134th Infantry Regiment Crest

134th Infantry Regiment

"All Hell Can't Stop Us"

35th Infantry Division emblem

Combat History of the 137th Infantry Regiment

World War II

Transcribed by Roberta V. Russo, Palatine, Illinois

Chapter 5


At 1620 on January 19, CT 137 was placed in XX Corps reserve, 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.

From January 20 to 22, the 137th remained in XX Corps reserve and was on a three-hour notice to leave Metz by motor movement. Eighty-five trucks 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.

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 from 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 Battalion Serial, the Regimental motor column hit its IP, which was the Moyen, or the second bridge over the Moselle River, at 1045. The 1st Battalion cleared the IP at 1115, the 3rd Battalion at 1135, Special Units at 1205, and the 219th FA Battalion 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 Battalion in Couthill, 2nd Battalion in Grousisville, and the 3rd Battalion was billeted in Mulcy. The Regiment was to await further orders from XV Corps Headquarters.

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 Montbraun, 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 Battalion leading the column. The 3rd Battalion cleared the IP at 0805, the 2nd Battalion at 0925, the 1st Battalion at 0845, and Special Units at 0915. The column left Alberstroff and traveled through Sarre-Union and Dimeringer to reach its new area.

The 2nd Battalion moved up into Lemberg, the 3rd Battalion went into St. Louis, the 1st moved into Meisenthal, and Regimental Headquarters was located in Soucht. The 219th FA Battalion went into Montbraun. The 320th Infantry took up positions on the right flank of the 137th. On the left was the 100th Infantry Division.

The Regiment was to relieve the 389th Infantry and defend and improve on the defensive positions. The Regiment received a number of reinforcements this day.

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 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 Battalion 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 Battalion had its CP in St. Louis. The 1st Battalion, on the right, was stretched out along eastern Sarreinberg 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 Battalion had completed relief as of 0020, the 3rd Battalion by 0035, and the 2nd Battalion as of 0230. The battalions held the ground and improved their positions.

The 2nd Battalion 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. Company I reported that at 2050, the enemy was probing its positions with much small arms fire, but the situation quieted down by 2150.

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 this day 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, roadblocks, CPs, or indications of the enemy improving their defense or any flare of activity. The regular motorized patrol was also to be conducted.

Snow continued to fall throughout the day, as the 137th Infantry maintained its defensive positions on January 27, holding and improving them. Company B, 654th TD Battalion, 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 45th, 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.

On January 28, the 137th Infantry continued to hold and improve its positions in its sector of defense. Patrolling activity was conducted.

The 137th 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 Battalion was relieved by 0105, the 3rd Battalion by 0115, and the 2nd Battalion by 2115.

Headquarters and Special Units moved to Adamsviller, 1st Battalion to Gungwiller, 2nd Battalion to Berg, and the 3rd Battalion 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.

On January 30, the 137th Infantry began its movement to Holland. Leaving its assembly areas in the morning, the 137th organic transportation 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 "40 & 8" cars for a three-day move to Holland.

The 137th Infantry continued on its move up into Holland on January 31. Troops, moving by rail, traveled through Lunesville, Nancy, Toul, Verdun, Sedan, Mezieres, Namur, and Liege, and stopped at Vise on February 1, during the three-day move.

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 Moorbeek, Holland. From that destination point, Regimental Headquarters moved to Banholt, 1st Battalion to Houtem, 2nd Battalion to Scheg, and 3rd Battalion 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 34 men killed in action, 222 men wounded in action, and six men missing in action. Twenty-three prisoners passed through the 137th Infantry PW cage during the month.

Troops of the 137th Infantry, following their three-day train ride from Southern France, arrived in Vise, Belgium, on the morning of February 1, and moved by motor to the Regiment's assembly area in the vicinity of Banholt, Holland. Troops who made the entire trip by motor had arrived in Holland the previous day. The 35th Division was now in the XVI Corps of the Ninth U. S. Army.

The Regiment's new assembly area was located north of Liege and east of the Netherlands city of Maastricht. Regimental Headquarters and Special Units moved into Banholt, 1st Battalion to Houtem, 2nd Battalion to Scheg, and the 3rd Battalion assembled in Herkenrade. The 137th closed into its area by 1615.

