The Germans threw wave after wave of infantry, and a unit of panzers, at the town. They inflicted disproportionate casualties on the Germans, and were one of the only units that did not give ground during the Battle of the Bulge. EN. The 395th Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment of the United States Army, part of the 99th Infantry Division during World War II. By the end of the December 16, much of the American front lines in the Ardennes had been broken by the German assault. It was organized with the rest of the 99th on 16 November 1942 at Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi. It was demobilized on 30 November 1918, but was later reconstituted on 21 June 1921 as a member of the Organized Reserves just like the 99th Infantry Division. Some toppled directly into US foxholes as American troops engaged them at point-blank range. In the event of an emergency, the battalion headquarters and company administrative personnel, including clerks and motor-pool staff, were to join the platoon, creating a small reserve force of about 100 men. Captain Ned Nelson, veteran of 3/395 and the battle at Hfen. A group Soldiers who were in direct support of the relief efforts were also awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal as a personal award. Richard Mills were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Richard V. Horrell WW 2 Connections, Aug 6, 2010 #6 Buten42 Member Joined: Jun 27, 2009 Messages: 1,287 Likes Received: 210 Location: Washington State In early December, the front was unusually calm and the weather was bone-chilling cold. And while the defense of the crossroads of hell was gallant to be sure, it was not the back breaker that most people assume it to have been. The 1st Battalion was positioned on the right. On 17 September 2008, the 99th Regional Support Command was activated at Fort Dix, N.J. , The regiment's (3rd Battalion) earned the sobriquet Butler's Battlin' Blue Bastards derived from the name of its single commander, its special fighting abilities, the battalion's color designation, and because the regiment was often lent out and belonged to no one. The men carried out missions without orders when their positions were penetrated or infiltrated. Butler's father had been a major in the Illinois National Guard and urged his son to become a guardsman when he was 16 years old.  For their part, the German army was planning a seven-day campaign to seize Antwerp. and the situation was desperate. The 395th were moved by train and truck, and finally by foot, to front line positions near the German town of Hfen a few kilometers west of the Siegfried Line and near the Belgium-German border. Shield The 395th Infantry, Organized Reserves, was organized in 1921. Organization and training began in October but were not complete by the time the war ended in November 1918, so the division was demobilized in early 1919. , In September 2007, in preparation for the transition to Fort Dix and establishment of the new 99th RSC, the 99th RRC assumed administrative responsibility for the former regions of the 77th and 94th RRCs, which had inactivated. In March 1945, the 99th advanced into the Rhineland, crossing the Rhine River at Remagen on March 11. Although 3/395 had only 600 men to defend a large area, they had been told that the German army, or Wehrmacht, was no longer capable of major offensive operations and that their winter in the Ardennes would be a quiet one. The 99th Infantry Division, on December 12, . Akins, Thomas W. MAJ, "Operations of Company "E", 442nd Infantry Regiment, Attached to 92nd Division, at San Terenzo, Italy, 20-23 April 1945" (Po Valley Campaign) Albright, Barry E. CPT, "Operations of the 2nd Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, in the Invasion of Normandy, 5-13 June 1944" (Normandy Campaign. What was left of the 99ers in and around Rocherath appeared to be doomed, and like the calvary in Western movies, salvation appeared in the forms of infantry from the 2nd Division and incredibly heavy artillery fire that dropped onto the Germans like rain. On 5 March 1941, as the United States began to mobilize for the possibility of war, McClernand Butler became a second lieutenant in the Regular Army. Delbert followed a communication training and became enlisted radio repairman. Led by 20-year-old Lieutenant Lyle Bouck Jr., they delayed the advance of the 1st SS Panzer Division, the spearhead of the entire German 6th Panzer Army, for nearly 20 hours. Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action at Elsenborn Crest. Up to that point, the Army had married a battalion of tanks to a battalion of infantry in support of the tanks. The three heavy German assaults had worn down the ammunition supply, particularly that of the machine gunners, and had left the defenders mostly helpless. For four successive days the battalion held this sector against combined German tank and infantry attacks, launched with fanatical determination and supported by heavy artillery. The division crossed the Danube near Eining on the 27th and after a stubborn fight the Isar at Landshut on 1 May. As the tanks neared Krinkelt, they plowed right through elements of the 2nd Infantry Division, many of whom had arrived literally moments earlier to reinforce their brothers who had earlier reinforced the 99ers.  The 99th Infantry's after action report stated they found 1,500 Jews "living under terrible conditions and approximately 600 required hospitalization due to starvation and disease. The 99th Infantry's report stated that 1,500 Jews were "living under terrible conditions and approximately 600 required hospitalization due to starvation and disease.". Pennsylvania State College, and the Pennsylvania Military College. It was organized with the rest of the 99th on 16 November 1942 at Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi. The lines were then moved back to form defensive positions east of Elsenborn Ridge on the 19th. No reserves were available . ":75 Another German officer who was captured said, "I have fought two years on the Russian front, but never have I engaged in such a fierce and bloody battle. Family lore, The 99th Infantry Division Artefacts Collection.  