SUBJECT : Unit History.
TO : Historical Section, Army War College, Washington, D. C. (Thru CG VIII Corp.)
a. Origina1 Unit - completed.
b. Changes in Organization -
(1) Reid fr asgmt to First Army, and asgd to Ninth U.S. Army, effective 11 May 1945, per Troop Asgmt #120, Hq 12th Army Group, dtd 7 May 1945.c. Strength, commissioned and enlisted
Battalion was in positions near Mulsen St. Jacobs, Germany. In Btry A, Pvts William D. Dinsmore, John F. Fleteher, William C Maizuss , Oscar P. Stepeneson, John M. Swearingen, Edward P. Thomas and from the Medical Detachment James W. Alvis were all promoted to the grade of Private First Class. One gun and 16 enlisted men fron Btry C were placed on DS with Btry A, 914th FA Bn, 89th Division, to fire a special mission. An VIII Corps inspection team was in the battalion area on this date. Tec 5 Gene C. Hudson, truck driver from Service Battery was fired upon by an enemy sniper while on his way to the water point, the bullet going through the right side of his windshield.
Captain DAVIS, Bn Mtr Officer, was at the CP to discuss forthcoming vehicle inspections by higher headquarters. Captain LANDES, Bn S-2, conferred with the town Burgomeister to inform him of the procedures concerning our Military Government activities. Pfcs Othmer K. Heilman and Frank K. Tafoya were promoted to grade of Corporal and Pfc Louis E. Tippie was promoted to grade of Tec 5. All men were from Btry A.
Technical Sergeant Walter B Warren, Service Btry and Pfc John C Wood, Hq Btry returned from 7 day furloughs in England. Captain CHARLES D. VUNCK, CO Hq Btry, was presented the Bronze Star Medal by Lt Col MORAWETZ at a formal presentation ceremony at the Bn CP. Captain TULLY, 174th FA Gp Catholic Chaplain, was a visitor at the CP to make arrangements for services in the battalion. Pvt Virgil C. Zeller was trfd from Hq Btry to C Btry. Captain MILLER, Bn S-4, discussed ordnance shortages in the organization with the battalion commander at the Bn CP.
Pfc Raymond H. Clark, Btry A, returned from 7 day furlough to England. Lt. ROBERT M. TAUTGES, Asst Bn S-2, Pvt Cecil E. Kieth, Hq Btry, , Tec 5 Lincoln A. Koch, Med Det, and Sgt Edwin R. Hoggatt , Btry C, departed for 3 day passes to Paris. 1st Lt. EARLE S. WRIGHT, Mtr O in Btry A, on TD at the Group air strip was a visiter at the CP.
Five men from Hq Btry and 6 from Btry b departed for 282d FA Bn Hq at at Auma, Germany, to report for TD with Military Government. Lt Col MORAWETZ attended a conference at 663d FA Bn Hq for the purpose of recommending changes in T/O & E for our type of unit. As a result of our period in combat these recommendations were many and diverse. At 1036 hours Btry C fired the last round that the battalion was to fire in this theater and brought the total rounds fired by the battalion in combat to 40,403, 403 of which Stry B fired while attached to the 69th Division. Tec 4 Robert W. Crister , Btry B, and Sgt. Roy L. Lewis, Btry A, departed on 7 day furloughs to the Riviers. Btry A received 2 replacements from the 3d Replacement Depot and Pfc John L. Moss, Btry B, abs sk in hospital was dropped from asgmt.
The gun crew from Btry C, which had been with the 14th FA Bn, returned to duty with the unit. Battalion personnel enjoyed a variaty show at the battalion CP which was composed of talent within the unit and from a battery of the 550th AA Bn who were attached to us. Major ROMIG, Bn Ex O, made a routine inspection tour of the batteries.
Offical orders to cease firing were received at 0640 hours from Group Headquarters and at 1014 hours the following message received from higher headquarters. "Representatives of theGerman High Command signed unconditional surrender of all German air, land and sea forces in Europe to the AEF simultaneously with Soviet High Command at 0141 7 May 1945. All Forces will cease operations at 0001 9 May 1945, Effective immediately all offensive operations will cease. Troops will remain in position, moves and occupation duties will continu due to difficulties in comunications there may be some delay in similar orders reaching enemy troops so all precautions will be taken. No releases to press pending announcement by heads of all three governments." Signed SHEAF. The long awaited V-E Day had arrived at last.
