8 inch Howitzer towed by a 8-ton tractor-speed M4

793 Field Artillery Battalion

8 inch howitzers

 

The Battalion entered Holland on 13 September 1944, through Mheer, on 15 September they reached Guplen and from there on 17 September to Kunrade, the next day Voerendaal, and finally on 19 September 1944, at Terwinselen, where they stayed until 14 October 1944, when they moved to Merkstein, Germany.

Although according to Warren Jensen of A. Battery at the end of October they were in postion near Heerlen, firing into Aachen.

 

"Since June we had been living outdoors in Heerlen we went into position abd in back of us was a paved road and some house. Our gun section took over a home and, for the first time, were inside shelter. Strangely enough, we had trouble sleeping. In Germany there was a railroad gun on a train that sheltered in a concrete tunnel. It would come out, fire a round at us, and pop back in.

Down the road about 1/2mile was a mine. In the mine they had hot water showers for the miners and that is where we were able to go in and get a much needed showers.

Strangely, walking in the first time, I was initially shocked at what appeared to be bodies hanging from the ceiling!!. Figured the Kruts had done their method of execution. Upon closer inspection I found that these were the miners clothing hanging. took the place of the lockers.

 

And,one night walking back to our howitzer, we found a house with an electric light still on in violation of blackout conditions. We motioned for the occupant to put it out but'it out but couldn't communicate as we were on the street and they were inside. Now I know the word "licht kaput"would have worked but all I could think to yell was "lucifer", the word for match. Since being this close to Germany, the occupants could have been Germany sympathizers, so we had to stop this possible signalling, I fired my weapon at the bulb, I couldn't have done it again if I tried it over and over again but, as pure luck had it, I hit the lightbulb!!."

 

 

Gunner Warren  Jensen,  1st section , A.Battery