654th Tank Destroyer Battalion

Sgt. Frederick Easley (Click to enlarge)Unknown Soldier on 654th TD(Click to enlarrge)Sgt. McEachern and unknown soldiers(Click to enlarge)654th TDB entering Nancy, France(Click to enlarge)Sgt. Frederick Easley entering Nancy, France(Click to enlarge)Sgt. Frederick Easley, St Avold, France(Click to enlarge)

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July 30, 1944
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Select the date to display the Daily Report for Jul 12, 1944 - Nov 08, 1944.

Command Post,
1 M SE St Lo, France,
302400 July, 1944
Coord 513622, Map 1/25,000 St Lo.

2d Infantry Division on our left and 30th Infantry Division on right flank continued to attack.

Weather: Overcast in morning; clear in the afternoon.

320th Infantry attacked at 0900 hours after artillery preparation but made little progress during the period due to fierce enemy artillery, mortar and machine gun fire.

134th Infantry attacked at 0900 hours after artillery barrage, against fierce enemy resistence and well observed artillery fire, resulting in little if any progress being made during the period.

Battery "B" 116th AAA (90mm)_ attached to 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion to support in antitank defense of division sector, and moved into position at 1200 hours.

Air strike was made on Torigni-Sur-Vire at 1745 hours with excellent results.

Task Force "S" activated with Company "C", 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion as a component.

The enemy continued to shell the ruined city of St Lo and all roads leading into and out of the town.

Enemy planes bombed and strafed positions in the division sector during the night causing damage and casualties.

Enemy has withdrawn his artillery to the East banks of the Vire River.

St Lo is still full of enemy snipers, left by the retreating enemy, and some infiltrating into the town since its capture.

Several French, Russian, and Polish prostitutes have been picked up by the Intelligence Section who have been acting as enemy agents since the departure of their "boy friends", the Bosche. They were turned over to the French authorities for trial.

Elements of enemy 3d battalion, 8th Parachute Regiment have been identified, and in contact with units of the division.

Enemy harassed forward elements with artillery from self-propelled guns during the period; especially after the hours of darkness when observation of his positions could not be ascertained.

Twelve enemy planes came into the area between 0052 and 0524 hours, bombed St Lo and strafed front line positions, causing casualties among ground personnel. At 1730 hours two ME 109s flew over the area to the southwest. No bombing or strafing reported.

Ten prisoners were captured by the division and attached units during the period; one of whom stated that the Germans habitually use Red Cross Flags on supply vehicles.

Torigni-Sur-Vire is reported to be crowded with enemy soldiers according to the FFI. Air strike delivered at 1745 hours to disperse them was effective.

There was not change in the positions of the command post group, Headquarters Company or the Medical Detachment during the period.

Enemy artillery continues to fall in the area, and the command post in the basement of the chateau, has been reinforced sandbags.

The area was subject to a light enemy aerial attack at 2300 hours without casualties.

Foxholes were reinforced during the period due to the increase of enemy artillery falling in the area, and persistence aerial attacks.

Battery "B", 116th AAA Battalion attached to battalion to assist in antitank defenses and took up positions at 1200 hours.

Major John H. Minton, hospitalized due to being slightly wounded in St Lo on 27 July, 1944, returned to duty, and assumed the duties of Battalion Executive Officer.

G-3 reports that enemy gun firing into our positions from coordinants 532532. Friendly air reconnaissance patrols reports a large enemy tank concentration 20 miles south of St Lo. Movement not ascertained. Also enemy tanks reported at coordinants 610410 at 1430 hours; estimated to be 12 in number.

Enemy's 2d Panzer Regiment is located on west bank of the Vire river.

The command post of Company "A" closed at coordinants 52646641 at 0900 hours and established at coordinants 559597, 1/25,000, where it was subjected to an enemy aerial attack beginning at 0510 hours until 0530 hours; without suffering casualties.

The 1st and 2d platoons maintained antitank positions at coordinants 561952, 1/25,000 during the period and the 3d platoon in support of the 161st Field Artillery Battalion in indirect fire missions upon the enemy's retreating columns and supply points.

1st and 2d platoons remained in direct support of the 320th Infantry during the period under enemy artillery and mortar fire and air attack at 0510 hours; all without suffering any casualties.

One enemy 50 KG bomb was dropped at 55995970 during air attack which was either a time bomb and has not exploded or a dud. Reported to bomb disposal section for action.

One enemy paratrooper either dropped from attacking planes, or on sniper mission was killed in the area of the command post during the early morning air attack.

All platoons started moving to assembly areas at 1641 hours in preparation to joining Task Force "S". Assembly area vicinity of 561592, 1/25,000.

2d Lieut. Smoot was admitted to hospital due to illness during the period, and 2d Lieut. Kneer assumed command of the 3d Platoon.

Company "B" moved from vicinity of LaLuzerne, France, at 0800 hours and established its command post 1 mile south of St Lo at 1000 hours, where it supported the 161st Field Artillery Battalion in indirect fire mission upon retreating enemy columns and supply installations throughout the period.

1st Lieut. Taylor, detached service Company "C", relieved. Sergeant Joseph F. Staniorski was admitted to hospital due to illness. Captain Ruggles L. Baker asgd to company and assumed command.

At 2320 hours the company started relieving Company "C", in support 134th Infantry; 1st platoon taking up positions along highway 2; 1st section vicinity of 529593, 2d section 534529, 1/25,000.

All elements of the company were under heavy enemy air attack at 0510 hours without suffering casualties.

There was no change in the position of company "C"s command post. All elements of the company were under heavy enemy artillery fire during the period and air attack at 0510 hours; all without casualties.

1st Lieut. Manning Taylor, detached service, Company "B", returned to duty and assumed command of his former platoon.

Pvt1 Dante L. Stabile was admitted to hospital during the period due to illness.

All platoons were relived of antitank positions and are in assembly area prior to joining Task Force "S" for special mission.

The command post of the Reconnaissance Company did not change during the period. All platoons attached to gun companies and Battery "B", 116th AAA Battalion. 1st Rcn Pl and 1st Sec Pi Pl atchd to Co "A". 1st Sec. 3d Rcn Pl atchd to Co "B". 2d Rcn Pl and 2d Sec Pi Pl atchd to Co "C". 2 Sec 3d Rcn Pl atchd to Btry "B", 116th AAA Battalion.

Private Wiley Mullins was admitted to hospital due to illness during the period.

Batter "B", 116th AAA Battalion consisting of four 90mm guns and four .50 caliber quadruple mounts in position as shown on overlay.

Companies "A" and "C" assigned to special Task Force "S" are in reserve awaiting orders from the 35th Infantry Division.

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