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HQ – 35ème division d’infanterie – Août 1944 – After Action Reports

Headquarters – Rapport divisionnaire – Août 1944

After Action Reports
35ème division d’infanterie américaine

Headquarters 35th Infantry Division A.P.O. #35, U. S. Army

10 September 1944

SUBJECT: Action Against the Enemy Report.

TO: The Adjutant General, Washington, D.C.

1. In compliance with C-3, Par. 10, AR 345-105, the following report of action against the enemy by the 35th Infantry Division during the period of 1 August 1944 to 31 August 1944, inclusive, is submitted.

2. On 1 August 44, the 320th Infantry (with Co. C and the 3rd platoon of Co. D, 737th Tank Bn., and Co. C, 81st Chemical Bn. (Mtrzd) (attached) attacked at 0530. The 2nd Bn. was on the right, and the 3rd Bn. on the left. Supported by light and medium tanks, the 2nd Bn. followed a heavy artillery fire and advanced to its objective, a hill west of Guilbervillle.

The 137th Infantry also attacked at 0530 as the main element of Task Force “S”, led by Brigadier General Edmund B. Sebree. The 3rd Bn. was on the right; the 1st Bn. was on the left; and the 2nd Bn. was held as a reserve. The Regiment moved through delaying positions and encountered strong resistance all along the line. The 1st Bn. suffered heavy casualties from mortar, artillery and automatic weapons fire.

On 2 August 44, the 320th Infantry (with Co. C and the 3rd platoon of Co. D, 737th Tank Bn., and Co. C, 81st Chemical Bn. attached) attacked at 0001. The 1st Bn. was on the right; the 2nd Bn. was on the left, and the 3rd Bn. followed behind the 2nd Bn. Their objective north of the Vire River was reached at 0800. At 1045 the 3rd Bn. crossed the Vire River and consolidated their lines in the face of heavy mortar and artillery fire.

The 134th Infantry attacked at 0200. The 2nd Bn. was on the right, the 1st Bn. on the left, and the 3rd Bn. was in reserve. At 1430, the enemy withdrew hastily, leaving large stores. The advance continued to the Vire River, the 2nd and 3rd Bns. crossing at 1630.

The 137th Infantry continued to attack as the main element of Task Force “S”. The attack was at night with the 2nd, 3rd and 1st Bns. abreast in order named from right to left. They reached the high ground north of the Vire River against a delaying action. Two enemy tanks were destroyed and two more were dispersed by friendly aircraft. The 2nd and 3rd Bns. crossed the Vire River. The Battalions of Division Field Artillery continued to fire in support of assigned Infantry regiments.

On 3 August 44, the 320th Infantry (with Co. C and 3rd platoon Co. D, 737th Tank Bn. and Co. C, 81st Chemical Bn. attached) attacked at 0001. The three battalions were abreast and secured Hill 203 about 0400. At 0800 they launched a coordinated attack and moved forward against successive delaying positions.

The 134th Infantry attacked at 0800 advancing against scattered small arms fire. At 1400 they met stiffer resistance in the form of mortar and artillery fire. The battalions consolidated their lines and positions.

The 137th Infantry continued to attack as the main element of Task Force “S”. The 2nd and 3rd Bns. attacked at 0800. The 1st Bn. remained north of the Vire River to protect the right flank of the force but moved forward later in the afternoon. The assaulting battalions continued to advance against increasing resistance.

On this day, 3 August 44, the Division seized the high ground south of the Vire River and gained an average of 4,000 meters within the Division sector. The Infantry, light artillery and Engineers moved south of the Vire River.

On 4 August 44, the 134th Infantry attacked at 0630 against intermittent automatic weapons and artillery fire and hasty mine fields. The 2nd Bn. reached its objective at 0920. Contact was established with Co. H of the 119th Infantry, 29th Division.

The 137th Infantry attacked at 0630 as the main element of Task Force “S”. The 2nd Bn.. was on the right, the 1st Bn. on the left, and the 3rd Bn. in reserve. The 2nd Bn. reached its objective at 1000, and the 1st Bn. at 1100. At 1450 Task Force “S” ceased by order of the Commanding General.

