Make your own free website on Tripod.com
   

 

PASS IN REVIEW

 

Vol. 1 No. 16 PUBLISHED BY THE MEN OF THE 2ND BN 290TH   12 JUNE, 1945


STAFF

 

THE PAINTED HARLOT OF LIEGE

Editor: 

Pfc. John B. Storm

Associates:

Pfc. Harold Lafleur

T/Sgt Leo Fitzpatrick

Pfc. Joseph Lutkus

Pfc. Robert C. Taffae

T/4 Kent S. Freeman

Pfc. Ben Urgola

 

You were not always thus....

So gaudily corrupt, I know.

There was a time when you were young,

And sweet, and full of dreams;

But that was long ago,

After that other war.

Perhaps our fathers kissed you in the Belgian spring

And spoke of love....

(and she said, "...it is my heart.  Take it.  Souvenir de votre passage en Belgique.")

Giving you cigarettes

And sighs and rapture for a night,

And went away and left you whimpering in the cold grey dawn.

 

J.B.S. 1945

 

QUESTION OF THE  WEEK

It was reported some time back that the French Gov't had awarded the 75th Division the right to wear, on the sleeve, the Coat of Arms of the City of Colmar.  This, in recognition of the Division's assistance while attached to the French First Army in Alsace-Lorraine....at the same time, General Porter was awarded, and received, the Croix de Guerre.

The Division, however, is still waiting to receive its patch.  Rumored reason for delay:  the War Department has not, as yet, approved the award.

NOW, WE ASK...how in the Hell can the War Department afford to do anything BUT approve it without needless affront to an Ally?

 

 

THE ROAD BACK

 

Monday, June 3rd.  Elements of the 290th Regiment left Hagen, Germany to take up new duties in the vicinity of Mourmelon le Grande, in the department of Marne, France.  It was, for the most of us, the first step on what may be a long, long journey home. ( Continued on page 2).

 

End  page 1


Begin page 2

THE ROAD BACK (continued from p.1)

 

(continued)

They are not all sad however, the will to survive is strong and it is good to come out in the Summer sun and give no thought to peril from the skies or the steely kiss of death from over the hill.

 

Between Gevelsburg and Renscheid, we overtook one healthy lass who had managed to squeeze her one hundred and fifty pounds into a little yellow traveling number that was obviously designed for a frail slip of sixteen.

 

The result was a cross between Ethel Merman and a Rubens Madonna poured  into a tight corset.  A string of green glass beads glittered in the fat folds of her neck, and on the mountainous promise of her bosom, she had pinned a brave little nosegay of white cotton flowers.  Perched precariously atop her yellow pompadour, like a frigate under full sail, was a wide brimmed felt hat which she held on with one fat ringed hand.  She wore silk stockings and gaily painted wooden shoes with built up soles at least five inches thick.  This vision of feminine elegance was on a bicycle, which carried, in addition to herself, a large dressing case and a Paris hat box strapped on behind the seat.  She was pedaling for dear life in the direction of Cologne.

 

(continued on page 3)

EDITORIAL NOTE:  The remainder of the 2nd Bn left Hagan, Germany by train on the morning of June 4th.  This is an account of the Motor Convoy's trip.  Ernest Champion, of HQ Co, reports on the journey by rail elsewhere in this issue.

 

The Motor Convoy was formed at 1000 hrs with Captain Booker in the 2nd Bn's lead jeep, and Lt. Oliver as convoy Trail Officer, bringing up the rear.

 

We left Hagan at 1030 hrs and drove out through the rolling green countryside.  The highway was filled with civilians on bicycles, behind push carts, in trucks and wagons, and on foot.  Those coming towards us were fleeing from the battered vicinity of Cologne hoping to find roofs under which to start life anew in the interior;  the travelers going our way were leaving the rubble of that same interior to seek shelter and sustenance on the road to Cologne.  They were all kinds and classes of people....members of the German Wehrmacht, still in uniform, released from PW Camps to return to work on Germany's farms, displaced persons of every nationality, heading West to the French and Belgian frontiers;  young men, old men, girls, women, ancient crones, and children.

 

Looking back over the trip, these people form a frieze, like the figures on a Grecian urn.  Every memory of Europe at war, and during the early days of peace, will have, I think, that endless stream of humanity pushing or pulling the pitiful remnants of its life along the high roads of the continent...the scarlet feather beds, the battered portmanteaux and wicker baskets, the chickens clucking anxiously in their cage, the family dog, the green plush rocking chair strapped to the top of a 1928 Citroen running on its rims...These travelers to nowhere are the Greek chorus of the tragedy.

