Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by 980th, Mar 15, 2010.
You all have a Merry Christmas! I will be out of reach of a computer until Jan 6.
At 1450A, the next day, an enemy aircraft over the area was fired at aby adjacent AA units. The Bn adjusted a bn of the 188th FA Gr on enemy personnel implacing mortars at WF559358, obtaining two direct hits. Btry "B", 153rd FA bn (8" Gun) was attached to the 980th FA Bn at 1700A, for tactical operation. Captain Curtis, the btry commander reported to the bn commander for orders at 1730A and the btry closed in the bn area at 2100A but did not occupy until the next day due to darkness.
Btry "B", 153rd FA Bn was laid and ready to fire at 1130A on the 13th. The bn received one T-83 (155mm self-propelled gun M-1) from the 559th ordnance company at 1930A for experimental purposes. The bn was to operate the gun under various conditions and make suggestions for changes and improvements. At 1800A the bn received orders from the 142nd FA Gr to displace the following morning to a position area on hte North edge of Bonn, Germany, and that the Gr was moving to the South of Bonn and that the bn would be attached to them on their arrival.
At 0600A, on hte 14th, March order was given to btry "C". Orders were received from 188th FA Gr that the bn was to be under their control as of 0800A. Btrys "A" and "B" were given march order at 0800A and close station was given all btrys at 0825A. The bn left the area at 1000A and arrived at the release point by 1100A and was ready to fire at 1207A. The bn CP was located in Dransdorf, Germany coor. WF517378. Btry "B", 153rd FA Bn closed station at 2315A in preparation for an early move the next morning.
As of 0600A, 15 March 1945, the bn had fired 65,688 rounds in combat. Btry "B", 153 FA Bn was detached from this bn at 0800A. Colonel Jerome F. Thompson, Commanding Officer, 142nd FA Gr visited the bn at 1315A on hte 16th with orders that the bn would revert to control of the 142nd FA Gr as of 1600A.
The bn remained in position for several days firing to the nE across the Rhine River, on enemy btrys and road junctions. During this time the guns and vehicles were washed and cleaned up. A letter was received from VII Corps dated 19th march 1945, addressed to all units, quoting the following message from the 12th Army Gr:
"The Supreme Commander desires the following message to be transmitted to all ranks under your command." The following message received from the Secretary of the US Navy: "For General of the Army, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. The US Navy joins the nation in admiration for the feats of Armies under your command and particularly sends its congratulations to the First United States Army on its historic crossing of the Rhine. Regards and all personal good wishes, James Forrestal.
The following message received from Speaker Rayburn of the US House of Rep. "At the request of the House of Rep unanimously expressed, I send to you, the officers and men of all services under your command, our congratulations, and thanks for the magnificent victories recently achieved in the Western Front."
No Shell HE for the guns was available on the 20th at any of the ASP's. The Bn Commander made a very detailed inspection of the btrys, much to the sorrow of some of the btry commanders. On the 20th and the 21st, the carbines of the bn were modified by the 516th ordnance company. A new type sight, which included a windage scale and adjustable sight leaf, replaced the old type sight. The carbines were then taken and zeroed in, by the men on a rifle rqange at btry "C" CP, using an allotment of training ammunition.
During the afternoon of the 21st, the bn commander made a preliminary reconnaissance for position East of the Rhine.
The Bn Commander made another reconnaissance for position East of the Rhine on the morning of the 22nd. During the afternoon, the bn commander brought back the message from the 142nd FA Gr that the bn would not move for a few days, but would remain in position and fire to the Northeast across the Rhine in support of the 4th Cavalry Gr. Wire communication was established with the 87th Armored FA Bn and the 4th Cav Gr.
The bn was given March Order at 1000A on the 24th and Close Station was given at 1025A. The bn passed its Initial Point at 1200A, crossed the Rhine River on a treadway bridge and arrived at the Release point at 1330A. By 1350A the bn had closed into position at Ob er pleis, Germany Coor. F677346. The T-83 crossed the Rhine River on a ferry on the second attempt. The first time across the ferry grounded off shore, so the T-83 was brought back and transferred to a larger ferry which made the crossing without incident. The D-8 bulldozer crossed the Rhine on a heavy pontoon bridge to the South, as the trailer was unable to cross the treadway. Five or six shells of medium caliber landed in the bn CP area at 1425A, but caused no casualties within the bn.
