Auth: CG 35th Inf Div
Date___18 Mar 45___
1 March 1945
HEADQUARTERS 137TH INFANTRY
APO 35 U S ARMY
SUBJECT: Report After Action Against Enemy
TO : The Adjutant General, Washington 25, D. C.
1. In compliance with the provisions of Par 10 C3, AR 345-105, submitted below is report after action against enemy for the 137th Infantry covering the period 1-28 February 1945.
1 FEBRUARY 1945
Troops of the 137th Infantry, following their three day train ride from Southern France, arrived in Vise, Belgium on the morning of February 1, and moved by motor to the regiment's assembly area in the vicinity of Banholt, Holland. Troops who made the entire trip by motor had arrived in Holland the previous day. The 35th Division was now in the XVI Corps of the Ninth U.S. Army.
The regiment's new assembly area was located north of Liege and east of the Netherlands city, Maastricht. Regimental Headquarters and Special Units moved into Banholt, 1st Bn to Houtem, 2nd Bn to Scheg, and the 3rd Bn assembled in Herkenrade. The 137th closed into its area by 1615.
2-3 FEBRUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry Regiment remained in its assembly area February 2 and 3 as the 35th Division remained in XVI Corps reserve. The 134th Infantry, which had remained in Bastogne when the 137th and 320th regiments moved south and joined the Seventh Army, rejoined the 35th Division in Holland. This marked the first time that the three regiments of the division had been together since the 35th erased the southern tip of the Belgian Bulge.
4 FEBRUARY 1945
The 35th Division was ordered to relieve elements of the British 52nd Infantry Division of the 2nd Army in defensive positions inside Germany on February 5. The 137th Infantry with the 17th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron attached, was to move by motor from its assembly area in Holland to the sector held by the 156th Infantry Brigade. The regiment was to occupy and defend the same defensive positions held by the British Infantry. The 17th Cavalry was to defend ground to the left of the 137th, while the 320th Infantry was to be on the regiment's right flank.
5 FEBRUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry entered Germany a second time, when on February 5 the regiment relieved the 156th Infantry Brigade, 52nd British Infantry, in its defensive positions, west of the Roer River.
The regiment with the 17th Cav attached, moved by motor from its assembly area in Holland to the British positions. The 3rd Bn, with one platoon of the AT Co cleared the IP at 1045, the 2nd Bn serial with a platoon of the AT Co cleared by 1105, the 1st Bn with a platoon of the AT Co cleared at 1125, Special Units with Co B, 110th Med Det and Co B, 60th Engr Bn, cleared by 1150, the 219th FA Bn by 1220, the 17th Cavalry by 1300, and Co B, 654th TD Bn cleared the IP by 1400.
The 1st Bn moved into the right sector of the regiment's zone and relieved the 7th Camerions. Troops took up defensive positions on the northern outskirts of Heinsberg and southeast of the battered German town, while the CP was located in Aphoven. In the central sector, the 2nd Bn relieved the 6th Camerions, as its troops moved into positions in Kirchhoven and Lieck. The Bn CP was in Braunsrath and the reserve company in Locken. The 4/5 RSF's were relieved in their positions by the 3rd Bn, on the regiment's left. The CP was in Obspringen and the troops took over positions in Hagserduesch and Vinn. The 17th Cavalry relieved the 52nd Recce Regiment in a position to the left of the 3rd Bn. Co B, 654th TD Bn coordinated anti-tank defense with the 137th AT Co. Regimental Headquarters was established in Bocket.
In the 35th Division zone, the 137th Infantry with the 17th Cavalry, was holding the left flank while the 320th was on the right. The 134th Infantry was in Division reserve. To the left of the 35th Division was the 7th British Armored Division and on the right was the US 102nd Infantry Division.
All battalions and the cavalry sent patrols to their front during the day.
6 FEBRUARY 1945
On February 6, the 137th Infantry was holding its defensive positions taken over from the 156th Infantry, 52nd British Division. The 17th Cav, 3rd Bn, 2 Bn, and 1st Bn in that order left to right, were on the regiment's front.
A Co "A" patrol, conducting a reconnaissance to the front, was pinned down by enemy fire coming from a nearby building. Reinforcements were sent out to contact the patrol, but failed to locate the Co "A" men. It was believed that the patrol of one officer and four EM were captured by the enemy.
Each Bn and the Cav sent out foot patrols during the night to the area between front line troops and the Roer River to determine strengths and locations of enemy troops and defensive installations, west of the Roer within the boundaries of the units.
The roads in the regimental sector were in poor condition due to mud and rain, and a number of roads were impassable for vehicles. Regimental Message Center employed the M-29 (Weasel) to run from Regiment to the Battalions.
The 35th Division and its adjacent units continued to hold their defensive positions.
7 FEBRUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry Regiment and attached units continued to hold their defensive positions west of the Roer River in Germany on February 7. The 35th Division Cav Rcn Sdr was attached to the 320th Infantry.
Foot patrols were conducted again today during daylight between the front line troops and the Roer River. At 2225 an enemy patrol was believed to have slipped behind the regiment's line, but there were no further reports. There was increased flare activity over the front during the night.
8-9-10 FEBRUARY 1945
On February 8 the 137th Infantry was to be relieved of its sector by CCB, 8th Armored Division, but the relief was postponed and the regiment continued to hold and defend its positions. Patrolling was conducted by the front line units. The 1st Bn received sporadic enemy fire throughout the day, otherwise the enemy artillery was light. The 17th Cav was hit by 24 rounds of 105mm at 2140 from an unknown direction.
The Co "B" observation post fired on an enemy patrol at 0110, February 9, forcing the enemy to withdraw. The 3rd Bn observed enemy activity to its front at 1207, but after placing mortar fire on the enemy, activity ceased. The 1st Bn received mortar fire from the enemy at 0922.
As the regiment continued to hold its positions on February 10, patrolling went on as usual. Patrols were ordered not to cross any water barriers while on missions.
11 FEBRUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry continued to hold its defensive positions west of the Roer River on February 11 as enemy fire increased slightly during the day.
The enemy destruction of the floodgates at the mighty Schwammenauel Dam today sent tons of water flooding down upon the Roer Valley and caused the Roer River to rise to a stage as much as seven feet above its normal average along the 9th Army front. The Roer, normally a sluggish and comparatively narrow stream winding through scenic and industrial German countryside west of the Cologne Plain, had been galvanized into a racing torrent in some sections, and in the 137th area, it had overflowed its banks and flooded large areas.
A 3rd Bn patrol followed an enemy patrol to the outskirts of Karken at 2335, ran into an enemy observation post, became engaged in a fire fight, and then withdrew. Co "G" at 2115, heard enemy activity in Kirchhoven, lit up the area with flares, and then forced the enemy to withdraw by placing mortar fire on them. Enemy artillery fell at 1212 in the 3rd Bn zone and at 1800 in the 1st Bn sector. Two 12 round barrages of heavy artillery hit the 2nd Bn and 1st Bn at 1810 and 1840, respectively.
12 FEBRUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry and the enemy watched each other across the enemy-created flood of the Roer River on February 12 as the regiment maintained its defensive positions.
Early in the morning a small group of enemy followed a Co "K" patrol back to its lines, was discovered and fired upon, but the results were unknown because of darkness. At 1500, Co "K" checked an enemy patrol, killing two, wounding two, and capturing two others. The enemy were identified as members of the 1218th Regt.
Major General Baade, 25th Division Commander, directed that all troops be alerted to the fact that the enemy might conduct raids into the regiment's lines up to and including company strength.
13 FEBRUARY 1945
The 17th Cavalry and the three Bns of the 137th Infantry remained in their defensive positions on February 13. Early in the morning the Co "L" observation post was encircled by approximately 20 enemy troops, but when artillery was placed on the area, the enemy dispersed from the OP.
A 2nd Bn patrol, conducting a reconnaissance to the Roer River, went through the woods south of Haag and entered the first building of the German town when it was confronted by a 20 man enemy patrol. After a short fire fight, during which the enemy attempted to outflank the 137th men, the 2nd Bn patrol withdrew safely back into the woods.
14 FEBRUARY 1945
Patrolling was conducted by the 17th Cavalry, 3rd Bn, 2nd Bn and 1st Bn on February 14 as the 137th Infantry continued the defense of its sector west of the Roer River. At 1535 when the 2nd Bn fired on a 16 man enemy patrol in the vicinity of Haag, the enemy withdrew to buildings north of Haag. 12 enemy crossed the Roer in a rubber boat at 1615 and went into a house in the 1st Bn sector. Artillery was placed on the house.
15 FEBRUARY 1945
The sun was shining and the weather turned warmer on February 15 as the 137th Infantry continued to hold and defend its positions. Enemy artillery fire was light, as in the past few days.
All three battalions and the Cavalry sent out foot patrols again today. The 3rd Bn patrol was ambushed in the woods north of Lumbach, but the men escaped and returned without casualties.
The 17th Cavalry patrol contacted the British 7th Armored observation post in Berg, and also observed two small groups of enemy.
16-17-18 FEBRUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry continued to hold its defensive position west of the Roer River from February 16 to 18. Sporadic enemy artillery fire continued throughout the three days as well as flare activity during darkness. All units conducted patrols as usual. Regimental Headquarters was in Bocket, 1st Bn in Aphoven, 2nd Bn in Braunsrath, and the 3rd Bn in Obspringen. The 17th Cavalry Squadron remained attached to the 137th Infantry.
February 16 was a comparatively quiet day for the regiment with the exception of the Co "K" observation post receiving fire from enemy artillery. The 17th Cavalry sent a patrol into Hingen and Co "K" had a patrol in Berg. The Co "K" men were pinned down on the northern edge of the town by SA (small arms) fire and flares from Berg, and then on a second attempt to enter the town, the patrol was met by enemy fire, and returned to its company.
Enemy patrols were active on February 17. The Co "F" observation post and a patrol from Co "G" fired on an enemy patrol and it withdrew. Co "K" killed two of its own men at 0515 when they were challenged and failed to halt. At 0745 the Co "B" observation post was fired on by an enemy machine gun and bazooka, but when reinforcements arrived, the enemy withdrew. The Co "A" observation post was attacked at 1035 by an undetermined number of enemy with machine guns and small arms, but the situation quieted down by 1115 and two of the enemy were known to be killed during the fight. The 17th Cav had leaflets fired at them, which welcomed the 84th Division "Rail Splitters" back into action.
At 1030 on February 18, an enemy patrol followed a Co "E" patrol which was returning to its lines. The enemy fled when 137th men fired on them. Co "G" fired on three enemy who were attempting to get in touch with civilians in Kirchhoven late in the evening. One enemy attempting to crawl into the Co "F" observation post at 2245, was fired upon and fled.
19-20-21 FEBRUARY 1945
From February 19 to 21, the 137th Infantry continued the defense of its sector west of the Roer River, and also conducted assault boat training in a rear area. Adjacent units to the 35th Division remained the same. The 7th British Armored Division on the left and the 102nd Infantry Division on the right.
When three men of Co "C" were moving out to their front at 1150 on February 19, to put in trip flares, they were wounded by enemy machine gun fire. At 1330 the 1st Bn observation post observed a 12 man patrol in Unterbruch and artillery fire was placed on the town. During the night there was much flare activity reported by all units along the front.
The 2nd and 3rd Bns each received light artillery fire on February 20. The church steeple in Kirchhoven was hit by three rounds at 1257. The 17th Cav observation post was confronted by an eight man enemy patrol firing small arms, but when reinforcements arrived, the enemy force withdrew. Co "C" sent a patrol into Loh at 2150 and the 3rd Bn patrol at 2245 went into Berg, and received small arms fire after leaving the town.
A British Lancaster bomber crashed 1,000 yards north of Heinsberg and 200 yards to the front of the 2nd Bn positions at 0150 on February 21. A 2nd Bn patrol found the plane to be free of personnel but removed the navigational equipment and maps which it discovered in the wreck.
A 2nd Bn patrol went into Haag at 0035, found no activity in the town, but were involved in a fire fight with an enemy patrol while returning to friendly lines. One enemy was wounded at 0145 when Co "C" fired on an enemy patrol in the act of infiltrating through the lines. At 0842 all companies were alerted when 25 to 30 enemy were observed crossing the Roer River in boats. Three additional boatloads of from six to eight men in each, crossed to the western shore of the river at 0920. The observation post kept the enemy under constant observation as mortars were brought forward to engage the enemy and any others attempting to cross the river. The enemy failed to make a thrust at any positions of the 137th.
22-23 FEBRUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry Regiment was relieved of its sector at 2307, February 22 by the 314th Infantry of the 79th Division, and then moved back out of Germany into an assembly area in Holland and passed into 35th Division reserve. The regiment closed into its assembly area at 0315 February 23. The 320th and 134th Regiments remained on the defensive in their sectors and prepared to jump-off with the 9th Army at 0330 on February 24.
Locations of the 137th units in the regiment's assembly area were: Regimental Headquarters, Special Units and the 1st Bn in Schinveld, 2nd Bn in Pannenschopp, and the 3rd Bn in Neiderbusch.
The 17th Cav was relieved by elements of the 314th Infantry at 2030 on February 22, the 3rd Bn at 2115, the 1st Bn at 2200, and the 2nd Bn's relief was completed at 2305. At 1900 the order was issued to sew on all 35th Division patches and paint bumper markings on all vehicles at once, since the veil of secrecy was lifted from the Division.
24 FEBRUARY 1945
As scattered enemy artillery fell all along the division front, the 320th and the 134th Infantry Regiments jumped off at 0330 February 24, following a preparatory barrage, and cleared their zones to the Roer River. The 137th Infantry remained in Division reserve in its assembly area in Holland and conducted reconnaissance for possible commitment into any sector of the division.
The 35th Division, on the right flank of the XVI Corps, was bounded on the left by the 314th Infantry, 79th Division, and on the right by the 84th Division, XIII Corps.
25 FEBRUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry remained in the 35th Division reserve until the evening of February 25 and then moved by motor to cross the Roer River and attack in the sector assigned to it, adjacent to the 84th Infantry Division.
The regiment with its attached units, Co B, 60th Engr Bn; Co B, 784th Tank Bn; Co B, 654th TD Bn; and Co B, 110th Med Det, moved out of its assembly area in Holland on the evening of the 25th, with the order of march being the 3rd Bn, 2nd Bn, and the 1st Bn.
The regiment was to cross the Roer River to Korrenzig, then move by foot to Doveren, then on to the Line of Departure and attack at 0600, February 26. The 134th Infantry was to work on the left of the 137th, while the 320th Infantry was to support by fire, the attack of the 134th. The 134th had to make a crossing of the Roer in its jump off at 0600.
26 FEBRUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry crossed the Roer River by motor under cover of darkness, moved into Doveren, attacked at 0630 on foot to reach the line of departure, and then swung a thrust toward Houverath, Bruck, and Eastern Huckelhoven, against the stiff enemy resistance encountered during the day.
Reconnaissance elements moved forward to Doveren and the foot elements of the regiment crossed the IP at Ball at 0330 and moved to the line of departure followed by the motor transportation. The entire regiment closed into the area by 0500 and Regimental Headquarters was established in Doveren, which at the time was subjected to a heavy enemy artillery barrage.
The 2nd Bn, led by Co "F," attacked in a column of companies. The advance was met by heavy mortar, artillery and SP fire. Co "F" moved through the woods east of Huckelhoven under mortar fire, while Co "E" with a platoon of tanks followed, proceeding along the road to the right of the woods. The battalion pulled up at the stream bed near the edge of the woods, dug-in, and blazed away at the enemy confronting it, as Co "H" supported the fire with long range machine gun fire. When the 137th moved on toward Seidlung, 12 enemy soldiers came out of Huckelhoven and surrendered to Co "F".
The regiment received considerable mortar, small arms, automatic weapons, and artillery fire during the day from enemy getting observation from a slag pile in Huckelhoven. The 3rd Bn, attacking on the right, captured the town of Houverath and moved on toward Bruck. Five hours after leading elements passed through Houverath, fifteen enemy soldiers were flushed from cellars in the town. Among the prisoners taken today were a captain, CO of the 1st Bn, 330th Infantry Regiment, 183rd VG (Volksgrenadier) Division, and a Lieut., 219th FA Regiment.
27 FEBRUARY 1945
Continuing the attack a second day, the 137th Infantry shoved ahead on February 27 and pitched the enemy out of Gerderath, the woods southwest of Gerderath, Fronderath, Gerderhahn, and Almyhl. The regiment received exceptional work from Co "B," 784th Tank Bn, a Negro unit which was attached to the 137th for the operation.
After jumping off at 0600, Co's "K" and "L" secured Gerderath at 1125 and at 1420, Co "I" captured Gerderhahn. One platoon of Co "L" took the town of Fronderath.
The 2nd Bn launched its attack from Kl Gladbach at 0600 with 784th Tanks and tank destroyers from the 654th Bn. Spearheaded by Co "F," the Bn fanned out went through the woods southwest of Gerderath, moved across the stream, and cleaned out a patch of woods 500 yards wide, below Myhl. The 27th marked the second day that Maj Harry Parker had commanded the 2nd Bn in combat and his men advanced over 2,000 yards. Co "H" machine guns were firing from upstairs windows of houses in Gladbach across to the town of Myhl. The work of Co B, 784th Tank Bn, had been exceptional all day, and the Negro tankers supported the regiment in an excellent manner all day.
The 1st Bn, in regimental reserve since the beginning of the operation, jumped off for Myhl at 1515, moving on the regiment's left flank. At 1700 the Bn had captured Almyhl and then continued on toward Myhl.
28 FEBRUARY 1945
February 28, the 137th infantrymen trudged ahead working through the Birgeler Woods and seizing the towns of Wildenrath, Rodgen, Arsbeck and Station-Vlodrop. The enemy offered slight resistance of small arms, automatic weapons, and SP gun fire on leading elements of the 137th during the days operations.
The 1st Bn had cleared the town of Myhl during the night, consolidated its positions, and continued the attack on February 28 moving northwest to the road junction east of Rodgen, then followed the 3rd Bn to the edge of the town. A 407th Group, XVI Corps observation plane was shot down over the 1st Bn area and the pilot was slightly wounded and treated by 137th medical aid men.
After assembling in Myhl, the 2nd Bn moved to Wildenrath in regimental reserve.
The 3rd Bn pressed on in the morning from Gerderath, and swept ahead through Wilderath, Rodgen to Station-Vlodrop, where it held awaiting further orders.
The regiment had advanced 6,000 meters during the day, clearing road blocks, and flushing cellars in the towns passed through. The Regimental Command Post moved to Rodgen in the afternoon and made plans to execute the Division mission of following Task Force Byrne when it had passed through Rodgen.
Awards received by members of the 137th infantry for the month of February 1945, are as follows:
|DSC||Silver Star||Bronze Star|
The number of Purple Heart Medals awarded is: 5
The battle casualties for the month of February are as follows:
W. S. MURRAY
Incl: Journal and supporting papers