RobbHaas Family Pages
|Home||WW 2 Timeline||Statistics||104th Inf Div||Links||413th Timeline||Company B||Camp Lucky Strike||Sources||Images|
|Insignia and Nickname||Seagulls - Based on a legend of a flock of seagulls which saved the crops of Utah's early settlers from a plague of locusts. [S1, p 17] - S3,|
|Camp Adair||Home of the 104th Inf Div and the 413th Seagull Regiment [S1, p 17] - S3,|
|Radio Callsign||DAGGER S3,|
|Motto||Fortior Ex Asperis (Stronger after Difficulties) S3,|
|Insignia||Dark blue shield with silver volant sea gull, silver scroll with motto, authorized 20 June 1927, approved 20 July 1927 - S3,|
|Campaigns S3,||- Northern France, between 25 July 1944 and
14 September 1944
- Rhineland, between 15 September 1944 and 21 March 1945
- Central Europe, between 22 March 1945 and 11 May 1945
|Special Awards||Distinguished Unit Badge to 2d Battalion (24-26 Feb 45) and 3d Battalion (23-26 Feb 45) - S3,|
|Medal of Honor||- Cecil H. Bolton, 1st Lt., Co E, 413th
Infantry, Mark River, Holland, 2 Nov 44
- Willy F. James, Pfc, Co G, 413th Infantry, Lippoldsberg, Germany, 7 Apr 45 - S3,
|Camp Lucky Strike|
|was to become one of the largest US Military Camps in the ETO; at first only a large number of tents, then gradually permanent wooden barracks would appear, and eventually roads, pubs, hospitals, chapels, parks, Officer clubs, NCO/EM clubs, movie theaters, gas stations, repair shops, barber shops, post exchanges, etc. – in total over 1,500,000 servicemen would spend some time here … this large tent city (at first) was subdivided into 4 sections, and at the beginning, each section consisted of nearly 3,000 tents – living conditions gradually improved, including installation of running water and public lighting, and impressive quantities of i/c American goods! S3,|
|Location: Janville, France - also given as 5 miles NE of Cany-Barville - S4.|
|"The Cigarette Camps: The US Army Camps in the LeHavre Area" Link|
|"...Camp Lucky Strike, in vicinity of St. Valerie, 66,000-man capacity. Formerly a staging camp and a processing camp for RAMP." S5,|
|Location: Camp Lucky Strike, Fr. [France] - APO: 165 S6,|
|S7, S8, S9, S10,|
|Other name: Camp Ramp S9,|
Top of Page
|Timeline This timeline relates to the 413th, but specifically to Company B of the 1st Battalion - Dad's outfit|
|Summer 1942||Activation of 104th Inf Div [S1, p 17] -|
|15 August 1942||413th organized at Camp Adair, Oregon - assigned to 104th Infantry Division S3,|
|August 1942||Col. Welcome P Waltz arrived at Camp Adair and assumed command of the 413th [S1, p 17] -|
|15 Dec 1942||3000 men arrive at Camp Adair (Dad probably among them) [S1, p 17] - Basic training was to last 13 weeks|
|4 August 1943||Moved, along with the 104th Div to the maneuver area - High Lava Country near Bend, Oregon [S1, p 18] - S3,|
|November 1943||moved to Camp Abbot, Oregon until 7 Nov 1943 - [S1, p 18] -|
|November 1943||Furloughs - [S1, p 18] -|
|7 November 1943||Took train to Camp Hyder, Arizona - Maneuvers resumed - stayed 2 weeks - [S1, p 18] - S3,|
|Abt 21 November 1943||Moved 16 miles west to Camp Horn - 13 week training program - [S1, p 18] -|
|February 1944||Moved to Midway Wells,
California - [S1, p 18] -
- Maneuvers against 80th Div. Began 14 Feb 1943 and ended 2 March 1943 - 104th captured the famed "Phelan Pass" during these maneuvers - the only
Division to do so.
|Camp Granite, California - [S1, p 21] -|
|11 March 1944||Moved to Camp Carson, Colorado - [S1, p 21] - S3,|
|15 June 1944||Infantry Day - 413th paraded on the grounds in front of 3500 spectators - Expert Infantryman badges, Wolf Scout awards and Platoon Proficiency Plaques awarded - [S1, p 24] -|
|May-June 1944||Every man receives a furlough - [S1, p 24] -|
|July 1944||Expert Infantryman Tests (Long Blue Bar with a silver Rifle) - ($5 per month extra to an enlisted man) - [S1, p 25] -|
|11 August 1944||Co. B selected as advance guard - with little warning sent for "an East Coast Staging Area" - [S1, p 25] -|
|13 August 1944||
Trains to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey - Final Processing - Moved
to New York City - [S1, p 25] -
- Co. B had 5 or 6 passes vs. 1 or 2 for the others because they came earlier
|17 August 1944||Staged at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey for processing and subsequent movement overseas S3,|
|25 August 1944||Advance party Co. G & H left for the transport [S1, p 25] -|
|26 August 1944||413th rode coaches to New York Harbor to Pier 34, South Brooklyn - [S1, p 25] -|
|27 Aug 1944||Sunday, about Noon the USS LeJeune left the dock - [S1, p 26] -|
|28 August 1944||Monday - Heavy weather, rough
waters, lots of sick soldiers - [S1, p 26] -
- USS LeJeune - Registered at 18,000 tons - capable of making 22 knots
- "Ships in the convoy went through intricate criss-crossing maneuvers several times daily."