On more than one occasion, BAR gunners would allow Germans to get within feet of their positions before opening fire, with the objective of increasing the odds of killing the attacking Germans. The stiff American defense prevented the Germans from reaching the vast array of supplies near the Belgian cities of Lige and Spa and the road network west of the Elsenborn Ridge leading to the Meuse River. Eisenhower wrote, "the action of the 2nd and 99th Divisions on the northern shoulder could be considered the most decisive of the Ardennes campaign.". , Around Hfen, which the 395th defended, the ground was marked with open hills. This page was last edited on 11 March 2022, at 19:44. The Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon, 394th Infantry Regiment, 99th Division was the most decorated platoon for a single action of World War II. The 3rd Battalion of the 395th Infantry Regiment (3/395), commanded by Lieutenant Colonel McClernand Butler, occupied the town of Hfen on the German border. German Panzer tanks en route to the Ardennes. A captured Lt. Bemener, formerly commander of the 5th Company of the 753rd Volksgrenadier Regiment, asked his American interrogator about the unit that had defended Hfen. The division lost about 20% of its effective strength, including 465 killed and 2,524 evacuated due to wounds, injuries, fatigue, or trench foot; German losses were much higher. At precisely 0530 hours, the forest erupted in an ear shattering German artillery barrage along a 100 mile front. The 99th RSC's mission was to provide base operations functions for the assigned 13-state Northeast Region. The 10 geographically-based RRCs, including the 99th, were inactivated and replaced with four regional base operations commands. Formerly nicknamed the "Checkerboard Division," which referred to its shoulder patch, in late 1944 having not yet seen battle, the division was nicknamed the "Battle Babies. On 22 December 1967, the 99th Army Reserve Command (ARCOM) was activated. The unit was inactivated after World War II, then became a reserve unit, and was redesignated as the 395th Regiment in 1999. The Germans were operating under a tight timetable, however, and the assaults center of gravitythe 6th Panzer Armyhad only one day to breach the 99th IDs line. Despite fatigue, constant enemy shelling, and ever-increasing enemy pressure, [they] guarded a 6,000-yard front and destroyed 75 percent of three German infantry regiments.. The battalion was badly outnumbered and nearly surrounded. It was not just the lives of 3/395 at stake; a German breakthrough here would have enabled the Sixth Panzer Army to outflank the 2nd ID and 99th ID and achieve a direct route to the Meuse River. Crest That for the regiments and separate battalions of the Army Reserve: From a wreath Argent and Azure, the Lexington Minute Man Proper. During the Battle of the Bulge, the regimentat times virtually surrounded by Germanswas one of the few units that did not yield ground to the attacking Germans. The success of the defense of the twin villages would be short-lived if ammunition was not resupplied. Originally planned as a Pennsylvania unit, Asked why he thought so, he said, "Two reasons: one cold-bloodedness; two efficiency. Infanterie-Division) was a German division in World War II. "In two cases, the enemy fell in the BAR gunners' foxholes. The 99th Infantry Division was the first complete division to cross the Rhine. The remainder of the battalion reached the Rhine River on that same day and crossed the Remagen Bridge which four days after being captured was still being shelled by German artillery. Despite fatigue, constant enemy shelling, and ever-increasing enemy pressure, the Third Battalion guarded a 6,000 yards (5,500m)-long front and destroyed 75 percent of three German infantry regiments. The 99th Infantry Division, nicknamed Battle Babies and compromised of the 393rd, 394th, 395th Infantry Regiments and supporting units, spent approximately 151 days in combat during World War Two. ", The 99th Infantry Division, outnumbered five to one, inflicted estimated casualties on the Germans in the ratio of eighteen to one. . That was not the case for the Americans near Elsenborn. Put under operational control of V Corps, First Army, it moved to Le Havre, France on 3 November and proceeded to Aubel, Belgium, to prepare to enter the front lines. They engaged in division-level maneuvers in July 1944. 99th Infantry Division vehicles en route to the battle zone. This did not turn out to be true. Ehrenfried-Oskar Bge. From 21 December 1944 to 30 January 1945, the unit was engaged in aggressive patrolling and reequipping. , The 395th, entrenched along the "International Road" and Elsenborn Ridge, forced the Germans to commit and sacrifice many of their infantrymen and expose their armored formations to withering artillery fire. The thick forest was tangled with rocky gorges, little streams, and sharp hills. 99th Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia, Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths, Final Report (Statistical and Accounting Branch, Office of the Adjutant General, 1 June 1953), Distinguished Service Cross (United States), "Battle of the Bulge: U.S. It then intersected a main eastwest road at Bullingen. Even the most hardened veteran occasionally thinks he hears twigs snap, boots crush snow or other odd noises that can cause nerves to fray. , That is three to four times wider than recommended by Army textbooks. , As the battle ensued, small units, company and less in size, often acting independently, conducted fierce local counterattacks and mounted stubborn defenses, frustrating the German's plans for a rapid advance, and badly upsetting their timetable.