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US Army

“HQ” Company, 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th I.D.

 

 “HQ” Company

112th Infantry Regiment

28th Infantry Division

…The 28th Division was destined to move again—destined for another job (the Gloomy Hurtgen Forest).  It is southeast of Aachen, Germany.D-Day for the Battle of Hurtgen Forest was November 2, 1944, H-hour was 0900.  Snow blanketed the fields.  Odds didn’t favor the 28th Division.  Terrain and weather made support from heavy weapons impossible.  Casualties were heavy, and withdrawals were often necessary.  Nearly 1,100 prisoners were taken. 
 
By the end of November, we returned to the same area the 28th troopers had pushed to the Siegfried Line two months earlier.  It was quiet now, occasional artillery and mortar fire disturbed the prevailing peace.  Line upon line of (previously humming) pill boxes now seemed lifeless. 
 
But contact with the Germans for more than four months had taught the “Keystone” men not to relax their defenses.  Positions were established with more care than ever before, manned with vigilance comparable to Hurtgen Forest defenses.  Wire entanglements were laid, mines planted, and patrols probed with regularity.  So quiet, so peaceful, but ominous!
 
December 16, 1944, at about 5:30 a.m. yours truly was lying on a kitchen floor by my telephone switchboard.  Traffic had slowed so we were trying to get some shut-eye.  Suddenly, all hell broke loose.  Mortars coming in, shells going over head, and many guns firing all over the place.  The switchboard rang, I answered, but recognized it was not an American speaking.  Heinie had captured one of my phones!
 
Our head sergeant shouted, “Close up board, let’s get out of here!”  So we put everything in a jeep and trailer and took off across the snow covered fields.  I was in a jeep and we came upon a captured American ammunition convoy.  Jerry had just stopped the convoy, so our driver took us across some more snow covered fields till we got out.  Later we found our lines, were put in covered trucks and passed through Spa—a resort town.
 
We finally came to Bastogne, and since it was getting late, we were told to bed down in a barn.  German paratroopers were everywhere and we were warned about them.  We were so tired we went right to sleep in the hay.
 
I woke up about 5:00 a.m. and we immediately got ready to move out.  We were quite surprised by the size of the military traffic at a certain road junction—tanks, big guns, everything!
 
Jerry had large search lights scanning us, so we quickly got into 4x4 trucks and took off again.  We traveled quite a while until we came to a railroad.  Each day that followed started and ended similarly.  As it turned out, I was lost from my outfit for about a week.  In the meantime, heavy fighting was going on all around us.
 
The 28th Division eventually came together minus many of our troops.  I was put to work trying to identify many of the dead GI’s but I never recognized any of them.  This fighting became known as the Battle of the Bulge.
 
From there, we received orders to go to Colmar—another hard battle.
 
Source: Battle of the Bulge May 2001

By Earl T CHAMNESS

Died, January 10, 2006

"HQ" Company

112th Infantry Regiment

28th Infantry Division

 Campaign

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium