A Battery 1st Gun Section
(Greg Sebring)

319 Glider Field Artillery Battalion

 

17-09-1944: 07.30hrs, Advance detail consisting of Lt/Col James.C. Todd, Cmdg, Major Jerry M. Wimberley, S-3, Lt Harold S. Peters, Lt John. D. Gutshall, Lt Pete. N. Procopio, Lt Frank Kondratick and Sergeant Richard. L. Brown departed Cotesmore airdrome for Balderton airdrome.

 

17-09-1944: 08.30hrs, Major Fred J. Silvey, Bn Ex departed CP for Balderton airdrome to confer with the Bn Comdr before take-off and to receive last instruction for batteries.

 

17-09-1944: 10.50hrs, Advance detail departed Balderton airdrome by glider for objective.

 

17-09-1944: 11.00hrs, Major Fed J. Silvey, Bn Ex departed from Balderton airdrome to confer with Captain Andrew J. Hawkins, Jr Cmdg Btry B.

 

17-09-1944: 13.30hrs, Major Fred. J. Silvey Bn Ex departed from Balderton airdrome to confer with Captain Charles L. Sartain, Jr Cmdg Btry A.

 

17-09-1944: 13.40hrs, Advance detail landing on objective (Coordinates 773563 map Holland 12 N/W).

 

17-09-1944: 17.00hrs Major Fred J. Silvey Bn Ex return to CP.

 

17-09-1944: 20.45hrs Four hours delay ordered for take-off of troops by TCC due to ground fog.

 

18-09-1944:  10.00hrs Troops moved to air field for loading into gliders for mission. Take off time set for 10.45hrs, but another delay was ordered.

 

18-09-1944: 11.35hrs First glider of first glider lift, Operation Market  took off from Cottesmore airdrome. HQ Btry took off from Cotesmore airdrome. Btry A from Barkston Heath airdrome. Btry B from Fulbeck airdrome. Major Fred J. Silvey in Command.

 

18-09-1944: 1505hrs Bn landed on LZ “T”and LZ “N” equipment was immediately collected after unloading and the Bn went into position in direct support of 508 th PIR, Landing of gliders was accomplished in the area of 773563. Light enemy activity encountered upon landing including small arms and mortar fire.

 

18-09-1944: 16.00hrs CP opened all batteries in positions.

 

18-09-1944: 17.00hrs Brty A fired first round at the enemy. Interior communications net and communications with 508 th PIR CP complete.

 

18-09-1944: 24.00hrs Damage and casualties due to landing were light except in HQ Btry which has 7 Officers and 42 enlisted men unaccounted for.

Personal Report:

HQ Btry: N/C

Btry A: KIA 1 EM; WIA 5 EM

Btry B: KIA 1 EM: WIA 5 EM

Med Det: N/C

 

Morale excellent, Rations satisfactory

 

19-09-1944: 07.00hrs  Lt/Col James C. Todd arrived CP from CP 508 PIR where he had been since the time the Bn went into position.

 

19-09-1944: 07.45hrs : Lt/Col James C. Todd departed CP for CP 508 PIR.

 

19-09-1944: 08.00hrs: Lt/Col James C. Todd returned to CP.

 

19-09-1944: 08.25hrs: Lt/Col James C. Todd departed for CP 506 PIR.

 

19-09-1944: 09.55hrs: Lt/Col James C. Todd Cmdg returned to CP.

Advanced elements of British armoured units in Heumen, and are reorganizing. Main objective of 508 PIT changed from bridge in Nijmegen to a line SE from Nijmegen to defend dike and to protect the flank of the British armor. This Bn in direct support.

 

19-09-1944: 10.00hrs.  4 German 150mm guns and some light guns reported.

 

19-09-1944: 10.03hrs. Lt/Col James C. Todd Cmg departed CP for CP 506 PIR.

 

19-09-1944: 10.55hrs Major Fred J. Silvey, Bn Ex with 2 Glider pilots , and 2 enlisted men reported into the CP from landing made 18 september within enemy lines. Major Silvey reports seeing Germans taking prisoners from gliders that landed near him.

 

19-09-1944: 11.00hrs Lt/Col James C. Todd Cmdg returned to CP.

