Flaming vehicles lit the night and the Germans were out of their tanks yelling like a bunch drunken Indians. General Rose was up at the front of the column trying to find a solution so he could get the force through, when a German tank popped up only yards away. The Tank commander opened the hatch and covered the general with a burp gun. The general held his hands above his head and told them he was willing to surrender. As he is explaining this he reached down to throw his pistol away in evidence of good faith. The German Tank commander started firing and emptied the clip his burp gun into the general's face. He was killed instantly, of course, by the SS tanker. General Rose was one of the Army's best, and in our opinion the best armored force commander of them all. Besides that he was a soldier. "One had only to see him to know that his appearance commanded immediate respect, and he had that respect. His death was deeply felt by every member of this division.
It was getting later all the, time and the situation wasn't improving any so Lieutenant Plummer knew they should be trying to get out, if they were going to. So even though he was under the influence of morphine he kept his senses enough to lead Mniece and PFC Horton (from headquarters battery) in short crawls down the ditch for several hundred yards before they could turn off and crawl for the woods. Rests were frequent because of Lieutenant Plummer's wound but they made the woods and went in far enough that they couldn't be seen. They spent a cold and shivering night there with no bedding and no jackets. They could see the 12 burning half-tracks and the eight tanks that had been knocked out, and could see and hear the Germans celebrating like crazy men.
"Hungry had reached another patch of woods and decided to try to work his way through them and reach the battalion. He could hear the guns firing and knew them to be ours. He was a little afraid that maybe the outposts would not recognize him as an American and would shoot first and ask questions later, in view of the situation. He decided to risk it, though, and started working his way through the woods toward the battalion. He made it around midnight and was given treatment by Captain Cobb and taken in to Lieutenant Colonel Lawton F. Garner (Division executive officer) to tell him of the situation.
"Mac had gotten in with some of the infantry and they took to the woods, alternately sleeping and standing guard, and advancing towards a town they knew was in our hands. They spent most of their time on guard, however, because they only had one machine gun plus their individual weapons. Mac stayed with this outfit for several days before they were finally relieved, and when he got back he plainly showed the strain he had been under.
"Lt. Plummer, Mniece, and T/5 Horton were in the woods, and after a sleepless night they decided to try to get out. Mniece and Horton made a litter from poles and a beat up overcoat they found and rolled the Chief into it. They carried him several hundred yards in short hauls until they got to the edge of the woods. "By now` our forces had sent doughboys up to clean things out and Mniece was very happy when he saw the first one. An ambulance was sent for and Lieutenant Plummer was evacuated. He was a swell guy and everyone thought he was strictly all right."
Jenkins goes on to relate that with the enemy tanks withdrawal the task force moved on and the 391st A battery to a position on the side of a hill a half mile from where the attack had taken place the night before, arriving at 16:00 hours on the 31st, at which time they started firing on enemy tanks and mortar nests near Paderborn. This was not the first close encounter with the enemy by the 391st. In Normandy, firing point blank at German infantry, they had cut the fuzes so close that the bugaboo of all artillerymen, a muzzle blast, was chanced.
T-5 Roland Mniece was awarded the silver star for saving Lt. Plummer's life.