After Action October 1944

October 1945



APO No. 255
U. S. Army


Auth: CG 5th 5th Armd Div:
Date: 2 December 1944

319;1 CNNJG
Report After Action Against Enemy - October 1944.

1. CAMPAIGN: Western Europe.

2. On 1 October 1944 units of the Division were commanded by the following named officers:
5th Armd Div - MAJ GEN LUNSFORD E OLIVER, 03536, USA
Combat Command “A”, 5th Armd Div - BRIG GEN EUGENE REGNIER, 08295, USA
Hq & Hq Co, Combat Command "A” - CAPT CARL W. ROTH, 01010340, INF
Combat Command "B”, 5th Armd Div - COL JOHN T COLE, 05256, CAV
Hq & Hq Co, Combat Command “B” - CAPT JOE A PERRY, 01012397, INF
5th Armd Div Arty - COL DOUGLAS J PAGE, 04495, FA
Hq & Hq Btry, 5th Armd Div Arty - CAPT NORMAN W CUSISK, 0466787, FA
Reserve Command, 5th Armd Div - COL GLEN H ANDERSON, 08632, INF
Hq Co., 5th Armd Div - CAPT LARRY H GREENWOOD, 01263065, INF
Hq 5th Armd Div Tn - COL GUSTIN M NELSON, 014512, INF
Hq Co, 5th Armd Div Tn - CAPT JAMES R BAGWELL, 01011081, CAV
MP Platoon, 5th Armd Div - MAJ ALEXANDER T NELSEN, 0335298, CAV
145th Armd Sig Co - CAPT GLENN A WELDE, 0453447, SC
85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz - MAJ JOHN P GERALD, 023009, CAV
10th Tank Bn - LT COL WILLIAM B HAMBERG, 0292156, INF
34th Tank Bn - LT COL KARL L SCHERER 018784. CAV
81st Tank Bn - LT COL LE ROY H ANDERSON, 0239452 INF
15th Armd Inf Bn - ~ COL GLENN G DICKENSON, 0197385 CAV
46th Armd Inf Bn - MAJ WILLIAM H BURTON, 0366028, INF
47th Armd Inf Bn - LT COL HOWARD E BOYER , 0218680, INF
47th Armd FA Bn - LT CCL JOHN B ROSENZWEIG, 0246291, FA
71st Armd FA Bn - LT COL ISRAEL B WASHBURN, 0235367, FA
95th Armd FA Bn - LT COL JAMES W MC NEER, 0223703, FA
22d Armd Engr Bn - LT COL FRED E RESSEGIEU, 020575, CE
127th Ord Maint Bn - MAJ RONALD BERSBCH, 0318269, ORD
75th Med Bn, Armd - LT COL BENJAMIN H BADER, 0372570, MC

Battle Casualties for Month of October 1944:

a. Personnel:

Personnel Officers Enlisted Men Total
Killed In Action 1 4 5
Seriously Wounded In Action 2 4 6
Lightly Wounded In Action 3 21 24
Seriously Injured In Action 0 0 o
Lightly Injured In Action 0 2 2
Missing In Action 1 1 2
Total 7 32 39


4. Vehicular Losses:

Three (3) vhicles destroyed by enemy action and nine (9) were evacuated for repair

Type Destroyed or Abandoned Evacuated
Tank, Light, M5A1 1 1
Tank, Medium   3
Truck, 1/4 Ton 4X4 2 4
Trailer, 1 ton Cargo   1
Total 3 9

5. NARRATIVE. On 10 October units of the Division were patrolling the border between GERMANY and LUXEMBOURG along the West Bank of the SAUER RIVER from just North of RODERSHAUSEN to a point opposite BOLLENDORF. Enemy activity was limited. Artillery fire fell on a road in CCA’s sector. An ambulance from CCB was destroyed by an enemy mine on a road North of HOSINGEN. In a succession of small patrol encounters one enemy 6-man patrol was captured intact, and several others were ambushed. Total enemy casualties: killed, 8; captured, 7.