The 137th Regiment remained in its assembly area February 2 and 3, as the 35th Division remained in XVI Corps reserve. The 134th Infantry, which had remained in Bastogne when the 137th and 320th Regiments moved south and joined the Seventh Army, rejoined the 35th Division in Holland. This marked the first time that the three regiments of the Division had been together since the 35th erased the southern tip of the Belgian Bulge.

The 35th Division was ordered to relieve elements of the British 52nd Infantry Division of the 3rd Army, in defensive positions inside Germany on February 5. The 137th Infantry, with the 17th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron attached, was to move by motor from its assembly area in Holland to the sector held by the 156th Infantry Brigade. The Regiment was to occupy and defend the same defensive positions held by the British Infantry to enter Germany for the second time. The 17th Cavalry was to defend ground to the left of the 137th, while the 320th Infantry was to be on the Regiment's right flank.

The Regiment, with the 17th Cavalry attached, moved by motor from its assembly area in Holland to the British positions. The 3rd Battalion, with one platoon of the AT Company, cleared the IP at 1045, the 2nd Battalion serial, with a platoon of the AT Company, cleared by 1105, the 1st Battalion, with a platoon of the AT Company, cleared at 1125, Special Units with Company B, 110th Medical Detachment, and Company B, 60th Engineer Battalion, cleared by 1150, the 219th FA Battalion by 1220, the 17th Cavalry by 1300, and Company B, 654th TD Battalion, cleared the IP by 1400.

The 1st Battalion moved into the right sector of the Regiment's zone and relieved the 7th Cameronions. Troops took up defensive positions on the northern outskirts of Heinsberg and southeast of the battered German town, with the CP was located in Aphoven. In the central sector, the 2nd Battalion relieved the 6th Cameronions, as its troops moved into positions in Kirchhoven and Lieck. The Battalion CP was in Braunsrath and the reserve company in Locken. The 4/5 Royal Scot's Fusiliers were relieved in their positions by the 3rd Battalion, on the Regiment's left. The CP was in Obspringen and the troops took over positions in Hagserduesch and Vinn. The 17th Cavalry relieved the Regiment in a position to the left of the 3rd Battalion. Company B, 654th TD Battalion, coordinated anti-tank defense with the 137th AT Company. Regimental Headquarters was established in Bocket.

In the 35th Division zone, the 137th Infantry, with the 17th Cavalry, was holding the left flank, while the 320th was on the right. The 134th Infantry was in Division reserve. To the left of the 35th Division was the 7th British Armored Division, and on the right was the U. S. 102nd Infantry Division.

A Company A patrol, conducting a reconnaissance to the front, was pinned down by enemy fire coming from a nearby building. Reinforcements were sent out to contact the patrol, but failed to locate the Company A men. It was believed that the patrol of one officer and four EM were captured by the enemy.

The roads in the Regimental sector were in poor condition, due to mud and rain, and a number of roads were impassable for vehicles. Regimental Message Center employed the M-29 (Weasel) to run from Regiment to the battalions.

On February 8 the 137th Infantry was to be relieved of its sector by CCB, 8th Armored Division, but the relief was postponed and the Regiment continued to hold and defend its positions. Patrolling was conducted by the front line units. The 1st Battalion received sporadic enemy fire throughout the day; otherwise the enemy artillery was light.

The 137th Infantry continued to hold its defensive positions west of the Roer River on February 11 as enemy fire increased slightly during the day.

The enemy destruction of the floodgates at the mighty Schwammenauel Dam this day sent tons of water flooding down upon the Roer Valley and caused the Roer River to rise to a stage as much as seven feet above its normal average along the 9th Army front. The Roer, normally a sluggish and comparatively narrow stream winding through scenic and industrial German countryside west of the Cologne Plain, had been galvanized into a racing torrent in some sections, and in the 137th area, it had overflowed its banks and flooded large areas.

A 3rd Battalion patrol followed an enemy patrol to the outskirts of Karken, at 2335, ran into an enemy observation post, became engaged in a fire fight, and then withdrew. Company G at 2115, heard enemy activity in Kirchhoven, lit up the area with flares, and then forced the enemy to withdraw by placing mortar fire on them. Enemy artillery fell at 1212 in the 3rd Battalion zone and at 1800 in the 1st Battalion sector. Two 12-round barrages of heavy artillery hit the 2nd Battalion and 1st Battalion at 1810 and 1840, respectively.

