rest of the day, medium bombers and fighter-bombers bombed and strafed enemy positions in the Marigny area in preparation for the attack.26 July .1944
The drone of motors became heavier. In the distant haze they appeared. Flight upon flight there were, and they moved forward evenly until they were directly overhead, a picture of beauty and destruction. Suddenly the lead planes began to drop streamers, and you thought how good it was that you weren't in front o f those markers. The earth began to shake with a rumble that became a roar. Dense clouds o f dust appeared on the horizon. The planes, wave after wave, swung gently over the target area and moved off in a great circle to the right. Ignoring the frenzied enemy ack-ack, they droned back as they had come.
The First Infantry Division attack jumped off at 0600. Rapid progress was made toward Marigny with Task Forces in a leager just north and west of that town. The Battalion displaced forward at 0735, joined, the attacking column, and closed in position late in the day northwest of Marigny. Firing this date was handled by B Battery, 2nd Lt. Willoughby observing and conducting most of the fire. Three missions were fired on anti-tank strong points, one mission on an enemy battery, one mission on infantry, and two missions on tanks. One anti-tank gun was known to have been destroyed; personnel were killed or driven from the other two strong points. During the night, the 4th Cavalry observer fired missions through Lt. Patterson. A Battery handled the firing. Six anti-tank guns were knocked out and later captured. Seven or eight enemy killed were counted at the positions. Tec 5 William Pospishel and Pvt Issac Patterson, Battery B, were lightly wounded by enemy artillery fire while the column was on the march and were evacuated.
27 July 1944
The attack continued. Batteries displaced individually so that one battery was always in position to support the leading elements. When Batteries B and C pulled into position, they were forced to fight German Infantry. Patrols from the two batteries were sent out to clear the area of infantry and snipers. Battery B fired on German tanks two hundred yards from their position and forced them to retire. They took two prisoners and killed five. Battery A took one prisoner this date. Private Truman Fanning of A Battery was lightly wounded and returned to duty after treatment by the Battalion aid men.
28 July 1944
The attack continued west along the Marigny-Coutances highway. CCB reached its 1st and 2nd objectives and turned to clear out pockets of resistance north of the highway. 'The battalion went into position north of La Chappelle on the Marigny-Coutances highway. Battery C was strafed by FW 190s firing rockets at 1900 hours. The gun crew from Battery A, 486th AAA Bn assigned to Battery B, knocked down one FW 190, category one.
1t wasn't a big town. As a matter of fact, it was more or less typical o f all Norman towns, but this one was important. Roads spreading out like spokes in a wheel made it so. Vital as an enemy communications and transport center, it had to be taken. And it was.
29 July 1944- Troops in the vicinity of Coutances having been contacted, all German elements remaining north of the Marigny-Coutances highway were trapped. CCB was relieved from the First Infantry and reassigned to the Third Armored Division. The 87th Armored Field Artillery was assigned to the 391st this date. The battalion displaced with CCB at 1850 hours to an assembly area in the vicinity of La Villederie, and there prepared for attack as part of a coordinated Third Armored Division attack to secure the high ground south and west of Villedieu les Poeles.
30 July 1944
The Third Armored Division attack jumped off at 0600. The batteries joined the attacking column and drove south at a rapid pace. FO 1, Lt Forston was with the leading reconnaissance elements, and practically all fire missions were observed and conducted by him. The battalion went in to positions for the night south of Hambye. T5 James J. Conley, Battery A, was killed, Captain Robert E. Fiss, and Pfc Stanley Wronko, Battery A, were seriously wounded and evacuated when the halftrack received a direct hit from an enemy gun. T5 Frank Feola, Battery A, was injured while helping get a camouflage net, which had been set afire by gun flash, away from the ammunition. He was treated by the unit medics and then evacuated. At 1200 on the 30th, CCB left Third Armored Division control and was attached to the Fourth Infantry Division. Battery B, 981st Field Artillery was attached to the 391st groupment. The battalion fired 3 missions on Infantry, 3 missions on anti-tank strongholds, 2 missions on mortars, 1 mission on an enemy battery, and one mission on a 700 yard column of tanks and other enemy vehicles.
31 July 1944
The 391st groupment displaced forward to positions south of Hambye from which they could support the task forces on their routes to assembly area. Heavy interdiction fire as well as some fourteen observed missions were fired during the 31st.
Night march. Roaring vehicles and swearing men in a world o f unbroken blackness. Enemy shells are dropping with a monotonous regularity on a cross road not far in front. Each vehicle creeps along roads already pock-marked by shell fire. A half- track crew sits sprawled out in the back of the track while in front the driver and the car commander gaze searchingly into the darkness before them. They listen to the shells hitting up front, and the knowledge that they will soon be moving slowly across that cross road tightens their stomachs. There are planes above, and, by the sound o f the motors, they know they aren't friendly planes. That's a plane coming down. Have they spotted the column? Down, down, he comes, his gasping motor becomes a roar. GIs slump in their seats, heads down, and hearts jumping in their throats, waiting. The plane dives down on the road and roars by a hundred feet above, but there are no straf ing guns, no scream of a dropped bomb. Heads come up again. Someone gasps lowly in the night. The shells are getting closer.
1 August 1944
At 1820, the 391st displaced from positions north of Villedieu-les-Poles with CCB in support of the 4th infantry Division in an attack on St. Pois. Marching most of the night, the battalion went into positions just east of Coulouvray Boisbenatre at 0330 on the 2nd of August. At dawn, the battalion found itself surrounded by enemy infantry. Heavy shellfire from mortars and artillery fell close to the battery positions all day. Defensive steps were taken to prevent the enemy from over running the positions. The batteries fired charge