125 US Anti Aircraft Battalion
We moved again on 6th February, this time to Holland, to meet the pilotless aircraft coming from a new direction. Headquarters was located in a school at Oud-Gastel and the gun batteries in positions near the towns of Roosendaal, Bergen op Zoom and near the town of Wouw.
There were surely were some exciting days here. Remember the one that we crippled?, it came in at a very low altitude and bounced over "Charlie" battery to land in Wouw.
The men in the batteries rendered some able service in rescuing the civilian casualties were heavy.
Here the job of sand bagging the equipment was speeded a bit by the employment of Dutch civilians.
It was as Wouw that a new Command Post, a portable one, and we've had it ever since. Wouw was a very hot position. Flak was terrific. For purpose of concentration, the batteries were set up some 1000yards apart all abreast of each other. Thus we were always shooting over one of the other batteries. Then, too, the bombs had undergone a few changes. The wings were now being made of plywood instead of metal. Also, some of them were loaded with indendiary bombs in place on T.N.T.
At one time we got 14 direct hits and 4 damaged craft in one day.
For six days (March 5h to March 11th) 12 machinegunners were up at the Maas river to fire at low flying buzz-bombs. This was more or less an experiment to see how effective the M51 mounts would be against the V1's. The Germans were only 1600yards away on the opposite bank of the river and the launching sites of the V1's about three miles further inland. No targets came over the first three days but on the fourth day six came almost directly overhead.
Then there was the one that climbed straight over is for a few thousand feet after being hit.
Everyone took off in different directions, some on a dead run for Roosendaal.
The bomb leveled off, made a big circle, and came back to seemingly chase the men back toward the battery. The men turned back toward camp in a hurry, then just lay down to wait. The bomb "whoosed"dangerously close and veered away at the last moment to land near the motor pool.
To meet the changing direction of flights of the flying bomb we moved once again on March 9th, but on March 12th we returned to areas near Roosendaal. Oh, the trails of a mobile battalion!. In nine months spent in the E.T.O we moved nine times.
Our machine gunners were the first to experiment with their M51 mounts, against buzz-bombs. Twice we have killed two targets simultaneously on one firing course, once in England, one in Holland.