321 Glider Field Artillery Battalion 101 US Airborne Division: A Battery - B.Battery-75mm Howitzers

                                                                                                                

Unit No.

 

 

17 September 1944: 14 officers and 14 enlisted men jumped with 506th Parachute Battalion as Forward Observers and Liaison Parties.

 

19 September 1944: 24 officers and 386 left England in 71 gliders to their LZ near Son (Brabant). 3 gliders went down in the channel (losing 3 howitzers and 5 jeeps) 11 others were shot down of force landed in Belgium and Holland, 3 of them were shot down in flames, at total loss of 2 officers(Captain Dunkelberg and Lieutenant Jordan), 1 man (Baker Company) killed on landing and 2 officers and 18 men wounded.

Command Post Established, Battalion in support of 327 Glider Infantry Regiment.

 

20 September 1944: In touch with Lieutenant Nugent Battalion LO with 327 Glider Infantry. LO Captain Williams report to CO of 501st Parachute infantry. Battalion LO with 2nd Bn 327 GI Lieutenant Knight states that CO of 327 GI has ordered 2nd Bn to clear woods.Divison Artillery report two 88mms in town of Best (Brabant), request fire when targets occupied by enemy.  Battalion LO Captain White with 1st Bn 506 PIR states they are to relieve 1st Bn 327 GIR and take up defensive position defending Bridgehead. Lieutenant Brooks Forward Observer (3rd Bn 501 PIR) reports situation very confused, unit may withdraw in half hour ask for artillery to help cover withdrawal. 6 men from B.Battery whose glider was forced down behind enemy lines reported to CP. Received aid from Dutch Underground Forces who led them to British lines.

Resupply planes dropped equipment on landing field near assembly area.

Lt Brooks and section acting as Forward Observer with 3th Battalion 501 PIR in defending the area South-East of Best, in porr visibility and when the morale of enemy troops was good, conducted effective time fire, threw the enemy into a state of confused retreat. Our Artillery followed the retreat and the Germans suffered many casualties.

 

21 September 1944: Battalion continues salvaging equipment from Landing zone. Landing zone under occasional enemy artillery fire. Liaison party of British Royal Artillery joined Battalion. Two resupply planes shot down by enemy fighters in vicinity of Battalion area.Lt Jordan with 11 EM and one jeep reported to CP, accounting for two missing gliders, said gliders were forced down in vicinity of Gent, Belgium.

Normal barrage requested by LO, three rounds per minute. 3000 enemy infantry troops reported in the vicinity of Best. Possibly 3 Parachute regiments, elements of 2 Panzer Brigades reported East of Son with 40 MkV tanks.

 

22 September 1944: Present position being vacted due to increased small arms fire.First elements of 327 Glider moving up, and passed Battalion on road, remainder of Battalion arrived new postions chosen, command post established. Enemy artillery landing in area. Battalions registered and firing. Our position 100 yards to rear of MLR.

 

23 September 1944: Position secured. Battalion continues fire. Lt Kowalczyk A Battery FO killed in action.  1 EM member of same party wounded and evcuated. Battalion firing continued all morning, British artillery also firing continously on strong enemy forces reported advancing from North.

 

24 September 1944: Seaborne elements report to CP. 907 Glider FA battalion arrived and moving in to position. Battalion alerted for march order. Skeleton crew moved out remaining personnel in postion. Vehicles return for remainder of Battalion. new location, Battalion in support of 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment.

 

25 September 1944: Recon party out to pick new postions, battalion alerted to move. Battalion occuping new postions, Battalion in general support. Heavy enemy artillery concentration landing in CP area. 3 EM wounded., Shelling and small arms fire continuing. Battalion in defensive position, preparing to vacate present position.March order, battalion arrived at new area. Two glider loads of Enlisted Men listed as missing in action, reported safe at base camp. One glider landed in England and one on the English Channel. all men in latter picked up by air-sea rescue boat, after three and half hours. Concentrations from Battalion, reported very effective against machine gun and bazook nests. Forward observer party with infantry pinned down by mortar fire. One EM wounded.