 

19-09-1944: 11.35hrs Lt/Col James C.Todd Cmdg returned to 508 PIR CP.

3 Enemy tanks with about a company of infantry reported attacking along road south from Nijmegen.

 

19-09-1944: 13.00hrs Captain John W. Connell S-4 reported into CP from landing  made 18 September near Zyfflich, Germany. Reported both Glider pilots killed by AA fire and both EM in glider wounded. Glider with 1¼ truck was burned by the enemy.

 

19-09-1944: 13.35hrs Message from Div S-2, Report from Dutch underground giving information on disposition and location. MT of enemy troops and guns in this area.

 

19-9-1944: 13.45hrs Major  Fred. J. Silvey BN Ex departed for Btry A and B, and to Hq 82 AAB Div Arty.

 

19-09-1944:  14.30hrs  Shells of unknown caliber falling in the area of Btry A position. No damage or  casualties.

 

19-09-1944: 15.30hrs Major Fred J. Silvey, Bn Ex departed from CP and left  immediately for Btry A.

 

19-09-1944: 15.35hrs Captain Bourgeois, Com C departed for Div signals Company to obtain signal equipment.

 

19-09-1944: 16.00hrs Lt/Col James C. Todd Cmdg returned to CP. Ordered displacement of Btry A and immediately went on Recce with Lt Peters, Ass Comm and Staff/Sgt Williamson, Wire Sgt.

 

19-09-1944: 16.45hrs  Major Fred.J. Silvey Bn Ex returned to CP.

 

19-09-1944: 17.00hrs Bn area strafed. No damage or casualties.

Resupply of ammunition and rations by air. Dropped in the vicinity of Groesbeek, about 14.00hrs.

 

19-09-1944: 19.00hrs Brty A displaced to position.

 

19-09-1944: 24.00hrs No casualties

Glider number unaccounted for

Hq Btry 2,5,6,9,10,12,17 and 18

Btry B: No.19

 

Ammunition expanded

A Btry M48:324  M54:112  M64: 29  M66:0

B Btry M28:180  M54:30    M64:5      M66:0

 

M48: High Explosive (HE)

M54: idem but with M54 Fuze

M64: Smoke

 

Morale excellent, Rations satisfactory

 

On the 20th , a heavy counter attack continued in fanatical attacks by SS troops to break up through our lines. All the attacks were repelled. In the afternoon bombers flew in resupplies of ammunition, rations, wire and medical supplies. The collection and conservation of these supplies required the utmost of every man’s effort. During the day the Battalion fired 1495 rounds.

 

During the day the Battalion Commander visited the Bn CP and the Division Artillery CP. Captain Manning, Ass S-3 visited CP’s and Infantry Bn CP’s to coordinate the work of the forward observers and liaison officers.

 

Report were received of elements of the 504 th PIR crossing the Waal river west of Nijmegen and taking the bridge at Nijmegen. British armor was reported crossing the bridges and moving north.

 

Bn S-4 recovered 150 rounds of ammunition from the resupply area and reported approx. 1000 rounds more available these. Darkness prevented collecting these rounds which were scattered over a large area.

There were no changes in Battery positions.

 

During September 21 D+4 the heavy counter attacks continued.

Orders from Division Artillery, gasmask were collected and held in supply section. Dutch underground reports were received of enemy locations and movements. More rations and ammunition were collected from resupply area and in the afternoon word was received that 2.5ton trucks loaded with ammunition had arrived at the Division ammunition dump from Normandy , and the battalion received its share. The firing for the day again reached into the reserve as the infantry requested fire continuously. No changes were made in positions.

 

 

On the morning of D+5, Lt Morgan, Cub pilot reported to the Bn CP after a flight across the English Channel to Belgium and up into Holland, landing at Heumen. Guards were provided for the plane.

 

During the morning Major Wimberley, Bn S-5 visited the CP’s and inspections of the firing batteries were made by the Bn Ex. Infantry Bn OP’s were visited as well as higher headquarters.

 

A full report of the landings including report of the missing gliders and personnel was made to Div HQ.

Beek, a town on the German border was fully occupied by the  508 PIR, but strong counter-attacks were still being made from the east. Reports were received through civilian sources that the German’s would bomb the entire area, but they proved false.