- "Off Lands End, England, the only submarine scare of the trip took place. Concussion waves from depth charges slammed into the side of the Ship [LeJeune] but no results were observed…"
- Destination of the LeJeune was unknown until the ship captain announced it was to be Cherbourg, France.
|7 September 1944||
USS LeJeune arrives at
Cherbourg, France - [S1, p 26, 27]
- 413th Seagulls were the first American troops to land on the continent directly from the US
- Regiment was loaded onto flat barges and rode to shore - it was raining - Men stood up in the trucks as they rode through the countryside toward the city of Valognes "J" section of the Normandy staging area - Pup tents were erected.
Life at "J" Area - [S1,
p 27] -
- Light training
- Lots of Speculation
- Each Company set up in a separate field separated by hedgerows serving as fences
- No towns were close to the area
- Division Band and USO shows
- French cider and Calvados
- Daily 5 mile forced marches
104th placed in reserve for 9th Army's assault on Brest - 104th did not
participate - [S1, p 27] -
- Reserve status entitled to 104th to campaign credit for Northern France
|26 September 1944||
March from "J"
area to another bivouac near Barneville - 32 miles - [S1,
p 27] -
- 413th set up in apple orchards - constantly policing for fallen apples - 2 ten-mile hikes per week
- All the troops had to participate in mine removal on the beach as part of their training - [S1, p 28] -
- "17 miles off the coast lay the Channel Islands, still occupied by some 25,000 German Troops. The 413th didn't bother them, and they left the 413th alone too."
Night march to
La Haye Du Puits - Loaded into 40 & 8 boxcars - stopped 4
hours in St Lo - rolled right through Paris - [S1,
p 28] -
- In Northern France one of the boxcars jumped the track and several men were injured - most of the others slept through the wreck unharmed - [S1, p 29] -
- In Belgium - bivouacked at night, in the rain, near Michelin-Malines - Population of 75,000 - not touched by shells or bombs - troops were there 2 days and nights.
- Several Seagulls went to "off limits" Brussels
|20 October 1944||413th moved into Belgium - S3,|
Train moved on - [S1, p 29]
- "[413th] moves from its bivouac, and advances via Brecht, to occupy positions in Wuustwezel, Loenhout and partially Meer, and completes relief of the 56th British Infantry Brigade by 1700." S3,
|413th to serve with the 1st Canadian Army
[S1, p 29] -
- Picked up by Polish soldiers driving British trucks with Canadian marks and rolling on US tires
- We Fight to the Maas - [S1, p 31] -
- "The primary mission of the 1st Canadian Army was to clear the northern approaches to Antwerp" - [S1, p 33] -
- "While the British Infantry reduced the stubborn German stronghold on Walcheren Island in one of he bloodiest assaults of the entire war…"
- "…the Canadian Army set out to throw the Germans back north of the Maas estuary."
- "If these two objectives could be attained, Antwerp, the largest port on the European continent, would be cleared as a supply base for all Allied armies on the Western Front."
- "The American breakthrough from Normandy had halted in the western fringes of the Siegfried Line for lack of supplies."
- The 413th relieved the 56th Brigade of the 49th British Inf. Div. (Polar Bears)
- 413th, 1st Battalion captured the first Reg. German prisoner
- The next day the 413th took its first town – Trek, Belgium - by I Co.
|25 October1944||Wednesday - I Co. platoon ran into a German Outpost - resistance eliminated - "I Co. launched a fiery assault on Heilbloom (a village on the Dutch frontier) - The first battle was quickly over…" [S1, p 33]|
|26 October1944||Thursday - Moving toward Zundert, Holland with 3rd Battalion on the left and the 2nd on the right with the 1st in reserve - [S1, p 34] - S3,|
|28 October1944||"spent in an assembly area in and around Zundert, preparing for further advances;"|
|Most Seagulls had been blooded - knew when to duck and could tell the difference between an American and a German machine gun - Trench foot training now made sense - they were wet all the time - [S1, p 34] -|
|29 October 1944||Sunday - "1st Battalion moved up
near Rijsbergen on the Breda Road to protect
the Division's right flank while the 104th and the 1st Polish Armored drove for
the highway center at Breda" [S1, p 35] -
- 1st Btn. Was called upon to crack a strongpoint at a roadblock 600 yds outside of Rijsbergen. - caught their first shelling but no causalities
- "Schu Mines caused the btn. First serious causalities."
- "Men from A and B companies rolled into ditches only to be blown up on buried mines." - 17 men were treated with feet injured or blown off during the evening of their first day of real action
- 1st Btn. "took off by moonlight and moved over 1000 yards through turnip and sugar beet fields behind a rolling barrage." - "By 0430 the battalion was on its objective and had dug in."
- "The whole regiment [1st] then moved to bivouac areas in the vicinity of Seep, Holland to assemble of for the assault crossing of the Mark River...The regiment just dug in and waited ..."
|2 November 1944||
evening - Marched to the assembly area - "2nd battalion was to
spearhead the crossing [of the Mark River] with the 1st in support
and the 3rd in reserve" -
[S1, p 35] -
- "The artillery… by more than 120 British and American guns…concentrated on the town of Standardbuiten, some 200 yards across the river; Cannon company threw 600 rounds into town between 2000 and 2100." [S1, p 37] -
- "At 2100 the 2nd battalion jumped off"
- "The whole area between the Mark River and the Maas estuary… is completely flat. Each farmer's field is bounded by ditches. ... everyone was wet to the skin all the time… Constant sniper fire, …kept the doughboys pinned to their foxholes when not actually attacking."
- "Trench foot was almost inevitable" [S1, p 38] -
- Some men tried to warm themselves by burning buildings or setting straw piles on fire but snipers and booby-trapped straw piles discouraged them.
- "Many short range skirmishes occurred between Americans on one side of a dike And Germans on the other. Once a German company attempting to outflank A company walked straight into the guns of Company B and were cut down in heaps as B's riflemen and attached D company machine gunners opened up on them at 30 yards range."
|4 November 1944||
[S1, p 40]
- "The northern approaches to Antwerp were clear and the Seagulls moved back to the foxholes they had dug in the assembly area near Seppe, Holland."
- Holland had cost the regiment 1400 casualties -- 673 killed, wounded, and missing; the remainder evacuated with trench-foot, diarrhea, and chest ailments."
- "The German casualties inflicted by the 413th were far greater than those the Seagulls had suffered"
- "For physical roughness, nothing the outfit would meet later would be as bad; only Putzlohn, Inden, and Lamersdorf would be more bloody."
- "Replacements were picked up and the regiment was deemed ready to enter the fray again."
|7 November 1944||413th enters Germany S3,|
|THROUGH THE SIEGFRIED LINE|
|9 November 1944||
Wednesday - 413th relieved... the
19th Regiment of the First Infantry Division...had held defensive
positions a short distance east of the battered city [Aachen] - [S1,
p 43] -
- "The men moved into the pillboxes and wrecked houses which were to be their homes for the next week, they were aware that the positions were not suitable for a rest cure."
- German direct fire weapons continually bounced armor-piercing rounds off the reinforced concrete emplacements, … With all this, the scheduled relief was accomplished without a single casualty."
- " 'Ravell's B' -- an area so named by the 18th Infantry -- was occupied by the 1st Battalion;"
- "Life on the line was nerve-wracking… Extensive minefields had been laid …by both the Americans and the Germans…"
- "Everyone experienced 'pillbox fever' to some extent. Living conditions in the pillboxes…were cramped; squads were often isolated for days and the constant incoming artillery, coupled with the monotony of seeing the same faces day in and day out, soon brought nerves to a raw edge."
- "Since the area was under observation by day and frequented by German Patrols at night, it was impossible to bring hot chow up to the line and the men already pretty well beaten up from the rugged existence in Holland, soon fell sick in large numbers."
- "Diarrhea and trench-foot were the main complaints. Battalions evacuated 20 men a day with trench-foot and would have sent back many more if a quota system had not been established."
- "…plans were afoot for a large offensive which would continue the First Army's advance into Germany."
- "Field Order 10 directed that the regiment would attack on the left flank of the division's zone of action. The Seagulls were to keep contact with the 30th Infantry Division on the north. That was all there was to the order.."
- "A verbal order came through which tentatively set November 11 as the day for the jump off."
- "The 413th was assigned a series of five objectives which was to take it about seven miles northeast and would terminate at a town called Inden."
|16 November 1944||
Wednesday - The
attack would begin at 1245 - [S1, p 44] -
- The day dawned clear and cool -
- "The 1st Battalion was to withdraw from its positions to facilitate support of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions which were to attack directly from their positions."
- "Shortly after 1100 close support raids by fighter planes and large-scale attack by 1500 medium and heavy bombers helped to clear the way for the ground attack."
- "While the other battalions buttoned up for the night, the supporting 1st Battalion marched to Eilendorf. The 1st was being marched hither and yon as reserve unit for the division." [S1, p 45] -
|17 November 1944||
Thursday - [S1,
p 45] -
- "… the assault battalions again jumped off to secure the Verlautenheide area and finish off the remaining pillboxes… the pillboxes were empty"
- next objectives were Rohe and Helrath.
- The villages of Wambach and Weiden had to be secured before Rohe and Helrath could be approached.
|18 Nov 1944||"The 413th Regiment finally forced its way past heavy resistance and minefields at Verlautenheide. If nothing got in the way, the regiment had a good chance of bypassing Stolberg to the west and reaching the first key objective, Eschweiler." S8 p 125,|
|19 November 1944||
Saturday - [S1,
p 46] -
- "The 2nd and 3rd Battalions jumped into the attack at 0800….advance was steady …. Within two hours Wambuch and Weiden were ours ... took 60 prisoners out of Weiden."
- A Company - "Supported by one platoon of tanks, A company alone entered the town of Helrath at dusk and by nightfall had gained the central intersection of the town."
- "During the night, the enemy infiltrated behind the lines and cut off A company from the rest of the battalion."
- "With the coming of daylight, the rest of the battalion moved into the beleaguered town and systematically cleared it in a series of bitterly fought house-to-house battles. Shortly after noon the town was sewed up,…"
"The 413th Regiment pushed twenty-five hundred yards and by midday had patrols on the outskirts of Eschweiler. One battalion had almost reached the Rohe by evening." S11 p 127,
- Headed for Durwiss "in a daylight attack across almost a thousand yards of open, muddy fields. The companies shouldered their way into town through a terrific volume of mortar, machine gun, artillery, and small arms fire. Company A suffered its heaviest causalities in the half hour before entering town; B Company, which also got pinned down, lost almost a platoon. German observers hiding in a bypassed shed on the lip of an immense open coal pit at the edge of town had obtained perfect fire on the approaching 1st Battalion."
- "Durwiss was buttoned up only after eery skirmishes in the reinforced cellars and connecting tunnels which had served as air raid shelters and barracks for the German defenders."
|21 Nov 1944||"The 104th Infantry Division's 413th Infantry Regiment started the day on November 21 at 0800 hours by mopping up Helrath and Rohe. At midday, the regiment jumped off and rolled a mile toward Durwiss. A mile spurt in this offensive was so unusual as to be notable. With that push, the Timberwolf Division's axis of advance swung to the right and now paralleled those of the other divisions along the front." S11 p 143,|
|23 November 1944||
Wednesday - [S1,
p 46] -
- "… the enemy strengthened his lines around Putzlohn. The 1st Battalion was ordered to replace the battered 3rd Battalion. Company B, guided by Sgt Smith of K company, marched in the dark to Putzlohn, passing through the enemy lines without incident. At the same time a German company marched through the streets of Putzlohn without accident because K Company thought that it was B Company. Company B buttoned up in one large house until dawn when the two companies succeeded in mopping up the town."
- "For three
days the 1st Battalion remained in position in and around Putzlohn,
protecting the right flank of the 414th as it advanced on Weisweiler… After a
few days rest, the 3rd Battalion returned to Putzlohn and the 1st Battalion went
to Durwiss. During this comparatively slack period, much needed replacements
came into the line companies and reorganization took place."
- "The 2nd Battalion was ordered to march up to Frenz through Weisweiler and attack the river town of Lamersdorf before the 1st Battalions attack on Inden jumped off, but plans were changed and the two battalions launched their attacks simultaneously."
- "… by mid-afternoon on the third day of the attack, the 2nd Battalion had reached the center of town." [Lamersdorf] "… and by 2130 advance patrols of G company had penetrated to the northern edge of town…The Jerries withdrew their remaining forces… the 2nd Battalion had secured Lamersdorf."
|Top of Page|
|28 November 1944||
- Walt Wounded - taken to hospital in France
- "…the 1st Battalion moved out of positions near Lohn to attack the town of Inden and to secure a bridgehead across the Inde River."
- "At 0430, under cover of darkness, the battalion passed through elements of the 120th Infantry and started to slosh through the muddy fields lying to the north of town."
- "The lead unit, Company C, managed to slip into the northern portion of town unobserved, but B Company was discovered and was subjected to heavy machine gun, mortar, and small arms fire which pinned it down on open ground outside of town."
- "The battalion's plan of attack had been to move directly east in a column of companies until the lead company crossed "Highway 56' which lead northward from the town of Inden, whereupon the two leading companies were to make a turn to the right to enter Inden abreast, C company on the left of the highway and B Company on the right."
- "However, in the darkness C Company lead off ahead of B, the element of surprise was lost, and B company was pinned down about 50 yards from the edge of town even though a heavy rolling barrage had preceded both companies all the way."
- "Company A, which was to follow B company by approximately 500 yards, ran into difficulty in the hills outside of town."
- By this time our barrage on Inden had lifted, but the 30th Division's barrage on Altdorf was still in progress. Several buildings were burning in Altdorf and the church steeple stood out in the glow. Altdorf lay to the left of Inden and A company, thinking that the church steeple was in Inden, went toward it. A few hundred yards out of town A Company spotted some troops that they thought were B Company men and called to them. The troops turned out to be Jerries and their answer was a hail of burp gun, machine gun, and SP fire. After a tough skirmish, A company knocked out the machine guns, forced the SP to withdraw, and went on into what they still thought was Inden. So A company entered Altdorf, one kilometer north of Inden, and joined elements of the 120th Infantry which were attacking the town."
- "Previous aerial bombardment had reduced Inden to rubble and had knocked out four enemy tanks. There were, however, many more panzerwagons rumbling through the town, and C Company battled furiously all day."
- Inden was not a country village; it was a small city, which had had a pre-war population of approximately 10,000. Most of the town was on the west side of the Inde River and it was one of the few remaining bridgeheads left the Germans. The enemy was making preparations for a large-scale counteroffensive in the Aachen sector; Inden held a heavy concentration of enemy troops and armor and orders were to hold the town at all costs."
- "Company A remained in Altdorf all the first day. Company B could not enter Inden and was forced to pull back and dig in on a rear-slope defense outside the town The third platoon of C Company reached the center of town and the second platoon seized the northern most bridge across the river. The third platoon of C Company was counterattacked soon after reaching the center of town. The counterattack consisted of Jerry infantry and three tanks; Pfc. Frank Moralez, armed only with an M1 rifle with grenade launcher, took it upon himself to  repulse the attack. His self-appointed mission was accomplished, but Pfc. Moralez was killed doing it. He was awarded the DSC posthumously for this action."
- "Under cover of darkness, A company moved south to Inden and began the relief of elements of C Company. The first platoon of c company moved to a factory and reinforced C Company's second platoon." [S1, p 62] -
- "Battered B Company received orders that it would be relieved by Company I and so withdrew to Lohn to reorganize. Company I moved out to relieve B Company, thinking that it was still in Inden. The company commander and two-thirds of the company ended up in Altdorf. One platoon leader who had studied his maps managed to get his platoon into Inden." [S1, p 61]
". . . the 104th Infantry Division's 413th Infantry Regiment pushed into Inden and Lamersdorf, just to the south against the grenadiers and assault guns of Denkert's 3d Panzergrenadier Division." S11 p 178,
|29 November 1944||Tuesday - "… the now badly under-strength companies again began clearing the town and regaining their lost ground." [S1, p 63] -|
|30 Nov 1944||"Early on the morning of the 30th, elements of the 415th relieved the gallant battalion and it moved to Durwiss for a 10-day rest."|
|30 November 1944||
Wednesday - [S1,
p 63, 64]
- "To firmly secure Inden once and for all, a coordinated attack was arranged for 1500, November 30. Two companies of the 750th Tank Battalion were to sweep into Inden from the southwest and northwest while light tanks were to carry men from B Company in from the west. One company of medium tanks peeled off and swung south to support the 2nd Battalion's attack on Lamersdorf, but mines and direct fire forced them back to Lohn.
- Company B, riding the light tanks, got to within about 800 yards of Inden while the medium tanks reached a point about 550 yards from the town. The [page 64] light tanks withdrew and the men of Company B rushed up to protect the medium tanks. Many of the medium tanks were knocked out, the remainder withdrew, and Company B was once more pinned down in the fields outside Inden. That night B Company again pulled back to reorganize.
- Preparations for the final drive on Inden were now being completed
- Company G, just out of the fight at Lamersdorf, was committed and the battered remnants of B Company also entered the town. Lt Col Summers was placed in command of all troops in Inden.
- Inden was still no pushover...During the day an average of 50 shells per minute was falling in our part of town... Progress was exceedingly slow and fights had to be made for every house and sometimes for each room."
|2 December 1944||
[S1, p 64, 65]
- During the night..., the tide of battle changed. Jerry withdrew most of his tanks [page 65] across the Inde and destroyed the two remaining bridges."
|3 December 1944||
[S1, p 65]
- "...at 0700 the final attack jumped off and, and street by street, house by house, the men started clearing the town."
- "Shortly after dark this last resistance was finished off by K and B Companies, and patrols were sent out to investigate the bridges - all of which were found to have been destroyed. I was quite in Inden on the 3rd of December"
- "Squad strengths were down to two and three men. There was no post-battle jubilation." [S1, p 65]
- "The 3rd Battallion of the 414th moved into Inden and our foot troops started marching in the rain to Lohn where they were to board trucks for the trip to the rear. [S1, p 65]
- Because of
a threat of a Nazi attack on Inden "plans for rest were discarded
and the regiment mobilized its tired units for defense. The 1st Battalion
along with Anti-tank company, went to Putzlohn and organized a
- "Following the rugged battales of Lamersdorf and Inden, the 413th was placed in division reserve. The 1st Battalion went to Helrath and the 2nd and 3rd Battalions went to Durwiss for a 10-day period of reorganization. For the first time in over a month the men were able to get showers and some good [page 68] nights sleep. [S1, p 67, 68]
- "Plans for our movement into a sector previously occupied by the Ninth and the 83rd Divisions were laid ana dafter a short stay the regiment moved up to the west bank of the Roer River, which had been cleared during our stay in division reserve. The 1st Battalion relieved the 60th Infantry in the vicinity of Hoven and Marriaweliler-Hoven, the 3rd Battalion went to Burzehich, and the 23nd Battalion relieved elements of the 83rd Division, in Mirode and Derichsweiler. Those units which we had relieved were loaded into 2-1/2 ton trucks and rode away to the battle for the Bulge. We began our long vigil on the Roer." [S1, p 68]
|Life on the River -
- "It was the holiday season when the 413th moved on to the Roer...There was also no shortage of incoming artillery and men from the 1st Battalion were wounded while waiting for Christmas dinner."
- "To the south, von Runsted's Bulge was hitting its peak...With the regimental lines so thin, and nothing back of our lines for almost 20 miles but an Engineer detachment or two, the 413th was not exactly over-optimistic."
- “….A Goebbels radio announcement that Aachen was to be a Christmas present for Hitler scared all the Aachen civilians half to death, especially as the rumor-mongers elaborated the announcement to include a statement that all civilians who had refused to retreat with the Wehrmacht were traitors and would be shot in front of the cathedral on Christmas morning.”
|1 Jan 1945||- “At 0600 New Year’s Day, shortly
before dawn, the 413th outpost line opened up with all available
weapons…It was our way of saying ‘Happy New Year’s – Many Happy Returns of the
Day’. Jerry sent no returns.”
- “The Battle of the Bulge reached its turning point in early January with the relief of Bastogne garrison and it was thought that the Wehrmacht might start a diversionary offensive.”
- “Early in January, a system of rotating the battalions was instated. Two battalions were kept on the river line and one was moved back to Langerwehe for a 10-day rest, reorganization, and train [page 73] ing."
- “Men were periodically sent back to Aachen – ‘the buzz-bomb area’ – for showers and clean clothes. Entertainment programs were started in Langerwehe, Aachen and Stolberg…USO camp Shows.” [S1, p 73]
|26 January 1945||
having been on the Roer front for 34 consecutive days, the 1st
Battalion was relieved by the 2nd, which had been in Langerweh.”
[S1, p 73]
“After 10 days of hot,
kitchen-cooked chow, the 1st Battalion returned to its outposts in
and near Hoven and again began existing on 10-in-1 rations. The 2nd
Battalion returned to Langerwehe and reverted to
“Division headquarters had issued a warning order that this regiment would cross the Roer river and seize the town of Birkesdorf and the northern part of Duren….the initial plans called for a crossing in [page 75] assault boats with the 1st Battalion on the left, the 3rd on the right, and the 2nd in reserve…..February 13 had been set as the tentative date for the crossing, but a few days prior to that time the Germans opened the penstocks and gates of the Schwammanuel dam, automatically raising the river to flood stage." [S1, p 74, 75]
“Tension about the crossing mounted daily. Several times D-Day was named oly to be cancelled late in the afternoon.” [S1, p 77]
“Then, finally, word was received from division that the regiment would cross the Roer river before dawn on February 23 .” [S1, p 78]
|Objective: Cologne - [S1, p 81]|
|23 February 1945||“Promptly at 0245, February 23, the
largest pre-assault barrage ever seen by men of the 413th began
plastering Birkesdorf and Duren.
For 45 minutes the earth-shaking barrage continued while doughboys of the 1st and 3rd Battalions, accompanied by Engineers of the assault boat crews moved silently up to the line of departure. At 0330 the barrage shifted to the rear of the targets and doughboys and Engineers struggled with the heavy boats down to the water’s edge under a canopy of flashing tracers and through a rain of crackling bullets and bursting shells.
Dawn found the 1st Battalion with a strong toehold in Birkesdorf, and, using a street plan, they began systematically clearing the town. Loss of Engineer equipment still hampered troop crossing and several concealed snipers made it rough for Engineers of B company to cross. By 1100, all of Company A, one-third of Company C, and one platoon of Company B were across the Roer."
"…most of northern Duren and of Birkesdorf had been secured. By the end of the day, all objectives had been seized. The river crossing had been a real success…..The 1st Battalion was alerted to assist the 415th in its attack on Arnoldsweiler. Company B employed marching fire while attacking a large brick factory east of Birkesdorf and sent one reinforced platoon still farther out to outpost the rail line which ran between Duren and Arnoldsweiler; the platoon gathered in 60 prisoners and captured an 88 after Steve Szabo and Rollie Griffith surprised the gun crew in the act of digging in and shot it out with them….Next day, enemy artillery and mortar fire was sporadic and light in both Duren and Birkesdort and mopping-up operations continued." [S1, p 84]
|25 February 1945||
"On the night of the 25th the 1st Battalion continued the offensive and marched through the 2nd’s lines for a daring night attack on the town of Morschenich, about eight miles east of the Roer. The seagulls were moving with amazing rapidity, considering that the Germans had had over two months to prepare against attack."
"Leaving Birkesforf shortly after dark, the whole 1st Battalion marched through Arnoldsweiler in the faint glow of an overcast moon. Enemy air activity had been heavy since the river crossing – it was the [page 89] first time that Jerry’s jet-propelled ME 262’s had harassed us – and there was a constant threat of strafing during this march but the castle was reached without incident. After a final meeting of company commanders, A and B companies abreast headed for Morschenich which lay three miles away on the far side of a deep forest. Company C was to sweep in from the right side of the town while the other wo companies were to make a frontal assault. Machine guns were attached to all three line companies, the 81mm mortars were left back to deliver supporting fire, and tanks remained in the castle to be used if needed."
“….Companies A and B finally swept out of the wood across a plain over which the battered town lay. Although stopped for a while by an extensive Schu mine field which caused several casualities in both companies, they formed a skirmish line and delivered assault fire as they entered the town.” [S1, p 91]
|28 February 1945||
“The 1st Battalion moved up to Heppendorf behind the 2nd while the 3rd remained in Manheim…. For the first time since Holland, Infantrymen were beginning to meet civilians. Towns west of Roer had all been evacuated by now each village and hamlet swarmed with subdued but rather sullen civilians who committed no hostile acts but stood, tight-lipped and with their arms folded on their chests, at the roadsides as the Infantry advanced.”
|1 March 1945||
- “March 1 was chosen by division as the date to make the crossing of the Eft. The 2nd Battalion, with B Company attached, was picked to make the crossing with the rest of the regiment held in reserve.
