Raiding Party

Col. Owens Commends
Company A Patroleers

A combat patrol from Able Company, 141st Infantry Regiment was commended by the Regimental Commander, Colonel Charles H. Owens, in a letter read to the assembled riflemen.

The citation reads:

I wish to commend you, the patrol leader, and members of the patrol, which staged a patrol late in the morning of 14 February, 1945. While no prisoners were taken, the performance of the patrol and the results secured by the patrol's actions were of considerable benefit to the battalion and the regiment. The patrol was splendidly organized, briefed and prepared. Its actions were all that could be expected and reflect credit upon the organization.

The patrol, in carrying through this action, destroyed enemy positions which were a distinct hazard and menace to the occupation of the battalion defense position. The aggressive spirit of the patrol drove the enemy from his position. It exposed enemy positions which had not been previously located, and which constituted a future threat to battalion positions.
Colonel Charles H. Owens
141st Infantry Regiment

Before this patrol had set out, a ten-man patrol had witnessed a group of enemy soldiers setting up machine gun emplacements. The Germans were wearing American uniforms. This original patrol was not large enough to cope with the situation, so a raiding party of platoon strength was organized, oriented and briefed to the last detail.

The raiding party's mission was to knock out and occupy a road block, to bring back prisoners. The patrol started at 0600 hours and proceeded through a densely wooded area. The plan called for artillery to fire a heavy barrage across the entire target area, following which the platoon would close with the enemy.

Lt. Eugene Bambrick, the platoon leader, dispatched one squad to protect his right flank when his main party came to grips with the enemy.

As the artillery barrage listed, the enemy around the roadblock opened up with small arms fire. There was a short exchange of fire, but the Germans despaired of holding the roadblock when Baker Company followed the platoon through, to take possession of the entire area.

The platoon advanced almost 200 yards past the block to reconnoiter the German defenses. It was suddenly caught in a blasting cross fire from German machine guns, and a bloody fire-fight broke out and lasted almost 50 minutes.

Enemy tanks were heard on the road to the left flank. An immediate call went in for artillery. The tanks withdrew. So did the machine gunners.

Enemy mortar fire pinned the patrol to the ground. Another call was made for artillery. It was soon silenced.

The platoon secured the ground and held it while the A and P platoon came forward and demolished the log bunkers that commanded the main road.

The men who participated on the combat patrol :

Lt. Eugene Bambrick, Ozone Park, N.Y. ; Pfc. Robert Reid, Nacogdoches, Texas ; Pfc. Edwin Bouchard, Caribou, Mt. ; Pfc. Charles Bennett, St. Louis ; Pfc. Walton Bern, Riverdale, Md. ; Pfc. Q. D. Moore, Greenville, S.C. ; Pvt. David Flory, Wilmar, Calif. ; Pfc. Jeronimo Gallegon, Denver, Colo. ; Pfc. Malcolm Hayes, Asneville, N. C. ; Pfc. Russel Henning, Allentown, Pa. ; Pfc. Art Lehto, Chedeck; Wis. ; Pfc. James Snoemaker, Statesville, N.C. ; Pfc. Mark Bakich, St. Petersburg, Fla. ; Pfc. Wilburn Bolton, New Albany, Miss. ; Pfc. Harvey Wyatt, Atlanta, Ga. ; Pfc. Sam Eastman, Alexandria, Va. ; Pfc. Ernest Galdeen, Toledo, Ohio; Pfc. James Griffin, Rinard, Ohio ; Pfc. Ed Hellus Saginaw, Mich. ; and Pfc. Howard Pitts, Carrolltown, Ga.

 

Copyright 2001 by Gary Butler