The 87th Armored Field Artillery Battalion was relieved from the 391st Armored Field Artillery groupment at 1000 hours this date. The 18th Field Artillery Battalion (10Smm towed howitzer) was attached to the 391st Armored Field Artillery Battalion groupment at 13oo hours.
The Battalion displaced at o8oo hours to support CCB, Task Force (1) continued to attack North towards Mons. The 87th Field Artillery Battalion continued to support Task Force (2). Veryms was reached by l000 hours and at this time the 87th Field Artillery Battalion was relieved from the group by VII Corps order. Battery B was attached to Task Force (2) and Lt. Patterson and Lt. Toneff replaced the 87th Field Artillery Battalion's forward observers with Task Force (2). Task Force (1) displaced from the leager at Veryms and the Battalion displaced with the attack by battery starting at 14oo hours. Task Force (1) leagered for the night at 2000 hour near Avesnes. At 183o hours, Headquarters Battery and the Medical Detachment coiled just West of La Capelle. As the other elements of Task Force (1) displaced forward, an alert was sounded. Five enemy tanks were rapidly approaching the area were Headquarters Battery was coiled. Headquarters Battery displaced very rapidly but about half the battery was cut off from the rest of the battery and Task Force (1). The portion of the battery which was cut off was divided into two groups by the rapid advance of the enemy tanks. The motor maintenance section was one group which was cut off. A tank blocked their exit from the coil. The men opened up on the Panzer Grenadiers riding the tank and inflicted an unknown number of casualties. The tank then swung on these men and vehicles and the men scurried over the hedge and away to relative safety. P 47's swooped in on the group of tanks and friendly tanks rushed to the scene. All the German tanks were knocked out. The motor maintenance crew returned to their vehicles and drove them off and joined the other cut off portion of the battery. The half track had been rammed by the tank and had to be replaced, the 34 ton pick up was riddled by machinegun fire but was still in good operational condition. Elements of Task Force (1) returned to the beleaguered force and they all laagered for the night in the vicinity of La Chapelle. The battery suffered one casualty in this skirmish; Cpl. Joseph J. Magee was missing in action. Battery A and half of Headquarters Battery went into position for the night at 2100 hours.
One of the small towns behind the drive on the supply route was retaken by the Germans and all people found with flags or FFI armbands were massacred. Liberation was very dear for this village.
What a rat-race! Did you see that ack-ack gun come tearing down the road a minute ago? You know, 1 beard those shots coming nearer, but 1 didn't pay much attention. And then here comes this towed 37 with four krauts riding on the truck. Every one blazed away. I unloaded my tommy gun on it. But no body touched it until the 486th track opened u p those four fifties. Man, did that73
stop em! One kraut had a hole the size of a half dollar right thru the middle of his neck. There's four o f the bastards that won't see home for a while.' And then a bull dozing tank just scraped the truck and gun off into the ditch and the column moved out. Five minutes, and it was all over. Boy, did you miss the fun!
Belgium and onto Germany
Knifing swiftly thru German troops and supplies our armor turned north in a surprise move, crossing into Belgium on September 2nd. Perhaps we could cut off retreating enemy columns, heading for the refuge of the west wall fortifications.
The 3rd Armored Division was halted at Mons awaiting strengthening of supply lines furnishing food, gasoline, and ammunition that were stretching longer and longer across Europe. Trucks on the "Red Ball" highways could carry only a portion of what was needed. Large numbers of enemy troops marching east, apparently unaware of American forces in the area, were heavily engaged. During three days, the carnage continued. Elements of 20 enemy divisions were captured or slaughtered as they moved straight into the fires of our troops.
East to the Meuse River, through Namur, Charlege, Liege, Verviers, Eupen. The enemy had planned to set up a defensive line in the Verviers-Eupen area to keep the Americans off the sacred soil of Germany, but our rapid advance completely disjointed all such ideas.
On 12 September, the 3rd Armored and 1st Infantry Division crossed into Germany and probed the outer line of fortifications. The following day, the full weight was thrown northeast to crack the defenses of the world famed west wall in the area south of Aachen. Our tanks and infantry moved through rows of tank traps into the pillbox defenses. Here the enemy fought stubbornly from as many pillboxes as he could find personnel to man, but many of the fortifications were found undefended, their machine guns still in place. This, then, was the decisive effort of our intercepting the German Seventh Army back at Mons.
And then supply problems beyond the control of Corps or Army dictated that the advance must be held up. But the hole had been punched and American forces in strength were securely behind the inner line of Germany's defense.