132 US Anti Aircraft Artillery Battalion
On October 22 an advance party left for Holland. They encountered their first "heavy" enemy air activity as the Luftwaffe dropped many bombs around them and the city of Aachen, which was then in American hands and only a short distance away. The following day the remainder of the Battalion moved to the vicinity of Heerlen, Holland, near the German Border.
Air activity greeted us that first night but our nineties opened up and the Jerries went sreaming home. "Americanische haben zee 90 Flak ober Aachen". After that they stayed away except for the occasional light raids.
We had been on the continent two months almost to the day, and learned one important thing: The Germans disliked the 90mm AA guns and were soon to fear the deadly accuracy of the 132nd.
Our days in Heerlen were numbered but we had good times interspered with several engagements with the enemy. In the town there was Shunks, the all glass department store, the bombed-out church next to it: the Red Cross Donut center, two movie houses and the friendly Dutch folks.
On thanksgiving day an Advance party left on the tail of the advancing infantry and reconnoiter our new postions in Germany. At Hongen, the battalion Command Post was set up on November 24 as A and B Battery moved into Germany, C and D Battery stayed in Holland until the infantry pussed the Jerries out of "their" proposed positions.
On October 25th we left to a new country, Our next position was at Rimburg in Holland while the Battalion was scattered around the city of Heerlen.
Here we receved our baptism of fire. While we cowered in foxholes, or slept peacefully in our pups tents, accoridng to thr amount of fatalism in each mans makeup (also the amount of water in the foxholes) the Germans threw over the shells from their 88s and railway guns, and occasionally bombed of straffed us. However, our greatest danger proved to be from fires, of which there were several. On Thanksgiving Day, November 25th we moved from Rimburg to Germany.
On October 23rd we moved north to join the newly formed 9th Army and went into position at Kerkrade, Holland just seven miles north of the newly won Aachen and only 2800yards behind the fox holes of the 28th Infantry Division. It was a cocky outfit that we dg in so close to the German homeland for we had fired at a Jerry plane in Luxembourg and therefore earned the distinction of being the first battery to engage the dwindling luftwaffe.
It was here that we lost some of our original men. Ed MacMullen was knocked from a truck and wound up with a soft job back in the USA Mac was famed for this ability to put a curse on a man and have it come true.
We were in position but a few hours when we received our first visitors. Towards the end of our stay a Heinnie gun began dropping shells around us but we were convinced that Lady Luck kept constant watch over us.
Al Conkey, Gus Goumas and Lewis Thompson received commendations for their efforts to evacuate wounded civilians from a burning house into which a crippled P-47 had crashed.(http://www.adoptiegraven-database.nl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=157:dimmock-charles-a&catid=48:american-war-cemetery-margraten-d&Itemid=132)
Many trips were made into Aachen for building materials and stoves to make our underground homes more liveable.
Passes into the nearby town of Heerlen were frequent and the hospitality of the recentlly freed Dutch civilians was of the highest degrees. Until the long range German guns ad Buzz bombs got the range of Heerlen we spent many an afternoon drinking beer and attending the film theatre. Then we decided our own positions were safer than the city.
On October 25th we left for Holland, passed through Arlon, Bastogne, Novelle, Houffalize, Liege, Heer, Valkenburg, Kunrade to Heerlen.
Our mission here was to give AA support to the 19th Corps Field Artillery. We remained in Heerlen about five weeks and had passes there.
On December 1st we left, and moved to Germany.
We were on our way to Schaesberg, Holland. The boys who went on the advance party had the news for us, when we got there on October 25th. It was a "hot" position. At that time the Americans were fighting all over our area, thus giving us the opportunitiy of firing our guns for the first time as Ack Ack. We were given passes to Heerlen. To our suprise the people were not wearing Dutch shoes,On December 1, we finally moved into Germany.