Vol. 1 No. 13 PUBLISHED BY THE MEN OF THE 2ND BN 290TH      21 MAY, 1945





Pfc. John B. Storm


Pfc. Harry Krimski

Pfc. Harold Lafleur

T/Sgt Leo Fitzpatrick

Cpl. John Kelly, Jr.

Pfc. Robert C. Taffae

T/4 Kent S. Freeman

T/5 Claire Lamphear

Pfc. Joseph Lutkus


This week we publish with pride, a portion of part one of a three part Combat Diary, compiled from the Unit Journal of this organization.  Here are plain, unvarnished facts lifted from the dry-as-dust pages of a military record.  But....if you were there, you'll hear, in these starched sentences, the ominous thunder of Death, beating his bloody drums.  You'll feel again an icy wind in the Ardennes forest, sink knee deep in the mud of Alsace-Lorraine, or watch fearfully in the night, on the west bank of that famous river....

COMBAT DIARY, 2nd BN, 290th INFANTRY (Part One)


Dec. 24:  Soy, Belgium

1735 - Bn Cmdr received orders to attack town of Wy, Belgium.

1945 - New CP established at Soy.

2015 - Co Cmdrs received attack order.  Co F to remain in Regt'l Res.

2315 - Bn crossed line of departure with Co G leading.  Followed a minute artillery preparation.

Dec. 25:  Wy, Belgium

0100 - Co's report no enemy contact in woods north of Wy.

0335 - Woods reported cleared.  Preparations being made for dawn attack on Wy.  Scouts out.

0745 - E Co attacked town of Wy from north.  G attacked on right of E.

0802 - Capt McGraw reports he has patrols in village.

0810 - Maj Manzolillo telephoned Cpl Mathews of Co G that "C" rations were available.

0828 - Capt McGraw reports machine gun fire coming from flanks and that he was going through Wy.

0840 - Maj Manzolillo the Bn Executive Officer ordered Lt Bristor to take ammunition to vicinity of Wy and contact Lt Perry.

0900 - G Co making a building to building search of town of Wy.  Both Capt McGraw and Capt Dillon report 88 fire falling on their end of  town.

0940 - G Co reports machine gun nest at edge of town.  Attempting to knock it out.

1003 - Both G and E are pinned down by snipers and machine gun fire from town.

1015 - First casualties reported from Co G.

1050 - Platoon of tanks to be used to assist attack.

1110 - Co's receiving more 88 fire.

1245 - Tanks open fire on houses from which MG fire is coming.

1320 - Tanks firing on wrong houses.

1500 - Capt McGraw reports town of Wy completely cleaned.  Nine prisoners have been taken.

1650 - Capt Dillon reports his Co pinned down by heavy mortar and 88 fire.  Col Harris told Capt Dillon to move his Co to high ground south of Wy at darkness.

1755 - Bn advised that a Third Armored Task Force which had been cut off was coming in tonight.

1800 - Co E and Co G with machine gun platoons from Co H, start digging in on high ground south of Wy.

Dec. 26:  Wy, Belgium

0100 - Attached TD unit in position.

0510 - 18 men from 3rd Armored Div who escaped from German trap arrived at Bn CP.

0655 - Lt Dowler reported 2nd Bn and 3rd Armored Div made contact on our left.

0825 - Bodies to be evacuated on returning ammunition trucks.

1710 - Co F under Capt Stewart had been committed to help out 3rd Bn.  Co was commended by Paratroop CO for its splendid work, Co again put

into Regt'l Reserve.

2115 - Co F being moved to Meriaux.

2150 - One unidentified plane overhead.  Others approaching.

2220 - Officers for Engineers report to Bn CP to discuss plans for minefield.

2325 - Reg't reports enemy infantry and tanks moving on Hotton.

Dec. 27:  Wy, Belgium

0030 - Small group of planes at high altitude flew over from SE.

0045 - Planes again flying over sector.

0115 - Mine laying party making good progress.  Request sent in for more mines.

0248 - Engr Lt reports mine laying in Co G area completed.

0255 - CP reports we are firing at three man enemy patrol which has been pinned down.

0315 - Contact established "L" Co on our Bn right, and Lt Molloy's platoon G Co. Engineers instructed to extend wire 200 yards east of G Co road block on the right.        

0410 - Mortars firing periodically on our right.

0445 - Planes flying overhead - unidentified.

0515 - Mine platoons have completed laying AT mines.

0540 - Lt Wheeler brought up entrenching tools for H Co.

0930 - CP noted troop activity in Trinal.  Wants artillery fire.

0935 - Artillery firing on Trinal.

1030 - Snipers who have been menacing village this morning are concentrating on OP.  Squad sent out to get them.

1050 - CP reports four German soldiers running back to their lines from the village.

1115 - Enemy artillery fire falling on our Anti-Tank positions.

1137 - CP reports enemy attempting to infiltrate through our right flank.

1140 - Received permission to fire smoke on Trinal.

1150 - Chemical Mortar Bn firing on Trinal.

1210 - Captured German maps.

1230 - Two men from Intel Sec brought in German equip and documents.

