February 1945

SUBJECT : Unit History.

TO : Historical Section, Army War College, Washington D.C, (Thru CO, V Corps)

a. Original Unit - Completed.
b. Changes in Organization - None.
c. Strength, commissioned and enlisted
(1) At beginning of period - 26 O, 2 WO, 540 EM
(2) At end of period - 27 O, 2 WO, 543 EM
d. Stations of unit or parts thereof
(1) On 4 February the firing batteries and Hq and Hq Btry moved from positions in vicinity of Kalterherberg, Germany, to new positions in vicinity of Konsen, Germany.

(2) Service Battery and Personnel Section comprising the rear echelon remained in positions in the outskirts of Eupen, Belgium, during the entire month of February.

e. Operations

            The firing batteries and Hq and Hq Btry were in positions in the vicinity of Kalterherberg, Germany and Service Battery and the Persomnel Section were still in Eupen, Balgium. Captain GEORGE L. WILSON, Bn Asst S-3 and Air Observer, and 1st Lt DALE R. BRENEMAN, JR., received orders to proceed to Army OP Rest and Recreation Center at the Hotel D'Angleterre, Liege, Belgium, where they were to spend three days. Sgt. Lewis R. Hanna and Pfc Robert J. Hammond were promoted to the rank of S/Sgt and Corporal respectively. The Bn Ammunition Train drew 540 rounds of aumunition from the ASP.


            1st Lts. CLARENCE T. ENBODY and GEORGE J. OBLANDER went from duty to sick in hospital as non-battle casualties this date. Colonel JIM DAN HILL and Captain VINCENT de P. HAGEN, CO and S-2, 190th FA Op, were visitors at the Bn CP on their way to make reconnaissance for new positions areas for Group Headquarters. Privates Charles C. Russell, William H. Corbitt, Otis L. Dowdy, John W. Gerhard, Frank A. Mayer, Btry A, were promoted to grade of Private First Class.  Battalion drew 500 rounds of ammunition from ASP.


            Lt ENBODY returned to duty from hospital. Tec 5 Eugene T. Scott and Pfc Gilbert L. Wells, Btry C, were promoted to grade of Corporal and Tec 5 respectively.  Pfc Walter C. Vassar, Sr., Btry B, was promoted to grade of Tec 5. Pfc Reid M. Foster, Btry A, absent sick in hospital, was dropped from assignment.  Captain JEPTHA S. DAVIS, JR., Bn Mtr Officer, was placed on DS at the Information and Education Staff Sohool in Paris, France, where he was to receive instruction for "On the Job Training" in connection with the Army's educational program. Tec 5 Maxwell L. Barnes, Hq Btry and Tec 4 Roland M. Chenoweth, Sv. Btry, accompanied him as driver and assistant driver.  Battalion drew 600 rounds of ammunition from ASP.


            At 0900 hours Lt. Col. MORAWETZ and party left Bn Cp for reconnaissance of new positions and at 1220 hours the battalion was given march order. The firing batteries and Hq and Hq Btry closed in their new positions near Konsen, Germany, at 1730 hours. On this march the battalion passed through the town into which it had fired many missions and the destruction and devastation in evidence here was gratifying to everyone and prof of the accuracy and effectiveness of our fire. The battalion received allocation for 2 officers and 15 enlisted men to proceed to V Corps Recreation Center in Eupen, Belgium, on 46 hour passes. Pfc Ross Richardson, former member of the Medical Detachment, was reassigned to that organization from the 3d Replacement Depot.


            Considerable interdiction was fired by all batteries during the early morning hours of this date. These new positions were found to have been heavily mined by the enemy. Many of the mines bad been laid while the snow still blanketed the fields and it was our good fortune to occupy the area after the thaws had exposed them. However, many of the fields had been mined beneath the surface and extreme caution was exerciesed by all personnel. Captain NATHAN LANDES, Bn Com O and Co of Hq Btry, returned to duty from DS at the Information and Education Staff School in Paris. Cpl. Edward L. Pratt, Jr., absent sick in hospital from Btry A, was dropped from assignment. Cpl. Rossie R. Hall, Btry C, was evacuated to hospital after sustaining injuries to his hand when the trail of a gun fell on it.


