TO : Commanding General, First U.S.
Army, APO 23
(Attn: Historical Section) (Thru channels)
At 0500 hours oh 6 November the battalion began firing preparation fires that lasted until C600 hours and during which time 48 rounds were expended. This preparation was fired to reinforce the fires of the 28th Division Artillery. On this morning Cal. MORAWETZ visited the batteries to inspect the condition of personnel and equipment. Daily ammunition runs under the direction of Capt. EUGENE MILLER, Bn 3-4, and S/Sgt Ira T. Swihart, bn Ammunition NCO, were being made back to the rear ASPs. Personnel and vehicles from the firing batteries made up these trains. On 8 November Captain HAGAN, Bn S-2, and Lt. SATRE, Rcn Officer from Btry C, established a forward OP in a house in the north end of the city of Germeter, Germany. This OP was occupied on a 24 hours schedule by observers from the battalion. During the first day of occupance approximately 2500 rounds of enemy artillery landed ip the near vicinity of this installation. This condition prevailed for several weeks. This same day Capt. WILSON, Asst Bn S-3, and Liaison Pilot 1st Lt. DALE R. BRENEMAN, nade an aerial reconnaissance during which they located 6 enemy battery positions, two of which they directed fire upon. On the morning of 10 November Lt. FRANK R. ORADAT, JR, Rcn Officer from Btry A, left the battalion on DS with the l01st Airborne Infantry Division. This detachment was the result of Lt. CRADAT'S volunteering to be a forward observer in a Parachute Regiment of that Division. The next day Vanilla Air Observers fired 2 missions against enemy batteries. Fire was reported as very effective. During the early hours of 12 November, Battery A was subjected to several rounds of counter battery fire. However, this enemy firing did not effect the operations of the battery and no casualties were sustained.
From 5 November through 14 November the battalion fired 514 rounds of counter battery, 406 rounds of destruction, 996 rounds of interdiction and 187 rounds of harrassing fires. The counter battery fires were directed on an estimated 138 guns. This estimate does not include those enemy guns fired upon during night interdictory missions. In the course of the destruction missions 40 enemy tanks, 3 enemy OPs and 2 enemy fortified houses were fired upon. The enemy fortified houses were destroyed, the OPs were neutralized and many of the tanks were rendered immobile. The interdiction fires were placed on 23 towns and 24 major road junctions together with an undetermined number of enemy guns.. Of the harrassing missions, 20 infantry strong points were fired upon with an average of 10 rounds per installation. There were 17 TOT missions fired during this period.
On 15 November Lt. ROBERT M. TAUTGES, was appointed by V Corps Artillery as officer of the guard in charge of security for the Roetgen dam. This dam, located abcut 4000 yards from the front lines, represented a primary objective to the enemy in view of the fact that its destruction would flood a large operational area occupied by our troops. The morning of this day, Vanilla Air OP directed fire upon 4 enemy batteries all of which were effectively neutralized. This same day, in compliance with directive from higher headquarters, 73 men were transferred out of the battalion as overage. Major PERHAM and T/Sgt James M. Gibbs. battalion personnel sargent, accompanied them to the Ground Forces Replacement System at Verviers, Belguim, from which they would eventually be reassigned to combat outfits. In the afternoon Capt. HANCOCK and Capt. THORNTON, from the G-5 section of First Army, visited our CP for the purpose of checking the probable stolen property present in the homes occupied by the battalion CP. Capt. HANCOCK discovered a valuable Van Dyke painting which evidently had been removed from a museum or art gallery by the enemy.
Lt. GARY H. BRONNECK, a former member of the battalion, visited the battalion CP on 19 November. The Lt. is at present a member of the 5th Armored Division. His capacity in his unit is that of an interrogation officer in the G-2 Section. On 22 November Lt. ABBOTT, from the 514th Ordnance Bn, visited the OP and later on in the day made a spot check of the ordnance equipment in the battalion. The next day, 23 November, the battalion celebrated Thanksgiving Day. A Red Cross Clubmobile was in the area on this day and made the rounds of the batteries serving hot coffee and doughnuts to the men. The next day Lt. Col. MORAWETZ made a routine inspection tour of the batteries hnd Lt. Col. BENNETT, CC 120th Engineer Bn, visited the CP for the purpose of discussing with Lt. TAUTGES the regulation of the releasing of water from the Roetgen Dam. Due to heavy rainfall, it had been necessary to release large quantities of water daily from the lake to prevent uncontrolled overflow of the spillway.
The battalion did considerable firing during the period from the 15th to the 25th of the month. In the main it consisted of 1196 rounds of counter battery, 550 rounds of interdiction, 116 rounds of destruction and 312 rounds of harrassing fires.
On 25 November Col MORAWETZ and Lt. TAUTGES left the CP on reconnaissance for positions for Btry C. No satisfactory positions were found.. The next day the Medical Detachment, under the direction of Capt. LOUIS A BREFFEILH, began giving typhoid and typhus innoculations to the men in the unit. This same afternoon a P-47 that developed mechanical trouble returning from a mission of bombing was forced to jettison its bomb load at a point near our air strip to cause no small amount of excitement in the area momentarily. Authority was given the battalion to send men to Paris on 48 hour passes and a few days later out first quota under Lt.. WILIAM G. ROLF departed for that city. On 28 November Capt. WILSON, air observer, and it. BRENEMAN, Liaison Pilot, were attacked to two enemy ME 190s while on a scheduled flight. However, intense AA fire quickly dispersed the enemy craft and no casualties to men or equipment were sustained. Lt. Col. FRANK H. MCFARLAND, a former member of the battalion, was a visitor at the CP on this date. The colonel is now Asst G-5 with the VII Corps. During the last five days of the month the firing consisted of 402 rounds of counter battery, 105 rounds of interdiction, 265 rounds of preparation fires, 68 rounds of destruction and 27 rounds of harrassing fires. During the entire month 7688 rounds were expended.