The 320th Infantry (with Co. C and 3rd platoon of Co. D, 737th Tank Bn. and Co. C, 81st Chemical Bn. attached) attacked at 0630. The 2nd Bn. was on the right, the 3rd Bn. on the left, and the 1st Bn. in reserve. They reached and occupied their objective at 1015. The Regimental boundary was extended east to a road running southwest in order that the 1st Bn. could be employed to encounter enemy resistance in the vicinity of La Neufbourg and southwest of Coulances.

On 6 August 44, the 35th Infantry Division passed to the control of the Third Army and was assigned to the XX Corps. The Division moved to a new Assembly Area. This area was occupied by the Division by 7 August 44 at 1200.

On 7 August 44, the 134th and 137th Infantries were ordered to Assembly Areas east of the St. Hilaire-Louvigne Road to counter enemy attacks from the northeast. Both Regiments moved by 1715, and all units were alerted for Combat Team formation on 30 minute’s notice.

Combat Teams 134 and 137 moved by motor eastward at 2030 to secure the Mortain-Barenton-St. Cyr Du Bailieul Highway. The 3rd Bn. of CT 134 and the 1st and 2nd Bns. of CT 137 moved to the initial Division objective with no resistance. Resistance was met in the areas occupied by the 2nd Bn. of the CT 134.

On 8 August 44, at 2400, the 35th Infantry Division was attached to the VII Corps. The 30th Infantry Division (with the 12th Infantry attached) was operating on our left; the 1st Infantry Division on our right, and the 2nd Armored Division in the zone of the 137th Infantry.

On 9 August 44, CT 320 was alerted to operate at 0035. The 3rd Bn. moved on the St. Hilaire-Mortain Highway. They moved east and met with little resistance. The 2nd Bn. attacked east with the left flank of the battalion on the St. Hilaire-Mortain Railroad.

CT 137 seized and occupied the town of Barenton.

CT 134 attacked at 0600. The 1st and 2nd Bns. attacked to the east in column with the 2nd Bn. in the lead.

All CT formations ceased at 1800 on 9 August 44.

On 10 August 44, the 134th Infantry (minus the 3rd. Bn., 134th Infantry, and with the 1st platoon of Co. A, 60th Eng. (C) Bn., and the 3rd Bn., 137th Infantry attached) continued to advance to the east, meeting stiff resistance from small arms, mortar and artillery fire.

The 137th Infantry continued to occupy defensive positions on the final Division objective.

The 2nd and 3rd Bns. of the 320th Infantry (with the 1st platoon of Co. C, 60th Eng. (C) Bn. attached) continued to attack to the east. The 1st Bn. moved to Villachien as Division Reserve after 0001, but reverted to regimental control at 1000. The Regiment attacked at 1500 with the 737th Tank Bn. attached. The tanks attacked in column and one Infantry company rode on the tanks. The Division Artillery fired a ten-minute preparatory fire at 1450. At 1500, planes bombed the enemy to screen the movement of the tanks. The target was marked by smoke fired by the artillery. At 1600 the tanks reported an advance of one mile, and by the end of the day, the forward slope of Hill 317, the objective, had been reached. The enemy pocket of resistance within the Division Zone was cut in two, and the occupation of the high ground south of Mortain was accomplished.

On 11 August 44, the Division elements continued to attack to the east. The 2nd Bn. of the 137th Infantry was relieved in its area by the 22nd Infantry at 1200 and reverted to Division Reserve.

The elements of the Division Artillery accomplished 224 missions on this day with a total of 3, 276 rounds of ammunition fired.

On 12 August 44, the 1st and 2nd Bns. of the 134th Infantry attacked to the northeast, meeting increased resistance. At 2100 the attack halted and their positions were organized in preparation for relief by units of the 2nd Armored Division. The 3rd Bn. of the 137th Infantry was detached from the 134th Infantry and reverted to regimental control of the 137th Infantry.

The 1st Bn. of the 137th Infantry and the 3rd Bn. of the 134th Infantry continued to attack to the north in their newly assigned zone. The attack halted at 2100, 12 August 44, and positions were organized preparatory to relief by units of the 2nd Armored Division.

