35th Infantry Division Memory

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137

David L. BRIGGS

Company K - 137th Infantry Regiment


David L. BRIGGS

David L. Briggs was the son of Walter David Briggs and Florence Marie Briggs of Claremont, California he was born on August 18, 1924 in Los Angles, California. He enlisted in the Army on March 4, 1943 in Los Angles at 18 years of age.

He went through training and was with an Anti-tank Unit in Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi until he received orders to ship out in June of 1944 after a 2 week furlough. He was in Company F, 166th Infantry APO 15426 when he shipped out for Europe on August 24, 1944 aboard the Queen Mary. The crossing was smooth with out any excitement. After landing in England he was put on a train and whipped straight across the Country to another port to a boat that awaited them for shipment to France. We landed on a beach September 9, 1944 in France (Omaha) he was impressed at the number of ships unloading cargo and the beach was like an ant hill with people and trucks all running about. They were marched up a hill to a replacement pool with there large packs and duffel bags where soon trucks came to pick them up and he was on his way. Two hours later they arrived some where not far from St. Lo to another replacement depot. There they waited until a call was put in asking for so many men, this went on all across France. Finally they were all sent out to separate Units, two or three here and some there. He was sent to K Company 137th Infantry Regiment of the 35th Infantry Division he was a Private First Class at this time.

He was in the field and the CO asked for radio operators he had some experience so he volunteered the company did not have a radio sergeant he had been wounded several days before after several days PFC David L. Briggs was given the job as radio sergeant and promoted to acting Buck Sergeant (AJ) He did that job for awhile until the old radio sergeant returned to the Unit. He then requested to go on the line and get some action and was made assistant squad leader and fought as that up until the time he was wounded in October 1944, shrapnel wound from artillery. Upon returning to the Unit his previous position was taken so he was sent to another Platoon as an assistant squad leader this is the middle part of November 1944 he was awarded the Purple Heart. He was also awarded the Combat Infantry Badge on 1 December 1944 General Orders # 12 at the same time as Col. William S. Murray.

The day after returning to the Unit he was called to the Command Post to se the Commanding Officer who stated he had a good position for him if he could make the grade. He was then sent to the 3rd Battalion Command Post to talk to a certain Captain who asked him if he would be interested in the job of S-3 Sergeant which he accepted.

Acting Sergeant David L. Briggs remained in this position until March 7, 1945 when he was offered the chance to go to Officers Candidate School if he could pass the tests. On March 10, 1945 he reported for his first day as an OCS candidate to OCS Class 8 outside of Paris, France with the 335th Reinforcement Company APO 545. Upon Graduation on 16 May 1945 after a 24 hour pass to Paris he returned to the 137th Infantry Regiment as a newly Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant where he was assigned to D Company 2nd Battalion Heavy Weapons Platoon as Platoon Leader and Company Supply Officer. He was assigned an area to administer with his platoon in Germany during the Occupation. On July 9th 1945 his Unit was sent to Holland for an Honor ceremony and Parade, following that the 137th Infantry Regiment was sent to Brussels, Belgium to be an Honor Guard and Security for President Truman at Camp B-60 and the Airfield B-58 in Grimbergen, Belgium on July 15, 1945 Followed by another Awards Ceremony and parade at Chandler Base Section Brussels on July 320, 1945. On August 8, 1945 the Unit reported to Camp Lucky Strike to await orders to Return to the United States, those orders were received on the 22nd and the Unit sailed home on the SS Cristobal. On August 31, 1945 The ship docked in Boston Harbor and David received a 45 day R&R pass.

Returning to the Unit in Mid October 1945 at Camp Brecken Ridge, Kentucky Lt. Briggs was charged with operations of the mess halls with German PW’s working them and meeting the returning troops at the train station and getting them put in billets for out processing or transfer to other Units. He was one of the last Officers to leave Camp Brecken Ridge after deactivation. Lt Briggs was then assigned to the 5th Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division unassigned Officers Pool 35th at Camp Campbell where he took part in the Victory Parade in Chicago in 1946. On November 20, 1946 he was assigned to the 605th Organized Reserve Composite Group Nevada/California where he remained until 1953 when he resigned his commission.

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