78 Armoured Field Artillery Battalion 

 

15 September 1944: Battalion left position at Sussen, Belgium at 15.30hrs and travelled 18 miles to position 1 mile North-East of Maastricht, Holland arriving at 18.00hrs.

 

17 September 1944: Battalion left position 1 miles North-East Maastricht, Holland at 08.30hrs and arrived position 3 miles North-East Maastricht arriving at 12.00hrs. Displaced forward position to position 6 miles North-East Maastricht, Holland 19.00hrs., arrivang at 20.00hrs. Total distance marched for the day: 9 miles. Battery A captured and transferred 3 German prisoners. S-1 Periodic Report submitted. Strenght of Command: 44 officers, 3 Warrant Officers and 709 enlisted men.

 

18 September 1944: Battalion left position 6 miles North-East Maastricht, Holland 09.30hrs and arrived in position 1,5 miles south-west Sittard, Holland 20.10hrs. Total distance marched: 9 miles. Battery B captured and transferred 3 German prisoners. Pfc Saks (HQ btry) to hospital (non-battle casualty) ilness. Annoucment was made in General Orders #42, 2nd Armoured division, 17 sept 1944 of the award of the Silver Medal to S/Sgt James.M. Jones (Btry B).

Intelligence Report:

The Battalion displaced at 09.20hrs moving to Geleen, (rijksweg-Zuid). Arriving there at 09.55Hrs. Here for the first time in many weeks, enemy aircraft appeared during the daylight hours. A Ju-88 flew east over this area at 10.30hrs, 4 FWs 190 flew over this area 11.10hrs, 1 FW190 flew Northwest at 11.11hrs, One FW190 was knocked down by our attached 195 AA Bn A. Battery at 11.15hrs as he flew West over our area. The enemy withdrawn to the vicinity of Sittard.

He was trying to hold a line through that town. Enemy infantry were fired upon at Sittard, Einighausen. all these fire missions, save the first, resulted in known casualties and dispersal.

The last mission dispersed two compagines of Germans. Enemy AT guns were neutralized and single AT guns were fired upon, results unknown. 5 Prisoners, paratroopers serving as artillery ,men were captured by the battalion maintenance section during this period. 

Contact was made with members of the Dutch Underground and information as to enemy acticity in Roermond and vicinity was obtained. At 19.10hrs the battalion moved north to Geleen arriving there at 20.05hrs.

 

19 September 1944: No change in position or activity.

The battalion continued to support the advance of CCB upon Sittard. Enemy infantry were fired upon, casualties were inflicted. Preparation fires cleared the way for our forward elements. Enemy mortars received our fire, results unknown. A German OP was fired upon with undetermined result. Enemy AT guns were fired upon, knocking out an 88.  The next to last mission knocked out another 88. A SP gun recieved our fire and enemy guns are also fired upon, results unknown. One FW190 passed over the area at 12.16hrs flying east.

The enemy captured a light tank (A22) from the 67th Armd Regiment during this period, this unit was advised of it and used by the Germans disguised as Americans. Contact was made over telephone facilities with members of Dutch underground in Roermond and valuable information was passed on to Higher Headquarters. 2 Prisoners were captured by this unit during this period, they were from the 6 Engineer Battalion.

 

20 September 1944: Battalion left postition 1,5miles South-west, of Sittard, Holland 12.30hrs and marched 12 miles to assembly area 2 miles east of Valkenburg, Holland (area Walem) arriving 13.30hrs. T/5 Paul Garner (Btry.B.) slightly injured when 1/4ton "peep" ran over him.

 

 

21 September 1944: No change in position. Pvt William (serv. Bty) to hospital 48th Med. bn (non battle sickness).

 

22 September 1944 to 26 September 1944: No change in position or activity. An area was shelled by 240mm enemy artillery about 00.15hrs, There were about 20rds, direction compass 800m.(area Klimmen) About one-third were duds. It was thought that the fire was interdictory, aimed at a crossroad on top of the hill. No casualties were suffered.

 

27 September 1944: No change in position.

 

28 September 1944: No change in position. Continued maitainance of material. Battalion inspection of weapons and vehicles held

 

29 September 1944: T/5 Pettit (Hq Btry) accidental in motorcycle accident. (non-battle) casualty (LD). Pvte Williams (Serv Btry) from hospital, 48th Med Bn, to duty. No change in position.

 

30 September 1944: Battalion left position 2 miles east of Valkenburg, Holland

16.00hrs and travelled 10 miles to new position 3,5 miles North-East Heerlen, (Nieuwenhagen) Holland arriving 17.30hrs. Annoucement was made in General Orders.

 

During the period the 78th Armoured Field Artillery Battalion, was in assembly area east of Valkenburg , Holland, personnel of the Battalion were show numerous movies, which both during  the day and night and one USO stage show was given in Valkenburg. Transportation to shower points was furnihed. Post-Exchange supplies were sold during this period.

 

 

 

1 October 1944: Battalion in position 3,5 miles north-east Heerlen, Holland. T/5 Wright (Btry C) to hospital (malaria). S-1 Periodic report submitted. Strenght of Command 44 Officers, 3 Warrant officers amd 701 enlisted men .


2 October 1944: No change in position or activity. Captain Wagner returned to duty from Replacement Depot.


3 October 1944: No change in position. T/5 Woeten (HQ Btry) returned to duty from Replacement Depot.


4 October 1944: Battalion left position at 3,5miles north-east Heerlem, Holland at 14.01hrs and traveled 3 miles to position at Palenberg, Germany.

 

3 February 1945: Battalion position remains unchanged. Unit is now preparing to moe to new area vicinity Gulpen, Holland.

 

4 February 1945: Battalion left Lince, Belgium for present position Mechelen. Roads conditions on the march were good and the weather was clear and cool. March was conducted under semi-blackout conditions and was completed in a superior manner, Battalion established double security posts throught the Battalion area. At the present time the Battalion had no forward observers out.

 

5/6 February 1945: Battalion position remained unchanged. The morning of the 5th was devoted to maintenance of vehicles and cleaning of all arms. Afternoon of the 5th was devoted to security regulations. On the 6th the unit followed the same schedule, with as many members of the Battalion as possibly could be spared going for showers. Afternoon of the 6th the Battalion was given a demostration on the M-24 by a group from the 67th AR.

 

7 February 1945: Battalion spent the following training in schedule. The Battalion and Battery commanders left at 09.00hrs to reconnoiter new postions in vincinity of Inden, Germany. Skeleton HQ Battery, including Fire direction Center, sent forward to occupy new positions at 16.50hrs. Essentail central elements of the Battalion left bivouac area at 22.00hrs for new position. Remainder of the Battalion remains in present area.

 

8 February 1945: Battalion left Mechelen, Holland for present Inden, Germany with displacement beginning at 07.22hrs and closing position 08.01hrs.