HEADQUARTERS 137TH INFANTRY
APO 35 US ARMY
1 February 1945
Subject: Report After Action Against Enemy
To : Adjutant General, Washington 25, D. C.
In compliance with the provisions of Par 10 C3, AR 345-105, submitted below is
Report After Action Aainst Enemy for the 137th Infantry covering the period 1-31 January 1945.
1 JANUARY 1945
On the regiment's front today, the 137th Infantry was facing the toughest opposition it had yet met in its combat experience. Elements of K and L Companies were still cut-off in Villers-la- Bonne-Eau, the 1st Bn was in position south of Villers, while the 2nd Bn had Companies E and F west and southwest of the Belgian town, and Co G on the regiment's right flank, in Luxembourg. German prisoners had stated that the SS Adolph Hitler Division and the 339th Nazi Infantry Regiment were on the 137th's front. The regiment ordered Co D, 3rd Ceml Bn, to fire on the woods north of Villers at 0855 in order to flush an enemy assembly point. The 1st Bn, 320th Infantry, was attached to the 137th and was to be committed on Division order.The 137th jumped off at 1330 on an attack toward Villers, after patrols had been sent ahead into the town. The attacking elements had difficulty with enemy infiltration parties working around the flanks. A large number of enemy faced Companies E and F and a bitter fight ensued. At 1700 Co E relieved Co I, which had been in the woods west of Villers. Co F had nearly completed cleaning out the woods, and in the Surre Woods, Co G had beaten-off several counter-attacks. The regiment was ordered to halt its advance at 1810, dig-in, mine the roads, and patrol to the front in preparation to the stepping off again at 0800, January 2. In Villers, Companies K and L were slowly being cut to pieces by tank fire and flame throwers. Co C, 602nd TD Bn reverted to the III Corps control and worked between the flanks of the 137th and the 134th regiments. The 1st Bn, 320th Infantry, closed into its assembly area by 1915.
2 JANUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry continued to attack the defenses about the town of Villers-la-Bonne-Eau on January 2, as the 1st Bn cleaned out the woods west of the town and then assisted Co F in clearing the enemy from the woods, south of the enemy-held road junction west of Villers. Co E, pressing from the south, cleared enemy points. The 3rd Bn assembled in the vicinity of Livarchamps and Co I took over the road blocks on the regiment's front. Co G remained in the Surre Woods. The enemy opposition continued to be strong, as units of the 137th were under enemy artillery, tank, mortar and machine gun fire throughout the day. The weather was bitter and cold. Fighter bombers had strafed Villers and then struck close to the 137th front line positions. Bitter fighting was carried on along the front. By January 2, the 320th Infantry which was working on the regiment's right flank, had pulled up opposite the 137th, and Co G of the 137th, was facing the enemy in but two directions, rather than three. On the 137th's left was the 134th Infantry, assisted by elements of the 4th Armored. The 35th Division was bounded on the left by the 6th Armored and on the right by the 26th Infantry Division. The Division ordered operations to halt at 1755, the forward elements of the 137th dug-in and sent patrols to the front during the night. Regimental Headquarters was located at Honville along with the 2nd Bn CP, while the 1st and 3rd Bn CPs were in Livarchamps.
3 JANUARY 1945
On January 3 the 137th Infantry attacked again but was unsuccessful in taking the road junction west of Villers-la-Bonne-Eau. Enemy tanks thwarted the maneuvering of the 1st and 2nd Bns. Heavy fire of all types was received by the regiment throughout the day. The 2nd Bn had Cos E and F attacking west of Villers, and Co G on the defensive in the Surre Woods. Companies B, C and A, in that order were on the line below Villers. The 3rd Bn was guarding the roadblocks on the regiment's front. At 0915 the 1st Bn reported that the enemy was infiltrating up the road from Villers toward the road junction, and artillery checked this move. 2nd Bn patrols reached the junction at noon, but were unable to take it. The 1st Bn was under tank fire throughout the day while both the 2nd and 3rd faced heavy artillery. The advance was stopped at 1700, all units posted security and used patrols to keep contact with the enemy. Mines were also layed by the regiment. The second group of men from the 137th left today for furloughs to the United States. The quota was one officer and 13 Enlisted Men from the regiment.
