War's End

War's End and Beyond

June - November, 1945

Credit

A lot of gratitude towards WW2 D Battery Mr. Ken HESLER for research and writing.

Introduction


Although the war had not ended, the 463rd Parachute Field Artillery Battalion’s final fire missions were April 17, 1945, at Neuss, Germany. After several interim tactical moves with no further enemy contact, the 463rd established a Command Post in the city of Thalham and was assigned the role of Police and Military Government. Hitler’s mountain top retreat at Berchtesgaden fell to the 101st Airborne Division May 5, 1945, with the war officially ending three days later. For the Battalion, it was then on to Bad Reichenhall, a spa town in Upper Bavaria in a scenic alpine setting where it would continue its occupation duties for about six weeks before moving on to Saalfelden, Austria, July 8. It was relieved of all security duties at the end of July. Its final major move in the ETO was to Joigny, France, where it would remain until inactivated along with the rest of the 101st at the end of November 1945.

 

Occupation security involved a wide range of duties–serving as a local police force, maintaining road blocks to control the movement of civilians, guarding dumps of military supplies and enclosures of displaced persons, and protecting an art collection located in a castle, among others. Details of the 463rd activities from June through October, 1945, are spelled out in the Battalion’s official monthly narratives that follow this introduction.

 

The postwar period for the 463rd in Europe was profoundly affected by several factors. According to a Turner Publishing Company history of the 101st Airborne Division produced in 1995 for the 101st Airborne Division Association, the Screaming Eagles learned in June 1945 that they would be moving to the Pacific. This followed an earlier announcement by Gen. Maxwell Taylor, Division commander, at a Division formation while at Mourmelon in March that he was “doing all in my power to have the Division sent to Japan,” a statement roundly booed by those in the formation. Prior to the surrender of the Japanese, the 463rd conducted a summer training program for redeployment to the Pacific through August and the first week of September, including instructions in Japanese tactics, techniques, and background.

 

It was then announced, “that the Division was to proceed to the United States as part of the general reserve” with the 82nd Airborne Division to be inactivated.” Later, the Army reversed that decision, with the 101st being the “one destined to be inactivated there in France.” Steven Mrozek, author of the “82nd Airborne Division,” writes that “There was some concern in late summer that the 82nd ABN Div would be deactivated. Through some strong influence in high places, the division was chosen as the airborne division that would remain intact in the post war Army.” The 101st would be inactivated November 30, 1945, in France.

 

While all of these things were occurring, the Advanced Service Rating Score (ASR point system) was being put into high gear following the victory in the ETO. Rumored since 1942 in North Africa, the “rotation” plan had been introduced first in the fall of 1944 and revised twice in the spring of 1945. Simply put, the soldiers with the longest service in the U.S. and overseas and having been awarded more medals and battle stars were to have the most points and go home first. The minimum required point total for enlisted troops to return to the United States was 85. Until the war neared its end, that issue had been a mute one for those signed to serve “the duration plus six months.” In the spring of 1945, it came to the forefront.

 

The ASR point total was determined by adding together for each soldier one (1) point for each month of service since September 16, 1940; one (1) point for each month service overseas; five (5) points for each combat award, including medals and battle stars; and twelve (12) points for each child up to three under the age of 18. No points were awarded for age or marriage. Officers were judged separately on points, military efficiency, and specialties.

 

With the Division awaiting assignment to the Pacific while at the same time losing many of it long-time members with more than 85 points, replacements with lower ASR points were flowing in from other airborne units in the ETO, particularly the 17th Airborne Division. Thus, soldiers with ASR scores below 85 with the 17th might be transferred to the 463rd in the 101st and then, possibly, be transferred again to the 82nd for occupation duties in Berlin, compiling a record of service in three airborne divisions within a brief period of time. One result of this constant departure of 463rd troops and the arrival of replacements was the need for a constant training program to fill out the roster of vacated positions.

 

The last narrative is dated November 9, 1945 for the previous month and reports an increasing number of soldiers transferred to other units and replacements depot centers for movement to the USA. The 463rd, along with the 101st Airborne Division, was inactivated on November 30, 1945, with a final group transferring to the 82nd Airborne Division. Ironically, they were transferred to the 82nd’s 456th Parachute Field Artillery, the same unit with which some had trained at Fort Bragg in 1942 before being shipped overseas in 1943 and from which the 463rd was later organized on the beachhead at Anzio, Italy, in 1944. This final group came home on the Queen Mary, departing Southampton, England, on December 28, 1945, arriving in New York January 3, 1946. On January 12, 1946, they marched in the World War II Victory parade up New York City’s Fifth Avenue. 

A Condensed Chronology, by Martin GRAHAM

Based in large part on a collection of archival documents and other materials,

acquired and provided by Ken Hesler, Battery D, 463rd PFA.

DATE OF ARRIVAL | DESTINATION | MODE OF TRAVEL

June 1945

June 6

Lt. Col. John Cooper and 50 enlisted men transferred to 16th Reinforcement Depot.
All men had over 105 points.  Maj. Stuart Seaton assumed command. 


June 13

6 enlisted men with over 105 points transferred to Reception Station in States.


June 25

279 enlisted men and 7 officers transferred to 501st Parachute Infantry for redeployment to US.


June 27

134 enlisted men with less than 85 points who did not volunteer for Pacific were transferred to 82nd Airborne


June 30

Bad Reichenhall, Germany199 enlisted men received from 17th Airborne Division as reinforcements. 94 enlisted men, who had fought in both theaters, with less than 85 points remained with battalion to go to Pacific.


GENERAL NOTES AFTER BASTOGNE

  1. On night of April 8 and 9, during Battle of Ruhr, C Battery Observation Post was atop an eight story concrete warehouse 100 yards from Rhine River and directly behind the main bridge. Lieutenant and Bruce Middough were sitting there looking out the window and other than a flare or two being shot into the air, it was quiet. The 327th GIR had pushed a combat patrol across the river. A German airplane appeared, firing green tracers toward the ground. Red tracers were being fired into the sky at the plane. The plane crashed across the river.
     
  2. About the same time, Middough saw 2 Americans creeping across a field toward the dike of the Rhine carrying a long tube. They climbed up the dike and laying down, pointed the tube across the Rhine with a sheet of flame jutting from the tube and causing an explosion across the river. Later Middought discovered it was Col. Cooper and Maj. Vic Garret testing the new 77mm recoilless rifle.
     
  3. In late April, the 463rd was heading down the autobahn. Thousands of German soldiers were surrendering and heading by truck load west as POWs. C Battery was in a small village in Bavaria when the communication section started experimenting with burp guns, potato mashers as well as driving Mercedes and Volkswagen cars. The noise from the guns and grenades made the valley sound like a war zone. Orders were released to stop firing German guns. At same time communication members discussed the superiority of the German MG-42 over the machine gun. To prove it, they put together a 100 foot long machine gun belt and took a gun up to the 2nd story window of a farm building. Middough was the loader and Pvt. A. J. Pierce the gunner. Pierce fired many rounds into a hillside without the gun seizing. The house was engulfed in smoke before they quit firing. Sgt. Howard stormed into the house demanding to know who was firing. No one would cop out, so Howard said, "o.k. you guys get your shovels and get out in that field and two men to a hole start digging a 10x10x10". After about 30 minutes, one of the guys (Miller) said he was in pretty good with Cooper, Seaton and Garret and that he would confess. He confessed and Howard came back over and told them to fill in the holes. Howard said what made the offense so serious was that the bullets had cut the electric cord from the generator to the officer's quarters.
     
  4. Just prior to a fire mission, Jay Karp noticed a covered hole about thirty yards from their gun section. As he and some other men approached, he noticed a canvas cover over a hole with a light shinning from under it. They didn't know what they would find as they sneaked up to the position. They heard, "2 diamonds, 1 club." They lifted the canvas to find Joe Lyons, D. Nichols, and 2 others playing bridge. A fire mission was called in and everyone scrambled out of the hole. (Karp tape)
     
  5. Haggenau was colder than a witches' tit. (Cerone tape)
     
  6. The Germans were falling back fast, resistance crumbling. B Battery took over the Grand Hotel in Buschhausen. Joe Lyons took over the track team after the war ended. Gray Wolf?? was the miler, Lou Warbuck, Jay Karp and Bruce Middough ran the 220 and 440. Bruce Middough was also the broad jumper. (Karp tape)
     
  7. "After the breakout at Bastogne the 101st was trucked down to Haggenau, France to hold the line against German attacks which were never a real threat. Again I took pictures of our guys doing everything from bathing at a 5 gallon can of water (Montague with the sun shinning on his butt) to throwing grenades down rabbit holes.
     
  8. "After Haggenau campaign the battalion was trucked back to Mourmelon, France as part of the 101st Airborne Division to receive the President's Unit Citation; the first Army Division in history to receive this honor for its stand at Bastogne." (Tony Spagnol)


July 1945

July 1        |        Bad Reichenhall

Lt. Col. Kenneth L. Booth and 4 other officers, formerly of the 466th PFAB of 17th Airborne joined battalion.  Booth assumed command.


July 3

5 officers and 232 enlisted men from 17th Airborne transferred to 463rd.  5 officers from 463rd transferred to 17th Airborne.


July 8        |        Saalfelden, Austria

Relieved in Bad Reichenhall by 431st AAA Battalion. 
Relieved the 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of security responsibilities in Saalfelden. 


July 21

Advance detail of 6 officers & 11 enlisted men left Saalfelden for France.

July 23 

Advance detail arrived at Joigny, France, taking over installations of 460th PFAB which had been part of 13th Airborne.


July 25

28 enlisted men sent to 16th Replacement Depot for redeployment.


July 28

Battalion relieved of all security missions by elements of 42nd Division.


