22nd Infantry Regiment
After Action Report
4th (US) Infantry Division – Battle of Normandy – June 1944
Headquarters, 22nd Infantry
APO 4, U. S. Army
21 July 1944
The 22nd Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, landed on Utah Beach starting at H plus 75 minutes.
The Third Battalion, 22nd Infantry, initially attached to the 8th Infantry, landed in small craft with the mission of crossing the beach seawall, turning to the northwest, and attacking and destroying the fortified positions along the coast.
The First and Second Battalions landed in LCI’s, crossed the beach and flooded areas with the mission of attacking to the northwest, reducing the strong points at Crisbecq and Azeville, and then securing the high ground west and southwest Of Quineville. The landing was made approximately 1500 yards south of the proposed beach. By nightfall, the Regiment was short of the initial objective, but had reached the general line Utah Beach-Foucarville.
On the morning 7 June, the Regiment continued the attack. The Third Battalion Continued the attack on the beach strong points; the Second Battalion moved Forward and launched an attack on the strong point northeast of Azeville; the First Battalion moved through Ravenoville, St Marcouf, and attacked the strong point near Crisbecq. Later in the afternoon the First and Second Battalions received counterattacks in some force and were driven back about 800 yards. During the night the First Battalion received another counterattack at about 0040hrs and repulsed this action without casualties.
On 8 June the First and Second Battalions attacked the strong points at Azeville and Crisbecq but were unsuccessful. The Third Battalion continued its Mission of reducing the beach strong points until late in the afternoon at which time they reverted in place to the Regimental reserve with the mission of blocking an expected enemy attempt to break through the First Battalion to the beach. The Third Battalion secured areas already taken and consolidated their positions in the hamlets just east of the Azeville and Crisbecq Gun positions.
A task force commanded by Brig. Gen. Henry A. Barber was formed on 9 June. The decision was made to contain the enemy at Crisbecq with “C” Company, 22nd Infantry and one company of the 899th T.D. Battalion; the remainder of the Regiment was to attack in column of Battalions in order Third, Second, First; after the Third Battalion had seized the town of Azeville and the strong point to the northeast of Azeville. The attack was to jump off at approximately 1800hrs, until then troops prepared and rested before orders were given for the attack.
On 10 June, the Third Battalion moved toward the strong point at Azeville With the Second Battalion containing the enemy at Chau de Fontenay. The First Battalion attacked the town of Fontenay sur Mer to relieve the pressure on the Third Battalion, which was receiving flanking fire from that point.
The 11th of June found the Third Battalion preparing to assault the Azeville strong point with the Second Battalion still containing the enemy at Chau de Fontenay. The First Battalion continued the attack on Fontenay sur Mer.
On the following day the Third Battalion attacked Azeville strong point and by nightfall had almost completed the mopping up operation.
On 13 June, the Third Battalion seized the town of Azeville and moved toward the high ground west of Quineville. The Second Battalion made a wide flanking movement through the 12th Infantry area to attack west along the ridge toward Quineville, and met stiff resistance the entire day. The First Battalion moved from its position near Fontenay sur Mer to a position to the left of the Third Battalion in preparation for a coordinated Regimental attack on the following morning.
The Regiment attacked with all three battalions on the morning of 14 June, seized the high ground west of Quinville, and organized the position for defense. During the period 15-17 June the 22nd Infantry reorganized and re-equipped without other enemy interference than sporadic artillery fire.
Throughout 20 June the Regiment moved rapidly with little or no resistance covering some eight miles and securing the high ground near Le Theil. The enemy had withdrawn to the prepared defenses in and around Cherbourg.
The Regiment attacked early on the morning of the 21st and attained some success although resistance was much heavier. The enemy began infiltrating behind the front lines, making it necessary to supply the assault battalions by tank convey.
When the attack was resumed on 22 June, the Second Battalion attacked across the rear of the Third Battalion to clean out pockets of resistance. The First and Third Battalions made more progress toward the strong point on the high ground north of Le Theil.
On 23 June the First and Third Battalions mopped up the Regimental objective. The Second Battalion, assisted by Company “C”, 4th Engineers, mopped up an abandoned village north of Hau Cauchon. The following day the Second Battalion was attached to the 12th Infantry, the First Battalion held the high ground, patrolling vigorously; and the Third Battalion attacked south on another mopping up mission in an effort to drive the infiltrating enemy troops away from the main supply route. Light casualties were sustained. The First and Second Battalions remained in the front lines and the Third Battalion moved to the rear with Company “I” held in Division mobile reserve. Late 17 June, the Third Battalion moved to an assembly area southeast of Montebourg and began preparations for an attack on that town.
On the following morning, the Third Battalion was established in its assembly area; the First Battalion was attached to the 12th Infantry; and the Second Battalion was in reserve. On 19 June, the Third Battalion attacked and seized Montebourg and the Regiment assembled northeast of that town preparatory to an attack to seize the high ground in the vicinity of Le Theil.
On 25 June, the Second Battalion rejoined the Regiment, attacked to the North, and reached the coast. The Third Battalion seized Bretteville and the First Battalion continued to hold the high ground astride the St Pierre Eglise-Cherbourg road.
On 26 June the Regiment changed its direction of advance from west to east with the mission of destroying the enemy garrison holding the north-eastern part of the Cotentin peninsula. On this and the following day (27 June) the Regiment met with some success although the enemy was a determined defender. Late on the 27th, the airport north of Gonneville fell and negotiations for the surrender of the garrison manning the coastal defences were begun. The negotiations were completed early on the morning of the 28th and the surrender of 990 German officers and men was effected by 1330, 28 June, ending the fighting in the North-eastern part of the Cotentin peninsula.
The Regiment moved to an assembly area for a short rest period prior to further operations.