History of the 492nd Armored Field Artillery Battalion
At Sutton-Veny, England, the battalion, was reequipped having drawn its entire complement of combat vehicles. Considerable time was spent in preparing the vehicles for the approaching combat period. Calibration of the new guns was accomplished through service practices. In addition, a short field exercise was held in conjunction with the D-Day veterans of the British 6th Airborne Division. The results of this exercise were far reaching, for when the 11thArmored Division was assigned the mission of defense of the Meuse River line, the British 6th Airborne Division was in operation on the Northern flank of the Division Zone. The work of this outfit of British regulars was instrumental in stemming the tide of the western advance of Von Rundstedt’s troops through the Ardennes.
It was during this period, that Captain Albert H. Buschmann, Cattery Commander of Headquarters Battery, was relieved of his duties and appointed Division Information and Education Officer. 1st Lt. Parke W. Wicks, Executive Officer of A Battery, was appointed Battery Commander, and 1st Lt. Preston Hill assumed Reconnaissance Officer duties in A Battery. Captain Vincent P. Pearson, recently assigned from Division Artillery, was appointed Liaison Officer.
It was during this period, that Lt Col. Alt made a trip to the Continent for the purposes of observing other armored artillery units in actual combat. The Colonel left Sutton-Veny by rail on 24 November 1944, proceeded to London and thence by plane to Paris. At Paris, he was assigned a vehicle and driver to take him to the front. During his tour of observation and inspection, Colonel Alt visited units of the 3rd and 5th Armored Divisions. At the time of his visit, the war had reached a more or less static stage. Due to lengthy supply lines, coupled with the ever present enemy – MUD - the Allied advance had virtually stopped. Local advances were being made, but no spectacular gains had been made for some weeks. Most notable action during this period was the siege, destruction, and discussion with various unit commanders, Colonel Alt returned to the Battalion on 8 December 1944.
Shortly thereafter, all officers and noncommissioned officers of the Battalion were assembled, and the Colonel discussed the results of those observation with them. In a two-hour long talk, spiked with numerous questions from the assembled group, the men were given an idea of what could be expected when the 492nd was eventually committed to action against the enemy. This discussion came at a crucial period, as orders had already been received directing the battalion to finish its preparations and hold itself in readiness to move to a marshalling area by 14 December 1944.
On15 December 1944, at 0405, the battalion moved out of Sutton-Veny by motor convoy. For the purpose of expediting the shipment of the battalion to the continent, all armored vehicles were manned by skeleton crews. The remaining men, 143 in all, were held at Sutton-Veny to await transportation by rail to the marshalling area. The motor convoy crossed the IP at 0450, and proceeded via Godford, Salisbury, Romsey to Camp Hurlsey, arriving there at 1030. Two refueling stops of 20 minutes each were made during the trip. Attesting to the excellent mechanical condition of the vehicles, was the fact that not a single serious maintenance problem was encountered during the move.
The stay at Camp Hursley was short. At 0630 the following morning the battalion executed march order and moved out behind the 41st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron marching to the great channel port of Southampton, a distance of about ten miles. Due to the congested condition of the route of march, Southampton was not reached until about 1000. By noon of the same day the battalion had completed loading, and moved out into the channel to the convoy rendezvous point. Ships which constituted the “Battalion Fleet” were LST’s 32, 262, 400,757 and the liberty ship, USS Nicholas Herkimer.
While waiting for the convoy to assemble, the men had ample time to get settled and to look over the ship’s facilities . Most of the men commented on the sharp contrast between the operation of the US Navy as compared to those of the British crew which manned the HMS Samaria on the Battalion’s transatlantic voyage. Comment was also made on the excellence and abundance of the chow aboard ship.
The convoy weighed anchor at about 2000, and sailed from the harbor’s mouth out into the Channel. The night that followed was one that will be long remembered by the men of the battalion. Shortly before midnight a storm arose, which according to the ship’s crew was the worst since the almost disastrous storm that had followed the D-Day operations of the previous June. Bucking terrific winds, and extremely rough seas, the convoy had proceeded just ten miles during the past eight hours. For the landlubber artillerymen of the 492nd, the pitching and tossing of the ships brought on that green gilled effect so common among inexperienced seafarers. The calm seas and sunny skies of the 17th provided the restorative and the rest of the trip was accomplished without mishap.
It might be well to mention at this point, that on the day the Battalion sailed for the Continent, the crack German troops of Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt broke out of their confines in the dark regions of the Ardennes forest, and lashed out in a counteroffensive that was to roll through the Allied lines some fifty blood-spattered miles before it was checked, around the beleaguered city of Bastogne, the Battle of the Bulge, the greatest challenge to American arms during the European operations had begun.
At 2015, 17 December 1945, the vehicles and personnel of the 492nd poured forth from their various ships onto the soil of France at the battered port of Cherbourg. First vehicle to debark was the half track of the Battalion Executive Officer, Major Hayden Estey. Forming quickly into tactical convoy formation, the battalion roared through Cherbourg and Bricquebec to the vicinity of Barnebille and Le Mesnil, where roadside positions were occupied. The distance covered during this march, was approximately 36 miles.
During the night, orders were received to the effect that the mission of the 11th Armored Division was to proceed to St. Nazaire, effect relief of the 94th Infantry Division, and contain the Nazi diehards who were holding out in that vitally needed port. Subsequently, the battalion began preparations to fulfill their part in the accomplishment of the Division mission, ammunition section of Service Battery went into action and by the evening of the following day, every combat vehicle in the Battalion had its basic load of ammunition. For those not actually engaged in supply functions, maintenance of vehicles and personnel were the order of the day.
In the meantime, the German salient in the Ardennes was sweeping westward unchecked threatening to split the Allied Armies in half. Troops of the VIII Corps, thinly deployed along the line in the Ardennes, had been severely mauled by the force of von Rundstedt’s drive. In view of the seriousness of the situation it was decided to transfer the 11th Armored Division, now in SHAEF reserve to the VIII Corps in an effort to stem the tide of the German advance. Assigned the mission of defense of the Meuse River line from Givet to Verdun, the Division began its 500 mile dash across France in what was to be the longest and most successful forced march in the history of armored action.
On 20 December 1944, the battalion departed its roadside positions near Barneville and Le Mesnil, and in a drizzling rain, marched 94 miles to the vicinity of Falaise where positions were occupied for the night. The route of march was the same as that taken by the American Divisions which had cracked the German lines at St. Lo and fought across France to contain thousands of enemy troops in the gigantic Falaise pocket. Evidence of the ferocity of that drive lay littered along the roadside. Aside from the rubble that hampered movement through battered French towns along the route the march was accomplished without incident.
The march continued on the 21st, with leading elements leaving Falaise at 1130, and arriving at Damville at 1720, a distance of 71 miles. Despite the continued rain, road conditions were excellent. The following day, the battalion made one of the longest and most interesting marches in its history, covering 127 miles via St. Andre, Nantes, St. Germain, Paris, Villers, and ending at Soissons. The march began at 0855, and the Soissons positions were reached at 1950. A crisp, clear, cold had replaced the rain, enabling the armored vehicles to travel with their tops down, n addition to giving the spirits of all personnel a substantial boost. The grueling 25 mile and hour pace which has been maintained throughout the three day, 300-mile march, was beginning to tell on the full tracked vehicles, the M-4’s and M-7’s. Actual motor difficulties were small in number, but blown bogie wheels on the tanks caused these vehicles to fall out of the column. However, the combined efforts of the Battalion and Battery maintenance sections kept these delays to a minimum, and all vehicles closed in position before 2400. An incident worth recording, not only for historical purposes, but for the fact that it might have in a small way strengthened in the minds of all the men, the belief in the ideals for which we fought, was the unrestrained by the delirious waving and cheering as the Battalion’s motorized column roared through their towns and cities.
