137th Infantry Regiment – July 1944
After Action Reports
35th (US) Infantry Division – Battle of Normandy
Headquarters 137th Infantry Regiment APO #35
Subject: Action Against Enemy, Reports After/After Action Reports.
To: The Adjutant General, Washington 25, D. C.
Thru: Command Channels.
In compliance with letter, above subject, Headquarters First United States Army, the following “Battle History Reports” of the 137th Infantry for the month of July 1944, is submitted; copy of Daily Journal for combat period is enclosed as separate inclosure.
BATTLE HISTORY 137TH INFANTRY JULY 1944
The 137th Infantry left its England stations at Bodmin and Newquay on 4 July 1944. After a day at the marshaling areas the regiment sailed, part from Plymouth, and part from Falmouth, on 6-7 July 1944, and landed on French soil at Omaha Beach near Colleville-sur-Mere on 7-8-9 July 1944.
10-11 JULY 1944 The 1st. and 2nd Battalions moved into positions to relieve elements of the 119th Infantry (30th Division) even before the regiment cleared the debarkation point in its entirety. At 1500 10 July 1944, the Division order was issued, and at 1700 Colonel Grant Layng issued to the 137th Infantry Officers Field Order No. 1, the first combat order of the 137th Infantry during World War II. The order called for an attack at 0600 the following morning, 11 July 1944, on German positions from the La Vira river near St. Gilles, extending southwest through la Pte Ferme toward le Carillon. On the left of the 137th Infantry was the 320th Infantry, and on the right the 30th Division, who were operating across the river. On the left of the 35th Division was the 29th Division. The immediate objective of the three divisions, composing the XIX Corps, was to capture the high ground north of Soulles, with an ultimate objective of capturing the city of St. Lo, core of the German defenses in this sector. At 1920 on 10 July 1944, the Regiment’s first casualty as a result of enemy fire occurred. Eight rounds of 88mm artillery fire were poured into the area occupied by Company H, and Private Owen J. McBride was killed. Private Robert G. Reason and Pfc Robert Waugh were wounded at the same time. During the night of 11 July 1944, the 1st and 2nd Battalions were in position for the attack, with Company G in reserve. The 3rd Battalion was held as Division reserve, due to their late debarkation and arrival in the area. In the early morning, both the 1st and 2nd Battalions received enemy mortar fire. Company C encountered an enemy patrol, which was driven off, in the first actual contact with the enemy. Company F also encountered an enemy patrol during the night. The attack jumped off at 0600 after an artillery preparation from 600 guns. Corps artillery was in support of the operation. With the attack scarcely begun, Colonel Layng was wounded in the face and leg by machine gun fire at 0715. The 137th force had encountered a fortified church on Highway 3, north of St. Gilles, and for most of the morning were pinned down by heavy machine gun, mortar and artillery fire. At the time the Regimental Commander was wounded, Lt. Colonel Wilson, commander of the supporting 219th Field Artillery Battalion, and Captain Kerr, artillery liaison officer, were killed, and the first platoon of Company G suffered heavy casualties. Brigadier General Edmund Sebree, assistant division commander, assumed command of the 137th Infantry at 0830. That night, at 2000, Colonel Harold R. Emery reported and assumed command. The first enemy prisoners captured indicated that the Division was facing elements of the 897th, 898th and 899th Infantry regiments, and composing the Kampt Gruppe Kentner (combat team commanded by Colonel General Kentner). Throughout the day the regiment was subjected to heavy machine gun and mortar fire from well dug-in positions, and from 88mm and 150mm artillery fire from the rear. Due to allied aerial superiority, no enemy air attacks were encountered. Despite pounding by artillery, the fortified church north of St. Gilles could not be taken out, and this, together with a fortified chateau in the same vicinity, held up the 1st Battalion most of the day. The 2nd Battalion made advances up to 400 yards, with Company F making the greatest gain until a shortage of ammunition held up their advance. The 3rd Battalion was committed at 1830. Casualties in the 137th for the first day’s operations were 12 killed, 96 wounded and 18 missing in action.