July 30

Battalion divided in 2 for move from Austria to France.  Major Seaton commanded 8 officers & 212 enlisted men who moved by rail.  Capt. Laidlaw commanded 15 officers & 180 enlisted men who traveled by motor.. 

August to November 1945

460th Parachute Field Artillery
in Southern France

Aug. 1        |        Joigny, France

Battalion trained throughout early August for transfer to Pacific.


Aug. 19

103 enlisted men with less than 85 points & 7 officers with more than 85 points were transferred to 463rd from the 17th Airborne.  3 enlisted men with over 85 points were transferred to 17th Airborne for redeployment & discharge.  Detachment of 1 officer & 55 enlisted men traveled to Brussels, Belgium for liberty celebration.


Sept. 1

CWO Martin Johnson killed in jeep accident near Sens, France.  Buried with military honors near Châlons, France.


Sept. 2

9 officers transferred from battalion to 19th Reinforcement Depot for redeployment.


Oct. 9

3 officers & 21 enlisted men transferred to 2nd Replacement Depot for redeployment & discharge.


Oct. 10

10 officers & 73 enlisted men transferred to 75th Infantry Division for discharge in US.


Oct. 20

1 officer, 1 warrant officer, 49 enlisted men left for 2nd Replacement Depot for redeployment & discharge.


Nov. 30        |        Boat USA

463rd inactivated in November 30, 1945.


That portion of 463rd which did not have enough points to return to the United States remained in Germany, some joined the 82nd Airborne and were stationed in the SS barracks outside of Berlin.  Battalion earned: 8 battle stars, 2 bronze assault arrows and the Presidential Citation, and 2 stars on jump wings. (DB)  Only artillery battalion to have a plaque in 2 theaters.

 

Jay Karp

The army did not accurately record the correct unit to be discharged with.  If you were walking in line with other guys and they asked you what unit this was, whatever the first guy said was applied to everyone else in the line.  If the first guy said the 506th, everybody behind him was considered the 506th.

Tony Spagnol

"The 463rd was now permanently attached to the 101st Airborne which was shipped to the Neuss, Germany area to guard against a German attack in this front.  There was very little activity in the area.  Montague and I got dates with two German gals who lived in Neuss when the battalion bivouacked near the town.  I have pictures of the gals; I wonder what they look like today, 50 years later?
"After the Neuss campaign the Germans began surrendering in very large numbers.  The 463rd was shipped as part of the 101st down southern Germany and ended the war at Bad Reichenhall, Germany where the battalion was bivouacked for several weeks.
"I was among the first to get a 30 day furlough which I at first refused because we were having a great time visiting near towns etc.  Our First Sergeant Joe Stolmeier thought I was crazy for refusing the furlough and ordered me to take the furlough and go home after almost two years of continuous combat.
"During my service in the army I requested to be transferred to OCS officers training for the infantry.  I was always told that either my next outfit will make that decision (before I joined the 82nd Airborne) or that I was needed in the outfit because of my skills in radio communications!  In retrospect I was disappointed but very lucky because I survived the war and experienced a very successful career as a civilian."

 

GENERAL NOTES ABOUT HISTORY OF 463RD/456TH

John Cooper & Fred Shelton

One of the reasons that the 463rd fired more ammunition and fire missions then other Parachute Field Artillery Battalions and Glider Artillery units, was that our officer's found out from hard combat experiences, that in all ammunition dumps in the ET0, there was more 75MM ammunition to be found, then any other types of artillery ammo.  So this is one of the main reasons that the 463rd stayed with the 75MM Pack Howitzer thru WWII.

At a reunion of the 463rd troopers, Jay Karp said to Ted Wingstrom, who was also from Battery B, "I don't remember ever seeing you do anything for the war effort."  Ted W., with witty sense of humor, said, "I was the ordinance man in my gun section who beat out the pits and dents in the shell cases with my little ball pin hammer, so you Bastards could shoot."

Col Cooper relates how the Battalion was needing gun parts for 75MM howitzers.  Cooper had back orders for parts to Army Ordinance, the day he received the return back orders for parts, Cooper received a letter from his wife that his brother-in-law, Master Sergeant Ed Vaughn who was in ordinance was located near Rheims, France.  Cooper immediately went to Rheims, to see brother-in-law Ed Vaughn, with the back order papers in his pocket.  Sgt. Vaughn then called his sergeants and personnel together, told them they needed to find these gun parts, they were badly needed.  The next day Sgt. Vaughn came to Mourmelon, with the gun parts for the howitzers.  Then two days later the 463rd Battalion moved to the Bulge and Bastogne with the guns repaired and ready to shoot.

