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Document Source: After Action Report, 747th Tank Battalion, 29th Infantry Division, June 1944 to April 1945
Headquarters, 29th Infantry Division, APO 29, US Army, July 22, 1944
To: The Adjutant General, War Department, Washington 25, DC
Through: Commanding General XIX Corps, APO 270, US Army
Forwarded in compliance with letter, Headquarters, First United States Army, file 319.1, subject: Action Against Enemy, Report After/After Action Report, dated July 13, 1944, and letter, Headquarters, XIX Corps, same subject and file, dated July 19, 1944.
For the Commanding General
Robert A. Archer, Jr
Lt Col, A.G.D.,
ASSAULT ON OMAHA BEACH
1. Craft loads began unloading at 0100, June 7, 1944, with one Baker Company platoon going directly to Transit Area #4. Two platoons of Charlie Company hit the beach at 0830 fighting along the beach and up into Vierville-sur-Mer by 1300, and assisted in knocking out several houses being used as strong points by the Germans. At this point, they were joined by the remainder of the battalion (- 2 platoons of Baker Company and elements that had not landed at this time) and attached to the 175th Infantry Regiment for the attack on Isigny.
2. The first platoon of Baker Company was attached to the 1/18th Infantry Regiment and the second platoon was attached to the 2/18th Infantry Regiment. The 1st platoon proceeded south to Mandeville via St Laurent sur Mer, Surrain, Tourteville. South of Surrain they encountered heavy artillery fire and withdrew. The second platoon patrolled the road Formigny Trévières, without opposition up to Mandeville.
3. Enemy forces, consisting of the 726.Infantry-Regiment of the 716.Infantry-Division, with supporting elements of AAA (Flak) units, artillery, gun companies, and heavy weapons companies, which were broken up and used with small strong points, were met in the coastal sector.
4. The exact number of enemy casualties is undetermined, but conservative estimate lists: 1 officer killed, 1 officer captured, 214 men were captured and 27 were killed. All captured personnel were turned over to infantry units.
5. On our side, during this phase, 2 enlisted men were killed, 1 officer and 6 enlisted men were wounded, and 1 enlisted man is reported missing.
6. As a result of this action, 1 officer received the Silver Star Medal, 1 officer received the Bronze Star Medal, and 1 officer and 6 enlisted men received the Purple Heart Medal.
CAPTURE OF ISIGNY
1. The battalion, (- Baker Company, 2 platoons of Dog Company, and 1 platoon of Charlie Company), moved with the 175th Infantry Regiment west along the Vierville-sur-Mer-Grandcamps-Maisy Road to a point north of Englesqueville-la-Percée, south to the Longueville-Isigny Highway. From here, they proceeded west taking La Cambe, (which was strongly defended by small arms, 75-MM AT, and 88-MM fires), at 1300 on June 8, thence to Osmanville, which was taken at 1500 the same day, although strongly defended by automatic weapons and AT guns, thence to Isigny, which was taken at 0300, June 9, encountering little opposition except for sniper fire.
2. Enemy forces, consisting of remnants of the 726.Infantry-Regiment and 914., 915. and 916.Infantry-Regiments of the 352.Infantry-Division were encountered during this period. The artillery personnel of the 716.Infantry-Division were fighting as infantry.
3. The exact number of enemy casualties is undetermined, but a conservative estimate lists: 3 officers captured and 2 killed, 298 men captured, and 146 killed. All captured personnel were turned over to infantry units.
4. On our side during this phase, 1 officer and 5 men were killed and 2 officers and 7 enlisted men were wounded.
5. As a result of this action, 1 officer and 2 enlisted men received the Silver Star Medal, 3 officers, and 8 enlisted men received the Bronze Star Medal, and 3 officers and 6 enlisted men received the Purple Heart Medal.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COUVINS-LES-FOULONS LINE
1. At 1200, June 9, 1944, the battalion proceeded south on the Isigny – St Lô Highway with the 175th Infantry Regiment to Lison, which was captured on June 9 with no opposition from the enemy. From this point, Able Company supported the 115th Infantry Regiment, and Charlie Company continued on to a point 1.5 miles south of Moon-sur-Elle with the 175th Infantry Regiment. Although there was strong opposition from AT guns and automatic weapons fire, Moon-sur-Elle was occupied at 1900 on June 9. The 116th Infantry Regiment moved through the 115th Infantry Regiment to take Couvains where, at various points along the route, heavy artillery fire and AT fire were encountered from 75-MM and 88-MM and SP guns. Able Company (- the 2nd platoon) continued on in support of the 116th Infantry Regiment. The 2nd platoon crossed the Vire River and advanced on Auville-sur-le-Vey with King Company, 175th Infantry Regiment where contact was made with elements of the 101st Airborne Division.