12 JULY 1944 The regiment again attacked at 0800 on 12 July 1944, with 2nd and 3rd Battalions in the leading echelon. The weather remained cloudy, with intermittent showers. Tank destroyers were attached to the regiment and heavy artillery support was continued. Enemy fire continued from the church north of St. Gilles, and at 1045 elements of the 1st Battalion stormed that stronghold and took it and the surrounding buildings. The 1st Battalion then moved on and contacted elements of the 3rd Battalion, which had cut in behind these strong points. The 1st Battalion cleaned out remaining hostile resistance in the vicinity of St. Gilles by 1400. The 3rd Battalion pushed on to Highway 3 southwest of St. Gilles, where they were held up by machine gun fire, mines and booby traps. At 1600 a strong enemy position was captured about 1000 yards south of St. Gilles. Heavy enemy mortar and artillery fire continued, and snipers were active. Casualties for 12 July 1944 were 7 killed, 74 wounded and 7 missing. 1st Lt. John R. Huntley of Company L was killed, the first officer of the regiment to give his life in this conflict. On this day, 3 German prisoners were captured.
13 JULY 1944 On 13 July 1944, the regiment attacked at 0800, with the 3rd & 2nd Battalions again leading. Visibility was poor, and aerial support was called off, but the artillery support remained excellent. The 3rd Battalion moved 500 yards before being held up by machine gun fire. The 2nd Battalion on the right, received heavy shell fire and made no marked advance. These forces received heavy fire from enemy 88mm artillery regularly during the day, although at 1145 our own artillery knocked out two enemy mobile 88’s. Time burst was also used by the Germans. It was evident that the hedgerows so common in Normandy were being used to the maximum in the plan of the German defense. Forty-seven prisoners were taken during the day. Some of these surrendered as a result of our speaking to them across the enemy lines by means of a loudspeaker, encouraging them to give up the fight. Propaganda leaflets had also been dropped over the enemy lines during the night, which may have had some results. The prisoners were mostly of Polish, Czech and Austrian descent, and appeared glad to be out of the fighting. After being held up in the early part of the day, the 2nd Battalion broke through for a gain of 500 years. An enemy counterattack forced the 3rd Battalion back to its original position at 2200. Our casualties on this day were the heaviest yet, with 21 killed, 87 wounded and 17 missing in action. The casualties were particularly costly in that Capt Orren L. Biesterfeld, 1st Lt. Ralph H. Johnson and 1st Lt. John T. Graham Jr. were killed.
14 JULY 1944 On Friday, 14 July 1944, the regiment attacked again at 0800, with one platoon of medium tanks in support of each battalion. By 1300 the 1st Battalion had advanced up to 300 yards, but were meeting stiff resistance at la Pte Ferme. By 1630 the 1st Battalion was attacking the enemy stronghold at la Marel, where German troops had assembled in the stone buildings in that area. The 3rd Battalion, on the right, had established contact with forces on the strongly held road junction of Highways 2 and 3. All elements were encountering heavy minefields and 88mm fire. Casualties in the regiment totaled 127. Of these, 17 were killed, 106 wounded and 4 missing. Lt. Garthwaite and Lt. Kennedy were killed. Forty prisoners were taken. Some of the prisoners reported that many German soldiers wanted to surrender, but were being closely watched by officers and non-commissioned officers.
15 JULY 1944 On 15 July 1944, the regiment attacked, for the fifth consecutive morning, and were met by heavy artillery fire. With the 3rd Battalion established 200 yards north of Highway 2, main road to St. Lo, Company K pushed forward to the road at 0910, but was held up there by machine gun fire. No large gains were made by any battalion during the day. The main effort for the Division was made by the 134th Infantry, on the Division left, who were committed for the first time. Their fresh troops made gains up to 1500 yards during the day. Our 1st Battalion turned back a strong German counterattack at noon. The loudspeaker method of contacting the enemy troops was again used, and 25 prisoners were taken. The 137th lost 16 men killed, 100 wounded and 1 missing in action. One officer, Lt. George P. Brown, was killed on this day.
