PASS IN REVIEW
Vol. 1 No. 15 PUBLISHED BY THE MEN OF THE 2ND BN 290TH 21 MAY, 1945
Pfc. John B. Storm
Pfc. Harold Lafleur
T/Sgt Leo Fitzpatrick
Pfc. Joseph Lutkus
Pfc. Robert C. Taffe
T/4 Kent S. Freeman
Pass in Review is indebted to Capt. Bodley Booker whose unflagging interest and enthusiasm have made "Combat Diary" possible; to T/Sgt Max Smith, and Cpl. Milton Elert, who made most of the original entries in our Unit Journal, and to Pfc. Ralph Duckwall, for maps to be used in the series.
COMBAT DIARY (Part one continued)
Jan. 11: Mont, Belgium
0100 - Bn arrived at Mont after convoy ride and foot march from 1730 previous day. Weather very cold and clear.
0230 - CP established.
0300 - Troops billeted.
1000 - Bn staff and surgeon inspected physical condition of troops.
1015 - Intermittent shelling of Mont by enemy mortars.
1035 - Meeting of staff regarding our proximity to front in connection with our role as Division Reserve.
1300 - Regiment notified by Bn CO through Liaison Officer (Lt Wootz) re impractibility of our position as Division Reserve.
1600 - Bn Surgeon completed physical inspection of Bn. Fifty one enlisted men and three officers evacuated.
1700 - Lt Col Curtis, of 897th FA Bn arrived at CP and offered to assist in evacuation of men found unfit for combat.
1735 - Col Duffner arrives. Discussed position with relation to front in connection with our position as Division Reserve.
1740 - Intermittent shelling of Mont by German mortars.
Jan. 12: Basse - Badeaux, Belgium
0315 - Foot troops left Mont to entruck 2.2 miles from village.
0500 - Arrived Basse - Badeaux from Mont. Weather cold and clear. Hot coffee furnished by Bn by Anti-Tank and Cannon Co's.
0530 - Troops bedded down in temporary billets.
1200 - Troops awakened and re-billeted.
1930 - Capt Bellamy left CP to pick up new replacements.
Jan. 13: Garonne, Belgium
0200 - Replacements arrive at Bn. Distributed to respective companies.
0505 - Showers arranged for men at 0700 and 1300 hours.
0600 - Troops entrucked for showers.
1430 - Bn alerted to move to Garonne, Belgium.
2230 - Arrived in Garonne.
Jan. 14: Garonne, Belgium
1000 - Maj Gen Prickett (Div Commander) and Col Duffner (Regimental CO) visited Bn. In conference with Col Harris for thirty minutes regarding tactical situation.
1310 - Col Harris evacuated. Major Manzolillo takes over.
2130 - Bn alerted as possible support for attack at 0300 hrs by 289th Regiment.
Jan. 15: Garonne, Belgium
0300 - Heavy fire commenced in support of 289th attack, gradually diminishing in intensity until 0500 when it ceased.
0800 - Intermittent fire in support of 291st attack.
1120 - Maj Manzolillo and Capt Booker left CP on reconnaissance.
1250 - There will be no expenditure of 81mm mortar ammo today, (message from Reg't)
Jan. 16: Garonne, Belgium
1015 - The Maj and S-3 left on reconnaissance.
1030 - Heavy enemy artillery fire in vicinity of CP.
1505 - Intermittent enemy artillery fire falls throughout Bn billet area.
Jan. 17: Vielsalm, Belgium
0800 - Maj Manzolillo left for Regt'l CP to receive instructions.
1200 - Co Commanders ordered to fall their Co's out on the road in preparation for movement.
1500 - Bn arrives at assembly area at the Belgian Military Barracks in Ranshaw.
1530 - Reconnaissance party left for Vielsalm.
2110 - E sent to Neuville to occupy town.
2330 - Co G sent to take up positions along road between Neuville and Burtonville.
Jan 18: Neuville, Belgium
0730 - Maj and S-3 left for Neuville.
1820 - Remainder of Bn alerted to move to Neuville.