 

(continued at top of page.)

 

End of page 2.


Begin page 3.

THE ROAD BACK (continued from p. 2)

 

 

(continued)

Between Cologne and Birkesdorf, one of the Fox Co jeeps had a flat and we stopped beside a Russian Displaced Persons Camp while it was fixed.  A high brick wall separated the Camp from the road and the top of it was lined with peasant girls who waved their fat legs at us in lazy invitation.

 

As we rumbled through Birkesdorf, we were greeted anew by the crazily leaning walls, the forests of chimneys rising naked and alone, the twisted steel, the doors that opened onto nothingness, and the stairways mounting tipsily to nowhere.  The faces of German soldiers passing through the town on their way home, bore a dazed, sullen look of unbelief.  "...but this is nothing, Kamerad, nothing!  Go into the Fatherland farther...just a little farther on..."

 

At 1325 hrs, just out of Birkesdorf, we hit the Reich's Autobahn (super highway) and sped across fields stained with crimson poppies into the City of Aachen where a few shops were open and doing business and the yards of the Bahnhof boasted locomotives with steam up.

 

Beyond Aachen, the road turned, and we came face to face with an elderly woman pushing a child's go-cart from a flowery green lane onto the highway.  Into this childish vehicle was crammed the misshapen trunk of a woman.  There were no arms or legs, just the torso and a swollen ugly head with a loose lipped vacant face and heavy lidded obsidian eyes that flared up and glinted at us malevolently as we passed.  That was Germany...something grotesque and distorted in the midst of a lush and verdant land filled with flowers and the singing of birds.

 

At 1340 we crossed the Belgian frontier with its sign "Frontier Control Post.  Unauthorized persons not allowed to leave Germany."

 

(continued on page 4)

As each successive jeep and truck passed she was greeted with all the varied G.I. interpretations of "Come up and see me sometime."  and What yuh got on for tonight, babe?"  To all of which she smiled happily and fluttered her paste jewels at us.

 

Cologne was just another shambles of bomb cratered streets and gutted buildings, but against the sky, for a few moments, as we drove into the city proper, we caught a glimpse of the cathedral, and a few minutes later as we crossed the General Leslie McNair bridge, it came into full view, rising black and serene, its twin spires intact and the mid-day sun shining through  the gothic skeletal structure of its roof.  It disappeared soon after we crossed the bridge and swept up the almost deserted length of Neumarkt Strasse, but as we left the city and turned left on the road to Duren we could look back and see it once more, silhouetted against the sky, battered and beautiful; aloof from the dross of centuries that lay reduced to brick dust and rubble at its feet.

 

(continued at top of page.)

 

 

End of page 3


Begin page 4

THE ROAD BACK (continued from p. 3)

 

 

(continued)

 

Two ladies of uncertain years and definite calling, their faces limned in a gay cosmetic travesty of youth, strolled slowly up and down the length of the caravan inviting trade, but they had few wares to compete with the bright, untarnished freshness of the young girls who littered the road like flowers....If love was bought and sold that night on the wooded hill above Liege those who indulged in the commerce were young and the asking price was low...a smile, a kiss, or a bit of chocolate " Life is so short, M'sieu, and the war has been so very long..."

 

We slept, under the ancient and understanding stars.

 

(This article will conclude with an account of the second and final day of the journey in next week's issue.)

 

 

Three kilometers beyond the frontier we came upon a quartette of Belgian Gendarmes who were strictly from Opera Bouffe in their high crowned visor caps and flowing capes lined with red.

 

From the frontier on, the black, yellow and orange of the Belgian Flag hung from second story windows and flew from staffs in the squares of the little hamlets we passed, and the convoys progress became a triumphal tour, with the villagers lining the roads to wave at us as we passed, and the children running out to throw wildflowers into the outstretched hands of the Americans.  In Batisse, the Convoy Trail Officer stopped to wait for a vehicle undergoing minor repairs and a small boy presented us with a paper American flag, which, stuck in the dashboard, gave our jeep a particularly official air...after that, the civilians doubled the enthusiasm of their salutes and vocal greetings, no doubt assuming that the Pfc in the back seat was at least a Brigadier.