Lt. Colonel Parsley from the FA board visited the bn from 1030A to 1515A, on the 25th, inquiring into the performance of the T-83, whether or not the bn favored it, and what suggestions for improvem,ent the bn wished to submit. The Bn Comm, Lt. Col. Harold O. Welch left the CP at 1250A with his driver Corp Bonacci, to make a preliminary reconnaissance for position area in the vicinity of Bullesback, Coor. F752349. The returned at 1450A with five German PW's that they had captured in the position area. The bn commander left with the the btry commanders at 1430A to complete the reconnaissance of the area and returned at 1740A. Btry "B" captured a prisoner while reconnoitering for gun positions. Gun Number 1364 of Btry "C" threw a rotating band at 2239A.
View attachment 18169
March Order was given at 0700A the next morning, 26 March 1945 and the Bn Commander left on reconnaissance for position near Kircheib, Germany. Btry "B" captured 3 prisoners and Service Btry captured 17 while reconnoitering their positions. The Bn left Oberpleis at 0900A, arrived at the release point at 1010A and closed in the position at 1050A. The vicinity of the release point was shelled by enemy smoke shells, just as the bn finished clearing. The bn Commander and the Executive Officer, along with a few enlisted men present, took to the deepest and muddiest ditch available. The bn CP was established in Kirchieb, Coor. F806345. The bn area was shelled intermittently during the afternoon with both smoke and HE shell. Gun Number 1121 of Btry "C" threw a rotating band at 1830A.
At 1300A on the 27th, 142nd FA Gr closed station and communications were established by radio. At 1315A, a German soldier in civilian clothes surrendered himself at the Bn CP. General Palmer Commanding General, VII Corps Art, visited Bn for 10 min. at 1405A. The Bn Commander left the Bn at 1425A to make a reconnaissance for position in the vicinity of Altenkirchen. The Btry Commanders left later and met the Bn near the new position area. The Bn Commander was injured in t he right Knee by falling debris when two shells struck the house in which he had taken cover.
March Order was given the Bn at 0100A the next morning, 28 March 1945 and close station was given at 0145A. The bn left the area at 0400A and arrived at the Release Point Northeast of Altenkirchen at 0525A. The Bn closed in position at 0545A and was laid and ready to fire at 0700A. The Bn CP was located at F942326. At 2145A the T-83 was displaced forwar to Coor. WG12343424 to fire on the town of Siegen at the rate of 12 rounds per hour until relieved the following morning by the 981st FA Bn.
(Wow, that is a lot of shells. 12 rounds x 24 hrs is 288. Firing a shell every five min. Talk about a moral buster!)
At 0815A, 29 March 1945, the bn was attached to VII Corps Art Fire Direction Center for fire missions only. The bn fired on personnel and vehicles north of the Sieg River during the morning for the First Div. As of 1200 A the Bn was relieved from the 142nd FA Gr and VII Corps Artillery Fire direction center and attached to the 1st Inf Div Art. The Bn Commander left on reconnaissance for positions near Lippe, Germany at 1135A. The T-83 returned from its mission at 1225A. Close station march order was given to the bn at 1410A. The bn was to follow the 16th Inf Reg and did not pass the initial point until 1815A. The bn reached the release point at 2045A, closed into the area at 2215A and was ready to fire at 2330A. The bn CP was located in Lippetal at coor. G227346. Service btry captured a prisoner in th3eir area while on reconnaissance at 1700A.
Btry "A", 438th AAA AW Bn received close station march order at 0440A 30 March 1945 and left the area at 0500A with a new assignment. As of 0600A the bn fired 68,555 rounds in combat. Btry "A" captured a prisoner at 0700A. At 0900A the bn was given the mission of reinforcing the fires of the 32nd FA Bn in addition to general support of the 1ST Inf Div. Btry "A", 474th AAA, AW bn (SP), commanded by Captain Brothwell, assumed AA protection for the bn at 1430A.
View attachment 18207
The Btry was equipped with 8 M-15's, and 8 M-16's. Col. Waters, Commanding Officer, 1st Inf Div Art visited the bn CP for a few minutes at 1445A. Btry "B" captured 3 prisoners on the airfield near their position/ Lt. George Long captured a German prisoner at Hof, Germany at 1800A while on a reconnaissance for adjacent units. Btry "C", 980th FA Bn captured 4 prisoners at 0900A the 31st, in the woods near their gun position area.