It was at first planned to remain at Soissons on the 23rd, but orders were received to move the battalion left Soissons and traveled to Laon, a distance of 21 miles, arriving there at 1515. Just prior to the move, the battalion suffered its first casualty when Pvt. Guillermo R. Gonzalez of Battery A was accidentally wounded in the foot by submachine gun fire. He was subsequently evacuated to the nearest hospital. At Laon, the battalion was billeted in the Marshal Foch Barracks. The stay there was short, however, and at 0700 on Christmas Eve the march continued northward to Rozol, where Battery C was detached from the battalion and assigned the mission of supporting Task Force Blue of CCB, subsequently going into positions in the vicinity of Aubigny. The remaining elements proceeded on to Givet, crossed the Meuse River and contacted units of the British 11th Armoured Division, and then returned across the river, and went into position one-half mile south of Vireux-Wallerandat 1945. the day's activities covered approximately 93.3 miles with the weather clear and cold, and the roads excellent. Some traffic was encountered but for the most part the march was unhampered.
At this point, there seemed to be a great deal of confusion as to the exact situation and deployment of the Division. The German advance had by this time encircled and trapped the American garrison in Bastogne, and leaving enough troops to contain the city, rumbled on to the west. Cannonading could be heard to the north and German troops were reported to be about twelve miles from the Meuse. Roads were jammed with troops and armor moving to and from the front. From a tactical standpoint, it was apparent that defensive positions in the vicinity of Givet would not be practical, so the battalion re-crossed the river and occupied positions on the east side of the river, south of Vireaux-Wallerandat.
Christmas Day was notable for the fact that enemy activity was encountered for the first time. This activity was in the form of several enemy planes which were observed flying over the battalion position. The .50 cal machine guns threw up a screen of fire, but the planes were at such a height that the fire was ineffective. No attempts were made by the enemy planes to strafe the battalion’s position. Late in the day, alternate positions on the west bank of he Meuse, about one mile northeast of Vireaux-Melhain were occupied. Battery C rejoined the battalion at this point the following day. The next two days’ activities consisted of maintenance of personnel and equipment. Steel “duck bills” were added to all full track vehicles for the purpose of widening the tracks and providing more traction. Constant outpost guards were maintained during this period.
The Battle of the Bulge had passed its zenith, and now appeared to be weakening. The 4th Armored Division had broken through the German ring around Bastogne and relieved the trapped garrison within the city. Defense of the Meuse River line had been relinquished by the 11th AD to the 17th Airborne Division. Preparations were now under way to move the 11th AD to an assembly area in the vicinity of Neufchateau, Belgium.
At0200, 29 December, the battalion moved out in a forced march and drove 85 miles to Neufchateau, through Fumay, Recroi, Charleville, Sedan, Carignan, and Florenville. The march was accomplished in extremely cold weather, the coldest yet encountered on the continent. Positions were occupied at 1340.
The overall tactical situation was now revealed in more clarity. The all-out drive of von Rundstedt had been virtually stopped, and the First Army on the north together with the Third Army on the south were attempting to drive wedges into the flank of the Bulge in an effort to sever and trap the enemy at its tip. With Patton's forces to the south, the 11th AD was assigned the mission of thwarting the enemy's effort to sever the vital Bastogne-Neufchateau highway. The Division plan was to attack with CCA and CCB abreast to the north and CCR in reserve. The battalion moved to new positions NE of Penamont.
The Division attack jumped off as scheduled on the morning of 30 December 1944. the first round fired in combat by the battalion, was fired by the adjusting piece of Battery C at 1200. The target was a moving Tiger tank in the town of Remagne. A precision adjustment was made, and the tank was set afire on the36th round. First combat casualty was Cpl. Stanley V. Nelson of HQ Battery, whose leg was shattered by a bomb fragment during an enemy air raid of Bastogne. CPL. Nelson was on duty with the Battalion Liaison Section at the time he was wounded.
Late in the afternoon of the 30th, the Division was assigned the new mission of clearing the enemy from the important Rechrival Valley Sector. The 492nd was placed in direct support of CCR, and moved from Penamont to positions south of Merhet, a distance of eleven miles. The weather had suddenly turned cold, binging snow and icy winds to hamper the movement. The steel tank tracks caused most of the M-7’s to slip and slide along the icy roads, and although the movement was started at 0145, it was about 0900 before the last vehicle closed in position. The 55th Armored Infantry Battalion launched its attack immediately, and the battalion fired extremely heavy concentrations on targets of opportunity, and isolated strong points. Due to poor visibility, caused by snow and a thick haze, forward observers had a difficult time adjusting the numerous missions. Firing was continuous throughout the day, with CCR taking the town of Magerette, and seizing the high ground to the NE. During he day's operation, 2nd Lt. Virgil H. Treberg, of Battery B acting as a forward observer with C Company 55th AIB, was killed when the jeep in which he was riding struck a mine. PFC William Hoke, driver of the jeep, was seriously injured.
The advent of 1945 was observed by practically all personnel of the
battalion, who worked throughout the night of 31 Dec-1 Jan, laying down a
terrific harassing and interdiction barrage. The year brought to a close one of
the most eventful periods in the battalion’s history. 1944 saw the battalion
reach its ultimate goal after two and a half years of long and arduous training,
having traveled one-third of the way around the world to sink its teeth into the
thick skin of German armed might. The dividends from months of painstaking
training, were being reaped abundantly. At the outset of the combat phase, the
battalion strength was 32 officers, 2 warrant officers, and 488 enlisted men.
Going into the New Year, these figures had changed to 31 officers, 2 warrant
officers, and 481 enlisted men.
Battalion After Action Reports
23 December 1944
The 492nd Armored Field Artillery Battalion was encamped in an open field at Soissons, France, where they had arrived from a three-day overland march the night before. In view of the imminent threat to Liege, Belgium, it was first planned to remain at Soissons indefinitely, but orders were received to move twenty miles further to the north to Laon, France where French barracks would be at the unit’s disposal. Stories of German parachutists dropping in the area had continued to reach the battalion, and for the short march from Soissons to Laon, machine guns were uncovered and the men were ordered to carry their weapons ready to fire. The Foch barracks were reached at 1530, vehicles were put under cover of buildings and men were assigned to sleeping quarters. Work was begun immediately to put track extensions on the tanks that night.
24 December 1945
At 0200 the 492nd was ordered by Division Headquarters to stand ready to move to the front at 030 the same morning. Duffle bags and foot lockers were unloaded at this point. At 0630, Field Order #5, HQ CCA, was brought in. The 11thArmored Division, as part of the VIII Corps, had been ordered to move immediately to secure a bridge in the vicinity of Sedan, France and Charleville, France; contact British Forces to the north, establish and maintain contact with the enemy NE of the Meuse River. After hasty briefing, the battalion moved out at once and proceeded north to Rozoi, France, where Battery C was assigned to Task Force White under Lt. Col Joe Ahee. The remainder of the battalion stayed in Task Force Blue under Lt. Col. Brady and continued north to Givet, France, prepared for action against the enemy on order. After being formed at Rozoi, TF White went into bivouac about three miles east of Aubigny, France in which vicinity it remained for several days. At Givet, the main part of the battalion crossed the Meuse River, contacted units of the British 11th Armoured Division, and then returned across the river. The Meuse was crossed again further south at Vireux-Molhain and the battalion went into positions 1/2 mile south of Vireux-Wallerand at 1945.Overlays of pre-arranged fires were prepared for the forward observers to take forward to the 63rd Armored Infantry Battalion where the observers reported for further instructions.
25 December 1945
The battalion remained in the same position. Negative reports were received from both observers, but from other sources reports came in throughout the day of steady German advances, of the capture of Ciney, Belgium and St. Hubert, Belgium, of the slowly tightening ring around Bastogne,, Belgium. All units were warned of German soldiers in the vicinity wearing U.S. uniforms and driving U.S. vehicles. Two Germans disguised as priests were reported captured at nearby Givet. Ordered to find a new position on the west side of the Meuse, the battalion moved that evening to Mazee, a small village on the Belgium border, just over a mile NE of Vireux-Melhain. Defensive fires were prepared and distributed to the forward observers and to the 63rd AIB.
26 December 1945
ACCA order was received attaching a platoon of Battery C 575th AAA Battalion to the 492nd, and a defense plan to protect the Vireux bridge was drawn up in conjunction with Company B 63rd AIB. The battalion liaison planes arrived at 1100, landing on air strips selected near Treignes, Belgium, and observer missions were flown from 1300 to 1600. Negative enemy reports were received from these missions. Around 2215 that night, a single German plane, later identified as a JU-88, flew back and forth over the battery positions several times, drawing considerable AA fire from guns to the east and NE. Word was received that same night that the 17th Airborne Division was to relieve elements of the 11th AD the next day with the 492nd to remain where it was and support the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The relief operation was carried out as planned, and Battery C, now no longer a part of TF White, rejoined the battalion at noon. The German line ringing Bastogne was broken at 1700, when CCB of the 4th AD drove through to contact the encircled forces of the 101st Airborne Division and the 9th and 10th Armored Divisions. The enemy, however, had continued his assault on the Bastogne salient with an attack on the west and SW portion of the broken circle. On the eastern tip of the breakthrough the Germans were reported only four miles from Dinant, Belgium, a town on the Meuse, 25 miles north of the 492nd’s position. At this time, enemy infiltration tactics continued. Three Germans dressed in American uniforms were captured at 1310 by Company B, 2nd Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment on Mount Vireux, overlooking the battalion gun positions. Parachutists had dropped at Rocroi. Communication wires between the CP and the firing batteries were broken several times during the night. In at least one instance, communication personnel reported cuts were deliberate.
27 December 1945
There was no enemy activity except that enemy aircraft were reported in the area.
28 December 1945
The battalion remained in the same position and no enemy activity was reported.
29 December 1945
When the Meuse River had been completely turned over to the 17th Airborne Division, the 492nd reverted to CCA control, and at 0200 the 11th AD began a forced march of 85 miles through Fumay to Rocroi to Charleville to Sedan to Carignan to Florenville to an assembly area in the vicinity of Neufchateau, Belgium. The area was reached at 1340 and the battalion went into temporary positions at Tronquoy while reconnaissance was made for new firing positions further north.
30 December 1945
At 0230 a march order was given and the battalion went into position NE of Renuamont, Belgium, and readied itself for the attack. The situation here was vastly different from that at Vireux. Into the corridor which had been opened to Bastogne by the 4th Armored Division, the Germans were now moving large concentrations of troops to the SW in order to cut off the only highway leading out of the city (the Bastogne-Neufchateau road). An estimated 10,000 men and 70 tanks were holding a line running from St. Hubert east to Remagne and Sibret, then on to Bastogne. Three divisions were known to oppose Allied forces in this sector – the 15th Panzer grenadier, the 130th Panzer Lehr, and elements of the5th Parachute Division. Strong forces were reported massing in the town of Remagne, and in some places Germans were only a thousand yards from the vital Bastogne-Neufchateau highway. The mission of the Division was to attack north, relieve the threat to the highway, and push forward to the objective north of Bastogne. Division Artillery was to furnish close fire support to the attack of the Division. The 492nd was placed in general support; with the 490th Armored Field Artillery Battalion in direct support of CCA; and the 491st Armored Field Artillery Battalion in direct support of CCB. One battalion OP and three forward OP’s were established east of Freux overlooking the enemy occupied town of Remagne. The first round fired from the battalion in combat was fired by the Number 1 gun section of Battery C by mistake. At 1200, Battery C fired on the town of Remagne. The first battalion target was enemy personnel around a building. Three more battery missions and one battalion mission were fired before darkness. One Tiger or Panther tank was burned, two Mark IV tanks were knocked out, and an unknown number of personnel were killed. The first battalion casualty in combat was Cpl. Stanley V. Nelson of Headquarters Battery who was hit by a shell fragment during an enemy air raid in Bastogne and was evacuated. Later that night the original Division plan to attack with Combat Commands abreast was changed to make way for a more powerful thrust on the second day of operations. The new plan called for a shoring up of the east flank by CCB and west flank by CCR with a direct breakthrough by CCA down the Rechrival Valley. The 492nd was placed in direct support of CCR. Effects of day's fire: one tank destroyed and two Mark IV tanks damaged.
31 December 1945
At 0130 the battalion moved NE about 15 miles going into position south of Morhet, Belgium at 745. Considerable difficulty was encountered enroute because of icy roads and vehicular congestion. As soon as the new position was occupied, forward observers were sent out to the 55th AIB where liaison had already been established. The battalion started firing at0130. The attack had just gotten under way when 2nd Lt. Virgil Treberg’s peep struck a mine 100 yards south of the road junction leading to Pinsamount on the road between Magerrote and Tillet. When his progress had become impeded by the enemy road blocks, Lt. Treberg had found a way around the blocks, and, in spite of heavy mortar and machine gun fire, hastened forward to reach the leading elements of Company C 55th AIB, to give them artillery support. He was killed instantly when his vehicle struck the mined area. His driver, Pfc. William Hoke, was wounded and was evacuated to the 107th Evacuation Hospital in Sedan. Throughout the day nine battery missions, twelve battalion missions, and two Division Artillery missions were completed. Visibility was extremely poor, hampered as it was, by snow and thick haze. The attack went off as planned and CCR entered Magerrotte during the morning. The 55th AIB moved NW at once to seize high ground; then, with elements of the 22nd Tank Battalion, blasted enemy troops from dug in positions on the reverse side of the hill and entered the town of Acul. During the same period, CCA captured Rechrival and CCB entered Chenogne. Effects of day’s fire: one armored counter attack stopped in late afternoon; vehicle, equipment, and personnel casualties unknown.
1 January 1945
The Battalion continued to support CCR on the left flank of the Division sector. At0735 a heavy preparation was fired on a woods 1000 yards NW of Chenogne. The weather was clear and cold, but hazy at times so that registration was not completed until 1030. Effects of day’s fire: two halftracks and one 88mm gun destroyed; one AAA and one mortar position neutralized.
2 January 1945
The battalion remained in position and continued to support CCR. Weather was cloudy and hazy, and registration was completed at 1000. Heavy TOT’s were fired into the towns of Mande St. Etienne and Flamizoulle. One forward observer attempted to adjust one 155 mm howitzer of the 422nd Field Artillery Group on a rear CP but visibility was difficult and darkness closed in before completion of adjustment. 58 propaganda shells with Safe Passage Cards were fired by Battery A. Harassing and interdiction fires were started in the evening. Effects of day’s fire: one enemy counterattack repulsed.
3 January 1945
Harassing and interdiction fires were continued during the early morning and throughout the day while the relief of the 11th AD was effected. The 17th AB Division relieved the 11th AD minus Division Artillery and two companies of the 22ndTank Battalion. The 802nd Field Artillery Battalion, 105 mm Howitzers, was grouped with the 492nd. The 802nd was located 1/2 mile west of Capon. Since the howitzers of the 681st Glider Field Artillery Battalion had not yet arrived with the rest of the 17th Airborne Division, the 492nd was assigned the mission of direct support of the 194th Glider Infantry Regiment. Liaison was maintained with the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the 194th and with their Regimental headquarters. Two forward observers were sent out, complemented by observers from the 802nd and 681st FA Battalions. By 1800 the enemy front lines generally from Pinsamont through Laval, Hubernomt, Millomont, Monty, and 1500 meters SE to a road junction on the Bastogne road. Visibility was poor during the day, never more than 500 yards, with intermittent snow and sleet falling. Radar metro messages from VIII Corps were used to correct the registration. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
4 January 1945
The battalion continued in direct support of the 194th in the attack north at 0815. The attack proceeded successfully to Renuamont. One of the forward observer’s1/4 ton vehicles was damaged by shell fragments. Pvt. Hayden Blankenship, HQ Battery, and Cpl. Joseph V. Farber, B Battery, were also injured by shell fragments. Liaison was maintained with the 2nd Battalion of the 194th. Two enemy armored counterattacks were repulsed by artillery in the late afternoon. At 2000, a strong enemy counter attack pushed the 194th back 2500 yards to Houmont. The battalion helped slow the counterattack by knocking out two tanks north of Renuamont. Effects of day’s fire: two armored counterattacks repulsed.
5 January 1945
The withdrawal of elements of the 194th Glider Infantry Regiment to Houmont during the dark hours of the morning was supported by the battalion. Since the 681stFA Battalion had received its howitzers, the 492nd reverted to general support with the secondary mission of reinforcing the fire of the 681st. Effects of day's fire unknown.
6 January 1945
The mission of the battalion was general support with the secondary mission of direct support of the 2nd Battalion of the 194th. Liaison planes were grounded due to fog. Liaison was maintained with the 194th. Harassing fire was conducted from 0001 to 0615. Two counter-attacks were fired on, one in the morning, which was stopped, and one in the afternoon, with results unknown. Enemy troops and tanks were fired on in the morning with the effect unobserved. Two road junctions and a mortar position were fired on in the afternoon with the effect unobserved. Harassing fires were continued throughout the day. German propaganda leaflets were found in the battalion area in the morning most of them being n the vicinity of Battery A. These pamphlets were probably fired during the night. Also an abandoned German Tiger tank was found in the woods. It was apparently left in haste when this area was overrun. Papers and a notebook were found with it. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
7 January 1945
Falling back in the face of an attack launched by the 17th AB Division in the morning, German forces retreated along the entire front. At 1500 one forward observer reported that Rechrival had been taken and that Allied troops had reached Laval. The battery Commander of Battery B, John F. Ryan, was wounded by mortar fragments and was evacuated. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
8 January 1945
The battalion continued to reinforce the fires of the 681st FA Battalion and to fulfill the mission of general support under the 11th Armored Division Artillery. Cloudiness and heavy snow obscured visibility. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
9 January 1945
Counter batteryfire was received for the first time in the firing battery area at 1220 and1305. The first shell landed 75 yards north of Battery A’s position. Azimuth to direction from which the shell came was estimated as 200 meters. The second shell landed in Battery C’s position, injuring Pfc. Fred Nelson in the leg. Azimuth to direction from which this shell report came was estimated as 150 meters. Judging from the sound and fragments, both shells are believed to have been fired from a German gun of 150mm caliber. There is a possibility that both were ricocheted at that time. The ammunition allotment was set at 30 rounds per gun per day beginning this date. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
10 January 1945
No enemy action was reported during what has been the quietest period along the immediate front. Troop movements further north indicated the possibility of German withdrawal with only a shell left in the way of resistance. During an adjustment on a group of enemy tanks north of Rechimont, a violet smoke round was fired. Shortly thereafter Spitfire fighter planes strafed and bombed the same area. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
11 January 1945
No enemy action was reported, although some enemy personnel were sighted and light mortar fire was reported by one forward observer. Effects of day’s fire: one3-gun artillery battery neutralized and one vehicle set on fire.
12 January 1945
The battalion continued to reinforce the fires of the 681st until it received a march order at 1300. The 11th AD ordered that the 492nd return to Division control. The rest of the day was spent on very icy roads moving to Hemroulle, Belgium, NW of Bastogne. One gun from Battery A was sent ahead of he new position to register prior to darkness. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
13 January 1945
The battalion arrived n position at 0200. Counter battery fire was received in Battery B’s position at 0830. Two men, Pfc. William F. Miller and Pfc. Peter E. Pagliaroni, were slightly injured by shell fragments. Estimated azimuth to direction from which fire came was 6350 meters. German troops falling back before an attack by the 11th AD were reported at the woods approximately half-way to Bertogne, initial objective for the Division. Both Bertogne and Compogne received heavy shelling by armored artillery during the early part of the afternoon. The mission of the battalion was general support of the attack by CCA. One forward observer was sent to the 22nd Tank Battalion. Two forward observers were sent out with the 55th Armored Infantry Battalion. After dark the battalion took over direct support of the 55th AIB with CCA. Whereupon three forward observers were maintained with the 55th and three forward observers with the 41st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron Mechanized. Liaison was maintained with CCR and CCA. Effects of day’s fire: three tanks destroyed
14 January 1945
The battalion continued the mission of direct support of the 55th AIB with CCA. The battalion fired a preparation for the 41st Cav, sweeping the woods. The fire proved to be short and landed among our troops causing casualties. This fire was due to erroneous coordinates requested by the supporting unit. Firing during the day was hazardous as there was woods fighting. There were instances of fire missions that would have landed on our own troops had not the coordinates been checked before firing. It was found necessary to be extremely cautious in woods as it is difficult to identify targets as being friendly or enemy. One forward observer’s tank hit two mines at 1200 causing track trouble. Another forward observer’s 1/4 ton vehicle his a mine with damage o the vehicle but none to personnel. Another forward observer, 2nd Lt. Homer White, and Staff Sergeant Frederick G. Oberle from A Battery were hit by shell fragments. Oberle was evacuated but White stayed in position until nightfall when he was relieved by another forward observer. Fighting a strong delaying action, enemy troops continued to fall back along the entire front. Bertogne fell to Allied hands. There were no indications of a German counterattack by 1600. One hundred rounds of Safe Conduct passes were fired on Compogne, Cobru, and Vaux at 1100. Effects of day’s fire: effective fire on tanks, personnel, AA positions and CP’s but personnel and vehicle casualties unknown.
15 January 1945
The battalion was given the mission of direct support of Task Force Stubbs which consisted of the 55th AIB and the 1st Battalion of the 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment The forward observers with the 41st Cavalry were assigned to the 193rdwho relieved the 41st in their sector. The attack went rapidly so that The battalion was soon firing at targets near its maximum range. The battalion displaced by echelon, Battery A displacing first to positions north of Longchamps. Effects of day’s fire: one vehicle burning; CP in building dispersed; a direct hit on enemy personnel.
16 January 1945
The battalion continued in direct support of TF Stubbs. A move to Vellereux was contemplated but a change in the Division sector altered those plans. Effect of day's fire: one gun of an enemy battery knocked out.
17 January 1945
The battalion, although out of range, was not allowed to displace forward because of an order from VIII Corps which held it in place to meet any possible counterattack. The missions from the forward observers were relayed to Division Artillery who assigned them to other artillery battalions who were in range. The system was slow and not too effective. The battalion moved to new positions at Cobru, Belgium at 1300 where it was unable to support TF Stubbs until relieved and also able to give general support to the 11th AD. Effects of day's fire unknown.
18 January 1945
As of 0001 the battalion reverted to general support of the 11th AD Fog and haze prevented registration. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
19 January 1945
The battalion took over direct support of the 55th AIB while the Division was regrouping. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
20 January 1945
The battalion continued n direct support of the 55th AIB. Effects of day’s fire: one enemy occupied house destroyed
21 January 1945
11thAD Field Order #10 ordered an attack to the vicinity of Buret and east at H hour on the 21st. The battalion was given the mission of general support, ready to revert to direct support of CCR on call. At 0500 the battalion moved out to new positions north of Bourcy. Forward observers with the 55th AIB stayed in the vicinity of Bouer while CC moved forward to secure the Division objective. No fire lines from VIII Corps put the battalion out of range by 1600.Reconnaissance and survey was made of new positions east of Bouer. No fire directed against enemy.
22 January 1945
The battalion remained in place. No firing
23 January 1945
The11th AD accomplished its mission. The 492nd was ordered to rest in place and prepare for future operations. Forward observers and liaison officers returned to the battalion. General Order #9 awarded the Bronze Star Medal posthumously, to 2nd Lt. Virgil H. Treberg. No firing
24 January 1945
CCA was alerted to assist the 17th Airborne Division. The 11th Armored Division Artillery was alerted to support CCA. No firing
25 January 1945
26 January 1945
CCA alert was cancelled as the 17th AB was relieved by the 87th Infantry Division.No firing
27 January 1945
A warning order was received from the 11th AD of a pending VIII Corps attack with the 90th, 87th, and 4th Infantry Divisions to attack with the 11th AD and 95thInfantry Division in reserve. CCA and CCB were ordered to reconnoiter routes to Lommersweiler, Belgium and Burg-Reuland, Belgium. The battalion made a route reconnaissance to these towns. No firing
28 January 1945
The battalion participated in a ceremony held at Boeur at which seven of its members were presented with decorations by the Commanding General of the 11thAD, Charles Kilburn. The Silver Star was presented to 2nd Lt. Homer H. White. Bronze Star Medals were received by S/Sgt Arthur J. Christiansen (C); T/5Willis Gravely (HQ); Pfc. Laverne H. Huber (HQ); S/Sgt. Frederick J. Oberle(A); T/5 Freddie H. Keith (A); Pfc. Emmett Stormes (A); and Pfc. Robert E. May(A).
29–31 January 1945
Losses For The Month
1 February 1945
The opening day of the period found the 492nd Armored field Artillery Battalion resting in place, north of Bourcy, Belgium, and preparing for future operations, in compliance with orders. The battalion had occupied this position 21 January 1945 while in general support of the 11th AD. Strength of The battalion at the beginning of the period was 34 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers, and 487 Enlisted Men. No missions were fired.
2 – 3 February 1945
4 February 1945
The battalion was ordered by CCR to move to the vicinity of Steffeshausen, Belgiumto support CCR. The battalion moved out at 0935, closing in the new areas at1800. Defensive fires of the 344th FA Bn were adopted and the battalion prepared to support CCR on call. No missions were fired.
5 February 1945
CCR made an early morning surprise attack without artillery preparation. Poor visibility during the day limited possibilities of observed fire. Field Order#111 of the 11th AD placed the 492nd in direct support of the 55th AIB. Forward observers were pulled from other elements of CCR and sent to the 55th AIB. Effects of day’s fire: damaged one Mark III Tank and neutralized one enemy artillery piece.
6 February 1945
Infantry captured objectives in the Siegfried Line early in the day and dug in. Artillery support limited by poor visibility. The enemy fired heavy concentrations of artillery, mortar, rocket and small arms fire. The battalion fired many defensive fires and normal barrages on suspected enemy positions. Effects of day’s fire: enemy personnel killed and wounded; three pillboxes destroyed.
7 February 1945
The battalion continued in direct support of the 55th Armored Infantry Battalion. CCR was unable to jump off at 0400 due to strong enemy fire. The attack was postponed due to constant heavy fire. Pvt. Dix Lathrop of C Battery was hit by shell fragments in the arm and shoulder while at a forward CP. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
8 February 1945
The battalion continued in direct support of the 55th AIB. Infantry remained in the same locations while artillery softened up enemy positions. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
9 February 1945
The battalion remained in direct support of the 55th AIB. Infantry continued defensive action and remained in the same positions. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
10 February 1945
The battalion remained in direct support of the 55th AIB. Forward observers were active during the afternoon Several air missions were fired on enemy CP’s, vehicles, and gun positions. Numerous unobserved fires were fired for the 55th AIB which temporarily quieted rockets, artillery, and mortars falling on frontlines and the Infantry CP. Harassing and interdiction fires were all with Pozit. Effects of day’s fire: one vehicle destroyed and a gun position damaged.
11 February 1945
The battalion’s medium tanks were placed in indirect fire positions, but were not registered due to lack of observation. The 55th and 63rd AIBs were relieved by elements of the 90th Infantry Division. Forward observers were withdrawn and the battalion placed in general support of the 90th Infantry Division. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
12 February 1945
The battalion remained in general support of the 90th. No observed missions were fired due to poor visibility. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
13 February 1945
The battalion continued in general support of Division elements in part of the sector not taken over by the 90th. The battalion’s medium tanks were registered by Air Group. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
14 February 1945
The battalion continued in general support of the Division. Missions were fired on enemy tanks, pillboxes and gun positions. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
15 February 1945
The55th AIB relieved the 63rd AIB in the line, and the 492nd took over direct support of the 55th. Missions were fired on enemy infantry, mortars, and artillery. Effects of day’s fire: four known enemy casualties.
16 February 1945
Visibility was limited throughout the day by low-hanging fog. The battalion fired on an enemy CP supply dump, mortar positions, and personnel. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
17 February 1945
The battalion continued in direct support of the 55th AIB. Firing was limited by fog. 2nd Lt. Gregg was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received when his liaison plane made a forced landing. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
18 February 1945
CCR made a surprise attack at 0545 without artillery preparation. The 55th AIB reached their objective by 1800. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
19 February 1945
The battalion continued in direct support of the 55th AIB. Forward displacement was made to position 3/4 mile west of Heckhuscheid, Germany. The battalion fired many battery missions in the afternoon as the 5th AIB moved south from Leidenborn. Targets were enemy bunkers, machine guns, OPs, and buildings. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
20 February 1945
The battalion continued in direct support of the 55th AIB. A preparation was fired for the 63rd AIB in the morning. Effects of day’s fire: one Mark IV tank disabled.
21 February 1945
A heavy preparation was fired at 0700 for the attack of the 55th AIB on Roscheidand pillboxes to the northeast. The Battalion displaced by echelon to positions1/2 mile north of Berg, Germany. Effects of day’s fire: one vehicle and two buildings burned.
22 February 1945
Two TOT preparations were fired for the attack of CCR, one for the 55th at 0720,and one for the 63rd at 0805. Both units reached their objectives by 1030.Effects of day’s fire unknown.
23 -24 February 1945
The battalion was relieved of direct support of the 55th AIB, but remained in position awaiting orders. Time was devoted to care and rehabilitation of personnel and material. No missions were fired.
25 February 1945
The battalion was alerted for possible move to new positions. In compliance with Field Order #14, the battalion moved to new positions in the vicinity of Habscheid. The mission of the battalion was general support of VIII Corps Artillery. A German 88mm PAK, in damaged condition, was picked up near Sengerich and brought to a new position. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
26 February 1945
The battalion was placed in general support of the 90th Infantry Division. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
27 February 1945
The battalion relieved of general support of the 90th and placed in general support of the 4th Infantry Division, reinforcing fires of the 42nd FA Battalion. A preparation was fired at 0645 for an attack of the 4th Infantry Division. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
28 February 1945
The mission of the battalion was changed to general support of VIII Corps in the6th Armored Division sector. Several missions were fired through the 42nd FA Bn. Missions were relayed by the Liaison Officer while the 42nd completed a forward displacement. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
1 March 1945
On the opening day of the period, the 492nd Armored Infantry Battalion was in position near Habscheid, Germany in general support of the 4th Infantry Division. Operations Memorandum #30 relieved the battalion of support of the4th and directed the battalion to advance to new positions. The battalion marched to new positions in the 11th AD assembly area NE of Steinmohlen, Germany in the 4th Infantry Division sector. Counter battery fire was received during the night. Strength of the battalion at the beginning of March was 34Officers, 2 Warrant Officers, and 486 enlisted men. No firing.
2 March 1945
The battalion was registered on BR and two check points by Air CP. Plans were made for an attack by the Division through the 4th Infantry sector for bridgeheads on the Kyll River. Field Order #15 placed the battalion in general support of the Division. This was changed to direct support of Task Force Chico (Hearn) –55th Armored Infantry Battalion and 22nd Tank Battalion. Four registrations were fired.
3 March 1945
Reconnaissance for positions east of Prum was initiated early in the morning. The battalion marched to new positions SW of Hausfeld, Germany and was registered by Air CP. Forward observers moved out with TF Chico at 1200. Light counter battery fire was received, wounding several men. One forward observer tank was hit by an enemy AT gun. One officer and one EM were wounded. Missions were fired on enemy tanks and artillery fire. Light harassing fire was delivered during the night. Effects of day’s fire: three tanks and one AT gun destroyed; one position damaged; personnel killed and wounded.
4 March 1945
Manyon-call and observed fire missions fired in the AM in support of TF Chico during its attack to the east to Budesheim and on the division objective, the high ground west of the Kyll River. Reconnaissance for new positions near Weinsheim was initiated, and Battery C displaced at 1400. The remainder of The battalion displaced when Battery C was in position. Captain Leo W. Cloutier and two EM were injured when their vehicle struck a mine. A light harassing program was fired during the night. Effects of day’s fire: one AT gun destroyed and personnel killed.
5 March 1945
Reconnaissance was made for positions in the vicinity of Budesheim. The battalion moved into position and was registered. The Field Order also registered the 490th and 58thAFA Battalions. One mission was fired on enemy troops. A 180 round (1/2 Pozit) harassing program was fired at night on various installations. Orders for continuation of CCB’s attack to Nieder and Ober Bettingen were received. The battalion remained in direct support of TF Chico. Three Division Artillery TOT’s on towns and high ground were fired in early evening. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
6 March 1945
Preparations were fired at 0630 and 0700. The forward observers were very active during the AM, firing in close support of advance of their units. HC smoke was fired with good effect. Reconnaissance for new positions was initiated. The battalion occupied positions near Oos and was registered. Missions were fired on entrenched troops east of the Kyll with good effect. A small harassing program was fired during the night. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
7 March 1945
Targets of opportunity were fired in the AM on enemy on the east side of the Kyll River. The battalion was ordered to move south and cross the Kyll near Lussingen in the 90th Infantry Division sector. March order was given at 1600. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
8 March 1945
The battalion marched to the east along the route Busesheim, Lissingen, Gerolstein, Kirschweiler, Dockweiler, Kelberg, Neuberg, Kemenich, Hanneback, Niederdurenbach, and Niedergissen. The battalion continued in direct support of TF Chico. No firing.
9 March 1945
The battalion fired TOT with the 491st to support CCA’s drive to Andernach. The battalion was in position at Obergissen. The battalion occupied defensive positions at Oberlutzengen with each battery covering a sector to the NW, N, and NE. Defensive fires were planned with TF Chico. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
10 March 1945
The battalion supported TF Chic in its late afternoon push to clear and capture Brohl. Preparation and targets of opportunity were fired in support of the attack. Smoke missions were fired east of the Rhine without success due to high winds. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
11 March 1945
Clearing of Brohl was completed by 1000 against light resistance. The battalion fired a mission on an AT gun east of the Rhine opposite Brohl. The battalion continued to collect enemy stragglers. Reconnaissance sent out for maintenance period assembly positions in the vicinity of Obermendig. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
12 March 1945
The battalion displaced to Obermendig. Time devoted to maintenance of personnel and vehicles. Al personnel billeted in houses. The Battalion Commanding Officer assumed duties of military governor until arrival of Civil Affairs representative. A warning order was received that the battalion might be used to assist the 6th Cavalry Group or 87th Infantry Division along the Rhine. No missions fired.
13 March 1945
The battalion was ordered by division Artillery to move to new positions in the vicinity of Kretz, Germany. The battalion was placed in general support of the6th Cavalry defending the north flank of VIII Corps. The 490th and 253rd AFA battalions were in direct support. Survey and registration delayed due to intense ground fog. No firing.
14 March 1945
Survey completed and the battalion registered on BP and two check points by Air OP. Batteries continued maintenance of personnel and equipment. Two targets of opportunity fired from the Battalion OP. Road reconnaissance sent out to reconnoiter roads to the south. Five harassing and interdiction missions fired during the night. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
15 March 1945
Three targets of opportunity fired in the AM by Air OP. Other missions fired on OP’s vehicles and trenches. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
16 March 1945
The battalion fired on targets of opportunity east of the Rhine. The battalion alerted to move to assembly area vicinity of Schmitt, NW of Bullay on the Moselle River. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
17 March 1945
The battalion marched to an assembly area in the vicinity of Schmitt, arriving at0715. the battalion moved at 1630 from the assembly area, marched to Bullay, crossed the Moselle River, and advanced through the 89th Infantry Division sector to positions west of Munich. No firing.
18 March 1945
Five volley preparations fired on Sahren at 0655. the battalion moved out at 0800and marched along the CCB Route. The battalion went into position at Oberhosenbach in order to deliver fire in support of CCB. Targets fired on included infantry columns and air support targets. Headquarters and Service Batteries’ supply elements were shelled at 1530. Pozit fired on a bridge near Kirn in an attempt to save it for capture the bridge was blown up by the enemy. The battalion moved to night positions in the vicinity of Bergen. And was registered by the 491st AFA Battalion’s Air OP. No harassing fires during the night, but counter battery fire was received at 2100. No Casualties. Effects of day’s fire: five vehicles destroyed; fifteen enemy captured and one killed.
19 March 1945
The battalion forded the Nake River and advanced along CCB’s route to positions near Hundsbach. Batter C fired observed fire on enemy columns. Batteries A and B fired direct fire to the flanks on enemy infantry. The battalion continued a march to positions in the vicinity of Daumoschel. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
20 March 1945
The battalion went into positions in the vicinity of Stendenbuhl and registered by Air OP. At 1400, Corps restraining line was lifted and CCB resumed its attack toward Worms. The battalion went into position near Wiesoppenheim. One enemy vehicle and twenty personnel were captured in the battalion area. No harassing fires were delivered during the night. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
21 March 1945
The battalion was strafed by fifteen ME-109s. Combined fire of CCB brought down one. One man was wounded by fragments. Air OP’s subjected to heavy AA fire. The battalion fired on a 4-gun battery. Effects of day’s fire: enemy battery neutralized.
22 March 1945
The battalion ordered to send billeting parties to rear rest areas in the vicinity of Meisenheim. The battalion continued in support of CCB defending the Rhine in the vicinity of Worms. A few FO and air missions were fired on suspected and actual positions. Service Battery moved up into the battalion area. Billeting details recalled when CCB was ordered to continue defensive missions. Air section departed on secret mission for VIII Corps. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
23 March 1945
The Air section returned to Division Control. The battalion continued in direct support of CCB. Several FO and air missions fired on actual and suspected enemy installations. No harassing fires. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
24 March 1945
The battalion moved east of Wiesoppenheim in order to cover entire CCB defense sector. The battalion registered and proof-fired by Air OP. Personnel and vehicle maintenance performed during period of light activity. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
25 March 1945
The battalion registered on check point and proof-fired on base point by Air OP. The battalion was relieved of direct support of CCB. Reconnaissance sent out to the vicinity of Bechtheim for assembly and maintenance period positions. The11th AD placed in XX Corps which has present mission of Third Army reserve. The battalion moved to Bechtheim. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
26 –27 March 1945
Maintenance of personnel and materiel. No firing.
28 March 1945
The battalion was alerted for movement. The original objective, Giessen, was reported taken by the 7th Armored Division. The new Division objective: Kassel. The battalion ordered to move across Oppeneim bridge toward Hannau via Kastel. The battalion in general support of CCB under Division Artillery. No firing.
29 March 1945
The battalion moved out, crossed the Rhine near Offenbach, continued to Darmstadt, crossed the Main River, and closed into night positions NW of Hannau. No firing.
30 March 1945
New Division objective: Fulda. The battalion moved at 000, cleared through Bruckabel, Pudigheim, and Budingen, closing in the vicinity of Niederseemen. No firing.
31 March 1945
The battalion continued its march with CCB toward Fulda. The battalion went into positions NE of Gunzenau and fired on three enemy tanks. Preparation fired on Hozenfeld. Moved out again at 1130. CCB stopped one km west of Fulda due to change in orders, and coiled for the night in the vicinity of Grossenluder. The battalion went into position near Hosenfeld. No missions fired from these positions. The Battalion moved to Grossenluder, registered on Fulda and fired harassing missions on Fulda. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
On the opening day of the month, the 492nd Armored Field Artillery Battalion was in general support of CCB under Division Artillery. The battalion continued the advance with CCB from Grossenluder, Germany to Wenderhaussen to positions one km east of Unterweid. The battalion was registered by the Air OP and dug in for the night. No harassing fires were delivered during the night. Strength of The battalion was 33 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers, and 483 enlisted men. No firing.
2 April 1945
In the early morning a 126-round preparation was fired on Aschenhausen. The battalion continued the advance with CCB toward Arnstadt and went into position in the vicinity of Wahnsat at 1030. The battalion was registered by Air OP and was ready to support bridge construction in the vicinity of Wasungen. SevenFW-190s harassed the battalion area at 1115; no casualties. Two planes were hit. Warning orders for continuing the march were received at 1700. Battery B moved out with the advance guard and crossed over the pontoon bridge at Wasungen at 2000. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
3 April 1945
The battalion moved out at 0800 and advanced through Wasungen, Wallback, Metzeles, Christes, Bretenback, Springstell, Steinbach, and Hallenburg and went into position on a steep slope at Ober Schonau. Small arms fire was received while marching through the main part of the Thuringer Wald. Battery B continued to march with the advance guard which was held up most of the afternoon by road blocks between Ober Schonau and Oberhof. While on the road, Battery B received long range bazooka fire; no damage. Two German soldiers and 53 civilians were driven out of a wood on the battalion’s right flank by our mortar fire. At 1800, 192 rounds were fired into Oberhof just before entrance of the advance guard into it. The Air OP adjusted fire on a Tiger tank defending the roadblock in front of the advance guard. The tank was forced to move. Battery B moved onto Oberhofat 2100 and fired some targets of opportunity. Effects of day’s fire: 25 PW’s captured.
4 April 1945
The remainder of the battalion closed in Oberhof before noon. Three ME-109’s flew low over the battalion area at 1100. The battalion continued in support of CCB, but was assigned to support CCR for a cleaning-up operation at Zella Mehlis. Defensive fires were coordinated by Division Artillery. A late evening registration was adjusted by the Air OP. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
5 April 1945
In the morning, the battalion fired on enemy vehicles SW of Oberhof, and on a small enemy reconnaissance party north of Oberhof. The mission of clearing Zella-Mehlis was completed. The battalion fired on additional targets of opportunity during the day. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
6 April 1945
Verbal instructions received at 1100 to cease offensive action in zone and defend until relieved by the 26th Infantry Division. No firing.
7 April 1945
CCB March Order Plan B executed at 1000. Propaganda shells were prepared by Division Artillery for and attack on Gehlberg. The attack cancelled by Corps order to cease all offensive action. The Division was ordered to close in new assembly areas preparatory to new offensive action. The battalion marched through Zella-Mehlis, Suhl, and Bischofred and went into position between Bischofred and Eichenberg. The battalion was registered on BP and Check Point by Air OP. No harassing fires delivered during the night. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
8 April 1945
The battalion moved at 70 under escort of Troop D, 41st Cavalry through Themar to positions in the vicinity of Beinerstadt. Leading elements of CCB put The battalion out of range before registration could be completed. The battalion displaced to positions near Dingsleben at 1000. Air OP registered the battalion on BP and Check Point. The battalion continued to fire on various targets of opportunity in support of CCB. Defensive fires were adjusted in front of positions in the vicinity of Bedheim. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
9 April 1945
The battalion fired on suspected woods in the vicinity of Bedheim. The battalion was granted a 36-hour maintenance period effective 1500, 8 April. Battery A killed one enemy and took two prisoners in front of the battery positions. Warning orders for a move received at 2300. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
10 April 1945
The battalion joined the CCB advance guard at Bedheim and went into position at Eishausen. One gun was put in position at Steinfeld to fire propaganda shells into Redach. The battalion was registered by Air OP and fired 332 rounds into Rodach. Battery A fired direct fire mission on suspected OP. The battalion fired two volleys into Lempertshausen. The battalion moved out and went into positions near Wiesenfeld. The Battalion was registered by Air OP and fired heavy preparation into Coburg. No harassing fires delivered during the night. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
11 April 1945
The battalion remained in position at Wiesenfeld. The 71st Infantry Division moved up at noon to assist in clearing Coburg. One mission fired on enemy barracks. Warning orders received at 1900. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
12 April 1945
The battalion moved out at 0730. The battalion again in general support of CCB. Forward observers placed with the 21st Armored Infantry Battalion and 41st Tank Battalion. The battalion moved through Coburg and Ebersdorf to the vicinity of Sonnefeld. The battalion registered by Air OP. The battalion displaced at 1500,forded the Main River at Marktzeuln, and sent into position in the vicinity of Obr Zettlitz. Forward gun was registered by Air OP before arrival of The battalion. The battalion fired on Isling and defensive fires were adjusted. The Division and CCB orders arrived at 2000. The Division objective was changed from Bayreuth to Hof. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
13 April 1945
The battalion displaced to new positions at Schwarzach arriving at 0900. The battalion was registered by Air OP. Four enemy were captured in Mainleus. The battalion fired defensive fires in the late afternoon. CCB orders Plan A (Objective Hof) and Plan B (Objective Bayreuth) received at 2030. The battalion ordered to lead the main body. The battalion was strafed by six ME-109s at1800. One plane crashed and one was seen to be hit. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
14 April 1945
Plans A and B cancelled by verbal orders. The battalion remained in position while a CCB Task Force proceeded to Bayreuth. CCB took Bayreuth at 1600 and withdrew when relieved by the 71st Infantry Division. No firing.
15 – 16 April 1945
Division alerted for operations to the south and SE. A maintenance period in effect. Forward observers and Liaison officers recalled. No firing.
17 April 1945
Movement orders received from Division Artillery. The battalion moved out of Schwarzach positions at 0900. The Division mission to defend east of the Autobahn from Bayreuth to Stretau relieving the 71st Infantry Division. The battalion mission was direct support of the 41st Cavalry. The battalion occupied positions near Zettmeisel at 1045. The battalion was registered by Air OP and defensive fires were adjusted. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
18 April 1945
The battalion was alerted for movement by Division Artillery. Movement orders received at 2000. No firing.
19 April 1945
The battalion moved out at 0815. Division Objective: Grafenwehr. The battalion mission was general support of CCB. He battalion traveled south on the Berlin-Munich Autobahn, following the CCB route through Creussen to positions near Vorbach. The battalion was registered by Air OP and fired on AA positions. Other targets of opportunity fired on from this position. The battalion displaced at 1500 to positions near Stegenthrumbach. The battalion was registered by Air OP and normal barrages were adjusted. CCA and CCB captured Grafenwehr. Information received at 2330 that the Division would not move toward its Cham objective. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
20 April 1945
The morning was spent in maintenance and capturing enemy stragglers. The battalion was alerted for movement at 1300. The battalion displaced at 1500 to positions in the NW section of Grafenwehr German Army Training Camp. The battalion was registered by Air OP and fired on enemy horse-drawn supply train. Orders received at 200 to remain in present position on 21 April. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
21 April 1945
The battalion remained in Grafenwehr positions. Orders received at 1800 that the Division would move in the morning. The battalion registered by Air OP. Time fire was placed on a critical bridge on the CCA route. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
22 April 1945
The battalion displaced at 0710, moving in the CCB column to positions near Mantel, Germany. The battalion displaced again at 1400, moving along the CCB route to positions in the vicinity of Lissenthau. The battalion was registered and numerous prisoners were taken. Verbal orders received that the battalion would continue the march at 0700. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
23 April 1945
The battalion continued along the CCB route through Schwarzenfeld and Kemrath to positions in the vicinity of Fuhron. The Battalion was registered by Air OP. The battalion displaced again at 1000, moving in CCB column through Heuburg Wald to positions near Wulfing. The battalion was registered and fired one mission on enemy infantry. Warning orders received from Division Artillery that the Division would continue advancing to the SE in the morning. Effects of day's fire unknown.
24 April 1945
The battalion displaced at 00900 and advanced through Ianahof, Miltach, and Viechtach going into position near Armesriel at 1230. The battalion was registered by Air OP and a preparation was fired on Regen. Targets of opportunity were fired and defensive fires adjusted. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
25 April 1945
The battalion displaced at 0715 and advanced through Regen, Effenschlag and went into positions in the vicinity of Schonberg. The battalion was registered and fired on a target of opportunity. During a march halt, twenty prisoners were captured. The battalion moved east to positions in Haus for the night. The battalion was registered by Air OP and placed harassing fire on a own south of the CCB route. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
26 April 1945
The battalion displaced at 0730 and went into position in the vicinity of Perlesreut at 0830. The battalion was registered by Air OP and fired into a town on the route as well as on targets of opportunity. The battalion displaced again at 1145 and went into positions in the vicinity of Prassreut. The battalion was registered and fired a heavy preparation into Waldkirchen. Other missions were fired on enemy infantry and mortar positions and direct fire weapon position. The battalion again displaced at 1715, moving through Wohrnbach and Waldkirchen to positions near Reichardsreut. The battalion was registered by Air OP. The battalion position was bombed by FW-190s; no casualties. The battalion captured 26 prisoners. A 24-hour maintenance period was granted. Two men from Battery B, William Brock and David Torian, were killed during the march to Prassreut. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
27 April 1945
The battalion was registered on two check points, and continued to support CCB. One forward observer accompanied the 41st Cavalry. In an advance toward Passau, The battalion fired missions on infantry, towns, and suspected OP’s. Harassing fires were also delivered. The battalion continued maintenance. Effects of day’s fire.
28 April 1945
The battalion displaced from Reichardsreut positions at 1730 to positions in the vicinity of Leinbach. The battalion was registered and fired targets of opportunity. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
29 April 1945
CCB resumed the advance, and the 492nd fired heavy preparations on towns along the route. The enemy had dug-in positions, mortars, Mark V tanks, and artillery. Targets of opportunity were fired on buildings, enemy in woods, AT guns, and mortar positions. The battalion displaced at 1800 to positions in the vicinity of Guttenhofen. Registration was completed and missions were fired on infantry in woods, AT guns, buildings, and Mark IV tanks in Strasskirchen. Defensive fires were adjusted and Strasskirchen was harassed throughout the night.
30 April 1945
Defensive fires were fired at 0500 on self-propelled guns which were harassing positions of the 41st Cavalry. The battalion displaced at 0630 to positions near Oedhof.The battalion fired on enemy in woods east of the line of advance, buildings and road blocks. The battalion displaced again at 1700 along the CCB route through Griesbach and Wildenranns to positions at Maierhof. The battalion was registered and defensive fires were adjusted. Orders received at 2000 stated that CCB would continue to advance toward Linz, Austria at 0630. Effects of day's fire unknown.
Losses for the month
1 May 1945
On the opening day of the month the 492nd consisting of 34 officers, 2 Warrant officers, and 486 enlisted men, was in position at Maierhof, Germany supporting CCB. The battalion moved out at 110, continued along the CCB route through Karlsbach, and went into temporary positions in the vicinity of Mayerhsl at1500. The battalion did not fire, but displaced again at 1730 to positions in the vicinity of Lembach, Austria. The battalion was registered by Air OP. The battalion fired WP shells into Altenfelden, and the normal barrage was adjusted. Large fires were started by firing in Neufelden. The town washarassed through the night. Effects of day’s fire: 255 enemy personnel captured.
2 May 1945
The battalion fired propaganda shells into Neufelden in the early morning. CCB and CCA reconnaissance found blown bridges in Neufelden. Effects of day’s fire unknown.
3 May 1945
The battalion, under Division Artillery control, was given the mission of general support of the Division and reinforcing the fires of the 183rd FA Group. The battalion displaced across the Mehl River at 0500 to positions in the vicinity of Altenfelden. The battalion was ordered to join Task Force Crick (Lt. Col.Wingard) of CCA. The battalion joined a column at Neufelden, with B Battery in the advance guard. The battalion occupied positions in the vicinity of Steingreb and Winkler, but did not register. The battalion displaced to Dunzendorf at 1200 and was registered by Air OP. The battalion displaced to positions near Perlaeder at 1500. At 1650 the column displaced to Gamastetten. Effects of day’s fire unknown
4 May 1945
The battalion arrived in Grammastetten positions at 0030, and was shelled by enemy artillery shortly thereafter, with no casualties. At 0530 the position was shelled again causing injuries to three men, one of whom, Robert Gogolen of Headquarters Battery, later died. Enemy shelling continued throughout the day. About 1500, the battalion fired on large concentration of enemy AA guns. Following this, little fire was received. The battalion also fired numerous TOT’s for the 183rd FA Group. The battalion continued to harass all known enemy artillery positions throughout the night with Pozit shell. Effects of day’s fire: destroyed four AA guns, one vehicle, and one AA installation; killed fifty enemy.
5 May 1945
The battalion moved out at 0715 in direct support of TF Crick. The battalion marched through Zwettl and Hellmonsodt to positions in the vicinity of Altenberg. No registration was fired. TF Crick moved into Urfahr and Linz without opposition. The battalion was ordered to support CCB from Altenberg positions. No firing.
6 May 1945
The Division was ordered to stand in place. The battalion displaced at 1500 to positions in the vicinity of Oberneukirchen in support of CCR. The battalion received information at 1000 that the war with Germany would end officially at 0001, 9 May 1945. The battalion began heavy maintenance and did not fire.
7 – 8 May 1945
No change. No firing.
9 May 1945
End of actions against the enemy in the European Theater of Operations! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
Losses for the month
AA Guns 4
Lost By The Enemy --- THE WAR !!!