Pvt James E. Shirley, Btry C, and Cpl Jack H. Battle, Btry
B, returned from 7 day fur1oughs in England. Hundreds of German
soldiers were coming through our area daily on their way to PW Camps. A variety show and a V-E party was held at Bn Headquarters and the celebrating continued into the early hours of the following morning. Personnel from the entire battalion attended.
This had been officially announced as V-E Day and at 1500 hours a V-E program was held for the battalion in the A Btry area. Both of the Group Chaplains spoke after which Col Korawet: addresacd the men of the battalion. The program closed with a prayer and the singing of the national anthem. Tec. 4 Harry M. Adkisson, C Btry and Pfc Leonard V. Colville, A Btry, departed for 7 day furlough to the Riviera. 1st Lt. DALE R. BRENEMAN, JR., Bn. Liaison Pilot, flew Captain Miller, Bn S-4, to V Corps Headquarters where he attended to matters concerning Bn supply. The men from Hq and B Btry, on with 282d FA Bn, returned to duty with their respective organizations.
1st Lt. JAMES E. KURTRIGHT, Asst Com O, was placed on DS with 174th FA Gp Hq. Bn received orders to move and reconnaiseance parties left to select billets in vicinity of Schmalkalden, Germany. Preparations for moving the following morning were made throughout the battalion. Captain STAINBROOK, Group Protestant Chaplain, visited the battalion on this date. Major ROMIG attended a meeting at 174th FA Gp Hq to secure additional information concerning the proposed move.
The Bn moved by light and heavy columns at 0700 hours and closed in new area at 2130 hours after a march of approximately 135 miles due west. The battalion was now located about 60 miles south of the city of Kassel. Tec 4 Harold H. Loyd, Sv Btry, returned from 7 day furlough to the Riviera. Captain BREFFEILH, Bn Surgeon, and four enlisted men from the battalion departed for 3 day passes in Brussels, Belgium.
A battery commanders meeting was held at Bn Hq and Lt Col MARAWETZ outlined a security guard mission and duties to be performed, in this area. 1st Lt. TAUTGES, and 3 enlisted men returned from in Paris and 1st Lt. FRANK R. ORADET and 5 enlisted men departed on pass for Paris. Both Group Chaplains visited the CP to arrange for services in the battalion the following day. Normal security guard activities prevailed throughout the unit.
Pfc Jesse C. Bryan and Pvt Joseph A. Carbone, former members of Btry C, Pvt Buck B. Tyler and Pfc Walter T. Zahn, former members of Btry A and Pfc Venton Folds, formerly of Btry B, all of whom had been absent sick in hospital, were reassigned to their respectiver organizations. In these new areas the battalion was occupying four towns, being assigned Security Guard duties in each. Hq and Sv btrys were in Kleinachmalkalden, Btry A in Brotterode, Btry B in Auwalenburg and Btry C in Herron Breitungen.
Major CARL BELT, an old friend of Major ROMIG'S,, visited the Bn CP. Pvt Norman B. Beck, Btry C, absent sick in hospital was dropped from assignment. The batteries were busy cleaning up sectional equipment and preparing for forthcoming inspections.
The battalion was relieved from assignment to First U. S. Army and assigned to Ninth U. S. Army, effective 11 May 1945, per Troop Assignment #120, Hq 12th Army Group, dtd 7 May 1945. Pfc John E. Fletcher, Btry A, was awarded the Purple Heart, per Sec I, GO #6, Hq 997th FA Bn, dtd 15 May 1945. Four Officers, 1 Warrant Officer and 40 enlisted men in the unit were awarded the Good Conduct Medal, The Officers and Warrant Off icer were awarded the medal on previous enlisted service. Captain CONNORS from 174th FA Gp Hq visited the battalion to discuss the forthcoming Information and Education Program. Personnel throughout the battalion were using the swimming pool in the A Btry area.
Pvt Maurice J O'Brien was assigned to the battalion from 3d Replacement Depot and further assigned to Btry A. Sgt Floyd Roberts, Btry A, was placed on TD with the 174th FA Gp and Pfc James W. Alvis, Med. Det, was placed on TD with VIII Corps Artillery. Lt Col MORAWETZ made a tour of the batteries inspecting their areas and installations.