The 137th Infantry and the enemy watched each other across the enemy-created flood of the Roer River on February 12 as the Regiment maintained its defensive positions.

Major General Baade, 35th Division Commander, directed that all troops be alerted to the fact that the enemy might conduct raids into the Regiment's lines up to and including company strength.

The 17th Cavalry and the three battalions of the 137th Infantry remained in their defensive positions on February 13. Early in the morning the Company L observation post was encircled by approximately 20 enemy troops, but when artillery was placed on the area, the enemy dispersed from the OP.

The sun was shining, and the weather turned warmer on February 15 as the 137th Infantry continued to hold and defend its positions. Enemy artillery fire was light, as in the past few days.

The 137th Infantry continued to hold its defensive position west of the Roer River from February 16 to 18. Sporadic enemy artillery fire continued throughout the three days, as well as flare activity during darkness. All units conducted patrols as usual. Regimental Headquarters was in Bocket, 1st Battalion in Aphoven, 2nd Battalion in Braunsrath, and 3rd Battalion in Obspringen. The 17th Cavalry Squadron remained attached to the 137th Infantry.

Enemy patrols were active on February 17. The Company F observation post and a patrol from Company G fired on an enemy patrol and it withdrew. Company K killed two of its own men at 0515 when they were challenged and failed to halt. At 0745 the Company B observation post was fired on by an enemy machine gun and bazooka, but when reinforcements arrived, the enemy withdrew. The Company A observation post was attacked at 1035 by an undetermined number of enemy with machine guns and small arms, but the situation quieted down by 1115, and two of the enemy were known to be killed during the fight. The 17th Cavalry had leaflets fired at them, which welcomed the 84th Division "Rail Splitters" back into action.

At 1030 on February 18, an enemy patrol followed a Company E patrol which was returning to its lines. The enemy fled when 137th men fired on them. Company G fired on three of the enemy who were attempting to get in touch with civilians in Kirchhoven late in the evening. One enemy attempting to crawl into the Company F Observation Post at 2245 was fired upon and fled.

From February 19 to 21, the 137th Infantry continued the defense of its sector west of the Roer River, and also conducted assault boat training in a rear area.

At 1150 on February 19, when three men of Company G were moving out to their front to put in trip flares, they were wounded by enemy machine gun fire. At 1330 the 1st Battalion Observation Post observed a 12-man enemy patrol in Unterbruch, and artillery fire was placed on the town. During the night there was much flare activity reported by all units along the front.

A British Lancaster bomber crashed 1,000 yards north of Heinsberg and 200 yards to the front of 2nd Battalion positions at 0150 on February 21. A 2nd Battalion patrol found the plane to be free of personnel, but removed the navigational equipment and maps which it discovered in the wreck.

A 2nd Battalion patrol went into Haag at 0035, found no activity in the town, but was involved in a fire fight with an enemy patrol while returning to friendly lines. One enemy was wounded at 0145 when Company G fired on an enemy patrol in the act of infiltrating through the lines. At 0842 all companies were alerted when 25 to 30 enemy were observed crossing the Roer River in boats. Three additional boatloads of from six to eight men each crossed to the western shore of the river at 0920. The Observation Post kept the enemy under constant observation as mortars were brought forward to engage any one attempting to cross the river. The enemy failed to make a thrust at any of the positions of the 137th.

The 137th Infantry Regiment was relieved of its sector at 2307, February 22, by the 314th Infantry of the 79th Division, and then moved back out of Germany into an assembly area in Holland and passed into 35th Division reserve. The Regiment closed into its assembly area at 0315, February 23. The 320th and 134th Regiments remained on the defensive in their sectors and prepared to jump-off with the 9th Army at 0330 on February 24.

Locations of the 137th units in the Regiment's assembly area were: Regimental Headquarters, Special Units, and the 1st Battalion in Schinveld; 2nd Battalion in Pannenschopp; and the 3rd Battalion in Neiderbusch.

At 1900, February 24, the order was issued to sew on all 35th Division patches and paint bumper markings on all vehicles at once, since the veil of secrecy was lifted from the Division.

As scattered enemy artillery fell all along the Division front, the 320th and 134th Infantry Regiments jumped off at 0330 February 24, following a preparatory barrage, and cleared their zones to the Roer River. The 137th Infantry remained in Division reserve in its assembly area in Holland and conducted reconnaissance for possible commitment into any sector of the Division.