2. Dog Company (- the 2nd platoon) was attached to the 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment and moved to the vicinity of Trévières where they supported the engineers in building a bridge, and in so doing, knocked out a roadblock. On June 10, they left Trévières for Cérisy-la-Fôret in support of infantry engaging in minor patrols. The movement was made under a local machine gun and sniper fire. Two miles south of Cérisy-la-Fôret stiff AT fire was encountered causing a withdrawal of about 1000 yards. At this point, the two platoons were joined by the third platoon of Charlie Company. On June 11, they proceeded through the Cérisy Forest to Littee where they met strong enemy resistance of AT guns, Panzerfausts, and Panzerschrecks fire causing a withdrawal of 500 yards. On June 12, they moved towards St Quentin, encountering again stiff enemy resistance from Bérigny. Under cover of darkness, the unit returned to bivouac in the Cérisy Forest. An enemy barrage on June 13, forced a withdrawal into the Cérisy Forest, in order to take up defensive positions. On June 14, they drove on Saint-Georges-d’Elle, in support of the 38th Infantry Regiment. Strong opposition was met, causing the withdrawal of infantry and tanks. The tanks again moved up to two miles south of Cérisy la Fôret on June 15, in support of the infantry. Heavy mortar and artillery fire were encountered and the tanks were used for local reconnaissance on June 16 with little or no opposition. On June 18th, they rejoined the battalion in the vicinity of Saint-Jean-de-Savigny.
3. On June 9, Baker Company was detached from the 1st Battalion and from the 2nd Battalion and attached to the 3rd Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, and proceeded toward Elay through Mosles. On June 10, they were detached from the 18th Infantry Regiment and attached to the 9th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division in the vicinity of Tourteville. An attack was made from there on enemy positions east of Trévières. On June 11, Baker Company moved from the vicinity of Trévières to Mandeville through Le Val and Le Molay into the Cérisy Forest. On June 12, they engaged the enemy in the vicinity of La Perquelevée, Les Bruyères, and Saint-Germain-d’Elle, and then returned to the Cérisy Forest. No action on June 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17.
4. On June 18, Baker Company rejoined the Battalion at Saint-Jean-de-Savigny. Baker Company and Headquarters Assault Gun Platoon were attached to the 115th Infantry Regiment in the vicinity of Le Mesnil and attacked south to a point approximately 2 miles south of Sainte-Claire-sur-l’Elle. Heavy AT, Panzerfaust, and Panzerschreck fire were encountered causing the loss of 4 tanks and 8 casualties.
5. Enemy forces, consisting of remnants of the 352.Infantry-Division, the 30.Schnell-Brigade, the Kampfgruppe Heintz and the Kampfgruppe Kenter, the 5.Fallschirmjaeger-Regiment and other elements of the 3.Fallschirmjaeger-Division were encountered.
6. The exact number of enemy casualties is undetermined, but a conservative estimate lists: 5 officers captured and 1 killed. 251 men were captured and 86 were killed. All captured personnel were turned over to the infantry units.
7. During this phase on our side, 2 officers and 6 enlisted men were killed, 1 officer and 33 enlisted men were wounded and 2 enlisted men were reported missing.
8. As a result of this action, 3 officers and 1 enlisted man received the Silver Star Medal. 6 officers and 25 enlisted men received the Bronze Star Medal. 4 officers and 18 enlisted men received the Purple Heart Medal.
During these three phases, the commanding officer of the organization was: Stuart G. Fries, 0-19827, Lt Colonel, Infantry.
2/Lt George E. Wagoner, 01824541, Infantry, United States Army, for gallantry in action in Normandy, France, received the Silver Star. On June 16, 1944, during a duel with two 88-MM guns, 2/Lt Wagoner’s tank was halted when an infantry soldier was wounded and fall directly in the road blocking the path of advance. With complete disregard for his own safety, 2/Lt Wagoner leaped from the tank and, under heavy small arms and machine gun fire, carried the wounded man to shelter and secured medical attention for him. His cool courage and his unselfish devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the Military Service.
1/Lt John M. McKie,01014369, Infantry, United States Army, for meritorious achievement in military operations against the enemy in Normandy, France, received the Bronze Star (Posthumously). On June 9, 1944, 1/Lt McKie dismounted from his tank and effectively directed artillery fire on enemy strong points, while intense enemy fire fell all around. His actions resulted in the destruction of the enemy strong points.