Page 2-TASK FORCE HOGAN

No one realized it at the time, but we were actually the only forces standing in the way of a complete German breakthrough to the Meuse River. Late in the afternoon of December 21 We began to pass numerous vehicles that had been abandoned by personnel of the 106th Infantry Division as they had been overrun and withdrew in the face of the tremendous onslaut by the enemy. We had passed through the beautiful little resort town of LaRoche late in the afternoon when the lead vehicles encountered a strong German Roadblock. We were now about 20 miles on the way to our objective.and at this point there was no way to maneuver around the opposition. The Ourthe River was on the right, and very steep hills ascended from the road on the left. Our reconnaissance platoon Sergeant, Shorty Wright, came up with information from Clark Worrell the Recon Platoon Lt.; that LaRoche offered good cover, and was easy to defend, so Col. Hogan made the decision that we would set up our defense for the night.

2. THE FOG OF WAR.

LaRoche was a beautiful summer resort town built on the banks of the Ourthe River. There were several resort hotels on the banks of the river, and one of these was selected as a good location for our task Force Command Post. The unit was pulled back. Security was set-up, and We'proceeded to establish our headquarters in the hotel. When the Germans had broken through, the troops who previously held the town had withdrawn hurriedly leaving behind most of their equipment; the thing that was most interesting to our people were the packages from home that were scattered around, the hotel; cigarettes, Fruit cakes, and various packages from home. These were promptly "Liberated", and a good many found their way to the rear seat of the Colonel's Peep. We knew very little of the situation around u4 at this time; We did know that We were no out of FM voice contact with our Combat Command Headquarters sand no messages were relay to us that evening. Everything was buttoned down, the situation was under control, or at least we thought so, and Task Force Logan was prepared to move out the next morning to continue our mission. Suddenly Sgt. Wright appeared with a Lieut.Colonel in tow from one of the outfits who had been overrun. "Where in the world did you come from?" was the question put to Col. Hogan. We explained to him about our mission. "Are you people crazy? Don't you realize that you are cut off? The whole Germany Army is all around this place". "Well",said Col.Hogqn."Here we are, and we have a good bit of firepower. If they want to come on in and run us out, We are ready for them". However, Col. Hogan told Sgt. Farl Godwin to continue to try to raise CCR Command on the key CW'radio. Sgt. Godwin finally made contact, and came in with the order that Col. Hogan was to report back to Combat Command Headquarters the first thing the next morning for further orders. Major William Walker was placed in Command of the task force, and, because of the stories We had heard from the Colonel who had wandered in the night before we formed a combat patrol to make the run back. Three Peeps were readied. Clark Worrell and Phil DeOrlo, Orderly, occupied the first vehicle, Gast, The Colonel's driver, Sam, and myself were in the second, and Capt. Tel Gardon and two other men brought up the rear. You look back on these occasions and it is funny what you remember. The weather was getting bitter cold, and Sam Hogan and I started off that day with practically the same apparel Long John underwear, OD pants and Shirt, combat suits, acquired somewhere along the way.heavy field coat, Paratrooper boots,and fur lined British flying boots that we had acquired somewhere along the way.

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