1130 - Attack order issued by Regt'l Commander at Neuville.
1300 - Attack jumped off with Co F leading, followed by Co E.
1320 - Capt Stewart reports his forward elements receiving an abundance of small arms fire from an undetermined direction.
1415 - Direction of enemy automatic fire cannot be located, Germans dressed in snow suits.
1540 - F Co has received several casualties. Progress slow. Elements of E Co committed.
1610 - Regt'l mine platoon clearing mine from road leading out of Neuville.
1620 - Tank Platoon from 289th area coming to assist our attack.
1640 - Tank fire ineffectual because of observation difficulties.
1705 - Maj Manzolillo gave order to dig in for the night.
2130 - Capt Booker completes plans for furthering attack in morning. Receives artillery fire from Reg't.
Jan. 19: Neuville, Belgium
0750 - Col Duffner arrives at CP.
0800 - Attack jumps off on time. Artillery fires a twenty minute preparation prior to attack. Tank Platoon assists Bn.
0815 - One of our tanks hits mine.
0930 - Maj Manzolillo reports we are on first phase line.
1015 - Attack going well. Progress slow due to woods.
1050 - Sniper fire on OP.
1100 - Men from mine platoon receiving sniper fire.
1240 - Col Smith from 289th takes charge and orders woods in rear of forward troops to be cleared by E Co.
1325 - Elements from G Co (Lt Greer's Platoon and Lt Perry's Platoon) sent to help flush out area in rear of attacking echelon.
1415 - Div Commander arrives at CP.
1500 - Both Capt Dillon and Capt Stewart report they are receiving cross fire from well dug in German positions.
1715 - Maj Manzolillo orders troops to dig in for the night.
2000 - Col Duffner arrives at CP and orders night attack to take objective. Capt Booker and Sgt Smith take instructions forward for attack at 2200.
2300 - Attack jumps off. No contact.
Jan. 20: Burtonville, Belgium
(Webmaster note: Although I know very little about the action that took place in Burtonville, I have been told, by the 75th Veterans who fought there, that this was one of the most horrid encounters that they faced against the enemy. If anyone might be able to shed more light on what took place at Burtonville I would be grateful to receive that information and possibly publish it on the website.)
0630 - Bn has reached its objective on hill south of Burtonville.
0750 - Contact established between Bn and 3rd Bn.
0800 - Col Duffner left CP after spending the night.
1200 - G Co ordered to assemble in Burtonville; will act as 3rd Bn Reserve.
1430 - New Bn CP established at Burtonville.
1500 - G Co committed to action by Lt Col Gleazer
1600 - Capt Bellamy takes over from Maj Manzolillo.
1640 - Bn, less G Co, assembles in Burtonville. Preparation made for movement.
1645 - 3rd Bn reports Capt McGraw's Co in contact, unable to contact 3rd Bn Co's on his right and left.
1730 - News received G Co in heavy fight in vicinity of Fme de Flamans. Many casualties. Tanks and SP's encountered.
1800 - Bn committed to fill gap in 3rd Bn line. Effective strength of rifle Co's: F Co - 15 men; E Co - 22 men; G Co - 16 men.
2100 - Contact established with adjacent units.
Jan. 21: Burtonville, Belgium
0435 - Ammunition delivered to G Co.
0500 - Bazookas delivered to F Co.
1145 - Lt Bogaten and Sgt Rogers (H Co) encounter a German patrol operating behind our front lines.
1800 - Casualty report sent to Reg't. G Co had 5 killed and 14 wounded at Fme de Flamans.
2220 - Preparations made for dawn attack.
Jan. 22: Burtonville, Belgium
0800 - Bn crossed line of departure.
0815 - F Co pinned down by fire.
0825 - Enemy artillery fire falling on left of Co F.
0840 - F Co moving around to left, taking up position behind E Co.
0845 - Capt Bellamy reports to Reg't that Bn is again moving forward.
0930 - Bn out of sector on left. Receiving machine gun fire from Kapelle.
1300 - Capt Stewart to CP. Explained front line situation and asked for litter bearers for E and F Co's.
1320 - Capt Stewart and Lt Peterson left CP to report situation to Reg't.
1337 - Medics send out aid men and litter bearers.
1700 - Bn returned to Burtonville, after being relieved as attacking force.
1900 - Col Harris returns from Clearing Co.
Jan. 23: Burtonville, Belgium
1000 - Co Commanders report on physical condition of men, who are resting in billets.
1500 - Division Chief of Staff (Col Powell) arrives at Bn CP for staff conference.
Jan. 24: Burtonville, Belgium
0900 - Col Harris contacts Div Special Service Officer re Special Service Facilities for troops.
1240 - Col Duffner arrives at CP for conference with Col Harris regarding results of his talk with our new Division CO, Maj Gen Ray Porter.
1330 - Regt'l S.S.O. arrives with Red Cross doughnut truck.
2100 - Sgt Maj calls all Co's and Medic's re Paris passes.
Jan. 25: Burtonville, Belgium
0730 - Men going to Paris arrive at CP.
1400 - Gen Mickle, Asst Div Commander, arrives at CP.
1630 - Col Duffner arrives at Bn to visit troops.
2000 - Co commanders report to CP for conference.
Jan. 26: Burtonville, Belgium
1200 - Foot troops entrucked at Burtonville.
1630 - Foot troops arrived at Pepinster, Belgium. Distance travelled 42 miles.
1800 - Bn received replacements at railway siding. Entrained (in 40 & 8 box cars) at Pepinster. Remainder of Bn with organic transportation remained at Burtonville. Will leave tomorrow. Weather - clear and cold. Morale - high. Destination - Southern France.
THE BELFRY...Chaplain Richard Bell
2nd BATTALION NOTES
"...I go away, and come again unto you..." (John 14:28)
Ibsen, in his play, THE EMPORER AND THE GALILEAN has a dialogue that goes, "Where is Jesus now?" "What if he goes on and on, and suffers, dies, and conquers again, from world to world?"
Again, in one of Masefield's plays, Pilate's wife asks the Centurion in charge of the crucifixion:
"Do you think he's dead?"
"No, lady, I do not."
"Then where is he?"
"Let loose in the world, lady, where neither Roman, nor Jew, nor Gentile can stop his truth."
Those who have felt the keen impulse of Christ upon their lives, know how truly the Centurion spake. HIS truth is as everlasting as man's soul. His spirit is loose in the world to touch our spirits and to create in us the eternal truths which were his.
Teach us, O God, to give heed to Thy truth, that we may feel the touch of Thyself upon our lives. AMEN.
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
The spirit of God is invisible, but it is more powerful than all the forces in the world.
We finally found out who it was in VERY G.I. terms ordered a pretty little fraulein out of Easy Co mess hall the other day... It was T/Sgt Carmody, holding onto Non-fraternization by the skin of his teeth... He apologized later when it was discovered that she was one of our American Red Cross girls.
Lt Leonard Slodszewski of the AT Platoon, HQ Co, is going to miss his present assignment beaucoup. Down in "POLACK TOWN" where he is in charge of the Polish D.P.s, Polack has really got things humming. There is a City Council with a Mayor (who, incidentally, is a woman) a Street Commissioner, and a Police Department. Under the supervision of the AT Platoon the enthusiastic Poles have started a church, a dance hall, a shoe shop, a barber shop, a tailor shop, a kindergarten and elementary grade school, a swimming pool, and last but not least, a Youth Center for young people in their teens with a library, radio, and recreation hall. It's been a practical lesson for everybody concerned in City Government.
An F Co boy told one of the Russians from the D.P. Camp in their area that the single gold bar on his sleeve meant that he had five children at home. Now all the Russians are saluting Pfc. Homer Moore when he strolls by with three stripes...Homer still doesn't know what it's all about.