1340 - Enemy mortar fire landing in front of 3rd Platoon G Co.

1440 - Message from Reg't "All troops will keep their gas masks with them at all times."

1955 - Two planes bombed and strafed our Bn CP.

2400 - Mine laying detail reported to continue putting in mine field.

Dec. 28:  Wy, Belgium

0030 - One unidentified plane flies low over CP.

0100 - Reg't says an armored patrol will come through our lines tomorrow morning.

0125 - E Co patrol gives report to Lt Peterson Bn S-2.

0230 - CP reports that enemy mortar fire is falling on them.  Enemy activity in Trinal.

0250 - S-3 requested information re return of patrols in vicinity of Trinal in order to concentrate artillery.  Reg't refuses permission to fire until American patrols clear vicinity of Trinal.

0300 - Engineers report that enemy fire forced them to stop laying mines.

0400 - S-3 received permission to fire Trinal mission.

0420 - Artillery fired on Trinal.

0618 - OP reports they hear mortars.  Unable to identify sound or type.

0645 - Two mortar shells fell in vicinity of CP.

0903 - Regt'l S-3 reports that possibly fifteen Germans infiltrated regimental line during night.

0930 - Preparations  have been made to bring back a few men at a time, off the line to dry feet.  HQ Co is making coffee for men as they come back.  Bed rolls are being brought forward.

1000 - Civilians being evacuated from Wy.

1100 - Capt Stewart to CP to report F Co's part as Regt'l reserve.

1130 - Chemical Bn is firing 100 rounds HE and 100 rounds WP on Trinal.

1300 - Artillery firing on German artillery positions.

1325 - Artillery firing on Trinal.  Enemy troops observed there.

1700 -  Heavy mortar fire falling on Wy.  It's a daily occurrence at dusk.

1745 - Misc articles taken fro two dead snipers killed in Wy.

1845 - New listening post plan established to prevent infiltration.

2010 - Enemy artillery concentration faling all along Bn sector.

2050 - Enemy attacks 3rd Bn position on our right flank.  Attack repulsed.

2100 - Heavy artillery fire and small arms fire falling in our sector.

2110 - Enemy attacked our left in 1st Bn sector.  Co C on E Co's left is reported surrounded.

2345 - Enemy artillery fire falling on our front line positions.

Dec. 29:  Wy, Belgium

0115 - Small arms action in E sector.  Artillery landing between 2nd and 3rd Platoons.  Enemy attack believed in progress.

0150 - Attack on our left front.  Enemy force undetermined.

0245 - Reported penetration on our right.  Unconfirmed.

0305 - Capt Bellamy notified to be prepared to place HQ Co on the line.

0310 - TD's ordered to be ready to support counter-attack in event of breakthrough on right flank.

0317 - Small arms fire on OP.

0320 - Report enemy tanks on right flank.

0325 - Regiment notified of situation.

0400 - Artillery concentration laid down along entire front - most particularly on right flank.  Barrage has been continuous for past hour.

0500 - Artillery officer requests let up in barrage to cool guns.  Lt Perry arrived at CP to give situation at front.

0510 - OP requested artillery fire be lifted.  Front situation seems stabilized.

0725 - Snipers reported across the street from OP.

0730 - Lt Landers and detail sent to flush snipers.

1200 - Co F arrived with Co intact.

1600 - Enemy shelling town with 120 mortars.

1630 - Heavy mortar shelling continues.

1850 - OP reports movement of vehicles 1000 yards to the front.

Dec. 30:  Wy, Belgium

0340 - F Co runner reports all quiet in F Co sector.  (webmaster note:  The F Co runner was Gerald Van Cleve)

0900 - Capt from 331st CT arrived and discussed general situation with staff.

1045 - OP reports sound of men digging in.

1050 - E Co sent out to patrol to knock out men digging on flank.

1148 - Enemy mortar shell hit section of Bn ammunition dump.

1500 - Enemy artillery fire landing in vicinity of CP.

1600 - OP reports troop movement noted in Trinal and Magoster.

1845 - OP reports flares in the direction of Trinal.

1940 - S-2 questioned prisoners.  Revealed enemy plans to attack tonight. Deserters claimed they surrendered because of this order and that others will do the same if the attack order is not revoked.

2020 - More prisoners taken.  They are Hungarians who were forced to serve.  They claim that one half the men will surrender if forced to attack.

Dec. 31:  Wy, Belgium

0525 - OP reported movement to front.  Artillery fired on target.

1130 - Heavy mortar fire over CP area.

1150 - Continued mortar fire on town of Wy.

1210 - Wire communications knocked out.  Switchboard received direct hit.

1400 - Artillery falling on CP.

1450 - Heavy mortar fire falling on CP area.

1640 - Heavy mortar fire on CP.

1720 - Sporadic mortar fire on town of Wy.

2345 - Report to Regiment..."All quiet on the front..."


So, the year drew to a close.  The men had been on the line for eight days.


Webmaster's note:  If anyone has copies of the P.I.R., that I have not included here, I would appreciate it if copies could be sent to me for inclusion on this web site.  Please email me at: Email   Thank you.


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Copyright 2001, J. R. Puckett
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