By Ron MacKay, Don Greer

The twentieth Fighter crew joined the eighth Air strength Command in Dec of '43, flying the P-38 in lengthy diversity bomber escort function. the crowd later switched over to the P-51 in July of '44. the gang destroyed a complete of 449 enemy airplane in the course of its wrestle journey. Over a hundred and fifty pictures, eight pages of colour, eighty pages

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Captain Shetler and his radio operator and messengers then followed behind Hodges’s platoon and had reached just beyond Halfway House when an artillery strike descended on the advancing troops. 8 1st Lt. David F. Stafford, the company executive of¤cer, immediately came forward and took over the command. The company’s radio operator had been killed and his set smashed, and communication with the battalion could now be conducted only by runner. The forward artillery observation of¤cer, Lt. William C.

In addition, Major Kraft’s Field Replacement and Training Battalion 416 was dispatched to assist Major Becker’s 1st Battalion at Tettingen. During the night the wounded were evacuated from Halfway House and supplies brought forward to Butzdorf, while patrols checked the surrounding area. The German mortar teams that had been operating east of Butzdorf appeared to have withdrawn, but considerable activity was reported in the woods to the northwest of the village. The German artillery preparation (artillery ¤red before an attack to in- Division Goes into Action / 23 terrupt communications and muddle the enemy’s defense) began at 0440 on January 15 and was followed by a company of Major Kraft’s battalion charging downhill into the villages from the woods, where its presence had been detected earlier on.

James C. Hobbs and Pvt. Charles F. Croan opened up their heavy machine guns with devastating effect as the German infantry dismounted. Fire from the disabled tank forced Lieutenant Chalkley and his messenger to quit their command post and reestablish themselves in a barn across the street, only to come under ¤re from the second tank behind the church. 40 / Division Goes into Action Lieutenant Peters and his platoon sergeant, Joseph J. Quentz, were wounded by an 88-mm gun and had to be evacuated.

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