A battalion inspection was conducted on this day with the Staff Officers inspecting quarters, vehicles and sectional equiptment in the several organizations. The inspection as a whole was as a whole satisfactory. At a battery commanders' meeting Lt Col MORAWETZ discussed the results of the inspection and the future activities of the Bn.
Col HENSEY, CO 174th FA Gp, was a visitor at the CP. Captain BEFFEILH and 4 enlisted men this date returned from 3 day passes in Brussels, Belgium. Pvt Louis Capocci , former member of Btry C was reassigned and joined from 3d Replacement Depot. Pvt Jim H Jackson, Btry A, absent sick in hospital was dropped from assignment. The battalion was occupied with the routine duties of Security Guard and were still apprehending many PWs and war criminals.
1st Lt. FISHBACK, CO Btry A, visited the CP to discuss the handling of the displaced persons in his area. All batteries were encountering manifold difficulties in this respect. Pfc Freeman C. Woodard, Btry B was promoted to the grade of Cpl. Tec 5 Wylmer L. Potts and Pfc Clarence Gober, Btry C, were placed on TD with the 34th FA Bn. The Med Det was busy examing and preparing Physical Profile Classifications on all personnel of the battalion.
Both Protestant and Catholic services were held in the battalion area on this date. The movie "Two Down and One To Go" on readjutinent and redeployment was shown to the entire batta1ion. The Adjusted Service Rating program was discussed in full and was very enlightening to the men of the unit. Five EM from Hq Btry, eight from Btry A, ten from Btry B, nine from Btry C and two from Sv Btry were placed on TD with the 687th FA Bn and Tec 4 Cecil Kruse and Tec 5 James M. Berry, Hq Btry, were placed on TD with Ninth U. S. Army.
Figures compiled by the Bn S-3 Section showed that the battalion had fired 40,744 rounds since entering the ETO which amounted to 9,900,306 lbs. (4,950 tons) of ammunition. It would require 1,900 GMC trucks to haul this amount of amniunition. By batteries the firing was as follows: Able - 13,057; Baker - 13,059; Charley - 14,628.. An allocation to send 13 EM to the States was received from higher headquarters and the men selected were notified to be ready the following morning.
The first contingent of men from the battalion to be sent home included Tec 3 Lester E. Whynot, Hq Btry, Randolph, Massachusetts, and Cpl Ralph L. Conway, Hq Btry, Topeka, Kansas; 1st Sgt Woodrow E. Crawford , Ottawa, Kansas, Cpl Hubert E. Darnatt, Coffeyville, Kansas, and Pfc Charles E. Sturm, Topeka, Kansas, Btry A; S/Sgt George E. McIntosh, Ottawa, Kansas, and Pvt Cecil C. St Clair , Iola, Kansas, Btry B; 1st Sgt Donald L. Salters, Harper, Kansas, Cpl William L. Gilbert, Iola, Kansas, and Cpl Earl J. Royal , Blountsville, Alabama, Btry C; S/Sgt Robert L. Neill , Atchison, Kansas, and Rec 4 Don F. Douros, Topeka, Kansas, Service Btry; Tec 3 Donald E. Perkins, Tonganosie, Kansas, Med Det. All of these men were transferred to the Separation Center at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, except Tec 3 Whynot and Cpl Royal who went to Ft. Devans, Massachusetts and Camp Mc Pherson, Georgia respectively.
Captain DICKEY, Asst Bn S-3, and S/Sgt Charles U. Weiland Hq Btry, departed for a TD Assignment with Military Government in Schmalkalden, Germany. S/Sgt Harold E. Fischer, Btry C, was promoted to grade of First Sergeant and and Sgt James C. Swank, Btry C, was promoted to grade of staff Sergeant. In Brty B, Cpl Otto S. Johnson and Pfc Daniel S. Rumrill were promoted to grade of S/Sgt and Tec 4 respectively. Tec 5 James C. Geisel, Sv Btry, was promoted to grade of S/Sgt and assumed the duties of Mess Sergeant in his organization. In the Medical Detachment, Tec Lawrence E. Young was promoted to Tec3 and Pfc Wynsdahl V. Hall was promoted to Tec 4. Present for duty personnel within the battalion who had not been given a Physical Profile Classification were examined and classified on this date.
