History In Combat from a C Troop Diary

 

The following are excerpts from a Combat Diary Troop C which I received from a Trooper.

“The 107th were one of the first troops to land on French soil directly from the USA, this happen at 0145 on 16 January 1945, they loaded on trucks and at 500 unloaded at Camp Lucky Strike.  The train they were suppose to be on crashed on it way to Camp Lucky Strike and hundreds of GIs died.  The next three weeks were spent unpacking equipment and making everything ready for combat.  The 107th left Lucky Strike at 1600 on 8 February for Ploermel, France.  They relieved another outfit and took up positions with other American forces to contain the Atlantic Wall pockets south of St. Nazaire.  The 107th took positions in dugouts at ST. Omer, facing the enemy. Patrols were operated daily and we had many contacts with the enemy.  We kept up a constant fire on the Jerries with heavy weapons and found occasions to use our automatic and personal arms frequently.  Under the “War Stories” tab you can read a first hand account of one skirmish written by C Trooper, Mac Ferren who war awarded a Bronze Star for his actions.

The Squadron was pulled out of the dugouts at 0800 on 21 April and went into reserve.  On 20 April the Squadron was assigned to tactical control of the 7th Army and VI Corps. Their arrival at Schorndorf at 1600 on 24 April was immediately followed by orders to engage the enemy and the first town the 107th took was Langenau which netted 16 prisoners and more combat souvenirs. Forced marches for two and three days at a stretch; drivers with practically no sleep; gunners jittery with fatigue; no rest.  Bridges were blown at Schongau, Scharnitz and Langenau by the retreating Jerries and the 107th crossed the Danube at Ulm and continued the chase.

Guns, 20mm’s and 88’s opend up on us and had to be knocked out with our 37’s and 50’s.  Road blocks were blown in front of our vehicle and mined.  The enemy, in his last days of fighting was trying everything he knew to stop the avalanche that was crushing him.  We were out in front and traveling fast.

We bagan to take for granted the death horses, burning vehicles and dead Krauts along the sides of the road. many of them were knocked there by us; we should have gotten use to the sight.  Snipers were constantly firing at us from windows, towers and fox holes.  Grenades were tossed from second story windows in the hopes they would land in our turrets.  The large tower in Krumback, incidentally, lost both its sniper and clock to our 50’s when they opened up and they air was full of pieces of clock that day.

We came to expect long lines of prisoners marching to the rear while we were riding hell-bent for leather towards their still fighting comrades.  Our bag of prisoners was about 3000 but we were moving so fast an exact number is hard to come up with.  We all realized the powerful effect of the 50 caliber gun.  Just a burst from those babies at times was enough to cause  Jerries to quit.

Active fighting ended at Scharnitz, Austria on 2 May 1945.  We were moved to Seeg, Germany and started to live a garrison life again.  The war was over, but we still had to run patrols in our area to rout out the remaining die-hard SS troops in the hills.

Now we are sweating out the Pacific…perhaps out combat experiences are not ended”….

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