S-E-C-R-E-T 

HEADQUARTERS 159th INFANTRY
APO 408, U S Army
 

31 May 1945 

SUBJECT  :  After Action Report (Routine Activities)
           
     Dtd 10 31 May 1945

TO              :  Commanding General, 15th Army, ETO (thru channels)
           
         Attn: G-3 

1.  The primary mission of the Regiment continued to be the guarding, administering and supplying PWTE within the WHITE Area under the supervision of the 106th Infantry (Lion) Division. 

2.  The Regimental CP was moved from Bad Godesberg to Namedy, Germany on 12 May 1945.  Necessity for centralizing control necessitated this move.  The Regimental Personnel Section is still active in Bad Godesberg. 

3.  In order to orient all personnel concerned, the Regimental Commander called a meeting of PWTE Cos and their Staffs on 18 May to discuss methods of segregating PWs for selected categories.  This selection was to be base on occupation (mining, agriculture and transportation); home or employment location, age over 50.  This processing was begun at all PWTEs in the Regimental WHITE Area and with a little experience back of those concerned it moved forward rapidly. 

4.  On 20 May processing for the discharge of PWs was initiated at PWTE A-5, and two PWs were discharged this date.  On 22 May, 16 PWs were released.  The occasion was highlighted by the fact that each PW was interviewed by Life Magazine Reporters that were present.  Released PWs are paid on the basis of 40 Marks for EM and 80 Marks for Officers.  A staff of German Army Clerks and finance people are engaged in this tremendous task of discharging PWs under the supervision of Enclosure and CIC personnel.  To date 4,129 PWs have been discharged.  The breakdown by PWTEs is listed below: 

PWTE

DISCHARGED

A-2

21

A-5

473

A-10

2283

A-11

1598

 5.  Two deaths in the Regiment in the month of assigned personnel occurred, both because of accidents.  Second Lieutenant NORMAN G. MYERS, O 535 378, Hq CO 3rd Battalion was accidently killed on 18 May when he came in contact with 20,000 volts of electricity.  The accident occurred at a factory inside enclosure A-11, at Andernach.  Pfc James Scott, Company I, 3rd Battalion was killed on 17 May in a truck accident. 

6.  PERSONNEL:

Gains Officers  
  EM 510
Losses Battle Casualties 0
  Non-Battle Casualies 2
  Discharged 6

Strength   Officers WO EM
  Authorized 153 5 3049
  Present for Duty 144 5 4590
  Attached 2 - 4

UNITS (see incl: #2)

CHANGES IN ASSIGNMENT:

1st Lieutenant EDWIN P HAGEN Jr. O 436 158, reld of asgmt to and dy with Co "K", 159th Inf and asgd to Hq Co, 3rd Bn to assume dy as Comm. Off 26 May

KEY OFFICERS
Kotzhsue, Leon L. Colonel O 9700 Commanding
D'Orazi, Victor W. Lt Colonel O 364 372 Executive
Heyer, Robert E. Major O 353768 S-2
Higgins, William G. Major O 382802 S-3
Gainor, Hunter B. Major O 416082 S-4
Lakusta, Walter Captain O 420861 S-1
Spitzeberg, Randolph Major O 411656 Regtl Surgeon
Chedister, Joseph C. Lt Colonel O 336349 CO 1st BN & CO PWTE A-11
Walsh, Irvin H. Major O 360900 CO 2nd BN & CO PWTE A-10
Gibbons, Robert Major O 346826 CO 3rd BN & CO PWTE A-5
Harrison, William H. Lt Colonel O 333171 CO 6951 (Prov) BN & CO PWTE A-2


7.  EQUIOMENT AND MATERIALS : A bakery at Simzig, Germany was taken over and put into operation 19 May.  This made it possible to provide bread for all PWs at PWTE A-5.  At approximately the same time cooking units for all PWTEs were secured and are now in use.  These units have helped the feeding problem much.

8.  The Regiment has gained much experience in PWTE operations and its efficiency in this respect increases daily.  Supplies and equipment still remain the biggest problems as far as the Administration of the Enclosures is concerned.  This has been overcome partially through increased trucking facilities, securing of additional equipment and personnel.  Processing PWs for discharge is going forward rapidly and as the Teams dong the job become more experienced it will go forward even more rapidly.  Sanitation and the control of disease has shown great progress with adequate water, dispensaries, hospital, delousing and latrine facilities having been made available in all PWTEs.  OW control is much better, with fewer attempts to escape being reported daily.  This is undoubtedly due to Processing for discharge having started.  Civilians, attempting to pass food and messages to PWs, have created a bit of a problem but each enclosure has evolved a system of controlling this with good results.  These methods vary from enclosing those picked up in a separate cage in the Stockade to turning them over to the Military Police for admonition and warning.

9. a.  Realizing that as efficiency of operation becomes better and better a problem of leisure time activities for Regimental personnel would become acute, the Regiment inaugurated an extensive Public Relations, Athletic and Recreation and I & E Program.

        An SOP on Public Relations (see Incl 1. SOP on Public Relations in Germany) was published 6 May 1945 and is now functioning with many home town stories about the men in the Unit, being forwarded through channels for publications in their home town newspapers.

    b.  A rest Camp and Recreation Center for Officers and EM was set up at Laacher See.  This Camp would accommodate 15 Em and 1 Officer from each Company for two (2) day period of rest and recreation.

    c.  The Camp was just getting nicely underway when the 66th Infantry Division took it over for Billeting purposes.

10.  An Athletic and Recreation Program has been started with Soft Ball Tournaments now in progress.  Plans are in the offin for baseball and other types of Recreational Tournaments.  This program has been held up somewhat because of the lack of equipment.  Soldier Shows are now being built from talent within the Regiment, Movies and USO Shows assist in rounding out the program.

11. Plans are now being formulated for the establishment of an educational program.  The Education Film entitled "Tow Down and One to Go" was shown to the Officers and men of the Regiment during the month.  Every man and Officer in the Regiment saw this Movie with the exception of 16 that were either in the hospital or on furlough.

12.  Training is such subjects as Military Courtesy, review of weapons, their nomenclature, functioning and care; provisions of the Geneva Conference; Guard Duty; Orientation and the German language has been conducted concurrently with regular PWTE Guard Duty activities.

13.  Under the present Point system of Discharge for enlisted men this Regiment has an approximate total of 705 who have one Bronze Star or 973 who have 2 Bronze Stars eligible.  The first group totaling will be sent out for processing within the next few days.

FOR THE COMMANDING OFFICER

WALTER LAKUSTA
Captain, Infantry
Adjutant

Inclosures:

#1 - SOP on Public Relations in Germany, dtd 6 May 45
#2 - Atchd Units for operational purposes.
#3 - Unit Journal, dtd 10-31 May Incl.

S-E-C-R-E-T 
Provided by Roger Myers and David Wiswar.
Page last revised 09/16/2016
James D. West
www.IndianaMilitary.org

jimdwest@centurylink.net