Lieutenant Stockton. 112th Hospital.
Major G. T. Stallings, Hq. 2nd Battalion. 33rd Armored Regiment. 3rd Armored Division.
Task Force I, CCB of 3rd Armored, consisting of 2nd Battalion, 33rd Armored Regiment, Co. E of the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment, 1st. platoon of Co. D, 23rd Armored Engineering Battalion, 2nd Platoon of the Reconnaissance Co. of 33rd Armored Regiment and was commanded by Lt. Col. W.B. Lovelady.
On 19 December, 1944, we left ESCHWEILLER in the ROER RIVER area and went to an assembly area just outside of SPA near MALMEDY. SPA. had been the headquarters of the 1st ARMY until they left. While here we organized and prepared to attack. On the 20 December we jumped off and passed through the 30th DIVISION to capture STAVELOT, four or five miles to our south. The country was very hilly and wooded and covered with snow. When we had advanced about half a mile, we met a column of German artillery on the road. It was the tail end of the 17th PANZER GRENADIERS Regiment. They did not fire a single shot at us and we got two (150 mm) guns, two 88s and three tanks. We captured fifteen to twenty prisoners and were held up for about one hour on account of burning enemy material. Our position was between a river on one side and a mountain on the other.
At 11,00 hours, we started out again for TROIS-PONTS, where we were to make a short left turn and approach STAVELOT. About a mile after we passed TROIS-PONTS, we met a German column crossing the river in front of us on a road at a right angle to our line of advance. The Germans were very congested but had six or eight tanks and anti-tank guns guarding the bridge. Our first .tanks in column were knocked out, while we hit two or three vehicles and a half-track. The enemy hit one Company commander, three lieutenants and four or five men, and we were ordered by the task force commander to retire to TROIS-PONTS and set up road blocks. The task force was now split. 'E' Company, who had been leading were pulled out to man the road-blocks.
The next morning, the 21 December, 'D' Company set out cross-country along with 'I' Company of the 30th DIVISION. They proceeded to STAVELOT and secured a series of road blooks and another section en route.
On the 22 December, we found that the Germans had gotten in behind us but they had only small arms, so we were not particularly worried. However, they became annoying, so we shot a telephone wire by rifle grenade across the rivert o the 82nd AIRBORNE, occupying the other side. They had their artillery in better position to support us and this proved a life-saver.
We were relieved on the 24th December by the 30th DIVISION who took over all our road-blocks and our objective. We movod to HOTTON, west of STAVELOT and went into position near THEUX. We stayed there over Christmas.
Meanwhile, our other task force went to seize the town of LA GLEIZE. They lad trouble there for two days. Finally they laid down a 'time on target' artillery concentration. Following that, they were able to enter the town and found over 100 armored vehicles had been knocked out by the artillery fire. When we arrived at HOTTON, we took
over defensive positions, running through HOTTON, SOY and MARLOIE. Our job was to back up the 75th DIVISION and hold the enemy in the event they were unable to do so. We took our tanks in for the first time and we really had a strong position. We stayed there until the 31 December, until it was certain that the 75th DIVISION would be able to hold. We were then