15 September 1944:During a night march from Fouron le Comte to Scheulder, Holland the outfir crossed the Belgian-Holland and established firing positions in the vicinity of that same village.

The front lines were by this becoming stable while the Germans were hastily organizing their defenses at the siegfried line, and as a result, the American and British forces were beginning to make slower progress.

 

19 September 1944: The Battalion moved to Strijthagen, where it remained for three weeks. It was a mere 800 yards from the front lines andh ard by the German frontier. While at Strijthagen, the unit was under frequently enemy shell and mortar fire and subjected to bombing at night.Service Battery was moved forward to position near the battalion and soon came forward into a more than its share of intense eney fire.

Upon arrival at the position, the battery dug in across a pond from HQ battery and on the lee side of a steep hill.

Shortly afterwards, and with barely enough tome for the men to get to their foxholes prepared, the Germans laid down an intense mortar barrage.However Service Battery suffered no casualties at this position.

Headquarters Battery was fortunately quarted in an acient castle with massive walls that affored comforting protection.


Battery A drew so much attention from the enemy artillery that it change its position. During the firing of a mission Battery B the battalion suffered its first serious  accident at the guns. The medical officer rushed to the position to find that a muzzle burst had occurred on the No.4 gun, killing instantly PFC Archie.W. Hawkins Jr and fatally wounding PFC Joe. C. Grooms.


Bad luck continued to plaque Battery A on and 28th September, PFC Harold.E. Coleman was severely wounded by a mortar shell, Lieutenant Glasser and PFC Carl rice were lightly wounded. One the same day mortar shells landing in Headquarters Battery area lightly wounded Pte Leonard. J. Dutton.

During this period that Battalion was firing in support of 30 th Division who were engaged in breaching the famous defence  of the West Wall. By October 16th the US forces had succeeded in smashing the maze of concrete and steel emplacements all the way from Ubach to Wurselen.


These hard won gains eventually led to the displacement of the unit to Kerkrade. The firing batteries were established near the town, and the command post was temporarily located in a section of the Roldue Academy, reputedly the oldest in that part of Europe. Later the Command Post moved to Chevremont, a section of Kerkrade.


Although the battalion was subjected to scattered enemy artillery fire at regular intervals throughout this period, it suffered only one severe casualty. On October 13 th PFC Woodrow.W. Vaughn of Battery B received fatal wounds from shell fragments.


On the 16th of November the corps began its attack to drive the Germans from the flat muddy plains that bordered the western bank of the Roer River. 119th Artillery Group, to include the 963rd , remained in general support of the 30 th Division. The Battalion displaced forward to Alsdorf, the first fire position area to be occupied in Germany.

 

 


During their stay in Holland the Battalion fired 10334 HE and 110 Smoke shells.


To change its position. During the firing of a mission Battery B the battalion suffered its first serious  accident at the guns. The medical officer rushed to the position to find that a muzzle burst had occurred on the No.4 gun, killing instantly PFC Archie.W. Hawkins Jr and fattaly wounding PFC Joe. C. Grooms.

Bad luck continued to plaque Battery A on and 28 th September, PFC Harold.E. Coleman was severely wounded by a mortar shell, Lieutenant Glasser and PFC Carl rice were lightly wounded. One the same day mortar shells landing in Headquarters Battery area lightly wounded Pte Leonard. J. Dutton.

During this period that Battalion was firing in support of 30 th Division who were engaged in breaching the famous defence  of the West Wall. By October 16 th the Us forcrs had succeeded in smashing the maze of concrete and steel emplacements all the way from Ubach to Wurselen. These hard won gains eventually led to the displacement of the unit to Kerkrade. The firing batteries were established near the town, and the command post was temporarily located in a section of the Roldue Academy, reputedly the oldest in that part of Europe.