Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Searching for Battle Info


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Ec47pilot

Ec47pilot

    recruit

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 10 April 2009 - 12:31 AM

My father, an Army Pfc, was killed in WWII, when I was barely 6, on Dec 8, 1944. He was in Company A, 17th Battalion, 5th Regiment, 179th Infantry, 7th Army, and had been in theater only a month or so when he was killed.

I’m hoping that one of you historians can help me determine where his organization was fighting, at the time, and what major offensive, or defensive they were involved with. I believe that he was in the Alsace-Lorraine area between Germany and France, if that helps. He is buried in the US National Cemetery in St. Avold, France near the border across from Stuttgart.

I am trying to update our Family tree on Ancestry.Com with accurate data, and also establish a more detailed family record.

Thanks for any help you can provide. :confused:

#2 Slipdigit

Slipdigit

    Good Ol' Boy

  • Administrators
  • 14,851 posts
  • LocationAlabama

Posted 10 April 2009 - 03:40 AM

Welcome Ec47,

I'm sorry, but your unit designations don't make sense. 17th Battalion? Battalions were not numbered like that, especially if they were part of a regiment, where they were numbered 1-3. Independent battalions had three numbers, usually, but when they had only two numbers, they were not numbered that low.
You gave company, battalion, regiment. Usually the next unit given is a division, but you gave 179th, but there was no 179th Infantry Division. There is a 179th Infantry Regiment, which was part of the 45th Infantry Division and served in the 7th Army areas. The 5th Infantry Regiment was part of the 71st Infantry Div, but fought with the 100th Division very late in the war. Both the 71st and 100th fought in the 7th Army's area.

I guess what I am saying, you need to look at the unit designation more closely so we can get correct information.

Best Regards,  
JW :slipdigit:

SlidigitAxe.png


#3 formerjughead

formerjughead

    The Cooler King

  • TrusteeOKF Trustee
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,062 posts

Posted 10 April 2009 - 06:29 AM

"A" Comapany would belong to 1st Battalion (A,B,C)

Here is something:

From the cemetary's site you mentioned:

http://www.abmc.gov/...ies/lo_pict.pdf

The U.S. Third Army resumed its pursuit of the enemy across France early in September
1944, after a brief halt because of a shortage of fuel. Except at Metz, where extremely
heavy fortifications and resistance were encountered, the U.S. Third Army advanced
rapidly and crossed the Moselle River. By late September, Nancy was liberated and a
juncture with the U.S. Seventh Army, which was advancing northward from the beaches
of southern France, was made near Epinal. Upon the joining of these two Armies, a solid
Allied front was established extending to the Swiss border.
Throughout October, the two Armies pushed aggressively eastward against
increasingly strong resistance. The U.S. Third Army drove toward the Saar River and the
U.S. Seventh Army into the Vosges Mountains, as the enemy fortress at Metz continued
to resist. On 8 November 1944, the U.S. Third Army launched a major offensive toward

the Saar River. During this offensive, the main fortress at Metz was encircled and it

capitulated on 22 November. Its outer forts, however, did not surrender until 13
December. Bypassing this resistance, the U.S. Third Army continued to advance,
capturing Saarguemines on 6 December 1944. By mid-December, several bridgeheads
had been established across the Saar River and the U.S. Third Army had begun
preparations for breaching the Siegfried Line. Meanwhile on 11 November, the U.S.
Seventh Army to the south launched an attack eastward capturing Saarebourg on 20
November 1944. Moving rapidly, it outflanked, then penetrated the vital Saverne Gap in
the Vosges Mountains. Sending the French 2nd Armored Division to liberate Strasbourg
on the Rhine River, the U.S. Seventh Army turned northward advancing along the west
bank of the Rhine against the defenses of the Siegfried Line, simultaneously aiding the
U.S. Third Army’s operations to the north.
Throughout these operations, the U.S. Ninth Air Force and the U.S. First Tactical
Air Force rendered vital air support to the U.S. Third and Seventh Armies, respectively,
despite severe rainstorms and cold weather.
The progress of the two U.S. armies was halted temporarily by the enemy’s final
major counteroffensive of the war, which began in the Ardennes Forest on 16 December
1944. Officially designated the Ardennes-Alsace Campaign, it became known as the
“Battle of the Bulge.” The U.S. Third Army moved quickly northward to counter this
threat, as the U.S. Seventh Army and the French First Army to its south extended their
lines northward to cover more front. The second phase of the enemy’s final
counteroffensive was launched on New Year’s eve against the U.S. Seventh Army and
the French First Army. The assault began as a drive for the Saverne Gap followed by an