"Following a 20-minute barrage by Division and Corps Artillery, the 2nd Battalion jumped off at 0300. The attack moved smoothly and only light small arms fire was encountered….the 2nd Battalion continued to move quickly after crossing and by 0420 the twin city area of Quadrath-Ichendorf had been entered.”
|Abt 7 March 1945||
The City of Cologne was taken
Directly before the regiment was the Rhine River. In any of the foxhole discussions it had generally been conceded that the Germans would fold up as soon as the Americans go up to the Rhine. Now the 413th was on the river and still the shells were coming in. To the Seagulls that meant by one thing; another river crossing. [S1, p 97]
Orders came down from each battalion to spend three days back in Efferen where it would be re-equipped and would have more training with assault boats. Compared to the mighty Rhine, the Mark river and the Roer had been mere brooks. [S1, p 97]
Living conditions around Cologne for most of the regiment were the fanciest that combat soldiers could dream of. Cologne itself was just a shell, but there were many exclusive suburbs with expensive and undamaged houses. [S1, p 97]
|21 March 1945||“Leaving the rubble pile that had been Cologne to other forces, the Seagulls rolled south on March 21….The 1st Battalion went into reserve near a captured German airport while the 2nd and 3rd dug in east of the Cologne-Frankfurt “autobahn” superhighway.” [S1, p 101]|
|7 April 1945||"At 0700 on April 7 the 413th, without armored support, attacked to the east and by late afternoon had overcome small arms resistance to reach the Weser river, 20 miles from the line of departure." [S1, p 104]|
|8 April 1945||"At 0400 on April 8, the 3rd Battalion crossed the [Weser] river in assault boats and was quickly followed by the other battalions. ….Company B drove away the crew of a 175mm self-propelled Russian gun the Germans had captured and set up to block tank traffic on a main highway. The regiment was now approaching the Hartz mountains, a patch of steep, forested hills in which a number of stubborn enemy units had organized a last-stand defense. …The 413th set up a blockade on the south side of the mountains|
|April 12 to April 15||
the regiment was busy with skirmishes, ambushes, and similar chores of
large-scale combat guard duty….. The 1st Battalion subdued two tanks
and 60 infantrymen to clear Bad Sachsa while the 2nd Battalion went
into Walkenreid and Ellrich."
"While the 414th Infantry cleaned up Halle, Germany’s tenth largest city, our 1st Battalion guarded the western approaches to the town…..Resistance west of the Mulde river was quickly eliminated with all three battalions on line….After buttoning up on the Mulde, the regiment found itself acting as a refugee processing unit. The disorganized, terrified Wehrmacht streamed into our lines to avoid capture by the Russians. The regiment took over the town of Duben on the east bank of the river and set up a footbridge over the crumpled highway span which German engineers had blown." [S1, p 108] -
“By the end of the month the flood of prisoners and refugees had dwindled to a trickle. On April 30, the regiment sent out reinforced platoons with two tanks each from Company B, 750th Tank Battalion, to comb out the entire zone between the Mulde and the Elbe for enemy stragglers and holdouts.” [S1, p 113]
|1-7 May 1945||On May 1 the regimental zone was extended to the south. Patrols prowled the area between our lines and the Russians’ until the Soviet closed up to the Mulde on May 7. This marked the close of our contact with the enemy in the European Theater of Operations, a total of 195 consecutive days for the division s a whole and a record for consecutive days on line exceeded only by the Third Division. [S1, p 113]|
|8 May 1945||
"On May 8 the
cease fire order was received at the regimental command post in Reibitz. There
was little jubilation in the 413th on E-E day – too many men from our
outfit had paid for that victory and it was already known that the regiment
would be heading for Japan."
With the European war over, the 413th settled down to maintain control within its zone. The command post was moved to the town of Delitzsh, a city with wide, tree-lined streets, fairly good homes, and a middle class population. Roadblocks and roving patrols checked that various towns and villages within the regimental zone to enforce curfew and travel restrictions. [S1, p 113]
Passes to Paris and furloughs to London and the Riviera enabled Seagulls to spend some of the money they had had no use for during their combat time. [S1, p 113]
|21 May 1945||"The occupation period was short. On May 21 the 7th Armored Division relieved the 413th and the regiment assembled in and around Halle. The city had suffered only a few air raids so living conditions were excellent and Infantrymen had running water, electric lights, hardwood floors, rugs, expensive furniture, private rooms, and good beds….Official notice came the first week in June that the outfit would be redeployed to the Pacific theater by way of the States." [S1, p 114]|
|11 June 1945||"On June 11 the Seagulls rolled south to the Leipzig railhead in trucks and, as the division band played “California, Here I come,” boarded 40-et-8 boxcars….Final packing and equipment surveys were completed at Camp Lucky Strike near Le Havre. The camp was windy and dusty and plenty cool at night, but home wasn’t far off. [S1, p 114]|
|26 June 1945||
regiment, minus a detail party from the 2nd Battalion which had
loaded on the 24th, piled into huge GI trucks which carried it to the
port. By dark that night the 413th was loaded on the
SS Monterey, along with divisional headquarters,
special units and artillery outfits."