            Captain LANDES, Bn Com O, was placed on DS with V Corps to act as Liaison Officer between the V and VIII Corps, Tec 5 James M. Berry and Pfc Dewitt P. Stricklin, Hq Btry, accompanied him as Radio Operator and driver respectively. During this period the battalion ammunition train was force to operate during the hours of darkness because of the heavy daytime traffic on the supply routes. On this particular date 1300 rounds were drawn for the battalion.


            Several men from Battery C, while seeking materials to construct living quarters in their area, unknowly entered a field which had been heavily mined by the enemy. They inadvertently set off anti-personel mines which resulted in the death of Pfc. Lewis F. Jarrell and the wounding of Pfc Mallon S. Henry and Pvt Charles E. Ogburn. Cpl. Clarence G Beers, Chief of the Section to which these men were assigned, entered the mine field in an attempt to aid Pfc Jarrell, who was not then known to be dead. After discovering the body, Cpl. Beers unfortunately detonated another mine which wounded him so severely that he had to be evacuated to the hospital inmediately. Cpl. John A. Reilly, battalion aid man, and Pfc Thomas J. Ryan, Btry C, heroically volunteered to evacuate Cpl Beers from the field and in so doing undoubtedly saved his life.  Cpl. Beers was dropped from assignment to the battalion.


            The 190th FA Gp established a switching central in Hq Btry and 3 men were attached to that orgainization. Captain WILSON, air observer, and Lt REX N. FENNER, Liaison Pilot, located a heavy caliber enemy gun which was firing into the town of Schmidt from t.he vicinity of Thuir. They adjusted fire upon this gun with very effective results. Major PERHAM, Bn Ex Officer, made a routine inspection of all battery positions and found both tactical and living conditions very satisfactory.


            1st Lt. OBLANDER returned to duty from hospital. CWO LEONARD A MASSOTH, Bn Personnel Adjutant, was appointed battalion Public Relations Officer in addition to his other duties. Pvts. Marvin E. Green and James H. Jones, Jr., were promoted to grade of corporal.  Intermittent flurries of snow and light showers held observation to a minimum and firing was minimized accordingly during this period.


            1st Lt ARTHUR TEMPLE, was relieved from assignment at Motor Officer in Hq Btry and assigned to Battery C and 1st Lt. CLARENCE T. ENBODY, was relieved from assignment as Motor Officer in Btry C and assigned to Hq Btry. Pvt Clarence  J. Davis, Btry C, was reported missing in action. 1st Lt. FRANK R. ORADAT, JR., Rcn from Btry A, and the survey section from that organization established a forward observation pout in the vicinity of Wollseifen, Germany. Pvts. Earl D. CoffmanCrville E. Guard, Ray Hightower, Herman B. LiebermanGerard H. Morris and Elmer A. Sellers all of Hq Btry, were promoted to grade of Private First Class.


            1st Lt. REX N. FENNER, Liaison Pilot, and 1st Lt. CLARENCE T. ENBODY, Air Observer, left for Air OP Rest and Recreation Center, Liege, Belgium, for three days leave. Major THRIFT, of the IG Staff, V Corps, made an inspection tour of the battalion. Col PATTERSON, AG for V Corps, Col, MC CASLIN, JAG of V Corps, Col. MC CLELLAN, IG of
V Corps and Col JIM DAN HILL, CO of 190th FA Gp visited battalion fire direction center and observed operations during a fire mission. This group later visited a firing battery and witneesed the firing of the guns, several of them pulling the lanyard in the course of the firing. Chaplain MC SWEEN held Catholic services for the battalion in the Hq Btry area.


            Pursuant to Memorandum from 190th FA Group Hq the battalion's firing was reduced for an unspecified time. Maintenance and Special Services activities were to be stressed meanwhile. Only one firing battery was to be alerted during each 24 hour period but security measures remained in force throughout the battalion. Long ranges to enemy targets and lack of favorable forward positions were largely responsible for this reduction of fire. Pfc Mallon S. Henry and Pvt Charles B. Ogburn, Btry C, were awarded the Purple Heart, per GO #2, Hq 997th FA Bn, dated 12 Feb 1945, for wounds received in action on 7 Feb 1945. Privates First Class Daniel J. O'Donnell and Herbert C. Blackstock, Btry A, were promoted to the grades of Corporal and Tec 5 respectively.


