in turn was quickly overcome and neutralized before any serious enemy threat could be made. It was apparent that the enemy was disorganized and could offer only delaying and scattered resistance. At 1015, the first serious threat was encountered at Hellstein. Numerous infantry in the woods along the axis of the advance threatened with small arms and mortar fire. Direct fire was received from the town. The leading elements deployed as the TF Commander initiated the assault. Mortars, assault guns, and artillery were put into action and the threat from the flanks was neutralized. Dismounted infantry entered the town with tank support and the town was quickly cleared at 1130. After a breakthrough at this point, the TF continued its vigorous advance capturing in turn the towns of Udenhein, Katholeschwillenroth, Eckardaroth, Romsthal, Kersdorf, Sarrod, Ulmbach,Kressenbach, and Breitenbach. Minor resistance in hastily installed road blocks and small arms fire was encountered in the drive but were quickly overcome at each point of resistance and the drive never lost its momentum. A strong point was encountered at Wallroth Mulldorf. Anti-tank and mortar fire supported the numerous infantry and bazooka teams trapped in the town. The TF support weapons were put into action and heavy concentrations were fired on woods and dominating terrain. Dismounted infantry assaulted the towns and a highly intensified street and house to house fight ensued. The towns were cleared and organized at 1600. The TF Commander organized a force under the XO with a mission to seize Hintersteinau for NW flank protection. TF Pickett’s mission was successfully completed after a minor fire fight at 1830. The three towns were organized and outposted for defense during the night. Total distance traveled for the period was 36 miles. The total advance was 29 miles. For the month of March, our casualties were: 18 KIA and 42 WIA. Material losses included:11 Medium tanks; 2 light tanks; 4 halftracks; and one truck.


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