16 JULY 1944 On Sunday, 16 July 1944, the battle slowed down considerably. The weeks attack and the heavy artillery pounding was beginning to tell on the enemy forces, and reports began to come back of their units attempting to operate with a drastic reduction of men, with no replacements; of a shortage of food, water and ammunition; and of extensive use of horse-drawn vehicles due to lack of gasoline. Our forces consolidated and strengthened their lines during the day. The 2nd Battalion operating in the vicinity of le Carrillon, advanced 600 yards at one point. Casualties in the regiment showed a marked decrease as the action slowed down and as the men were becoming more battle-wise. On the 16th, 5 men were killed, 23 wounded and 2 missing in action. At the close of the week, the XIX Corps was still operating with the 30th Division on the right, the 35th Division in the center, and the 29th division on the left. However, the 134th Infantry, which had started the week as Corps reserve, had relieved elements of the 29th Division and of the 320th Infantry in the only major shift of units.
17-18 JULY 1944 On Monday, 17 July the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 137th Infantry jumped off at 0430, an earlier hour than had been customary previously. The 3rd Battalion remained in reserve in a switch with the 1st Battalion shortly after midnight. With poor visibility, the going was slow for a time, although it was soon apparent that our forces were reducing enemy resistance by constant artillery and small arms fire. Company B gained the highway leading southwest from Pont Hebert at 0615. Company C encountered some machine gun fire, and called for Tank Destroyers to take out blockhouses, which they spotted. At 0945, Lt. Colonel Alexander, 1st Battalion Commander, was wounded and Lt Colonel Stowers assumed command of the battalion. At noon Company A knocked out enemy strong points at the west edge of Pont Hebert. Reports of enemy tanks southwest of that battered town shortly after noon proved false, and by 1800 the 1st Battalion, which had been held in reserve during the day, was alerted to move into position to attack southeast and seize the high ground near Les Anges, with one company to block the vital St. Lo road. Thereafter the 1st Battalion advanced rapidly along the east bank of the Vire River, and shortly after midnight were reported to be on the Division objective. The Battalion Commander officially reported his position at 0733 Tuesday morning as being in the bend of the river south of Rampan. The 2nd Battalion on their left, was held up by a machine gun strong point near la Capelle until 1435. The 3rd Battalion, in the meantime, was mopping up in the area north of Rampan and la Capelle. Combined with this continuous two-day advance, which resulted in the clearing of organized enemy resistance from north and east of the Vire River, came the announcement of the capture of St. Lo. The Germans had fallen back across the river opposite our own forces, and to positions south of St. Lo opposite the 29th Division. Casualties of the 137th Infantry for the two days’ fighting were 13 killed, 61 wounded and 6 missing on Monday 17 July 1944, and 11 killed, 57 wounded and 7 missing on the 18th. Monday’s fighting cost the life of 1st Lt. Jack Yost of Culver, Kansas. On Tuesday, 2nd Lt. Eugene A. Kay of 2504 East 28th Street, Kansas City, Missouri, was shot down near Rampan, and wounds suffered by 2nd Lt. John Matraszek of 3013 Richmond Street, Philadelphia proved fatal. Prisoners taken numbered 22 on the 17th and 20 on the 18th. The Germans, in their rapid withdrawal, left behind great quantities of weapons, ammunition and assorted materiel.