attack across the Rhine toward Strasbourg. After furious fighting on all fronts in bitterly

cold weather, the last major enemy offensive was halted and the U.S. Third and Seventh
Armies resumed their assault on the Siegfried Line. The line was soon broken and all
enemy units were cleared from the west bank of the Rhine. In March 1945, the two U.S.
armies crossed the Rhine River and began their drive into Germany.


Edited by formerjughead, 10 April 2009 - 06:38 AM.


#4 formerjughead

formerjughead

    The Cooler King

  • TrusteeOKF Trustee
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,062 posts

Posted 10 April 2009 - 06:51 AM

Here is another link with maps and pictures and stuff:

The War of Attrition - 1944

#5 BWilson

BWilson

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 337 posts

Posted 10 April 2009 - 05:39 PM

My father, an Army Pfc, was killed in WWII, when I was barely 6, on Dec 8, 1944. He was in Company A, 17th Battalion, 5th Regiment, 179th Infantry, 7th Army, and had been in theater only a month or so when he was killed.

I’m hoping that one of you historians can help me determine where his organization was fighting, at the time, and what major offensive, or defensive they were involved with. I believe that he was in the Alsace-Lorraine area between Germany and France, if that helps. He is buried in the US National Cemetery in St. Avold, France near the border across from Stuttgart.

I am trying to update our Family tree on Ancestry.Com with accurate data, and also establish a more detailed family record.

Thanks for any help you can provide. :confused:


Might be Co. A, 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division -- which was part of the 7th Army.

During the period you mention, the 7th Army had pushed up to the German border in the area of St-Avold and Bitche. IIRC, the units were reducing German fortified positions that used old Maginot Line forts as their basis.

Cheers

BW

#6 plm325

plm325

    recruit

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 26 April 2009 - 03:24 AM

I just joined today and was looking for references to the Vosges (my father was in the 7th Army--and relieved the 45th in November). Here's from the pamphlet history of the Thunderbird Division for the month he was in combat. It sounds as though he might have died in the fighting for Niederbronn. I hope this helps.

Lone Sentry: The 45th: The Story of the 45th Infantry Division -- WWII G.I. Stories Booklet

_________________

"In the Vosges woods, troops engaged in rugged fighting. It was November and winter had come again. Cold and rain retarded forward movement. Density of the forests made observation difficult and sharp hand-to-hand clashes became routine.

Still, the division pressed on, taking St. Benoit, crossing the Meurthe River and liberating Houseras, after clearing multiple road blocks challenging the advance.

After 86 days in which the entire division had been committed, the 45th moved to a rest area south of Epinal. Some units remained active, attached to other elements of Seventh Army. Many Thunderbird troops enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner in the rest area. After two weeks the 45th was ready for action once more.

Now it was pushing forward into the Vosges mountains, probing for a weak spot that would open Army's advance through the mountain passes. Following in the wake of an adjacent French unit, the 45th moved to Baccarat, Sarrebourg and through the Saverne Gap on to Gougenheim.
The 179th Infantry, temporarily attached to the French 2nd D.B. (Armored), cracked forts north of Mutzig, one of the heavily-defended anchors of the Maginot Line.

As they moved through Alsace, clearing the enemy from Obermodern, Utterwiller, Kindwiller and Bitschhoffe, 45th doughs found Alsatians speaking less French and more German. Attacking enemy strongpoints at Zinswiller, the Thunderbird forced Germans to pull out of Pfaffenoffen, Ueberach and La Walck.

Towns succumbing to the 45th's advance were many, but the story was fundamentally the same: stiff opposition, road blocks, mines, artillery, mud, cold. Always, the forward movement continued.



EARLY December, the division crossed the Zintzel River and captured Niederbronn-les-bains after slugging it out with a stubborn enemy. Now the 45th was in Maginot country. Defenses that once were erected to keep Germans out of France now were turned against the 45th. Reichshoffen and Langesoulzbach fell before the advance.
_____________




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users