A LAST LONG LOOK
|A group of men selected from each Co in the BN journeyed back through Cologne into Belgium last week to visit the American Cemetary at Henri Chappelle. Here, among the seventeen thousand graves, sleep the guys from the 2nd Bn who paid the ultimate price a man can pay to support his country.|
FOX COMPANY LETTER
This company had a very active week with many ball games and special events. This, in addition to the darndest things that can happen to certain F Company boys, keeps everyone going on way or another.
First, there's the story that mess sergeant Sanko swears to about the high ranking officer who inspected the mess hall and although he couldn't find anything wrong with the kitchen, he noticed a helmet liner setting slightly off balance on one of the men and proceeded to chew the soldier out royally for such a flagrant violation of uniform regulations. The offender stood at rigid attention, taking it for five minutes. When the RANKING ONE had finished, the soldier broke from attention, threw his arms around the officer's neck and kissed him, saying, "Me Russky....COMRADE!!" The officer stomped away without another word.
OF HUMAN GORE.... Always wondered why Don Vial walks around with such a hop in his step and now I know. He was at he hospital the other day donating a pint of blood toward that worthy cause and his blood came out in bubbles. In fact, Don bubbled so much they had to use two bottles to get a full pint.
Also, get a cane for James McGee next time he's a blood donor. He had just finished and was heading toward the pharmacy for the stimulant they give (and WHAT a stimulant!) when he passed out cold on a stack of rifles in front of the tent.
LOTS OF OLD FRIENDS came back from various hospitals and replacement centers the past few days, among them, Lyle Ward, Orville Richardson, Thurston Richardson, Richard Eaton, Bill Gibson, George Craig, Pat Zwanck, James Giblin, and Frantz. Nice to see them back in the company again.
SEEMS that the second platoon is fighting the Russians at the D.P. Camp they guard, to see who'll beat who to the ground for cigarette butts. With the current cigarette shortage, you can't tell who's going to crawl out of the dust first...a G.I or a Russian.
That same second platoon, led by T/Sgt Nicholson, has quite a ball team too. They played two games last week, one to the first platoon and one to Company headquarters, and they're really improving because with each game, they lose by a smaller score.
THE GUARD was called out to disperse a crowd of swooning frauleins who were gathered in front of one of our platoon billets the other day. The cause, upon investigation, proved to be Pfc. D'Amato singing NIGHT AND DAY in the bathtub.
THE PAPER SHORTAGE has been solved. Half the company are burning the midnight oil in an attempt to figure out a new point system that will eliminate the word WAIT.
Monday evening B Co, of the 1st Bn beat EASY COMPANY at a game of Softball, but T/Sgt Hanson claims that if S/Sgt Dodd hadn't had a SORE ARM, which kept him from playing in the LEFT FIELD, EASY COMPANY would have won the game EASILY....?
On the 29th day of May, Headquarters Platoon of G Co opened a series of Informal entertainments for the company. Each platoon has a scheduled night on which to present its offering to the boys and the first nights program was a big success.
1st Sgt Glen H. Royer acted as master of ceremonies... Sgt John Mathews and Cpl John Kelly, Jr. sung several songs, opening with Carrie Jacob Bond's perennial favorite "I Love You Truly" and following it up with an unexpurgated version of "Pistol Packing Mama." The composer of the latter was, fortunately, not present.
Also on the bill were George Co's "Dog Robbers" who had a holiday. Pfc. Donald Stolle and Pfc Pete Kurlonik did some very fancy butt chewing with Lt Jacob Brown acting as their Dog Robber victim. It did their little hearts good to be served drinks by this Dog Robber.
For the finale, Pfc James H Reynierson and T/5 Clay D. Oliver put on a skit built around the evils of fraternization. All went well for Reynierson and his charming fraulein, Oliver, until acting MP John Mathews stepped in and hauled the offender off to the gallows as the Rhine Maiden gleefully shouted "SUCKER!"
George Company challenges any and all comers to prove they've got a better Softball team just as soon as we get settled in our new location.
S/Sgt Joseph Hegner has been asking when his name is going to appear in print. ....here it is. We pay tribute to our fine Supply Sergeant, Joseph Hegner, of Pittsburgh, PA.