19 JULY 1944 With St. Lo taken, and the Corps mission completed in eight days of fighting, 19 July was a period of patrolling rear areas and cleaning out scattered Germans, clearing minefields, and reorganization of forces for defense of areas occupied. The Germans, from their positions across the river, continued to shell our troops with mortar and artillery fire, and shortly before 2300 Wednesday night, single-engine enemy bombers flew over the regimental area dropping flares and butterfly bombs. On this day our losses were 9 killed, 11 wounded and 1 missing. Clearing the area boosted the number of prisoners captured to 54 for the 19th. On this day also the Corps Commander issued a commendation for the fine showing of the 35th Division in their part of the operation.
20-23 JULY 1944 On 20 July the 1st and 3rd Battalions strengthened their positions north of the river, with the 2nd Battalion in a reserve status. At 2200 the 2nd Battalion relieved the 1st Battalion who reverted to reserve. Aside from artillery and mortar fire the 137th Infantry encountered no enemy action from 20 to 23 July. Accordingly our casualties were very light, with 1 killed, 5 wounded and 2 missing on the 20th, none killed, 7 wounded and 1 missing on the 21st, none killed, 4 wounded and none missing on the 22nd, and 1 killed, 8 wounded and 1 missing on the 23rd. On the 20th, 8 prisoners were taken. On the 21st, 2 German soldiers swam the river to give themselves up, and on the 22nd another prisoner was taken. With the tempo of the battle decreasing, acts of heroism and miraculous achievements by individuals and units of the 137th Infantry began to come to light. High among these was the heroic action of Technical Sergeant Frank A. Gonzales of Augusta, Kansas, a Platoon Sergeant in Company I. On 12 July, after his Platoon Leader had been killed, Sergeant Gonzales took command of the platoon, which had been under heavy mortar and machine gun fire. Using sound judgment and quick thinking, Gonzales commanded an attached Tank Destroyer, whose crew had been reduced by enemy fire, and blasted out a gun nest. When this TD bogged down, he returned to bring up another which pulled the first to safety. The Sergeant then blasted out the remaining nests and his platoon was able to advance. For this act, Sergeant Gonzales has been recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross. He has also been recommended for battlefield promotion to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. Also recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross and for battlefield promotion to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant is Technical Sergeant Claude A. Hupp of Overbrook, Kansas, a Platoon Sergeant of Company M. On 13 July, after several unsuccessful attempts of his platoon to cross a field which the Germans had well covered with machine gun fire, and after his Platoon Leader was killed, Sergeant Hupp determined the location of the enemy emplacements, obtained a light machine gun, and firing from the hip, killed three Germans. This neutralized the first nest. He then led his platoon to clear out the remaining two nests. The entire battalion was then able to advance. Private 1st Class Howard G. Nichols and Technical Sergeant Richard E. Blair of Atchison, Kansas, saved the lives of three men during the afternoon of 13 July, southeast of le Meauffe. These two members of Company A observed a disabled tank in an area in which they knew an artillery barrage was due to fall. A wounded member of the crew was still in the tank, and Staff Sergeant Volk and Sergeant Blankenship, also of Company A, both lay wounded near the tank. Ignoring the imminent danger of artillery fire, Sergeant Blair and Private Nichols reentered the danger zone and removed the wounded men to a place of comparative safety behind the tank before the barrage fell. Private Nichols was wounded during the barrage, but after he and Sergeant Blair evacuated the three wounded men, Nichols joined his platoon in the attack until ordered to the aid station by his commanding officer. Both of these men have been recommended to receive the Distinguished Service Cross. Drawing praise and commendation from every officer and enlisted man in the Army are the Medics. Showing unequalled courage and utter disregard for their own safety, countless lives were saved by these men, litter bearers, technicians and surgeons who, unarmed, carry out their work of rescue, attention, and evacuation of the wounded. Working on the front lines, and not waiting for the enemy fire to cease before going to the soldiers’ assistance, these men are subjected to every hazard of the Infantryman. Cases of individual heroism include those of Sergeant Earl V. Spengler, 1514 Pennsylvania, Wichita, Kansas, and of Corporal Peter Seiwert of Garden Plain, Kansas. Sergeant Spengler, attached to Company F, at 1000 on 11 July ignored enemy machine gun and sniper fire and left the concealment of hedges to follow a wounded soldier and remove him from an open field, undoubtedly saving the man’s life. Corporal Seiwert, during the night of 15 July, braved an enemy artillery barrage to go to the aid of two wounded officers. While administering aid, he himself was hit by shrapnel, but continued to treat their wounds and remained with them for an hour in the midst of fire until they were evacuated. For these two members of the Medical Detachment, the Silver Star has been recommended. Private 1st Class Leonard L. Coffman of Waukesha, Wisconsin, and Private 1st Class Cofford S. Goza of Avans, Georgia, both of Company M, have been recommended as deserving of the Silver Star for their rescue of an injured soldier of the 219th Field Artillery Battalion who was enveloped in the flames of a burning quarter-ton truck after a direct hit from enemy artillery. After removing the helpless man from the vehicle, they smothered the flames of his burning clothing, all in the face of continued enemy shelling. This incident occurred on 11 July near St. Gilles. With the first action, in which the Regimental Commander was wounded, 1st Lieutenant Harry C. Simpson of Bozeman, Montana, distinguished himself by pulling to safety Lieutenant Guinessy and rendering first aid which no doubt saved the life of the wounded officer. After being pinned down by deadly machine gun fire for over two hours, Lieutenant Simpson saw his opportunity when an artillery barrage forced the German machine gunner to take cover for a brief instant. Disregarding his own chances of being wounded in this shellfire, Lieutenant Simpson was able to drag his fellow officer to the slight protection of a tree and some hedge, where he rendered all assistance possible. Although continued German fire prevented his evacuation from that area until the following day, Lieutenant Guinessy was still alive when finally evacuated. Lieutenant Simpson was immediately recommended General Sebree to receive the Bronze Star. Another Montana officer, 1st Lieutenant Sidney K. Strong of St. Ignatius, the Executive Officer of Company A, assumed command of a provisional platoon on 13 July and carried out an attack upon a position where all previous attacks had failed. Exposing himself to enemy machine gun fire, he pointed out enemy emplacements from his position at the head of the platoon, and five emplacements were successfully disposed of. Eight of the enemy were killed, twelve taken prisoner, and a large amount of enemy materiel captured. The Bronze Star has been recommended for Lieutenant Strong for outstanding leadership under fire. Also recommended to receive the Bronze Star is Technical Sergeant Mitchell R. Hughbanks of Anthony, Kansas. Late in the afternoon of 13 July, two platoons of Company L, of which Sergeant Hughbanks is a member, were pinned down by machine gun fire. After the company radio man had been killed, Sergeant Hughbanks removed the radio from the dead soldier, called the battalion OP and requested artillery fire on the German position. For almost an hour he directed the fire, until the enemy emplacements were neutralized. Throughout the siege of St. Lo, Sergeant Allen C. Allburty of 317 West 1st Street, Aberdeen, Washington, distinguished himself by heroic achievements under fire in his capacity as communications sergeant. During the period 11-17 July, he constantly kept the radio in operation, despite enemy fire. He was of great assistance to the Battalion Commander in keeping him informed, and he helped reorganize his own company after the Company Commander and Executive Officer had become casualties. Sergeant Allburty has been recommended to receive the Bronze Star. Outstanding leadership shown by enlisted men has resulted in numerous recommendations for battlefield appointment as 2nd Lieutenant. In addition to Technical Sergeants Hupp and Gonzales, recommendations include the following: Technical Sergeant Louis A. Griffith, 609 N Pine, Pratt, Kansas, Company A Technical Sergeant Wilbur C. Hobbs, Mayfield, Kansas, Company C Technical Sergeant Victor W. Shultz, Ripon, Wisconsin, Company C Technical Sergeant Elwin I. Shopteese, 631 Hancock, Topeka, Kansas, Company E Staff Sergeant Lloyd W. Belt Jr., Kingman, Kansas, Company L. Technical Sergeant Paul L. Powell, 149 S Elizabeth, Wichita, Kansas, Med Det. Staff Sergeant William G. Ligon, Lott, Texas, Med Det. Staff Sergeant Walter J. Black, 320 N. Iuka, Pratt, Kansas, Med Det.
Six Privates 1st Class showed such qualities of leadership under fire that they were promoted to Staff Sergeant, a jump of three grades. These men, all members of rifle companies were: Staff Sergeant Harold T. Shaw, Wichita, Kansas, Company I (16 July) Staff Sergeant Gerald Jones, Wichita, Kansas, Company I (18 July) Staff Sergeant Glenwood B. Dahlgren, East Stanwood, Washington, Company B (17 July) Staff Sergeant Cecil D. Bruer, Wichita, Kansas, Company K (17 July) Staff Sergeant Harold P. Green, Lawrenceville, Georgia, Company K (21 July) Staff Sergeant Leroy D. Fagan, Hillsboro, Alabama, Company L (21 July) Staff Sergeant Bob R. Adams of Sun City, Kansas, was promoted two grades to the position of 1st Sergeant of Company C. At the end of two weeks in combat, the fine training and quality of men of the 137th Infantry was obvious as they proved themselves to be an aggressive, efficient fighting machine. Contributing to the success of the regiment in its initial operation was the smooth handling of supplies of all classes. Compared to this was the woeful lack of supplies suffered by the Germans. Another tremendous advantage enjoyed by our forces was that of replacements received. After the first few days of the battle replacements were received regularly, both officers and enlisted men. Reports from German prisoners indicated that their replacements were practically non-existent. German prisoners also reported their morale as very low, due to continued artillery pounding and their own lack of supplies and replacements. Compared to this, our own morale remained excellent.
24 JULY 1944 On 24 July the regiment remained in a defensive status. The day was comparatively quiet, with scattered mortar and artillery fire, mostly on road junctions. The 1st Battalion remained in Division reserve. The 2nd Infantry Division was now on the left of the 35th, with the 29th Division as Corps reserve. The 30th Division remained on the right. One man was killed and one wounded on the 24th. No enemy prisoners were taken. Colonel Emery was evacuated to the hospital at 2030, 24 July 1944. Colonel Robert Sears joined the regiment at 1830 and assumed command at 2030. The 30th Division attacked in their sector on July 25th, following a terrific air attack on enemy lines at 1100. However, the 137th Infantry remained in their position northeast of St. Lo, with the 1st Battalion still in Division reserve. Light artillery fire on our positions was reported. There was one report of enemy aircraft over the area. Three prisoners were taken during the day. Bombing caused 2 men to be killed and 3 men injured in the regiment.
25-26 JULY 1944 The 30th Division continued their attack on the right the following day, and the 2nd Division launched an attack at 0600, but again our status remained unchanged. The 28th Infantry Division made preparations to relieve us at our present location. An alert 3rd Battalion observer watched 45 Germans, with full equipment, enter a house northeast of St. Lo, then notified the artillery who demolished the building. At 2300 enemy bombers made an appearance over the 3rd Battalion area and dropped several bombs. No men were killed on this day, but 5 men were wounded. On the 26th no prisoners were taken.
27 JULY 1944 On 27 July the 1st Battalion was attached to the 134th Infantry, and that regiment attacked at 1000. The 320th Infantry also attacked at that time. The 137th, less 1st Battalion was in Division reserve. During the day the 117th Infantry (30th Division) pushed across our front, and we moved to a new area between la Luzerne and St. Lo. No casualties of any kind were reported on this day for the first time since the regiment entered combat. However, a physical check of personnel and reports from various sources revealed that during the first week of combat, the regiment suffered numerous casualties which had not previously been reported. These included 34 killed, 71 wounded and 4 missing. The Divisions on the right and left of the 35th continued their advance.