4 JANUARY 1945
Today the 137th hurled an attack at the road junction west of Villers, captured and defended the position against heavy enemy counter-attacks. The intense enemy artillery fire forced heavy casualties on the regiment. The attack was launched at 0800 and Co A was on the road junction by 1045. The 1st Bn closed into an assembly area in the rear of the 2nd Bn zone at 1610. The 3rd Bn was assembled in Livarchamps, with Co I on the roadblocks. Co G was holding its 700 yard frontage in the Surre Woods with its CP in Surre. By nightfall, the 320th Infantry had secured four houses in Harlange and was being counterattacked by tanks and infantry.
5 JANUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry struggled on January 5 against the stubborn resistance as the 1st Bn, now under the command of Maj Albert Frink, moved from its position south of the Villers road junction, to a position behind the 2nd Bn, and prepared to follow the 2nd in an attack. The 2nd Bn supported the 1st by fire and awaited its arrival in their rear before moving out. The 2nd Bn cleared out infiltration parties and also mopped up the draw to its front. The 3rd Bn, relieved of road blocks on the front, secured positions vacated in the woods by the 1st Bn after its move. Co G remained in the Surre Woods. Co D, 3rd Ceml Bn, continued to support the 137th with its missions. The 6th Cav Rcn Sqd took over the screening missions along the bulge into the 137th's sector between Tintange and Honville. The 1st Bn, 320th Infantry, reverted to control of the 320th Infantry. Heavy fire was received by the regiment throughout the day. Three terrific barrages landed at 0720 just to the right of Co F positions. During the night, vigorous patrolling was conducted. Companies A and E turned back two enemy patrols. The regimental listening post picked up several enemy armored vehicles moving in Villers during the night.
6 JANUARY 1945
The weather grew colder on January 6 and the 137th Infantry continued its pressure for the second day on Villers, after capturing the all important road junction. The 320th combined with the 137th, while the 134th continued the attack in its zone. Heavy fire was received all along the regiment's front. The 6th Cav Grp relieved Co G in the Surre Woods at 2350 and the unit assembled in the town of Surre. The 320th Infantry, less the 1st Bn, was attached to the 6th Armored, which was on the left flank of the 35th Division. The 26th Div was on the right. The 28th Cav Rcn Sqd continued to hold positions between the 137th and the 134th. The 6th Cav Grp moved into positions between the 3rd Bn, 137th and the positions vacated by Co G, 137th. The organic and attached field artillery Bns continued to support the division attack firing TOTs (Time On Target) on all towns and roads in the division sector. A heavy schedule of harassing fire continued throughout the day.
7 JANUARY 1945
Today marked the 11th day that the 137th Infantry had been struggling on against the welldefended town of Villers. The regiment continued to put the pressure on the village as it was being ripped apart by thundering artillery. The 137th's front was cut down to approximately half its previous width, as the 6th Cav Grp took over the right portion of the regiment's sector. The 137th was flanked on the left by the 134th Infantry and on the right by the 6th Cav Grp. Within the 137th's zone, the 1st Bn with Companies A and C on the line, held down the left flank, and the 2nd Bn with E and F, was on the right. Co G remained in the Surre Woods and the 3rd Bn was assembled south of the 2nd Bn. The 1st Bn had moved its Command Post from Livarchamps to Halt.
8 JANUARY 1945
Active patrolling was conducted against the enemy and harassing fire was delivered throughout the day as the 137th Infantry maintained its pressure on the enemy in the vicinity of Villers-la Bonne-Eau. The 1st Bn relieved elements of the 28th Cav Rcn Sdrn with Companies B and C. Co C was relieved at noon by Co A, and then assembled in the rear of Co B. The 2nd Bn continued to occupy its original positions on the right flank of the regiment with E and F as Co G moved from Surre to its Bn to effect the relief of Co F. The 3rd Bn continued to occupy positions southwest of Villers until it was relieved by elements of the 6th Cav Grp at 0915. The Bn then assembled in the vicinity of Livarchamps. Co C, 735th Tank Bn and Co D, 3rd Ceml Bn, were attached to the 137th. The entire III Corps was to launch an attack into the Belgian Bulge on the morning of January 9. At 1500 the 3rd Bn moved from Livarchamps and assembled between the 1st and 2nd Bns. The 134th was in position on the left of the 137th and on the right was Task Force Fickett, the 6th Cav Grp. The 6th Armored Division was to attack on the left flank of the 35th Division.
9 JANUARY 1945
With the 1st Bn working on the left flank and the 2nd Bn on the right, the 137th Infantry launched an attack on January 9 to take Villers and the ground to its north, but the enemy checked the thrust. The regiment's zone was so layed out that the 137th would be pinched out by the 134th Infantry and Task Force Fickett. The regiment jumped off at 1000, supported by Co C, 735th Tank Bn, along with Co B and one platoon of Co C, 654th TD Bn, and was to attack in its zone until it was pinched out by its adjacent units. The 1st Bn stepped off with B and C leading the attack, and Co C striking to the right of Co B. Supported by a company of tanks, the 2nd Bn hit toward Villers and also protected the right flank of the regiment's zone. E and G Companies were on the line while Co F was in Bn reserve. The 3rd Bn occupied a position to the left of Co A and maintained contact with the 134th Infantry. The 137th Infantry suffered heavy casualties as the enemy stopped the attack. The 1st Bn was hit at 0230 by a heavy enemy patrol which drove into the OP (Observation Post) line. The stab was repulsed and casualties were inflicted upon the enemy. The OP line was reestablished and reinforced at 0330. The 2nd Bn was heavily shelled at 2335 by artillery and mortar fire.
10 JANUARY 1945
Supported by tanks and tank destroyers, the 137th Infantry pushed ahead against the enemy again on January 10, making a slight gain and capturing the much sought and fought for town of Villers-la Bonne-Eau, a target of the regiment for the past thirteen days. The regiment attacked at 0915 with its attached units the 735th's Tank Co C, along with Co B and one platoon of Co C, 654th TD Bn and Co D, 3rd Ceml Bn. The 1st Bn with one platoon of Co C, 654th TD Bn, a platoon of the regimental anti-tank Co, and Cannon Company in direct support, advanced up the center of the 137th's sector and gained slightly. The Bn located a C-47, which had apparently crashed from four to five days previous. With a company of tanks and one of tank destroyers attached to the 2nd Bn, Co G entered Villers and by 1400 had two buildings on the edge of the battered town. Later in the afternoon, the entire village was cleared. On the regiment's left flank, the 3rd Bn was prepared to move on order and patrolled actively to its front and flanks, maintaining contact with the 134th. The 6th Cav Grp maintained contact with the 137th on the right flank. At 1400 the road leading from Lutremange was chocked with enemy vehicles and an air strike and artillery pounded the column. The 137th was to attack again at 0800, January 11, supported by the 735th tanks and 654th Tank Destroyers, along with Co D, 3rd Ceml Bn. The regiment suffered heavy casualties today, the majority being from the 2nd Bn.
11 JANUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry had one of its coldest days on January 11 as it took the town of Lutremange and was pinched out in its sector by 1700. The 1st Bn, with a section of tanks and a platoon of TDs, attacked in its zone at 0800 and by 1015, Companies B and C were on the Battalion's initial objective. The Bn continued on through the woods and out into the open, securing its final objective by 1625. The Bn took over the ground above Lutremange. The 2nd Bn had patrols step off from Villers and advance toward Lutremange to determine whether the town was occupied by enemy. By 1300, Companies E, F and G had patrols going through the town and found it to be clear. The Bn was supported by fire from Co C, 735th Tank Bn, and Co B, 654th TD Bn. Lutremange was found to be almost as badly demolished as Villers. The 3rd Bn prepared to move on order and maintained contact on the left with the 134th Infantry Regiment. By 1700, the 137th Infantry was pinched out by the advance of the 134th and Task Force Fickett. The 137th then went into 35th Division reserve. The 2nd Bn remained in Lutremange, the 3rd moved into Livarchamps, while the 1st assembled in Hompre and its vicinity. Regimental Headquarters remained in Honville.
12 JANUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry remained in 35th Division reserve on January 12, with the 1st Bn assembled in and about Hompre, the 2nd in Lutremange, the 3rd in Livarchamps, and Regimental Headquarters in Honville.
13 JANUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry remained in Division reserve on January 13, with all units occupying their original towns. The regiment received its tentative defense plan which it was to follow if ordered by Division.
14 JANUARY 1945
The regiment remained in Division reserve on January 14 and also conducted reconnaissance parties over the area which the regiment was to defend if ordered. Unit commanders conducted a reconnaissance of the defensive sectors during the morning and submitted individual plans to regiment by 1500. The 1st and 2nd Bns were to have two rifle companies on the line and one in reserve, under regimental control. Routes were reconnoitered to the positions, with the use of the main highway prohibited except for the use Cannon and Anti-tank Companies. The 3rd Bn reconnoitered the Bn reserve area and the routes to the area. An alternate route and area was to be selected in case the 320th Infantry would be released to the 35th Division. Caution was exercised since the MLR (Main Line of Resistance) of the tentative defense plan was in the vicinity of the present front lines.
15 JANUARY 1945
On January 15, the 137th Infantry remained in 35th Division reserve.
16 JANUARY 1945
The 137th infantry conducted rehabilitation and training again on January 16 as the regiment remained in 35th Division reserve. Regimental Headquarters was located in Honville, the 1st Bn in and about Hompre, 2nd Bn in Lutremange, the 3rd Bn was billeted in Livarchamps. The 35th Division was in III Corps control. Companies B and C reported that they had been fired on at 0415 by what it believed to be, a self -propelled gun.
17 JANUARY 1945
On January 17, the regiment received orders that CT 137 would move by motor on January 18 to the Fort Moselle Barracks in Metz, France. The combat team was to cease upon its arrival in Metz. Three Quartermaster Truck Companies, the 658th, 6968th , and the 4051st, were attached to the 137th at 1900, providing 89 trucks for transportation on the move down into France. A Field Order was issued from Regiment at 2300 to all units of the 137th.
18 JANUARY 1945
CT 137 moved out of Belgium on the morning of January 18, exercising certain counterintelligence measures and moved by motor to Metz, France, where the combat team ceased the 137th Infantry Regiment was billeted in Fort Moselle. Strict secrecy was observed on this move from Belgium into France, which included the covering of division patches, bumper markings, and any other markings which would disclose the unit. Route markers on this move did not show any unit designation or number. The IP was in Martelange at 0930. The 3rd Bn serial led by Lt. Col. Butler cleared the IP at 0945, Special Units and one platoon of Co B, 60th Engineer Bn cleared by 1017, the 219th FA Bn cleared by 1027, the 2nd Bn by 1037 and the 1st Bn cleared by 1054. The Combat Team departed from Martelange, Belgium by motor and moved south through Arlon and then went on into Longwy. The column turned southeast and moved through Uckange, turned south and traveled on into Metz and closed into Fort Moselle. The 137th closed its Command Post in Honville, Belgium at 0914 and opened it immediately at the head of Serial #2 in the Combat Team motor column. The 3rd Bn closed into Fort Moselle at 1525 and was followed by Regimental Headquarters and Special Units at 1625, 2nd Bn at 1650 and the 1st Bn at 1705. The 219th FA Bn closed into Metz on the opposite bank of the Moselle River at 1730. Fort Moselle is located in northern Metz.
19 JANUARY 1945
The 35th Division, less the 134th Infantry, was billeted in the city of Metz on January 19, and was relieved from assignment to the III Corps and attached to the XX Corps. The 320th Infantry closed into Metz on January 19 while the 134th remained attached to the 6th Armored Division, fighting the enemy in the Belgian Bulge. The 137th Infantry was billeted in the Fort Moselle Barracks, within walking distance of downtown Metz. At 1620, CT 137 was placed in XX Corps reserve as per XX Corps Operations Instructions No. 50, 19 January 45, and was ordered to be prepared to move by motor on a three hour notice. The regiment conducted rehabilitation and training during the day and also received a small number of reinforcements.
20-21-22 JANUARY 1945
From January 20 to 22, the 137th Infantry remained in XX Corps reserve and was on a three hour notice to leave Metz by motor movement. Eighty-five trucks from the 4049th, 551st, 119th and 455th Quartermaster Trucking Companies were attached to the regiment for transportation. The regiment conducted a training schedule during this period along with rehabilitation. The schedule included an hour's march, close order drill and classes.
23 JANUARY 1945
CT 137 jumped from the III Corps of the 3rd Army to the XV Corps of the 7th Army on January 23 as the regiment moved by motor form Fort Moselle, Metz, to an area in the vicinity of Chateau- Salins. The status of the regiment was Corps reserve. The 134th Infantry remained attached to the 6th Armored Division at Bastogne while the 320th Infantry moved along with the Division to its new assembly area in the 7th Army sector. Led by the 2nd Bn Serial, the regimental motor column hit its IP, which was the Moyen or the second bridge over the Moselle River, at 1045. Transportation was provided by the 4049th, 551st, 119th and the 455th Quartermaster Truck Companies. The 1st Bn cleared the IP at 1115, the 3rd Bn at 1135, Special Units at 1205, and the 219th FA Bn at 1230. The Combat Team moved in a southeastern direction through the extremely cold and windy weather from Metz to Chateau-Salins. The 137th Infantry moved into its assembly area by 1530. Regimental Headquarters was located in Chateau-Voue, 1st Bn in Couthill, 2nd Bn in Grousisville, and the 3rd Bn was billeted in Mulcy. The regiment was to await further orders from XV Corps Headquarters.
24 JANUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry moved by motor from its assembly area in the vicinity of Chateau-Salins on January 24 to an area in the vicinity of Montbronn, and relieved the 398th Infantry of the 100th Division in its defensive positions during the night. The regiment moved from its former area at 0730 in an eastern direction with the 219th FA Bn leading the column. The 3rd Bn cleared the IP at 0805, the 2nd Bn at 0925, the 1st Bn at 0845 and Special Units cleared the IP at 0915. The column left Alberstroff and traveled through Sarre-Union and Dimeringer to reach its new area. The 2nd Bn moved up into Lemberg, the 3rd Bn went into St. Louis, the 1st moved into Meisenthal, while Regimental Headquarters was located in Soucht. The 219th FA Bn went into Montbronn. The 320th Infantry took up positions on the right flank of the 137th while on the left was the 100th Infantry Division. The regiment was to relieve the 398th Infantry and defend and improve on the defensive positions. The regiment received a number of reinforcements today.
25 JANUARY 1945
On January 25 the 137th Infantry was holding the positions it had taken over from the 398th Infantry during the early morning. The 35th Division was under XV Corps control, bounded on the left by the 100th Infantry Division and on the right by the 45th Infantry Division of the VI Corps of the 7th Army. The 137th Infantry was on the left flank of the division and was flanked on the right by the 320th Infantry. The 134th Infantry remained detached from the Division. Within the 137th's sector, the three battalions were on the line in their defensive positions.
The 2nd Bn was on the left, its CP in Lemberg, and its troops holding ground on the outskirts of the town and to the south. In the central sector, the 3rd Bn had its CP in St. Louis. The 1st Bn on the right, was stretched out along eastern Sarreinsberg and had its CP in Meisenthal. The Regimental Headquarters was in Soucht. During the night the regiment relieved the 398th Infantry by 0230. The 1st Bn had completed relief as of 0020, the 3rd Bn by 0035, and the 2nd Bn as of 0230. The battalions held the ground and improved their positions. The 2nd Bn received five rounds of 120mm mortar fire at 0845 and several casualties were suffered. At 1335, three rounds of artillery coming from the rear, killed three men. Co I reported that at 2050, the enemy was probing its positions with much small arms fire, but the situation quieted down by 2150.
26 JANUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry continued to hold its defensive positions vacated by the 398th Infantry and sporadic fire was received by the battalions throughout the day, although there was no heavy action. All Battalions were ordered to send out reconnaissance patrols today and during the night of January 26-27 to determine elements of essential information such as the location of automatic weapons, fortifications, wire entanglements, minefields, booby trapped areas, fields of fire through woods, road blocks, OPs, or indications of the enemy improving their defenses or any flare activity. The regular motorized patrol was also to be conducted.
27 JANUARY 1945
Snow continued to fall throughout the day as the 137th Infantry maintained its defensive positions on January 27, holding and improving them. Co B, 654th TD Bn, was in direct support of the regiment. The 320th Infantry on the 137th's right flank also continued to hold and improve its positions. The adjacent divisions, the 100th and the 45 th also maintained their positions. The 134th Infantry remained attached to the 6th Armored. Patrols reported enemy action throughout the front of the regiment's sector. The battalions were rotating their companies, with two outfits on the line, and the third rifle company in reserve.
28 JANUARY 1945
On January 28, the 137th Infantry continued to hold and improve its positions in its sector of defense. Patrolling activity was conducted.
29 JANUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry Regiment was relieved of its sector by the 398th Infantry on January 29 and the regiment moved by motor to a rear assembly area. The 1st Bn was relieved by 0105, the 3rd Bn by 0115, and the 2nd Bn by 2115. Headquarters and Special Units moved to Adamsviller, 1st Bn to Gungwiller, 2nd Bn to Berg and the 3rd Bn moved to Rexingen. The regiment was billeted in the towns for the night prior to moving out in the morning by train and motor for Holland.
30 JANUARY 1945
January 30, the 137th Infantry began its movement to Holland. Leaving its assembly areas in the morning, the 137th organic transportations moved out on its two day move through Lorentze, Sarre-Union, Fenetrange, Vic-Sur-Seille, Nancy, Toul, Void, Commercy, St. Mihiel and stopped for the night, just short of Verdun. The remainder of the regiment moved by truck from the assembly areas to Reding and boarded trains for a three day move to Holland.
31 JANUARY 1945
The 137th Infantry continued on its move up into Holland, on January 31. Troops moving by rail traveled through Luneville, Nancy, Toul, Verdun, Sedan, Mezieres, Namur, Liege and stopped at Vise on February 1, during the three day move by train. The organic transportation left Verdun in the morning and moved on through Stenay, Sedan, Bouilion, Paliseul, Massin, Tellin, Rochefort, Marche, Liege, Vise, turned northeast and moved through Warlange to Noorbeck, Holland. From that destination point, Regimental Headquarters moved to Banholt, 1st Bn to Houtem, 2nd Bn to Scheg, and 3rd Bn to Herkenrade. This assembly area was north of Liege, east of Maastricht, and near the Meuse River. The regiment was now assigned to the Ninth Army along with the 35th Division. Casualties for the month of January were: 4 officers and 54 EM (Enlisted Men) killed in action, 2 officers and 220 EM wounded in action, and 2 officers and 46 EM missing in action. 23 prisoners passed through the 137th Infantry PW cage during the month. Awards for the month of January totaled 94, which included 12 Silver Stars and 82 Bronze Stars.
For the Commanding Officer:
LLOYD D. FRIEDMAN
1 Unit Journal with supporting papers. (No information about individual awards is included)