At 0001A, 1 April 1945, the bn was in position at Lippe, Germany, Coor. G227346, attached to and in direct support of the First Inf Div. Close station march order was given to the bn at 0900A. The Bn commander and btry commanders left the area at 1000A with their reconnaissance parties, to march with the reconnaissance elements of Division Artillery. The bn was further attached to the 18th Combat Team for the march only and transported 100 infantry men of the 18th Inf Reg on the bn's trucks. The bn marched from its area at 1530A, and crossed the initial point at Haiger, Germany, at its scheduled time, 1620A. The T-83 was marched at the head of the bn column for use as direct fire weapon in case of an attack upon the column by ground troops. The bn was forced to detour from the scheduled route due to enemy armored elements holding a section of the road. The bn marched 108 miles and arrived at the release point at Hegensdorf, Germany, at 0950B the next day. Just prior to arrival at the release point, two F 190's flew over the column but were fired on and driven away by btry "A", 474th AAA bn, marching within the bn column. The bn, less two guns of btry "A" closed in position at 1100B. The bn CP was located in Hegensdorf, Coor. RB620259. The two gun trucks of btry "A" were damaged in the radiator by running into the gun tubes in front of them in the blackout. Trucks were sent back after the guns and they were brought up during the evening.
On the afternoon of the 4th, two prisoners were taken by the air section and one by btry "B".
Orders were received from VII Corps on the 5th, awarding the 4th Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal to First Liuetenant Max E. Young and the 2nd Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal to First Lt. Lloyd O. Pruett.
March order was given the bn at 0800B 7 April 1945 and the bn commander and btry commanders left on reconnaissance for a new position at 0830B. Close station was given the bn at 1000B. and it left the area at 1035B crossing the initial point at Wunnenberg at 1100B. Btry "A", 474th AAA bn (SP) was detached from the bn upon the bn's displacement at 1035B. The bn was detached from First Inf Div as of 1200B, and attached directly to VII Corps Art. The bn reached the release point at 1345 and was closed in position at 1430B. The bn CP was located at Dalhausen, Germany, Coor. RC078378.
The bn commander and btry commanders left on reconnaissance for position at 0600B the next morning 8 April 1945. Headquarters Btry captured a prisoner at 0735B. The bn commander returned from reconnaissance at 0830B. Btry "B" was given close station march order at 1000B and left athe area at 1135B. They closed in their new position at 1330B and were ready to fire at 1415B. March order was given to btry "A" at 1030B and to btry "C" at 1530B.
Close station was given to both btrys at 1710B and the btry left the area at 1730B. Btry "A" was prevented from marching earlier because the 3rd Armored Div had road priority. Btry "A" and "C" closed in the new position area at Deisel, Germany, Coor. C159338 at 1920B and were ready to fire at 2000B.
The Bn air section took three prisoners on the afternoon of the 9th, after a short fire fight in which two Germans were wounded, but there were no Americanc casualties.
The bn was detached from VII Corps Artillery at 0600B, 10 April 1945, and was attached to the 1st Inf Div Art. Close station march order was given to the bn at 0600B and it left the area at 0800B. The bn commander with his reconnaissance parties preceded the bn and met it in a rendezvous position in the vicinity of Nienover, Germany. The bn crossed the Weser River and arrived at th e rendezvous area at 1007B and was closed in the by 1100B. The bn Commander left the rendezvous area at 1300B with his reconnaissance parties and the bn left the area at 1500B. The 2nd Platoon, Btry "B", 103rd AAA Bn was attached to the bn at 1400B with the mission of providing Anti Aircraft security. The bn arrived at the release point at 1552B and was closed in its area at 1615B. The bn occupied a position of readiness by placing the guns over the gun stakes but did not uncouple the guns from the prime movers. The bn CP was located at Vahle, Germany, Coor. RC332437. All btrys joined in rounnding up a total of 17 prisoners in the bn area.
March order was given to the bn at 0825B, the 11th and the bn commander and the btry commanders left with their reconnaissance parties at 0900B. The bn left the area at 1000B, arrived at the release point at 1200B and was closed in a position of readiness at 1228B. The bn CP was located in Holtensen, Germany Coor. RC575494. Btry "A" captured 12 prisoners at 1300B while going after water. The bn Executive Officer took four prisoners while on reconnaissance for establishing road blocks at 1315B. Four more prisoners were taken during the afternoon to bring the total for the day to 20. Btry "A" captured five more prisoners during the night. Special order No. 24, HQ, VII Corps dated 11 April 1945, awarded the Fifth Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal to 1st Lt. Max E. Young, and the Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal to S/Sgt Richard Hiserman.
The bn received march order at 0830B the next morning, 12 April 1945 and the bn commander and the btry commanders left with their reconnaissance parties at 0840B. The bn closed station and left the area at 1000B. The bn closed station in a positon of readiness at Osterode, Germany, Coor. C739501, at 1145B. Personnel of Btry "A" were engaged in a fire fight with the enemy in a woods in front of the btry gun position, during which corp. RH Hutchins was killed and Pfc Fred Guyer was wounded. Pfc Guyer was returned to duty. FA report Number 94, HQ VII Corps Artillery, dated 13 April 1945 reported the incident as follows: On 12 April 1945 the three firing btrys of the 980th FA Bn (155G) were each in a small arms fire fight and took prisoners. Btry "A" recieved small arms fire while occupyingt position at C747788. A patrol was formed immediately and the woods searched. In searching the woods, the patrol ran into a well defended road block and was forced to withdraw. One man was killed and another wounded in the action and one prisoner of war was taken. Btry "B" took 27 prisoners, without loss to the btry whole occupying positions at C743489. Btry "C" received a report from a Polish worker that enemy troops were in the woods in the rear of the btry position at C740487. A patrol was sent out to investigate and brought in 7 prisoners of war. The bn total for the day was 35 prisoners of war.
View attachment 18209
S-3 Periodic Report, Number 99, HQ 1st Inf Div dated 12 April 1945 reported the incident as follows: The 980th FA Bn in their new position just southwest of Osterode had several running fire fights with enemy infantry, capturing over 40 prisoners of war by 1800B.
At 1900B, the bn was given orders by the 1st inf Div Art to occupy firing positions and at 1915B the bn was ready to fire. FA Report number 95, HQ VII Corps Art dated 14 April 1945 reported an Air OP adjustment at 1925B as follows: At 1925B on 12 April 1945 an air observer of the 980th FA Bn (155G) saw 3 tanks, a staff car, and a group of Infantry moving west along the road at Coor. C819495, the bn, not yet registered, fired one round at a road junction across the path of the column. The air observer was prepared to adjust the fire but the first round hit the road junction. Fire for effect was started at once and 42 rounds were fired. When the dust and smoke cleared, the Infantry had dispersed, the 3 tanks were stopped, and the staff car was racing down the road in the direction from which it came.
The Bn took a total of 44 prisoners during the day.
Brigadier General Palmer, Commanding General, VII Corps Artillery, visited the bn for 50 minutes during the afternoon of the 13th. 2nd Lt. James B. Terry was transferred from the bn to Military Government, First US Army.
The bn received orders at 0814B, 14 April 1945 to change the direction of fire to an azimuth of 1600 mils and by 0902B the bn was ready to fire in the new direction. Brigadier General Palmer visited the bn for 20 min during the afternoon. Btry "A" captured 5 prisoners during the day.
Btry "C" was given march order at 0545B the next morning and left the area at 0700B. The bn commander left on reconnaissance at 0640B to reconnoiter for a position area for btry "C". Btry "C" closed in their new position area at Herzberg, Germany, Coor. C814428 at 0745B and was ready to fire at 0820B. The T-83 (self-propelled 155mm Gun) was attached to btry "C" at 1630B.
Btry "A" took two prisoners and Service Btry one, at 0800B the next morning, 16 April 1945. The bn was given march order at 0835B and close station at 0900B. The bn crossed the initial point at 1000B, closed in the area at 1210B and was ready to fire at 1240B. The bn CP was located at St. Andreasburg, Germany, Coor. C924495.
Btry "A" captured four prisoners at 1120B, the 17th. S-3 Periodic report number 104, HQ 1st US Inf. Div Art. dated 17 April 1945, contained the following report on the bn. "During the afternoon, considerable enemy vehicular and troop movement was observed and adjusted upon, on the road from 025529 NE to Rothehutte. The 5th, 7th, and 980th FA Bn's conducted observed fire on the enemy traffic with excellent results. In addition, the 980th FA Bn fired Time on Targets on possible assembly and traffic bottlenecks in Rothehutte, Elbingerode, and Elend."
At about 1900B, personnel at the Bn CP were started by a great series of small arms fire coming down the main street. After the bn CP guards and other personnel had taken cover, they discovered that a man (German Prisoner) was trying to make a get away from the military police. The man was shot dead a few yards from the Bn CP. The G-2 periodic report number 299, HQ VII Corps, dated 17 April 1945 reported the incident as follows:
"One more notorious small time Hitler received better than he deserved when he was shot to death as he was trying to escape while being evacuated to rear areas. The man was a minor official in the town of St. Andreasburg, well known for his brutality toward foreign workers and hesitant local citizens. This man shot and killed a captured American aviator, who refused to divulge military information. His guilt was unquestionable in the face of many sworn statements by eye witnesses."
The Bn commander and btry commanders left on reconnaissance with their reconnaissance parties at 1000B, 18 April 1945 to reconnoiter in the vicinity of Tanne, Germany. The Bn commander returned from reconnaissance at 1320B. The S-3 periodic report number 105, HQ 1st Inf Div Art dated 18 April 1945 contained the following report:
"Konigshutte was marked by the 980th FA Bn for an air mission and in addition, received harrassing fire. Many vehicles parked along side the Weriningerode Forest Rode, from 03551 to 060560 were observed and adjusted upon by the 33rd and 980th FA Bn. Several hits were reported and the column dispersed."
Captain Kenneth F. Ames was transferred from the bn to HQ VII Corps and assigned to the G-4 section. The bn rounded up a total of 18 prisoners during the day.
View attachment 18211
The bn was given march order at 0600B the next morning 19 Apr 1945, and close station was given at 0645B. The bn left the area at 0800B and arrived at the new position at Tanne, Germany Coor. RD063485 at 1015B. Btry "C" captured two prisoners at 0910B. The Bn Comm arrived at the new CP, complete with weo prisoners that he had captured enroute. The bn was ready to fire at 1100B. Brigadier General Waters, Commanding General, 1st Inf Div Art. visited the bn for ten minutes during the forenoon. Btry "C" captured ten male prisoners at 1030B and one female prisoner of war. HQ btry captured three prisoners at 1130B and four at 1430B.
March order was given the bn at 0600B, 20 Apr 1945 and close station was given at 0705B. The 2nd Platoon, btry "B", 103rd AAA Bn was detached from the bn at 0800B. The bn was detached from the 1st Inf Div Art at 0800B and attached to VII Corps Art Fire Direction Center. The bn left the area at 0800 and closed in its new area at 1740B. The bn CP was located at Mosingkau, Germany Coor. RE042651. The bn CP was shelled at 1755B and 1825B. The Air OP adjusted on the suspected location from which the shelling was coming and all shelling of the CP area ceased and was not resumed. At 2040B orders were received that the bn would fire only on orders of VII Corps Art Fire Dir Center. Pfc Stanley W. "Anderson was killed during the evening in a train accident at Liege, Belgium, on his way back from a pass to Paris, France.
At 2245B, 21 April 1945, the bn received orders that there would be no firing East of the Elbe River because of the advance of the Russian Army.
1st Lt. Pruett, bn liaison pilot with S/Sgt Hiserman as an observer sighted what they believed to be the Russians at Willenberg, Germany at 2000B, 22 April 1945. At 2200B orders were received that there would be no firing West of the Mulde River and South of the Elbe River.
A one-quarter ton command and reconnaissance vbehicle of btry "B" which had been captured at Tanne, Germany on hte 19th, was recovered by the 1st Div Mil Police, two miles east of Tanne and returned to btry "B" on the 23rd. It had been abandoned because of a flat tire. The liaison plane piloted by 1st Lt. Pruett with S/Sgt Hiserman as observer was forced down at 1730B with a broken rocker arm. No one was injured. The air strip was moved in to the edge of town near the bn CP at 2100B due to security reasons as all the troops were moving from the area in the vicinity of the old air strip.
On the 25th, the bn fired some expirimental fires to determine the effect of Quick and Delay on destruction missions. 38 rounds were fired with fuze delay from the T-83 (155mm Gun SP) at a range of 16,000 yards, obtaining one hit. 50 rounds were fired with fuze quick from an M-1 gun (towed) at a range of 13000 yards obtaining seven hits which set the target on fire, subsequently destroying it.
View attachment 18224
M/Sgt Laverne M. Triggs (Grandpas buddy) was discharged on the 25th and commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army of the US by battlefield commission on the 26th. The Burgermeister of Mosingkau brought five German soldiers dressed in civilian clothes to the bn CP at 0930B on hte 26th.
In request of the 9th Inf Div Art, through VII Corps Art, the guns of the bn were displaced forward to a position near Alten, Germany Coor. RE075667 to fire on a bridge being used by the enemy. March order was given the gun btry's at 1855B Btry "A" displaced at 1956B, Btry "B" at 2001B, and Btry "C" at 2014B. Only the guns and btry Executive posts were displaced. The btry's CP, bn CP and Service btry remained in their positions. Permission to register from the new position was requested from the VII Corps Art Fire Dir Center at 2005B but the request was not granted. The bn was ready to fire with all guns at 2100B.
The Bn Commander made a reconnaissance with the btry commanders for a rest area for the bn at Zorbig, Germany during the morning of the 27th.
March order was given the bn at 0700B, the next morning, 28th April 1945, to move to a rest area. The bn was being withdrawn from action after more than ten months of combat. The bn had fired 71,141 rounds and had the gun tubes replaced twice. Close station was given to Btry "B" at 0750 and to the remainder of the bn at 0800B. The order of march was headquarters, service, "A", "B", "C" btry's. The bn closed at Zorbig, Germany Coor. RD963977. The bn was given the mission of security guar4d and military government in hte area occupied. HQ Btry, Service Btry and btry "B" were billeted in jWeissenfels, Btry "A" in Langendorf, and btry "C" in Gross Kayna.
On the 30th, the bn established road blocks and security guard in the bn area. (Hitler died in this day. 980th's comment)
The bn at 0001B, 1 May 1945 was billeted in and around the town of Weissenfels, Germany. The bn was occupied by manning road blocks, transporting ex-prisoners of war, screening the civilian population, capturing German prisoners of war, and consolidating and guarding German ammunition dumps.
At 1100B on the 2nd of May, an FW-190, "belly landed" in Btry "C's" area, carrying a German pilot and mechanic, who were deserting from the German Army.
On the evening of the 4th, an FW190 attempted to land in the bn area, but was unable to do so. S/Sgt Richard Hiserman was discharged on the 6th of May 1945 and commissioned by a battlefield commission in the Army of the US on the 7th of May 1945.
A JU 87 circled the CP area and landed on the 142nd FA Gr air strip, where the crew of three surrendered themselves at 2110B, 7th May 1945. General order No. 37 HQ, VII Corps, dated 7 May 1945 was received awarding the Third Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal to 1st Lt. Lloyd O. Pruett and the Air Medal to 1st Lt
Charles B. Ackard II.
Brigadier General Williston Palmer, Commanding General, VII Corps Art, presented the bronze star medal to nine officers, one warrant officer and thirty nine enlisted men of the bn for meritorious service, in support of combat operations against the enemy, at 115B, 8 May 1945. The medals were presented at a ceremony which included the 980th FA Bn, the 981st FA Bn, the 195th FA Bn, the 660th FA Bn and the 142nd FA Gr. Three enemy ME 109's flying over the bn area at 1450B were fired upon by anti aircraft units stationed nearby.
Germany surrendered unconditionally at 0001B, 9 May 1945, but since the bn had been withdrawn from action on 28 April 1945, there was no change in the bn's duties. By this time the bn had captured 492 prisoners of war since landing on the Normandy beaches.
At 0800B on the 10th, Lt Colonel Harold O. Welch, who had been commanding the Bn since Feb 1943, left the bn and took command of th e 188th FA Gr. Major Robert W. Clirehugh assumed command of the 980th FA bn. At 0830B the new Bn Commander and the btry commanders left the area to make a reconnaissance for billets for the bn in Sondershausen, Germany and returned at 1723.
The bn was given close station march order at 0600B the next morning, 11 May 1945 and it left the area at 0800B. The bn marched to its new position in and near Sondershausen arriving there at 1330B without incident. The bn CP was located at Coor. D182123. The 980th FA Bn was relieved from assignment to the First US Army and assigned to the Ninth US Army, per paragraph 4, Troop assignment, Letter No. 47, HQ, First US Army, dated 9 May 1945.
Saturday, May 12th was announced as Redeployment Day by the War Department and the point values were announced for the adjusted service rating cards, The bn men spent the day totaling up their points and seeing if they were eligible for discharge. Captain John R. Clark, 0414898, was transferred to the bn from the 142nd FA Gr and assigned to Btry "B" as btry commander on the 14th.
(From now until the the Bn left for home men were transferred in and out of the bn and lots of men received medals. I will just give the highlights.)
May 21st 1945, the first ten men left the bn under the point system bound for the States. Between 9 May 1945 and 31 May 1945 the bn captured 1183 prisoners of war, bringing the bn total to 1662. Corp. Burdette L. Treloar "C" btry was killed when his weapons carrier rolled over an embankment on 10 June 1945.
15June 1945 relieved from 9th US Army and attached to 7th US Army. 1 July 1945 Bn moved to new area at Alsbach, Germany coor. WM626269. 16 July 1945 Bn moved to new area at Ober Ramstadt Coor. WM723376.
The bn left Ober Ramstadt at 0500, 15 Sept. 1945 on its march to the assembly area. The day was overcast and rainy. At 1400 hours the German-French border was crossed in the vicinity of Saarbrucken. The entire bn pulled into the Metz Bivauac area at 1800 hours. A readiness date of 25 sept 1945 for departure from the assembly area command. Final destination was to be Camp San Antonio. Verbal orders were received that the bn would report to Camp Chicago instead of Camp San Antonio.
Wow, I didn't realize the V-2 Rocket was so large!
US Army Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland has a V-2 in its museum. The exterior skin was very rippled, like the thin hull of a Destroyer Escort. I would have liked to have seen the rocket components.
I wonder if White Sands Missile Range, NM has a V-2.
White Sands V-2 Launching Site - Aviation: From Sand Dunes to Sonic Booms: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
[LINK to post #123 for attached photo]
I assume the photo attached to this post is from your father's collection? The battalion history does not pin-point the bridge (it probably does, I await someone to clue me in -- Doh!).
At first I noticed on top of the sign: something "HAWK BRIDGE", and thought maybe a treadway bridge in the zone of the 86th "Blackhawk" Infantry Division. Nothing. Then I noticed "JAYHAWK" further down the sign and tried Google searches and found JAYHAWK was the radio/telephone code for VII Corps headquarters. Interesting, makes sense. I tried Google Image searches of :1945 - bridge - rhine, and such. No matches. A closer look at the sign and I noticed a grid coordinate, not very clear, but it appears to be "F628260"
You are going to want to plug WF628260 into "The Coordinate Translator"
Select: Nord de Guerre Grid
The "Coordinates Translator"
The sign also says the bridge opened for traffic on March 17. From the official history The Last Offensive below.
I didn't notice the coor. I did find the location that I thought might be the spot the picture was taken, but wasn't for sure until now. I plugged in the coor and it is right where I thought it should be, The crossing at Bad Honnef/Rolandseck. Thanks so much for your searching.
I did as you suggested and copy and pasted the 980th history onto a word document then attached it to an email I sent to the Col at the California Center for Military History. Hopefully they will post it where those who are searching can easily find it. Thanks for the idea!
Re: Bridge Location
The grid coordinates that exactly matched the Rhine ferry location was unexpected and a bit of a fluke. The TCT is usually one or two hundred meters off.
But I was hoping to find more tangible evidence of the bridge location. Doing a Google Image Search of: honnef - rhine - ferry yielded another surprise. The picture is taken from the west side of the river.
To me the treadway bridge appears to have a bulge pointing to the right side of the image, as one would expect if the current came from the left of the image. The bulge must be an illusion. Looking from the west side of the river the current flows right to left in the images.
Very sad day. We put grandpa in the hospital with respitory infection. Pretty sure he is on his way to reunite with grandma.
Sorry to hear this 980th. It makes your stories even more poignant.
I treasure the opportunity to read his story and that of the 980th Field Artillery Battalion.
Sincere wishes for peace and strength.
Thank you very much.