Approximately 1600, word came to the task force elements in the vicinity of Freyneux that the enemy was beginning to break through the roadblock established at CR (576853). The fighting continued throughout the late afternoon and early evening. TF Richardson units, which were just arriving at the CR met the enemy, and fought against its advance up the highway towards Belle Haie (551870) and CR (545875). By 2100, the platoon of medium tanks of TF Richardson the nearest the crossroads were all knocked out.
At approximately the same time that the roadblock finally crumbled (apprroximately 2000) th town of Odeigne was attacked. 100 infantrymen, supported apparently by some Mk IV tanks and some 40mm guns came in behind the roadblock, set up on the eastern edge of Odeigne. Thus the force was cut off from Freyneux by the eneny infantry and tanks, while it was cut off at the Manhay highway by the attacking enemy column. However, at 2200, the unit at Odeigne was ordered to withdraw via Malempre, Manhay, to Grandmenil. Without losing a vehicle and with only four or five casualties, this unit managed to get through to Malempre, and swing around back to Grandmenil. This was accomplished by 0200 of the following morning. However, the assault gun platoon was destroyed as it tried to stem the enemy at Cr (576853).
In spite of the increased enemy action, trains from the rear were able to come down the La Fosse and Le Batty roads to supply the task force at Freyneux, Lamormenil, and the nearby crossroad. However, before the trains could return, enemy elements began to appear on the road northeast of Freyneux, and the supply trucks had to take the western route through La Fosse.
Plans were made to retake Odeigne, and kane returned to Grnadmenil to make plans to get instruction at 0730. The task force received A company, 289th Infantry, which arrived in the vicinity of Le Batty about 1000. In addition, a platoon of B company, 517th Para Bn, had reported the evening before. They were put into the Lamormenil sector to strengthen that defense.
Before any steps could be taken to recapture Odeigne, however, the enemy attacked Freyneux. According to prison information, approximately 100 men and twleve tanks made the assault. The enemy had established himself during the previous night along the road on the southwest side of the wooded hill below Manhay (vicinity 520868) and thus attacked southwest across the open rolling country to the town of Freyneux. At the same time, pressure on the town was exerted from the east and southeast, along the side road which the enemy apparently had used to infiltrate up to Odeigne.
In addition to the units in Freyneux (elements of D Co 32 AR tanks, and dco 83 rcn bn primarily), the platoon of B co, 517th para Bn came from Lamormenil to assist in the defense. A few towed TDs were on hand, and they were placed on the various roads leading out of Freyneux. It was necessary to prepare for an all-around defense, since the direction of the enemy attack could not be determined as only from the northeast. In addition, tanks backed up the towed Tds, with one tank by the church, which fired east on the enemy with considerable effect. Infantry had been posted in the buildings. During the day they were close to town, while at night the outposts were farther into the fields. The air support at the time of the attack proved disappointing, since theplanes could not bomb enemy so close to Freyneux.
Throughout the morning the infantry came towards the town. In spite of the fire laid down by the defenders, elements of the enemy succeeded in getting into buildings on the northeastern outskirts. Enemy tanks moved from their positions to a protected place in a draw to the northeast of town, and fired in support of the attacking infantry. The houses in which the enemy were emplaced sheltered a 50mm mortar crew, which fired on the town. Several fires were started by the mortar and larger caliber shells.
Major Coughlin, in immediate charge of the defense of Freyneux, made a reconnaissance at this time, between 1100 and 1130, and found that the towed TD crew was not manning its gun because of the enemy fire. A tank was ordered to maneuver into position to cover the vital northeast to the main enemy position. A jeep driver and soldier of the 54th FA artillery forward observor manned the TD gun. They fired directly into the house holding the enemy and sheltering the mortar crew, at a range of not more tha 50 yards. After firing ten or twleve rounds and upon the cessation of the enemy action, a patrol went forward to investigate the house. They found that the enemy had actually been in the house behind the one fired upon. Nevertheless, the enemy had taken off, leaving a wounded lieutenant and the mortar.