Col. CORRELL, S-3 from VIII Corps Artillery, visited the CP and then inspected a firing battery. Tec 5 Stanley J. Skornay, Btry C, returned to the battalion from a V Corps Radic School. Tec 4 Robert W. Critser , Btry B, and Sgt Roy L. Lewis, Btry C, returned from 7 day furlough to the French Riviera. Cpl Francis L Rexford, Btry A, was promoted to the grade of First sergeant; Tec 5 John W. Luna, Tec 5 Richard E. Baggs and Pfc William C. Arnold, Hq Btry, were promoted to the grades of Tec 3, Cpl and Tec 5 respectively; and Cpl Donald L. Flaherty, Btry B was promoted to grade of Sergeant. Tec 4 Harry R. Callahan, Jr., Sv Btry, on furlough in the states, was dropped from assignment.
Lt Col MORAWETZ received orders from higher headquarters to depart for the States and offers of the battalion gave him a farewell party at the Bn CP that evening. He was presented a scroll of appreciation autographed by all the battalion officers. Pfc Looper? V. Colville, Btry A, returned from 7 day furlough to the Riviera.
Tec 5 Johnie R. Winsor, formerly of Btry A who had been lost to hospital, was reassigned and joined the battalion from the 3d Replacement Depot. Pfc John B. Gaffney, Sv Btry, was promoted to grade of Tec 5. In Hq Btry Tec 5 James M. Berry and Pfc Loy R. Morgan were promoted to grades of Tec 4 and Tec 5. Tec 5 John P. Gabel, Hq Btry, was placed on TD at 3323d Signal Information and Monitoring Company for a 6 weeks course of instruction. A formal retreat ceremony and review was held in honor of Lt Col MORAWETZ who was leaving for the States the following day.
Tec 4 Harry E. Adkisson, Btry C, returned from 7 day furlough to the French Riviera, 2d Lt HAROLD L. CRADWICK, Btry B, returned from TD asgmt with 9th Armd Division where he had been since 9 April. At 0530 hours Lt Col MORAWETZ departed on his way back to the United States. He had been in command of his unit since it was stationed at Ft. Ord, California. Under his capable command the battalion had completed a very successful period in combat and his absence would be felt by the officers and enlisted men of the battalion. Major EVERETT A. ROMIG assumed canmand of the battalion on this day.
The battalion was enjoying daily movies at the 174th FA Gp Theater in Schmalkalden. Tec 5 Frank V. Vogan, Btry A, was assisting in the operation of the theater. Pfc Lester J. Rogers, long a member of the Medical Detachment, was transfered to Btry B to become a cannoneer. This transfer was made at his request. Tec 4 Waldo E. Savidge, Btry B, and Pvt William C. Bradley, Btry C, returned to duty from TD with 215th Signal Depot Company where they had been since October 1944. Bradley was also transferred to Btry A the same day. Pfc Clifford E. Miles, Hq Btry, returned from a 7 day furlough to England.
Lt Col MEISENHEIMER, former member of the organization when it was part of the 195th FA Regiment and now CO 195th FA Bn, visited in the battalion on this date. The Medical Detachment was giving smallpox vaccinations to personnel in the battalion who were expecting to leave for the States shortly, Captain CHARLES D. VUNCK, CO Hq Btry, and 1st Sgt Alvin J. Summers, also of that organization, departed on 7 day furlough to the Riviera. Preparations were being made for Memorial Day parade to be held the next day in Schmalkalden.
The Memorial Day parade was held in Schiualkalden followed by all battalions in the group passing in review before the 174th FA Gp Staff afterward. A 21 gun salute was fired in memory of those of our comrade who had fallen on the field of battle. On this day 1st Lt. CHARLES A. GLASSER, JR., Ren O of Btry B, and 11 EM from the battalion formed a Profisional MP Platoon and were placed on TD with the 174th FA Gp Hq. T/Sgt Melbourne J. Coffey, Bn Operations NCO, and Tec 3 John W. Luna. Airplane Mechanic in the Bn Air Section, departed for 7 day Furlough at the French Riviera.
CWO LEONARD A. MASSOTH, Bn Personnel Adjutant, went to VIII Corps Finance
Section at Weimer to secure funds to pay the officers and EM of the unit.
The piont system and the furure of the battalion were the chief topics
of conversation as the unit completed another month in the ETO.
h. Members distinguishing themselves in action
ROBERT W. TAUTGES
1st Lt., FA