115th Infantry Regiment
After Action Report
29th Infantry Division – June 1944 – Battle of Normandy
I Summary of Operations
A. Phase #1
1. Landing Operations 6 June 1944
The 115th Infantry landed at 1025 hours, with the 1st and 2nd Battalions abreast on FOX GREEN beach, about 1000 yards east of that part of the beach on which it was intended to land. The 2nd Battalion on the right crossed the beach and started up the cliff, making slow progress due to mines. The progress of the 1st Battalion on the left was faster. It pushed inland to the south of ST. LAURENT, reaching there about dark. This battalion was subjected to heavy fire from snipers and mortar fire through- out the night. Lt. Col. Richard C. Blatt became fatally wounded by mortar fire. The 2nd Battalion attempted to capture ST. LAURENT, but was unsuccessful. It then moved to the south of the town, into the woods, about one-half mile to the west. Regimental Headquarters landed with the leading battalions, and remained on the beach under artillery fire until 1600 hours. At 1630 hours, the headquarters moved the CP inland to a trail east of ST. LAURENT.
2. Advance inland from Beach to Inundated Area.
During the night 6-7 June the 3rd Battalion moved to the outskirts of ST. LAURENT. At daybreak they attacked the town and by mid- morning had secured it. They then pushed toward LOUVIERES. The 2nd Battalion was held in the woods all through the day. The 1st Battalion moved to the woods about 1200 yards to the west of ST. LAURENT. During the morning the CP moved into ST. LAURENT amidst severe sniper fire. In the afternoon it was moved further forward, to the rear of the 2nd Battalion. The 3rd Battalion was held up in front of LOUVIERES. In the later afternoon, although the battalions were widely separated, the attack was continued in the direction of LONGUEVILLE. The 2nd Battalion was the only battalion that succeeded in moving forward. The attack continued until 0300 hours. The 2nd Battalion was in the stream valley northwest of MONTIGNY and the attack was halted there daylight. The attack was then resumed, with the 1st and 2nd Battalions generally abreast. LONGUEVILLE was captured at 0900 hours by the 2nd Battalion, which assumed a defensive position west of the town. The 1st Battalion moved forward and assumed the defensive to the east of the town because TREVIERES had not been captured. Early in the morning, the 3rd Battalion had begun moving to a defensive position west of FORMIGNY to protect the left flank of the Division. Later, they were moved to a defensive position west of DEAUX-JUMEAUX, arriving there at 1800 hours. The Regimental CP, which had followed The 2nd Battalion, was established in LONGUEVILLE.
B. Phase #2
1. Crossing Inundated Area.
During the night 8-9 June, the 3rd Battalion, followed by the 2nd Battalion, moved to the vicinity of CANCHY, and started across the inundated area. The crossing was completed with the assistance of the Engineers. The 2nd Battalion moved to the vicinity of BOIS de CALETTE, the 3rd Battalion to the vicinity of COLOMBIERES, and the 1st Battalion to the vicinity of BRICQUEVILLE.
Paragraph I, B, 1. (continued)
At noon, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions were ordered to continue their movement to the south. The 3rd Battalion moved against little enemy resistance, eccept for snipers. In the early afternoon, the 2nd Battalion encountered stubborn resistance at VEUILLY. Late in the afternoon, this resistance was over come and the battalion continued to move southward. The movement continued until dark, when the battalion assumed a defensive position about a mile southwest of La FOLIE. During the night 9-10 June, the 2nd Battalion was attacked by the Germans and suffered considerable losses, and was disorganized. Throughout the period 8-9 June, the 1st Battalion remained in a defensive position at BRIGQUEVILLE, where it suffered almost continuous attack from the Germans from the vicinity of TREVIERES. As the other two battalions had moved miles south of the Germans at TREVIERES, the 1st battalion had the mission of protecting the left rear of the regiment.
2. 2nd Battalion Incident
At approximately 2045 hours, 9 June 1944, a closing force of German Armor and Infantry which had been by-passed and cut off to our rear and colums to the surprise of both units. Opening fire with their MG’s, mortars and 88’s a heavy and cofused action occurred in the dark with severe losses on both sides. Two enemy tanks were knocked out, plus a 150 mm field piece. The 2nd Battalion was left in a dispersed and disorganized state and control was not regained until after daylight. Battalion C.O., Lt. Col. William E. Warfield was found dead, believed to have been killed at approximately 0300 hours. Replacements were received and the remainder of battalion were reorganized under command of Lt. Col. Arthur T. Sheppe.
C. Phase #3
1. Elle River Crossing
The regiment remained in defensive positions, and patrolled across the Elle River. During the day, 12 June 44, the patrols could not cross the river because of heavy fire from the banks. In the afternoon, the regiment was warned that it would be required to attack across the river the next morning. At 0245 hours, orders were received for an attack at 0500 hours 12 June 44. The 1st and 3rd Battalions attacked the river line abreast and the 1st Battalion onthe right. During the preparatory fires German artillery fired into the troops forming the line of departure causing several casualties. This delayed the attack. At 0800 hours,the attack jumped off. The 1st Battalion was unsuccessful in crossing and moved south to the vicinity of LES FRESNES, where it was surrounded by the Germans. They fought in position until they were almost out of ammunition, at which time element fought their way out and returned to a position north of the river. During the afternoon the relief of the 3rd Battalion was attempted by sending a detachment of tanks across the river at le MOULIN l’EVEQUE. While a platoon from Company G and a detachment of Engineers from Company A, 121st Engineers successfully removed the minefields from the bridge, the attack was repulsed by German SP guns on the south of the river. Late in the afternoon, after heavy artillery preparation, the 1st Battalion renewed its attack, which was again repulsed. The 116th Infantry, at dark, forced a crossing.
2. Advance from Elle River to defensive position.
At 0600 hours, 13 June 1944, 3rd Battalion recrossed the Elle River against light opposition consisting mostly of artillery and mortar fire. They advanced to position northwest of COUVAINS and were attached to the 116th Infantry. The 1st Battalion remained in a defensive position and the 2nd Battalion moved to the defensive line north of river previously held by 3rd Battalion. The Regiment less the 3rd Battalion went into Division reserve. This position was maintained until the afternoon of 16 June 44 when the 2nd Battalion moved against a strong point of enemy resistance 300 yards north of HINET and west of ST. CLAIR. It Cleared out this resistance and remained there in a position(defensive) overnight. The 3rd Battalion reverted to Regimental control and remained in position. During night the 1st Battalion moved north through ST. CLAIR toward LES FOULONS against slight resistance and occupied a position 200 yards east of LES FOULONS. It remained here in position until next morning. The Regimental CP followed behind the 1st Battalion to a position 700 yards northeast of LES FOULONS where it closed in at 180400B. The next morning the 2nd Battalion was moved southeast to COUVAINS and attached to the 116th Infantry. The next afternoon the 1st and 2nd Battalions moved southeast towards COUVAINS and then west to BOIS de BRETEL. The Regimental CP followed to BOIS de BRETEL. The 1st Battalion was committed south of woods during the afternoon, and encountered heavy resistance. The 3rd Battalion was also committed to left of 1st Battalion and it did not advance against heavy resistance. The 1st and 3rd Battalions remained there overnight in defensive positions. The 2nd Battalion 115th Infantry was detached from the 116th Infantry, and under Regimental control, relieved the 2nd Battalion, 116th Infantry on the morning of 19 June 44, taking over positions north of La FOSSARDIERE. Early that morning the 3rd Battalion moved to defensive position in vicinity of SEGUEVILLE. The 1st Battalion set up defensive positions at BOIS de BRETEL. The Regimental CP, originally at BOIS de BRETEL, moved to rear of 2nd Battalion, and then to 657682.
D. Phase #4
1. Active defense north of ST. LO.
From the 20th to 30th of June the 115th Infantry was in active defense. There was effected a consolidation of our forces during which time replacements came to the 115th Infantry. There was active night patrolling, and considerable information of value was obtained concerning strength and disposition of enemy forces north of ST. LO.
2. 3rd Armored attack through our positions.
Infantry and tank elements of 3rd Armored Division attacked through our positions at 0900, 29 June 44 to seize high ground running east and west about 400 yards south of LA FORGE. Battalions remained in position and were subjected to intense artillery and mortar fire. The following day the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 115th Infantry moved into positions of the 36th Infantry of the 3rd Armored Division, who withdrew through our lines.
II Forces Engaged
A. Phase #1
The Regiment started to engage the enemy immediately behind the beach line defenses and identified units of the 726th Infantry Regiment of the 716th Infantry Division and members of the #17 Pioneer Battalion fighting as infantry. Also, members of the #7 Company 915th Infantry Regimen of the 352nd Infantry Division and the labor battalion (Russian and Italian) attached to the 352nd Infantry were indentified.
From beach defenses to the Inundated Area the enemy action consisted mainly of small delaying groups and snipers from the 1714th Artillery Battalion, #17 Pioneer Battalion, 12th Battery #IV Battalion, 352nd Infantry Division Artillery
Crossing of inundated area was strongly opposed by German defense at eastern end, at COLOMBIERES and at BOIS de CALET at south of causeway by units of 914th, 915th and 916th Grenadier Regiments. Snipers and small delaying units were indentified as Schnelle Brigade #30. 2nd Battalion was attacked at Le CARRETOUR by units of the 352nd Division Artillerty.
The approach to, and the crossing of the Elle River was opposed by units of three (3) battalions of the Schnelle Brigade #30, units of the 352nd Grenadier Division and an unknown SP gun unit. Documents indicated that parts of the 5th Paratroop Regiment were in these defensive positions.
The following units were identified from the Elle River to July 1st 1944.
914 Gr. Regts, 915 Gr. Regts and 916 Gr. Regts of the 352nd Infantry Division.
II Bn 943 Gr Regt 353 Inf Div
Eng Bn 353 of 353 Inf Div
9th Regt of 3rd Parachute Div
513, 517, 518 Bns of Schnelle Brigade #30
353 Fu Bn
B. Number of Casualties
Number of Prisoners of War evacuated to July 1st
Enlisted Men – 191
Officers – 2
Total – 193
Total number of enemy dead buried to July 1st
It is assumed that at least an equal number were evacuated by the enemy due to relatively slowness of advance until the middle of July the evacuation of enemy wounded and dead by the enemy was excellent.
Important Captures – None
The highest ranking captive taken by this unit was the rank of Captain.
III Battle Casualties for June 1944
|115th Casualties - All Branches|
Field Grade Officers
Blatt, Richard C., Lt. Col., Commanding 1st Bn, 019277, SWA, 6 June 1944
Warfield, William E., Lt. Col., Commanding 2nd Bn, 0258123, KIA 10 June 1944
IV Awards and Decorations
1. Number of awards by type of for action during June:
Silver Star Medals – 3
Bronze Star Medals – 12
Purple Heart Medals – 61
2. Special mention of outstanding incidents in each type.
Silver Star Medal
First Lieutenant Roger E. Watson, 0466065, Medical Corps, United States Army, for gallantry in action in Normandy, France.
During the entire period 6 June 1944 to 15 June 1944, First Lieutenant Watson’s untiring efforts with his unit in immediate contact with the enemy exhibited outstanding judgment as a soldier and a surgeon. It was largely because of his excellent supervision and instructions to others in tactical situations while under enemy fire that he could leave our own forces three times to render medical aid to wounded French civilians. On one occasion eight Germans surrounded the house in which First Lieutenant Watson was attending a wounded French child. Because of his coolness and dignity of bearing, the enemy withdrew and permitted him to complete his work and return to our lines. His courage, skill, and ability reflect great credit upon himself and the Military Service. Entered Military Service from Pennsylvania.
Second Lieutenant Arthur C. Chadwick, Jr., 01300274, Infantry, United States Army, for gallantry in action in Normandy, France.
On 12 June 1944, Second Lieutenant Chadwick’s platoon was attacking a strongly fortified enemy position. The resistance was such that it became necessary to withdraw. During this action, Second Lieutenant Chadwick was wounded, and refusing to be evacuated he participated in another attack on the same strongpoint. Although his group was held up by machine gun fire. After receiving orders to withdraw, he remained until all the wounded were carried to safety. However, upon reorganization he learned that one casualty was not accounted for, and without hesitation, he returned to the exposed area and evacuated the remaining men. Second Lieutenant Chadwick’s unselfish actions show a deep regard for his men, and reflect great credit upon himself and the military service. Entered Military Service from New Hampshire.
Private First Class Robert M. Moore, 20340558, Infantry, United States, for gallantry in action in Normandy, France.
On 10 June 1944, Private First Class Moore saw a German tank escorting several American prisoners to the enemy lines. Boldly confronting the tank, with complete disregard for his own safety, he directed the prisoners to disperse, and fired an antitank grenade at the tank. The tank returned the fire, but was compelled to withdraw when friendly support arrived. The courage displayed by Private First Class Moore, in the face of overwhelming odds, reflects great credit upon himself and the Military Service. Entered Military Service from Maryland.
V Changes in Regimental Staff and Battalion C.O.s
Colonel Eugene N. Slappey, 05136 relieved as Regimental C.O., 1540 hours, 13 June 1944 and replaced by Colonel Godwin Ordway Jr., 016208
Captain George M. Nevius, 0406384, relieved as Regimental S-3, 1600 hours, 14 June 1944 and replaced by Captain Albert G. Warfield, 0409305
Lt. Col. Richard C. Blatt, 019277 – SWA on 6 June 1944. Major James S. Morris, 0309173 took over command until 0800 hours, 14 June 1944 at which time he was relieved and replaced by Major Glover S. Johns Jr., 0307139, as C.O. 1st Battalion 115th Infantry
Lt. Col. William E. Warfield, 0258123, C.O. 2nd Battalion, 115th Infantry, KIA, 0300 hours, 10 June 1944 and was replaced by Lt. Col. Arthur T. Sheppe, 0256110 who was relieved by Major Maurice G. Clift, 0354335 at 1400 hours, 23 June 1944.
Major Victor P. Gillespie, 02456110, C.O. 3rd Battalion, 115th Infantry relieved 1830 hours, 9 June 1944 by Captain Grat B. Mankins, 0407499 who was relieved (upon his own request) at 0930 hours, 17 June 1944 by Major Charles A. Custer, 0277290 who was relieved at 1500 hours, 23 June 1944 by Lt. Col. Arthur T. Steppe, 0256110.
ALFRED V. EDNIE
319.1 1st Ind
HEADQUARTERS, 29TH INFANTRY DIVISION, A.P.O. 29, U. S. ARMY, 23 JULY 1944
TO: The Adjutant General, War Department, Washington, 25, D.C.
THRO: Commanding General, XIX Corps, A.P.O. 270, U. S. Army
Forwarding in compliance with letter, Headquarters, First United States Army, file 319.1, subject: “Action Against Enemy, Reports after, After Action Reports, dated 13 July 1944, and letter, Headquarters, XIX Corps, same subject and file, dated 19 July 1944
For the Commanding General:
ROBERT H. ARCHER, JR.,
Lt. Col., A.G.D.,