 

26 September 1944: Battalion fire continued all night. CP moved to new postion, Liaison and FO parties forward to 506th Infantry. Two enemy  patrols reported moving toward our positions. Infantry patrols from 506th moving to intercept them. Lt Canham changes position after being blown out of OP.

 

27 September 1944:  Several enemy planes overhead during night but no nearby action. March order warning, Recce parties out. New positions established in direct support of 506th PIR. Liaison established with British unit.

 

28 September 1944: Battalion in defensive postion, Seaborne elements joined Battalion from Division Service Area. Ammunition restricted by Commanding General Division Artillery. Flares dropped in area during night by enemy aircraft.

 

30 September 1944: Battalion still in defensive position.

 

2 October 1944: Skeleton crews forward to new position.(Nijmegen area) 1 EM wounded enroute to new position by spent Anti Aircraft fire. New postions established. Liaison and FO parties out. 2 Enemy aircraft overhead, heavy anti aircraft fire. Continued enemy air action, bombs heard exploding near area.

 

3 October 1944: Report recieved as of 1 October that Sgt Kuenzil, and personnel from his Glider are safe at base camp. Skeleton crew forward to new locations. Remainder of  the Battalion left for new area, completed Battalion in new area, and relieved the British 147 Field Regiment. Report enemy forces ferrying accross river, battalion concentration on same very effective.

 

4 October 1944: Battalion fired all last night and this morning. Large enemy concentration landing in Zetten. 377 PFA Battalion at new location, registered and firing.

 

5 October 1944: Enemy artillery landing in  and around area, enemy artillery causes no casualties, battalion and British artillery firing in support of drive by infantry. 14 POWS brought to A Battery area and taken to POW cage. (1200rounds fired in 45 minutes).

 

6 October 1944: firing continued all last night, enemy artillery still present though to a lesser degree, one civilian killed. Message of 21.00Hrs, report fire possibilties of supporting british forces on right flank. 1 EM from Liaison section wounded, vehicle damaged. 1 EM from wire section seriously wounded and evacuated, 3 EM slightly wounded, vehicle damaged.

 

7 October 1944: Typhoons attacking enemy positions, heavily enemy artillery concentration in area. Very heavy artillery barrage thrown out by allied guns. Fire very effective against enemy tanks. 957, 958, and 959 German Infantry Regiments identified. 1 EM killed, and 1 EM wounded by small arms fire. Large formation of friendly bombers passing over head. Liaison Officer reports artillery fire very effective in his sector. Numerous POWs taken. Expected counter attack launched by Germans, counter attack broken by Battalion fire. Battalion in support of 327 GIR.

 

8 October 1944: PW reports opposition made up of young newly arrived troops. Intense artillery barrage on enemy continue. British and American artillery firing on tanks. Excellent results. Battalion Observers registering 377 PFA.

 

9 October 1944: Very quite during night, occassional Artillery fire. 11.208 rounds of ammo expended since Battalion was committed. S-3 slightly wounded. enemy artillery barrage in area. All wire communications out. Direct hit made on C Battery 377 CP.

 

10 October 1944: Allied artillery active during night. command Post being moved out to building and being dug in. Due to heavy enemy artillery.

 

11 October 1944: Artillery active during night. Occasional artillery and small arms fire.

 

12 October 1944: Battalions continue fire, Improvement on postions carried out. Very quiet during night.

 

13 October 1944: Day very quiet, little firing.

 

14 October 1944: Battalion in direct support 506 PIR. Battalion began harassing fire to be continued until 05.00hrs. Division reorganized with all Regimental Combat Teams taking position on whole front Very quiet during morning. Counter attack made by enemy, heavy artillery fire from allied guns, attack halted.

 

15 October 1944: Limited firing, enemy patrol reported.

 

16 October 1944: Limited activity, enemy shells landing close to area.

 

17 October 1944: Battalion conitnues to hold defensive position. Moderate firing. Enemy artillery falling in area , no casualties.