"The Monterey was a former Matson luxury liner which had been carryng troops all over the Pacific. This was its first Atlantic trip as a troop-carrier and its permanent staff proved to be suckers for German lodge swords, Iron Crosses thir class, and Czechoslovak pistols. Troops on the main deck were double-loaded so most of the men quarteed there alternated their sleeping, spending one night on deck and the next night on a bunk. The food was plentiful and uniformly excellent." [S1, p 114]
|3 July 1945||"Everyone was up early on July 3 as the Monterey took on a pilot and slipped into a Staten Island pier, escorted by launches carrying WAC bands. Seagulls filed down the gangplank, drank cartons of milk furnished by the Red Cross, and went over to the Jersey shore on ferries. Hundreds of ships and boats in the harbor saluted with their whistles as the men passed Manhattan Island. From the ferries, trains took everyone to Camp Kilmer, N.J. After 24 hours in Kilmer, the men were split into groups and entrained for their various separation centers and 30 days temporary duty at home." [S1, p 114]|
|5 Aug 1945||The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima S2,|
|9 Aug 1945||The second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki S2,|
|13-18 August 1945||
"The Regiment reassembled at San Luis Obispo, California..."
"Scheduled for combat in the Pacific, the 413th made plans to go on an intensive training schedule. Besides refresher training with weapons and the old standby, night problems, the Seagulls began to burn the California hills with flame-throwers." [S1, p 121]
"The atom bomb interrupted all these preparations. The question was in doubt for a week or so, with the outfit still scheduled to proceed to the Pacific, but this time only for occupational duties. Riot control classes were added to the training schedule." [S1, p 121]
|Late August 1945||"General MacArthur announced...that he would not need anymore Infantry divisions..." [S1, p 121]|
|September 1945||"A regular training schedule was followed in September, but night problems and a scheduled bivouac at the Hunter Liggett Military Reservation range was called off." [S1, p 121]|
|9 Oct 1945||Dad was discharged from the US Army at Camp San Luis Obispo, California|
Top of Page
|Company B - See: I1,|
|Out of the 250 men who went to Europe only 49 came back alive [Interview with Walter C. Robbins, Sr., 20 Nov 2003]|
|Walter was a Staff Sergeant and a squad leader (usually 6 men)|
|Wikipedia Article -|
|Google Web Search|
|Google Search: Fortior Ex Asperis|
|Google Search: "Fortior Ex Asperis"|
|Pictures from "History of the 413th Infantry Regiment" (Dad listed as a Staff Sergeant in Co B)|
|"Testimony (Zundert-Holland - October 1944)"|
"415 Infantry Regiment: Stolberg and Eschweiler" Kathy Clark,
Historian, Timberwolf Howl, Vol. 5, No. 2, June/July 2016, page 9
- 413th Infantry Regiment is mentioned in this article
Top of Page
|S1||Book: History of the 413th Infantry Regiment. Los Angeles: Warren F Lewis, 1946. Acc000328 - Read Online -|
|S2||Key Timberwolf Dates|
- October 1944)" - "413th Infantry Regiment"
http://users.skynet.be/jeeper/page86.html (Link good 25 July 2013)
|S4||"The Cigarette Camps: The US Army Camps in the LeHavre Area" Link|
"All camps in the Assembly Area and the Delta Base Staging Area have been completed to 100% beneficial occupancy. In the Chanor Base Staging Areas they have been completed to 100% beneficial occupancy with the exception of on 11,000-man camp at Antwerp, recently added to the program, and one additional regimental area in Camp Lucky Strike at Le Havre. Phase III construction is 68% complete in the Assembly Area, 99% complete in Delta Base Staging Area, 55% complete at Le Havre, and 31% complete at Antwerp. 35,000 accommodations at Le Havre to Phase IV standards are 75% complete."
"Down at Camp Lucky Strike there is a concentration of negro troops awaiting shipment to the States and it might be interesting to note that they have been there for nearly three weeks and already 400 men have participation in the training courses. We expect to step that up."
|S11||Book: Yeide, Harry. The Longest Battle: September 1944 to February 1945, from Aachen to the Roer and Across. Zenith Imprint, 2005. Bk3341|
|S12||Book: Clark, Katherine P. War Stories of WWII: Written by the Soldiers of the 104th Infantry Division, Timberwolves. National Timberwolf Association, 2011. Bk3769|
|S13||"Timberwolf Tracks in History: Move To Germany" Timberwolf Howl, Vol. 4, No. 1, Jan-Feb 2015 - Link,|
|S14||Book: Hoegh, Leo A., Howard J. Doyle. Timberwolf Tracks: The History of The 104th Infantry Division 1942-1945. Washington, DC: Infantry Journal Press, first edition July 1946, 2014 Edition. Bk3945|
|S15||"Lineage and Honors, 413th Regiment" - Department of the Army - Link -|
|S16||413th Regiment Roster - Link - (Walt listed as a Staff Seargeant)|
|S17||413th Regiment, 1st Battalion,
- 1st Battalion Photos - Link,
- Co. B - Photo - Link, (See: I1, below)
|S18||"The Trail of the Timberwolves: 104th Infantry Division".
Major General Terry Allen. Camp San Luis Obispo, California,
Reading Notes: Doc3847.txt
Click Thumbnails for larger Images