 

Between Batisse and Feron in the vicinity of the Albert Canal, we saw the mottled ramparts of great underground fortifications jutting out from the earth (they took twenty years to build and a few hours to overcome) and passed our first outdoor cafes, the little metal tables under their faded umbrellas bringing back nostalgic memories of France.

 

We bivouacked for the night on the side of a hill crowned by a colossal circular tower of brick and concrete.  It was empty and devoid of any apparent purpose, although from the observation roof one could feast one's eyes on a panorama of the city of Liege with the river describing a great 'S' through its heart.

 

The convoy had hardly detrucked before the highway became a promenade for girls from a small village just over the hill, and Crème Glace vendors from Liege miraculously appeared with their little carts and cries of "Eece Creema!"

 

(continued at top of page)

 

End of page 4


Begin page 5

REIMS  

EASY COMPANY EXCERPTS

A truck leaves from HQ Co. Orderly Room every night at six-thirty to take GI's into the city of Reims...  Here are a few of the spots that are frequented by the men:

 

A.G.F. Club Chateau also known as the Chateau Pommery.  This is on top of the hill as you come into town, at the point where the Paris highway turns off.  Here, you can get beer and Coca-Cola for two francs and the doughnuts are free.  There are dances every Saturday night with music furnished by the 291st dance orchestra.  American WAC's and a goodly number of French girls attend.

 

Coming into the city proper, the truck stops in the Cathedral square.  The following places are situated on the square or in the immediate vicinity of the Cathedral.

 

- The Cathedral itself, one of the largest in Europe...and considered by many to be the most beautiful in the world.

- The Club Noel (ARC Doughnut dugout) Doughnuts, coffee, writing materials.

- G.I. Joe's Canteen, refreshments, Coca-Cola.

- Recreation Center, you can buy beer and Cokes and they have facilities for playing pool and ping-pong.  Juke Box.

- You can make inquiries in Reims about the Opera Season and the Ballet.  There are also several French and G.I. motion picture houses.

- If you miss the truck, the 333rd Engineers truck passes on highway near the showers.

 

Pfc. Donald A. Houck, our acting communications sergeant, was caught red-handed the other day cleaning the bit of scrap metal that military leaders are so fond of calling the soldier's best friend...relax, Don, you'll get the stripes.

 

The boys have been doing a thriving commercial business in the last few days with members of the Air Corps who are hurting for souvenirs to take back to the States when they leave.  Pfc. Wesley Jones  and Pfc. John Martin exchanged a couple of Hitler Jugend (Boy Scout) knives and two rather battered looking cameras for a very good looking portable radio complete with a years supply of batteries.

 

Lt. Hipps was not quite so fortunate, however, he parted with a P38 in GOOD CONDITION for a pair of Air Corps sun glasses.  All we can say of this transaction is that somebody was a !+&*!!!

 

What is this thing called love?  The friendship between T/Sgt Bertie Hansen, of E Co and S/Sgt Frank Gallow of F Co is a beautiful thing to see...One more meeting and it will probably end in coffee and mayhem at dawn.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

AID STATION NOTES:  T/5 Jimmy Wiatt, of Portland, Oregon, is really upset these days.  In Reims the other night for the first time, all hopped up to fraternize like mad, he had his first flat tire since coming to the ETO.  His comments were interesting ...but not printable.

 

Events finally caught up with Lt. Cunningham, who has been reasonably lucky ever since he left Detroit, Michigan, to become a fighting Medic.  He got through combat without a scratch, but the other night when a group of Aid Station Bon Vivants...more vivant than bon...ganged up on him in the scooter tent at the carnival, he emerged with a malade de vertebrae that has necessitated alcohol rubs and other special attentions daily.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

CHAPLAIN BELL (hitch-hiking a plane ride to Paris):  "You'll bring me back safely, won't you?"

PILOT:  "Don't worry, sir, I've never left anyone up there yet."

 

End of page 5


Begin page 6

THE MARKET PLACE   FOX COMPANY LETTER

Pfc. James Syme, maitre d' hotel of the Camp Officer's Mess, is in the market for dish towels, silverware and tablecloths...start looting, boys.

 

- For sale, or barter, one German Officer's sword, one large silk poplin swastika banner...one iron cross, 1st class.  See P.I.R.

 

- Pfc. Leroy Johnson, HQ AT platoon, needs a new beer mug.

