Berdorf was taken by the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Infantry Regiment on December 26, 1944. The surrounding hills north of the town provided an excellent view over the Sauer River valley which was also the border between Luxembourg and Germany. Taking the high ground north of Berdorf was strategically important to keep the an eye on the German border. The German troops of the 212th Volksgrenadier Division would not just give up this high ground and set up a defense in both the Hamm and Birkelt Farm.

With the 2nd Battalion holding the town, the task of capturing the Hamm farm fell to the 1st Battalion. On the 26th December they had moved into Berdorf to prepare for the upcoming attack. By that time the 3rd Battalion had moved through the Arschbach draw and then swung left moving north with the objective of capturing the Birkelt Farm. “I” Company moved up 200 yards in this and came under fire from the houses at the head of the draw and from the Birkelt Farm. Company I suffered several casualties. Nine men were wounded and one, Pfc. Marion A. Hatcher was killed on the 26th of December.

The 1st Bn CO, Colonel Blakefield, decided to sideslip the Battalion to the left, using the road net available, and worked it up to a Line of Departure which was the East-West road running out of the northern edge of Berdorf. He disposed the Battalion on the high ground with B on the left and C on the right, ready for attack. But, as they jumped off, B Company got into a fire fight with the enemy in the draw on their left. B Company had to be ordered back and the Battalion withdrew into the cover of the Binzetschueff draw. Company A was placed on the left to guard against the enemy in the draw. The battalion suffered three men killed. Company “A” lost Earl R. LeBeau who was killed in action. In Company “C”, Everett Bell and Harold D. Baldridge were killed.

At 0300 on the 27th the 1st Battalion performed a night attack towards the Hamm farm. B and C companies hit the woods on the south of it and divided to circle around the edge of the woods. Thirty-five prisoners were taken on the Southern side of the woods but those on the North put up a stubborn fire fight and had to be routed out of the foxholes. Company C then left one platoon as a guard against the draw on the South side of the woods and sent two platoons to the South East to clear the area around the Birkelt Farm which was still holding up I Company of the 3rd Battalion. There were several houses fortified in this vicinity and Company “C” could not get past them. The two platoons had to stop there for the night, and during the night the enemy pulled out to the east. They lost one man that day: Albert A. Herkommer. Company “B” took all day of the 27th to clear the woods around the Hamm farm. There was not much opposition on the ground the enemy gave the woods a terrific shelling which greatly limited movement. At the end of the day “B” Company was dug-in in the woods. In “B” Company 25 men were wounded and two men were killed. PFC Henry B. Elliot was hit by shrapnel in the chest causing his death. PFC William C. Packan was also hit by shrapnel, but in the back.

Company I spent the rest of the day fighting at the Birkelt Farm. Eight men were wounded and three, Pfc. Earle M. Knox – Pvt Joseph D. Scott and S/Sgt Thomas K. Barnett , were killed on the 27th. Company “M”, the heavy weapons company of the 3rd Battalion in support of Company “I” also lost two men. Floyd E. Fraley and Marvin Baker were Killed in Action on the 27th of December, 1944.

The next morning, December 28, Company C with the help of Company I cleared the high ground around the Birkelt farm, which was the last opposition in the sector. When it was finally captured ,the regiment went on the defensive and established company fronts on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the river, and put out OP’s 100 to 1000 yards in front so that the river line could observed at all times. B Company suffered three more wounded on the 28th, and, unfortunately, another two men were killed. Both PFC Carl E. McCallie and PFC Leland A. Peterson was hit in the chest by a piece of  shrapnel from enemy artillery causing their death.

1178 Total Views 2 Views Today

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: