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US Army

The 12th Infantry Regiment in WW II

The 12th Infantry Regiment in WWII
 
I took basic training in early 1941 and we were taught to believe we were in the best platoon of the best regiment of the best division.  During the next 4 ½ years I’ve always believed that.  In July 1941 we were shipped from basic training to the 12th Regiment, soon to join the 4th Division which at that time had become the 4th motorized Infantry Division, a copy of a German Panzer division.
 
We were all set to go to Africa until they found they did not have enough boats for the vehicles; therefore we stayed home, eventually becoming motorized and the first logistical training unit to ever go to war for the United States.  We landed on D-Day at Utah Beach, captured Cherbourg, France on June 25, breakout of Normandy July 25.  We captured Paris on August 25 and our motor pool was in front of Notre Dame.
 
We were first to enter Belgium and also German and when we went through the Siegfried Line we were forced to stop for a few weeks because of a gasoline shortage.  On November 7, 1944 the 12th Regiment entered the Hurtgen Forest where we were for over one month, the worst month of war for the 12th Regiment, which suffered, 1,493 battle casualties and 1,094 non-battle casualties.
 
On November 8, we ended up in Luxembourg to recoup and rest.  On December 15, 1944 I was ordered to be regimental charge of quarter for the night, the only time this happened before or since.  The hours went from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. the next morning.  All was quiet.  About 5 a.m. on December 16, I started to call each battalion to report what was happening, 1st Battalion, and 2nd were quiet; but the 3rd Battalion all was quiet until just a moment ago when suddenly a lot of shooting and newly started we were checking into it.
 
This started the Battle of the Bulge about 9 a.m. or 10 a.m.  The first correspondent who walked in the 12th Infantry Headquarters was working for Collier Magazine and his name was Ernest Hemingway in an Army uniform.  He had a canteen strapped by his belt but supposedly it never used for water.
 
Ernest Hemingway in 1944 during WWII  Copyright: Status Unknown
 
Source: Bulge Bugle November 2011

By Sgt William H. BUELL

 

Passed away Nov.30, 2013 

Service Company

12th Infantry Regiment

4th Infantry Division

 

Campaigns

WWII

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium