Major Robert F. Burns

90th Division, U.S. Army


War Letters from Europe

Normandy to Germany

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358th Infantry Typed History

July 9, 1944
July 10, 1944
July 11, 1944
July 12, 1944
July 13, 1944
July 14, 1944
July 15, 1944
July 16, 1944
July 17, 1944
July 18, 1944
July 19, 1944
July 20, 1944
July 21, 1944
July 22, 1944
July 23, 1944
July 24, 1944
July 25, 1944
July 26, 1944
July 27, 1944
July 28, 1944
July 29, 1944
July 30, 1944
July 31, 1944

358th Infantry Typed History

July 9-July 31, 1944

19 July 1944

HISTORY - 358th Infantry

All was quiet during the night for the 358th Infantry. Negative reports were filed hourly with G-3.

By 1015 FO #11 (Regt'l) was completed and Capt Shipe left for the units concerned with copies. Capt. Midget, 315th Engr., stated he would be in CP later to "go into the plans for the coming attack." Patrols stated Seves River as passable for tanks.

At 1045 General Landrum arrived at the CP. Lt. Hougen was directed to bury the wire leading into the OP. Artillery was to be limited, after the initial preparation, (600 rds) to 17 rds per gun. Cml Bn to put smoke on hill during preparation. Arty was to zero in and fire at intervals.

General Landrum toured the Division area and as a result, ordered that men, at all times, carry arms and ammunition. The General found (area not designated) gun crews asleep, soldiers out on roads without their arms, ammunition or helmets.

All units were acquainted with changes in attack order. At 1445 a German plane crashed nearby and another flew low and strafed. At 1500 G-2 phoned and stated that the pilot of the crashed plane was reported to have bailed out and requested that the 358 check this. More enemy planes now flew over. A member of the I&R was dispatched to the 1st Bn to check on the pilot.

At 1535 the British were reported "breaking thru" at Caan!

At 1600 Lt. Col. Clarke phones Lt. Col. Loomis and informed him of the following:

"A fwd observer will accompany attacking Bns (1st & 2d). 4.2 Cml fire will precede advancing troops closely. Observer will use radio and pyrotechnics to direct mortar fire.

Capt Shipe now notified the 1st and 2d Bns of the above message.

At 1415 Sgt. Shannon, I&R, reported that the German pilot landed in a swamp, and that there wasn't much left of the plane. The 4th Ren, however, had captured the pilot. "A" Co. of the Engineers, had the pilot first, but the 4th Ren, took him from them.

The 1st Bn reported that during the plane attack, butterfly bombs landed in their area.

At 1640 the 359th Inf. reported that the Seves River, 10 to 15 feet wide and 1-1/2 feet deep, was fordable. However, grenades were thrown at the men who crossed and mortars fell on the men who did not. Lt. Col. Seegar notified CP that if the tanks left, as per order of attack, they would destroy the surprise element of his attack,.

The "Butterfly Bombs" turned out to be a part of the wrecked plane!

The 357th Inf reported their positions at 1710, and at the same time reported that the 4th AD had attempted to "break thru" the 357! Result: three casualties for the 357! Tank plans and fires were now coordinated with the Regt'l plans. Units were informed of the Seves River situation. Roads cleared of mines were reported. Capt Wise, Cn Co. CO, stated he would move his company by infiltration and emplace his guns.

At 1825, Lt. Col. Clarke phoned from Division that the 3d Bn would relieve 3d Bn 359, effective 2330. 2d Bn reported "no pyrotechnics". Artillery General Devine, reported "very little ammo". The attack would possibly be held off on this account. Capt. Steckla, Regt'l Comm O., was directed to get more flares and necessary flare signals. At 1940 the time of relief of the 358th 3d Bn was changed to 200200.

Three French civilians, who had come through the German lines, reported to Major Falvey, who questioned them. The Regt'l Cmdr. now stated that, for the coming attack, the Regt'l OP would be well fwd, and tho not required by Div, "M" Co and mortars would be ready to fire on call. By 2000 Major Strickler (Div) had 800 rds of mortar ammo for the Regiment. Mine field, both enemy and friendly, were reported and information passed on. At 2055 the attack was again postponed. Again, all units concerned were notified. The lack of ammunition was the reason for the postponement. The 3d Bn, however, would go right ahead with its plans.

At 2345, Capt Burns, 3d Bn S-3, reported that the Bn line-up would be: L on left; I on right; K in res. They would go into the same positions that the 359th had used. Division was notified by Major Wallace.

20 July 1944

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