28 JULY 1944 On the 28th, the 35th Division became part of V Corps, and resumed the attack at 1000. The 1st Battalion of the 137th Infantry remained attached to the 134th Infantry, who advanced throughout the day with little opposition. Notification was received of the appointment of Technical Sergeants Claude A. Hupp of Company M and Frank A. Gonzales of Company I as 2nd Lieutenants. These men had distinguished themselves in the first few days’ action. They were sworn in as commissioned officers at 1500 and assigned to their original companies. The only casualties reported for the day were 2 men wounded.
29 JULY 1944 The 1st Battalion reverted to regimental control on 29th July. The regiment moved from north of la Bedellerie, down highway 2 southeast of St. Lo, to the vicinity of la Barbee, and remained in Division reserve. The Division objective at this time was the high ground east and north of Torigni sur Vire. No enemy artillery fire was reported, but enemy planes were again over the area. One man was wounded on the 29th, as the casualties remained almost non-existent for the third consecutive day. No prisoners were taken on the 27th, 28th, or 29th.
30-31 July 1944 On the 30th the regiment was organized into Task Force S, under the command of Brigadier General Sebree. The force also included the 219th Field Artillery Battalion, 737th Tank Battalion less one company, Company B of 60th Engineers, Company B of 110th Medics, one company from 654 Tank Destroyer Battalion, one platoon from 35th Reconnaissance Troops, and a detachment from the 35th Signal Company. Task Force S was given the mission of seizing two objectives, the first being the high ground southeast of Brectouville, and finally, the Division objective, which was the high ground north of the la Vire River, southeast of Tessy sur Vire. The regiment moved to the area near le Renoudiere and prepared to attack the following morning. Casualties for the day were 1 officer and 6 enlisted men wounded. No prisoners were taken. After receiving enemy bombing during the night, the regiment attacked in column of battalions at 0618, with the 3rd Battalion leading and the 1st following at 300 yards. The 2nd Battalion was in reserve. The regimental I & R Platoon had been given its first full mission on this operation, and first encountered enemy machine gun fire south of Conde sur Vire. The 3rd Battalion was held up by machine gun, mortar and artillery fire north of les Fontaines, about 1500 yards south of Conde sur Vire, at 0930, but had pushed on to the bridge 500 yards south of les Fontaines by noon. The 1st Battalion was slowed up during the early part of the day. They were meeting heavy artillery and mortar fire along their entire front. The 3rd Battalion ran into heavy enemy machine gun and light mortars north of Brectonville at 1900, and was forced to withdraw. The 1st Battalion was then maneuvered to the left of the 3rd, and both battalions reorganized. By 2300, the 3rd Battalion had pushed through to the initial objective, with Company L reported in the vicinity of la Roque. Tank support was of considerable help in our advance, and artillery support, though not as heavy as the first week, remained good. Casualties for 31 July were 2 killed and 19 wounded. 6 enemy prisoners were taken. The regiment maintained contact with the retreating enemy, and prepared to resume the attack at 0530 the following morning, August 1. The 2nd Division on the left of the 35th Division, and the 30th Division on the right, continued the attack as the V Corps drove south and east from St. Lo toward Tessy sur Vire.
R. SEARS, Colonel, Infantry, Commanding. Incls: Journal and Supporting Papers July 1944 (1 copy)
319.1 1st Ind RGC/mla (31 Jul 44) HQ 35TH INF DIV, APO 35, U S Army, 14 Aug 44
TO: Commanding General, XIX Corps, APO 270, U S Army
Forwarded in compliance with provisions of paragraph 1, letter Headquarters FUSA, 13 July 1944, 319.1/401 (C), subject: “Action Against Enemy, Reports After/After Action Reports.
For the Commanding General:
RICHARD G. CHADWICK Lt Col, A. G. D. Adjutant General