 

- Wanted: 35mm camera film...will trade a steel and ivory Nazi dagger for 8 rolls.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Sgt. Al De Melle:  "Wouldn't you rather have a good radio instead of Pass In Review?"

T/4 Walter Willett:  "Hell, no!  You can't swat flies with a radio."

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

LAUNDRY LIST.  in the space below, we print a laundry list in English, and beside it, one in French to assist you in dealing with the local ladies of the tub.

 

Shirt O.D. - Chemise, khaki

Trousers O.D. - Pantalons, khaki

Undershirt - Maillet corps

Shorts - Calecon corps

Handkerchief - Mouchoir

Towel - Serviette de toilette

Socks - Chaussettes

 

If anyone in the Bn wonders why that train ride from Iserlohn was so rough, and who was responsible for all the jolts and jerks, the blame can be laid at the door of the G.I. engineer; if anyone wonders why the engineer was to blame; just ask a certain non-com who was riding up behind the engine.

 

WHO was it from this company who sold a couple of rusty Jerry knives to an Air Corps Officer from the nearby airfield for twenty-five dollars after insisting that that sum was the minimum offer he'd accept, and then as soon as he'd collected the money, said that HE wouldn't give anyone twenty-five CENTS for 'em?

 

JIM MCDONALD, first class cook, (he says), has his discharge boots all shined up and ready to walk up the most beautiful gangplank in the world.  All he needs is 50 or 60 more points.

 

FRANK GALLOW says if they'd only give points for COMING EVENTS he'd be sure of at least TWELVE more.  Well, that's what his wife writes him, anyway.

 

FOX Company's ball team is really improving...Have won the last four games and are ready to play any other team.  Addition of returned casual SZYMANSKI to shortstop has brightened things up considerably.  He reminds one of Marty Marion at times. 

 

HORSE SHOE PITCHING and VOLLEYBALL COURTS have been put up in our present Company area.  E Co keeps horning in but we throw them out when we decide to play.

 

2ND PLATOON MASCOT, BLACKIE that nice little dog who sat in front of the platoon CP at SCHWERTE and nipped at German ankles as they went by, is AWOL, having

 

(continued on page 7)

 

End of page 6


Begin page 7

THE BELFREY...CHAPLAIN RICHARD BELL

 

SONG OF THE WEEK

"Whatsoever ye shall ask the FATHER in my name He will give it to you."  John 16:23

 

Some years ago an unmarried teacher found herself in full charge of her sister's twin sons, orphaned by an accident.  Their aunt passed through some trying years.  After one escapade, a woman asked her, "Why don't you send those boys to a Military school where they would get real discipline?"  The aunt shook her head.  "I loved my sister," she said, "those are her sons, and for her sake I can forgive them seventy times seven."

 

God feels the same compelling power of love...The supreme promise of God is, "Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name, He will give it to you."  Prayers made for others are not in vain when made in his name.  We should ask forgiveness for ourselves and for all...

 

PRAYER:

Eternal Father, relieve us of our sins and blot out our transgressions, if it be thy will.  AMEN.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK:

Those who forgive in the name of the father...shall be forgiven.

 

FOX COMPANY LETTER (continued from page 6):

failed to return to the train after a rest stop on the way down from Germany.  We lost him but at least we lost him in Allied territory.

 

CHUCK HILEMAN says the nicest thing about REIMS was running into two old friends from his home town, Jeannette, PA.  We hope it keeps up.

 

 

In my little red book

I see somehow,

All the girls that I knew

and I'm wondering who

Could be kissing them now.

 

Down thru memory lane

I love to look

At the little white lies

And the little blue sighs

In my little red book.

 

Now there's a gal I had yen for

Back in nineteen-forty-three

That's the gal I'd go again for

And if she'd come back to me

 

All the others know,

I'd overlook,

I'd have only one name

In my little reed book.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

OL' SWIMMING HOLE

 

If you want to go swimming, take N81 through REIMS to CHATEAU THIERRY you will visit one of the most famous battlefields on World War I., the monument erected by our Government in memory of the Americans who died in that other, and older holocaust, and the American Military Cemetery there...The pool is enroute.

End of page 7.


Begin page 7a.

ADDENDA FOR COMBAT DIARY

The G.I. in the foxhole (i.e. the guy who actually does the fighting), gets to see only the "little picture" whereas his folks back home get only the "big picture" from newspaper accounts of the progress of the war.  Therefore, in order to enable the soldiers from the 290th to talk on common ground with the people back in the States, we are publishing below, the chronological list of units that this regiment has worked under during its training and combat periods.