EDITORIAL NOTE: You can do better by Sgt Hegner than that, Lutkus. How about making him the subject of next week's 2ND BN PORTRAIT?
If the salt shakers emit sugar and the sugar bowls are filled with salt....if the morning eggs are edible and the coffee palatable, try to understand, fellers, IT'S LOVE! Yes, Sgt Juneau's again hearing bluebirds and seeing stardust. This is it...and direct from gay Paree!
- Arriving on the scene as gently as the fall of a snowflake, Pfc Vernon Emmerich has made a reappearance....After four months in England we are marveling at his physical condition.
- Well, we've got a new Heir Presumptive, and it's S/Sgt Francis Bernier who'll be running affairs from the BIG CHAIR this week....on the level....I mean Pop!
- The other afternoon two Lappers departed for the island fortress. There's much to see and do and when T/Sgt Chester Peca and S/Sgt Carl Gruver go into action the British are going to think it's the Blitz re-born. Bon Voyage, boys!
- Pfc John Ryle, the Oklahoma Kid, is somewhat on edge these days...His heart is skipping and his pulse is weak....can it be? Is there any truth to those rumors?
- And from SHAEF comes word that Pfc Paul M. Taffae is back from a rest in Holland. ....Ahem!
TWELVE DAYS TOO LATE
SONG OF THE WEEK
THE SOLDIER DREAMS OF A GERMAN GIRL IN SPRING
Fernando Brito is proud but subdued these days...Proud because he's a father...subdued because he bet a quart of whiskey it would be a girl....and would arrive before point credits were frozen.
Date: May 22, 1945
Time: 0605 hrs.
Weight: 7.1 oz.
(and Daddy loves you even if you are a boy!)
WHAT MAKES THE SUNSET
What makes the sunset?
What makes the moonrise?
What makes the tide remember to hide?
And why does it soon rise?
What makes a star fall?
Where does it fall to?
Why does its flight make us stop in the night and wish as we all do?
What holds a cloud together?
What makes the sky so blue?
What makes the sunset?
What makes the moonrise?
Is it my love for you?
(From MGM's production, "ANCHORS AWEIGH!")
This is my house that never was....
Built in defiance of all laws
Decreeing us to walk apart.
Over this sill I carried you
Into a world denied us two....
Here, from the roof tree, hangs my heart.
See, on the hearth, the phantom flames
Tossing aloft their ghostly manes
That drift like incense up to Him,
Who finds in our lost love no sin.
And yet, when careless wanderers pass
Seeing only the startled grass,
They'll cross the barren spot undaunted;
For who's to tell them it is haunted?
|Zilch had advertised two horses for sale for one hundred dollars when his pal, Hemingway, saw the advertisement and called on him. "I'll give you fifty dollars for one horse." said Hemingway. "No," said Zilch, "I want to sell both horses." "I'll give you seventy-five dollars for one horse." said Hemingway. "No," said Zilch, I want to sell both horses." "All right," said Hemingway, "I'll give you one hundred dollars for one horse." "Okay," said Zilch, "It's a deal." And with that, he brought out one horse. "Now," said Hemingway, "I'll give you twenty-five dollars if you will deliver the horse in front of my apartment." Zilch agreed, got the address and led the horse over to the apartment house, where Hemingway met him. "Zilch," said Hemingway, "I'll give you twenty-five dollars if you'll take that horse upstairs and put him in my bathroom." Zilch took the horse up the freight elevator, locked it in the bathroom of Hemingway's apartment, and collected the rest of his money. Hemingway then walked into his bathroom, pulled out a pistol, and shot the horse dead. "My gosh, Hemingway," remonstrated Zilch, "..you just spent one hundred and fifty dollars on that horse and now you've shot him. What did you do that for?" "Well, I'll tell you," replied Hemingway, "I've roomed with the same fellow for five years, and every night he comes home and greets me with, "What do you know, Joe?" Well, tonight when he comes home and yells "What do you know, Joe?" he's going to be damned surprised when I tell him there's a dead horse in the bathroom!"|
Copyright 2001, J. R. Puckett
Email: J. R. Puckett