The 35th Division, on the right flank of the XVI Corps, was bounded on the left by the 314th Infantry, 79th Division, and on the right by the 84th Division, XIII Corps.

The 137th Infantry remained in 35th Division reserve until the evening of February 25, and then moved by motor to cross the Roer River and attack in the sector assigned to it, adjacent to the 84th Infantry Division.

The Regiment, with its attached units, moved out of its assembly area in Holland on the evening of the 25th, with the order of march being the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Battalion, and the 1st Battalion.

The Regiment was to cross the Roer River at Korrenzig, then move by foot to Doveren, then on the Line of Departure, and attack at 0600, February 26. The 134th Infantry was to work on the left of the 137th, while the 320th Infantry was to support the attack of the 134th by fire. The 134th had to make a crossing of the Roer in its jump-off at 0600.

The 137th Infantry crossed the Roer River by motor under cover of darkness, moved into Doveren, attacked at 0630 on foot to reach the Line of Departure, and then swung a thrust toward Houverath, Bruck, and Eastern Huckelhoven, against the stiff enemy resistance encountered during the day.

Reconnaissance elements moved forward to Doveren, and the foot elements of the Regiment crossed the IP at Ball at 0330 and moved to the line of departure, followed by the motor transportation. The entire Regiment closed into the area by 0500, and Regimental Headquarters was established in Doveren, which at the time was subjected to a heavy enemy artillery barrage.

The 2nd Battalion, led by Company F, attacked in a column of companies. The advance was met by heavy mortar, artillery, and SP fire. Company F moved through the woods east of Huckelhoven under mortar fire, while Company E followed with a platoon of tanks, proceeding along the road to the right of the woods. The Battalion pulled up at the stream bed near the edge of the woods, dug-in, and blazed away at the enemy confronting it, as Company H supported the fire by long range machine gun fire. When the 137th moved on toward Seidlung, 12 enemy soldiers came out of Huckelhoven and surrendered to Company F.

The Regiment received considerable mortar, small arms, automatic weapons, and artillery fire during the day, as the enemy was making observations from a slag pile in Huckelhoven. The 3rd Battalion, attacking on the right, captured the town of Houverath and moved on toward Bruck. Five hours after leading elements passed through Houverath, 15 enemy soldiers were flushed from cellars in the town. Among the prisoners taken this day were a captain, CO of the 1st Battalion, 330th Infantry Regiment, 183rd VG Division, and a lieutenant, 219th FA Regiment.

Continuing the attack a second day, the 137th Infantry shoved ahead on February 27 and pitched the enemy out of Gerderath, the woods southwest of Gerderath, Fronderath, Gerderhahn, and Almyhl. The Regiment received exceptional work from Company B, 784th Tank Battalion, which was attached to the 137th for the operation.

After jumping off at 0600, Companies K and L secured Gerderath at 1125 and at 1420, Company I captured Gerderhahn. One platoon of Company L took the town of Fronderath.

The 2nd Battalion launched its attack from K1 Gladbach at 0600 with 784th Tanks and tank destroyers from the 654th Battalion. Spearheaded by Company F, the Battalion fanned out, went through the woods southwest of Gerderath, moved across the stream, and cleaned out a patch of woods 500 yards wide, below Myhl. The 27th marked the second day that Major Harry Parker had commanded the 2nd Battalion in combat and his men advance over 2,000 yards. Company H machine guns were firing from upstairs windows of houses in Gladbach across to the town of Myhl. The work of Company B, 784th Tank Battalion, had been exceptional all day, and the negro tankers supported the Regiment in an excellent manner all day.

The 1st Battalion, in Regimental reserve since the beginning of the operation, jumped off for Myhl at 1515, moving on the Regiment's left flank. At 1700 the Battalion had captured Almyhl and then continued on toward Myhl.

February 28, the 137th infantrymen trudged ahead working through the Birgeler Woods and seizing the towns of Wildenrath, Rodge, Arsbeck, and Station-Vlodrop. The enemy offered slight resistance of small arms, automatic weapons, and SP gun fire on leading elements of the 137th during the day's operations.

The 1st Battalion had cleared the town of Myhl during the night, consolidating its positions, and continued the attack on February 28, moving northwest to the road junction east of Rod?en, then followed the 3rd Battalion to the edge of the town. A 407th Group, XVI Corps, observation plane was shot down over the 1st Battalion area and the pilot was slightly wounded, and treated by 137th medical aid men.

After assembling in Myhl, the 2nd Battalion moved to Wildenrath in Regimental reserve.

The 3rd Battalion pressed on in the morning from Gerderath, and swept ahead through Wilderath and Rodgen to Station-Vlodrop, where it held, awaiting further orders.

The Regiment had advanced 6,000 meters during the day, clearing road blocks and flushing cellars in the towns passed through. The Regimental Command Post moved to Rodgen in the afternoon and made plans to execute the Division mission of following Task Force Byrne when it passed through Rodgen.

Battle casualties for the month of February were five killed in action, 30 wounded in action, and five missing in action.

March 1 found the 137th Infantry Combat Team continuing its swift attack toward the Rhine River with TF Byrne and the 134th CT. The 137th CT was in the vicinity of Rodgen, Germany, on March 1 waiting for TF Byrne to pass through its positions and then follow the 320th force further east by marching and shuttling. By 1750 TF Byrne had passed through the road junction east of Rodgen and the 137th's CT began to move out at the rear of the TF Byrne column. The 137th's mission was to advance and close into an assembly area near Leuth, Germany, southeast of Venlo, Holland.

Upon arrival, Regimental Headquarters and Special Units moved into Leuth at 0030, March 2, while 2nd and 3rd Battalions closed into a position southeast of Leuth. At 0220 the 1st Battalion met enemy opposition outside of Kierhenback, its proposed assembly area. The Battalion was confronted by an entrenched roadblock and a woods to the right of the road, with an estimated number of 65 enemy. By 0430 the 1st Battalion troops and their tank destroyers had flushed the woods, cleared the enemy situation, and advanced into the town.

A gun crew of Cannon Company captured 40 enemy soldiers without a fight during the early morning when the enemy came marching down a road into May. Later in the morning when the Service Company quartering party entered Leutherheide and spotted an estimated number of 65 enemy troops, it reported the news to the 137th CP. A task force was organized of armored cars, tank destroyers, and seven jeep loads of men from Companies L and G, roared into the town, and so surprised the enemy that 35 surrendered and the remainder fled. The 137th CT remained assembled in the area while TF Byrne was three kilometers east of Straelen at 1505, March 2.

The 137th Infantry CT departed from its assembly area in the vicinity of Venlo, Holland, at 1500, March 3, and moved by foot and motor to an assembly area west of Nieukirk, Germany, where it closed by 1900. The 2nd and 1st Battalions left their areas and marched 14 miles through the night prior to jumping-off in an attack at 0700, March 4. The 3rd Battalion moved to Nieukirk during the night and remained there in Regimental reserve until 1100.

The 2nd Battalion, with Company G pointing the push, launched its drive and swiftly secured the town of Rheurdt, southwest of Lintfort. The Battalion seized two bridges intact over the Fleuth Landwehr at 1000. The 1st Battalion, advancing meanwhile, also took crossings over the Fleuth Landwehr until it met strongly held and fortified enemy positions in the woods to its front, protecting Lintfort. The 3rd Battalion, in reserve, manned roadblocks and outposts near Nieukirk.

On the left flank of the U. S. Ninth Army, TF Bryne was holding down the left flank of the 35 Division. The 137th CT was in the central sector of the Division, and the 8th Armored Division, attached to the 35th, was on the right flank of that Regiment. The 35th had the 1st Canadian Army on its left and the 5th Armored to its right.

After Lintfort had been taken on March 5, Task Force Murray, which included CCB, 8th Armored, was composed and in a daring night attack captured the city of Rheinberg.

The 8th Armored desired to seize Lintfort by attacking through the 137th's 2nd Battalion, a plan which was mutually agreed upon by the respective commanders. The attack began at 0700 with the 8th Armored rolling into the city while the 2nd Battalion made a demonstration, then assisted the armor by fire, and followed it into the city. The 1st and 3rd Battalions attacked in the left zone, using columns of companies: Company A advanced to a point northwest of Lintfort before it was pinned down by heavy enemy fire.