The relief of the Division by the 8th Infantry Division was partially effected this evening. The 8th Infantry Division completed relieving the Division on 2 October. The 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron was detached to Corps control, to assist the 102d Cavalry Group and other Corps units in patrolling the Corps front, which extended from North of MONCHAU generally South to the vicinity of GERCOLSTEIN, following the German boundary through the South half of the Corps sector.

On 3 October, CCR, with the 95th Armored FA Battalion in support, and the Division Trains marched North from the Grand Duchy of LUXEMBOURG into BELGIUM. During the day an enemy artillery concentration fell in CCA’s area. CCA moved into BELGIUM on 4 October, and the remainder of the Division followed the 5th. No enemy contact was experienced. The Division CP was located near FAYMONVILLE. For this move all unit identification on vehicles was obliterated, and radio silence was imposed. The radio silence continued in effect until 24 October.

On the 6th, Company “D”, (light Tank Company) 10th Tank Battalion, was attached to the 4th Infantry Division and moved to the vicinity of BULLINGEN.

Troops A and C, 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, relieved from 102d Cavalry Group and reverted to Division control on 7 October and were attached to Division Trains for the protection or the trains units.

From the 8th to the 23d, the Division, less detached elements. was occupied in maintenance, training, and planning for future operations.

On 11 October, CCA passed to the control of First Army and moved to the XIX sector in the vicinity of EYNATTEN, in Army Reserve.

On 14 October CCB also passed to the control of First Army for operation in VII Corps sector in the vicinity of OBR FORSTBACH, in Army Reserve.

CCR reported hostile artillery fire (estimated to be 4 rounds of 105mm) in its area during the late afternoon of 16 October.

The Commanding Officer, 85th Cavalry Reconnaissances Squadron, Major John Gerald, was killed while on patrol on the 17th.

Major George C. Benjamin was transferred from the 47th Armored Infantry Battalion to the Squadron and assumed command on the 18th.

The Division CP moved to the vicinity of MODERSCHEID on 17 October. The only enemy activity in the Division area continued to be a few rounds of artillery fire daily on CCR’s position. Many flying bombs flew over the Division during the month, a few of which exploded in the Division area but no casualties resulted therefrom.

On 23 October, the front of V Corps was extended to the North and the Division was assigned the central sector which had been the Northern half of the Corps front. The 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (less Troops A and C), reverted to Division control from the 102d Cavalry Group. For the remainder of the month, The Division’s front extended from just South of MONCHAU generally Southeast through HOFEN and ALZEN to a point about two miles Southeast of ALZEN.

The assigned mission of the Division was one of defensive holding of a Sector of the established line. The task of carrying out this mission was assigned to CCR, to which the 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (less A and C Troops) was attached. All of the Division Artillery was employed to support CCR. The remainder of the Division continued training, rehabilitation and maintenance.

Enemy action for the rest of October was confined to scattered mortar and artillery fire, and to patrolling.

Our artillery scored direct hits on enemy positions on several occasions, causing the following known casualties; 23 October, 15 killed; 27 October, 6 killed; and 28-31 October 3 killed. Seven prisoners were taken during the period 23-31 October.

Total enemy casualties for October: 31 killed, 40 captured. CCA rejoined the Division on the 26th and CCB rejoined on the 28th. Both Combat Commands returned to the FAYMONVILLE area.


The following are comments for the month of October 1944.


a. Replacements: Groups of 50 or more replacements were picked up during the month, and the totals for October. were as follows:

		                          Officers  Enlisted_Men 
1 Oct, Vicinity ETTERLBBUCH, LUXEMBOURG     8     	108 
4 Oct, Vicinity WEIMES, BELGIUM             2     	267 
10 Oct, Vicinity WEIMES, BELGIUM            0       	 53 
Total received during October              11 (Repls)   527 (Repls) 
                           		    2 (RTD’s)   153 (RTD’s) 

b. During the month of October the pick up of replacements proceeded satisfactorily. The 41st Replacement Battalion serving the Division was only 5 miles from the Division Rear Echelon and time involved to transport replacements to the Division was therefore not a factor. Along with the replacements received during this period for filling division T/O, the Division had 20 officers and 275 enlisted men on DS from the 41st Replacement Battalion for training. These were allocated to the various combat commands according to branch.

c. The remarks concerning August replacements are in general applicable to those received in October. Replacements received were found to be properly equipped for their arm of service and MOS.

d. During the month of October the number of RTD's received tripled previous receipts for August and September.


a. Enemy Operations Encountered: Enemy was engaged in strengthening his defenses of the Siegfried Line. He opposed our patrols with mines, booby traps, scattered mortar and occasional artillery fire. His own patrols were not very aggressive although he occasionally tried by ambush to take a prisoner in order to learn our intentions.

b. The large number of German civilians in our area presented many security problems, These were checked frequently and were well controlled. Numerous deserters from the German Army were picked up by the CIC. There were several instances of German soldiers operating in civilian clothes.

c. Intelligence Training of Replacements: It was found that replacements were insufficiently trained in security and intelligence. A system was set up whereby replacements received limited training in censorship, general security and the reporting of information.

d. Aerial Photos: The number and quality of aerial photos received greatly improved. Much use was made of them for planning.


During the month of October, the Division had no offensive missions. When employed in the line in a defensive (holding) role the combat commands could use only their infantry battalions for this purpose. However the period was not one of entire loss to the remainder of the Division. All of the organic and attached artillery was gainfully employed throughout the period firing planned fires under Corps direction as well as many targets of opportunity spotted by observers with the holding forces. Likewise the TD's and tanks were all given an opportunity to engage considerable indirect fire of interdiction and targets of opportunity. The efficiency of the gun crews was thereby materially improved. SECTION IV- SUPPLY AND MAINTENANCE MATTERS

While the Division was in the LUXEMBOURG AREA the convoy returned from the NORMANDY PENINSULA with the duffel bags,. Two truck loads of miscellaneous equipment which had been left at the storage area were turned in at CHERBURG as salvage.

A clothing factory in LUXEMBOURG which had been used by the German Army for manufacture and repair of German uniforms was utilized for restorage of this baggage, after troops had removed winter clothing. The regular guard of a Warrant Officer and twelve enlisted men from the Band was posted over the stored property, and remained after the departure of the Division for Belgium. The month's lull in activities gave the troops an opportunity to ascertain shortages in clothing and equipment and the refitting process continued throughout the month. Heavy underwear, woolen socks and sleeping bags or additional blankets were issued. Arctic overshoes were issued but a shortage in some of the larger sizes still existed at the end of the month.

The movement of the Division from LUXEMBOURG to the MALMEDY- VITH area in BELGIUM reduced transportation problems and simplified supply due to proximity to supply depots and truckheads.

Upon Army orders the Division's authorized strength of medium tanks with 75mm or 76mm guns was reduced to one hundred fifty. This meant a reduction of Six tanks per tank battalion, at the end of the period the shortage of replacement tank engines was again becoming critical.

In preparation for operations within hostile territory a system of operating protected convoys was instituted. This entailed establishment and operation of a Division Service Area into which units dispatch supply vehicles protected by armed escort from the unit, and from which the Division dispatches convoys to supply points with Division protection. Division Class I and III dumps were established, utilizing transportation of the attached QM Truck Companies with personnel from the truck companies and a detachment of service troops provided by Corps. Scheduled convoys operated between Army Truckheads and Division dumps.

Losses in equipment due to enemy action were negligible, due to the fact that the Division was in reserve, or on defensive or patrolling missions. Only three vehicles were destroyed by enemy action and nine additional vehicles were evacuated for repair or replacement. Ammunition expenditures for the month amounted to two hundred seventy tons, Communications equipment authorized by T/O and E is insufficient to provide adequate wire communications in static situations when armored units are utilized on patrol and outpost missions. Additional telephones, switchboards and field wire must be made available for such special situations.

Present T/O and E does not provide adequate personnel in the Division Quartermaster section for operation of a Division Class I and III dump. The loan of a detachment of Quartermaster service troops provided additional personnel for this purpose.

The protection of supply convoy between Division service area and Army supply points may necessitate the attachment of combat elements to Division Trains for this purpose. This is undesirable as the efficiency of combat elements is reduced thereby. Light armored vehicles should be added to the T/E of Division Trains Headquarters Company for this purpose.

For the Commanding General:
Colonel, G. S. C.
Chief or Staff