The 1st and 3rd Bns. of the 320th Infantry (with 1st platoon, Co. C, 60th Eng. (C) Bn. attached) made contact with the isolated 2nd Bn. of the 120th Infantry (30th Infantry Division) in the vicinity of Mortain and continued to attack towards Division objectives. At 1137, 12 August 44, the 737th Tank Bn. was relieved from attachment. At 2100, the attack was halted and positions were consolidated, preparatory to relief by units of the 119th Infantry (30th Infantry Division).

The 35th Infantry Division was assigned to the XII Corps at 0100, 14 August 44, with the 574th F.A. Bn. and the 255th F. A. Bn. attached. The same day Combat Teams 134, 137 and 320 closed into new assembly areas southeast of Le Mans and were assigned the missions of securing the outside perimeter of those parts of the Division assembly area adjacent to their respective areas. In addition, CT 320 (with the 35th Recon. Cav. Trp. attached) was given the mission of protecting the south flank of the Third Army from La Fleche to La Chartre.

Task Force “S” commanded by Brig. General Sebree was again formed on 15 August 44 at 0800 and consisted of CT 137, Co. D 737th Tank Bn., Co. B plus one Recon. platoon of Recon. Co. of the 654th TD Bn. and the 127th F.A. Bn. It’s mission was to proceed to Orleans and secure the town and bridges over the Loire River. The Task Force began movement out of the Division area at 1120.

On 16 August 44, at 1400, CT 134 started from the assembly area in the vicinity of Le Mans in two shuttles. They closed in new area in vicinity of Remas-Veres at 0730. CT 134 patrolled five miles outside of the Division area and established protection for the bridge across La Loire River at Freteval.

Task Force “S” advanced down the main highway from Le Mans to Orleans behind CCA 4th Armored Division which was attached to the 35th Infantry Division. The 2nd Bn. of the 137th Infantry attacked and advanced to the City Hall of Orleans at 1900. Complete occupation of the city was accomplished on 17 August 44 at 0800.

On 15 August 44 at 0930, the first elements of CT 320 left the assembly area in the vicinity of Le Mans with the mission of capturing the town of Chateaudun. It advanced from the town of Voray against stiff resistance consisting of small arms fire, mortar and artillery fire. Patrols arrived in the outskirts of Chateaudun at 1950, 16 August 44, and after overcoming resistance, occupied the town at 1200, 17 August 44. At 1700, 16 August 44, CT 320 was instructed to also secure the town of Cloyes. The 3rd Bn. accomplished this by 1930.

CT 134 ceased at 1430 on 17 August 44. The 1st. Bn. remained protecting the bridge at Freteval.

Task Force “S” remained in occupation of Orleans, where large caliber enemy artillery fire was received from the north and northwest. CCA, 4th Armored Division, was relieved from attachment.

CT 320 remained in occupation of Chateaudun. One battalion secured the high ground in the vicinity of Chateney, and one battalion remained in the outskirts of Chateaudun and patrolled north to Bonneval.

On 19 August 44, the 134th Infantry reconnoitered in the area of Chateaudun-Orleans-Beaugency-Morse and guarded the bridge at Freteval. Preparations were made to move to the northeast of 1200, 19 August 44.

Task Force “S” ceased at 1200, 18 August 44. The 127th F.A. Bn. and Co. B, 654th TD Bn. were attached to CT 137 which moved east of Orleans.

CT 320 moved to new positions north and east of Chateaudun to secure the town at 2200, 18 August 44. Preparations were made to move to the northeast at 1200, 19 August 44.

All elements of the 35th Infantry Division moved to a new assembly area on 20 August 44. CT 320 (with the 255th F.A. Bn. attached) secured the towns of Toury, Janville and Allaines.

On 20 August 44, at 1636, the 127th F.A. Bn. moved from the vicinity of Orleans to the Division assembly area and was relieved from attachment to CT 137. At 2000 it was attached to the 216th F.A. Bn. in support of CT 320.

CT 137 (minus the 3rd Bn.) completed movement to the new assembly area in the vicinity of Artenay at 1636, 20 August 44. The entire Combat Team was attached to the 4th Armored Division at 1800.