 

- Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. - 2nd Army* (Lear)

- Louisiana Maneuvers - 3rd and 4th Armies ( Simpson)

- Camp Breckinridge, Ky - 2nd Army (Friedendall)

- Northern Belgium - 9th Army (Simpson)

 

ARDENNES COUNTER OFFENSIVE

 

Soy to Devantave - 21st Army Group (Montgomery); 1st U.S. Army (Hodges); VII Corps (Collins).  Regiment attached to 3rd Armored Division, 83rd Infantry Division, 2nd Armored Division, and 84th Infantry Division.

 

Devantave to Burtonville - 21st Army Group, 1st U.S. Army, XVIII Corps, Airborne (Ridgeway).

 

Colmar Pocket - 6th Army Group (Devers); 1st French Army (de Tassigny) tactically, and 7th U.S. Army (Patch) administratively; XXI Corps (Milburn).

 

Holland - 21st Army Group, 2nd British Army (Dempsey); VIII British Corps (Bartlett).

 

Germany - 12th Army Group (Bradley); 9th U.S. Army; XVI Corps (Anderson).

 

France - Assembly Area Command (Lord); Mourmelon Sub Area.

End page 7a.


Begin page 8.

Platoons Entertain at G Company Nite Spot

"Mike's Joint" Jumps With Jive

 

 

At this point, "M.P." S/Sgt Shumaker, who had been trying unsuccessfully all evening to quiet a riotous customer, Cpl. Elerbe, brought in another "M.P.", pint sized Pfc. Toy, who lifted the burly rioter up with one hand and ousted him from the club.

 

THEN came the highlight of the evening...direct from six weeks at one of the better night clubs on Broadway (so the M.C. said), a strip teaseuse.  Introduced as Soreanna of the Siegfried Line, Pfc. Ware was a complete success with his striptease routine.  Before he was through, many had found a new home in several beer mugs.

 

The evening's finale came with the awarding of the door prize, which was won by a visiting Lt. from the 291st, who, after unwinding yards of paper, displayed a fur lined article of extremely intimate purpose!

 

The 291st Regiment were our guests and brought with them for the occasion, a very fine pianist, who contributed much to the success of the evening.

Pfc. Kahn.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

G Co SPORTS REVIEW

Monday, 4 June, brought the relieving English forces into the field of sport against G Co.  In the afternoon, the Britishers accepted an invitation to play baseball.  It was an interesting

 

(continued on page 9)

The week of May 26 saw "Mike's Joint" grow from beer saloon to a refined dive serving the customers wine and entertainment at no extra charge.

 

Monday night, Company HQ entertained the company, followed on Tuesday by the 1st platoon, and on Wednesday, by the 2nd.  Thursday night's drawing card was a Broadway Revue presented by the 3rd platoon.

 

Master of Ceremonies, Pfc. Kahn opened the star studded bill with some bright patter that was warmly received.  Pfc. Range, from Hawaii, was welcomed when he played several numbers on the guitar, including in his selection, "Somebody else is Taking My Place", "Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey", "This Is A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening", and one of his own compositions, "U.S.E.D. Suckers Every Day".

 

S/Sgt Swisher and Sgt Ford presented a take-off on "The Orientation Period".  Every time the S/Sgt opened his mouth to conduct the lecture on "Non Fraternization" he was interrupted by a few choice remarks from the LT. (Sgt. Ford)  Finally, the S/Sgt was forced to shoot his heckler in order to continue the lecture.

 

After a few more musical numbers from Pfc. Range, T/Sgt Stanford recited a few of the better known prose poem classics...His interpretation of "The Shooting Of Dangerous Dan McGrew" brought down the house.

 

A quartette known as the "Fraternizing Four" were detained elsewhere and unable to appear.  (ED. Note: No doubt, they were fraternizing.) but Pfc. Range came to the rescue with more of his shooting melodies.

 

(continued at top of page)

End of page 8.


Begin page 9.

G Co SPORTS REVIEW

(continued from page 8)

   

match, as the Britishers turned out to be expert sluggers when at bat.  After several innings the game was declared a tie.

