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

21 July 1944

HISTORY - 358th Infantry

The attack was again changed. This time to the 22nd of July. During the night all was fairly quiet in the Battalions. The OP reported lights on the island. Patrols reported various noises coming from the island. Track vehicles were heard. Artillery landed in the vicinity of the OP. The OP was directed to get a bearing on the SP gun that had been harassing them. There was also flat trajectory fire on a road leading to the OP. By 0200, however, the OP reported situation generally quiet. The SP gun, however, would fire 3 or 4 rounds and then move. It could not be definitely located. German planes flew high and one cut off its motor and coasted over the area.

At 0215 3d Bn reported it had a leaflet that the nazis had "shot" over our lines. Its contents were as follows:

On the front - a picture of a young man and a girl having a good time in the U.S. The caption read: "Why are you fighting here, 2000 miles from home when you could be home making money and having a good time? Why are you here, sucker? Just filling the big shots pockets with money!" It also went on to mention the Nazi threat in the western Hemisphere!

This leaflet and its message was reported to Division. The leaflet would be picked up later by Lt. Clark, Ln. O.

At 0500 Capt Burns, S-3 3d Bn, reported a gap between 3d Bn and 357's right. An "L" Co. patrol had been fired upon. Major Falvey notified 357 and Division.

Due to the stormy weather and the effect of the rain on the roads, Lt. Col. Loomis and Lt. Hougen made a reconnaissance of the roads that the regiment would be most likely to use.

And now came the news that a revolution had broken out in Germany!

At 1056 Major Falvey had an IPW man look over a German document that had been found by the 1st Bn. The OP reported Germans coming and going from a house at 231756.

At noon Lt. Col. Clarke directed that all new officers be indoctrinated with the Regimental SOP as thoroughly, and as soon as, possible. At 1245 3d Bn patrols stated that the Bridge (3 Arch Stone) over the Seves was "out". No enemy was contacted this side of the river. Patrols were going out every hour.

General Landrum, at 1420, informed the Regimental Commander that the 358 plan of attack would probably go on tomorrow. The 358 would take the Island of St Germain Sur Seves.

At 1555 "L" Co. received small arms fire. By 1650 2d Bn was on the Island, AT Co. was south of the Island and Cannon Co. was in positions.

At 1700 Major Arthur L. Nichols, Jr. returned to duty after being wounded and evacuated at Etienville. The OP reported mortar fire and gave the azimuth. 3d Bn OP to check it. At 1750 General Devine (Arty) stated Arty Prep. would be H-2 and lift at H-Hours. At 1815 2d Bn reported that 20 shells landed in their area, 15 of which were duds!

At 1854 the area S/W of Gorges was being shelled by 88's or 75's. The 357 asserted they would coordinate their artillery with the 358th for the coming operation. The 3d Bn was informed by Major Falvey that they could move anytime now. 1st Bn reported that during the recent shelling 45 shells out of 102 were duds!

At 2000 hours the Regimental Commander directed the Bn CO's meet with him at the CP. Major Nichols and Capt Shipe left the CP to check on the tanks, then to go the new CP. At 2030 the Bn Cmdrs and the Reg'l Cmdr conferred on the plans of the attack. All supporting fires from H-2 to H-Hour. TD's then go to targets of opportunity. Cml mortars to fire on call, and lift range after initial barrage. 2d Bn to have liaison with 359, 1st Bn with 357. 4th AD will coordinate fires. LD will NOT be road, but a row of trees. ATTACK AT 0630. Engineers will make two crossings - and will take all size trucks. Questions arose concerning the SP weapon that has been harassing 3d Bn and the pill box that has been "bothering" Lt. Col. Seegar. Ammunition was discussed. Major Knouf, S-4, informed the assembly that there was a surplus, in addition to basic loads.

At 2200 the OP reported "no activity". 2d Bn was to move about midnight.

Capt. Wise reported mortar fire near his Cannon Co. at 2300. All units were given overlays on Road Clearances. The Regimental Commander and his Ex. O. left for the OP. Major Nichols briefed the TD Cmdr and Major Wallace briefed the Cml Mortar Officer and explained where and when to "Smoke". At 2346 Lt. Col.'s Clarke and Loomis returned to the CP.

All was now coordinated and planned for the coming battle, which was to go down in 358th Infantry annals as a splendid example of heroism, doggedness and loyalty - of heartache and disappointment.

22 July 1944

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