Jack B. Warden 1996

This is a story of combat unit in Hotton, Belgium, There was also another group of 23rd. Engineers, also of the 3 AD on the other side of town, neither knowing the other was there. Also across the Orth River were the 84th.Div. and the 51st. Engineers. Each unit claimed the Victory at Hotton.

VICTORY AT HOTTON BELGIUM

DECEMBER 1944

JACK B.WARDEN, 1st.LT.
Third Platoon Leader
B/36 Armored Infantry Regt.

    This action was never reported or written up by any one as heroic deeds or action. Nor is that the intention or purpose for doing it now. It is simply to pay tribute to seventeen of finest soldiers to ever carry an M1 rifle. The tenacity, loyalty and sheer guts they showed against impossible odds when the chips were down. I was then and am still very proud to have had them in my command.
     B. Company was almost wiped out December 10TH.to 13TH.on the way to the Ruhr. We returned to Stolberg Germany the night of 13TH.and early 14TH.to replace men and equipment. I was awakened at 0600 December 15TH.to report to Battalion Headquarters ,to receive a Battlefield Commission from Lt.Col. William R.Orr. Also received 1st.Lt.Robert T. Bohme as the new B. Company Commander, our third CO since the company was formed and completed at Indian Town Gap ,PA. in 1943.Capt.Louis Plummer moved up to Battalion CO and was wounded September 13TH.as we entered the Siegfried Line of Dragon Teeth.1TH.Lt.Bryan Gruver became Co. CO and was promoted to Captain. He was wounded December 12TH.1944.Lt.R.T.Bohme was promoted to Captain December 30,1944 and led the company to the end of the war.
     Lt.Bohme and I returned to the company and began to try to organize the 13 line men left into three platoons while awaiting replacements of men and equipment. We recommended Sgt.L.B.Tippie for a Battlefield Commission. This came through about a week or two later, during the Battle of the Bulge.
     The Bulge started December 16TH. 1944.B.Co.received 17 replacements Dec.17th. Most were from H.Co. third battalion. Received a few more on the 18th. This brought us up to a total of 51 men for the company. We moved out of Stolberg to the Hotton-Soy area Dec.19th., leading our vehicles by walking in front with a flashlight through the fog and cold of night. Due to the congested roads, we were pulled off somewhere after we passed Aachen. The town below us was on fire. Don't know what town it was. We moved out the next morning and got to Hotton the evening of the 20TH.Moved on through to Soy up the main Soy-Hotton road, which is bordered by the Sur les Hys woods on the south east and the Haid Hit,s woods on the north west. CCR Hq. was at Soy, with 36TH. AIR and the 36TH.rear CP in Hotton. We arrived in Soy around 2100Hr's.I was ordered to take a patrol down the back side of Hys woods to Hampteau. Two light tanks were added to my two half tracks. We took off and moved without opposition until we hit an old fort south east of Hotton. Had a little fire fight with the forward element,{ a patrol of 15 Germans}.We captured them and left them with the two light tanks to guard while we went on to Hampteau. Not a soul was to be found there, German or American. We returned as we had come, picking up our two light tanks and prisoners and returned to Soy and was put on road blocks and more patrols 21ST .through 23RD.

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