            Captain JEPTHA S. DAVIS, JR., Tec 4 Roland M. Chenoweth and Tec 5 Maxwell L. Barnes returned from Paris upon completion of the Captain's TD at the I & E Staff School. Lt. Col. MORAWETZ held a battery commanders' meeting at the battalion CP to discuss operations during this period of reduced firing. Valor Air OP adjusted Baker battery on a group of buildings in Mariawald. This was a destruction mission and the target was destroyed. The movie "And Now Tomorrow" with Loretta Young and Alan Ladd was shown to battalion personnel at the battalion CP.


            In compliance with a pervious allocation, T/Sgt James M. Gibbs, Bn Personnel NCO, Cpl Richard J. Astor. Btry B, and Cp. John Puksen, Btry C, left for a 7 day furlough in England. Captain DAVIS, Bn Motor Officer, visited battalion headquarters to make arrangements for vehicles to be returned to the rear echelon for 6000 tile maintenance checks and to set up a schedule for daily maintenane checks of vehicles in the several batteries by battery officers. Cpl. Rossie H. Hall, Btry C, returned to duty from hospital. Captain LANDES, Tec 5 James M. Berry and Pfc Dewitt P. Stricklin returned to duty from DS with V Corps.


            Captain CHARLES D. VUNCK was reld from asgmt as CO Btry A and asgd to duty as Bn Com O  and CO of Hq Btry and Captain NATHAN LANDES was reld from asgmt as Bn Com O and CO Hq Btry and asgm to duty as CO of Btry A. Major EVERETT A. ROHMIG and 1st Lt. ROBERT M. TAUTGES and 16 enlisted men left on 46 hour passes to Eupen, Belgium. At a formal ceremony at the Bn CP Lt Col MORAWETZ presented the Bronse Star Medal to T/Sgt John Skendle, Hq Btry for meritorious service rendered as battalion comununications chief. The picture "Janie" starring Joyce Reynolds and Edward Arnold was shown at the Battalion CP. Cpl Flavious C. Otta, Tec 5 Kenneth G. Miller and Reid M Foster were reassigned and to the battalion from the 3rd Replacement Depot. Cpl Otta went to Btry C and Tec 5 Miller and Pfc Foster went to Btry A.


            Captain KENNETH V. COON, CO Btry B, was placed on DS with V Corps to serve in liaison capacity between the V and VIII Corps.  He departed with driver Tec 5 Nalter C. Vasser. Sr., on this date.  Captains LANDES and SEIBERT, from batteries A and C respectively, visited Major PERHAM at the CP on matters pertaining to administration.  Captain MILLER was a visitor at the Bn CP on matters of supply.


            Lt Col FRANCIS E. MAROWETZ, Bn CO, was awarded the Purple Heart, per GO #3, Hq 997th PA Bn, dtd 17 Feb 1945 for injuries received in action against the enemy in Germany of 3 Feb 1945. Privates First Class Edward Elliott, Btry A, and Kenneth R. North, Btry B, received the Purple Heart under the same authority for injuries received in action against the enemy in Germany on 28 January 1945. Tec 5 Harry O. Whitman, formerly with Btry B, was reassigned to that organization from 3rd Replacement Depot.


            The movie "See Here Private Hargrove" was shown at the battalion CP for personnel of the unit. Pfc Aram J Nahigian,  Pvt Sanford R. Woodie and Pfc Philip E. Jones were assigned to the battalion from 196th FA Bn and further assigned to C, B and A batteries respectively. On this date the body of Pvt Clarence J. Davis, Btry C, who had been reported missing in action since 7 February, was located by a 78th Division graves registration party. Pvt Davis was the victim of enemy anti-personnel mines.


            Cpl Arthur L. West and Pfc Thomas E. Voyles, Btry C, were promoted to grades of Sergeant and Corp respectively. Pfc Joe T. Blair, formally a member of Service Battery, was reassigned to organizaticn from the 3rd Replacement Depot.  It was learned from Ptc Blair that he had received the Purple Heart Award while in the hospital. Captain VUNCK, 1st Lt. WILLIAM G. PEACH and 17 enlisted men left on 72 hour passes to the nearby city of Verviers, Belgium. This was in the VII Corp sector and it was only through the courtesy of the VII corps Recreation Center that an allotment of passes was given to our unit to this city. The three EMs attached to Hq Btry to operate the switching central were dropped from attachment and returned to 190th FA Gp.


            Lt TAUTGES went to Vex Hq to pick up a group of officers and enlisted men from the 386th Bomb Squadron Group who were making a tour of ground force units in connection with an air-ground liaison program to better the understanding between the two forces. The group had lunch with Hq Btry and were enlightened on fire direction technique at the battalion CP and then proceeded to one of the firing batteries where they were shown the service of the piece by one of the gun sections. Several of the officers pulled the lanyard during the firing.


            1st Lt. WILLIAM G. ROLF, 1st Lt. FRANK R. CRADAT, JR., and 7 EM from the battalion went to Eupen, Belgium, on 48 hour passes. As part of the Army's plan to rotate combat troops to the states for 30 day periods, Tec 4 Harry R. Callahan, Sv Btry, with 30 months overseas service to his credit, left for his home in Lockhaven, Pennsylvania, for 30 days of rest and recuperation.


            Special Services section of 190th PA Gp showed the Mickey Rooney picture "Blonde Trouble" to battalion personnel at the battalion Cp. Major PARHAM left for V Corps Artillery Hq to confer with 1st Lt. JAMES LAWRENCE, Adjutant, on matters concerning awards amd decorations. The weather cleared sufficiently for Captain WILSON and Lt. DALE R. BRENEMAN, JR., to direct several registrations from an Air OP.


            Continued good flying weather brought about additional flights by the air section. During the day each of our air observers made 2 flights firing a mission on each flight. Excellent effects were reported. V Corps Engineers were doing a wonderful job of keeping the main supply roads in good repair. Early each morning they could be seen unloading near our CP to begin the job of repairing the damage of the previous night's heavy traffic. The work day for these details often ran from as early as 4 o'clock in the morning to late at night.


            The Engineer road patrols were still encountering enemy mines along the road shoulders and hedges in our area. Three members of one of these patrols mere injured when a mine was detonated in the C Battery area. Major PERHAM made an inspection of battery positions to check on the maintenance of equipment and materiel.


            Captain COON, on DS with V Corps as Liaison Officer between the V and VIII Corps, visited the CP bringing the latest information on the situation in our sector as well as that of the VIII Corps. S/Sgt Irvin H. Bernards, Hq Btry, absent sick in hospital was dropped from assignment. CWO CARL E. HEARN, Bn Asst S-4, was a visitor at the battalion CP and delivered some newly received howitzer parts to the firing batteries.


            Tec 4 Robert J. Seitz, who has been acting mess sergeant in Hq Btry since S/Sgt Saunders left, was promoted to grade of S/Sgt and Pfc Donald S. Martin, assistant to the Bn Historian and member of the Bn Personnel Section, was promoted to the grade of Tec 4. In Battery A Privates Loyd A. Bloodworth, Charlie M. Carter, Roy W. Cooper, Leslie Griffis, Robert W. Hill, Philip E. Guida, Robert E. Moorhead, Robert J. Napper, Clifford W. Rowland and Millard J. Simard were promoted to the grade of Private First Class.


            Orders were received from 190th FA Op Hq for the battalion to furnish a detail of several vehicles to help move a corps ammunition dump. Captain DAVIS, Bn Motor Officer, was placed in charge of this detail. The battalion wrecker with Tec 4's Herbert E. Hlehm and Charles F. Whitacre, from Sv Btry; 1 tractor with Tec 5 James E. Garrett, and Pfc Veuton Folds, from Btry B; and 1 tractor with Tec 5 Johnie Winsor and Pvt Reid U. Foster, from Btry A, made up the detail. Captain Vunek, with his driver Pfc Frank E James was placed of  DS with V Corps to act as liaison officer between V and VIII Corps.  Lt Col FRANCIS K. MORAWETZ, s/Sgt Lawrence D. Daylor and S/Sgt Irvin H. Bernards were awarded the Bronse Star Medal, per GO #22, Feb 1945.  S/Sgt Charles T. Cunningham, Cpl Ewald L. Berger, and Cpl Lee R. Engalls of Battery B, were awarded the Soldier's Medal and S/Sgt Ira T. Swihart, of Sv Btry, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, per GO # 23, Hq V Corps, dtd 27 Feb 1945


            CWO LEONARD A. MASSOTH, Bn Personnel Adjutant, arrived from the rear echelon with the money for the Class"F" Agent Officers to pay their respective organizations. In the afternoon a call was received from 190th FA Gp Hq to go on reconnaissance for new positions for the battalion. The battalion commander and reconnaissance parties from the several batteries went forward to select new positions and upon their return arrangements were made to move the battalion early tbe following morning.