 

18 October 1944: Battalion fired harassing fire during night. Enemy artillery slightly active.

 

19 October 1944: Heavy concentration by allied guns during night. Enemy artillery also active.

 

20 October 1944: Harrasing fire by Battalion during night. Quiet during day. Camp duties and improvement of positions carried out.

 

21 October 1944: Harrasing fires by Battalion during night. Nebelwerfers continued to fall, no casualties.

 

22 October 1944: Very quiet during day.

 

23 October 1944: Harrasing fire by Battalion guns, enemy shells landing in and around area. No casualties. Battalion fired on Rocket guns and Mortar positions also fired harrasing fire. 506 PIR with 321 Bn FO party evacuated 138 men of officers of British unit North of Rhine. Harrasing fire by Battalion during night.

 

24 October 1944: Enemy shelling Zetten.

 

25 October 1944: Quiet during day, ocassional firing by Battalion.

 

26 October 1944: Battalion Recon party out. Enemy shelling our position, no casualties.

 

27 October 1944: Several shells landed near CP. Battalion fired counter Battery and harassing fire during night. Very quiet during day.

 

28 October 1944: Battlaoin alerted for move. Took up new position. Enemy artillery landing in area for past hour. Battalion fire limited.

 

29 October 1944: Quiet during night.

 

30 October 1944: Allied and enemy artillery active during morning.

 

31 October 1944: Night uneventful, duites as usual.

 

1 November 1944: Experiment of guiding patrols by artillery fire carried out during night. Very succesful. moderate firing during day.

 

2 November 1944: Harsasing fires by battalion during night. Enemy given change to surrender. Refusual followed by heavy artillery fire. Enemy fired few rounds near CP.

 

3 November 1944: Nebelwerfers and artillery landing in area.

 

4 November 1944: Firing batteries straffed by enemy plane. No casualties.

 

5 November 1944: Enemy artillery landing in area, increased air activity. 906 Missions fire to date. Over 25.300 rounds expended.

 

6 November 1944: Heavy artillery fire during night. House about 75 yards from CP set on fire by accident.

 

7 November 1944: Harassing fire by Battalion during night. Uneventful day.

 

8 November 1944: Heavy anti aircraft fire. Enemy planes overhead Heavy barrage fired by enemy. Shells passing over position.

 

9 November 1944: Counter battery and harassing fire by Battalion.

 

10 november 1944: Very little firing during night. Heavy enemy artillery fire on area.

 

11 November 1944: More enemy fire landing in B Battery area.

 

12 November 1944: Enemy barrage in A Battery area. Two EM slightly wounded. One building hit. Battalion has roving guns out.

 

13 November 1944: Enemy artillery in area Roving guns out again. Eight rounds enemy fire fell on road crossing. SE of A Battery 1 Civilian killed. 1 injured. Accidental fire in mail room. Extinguished by members of HQ Battery.

 

14 November 1944: Usual enemy early morning barrage missing. roving guns out. 13 rounds land in A Battery area.

 

15 November 1944: Enemy artillery active during night, roving guns out. A Battery ,oved positions due to enemy shelling. Very large percentage of duds.

 

16 November 1944: Roving guns out during night. CP area shelled from 16.50hrs to 17.19hrs some airburst.

 

17 November 1944: Battalion fired counter-battery fire from this morning rounds expended to date 29.392. Roving guns out. Very quiet.

 

18 November 1944:  Enemy shells landing in CP area. FO spot selfpropelled guns, believed firing as roving guns. Usual supporting missions.

 

19 November 1944: Battalion fired 30.000th round since Holland invasion. Usual supporting missions.

 

20 November 1944: Two shells land in A Battery area. fragments hit GMC, killed 2 ,506 PIR.

 

21 November 1944: Enemy aircraft overhead. Heavy AA fire. FO spotted Nebelwerfers firing on our postion, and scored direct hits with two volleys. Battalion fire set three trucks on fire.

 

22 November 1944: Very quiet,usual supporting missions during past night and day.

 

23 November 1944: Canadians have roving guns in our area, and are using dummy guns.

 

24 November 1944: Enemy activity increased during night, battalion alerted for move and relieved by British Enemy hate barrage this morning. Battalion moved to France.