 

In the evening, George (G) Company accepted the invitation of the men from Kensington to play a game of cricket.  The Yanks fielding was highly praised, and together with the remarkable knack of batting, caused the English to suspect that G Company knew more about the game than they let on.  Lt. Molloy's pitching at one wicket, and Pfc Pensaris' at the other caused a few outs by hitting the wickets.  The Polar Bears managed to win by a small run margin...score: 48 to 43.

 

 

Hq SPORTS LIGHT (continued)

 

Hq won both games by scores of 9 to 6 and 10 to 5.

 

In the first game, the batteries were:

Hq - Sgt. Venier, T/5 Coffey.

E - Pfc. Tustin, Pfc. Pelto.

 

Second game:

Hq - Maxwell pitched and Coffey caught.

E - Sgt Hasscan pitched and Pfc. Lyassford caught.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

PFC ERNEST CHAMPION REPORTS ON THE TRIP FROM GERMANY BY 40 & 8's

 

At a little after nine o'clock in the brisk, chill of Tuesday morning, 5 June, the blast of a whistle split the air as a swish of steam and the banging of the 40 & 8's marked the starting of our train.

 

Leaving Iserlohn and the neighboring towns was for some of us a thrill of anticipation for the new job that lay ahead....for others it was a moment not untouched by sadness for reasons that a less careful editing of history might disclose.

 

As the train chugged through the countryside, crossing rivers, and through woods, the towns of Hohen-Limburg, Vorhalle, and Witten came and were left behind.  Witten, I imagine, will be remembered by many men of the 2nd Battalion always.  These were brief stops, a minute here, a minute there, and we were off again, this time to view the battered but still living

 

(continued on page 10)

 

Hq SPORTS LIGHT

1st ball game in new area was held on 7 June between Hows Co and HQ with Sgt. Vonier of Hq Co and Cpl. Luna of H on the mound.  Both pitchers made a very good showing, with Cpl. Luna the loser.  Sgt's Johnson and Pilcher proved to everyone's satisfaction that they could play ball as well as cook, which is damned good.

 

This was followed by a game on the eighth, between Hq and the Medics, who obviously believed that they were superior.  However, the Hq team made up of cooks, AT, A&P, and the AT Platoon mascot, Precceccini, upset their little idea by one point.  Sgt. Brook, of the AT, and Sgt. Maxwell and T/5 "Tiny" of the Medics did the honors on the rubber.  Both games were good games and we're looking to more in the future. + Lorentzen

 

(continued at top of page)

End of page 9.


Begin page 10.

TRAIN TRIP FROM GERMANY

(continued)

 

(Train trip continued)

cities of Bochum, Gelsen, Kirchen, Ober Hausen, and Duisburg.  Darn it!  Why wasn't that last stop longer?  These K-rations....sometimes they make a very good meal, and at others, they do nothing but bring up "that old trouble."

 

By now, dusk has fallen and our train begins to slow down as a high trestle is approached and the mighty River Rhine comes into view. To our left as we crossed the engineer bridge, all looked peaceful and undisturbed; the river flowed lazily by and the first star of evening appeared in the sky.  But to our right, the result of man's war against man had taken two great bridges and thrown them left, leaving nothing but jagged teeth of twisted iron and crumbling concrete pointing to the heavens on either bank, and the residue fallen into the midst of the stream had churned it into a foaming rapids.

 

Our meditations are checked only by the clicking of the rails as the few flickering lights of Krefeld and Muchengladbach approach and then fade in the growing darkness....But wait a minute, what's that off to our left?  The sky is suddenly filled with bursting star shells and brightly colored flares.  Now, we remember that today is the eve of "D" Day.  One year ago tomorrow, the beginning of the end started for Adolph and his cronies....A year, a whole year ago....Well, good night, we say, and hit the sack.

 

The next morning found us still in Germany, but shortly after our noon meal, yeah, "K's" again, we were drawn to the doors of our car by the shouts of Dutch children and the waving of Dutch flags.  We were out of the Reich, possibly forever.

 

(continued at top of next page)

 

After a pleasant ride across Holland, We stopped at Maastricht for hot coffee with our supper ration.  Soon we were off again, this time to the city of Liege, where beaucoup girls were whistled at and the French speaking members of the group started brushing up on their romance languages again.

 

The last town remembered by most of us before joining Morpheus for the night, was (unreadable).