Task Force Murray became effective as of 1600, March 5, and was composed of Troop E, 88th Reconnaissance; Company B, 654th TD Battalion; Company A, 784th Tank Battalion; Company B, 809th TD Battalion; 36th Tank Battalion (minus one company); 49th Armored Infantry Battalion; Company B, 53rd Engineer Battalion; and Company B, 80th Engineer Battalion, along with the 137th Infantry Regiment. Its mission was to twist north and take Ossenberg, then move on across the Rhine River with Wesel as its final objective.

The 8th Armored stabbed toward Rheinberg in the afternoon and received a jolting punishment from the enemy in the city. The 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 137th had become motorized when Lintfort was taken and had followed the armor to the outskirts of the city.

A night attack was planned to capture Rheinberg, a plan which only a veteran, experienced unit could fulfill. In a daring and shrewd move, the 3rd Battalion entered Rheinberg at 1930, and the 2nd Battalion at 2012. After dismounting from trucks, the battalions made contact and worked their way down the main street, the 2nd Battalion on one side and the 3rd on the other. After flushing out dark cellars and buildings, Rheinberg was nearly cleaned up by 0300. There were still fire fights until 0600 when the city was mopped up and securely outposted. The tankers of the 784th added a touch to the victory by prefacing their entry into the city with a sensational dash, through five miles of enemy lines, to the Rhine River itself.

The prized trophy of TF Murray in taking Rheinberg was the multi-millionaire midget and his luxurious mansion in the town square, where Regimental Headquarters and the 3rd Battalion located their CP's.

For the remainder of the day, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions were checked outside of Rheinberg by a blown bridge. Without the support of tanks, the men couldn't move against the heavy enemy fire directed at them across the flat expanses of terrain, and the armor couldn't cross the stream until a bridge was built. The drive continued at 1800 as soon as the bridge was put in, with Ossenberg as the next objective. Artillery had pounded Ossenberg day and night so that it might be taken and a stop put to the enemy's retreat across the river above the city. The 1st Battalion had a bitter struggle in clearing the Haus Heideberg Woods west of Ossenberg.

On March 7th, Task Force Murray was fighting in the outskirts of Ossenberg while absorbing all types of intense enemy fire. The road from Rheinberg to Ossenberg gave the 137th its bitterest opposition encountered during the entire operation and was dubbed "88 Alley." The enemy was determined to hold Ossenberg in order to keep his pocket west of the Rhine River and Wesel.

The heavy enemy fire slowed down the entire attack of the 3rd Battalion. The 1st Battalion met severe resistance throughout the day as Company A advanced to the woods directly east of Ducksrath and Company C neared the slag pile and brickyard across the railroad tracks southwest of Ossenberg. The 2nd Battalion remained in Ossenberg and prepared to attack along the Rhine the following day.

Task Force Murray was hammering away at the southern edge of the enemy out of Ossenberg and its Solvay Works. Working on the left, Group 1 was engaging in bitter fighting with Company C battling in the brickyard. Group 3 went around Ossenberg and edged its way north under violent enemy fire.

TF Murray now consisted of Troop E, 88th Reconnaissance, and three groups. Group 1, commanded by Major Frink, consisted of the 1st Battalion, 137th Infantry; first platoon, Company B, 654th TD Battalion; first platoon, Company A, 784th Tank Battalion; first platoon, Company B, 60th Engineer Combat Battalion, Group 2 was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Butler and consisted of his 3rd Battalion, 137th Infantry; Company B, 809th Tank Battalion; 36th Tank Battalion (minus one company); and Company B, 53rd Engineer Battalion. Group 3, led by Lieutenant Colonel Roseborough, consisted of the 49th Armored Infantry Battalion; 2nd Battalion, 137th Infantry; Company B (minus one platoon) 654th TD Battalion; Company B, 36th Tank Battalion; Company B (minus one platoon), 80th Engineer Battalion; and Company A (minus one platoon), 784th Tank Battalion.

Group 1 had the mission of hitting the highway between Ossenberg and Millingen. Group 2 was to advance through Ossenberg on up the highway to a point, southwest of Menzelen, then cut northeast and take the town of Menzelen and advance on to Gest. Group 3 was to move along the highway just west of the Rhine River up to smaller Borth and then advance on to Augenedshorf. Group 3 was to continue northeast up the highway to Buderich, on up to Fort Blucher, then across the Rhine to Wesel, the final objective of TF Murray.

