◆ November 19, 1944
Buddy’s 39th Birthday
✓ 15 November 1944
✓ Company C Morning Report
Left Audun-le-Tiche 0001 Traveled 15 miles by motor convoy to Soetrich. Arrived 0700 and billeted troops. (MR)✓ 17 November 1944
Left Soetrich at 0700. Crossed Moselle River at 1007. Arrived at Petite Hattange 1130. Traveled 13 miles. Established bivouac and set up Clearing Station. (MR)✓ 19 November 1944
Departed Petite Hattange 1625 via motor convoy. Traveled 6 miles to vicinity of Kaltweiler. Arrived 1715. Bivouacked troops and set up Clearing Sta. (MR)
Buddy’s Company C of the 80th Armored Medical Battalion left Audun le Tiche after five days there. The goal was to connect with Combat Command B where they had their new assignment. They were approximately 2 - 2 1/2 days behind CC B in heading east. They were to join CC B at Ritzing on 21 November. By the time Company C set up the clearing station at Kaltweiler on 19 November 1944, CC B had already made history only 12 miles to the northeast.
◆ 75 Years Ago
◆ 19 Nov 1944 at 1032
Combat Command B (CC B) of the 10th Armored Division reached the Saar and crossed into Germany.
A few days before the historic moment of the 19th, the 10th’s armor was well inside German positions. It had happened so swiftly and easily they had already taken 250 prisoners. The division was in two Combat Commands, A and B.
CC A (lower left, east of front line) started one flank of the attack southeast from Kerling to Laumesfeld. Their job was to draw fire and find the positions of the German heavy guns. It worked. The positions were located and the Tigers started hitting back. The Germans fought hard and the Tigers lost three tanks and 12 men were wounded.
CC B was to head on a direct 11-mile line to seize a bridge over the Saar at Merzig. Smaller bridges along the way had been destroyed. CC B was slowed down waiting for the rebuilding of those bridges by the engineers. By November 17 the rebuilding was accomplished and they were ready to move.
One task force entered Launstroff; another, against heavy pressure, reached Schwerdorf.
Then, at 1032 on 19 November, TF Cherry of CC B was near Eft. Lieutenant William Brown checked his maps. He dismounted from his Sherman and walked across the German border. He was the first man of Patton’s army to step onto German soil.
◆ 19 Nov 1944
This was one of only a handful of times in his life that my dad hadn't been home for his birthday. Instead, he was only a few miles from CC B when they made that first symbolic step onto German soil.
Meanwhile, his wife of only six months was preparing to spend the upcoming holiday with her new in-laws, both trying to get to know and understand each other. Two families who had come from such different worlds.