CT 134 (minus the 3rd Bn.) (with 255th F.A. Bn., Co. A, 654th TD Bn., and one Battery of the 448th AAA AW Bn. attached) began movement to the east at 0700, 21 August 44, with Barville En Catinais as the objective. At 1200, they were in the vicinity of Attray, and had had no contact with the enemy. The 3rd Bn. went into Division Reserve.

CT 320 (with Co. C, 654th TD Bn., 127th FA Bn., and one Battery of the 448th AAA AW Bn. attached) began a movement to the east with the town of Pitheviers as an objective. Leading elements were on the objective at 0915 and the entire Combat Team was there at 1200.

On 22 August 44, CT 134 (minus the 3rd Bn.) (with the 255th FA Bn., Co. A, 654th TD Bn., and one Battery of the 448th AAA AW Bn. attached) advanced to ESE at 0700. Their objective was Montargis.

CT 137 remained attached to the 4th Armored Division.

CT 320 (with the 127th FA Bn., Co. B, 737th Tank Bn., Co. C, 654th TD Bn., and one Battery 448th AAA AW Bn. attached) advance to ESE from the Division assembly area near Pithiviers at 0700. Their advance was retarded by movement of the 4th Armored Division on the roads within the Regimental zone. At 1200, an advance guard of the CT was receiving fire from the outskirts of Montargis.

On this day, 22 August 44, the 35th Infantry Division occupied Pithiviers without opposition, and at 1200 the Division was on the west outskirts of Montargis in contact with the enemy.

On 23 August 44, CT 134 (minus the 3rd Bn.) (with 255th FA Bn., Co. A, 654th TD Bn., one Battery 448th AAA AW Bn., and Co. A, 737th Tank Bn., attached) advanced into the southwest outskirts of Montargis meeting scattered resistance, including road blocks and armored vehicles. At 1200, one battalion was advancing in an encircling movement to the south edge of the town. The 3rd Bn. was in Division reserve.

CT 137 remained attached to the 4th Armored Division

CT 320 (with the 127th FA Bn., Co. B, 737th Tank Bn., Co. C, 654th TD Bn., and one Battery 448th AAA AW Bn. attached) continued its advance on Montargis.

CT 134 (minus the 3rd Bn.) (with the 255th FA Bn., Co. A, 654th TD Bn., one Battery of the 448th AAA AW Bn., and Co. A, 737th Tank Bn. attached) occupied that part of Montargis within the Regimental Zone with little resistance at 1315, 24 Aug 44. One battalion moved southeast of Montargis to block the escape of German troops from woods to the north.

CT 137 remained attached to the 4th Armored Division on 24 August 44.

CT 320 (with the 127th FA Bn., Co. B, 737th Tank Bn., Co. C, 654th TD Bn., and one Battery 448th AAA AW Bn. attached) occupied its sector of Montargis within the Regimental Zone on 24 August 44. At 0400, one reinforced rifle company went to the vicinity of Fontenay to protect the Engineers who were building a bridge there.

On 24 August 44, the 35th Infantry Division liberated Montargis and mopped up scattered German troops. During the period from 1600, 23 August to 1600, 24 August 44, 725 prisoners were taken, and large amounts of war material captured.

CT 320 remained in Montargis with the 2nd Bn. guarding bridges at Souppes and Fontenay during the afternoon and night of 24 August 44. Minus the 2nd Bn., the Combat Team moved to the vicinity of Courtenay at 0935, 25 August 44, with the mission of clearing the woods along the roads of advance.

CT 137 reverted to Division control at 1530, 24 August 44. The 3rd Bn. was relieved in Orleans by the 319th Infantry and moved to Division reserve. The 1st Bn. remained in Sens to protect the city. The Combat Team (minus 1st and 2nd Bns.) moved from Sens to an assembly area in the vicinity of Courtenay at 1100.

CT 134 (with the 127th F.A. Bn., one platoon, and one Recon. platoon 654th T.D. Bn. attached) continued the occupation of Montargis. On 25 August 44 the CT marched on Joigny, leading elements arriving at 0915. Joigny was occupied and one battalion was sent to occupy St. Florentin. The CT patrolled south of these towns and took over 900 prisoners.

CT 137 (minus 1st and 2nd Bns.) remained in the assembly area in the vicinity of Courtenay on 26 August 44. The 1st Bn. remained in the vicinity of Sens guarding that town. The 3rd Bn. moved to an assembly area north of St. Germain and patrolled the line from Montargis to St. Romain.

CT 320 (minus 2nd Bn.) remained in assembly area in the vicinity of Courtenay. The 2nd Bn., guarding bridges at Souppes and Fontenay on 25 August, moved to the area vicinity of Courtenay on 26 August. The CT Infantry one Bn. and one Btry. of Field Artillery was maintained on alert to move on one-hour notice.

On 26 August 44, the 35th Infantry Division mopped up the area between Cheroy-Douchy-Montargis and patrolled the right flank of XII Corps. It continued to capture large numbers of prisoners south of Joigny. Over 1200 prisoners were captured by CT 134 in the Joigny area.

CT 134 (with 127th FA Bn., one platoon and one Recon. Plat., 654th TD Bn. attached) continued to patrol the area of St. Romain to St. Florentin during the afternoon of 26 August 44, and in the evening extended the line of reconnaissance to Troyes exclusive. They also reconnoitered to the south and southeast to protect the south flank.

CT 137 (minus 1 Bn.) remained in the vicinity of Courtenay during the afternoon of 26 August 44. During the evening the 3rd Bn. moved to the vicinity of Lorris to reconnoiter the Orleans-Gien line, while the 2nd Bn. went to Chateaurenard to reconnoiter the Gien-St. Romain line. The 1st Bn. remained in Sens to protect the town.

CT 320 remained in the vicinity of Courtenay. At 2100, 27 August 44, it relieved elements of the 4th Armored Division at Troyes. One squad was placed on guard at a captured supply dump at Sens, and another squad guarded a supply train that had been captured at Villaneuve.

On 27 August 44, the 35th Infantry Division continued its mission of protecting the south flank of the XII Corps and Third US Army.

On 28 August 44, at 1600, Task Force “S” was again formed at the order of the Commanding General of the 35th Infantry Division. It was commanded again by the assistant Division Commander, Brig. Gen. Edmund B. Sebree and consisted of CT 320, 737th Tank Bn., and the 654th TD Bn. (minus Co. B and two platoons with CT 134). Task Force “S” assembled in Troyes before daylight of 29 August 44 with the mission of protecting that city from attacks from the east, southeast and south. The 182nd F.A. Gp. supported the Task Force.

On 29 August 44, the 35th Infantry Division continued its mission of protecting the south flank of the XII Corps. It relieved the 2nd Cav. Gp. of the south flank screen with plans to extend east to Bar-Sur-Aube.

On 30 August 44, at 0900, Task Force “S” attacked toward the southeast from Troyes. Its mission was to clear the area north of the Seine River from Troyes to the line from Vendeuvre-Sur-Barse to Bar-Sur-Seine. At 1145 the Force had progressed without enemy contact. The Division continued its mission of protecting the south flank of the XII Corps.

The 3905 QM Tkg. Co. was attached to the 35th Infantry Division at 1700, 30 August 44.

At 1830, Task Force “S” completed its mission of clearing the area from Troyes to the line of Vendeuvre-Sur-Barse to Bar-Sur-Seine. Light resistance had been encountered.

On 31 August 44, the 35th Infantry Division continued its mission of protecting the south flank of the XII Corps and Third US Army.

3. Total number of casualties sustained by the 35th Infantry Division during the period:

Type of Casualty
Officers
Enlisted Men
Killed in Action
21
327
Died of wound
3
59
Seriously Wounded in Action
6
271
Died of injuries
0
1
Missing in Action
13
111
Slightly Wounded in Action
0
1
Slightly Injured in Action
66
1 269

4. Number of Prisoners of War captured by the 35th Infantry Division during the period: 3, 640.

5. Number of award to members of the 35th Infantry Division during the period:

Type of Award
Officers
Enlisted Men
Silver Star Medal
18
87
Silver Star Oak Leaf Cluster
1
1
Bronze Star Medal
32
120
Bronze Star Medal Oak Leaf Cluster
1
0
Purple Heart
28
206
Purple Heart Oak Leaf Cluster
1
0
Air Medal
17
0

For the Commanding General:

Richard G. Chadwick Lt. Col., A. G. D. Adjutant General

 

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