Group 2 had the mission of taking Ossenberg and organized a force which included Company I, 137th Infantry; a platoon of 8th Armored tanks, and a platoon of 809th tank destroyers, which fought for and seized the city. When daylight came, the group had reached the town when the enemy pushed a counterattack into the group. The men pulled back to relieve the shock and then jumped once more, reaching the Solvay Works. The fire was fierce, and the enemy had guns in every building and shack. The enemy artillery and mortar fire was heavy as the men of Group 2 moved slowly ahead in the bitter struggle. Two enemy tanks and one self-propelled gun were knocked out during the fray. Another force of Group 2 was working on the western outskirts of Ossenberg, driving north in the face of heavy enemy fire.

With Group 1, Company C jumped off prior to dawn on March 8 and battled 18 hours when it fell upon and captured the huge slag pile and brickyard southwest of Ossenberg. Before daylight, heavy artillery and mortar fire were laid down on the enemy positions, and at 0500 hours, a platoon of Company C attacked the slag pile and secured it by 1400. Another platoon went around the pile and hit the yard with its numerous piles of bricks. By 2000 the position was cleared, with the exception of enemy snipers in the vicinity.

Task Force Murray continued the attack in its zone at 0700, March 9. As Group 2 mopped up the remaining resistance in Ossenberg, Group 1 punched ahead to the eastern outskirts of Millingen, and Group 3 was pinned down by vicious enemy fire from the eastern side of the Rhine River.

On March 10, TF Murray had its boundary changed, and after the 137th had smashed ahead and seized Borth and Wallach, it was pinched out of the advance by the 134th CT, attacking toward Wesel through TF Byrne.

Against light resistance, the 3rd Battalion moved north, and Company K seized Wallach at 1040. The 1st Battalion continued mopping-up southwest of Ossenberg. The Regiment was directed to assemble in its positions and initiate patrolling. At 2220 CCB, 8th Armored Division was released from attachment to TF Murray.

The 134th CT, after contacting the British on their left, had sent patrols to the bridges over the Rhine River by duck on March 10.

On March 11 and 12 the 137th Infantry remained in its positions along the bank of the Rhine River. The 3rd Battalion was occupying positions in Wallach and Borth, the 2nd Battalion troops were in Ossenberg, and the 1st Battalion was in position southwest of Ossenberg.

Regimental Headquarters and the 3rd Battalion CP remained in Rheinberg. The 2nd Battalion had CP's in both Ossenberg and Rheinberg, while the 1st Battalion CP was located east of Bauern, west of Rheinberg.

At 2135, the 137th Infantry was relieved in its zone by the 290th Infantry Regiment of the 75th Division, and prepared to move March 13 to a rear assembly area.

When the 35th Division was relieved of its responsibilities along the Rhine River Front, the 137th Infantry moved by motor to a rear assembly area in Germany, southeast of Venlo, Holland.

Regimental Headquarters and Special Units closed into an area in the vicinity of Breyell by 1000, March 13. The 1st Battalion moved into an area at Klinkhammer by 0930, the 2nd Battalion into Leutherside by 1100 and the 3rd Battalion in the vicinity of Leuth by 1130.

The 35th Infantry Division remained in XVI Corps reserve of the Ninth Army from March 16 to March 22. The 75th Infantry Division was holding the Corps front along the Rhine River.

The Regiment conducted a daily training schedule which did not interfere with passes to Brussels and Paris, recreation, moving pictures, and Red Cross clubmobiles.

The offensive to win the war in Europe was launched at 2200 hours, March 23, as the Ninth Army, British and Canadian troops, shrouded by a 66-mile-long smoke screen, crossed the Rhine River in assault craft of every type. These attacks were north and south of Wesel, on the east bank of the Rhine, only 12 miles north of the congested factory district of the Ruhr Valley, and had previously been the final objective of the 137th Infantry during its drive from the Roer to the Rhine. The Ninth Army bridgehead was established 12 miles south of Wesel, and the troops were surprised to discover that the enemy positions were held so lightly. From dawn to dusk, Allied Air Forces brought to a climax the program of devastation they had carried on day after day across northwestern Germany.

On March 25 the 35th Division was alerted to move forward as soon as operational space was provided by the 30th and 79th Divisions, battling east of the Rhine.

PHOT0GRAPHS and Maps - Chapter 5

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