75th Medical Battalion After Action Report, February 1945
The following is a narrative report of marches and battles of the battalion by companies for the month of February 1945.
Headquarters and Headquarters Company on the 1st of February were located in Aachen, Germany. Only two moves were made throughout the month, one a night march of fourteen miles to Heerlerhide, Holland, and the second trip of twelve miles to Baesweiler, Germany. On the fifth of the month the Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Bader, was assigned to the Tenth Replacement Depot and Major Gardner assumed command. On the 8th, Major Winkler was assigned and assumed command of the battalion. During the month the battalion carried on a training program and refitted for future operations. On the 22nd, Major Gardner, Captain Carey, Lt. Garfield and M/Sgt Rawls were awarded Bronze Stars for meritorious service. The Operations Sergeant, Tec 3 George Westhoff, was discharged from the service on the 28th awaiting an appointment to Second Lieutenant, Medical Administrative Corps, on the 1st of March. Division Medical Supply and Battalion Maintenance functioned normally supporting the lettered companies.
At the beginning of the month Company “A” was located at Platz, Belgium, with the exception of Captain Flett’s Clearing Section which was located at Roetgen, Germany. On the 2nd of February Captain Flett’s Section moved from Roetgen and joined the remainder of the company at Platz. The next few days were spent in maintenance work. On the 7th of February the Combat Command was ordered to the vicinity of Heerlen, Holland. This move was carried out at night. The company was billeted in the suburb of Heerlen at Vrank, Holland. The next few days were spent in preparation for the move across the roer. On the 22nd of February, Lt. Thall was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service. Immediately after the Ninth Army crossed the Roer, Combat Command “A” was alerted for movement. On the 26th of February the order came to move. The main part of the company moved to Baesweiler, Germany. Captain Smith’s Clearing Section and Lt. Todd’s Ambulance Section followed the Combat Command across the river and bivouaced near Gevenich, Germany. The remainder of the company joined Captain Smith’s section at Gevenich on the morning of February 27th. On the same morning Captain Smith’s section moved to Hottorf, Germany. On the 28th of February both parts of the company moved again. Captain Smith’s section and Lt. Todd’s section moved to Rath, Germany, and the remainder of the company moved to Bellinghoven, Germany. The end of the month finds Captain Smith’s section in support of the Combat Command and Captain Flett’s section waiting in reserve with the remainder of the company.
Company “B” continued to provide medical service for Combat Command “B”. On the 1st of February the company was billeted at Busch, Belgium, in Corps Reserve. On the 5th of February the company moved to a new area one mile southwest of Heerlen, Holland, traveling twenty-three miles. The move was made at night and the convoy traveled by dark over unfamiliar roads. One surgical truck turned over in a ditch and one two-and-one-half ton truck had to be temporarily abandoned in another ditch. There were no casualties. The following day the trucks were recovered and returned to the new area. Up until 23rd of February training and refitting continued. A few V-bombs came over the area and occasional German reconnaisance planes were the only evidence of action. On February 24th the company left Heerlen at 1500 by motor convoy to Alsdorf, Germany. Enemy planes dropping flares were over the area at 2100. At 0400, 25th of February one treatment section moved across the Roer River, a distance of nine miles, to bivouac one-half mile south of Gevenich, Germany. During the day enemy jet-propelled planes were overhead bombing and strafing near-by artillery positions. The remainder of the company moved from Alsdorf at 0700 to same position, closing in bivouac at 0200, 26 February. At 1000 the company moved to Hottorf, Germany, to support attack of Combat Command “B” to the north. Casualties were light. On 27th of February the company moved in two sections to
Bellinghoven, Germany. Casualties were slightly heavier, numbering about sixty-four for the day including thirteen German prisoners. Three German planes strafed column near billets. On 28th of February the company moved in two sections to Rath, Germany, a distance of five miles. Combat Command “B” was out of contact and casualties were light.
On 1st of February “C” Company was still running its hospital in the convent at Astenet, Belgium, and was continuing its work of returning to duty the greater part of the patients coming in from the Combat Command. On the 6th of February the company moved to Heerlerhide, Holland. For approximately the next three weeks the company trained and fitted itself for future operations. On the 22nd, S/Sgt Monroe Crawford was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service. The liaison sergeant, S/Sgt Gabriel, was discharged from the service on the 28th awaiting an appointment to Second Lieutenant, Medical Administrative Corps, on the 1st of March. On the 25th of February a move was made to Ubach, Germany, and in the early morning hours of the 27th the company moved across the Roer River and set up in a field one-half mile east of Gevenich, Germany, in support of Combat Command “R” which was protecting the XIII Corps’ right flank.
R. J. WINKLER
Major, M. C.