 

Ammo Rounds Fired by 463rd in World War II:

  • 120,000 - fired on Anzio Beachhead, and on into the capture of Rome.
  • 3,158 - invasion of Southern France and following the coastline up to the French and Italian border (Maritime Alps).
  • 15,357 - Barcelonnette (French Alps) 9/1 to 9/30/44 the 463rd was in a defensive position guarding a pass in the Alps.
  • 12,970 - Barcelonnette 10/1 to 10/30/44 halfway thru the months of Oct.  The Germans launched a late evening attack aimed at securing two strategic peaks and pass.  The 463rd helped to repulse this counter attack, and fired 5,600 rounds in one night.
  • 4,632 - Southern France in support of FSSF from 11/1 to 11/18.  The 463rd was relieved by the 602 Field Artillery Battalion.
  • 7,676 - Bastogne. Dec. 1944 Air re-supply of ammo into Bastogne there was no account or record of this ammo.
  • 14,072 - Haguenau France (The Bitch Area) Moder and Rhine River - Alsace Lorraine. 1/4 to 1/31.
  • 7,029 - Haguenau Sector - Keffendorf, France front lines generally along the Moder River.  2/1 to 2/25/45.
  • 4,943 - Shillingstedt, Germany - 4/3 to 4/17/45.  The 463rd expended a total of 4,943 rounds of ammo.  According to reports from the records, this was the last rounds that was fired by the 463rd closing out the war.
  • TOTAL ROUNDS FIRED - 189,837.  If add 30,000 rounds for Sicily and Casino fronts, no records found, total rounds fired is 219,837.


Tom Sherburne:

Next to our D-Day jump into Normandy I remember best the Bastogne deal, and particularly John Cooper, that rather remarkable C.O. 
Wish I could be at the reunion to remind him of many times as:

  • When his unit had a party at a French care, took it over.  When the "girls" arrived, 6 war weary nurses and an old battle-axe head nurse, John stepped forward like a fine host and grabbed her, then everybody up to the second floor, let's show our 463rd spirit, and over the railing, down about 15 feet to the bumpy brick floor.  And from that start the party really rollicked up!

  • When Marlene Dietrich came to look over Max Taylor and incidentally do her show with the ball players, and at the cocktail-reception for her, before Bob Sink could beat me I signed her to 'cut the ribbon opening up our new Officers' Club, then called John and told him that he was opening up a club, - "take over a cafe for the evening," and he did.  That was a night to remember.

  • Or when, on Christmas day at Bastogne he called up, he had a Christmas present for me.  But I had to come pick it up.  A German tank, no less, that his doughty battalion had shot out (but still ran) when we rushed them out to fire direct fire at the tank breakthrough of Steve Chappius' CP.  (No foot Boche got through them.)

  • Or when we were breaking up and Cooper at his last meal with us, announced that he was going home, make a parachute jump on Wewoka (Okla.), get his wife pregnant, and run for Congress.

  • When I reformed the 101st at Fort Campbell in 1956 I was Dep. G-1, D/A and was hand-picking all my commanders and G-staff (what a deal, -- Charlie Chase, Harry Kinnard, Bud Rainey, Reuben Tucker, etc. etc.), I made a search for Cooper for Div. Arty CO -- but he was out, in the VA Hospital development.

 

Additional KIA     1st Lt. John B. Higdon

Images (Bad Reichenhall)


Courtesy: Jim GROWNEY

Courtesy: Mrs. Kristy HAZZARD

B Battery at Bad Reichenhall

Gus Hazzard Photo ("Me")

Courtesy: Mr. Mark BANDO - Trigger Time

Unknown 463PFA member(s)

From the book "Epic of the101st Airborne", 101st Airborne Division, Auxerre, France, 1945


101st Airborne Division soldiers guard
the captured art collection of Hermann Goering, Commander-in-Chief
of the German air force, in the small Bavarian village of Unterstein.

Remains of Hitler’s mountainside home,
the Berghof,
above the Bavarian town of Berchtesgaden,
at the close of World War II. 

Col. Robert Sink, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (wearing helmet), talks with Lt. General Theodor Tolsdorff of the German Army
following his capture in May 1945.

Three Screaming Eagles enjoy the summer sun

in Bavaria, Germany, while on occupation

duties in 1945.

The reports show...


July 10, 1945     |      LTC Kenneth L. BOOTH

     The battalion carried out those security missions assigned by higher headquarters, and in addition took such security measures as seemed to be required by the local situation. Most of these missions and measures took the form of read blocks designed to control the movement of civilians, and guards upon dumps of military materiel, Specifically, road blocks were maintained at (87.3-18.1), (87.0-19.0), and (79.9-13.0) intermittently from 17 June to 28 June 1945. During the same period a guard was maintained upon a displaced persons enclosure at the Oberschule in Bad Reichenhall, and upon a dump of Germany signal equipment at (86.4-20.0). Throughout the month the battalion policed the town of Bad Reichenhall, and the police force detailed to this work had the maintenance of security as one of the missions. No insurrection of Werewolf activities were reported during this period.

     A training schedule was carried out during the morning hours with the aim of maintaining a reasonable standard of efficiency in combat duties. Familiarization courses were fired with individual weapons. Physical conditioning was emphasized with regular periods of calisthenics, and with progressively longer and faster road marches. In view of the anticipated large seals replacement of the personnel of the battalion a training program of non-commissioned officers replacements was instituted. Candidates for non-commissioned officers replacement understudied incumbent first four graders. As the candidates for positions became sufficiently well acquainted with the duties they might be expected to perform, they were required to occupy the positions and carry on the work full time under the supervision of the incumbents and of the officers who usually supervised the sections. Additional features of the battalion training program were instruction in the operation of the 75 recoilless rifle, and a series of venereal diseases led by the battalion surgeon, a chaplain, and an officer in the chain of command. Also , two hours each week were spent in instruction in Japanese tactics, techniques, and background. Morale was high during the month, with many of the man anticipating a speedy return to civilian life after long and arduous service.

     Special Service carried on an athletic program during the afternoon hours. Regular inter-battery competition was organized in softball and volleyball. A battalion track team was trained, and it defeated the other artillery battalions in a division artillery track meet. Subsequently, members of the battalion team performed creditably on the division artillery team. Men from this battalion also won places on the division artillery boxing and baseball teams.
The battalion Information and Educational program was enlarged during this period. In addition to two hours weekly of orientation discussion of topics of general interest, daily classes were offered in spoken French and German under a qualified civilian instructor. On-the-job training in automobile mechanics was provided for twelve selected students.

     The non-fraternization policy was still been followed quite effectively. One case of fraternization was reported. One enlisted man was found talking to a German woman. The only action taken vas a verbal waning since the report was received just prior to the transfer of the man to another unit for redeployment. The venereal rate was up over that of the previous month. However it began to decrease the latter part of the month.

     The transportation of displaced persons from Bad Reihenhall continued during the mouth of June. On 8 June twenty seven (27) DP's were sent to a displaced persons camp at Berchtesgaden, Germany. this number was composed of sixteen (16) Frenchmen, two (2) Belgians, three (3) Dutchmen and six (6) Luxembourgeois. Two hundred and fourteen (214) Russians were sent to a DP railhead at Shladring, Austria, on 13 June. On 21 June forty nine (49) DP's were sent to a displaced persons camp at Salzburg, Austria, The composition of this group was twenty seven (27) Czechs, eleven (11) Italians, seven (7) Frenchmen, three (3) Belgians, and one (1) Dutchman. This made a total or six hundred and fifty (650) DP's that have been sent from Bad Reichenhall during the period of month and a half that this battalion has occupied the town. Very few displaced persons now remain in the town.

     No discoveries of important treasures, documents, or war criminals have been made in this area during the month.

     No German prisoners were discovered or captured, nor were any German supplies found during the month. A drive was made to clear the battalion area of all German smoke drums of which there were quite a few. The drums were emptied of their contents and stored is dumps in the battalion area. This drive was completed by the 27th of the month.

     During the month the battalion received word from the division that it was is Category II and would therefore be transferred to the Pacific in due time.

     A large change of personnel took place during this period due to redeployment. On 6 June Lt Col JOHN T. COOPER, the Battalion Commander was transferred to the 16th Reinforcement Depot. Lt Col COOPER was one of the first two officers of the 101st Airborne Division to be sent back to the United States for redeployment or discharge. Fifty (50) enlisted men were also transferred to the 16th Reinforcement Depot at the same time for redeployment. This group was composed largely of key non-commissioned officers of the battalion. All men had 106 points or more. Major STUART M. SEATON assumed command of the battalion upon Lt Col Cooper's transfer. On 13 June six (6) enlisted men with over 105 points were transferred to Reception Stations is the United States far redeployment or discharge. One hundred and thirty four (134) enlisted men were transferred to the 82nd Airborne Division on the 27th of June, These men had fought is both the Mediterranean and European Theaters, had less than 85 points, and did not volunteer for the Pacific. On 29 June 1945 two hundred and seventy nine (279) enlisted men and seven (7) officers were transferred to the 501st Parachute Infantry for redeployment to the United States and probable discharges. 0n 30 June 1945 one hundred and ninety nine (199) enlisted men were received from the 17th Airborne Division as reinforcements to replace the men lost by redeployment. Ninety-four (94) enlisted men, who had fought is both theaters, and who had less than 85 points and who were therefore eligible for transfer to the 82nd Airborne Division volunteered to remain with the battalion and go to the Pacific.

     The battalion remained billeted is the town of Bad Reihenhall during the month of June.

August 9, 1945      |      LTC Kenneth L. BOOTH

       The battalion continued to carry out security missions in the Bad Reichenhall area until 070800 July when it was relieved by the 431st AAA-Battalion. On 8 July this Battalion relieved the 3rd Battalion 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the security responsibilities in the Saalfelden, Austria area (95-82). These security missions included both road blocks and German dumps. Road blocks were maintained in Austria at Alm, Rosenthal and Saalfelden until 10 July when the 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion assumed the responsibility for them. A food warehouse located near the railroad station in Saalfelden and an art collection located in a castle near Saalfelden were turned over to the 321st on the same date. On 11 July the battalion again assumed the responsibility for the art collection, On 8 July the battalion assumed the responsibility for a German ammunition dump and a warehouse with numerous types of German equipment. Prior to 29 July all of the signal equipment and Class 8 supplies had been moved from the warehouse to different corps dumps. No Werewolf activities were reported for the period.

    

       Special Service carried on an athletic program during the afternoon hours. Inter-battery competition in softball and volleyball was reorganized after the battalion had exchanged about 80% of its personnel for reinforcements. In softball "D" Battery emerged as the outstanding team and represented the Battalion in the division artillery league. The officers defeated "C" Battery and "D" Battery and was undefeated by other officer teams. Pfc. Albert J. Towar Jr. of "D" Battery won a place on the division swimming team. In the Third Army meet at Nurnberg on 28 July Pfc Towar placed fourth in the 400 meter event and was anchor man on the 800 meter relay team that placed second, Pvt. Harry Rubin and Pfc. Steve Osga represented the battalion on the division boxing team. In the II Corps boxing tournament at Zell am See on 28 July Pvt. Rubin won by a KO in the first round while Pfc Osga lost a close decision.

 

     The instruction phase of the battalion Information and Education program was suspended because of the institution of a full time training program. However the guidance phase was enlarged accordingly. Men new to the battalion were interviewed to discover their educational needs and desires. During the month seven (7) new applications for USAFI correspondence or self-teaching courses four (4) applications for Army University Centers, and twelve (12) applications for civilian educational institutions were processed and forwarded. Orientation discussions were continued two hours each week, with special attention given to the maintenance of moral by the unrestricted airing of grievances so that they might be acted upon and eliminated. Moral was generally high during the month in spite of the uncertainty of the future, and a natural reluctance to resume a full time training program.

 

     No cases of fraternization were reported prior to 15 July at which time the non-fraternization ban was lifted. Altho the battalion seemed happier after the lifting of the ban no great change toward fraternization was noted. Most of the men know the enemy for what he is.

 

     The Veneral rate in the battalion took a decided drop during this period. Only four (4) new cases were reported for the month where in the previous month there had been fifteen cases reported. The drop is felt due in part to an intensive campaign to decrease the VD rate in the battalion.

 

     Some sixty (60) Hungarians were moved from the Bad Reichenhall area on 3 July. This brought the total number of DP's moved out of the Bad Reichenhall area by this battalion to seven hundred and ten (710). No DP's were moved out of the Saalfelden area by this battalion.

 

A castle at Saalfelden held a valuable art collection from a museum in the city of Salzburg, Austria. This battalion relieved the 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the guard of this collection on 8 July. A guard of three (3) enlisted men was posted on the collection at this time. On 10 July, this post was turned over to the 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion. On 11 July the post was again taken over by this battalion. At this time an officer was added to the guard. The officer acted as a guide for officers who were authorized by the Commanding General, 101st Airborne Division Artillery, to see the collection, This was to prevent theft or damage to the collection.

 

     A German PW camp and discharge center was operated by the battalion in the Saalfelden area from 8 July until the 26th of July when this battalion was relieved by elements of the 42nd Division. Most of the PW's were eligible for discharge and some 3857 were discharged by an officer from the Division IPW team during the period that the battalion operated the camp . Two hundred (200) of these PW's were non-nationals. Some fifty (50) were from the British and Russian zones. Three hundred and six (306) were members of the SS who were confined to an SS stockade located at the camp. The battalion used these PW's to a great extent in preparing athletic fields, police of the area, and work in the German warehouses and ammunition dump.

 

     On 1 July Lt. Col. Kenneth L. Booth, 0-24519 and four (4) other officers, formerly of the 466th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion of the 17th Airborne Division, joined the battalion as re-enforcements for officers lost through redeployment. Lt. Col. Booth assumed command of the battalion this date. On 3 July five (5) officers and two hundred and thirty-two (232) enlisted men from the 17th Airborne Division were transferred to this battalion as re-enforcements for the losses incurred through redeployment. On the same date five (5) officers from the battalion were transferred to the 17th Airborne Division on redeployment. On 25 July the battalion transferred twenty-eight (28) enlisted men to the 16th Replacement Depot for redeployment.

 

     On 8 July the battalion moved from Bad Reichenhall, Germany to Saalfelden Austria (95.2-82.8). The battalion closed in the new area at 1430.

