In the past few posts I’ve been talking about a few personal stories of men of the 2nd Infantry Regiment who gave their lives in their first two combat days during the Bulge (Dec 24 & 25). During those days the Regiment managed to advance Breitweiler and Consdorf to the woods south of Berdorf. It was now time for the capture of Berdorf itself.

Two hours before dawn on the morning of the 26th, the 2nd Bn jumped off to capture the town of Berdorf. The 3rd Battalion was taking the high ground at the Birkelt Farm, 1500 yards east of the town. 1st Battalion, which had been reserve, was also committed and bypassed the town to the west in order to secure the highground north of the town.

Company E attacked the town from the East and G Company attacked from the West. When the Commanding officer of Company G, 1st Lt Dave E. Hott, approached Berdorf he saw one hundred men lined up in the road. He thought it was Company E. It wasn’t much later that they realized those men were German troops. The Americans opened fire and the house-by-house street fighting started.

Aerial photograph of Berdorf, Luxembourg 1944

By daybreak the had had been virtually cleared and over 100 prisoners were taken. At around 0900 the Germans north of the Sauer River realized that the town was in American hands and opened up with their heavy artillery. The Germans on the northern part of the town fought back all they had and it wasn’t until 0200 on the 27 that the last German had been driven from the last building in town.

By nightfall, most of Berdorf was taken. The German troops would continue to resist on the highground north of the town for two more days.

In total Company G suffered at least 21 casualties on December 26 of which one man Killed in Action: PFC Gregory Martinez a B.A.R. Gunner.

Company E suffered at least 22 casaulties on December 26 of which four men Killed in Action. Their names were Pvt Chester S. Napierala, S/Sgt Maurice N. Cheadle, Pfc William C Fleming and Pvt Lonson W. Fish, Jr.

F Company also aided in the attacked and suffered 9 casualties on December 26, but none of them were killed in action.

Company H, the heavy weapons company, aided in the attack as well. They received 7 casualties on December 26 of which one Killed in Action. His name was Pfc Carl Cantrell, an ammunition handler.

– History of the 2nd Infantry Regiment
– Jonathan Andrew Beall, The American Army and Urban Combat in World War II Europe – A Dissertation (2014, Texas A&M University) 420.
– Morning Reports of Companies E, F, G and H (NARA)

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