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What's New

Author Updates and Archive Additions

December 16, 2021
Last month, I created a new subject area in my online archive for records pertaining to the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion. As some of you may know, primary-source material relating to this unit is scarce. Here are three items I acquired this past summer at NARA: 

517th PIR Map Overlay, 5 Jan 45 (14:10)
551st PIB Messages, 3 Jan 45
Rochelinval-Ennal Aerial Photo

November 11, 2021
Today marks the fifth anniversary of this website. It’s also Veterans Day, and I am honoring one particular veteran, Corporal Robert H. Hill of the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion. He earned the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions on January 7, 1945, during the fight for Rochelinval, Belgium. I’ve added his DSC recommendation to my archive plus other material related to his battalion.

Hill DSC Recommendation
551st PIB at Rochelinval
Dairomont-Rochelinval Aerial Photo

October 23, 2021
Continuing on last month’s theme, here are three more combat interviews related to the 2nd Armored Division in April 1945.

2nd Bn, 67th Armd Rgt (Einbeck)
Co B, 67th Armd Rgt (Rodman 1)
Co B, 67th Armd Rgt (Rodman 2)

September 18, 2021
Four years ago, I posted combat interviews related to the 2nd Armored Division and Operation Cobra. This month, I’ve begun adding interviews related to that division’s combat operations during April 1945. Here are the first three interviews now in my online archive:

1st Bn, 41st Armd Inf Rgt (Finnell)
3rd Bn, 41st Armd Inf Rgt (Anderson)
1st Bn, 67th Armd Rgt (Leibman)

June 27, 2021
I’ve created a miscellaneous section in my archive, a catch-all for documents that don’t fit within the established subject groups. One such item is a turret drawing for the M4A3E2 "Jumbo" assault tank that I scanned at NARA. This original Ordnance Department drawing measures 41x25 inches (104x64cm). That’s it for now. I’m taking a break for the summer but will be back in September with new documents.

M4A3E2 Turret Assembly, 6 Mar 44
Eisenhower's Order of the Day, 23 Dec 44
Eisenhower's letter, 2 Dec 44

May 23, 2021
Picking up again on Krinkelt-Rocherath, I’ve added four new documents to my archive, all concerning the battle for the twin villages.

Sketch, Co C, 38th Inf Rgt, 17-18 Dec 44
Sketch, S-3, 1st Bn, 38th Inf Rgt, 18 Dec 44
Sketch, Exec Off, Co A, 38th Inf Rgt, 17-19 Dec 44
Krinkelt-Rocherath, Rear Area Defense, 10 Dec 44

April 20, 2021
On this date in 1945, elite German Navy combat swimmers attempted to demolish two U.S. Army treadway bridges over the Elbe River. One was the Roosevelt Bridge near Breitenhagen, Germany. I’ve created a new section in my archive for documents related to this little-known attack:

Preliminary Interrogation of Captured Swimmers
Unit Report, 234th Eng Cbt Bn, Apr 45
Unit Journal, 234th Eng Cbt Bn, 18-23 Apr 45
Photograph, Captured Swimmer Jochen Burnus
Photograph, Roosevelt Bridge

March 21, 2021
On March 6, 1944, the 100th Bombardment Group (Eighth Air Force) raided Berlin, a mission that cost the group fifteen aircraft, its worst single-day loss of the war. I’ve created a new subject area in my archive related to the “Bloody Hundredth.” Here are four documents ...

Operations Officer Report, Mission of 6 Mar 44
Navigational Narratives for Mission of 6 Mar 44
Mission Route, 100th Bomb Group, 6 Mar 44
Formation, Group A, 100th Bomb Group, 6 Mar 44


February 21, 2021
Continuing on last month’s theme, I’ve added three documents to my archive, all concerning the 2nd Infantry Division and the battle for Krinkelt-Rocherath.

Sketch, 2nd Plt, Co B, 38th Inf Rgt, 17-18 Dec 44
Overlay, AT Co, 38th Inf Rgt, 17-18 Dec 44
57mm AT Guns in Rocherath-Krinkelt Action

January 20, 2021
Today I've added three new documents to my online archive. They relate to the 2nd Infantry Division and its battle for Krinkelt-Rocherath in December 1944.

Destruction of German Armor (644th TD Bn)
German Armor Destroyed by Owen McDermott
Enemy Tanks Destroyed, Krinkelt-Rocherath

Four years ago, I posted a damaged copy of Robert Utley’s “Enemy Tanks Destroyed” map. I subsequently found another copy in perfect condition. Both are now in my archive. Utley’s tally was 77 knocked-out enemy tanks, certainly an inflated number as it exceeds the armored strength of the German units involved in the battle. This likely occurred because the map was based on after-action claims and not a battlefield survey.

551st Parachute Infantry Battalion
Nr. 63 Rocherath, Battle of the Bulge, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division

On 18 December 1944, Pvt. Isabel Salazar, a cook’s helper from Antitank Company, 38th Infantry Regiment, fired a bazooka from an upper-story window of Nr. 63 Rocherath, the home of Maria Radermacher and the command post for Company C, 38th. Salazar knocked out a Panther and later a Jagdpanzer. The intrepid cook received a Bronze Star Medal for his efforts. His window was later destroyed along with the southeast corner of Nr. 63 as seen in this February 1945 picture. The building nevertheless went on to serve as the Forward CP for the 953rd Field Artillery Battalion (VICTORIA FWD). The house was torn down after the war and replaced by a modern structure—Nr. 65 Rocherath.

German Navy combat swimmer (Kampfschwimmer) Jochen Burnus, April 20, 1945, Elbe River, 234th Engineer Combat Battalion, 83rd Infantry Division
February 1, 1945; Krinkelt, Belgium, 2nd Infantry Division

February 1, 1945: Krinkelt, Belgium, after its

recapture by the 2nd Infantry Division. (S/Sgt. Dwight P. Ellett, 165th SPC)

April 20, 1945: German Navy combat swimmer (Kampfschwimmer) Jochen Burnus stands before T/5 Serafino P. Ferrante of the 234th Engineer Combat Battalion. The prisoner was one of six swimmers, who, loaded with 3,000 pounds of explosives, attempted to demolish treadway bridges spanning the Elbe River. (T/4 John E. Freeney, 168th SPC)

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