 

     An advance detail of six (6) officers and eleven (11) enlisted men left Saalfelden by motor convoy for France on 21 July. This detail arrived at Joigny, France at 1630 on 23 July. This detail took over the installation of then 460th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion which was part of the 13th Airborne Division. On 28 July this battalion was relieved of all security missions by elements of the 42nd Division. On 30th July the battalion started it's move from Austria to France. The battalion was divided into two groups for the move. The group moving by rail was commanded by Major Seaton while the group moving by motor was commanded by Captain Laidlaw. The rail movement was composed of eight (8) officers and two hundred and twelve (212) enlisted men in nine (9) personnel cars and left Saalfelden at 0900 hours. Nine cars were used to carry baggage. The motor convoy was composed of fifteen (15) officers, one hundred and eighty (180) enlisted men and fifty-five vehicles. The motor convoy was divided into three march units and left Saalfelden at 1812 hours.

September 8, 1945      |      LTC Kenneth L. BOOTH

     A training program was carried out during this period with the aim of training the battalion for redeployment to the Pacific. Most of the battalion completed qualification and familiarization firing of the carbine and pistol. One week was devoted to airborne training with the aim of maintaining a reasonable standard of efficiency.

 

     The Red Cross held a number of dances for the men of the battalion. Most of the men in the battalion attended and enjoyed them very much.

 

     Special Service carried on an athletic program in the afternoons. Inter-battery competition in softball and volleyball was continued. The battalion softball team held down fourth place in the Division Artillery League with one win and five losses. The officer's softball team had better luck and placed second in the Joigny Area Softball League with four wins and one loss. The battalion baseball team did very well by placing fourth in the division league with four wins and five losses. This team is one of the few battalion teams in the Division League. Most of the teams are on a regimental level. All of the above standings are for the first half of the season. Five men from this battalion were on the first team of the division artillery baseball team which had priority over the battalion team. Men from this battalion are also represented on the division artillery football team and also the division football team.

 

     Three men from the battalion were on hand for the Division Boxing Elimination Tournament held in Joigny, France on August 16th, 17th, and 18th. S/Sgt. Joe DeGraff had to forfeit his semi-final bout due to a physical disability. Pvt Harry Rubin lost his semifinal bout by a decision while Pfc Steve Ozga lost his final bout by a close decision.

 

     The instruction phase of the Information and Education program remained suspended as the battalion continued a full time military training program. However, after the surrender of Japan preparations were made to establish command unit schools at the earliest date that authorization could be secured for the ending of full time military training. A new survey was conducted of the educational needs and desires of the battalion personnel, and possible instructors were screened and their qualifications investigated. Lt Ivan J. Wermuth was sent to attend the General I & E Course offered by the 6819 ALESS at Oberammergau, Germany. Enrollments in the United States Armed Forces Institute were encouraged and four (4) new applications were processed. Applications for educational opportunities outside the unit were also processed and forwarded, six (6) for Army University Centers, and eleven (11) for Centralized Technical Schools. During this period some of the applications of previous months bore fruit. Captain Thomas F. Magner left the unit to attend a two-month course in Modern French History at Besancon, France. Pvt David Althouse and T/4 Edward J. Weisse went to the Army University Center at Biarritz, France to study Pre-Medicine and Commerce respectively. Pfc Sigurd R. Sigurdson resumed his civilian speciality of Pharmacy at a civilian school in England. Pvt Herbert B. Beverly and Pvt Rond G. Hagaman were selected to attend the American Technical School at Warton, England to study Aircraft Engines and Maintenance.

 

     Orientation discussions were continued two hours each week. Morale was generally high during the month and the surrender of Japan auguring speedier separation from the army than had been hopes for before. Pass and furlough quotas were increased considerably during the month and many men were receiving their first pass or furlough in well over a year.

 

     The first of August found the battalion on the move from Saalfelden, Austria to Joigny, France (76-40, Nord de Guerre Zone). The motor convoy arrived at Joigny on 1 August 1945 while the group traveling by train arrived on August 2nd. The battalion closed in the Joigny Area at 1200, 2 August 1945.

 

     On 19 August 1945 one hundred and three (103) enlisted men with less than 85 points, and seven (7) officers with more than 85 points were transferred to this battalion from the 17th Airborne Division. On the same date three (3) enlisted men with over 85 points were transferred from this battalion to the 17th Airborne Division for redeployment and discharge.

 

A detachment of one (1) officer and fifty-five (55) enlisted men traveled to Brussels, Belgium as part of a division detachment for the celebration of the liberation of that city.

October 6, 1945      |      LTC Kenneth L. BOOTH

     A training program was carried out the first week of the month with the idea of training the battalion for redeployment to the Pacific. On the 10th of the month a program of I & E courses was substituted for the morning period from 9 to 12. The afternoon periods were allotted to an athletic program. A training program was carried out for the men not attending the I & E School. Four hours per week were spent in unit tactical training in an effort to maintain a reasonable standard of efficiency.
 

     The Red Cross held two dances for the men of the battalion. Most of the men in the battalion attended and enjoyed themselves very much.

     An afternoon athletic program was carried out by the battalion. Inter-battery competition in softball and volleyball was continued. The battalion softball team ended the season in fourth place in the Division Artillery Softball League with one (1) win and five (5) losses. The battalion baseball team ended the season in fifth place in the Division Baseball League with six (6) wins and seven (7) losses. The officers softball team ended the season leading the Joigny Softball League with nine (9) wins and one (1) loss.