 

To our straw bedecked amazement, our eyes opened this morning to find that we were in San Quentin!  No, not the prison, but a very respectable French city.  Then for a wash up in ye old bucket, while the iron horse takes a drink...Again, with a banging of the cars and the cussing of the occupants the train is off to Amiens.  This part of the ride was rather picturesque, for the fields were large checker boards of brilliant red poppies and green alfalfa.  After the first stop our drab box cars came to life in new red dress with bunches of poppies hung all over them.

 

At Amiens, we were startled by an overheard remark to the effect that the destination of the train was Le Havre.  "Le Havre!" we yelled.  "My gosh, are we really going back to the States?"  Dame Rumor had a holiday and no fooling they really flowed!  Investigation brought to light the fact that a mistake had been made by SOMEBODY and they turned the train around and went back along the route we had just covered.  At Lyon, we were again held up.  this time by too many trains ahead of us, all with designs on the same strip of track.

 

Underway again, we passed through Soissons and in the gray evening we all wondered if we were really headed in the right direction this time...we were; and at midnight our sleepy group passed through Reims and onto a side track near our new home, Camp Pittsburgh, in the vicinity of Mourmelon-le-Grand.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

MAJOR MANITOBA:  "No one will date nurses or WAC's being processed here......Except Staff Officers."  

End of page 10.


Begin page 11.

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

 

Jan. 27:  Enroute to Alsace.

              0001 to 2400 - Foot troops enroute to Luneville, France, by train.

              1840 - Remainder of BN with organic transportation left Burtonville, Belgium.

 

Jan. 28:  Fraise, France

              1515 - Motor convoy arrives at Troyon, France.

              1530 - Foot troops arrive at Luneville, France.  Distance traveled was 285 miles.

              1545 - Foot troops detrained.  Entrucked at Luneville.

              1600 - Foot troops detrucked at Fraise, France.  Troops billeted for the night.

                         Weather extremely cold.

Jan. 29:  Fraise, France

              0930 - Motor elements entrucked at Troyon, France.

              2330 - Motor convoy arrives at Fraise, France.  Total distance traveled was 255 miles.

              2400 - Foot troops at Fraise spent day reorganizing and resting.

                         Weather extremely cold.

Jan. 30:  Fraise, France

              1045 - Col Harris reports to Reg't for orders.

              1230 - Meeting of Company Commanders at BN CP.  Col. Harris announced that Capt.

                          Booker is now the BN Executive Officer and Lt. Peterson the BN S-3.

              1330 - Advance party leaves by motor to go to new area which is located in woods beyond

                          Ste. Marie aux Mines.

              1800 - BN alerted to move by motor convoy.

              2000 - Advance party arrives at new location and starts digging in.

Jan. 31:  Woods beyond Ste. Marie, France

              0100 - BN entrucked for convoy move to new area.

              1100 - BN closed in to new area in woods beyond Ste. Marie.

              1600 - Entire BN marched to new forward area in woods formerly occupied by 289th Infantry.

                         E Co leads march.

              1700 - Men begin digging in for the night.

Feb. 1:  Bischwihr, France

              1330 - Foot troops left bivouac area for Birschwihr, France.

              1600 - Motor convoy left for Birschwihr.

              1740 - BN closed in to new assembly area at Birschwihr.  Our BN is now in Division Reserve,

                         and will be committed on orders of Division Comdr.

Feb. 2:  Andolsheim Farm, France

              0400 - BN alerted for possible move forward

              1130 - BN again alerted for possible move to front

              1300 - BN Comdr and Co Comdrs go forward on reconnaissance.

              1330 - BN Executive Officer marches foot troops from Birschwihr to wooded area 1 3/4

                         miles from Andolsheim (to the South East) Company F leading.

              1500 - Motor Convoy left Birschwihr.  (continued on page 12.)

             

End of page 11.


Begin page 12.

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

 

Feb. 2:  Andolsheim Farm, France.

              1800 - Companies dig in for a defensive position.  BN CP and Aid station established

                          in basement of farm house where former German CP was located.

Feb. 3:  Andolsheim, France

              1010 - BN no longer in Division Reserve.  Now under Regt'l control.

              1400 - Maj. Gen. Porter arrives at CP for conference.

              1530 - Brig. Gen. (?) (asst Div Comdr) arrives at CP.

              1700 - Col Duffner arrives CP.

Feb. 4:  Andolsheim, France.

              0700 - "Easy" Co attached to 3rd BN.

              0950 - BN alerted for possible move.

              1120 - Co G and one platoon from H Co attached to 3rd BN.  Our BN

                          still alerted for possible move.

              1645 - Capt. Dillon reports enemy artillery and mortar fire falling in front of E Co positions.

              1740 - Capt. McGraw reports his G Co now on line at left of 3rd BN

                         positions.

              1930 - E Co shifts position to establish contact between L Co of 3rd BN and B Co

                          of 1st BN.

Feb. 5:  Andolsheim, France

              1030 - Company E relieved from attachment to 3rd BN.  Returned to BN area.

              1600 - Foot elements of BN rifle Co's left BN assembly area to go forward.

              1700 - Co G and one platoon from Co H relieved from attachment to 3rd BN and

                          joined remainder of foot elements as they reached forward positions.

Feb. 6:  Wickolsheim, France

              0300 - BN Comdr issues attack order for attack on Wickolsheim.

              0700 - Rifle Co's withdraw from front lines to an assembly area.

              1115 - Troops boarded tanks and proceeded forward to attack Wickolsheim.  Entire

                          BN rides tanks.

              1130 - Two tanks hit mines, several casualties.

              1215 - Wickolsheim taken by BN.  Germans began pulling out before forward elements

                          entered town.

              1415 - Town completely cleared.  Defensive positions set up outside of Wickolsheim.

 

(continued on page 13)

             

End of page 12.


Begin page 13.

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

 

Feb. 6:  Wickolsheim, France

              1740 - Defensive positions modified to conform to 3rd BN positions.

              1800 - Col Duffner arrives at CP to discuss future plans.  Report French and 28th

                         Division have captured City of Colmar.

Feb. 8:  Wickolsheim, France

              1030 - Quartering party left CP to make arrangements for moving BN to Obersheim.

                          [notation by Gerald Van Cleve: Lt. Weber of F Company

              1130 - Report received that elements of our Division have reached the Rhine.

              1345 - Quartering party ordered to return.  BN will not move forward.  To

                          set up extensive defensive positions in Wickolsheim.  Col. Harris becomes

                          town Commander.

Feb. 9:  Wickolsheim, France

              0915 - Message from Regt'l: priority of work (1) sewing on Division patches.

                           (2) marking vehicles, (3) vehicle maintenance, (4) cleaning weapons, (5)

                          care of personnel.

              1045 - Requisitions for chemical warfare shortages to reach Regt'l S-4 by 1500.

              1315 - Ammunition trucks revert back to Regt'l ASP with basic loads.

              1430 - Gen Porter awards Silver Star and Bronze Stars to men of BN.

Feb. 10:  Wickolsheim, France

              1000 - Quartering party left CP.   [notation by Gerald Van Cleve: Lt. Weber

                          of F Company]

              1100 - Lt. Jackson, former BN S-2 arrived.  Now assigned to 1st Army

                         Historical Section.  Obtained data of Battalion's action in Belgium.

              1330 - BN alerted to move.

              1430 - Gen. Mickle conducts critique of Division's work in Colmar Pocket Offensive

                          and discusses its significance.

              1600 - BN alert removed.  Quartering party recalled.

Feb. 11:  Wickolsheim, France

              1230 - BN ordered to move at 0900 tomorrow.

Feb. 12:  Menarmont. France

              0515 - Quartering party left CP.   [notation by Gerald Van Cleve: Lt. Weber

                         of F Company]

              1315 - BN entrucked at Wickolsheim.

              1335 - BN crossed IP - North side of Wickolsheim.

              2215 - BN closed into new area with Hq Co and H Co at Menarmont and

                         Co's E, F, and G at Xaffevillers, France.

Feb. 13:  Menarmont, France

              1000 - Allotment of baths detail for 125 men made to companies. 

              1130 - Regt'l Ex (Lt. Col. VanWay) arrives at CP to discuss motor move from Wickolsheim.

              1315 - Bath detail left Luneville, France.  BN Ex in charge.

              1430 - BN Comdr left CP for a Commander's meeting at Division.

 

(continued on page 14)

Note:  I do not possess page 14 - Feb 14 thru 17 Combat Diary.  If anyone has a copy I would appreciate it if you would forward it to me.  Thank you.

   

End of page 13.

End of Vol. 1 No. 16    Pass In Review

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: jpuckett@75thdivisiondad.us   Thank you.

NEXT

BACK

 Close Window

www.75thdivisiondad.us


Copyright 2001, J. R. Puckett
Webmaster: J. R. Puckett