     Twenty-three (23) men from the battalion are members of the Division Artillery Football Squad. Pfc George Costley is a member of the Division Football Squad while Pvt Harry Rubin is a member of the Division Boxing Team. S/Sgt Edward DeNatale, Sgt Hurbert Converse, Cpl Raymond Duchaine, Pfc Steve Osga, and Pvt Roy Runyan are all members of the Division Artillery Boxing Team.

     Carbine and pistol matches were held during the month in a series of elimination contests to determine the championship teams in the Division and also to pick Division Teams. The carbine team from this battalion defeated the 321st Glider Field artillery Battalion by a score of 3207 to 3126 in the first match held by Division artillery and then went on to defeat the 377th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion by a score of 3108 to 2909 to win the Division Artillery Championship. Four (4) members of the battalion team qualified for the Division Artillery Carbine Team which shot for the Division Championship. These men are: Sgt William Cunningham, Pfc Willis Root, Pfc Alton Wiles, and Pvt Harry Laurence.

     In the pistol matches the battalion team defeated the 377th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion by a score of 2581 to 2450. In the finals for the Division Artillery Championship the 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion defeated the battalion team by a score of 3230 to 2924. Three (3) men qualified for the Division Artillery Pistol Team which was to shoot for the Division Championship. These men are: 1st Lt. Louis Kranyak, S/Sgt Edgar Behrens, and T/5 Phillip Quint.

     The instruction phase of the I & E program started on 10 September 1945. Two hundred and fifty-one (251) men enrolled in the school the first week. Subjects being taught were as follows: Aeronautics, Auto Mechanics, Blueprint Reading, Bookkeeping and Accounting, Electricity for Beginners, Introduction to Business Law, The Small Business, and Radio for Beginners. Three (3) officers from the battalion were assigned to the School as instructors or administrative personnel. These officers were 1st Lt. Edwin Hunt, 1st Lt. Ivan Wermuth, and 2nd Lt. Arthur Abel.

     During the month four (4) persons from the battalion were sent to Army University Centers for Liberal Arts Courses. Capt. William Laidlaw and 1st Lt. Stephen Myers went to Glasgow, Scotland while 1st Sgt John Gates and S/Sgt Montaigne Van Norden went to Manchester, England.

     On 1 September 1945 CWO Martin Johnson was killed in a Jeep accident near Sens, France. He was buried with military honors near Chalons, France.

     On 2 September 1945 nine (9) high point officers were transferred from the battalion to the 19th Reinforcement Depot for redeployment.

November 9, 1945      |      CAPT William H. GERHOLD

A training program was carried out during the month for those men not enrolled in I & E School. There was a minimum of basic training, although some time was spent in tactical training in order to maintain a reasonable standard of efficiency.

     On October 22nd a re-registration was held and the 101st Division Artillery I & E School was combined with the 506th Parachute Infantry I & E School. 65 men registered for the school from the Battalion. Private Herbert Beverly reenrolled for a second course at Warton Technical School in Aircraft Maintenance.

     The afternoon athletic program initiated last mouth in the Battalion was very successful this month. The baseball season having given way to the football season this month brought out inter-battery competition. Volleyball, always popular, was continued throughout the month.

     During the last three weeks in October Thursday afternoons were set aside for the showing of Training Films, talks by the Commanding Officer on pertinent subjects and short skits on Proper Reporting, Military Courtesy, etc. Films shown included Action on Okinawa, Activities on Okinawa, Additional Reports on Iwo Jima, Tokyo Strikes, by ****** ??? Operations, Activities in the E.T.O., and two Army-Navy Screen Magazines.

     Special Service has done quite a bit in the way of off-duty entertainment by inaugurating 35mm movies at the Municipal Theater in Joigny, 16mm films are also being shown each night in the 463rd - 907th Caserne Area.

     There were several very good special service stage shows this month and also a presentation by the 101st Division Glee Club. Besides singing songs of several types some members of the group presented short comedy skits between numbers.

     Several men from this Battalion are participating in the Division Artillery Boxing Team, On October 16th Division Artillery lost a boxing match against the 506th Parachute Infantry. De Nattel won by forfeit, Moore won by decision, Osga won by decision, Runyon and Reiss lost by decision. On October 23rd Division Artillery defeated the 327th Glider Infantry Boxing Team by a 4 to 1 decision.

     On October 9th three (3) officers and twenty one (21) enlisted men were transferred to the 2nd Replacement Depot for redeployment and discharge. On October 10th ten (10) officers and seventy three (73) enlisted men were transferred to the 75th Infantry Division for transportation home and discharge. On October 20th one (1) officer, one (1) warrant officer and forty nine (49) enlisted men left for the 2nd Replacement Depot for redeployment and discharge.

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