Page 6 & 7

Editor's Note:  The original edition of "Scrap" Book, distributed in March, 1945, reviewed briefly and illustrated in map 'and sketches the combat history of the 50th Infantry Division !roan the time it started fighting in Normandy, on June 15, 1944. until it jumped off from Malmedy, Belgium, January 13, 1945, to drive, through rugged, snow mountainous terrain, the German army from the territory it had gained in the bold mid-winter offensive.

It told of the 30th's initiation to battle in the murderous hedgerows, its veteran-like execution of the assault crossing of the !ire River and Mire et Touts Canal to pave the way for the capture of St. Lo, ate heroic and costly spearheading cal the war-shortening Std Lo Breakthrough an July 23, its spectacular bottle of Mortain and St" Barthelmy when it thwarted four German armored divisions spearheading an attempt to cut off General Patton's newly arrived Third  Army, and its chase of the stubborn German armies during their withdrawal through Northern France, Belgium and Holland.

It told also of the attack through the Siegfried line into Germany, and of the encirclement of Aachen which the 30th effected when it united with the First Infantry Division to close the gap. It described the series of "perfect" infantry attacks to expand the bridgehead in Germany and build up American strength along the west bank of the Roer River and of the spectacular eking over the 30th gorse the German 1st SS Panzer Division (Adolf Hitler) when the told Hickorymen re rushed to Belgium to aid the First U. , Army after Field Marshal Karl anon Rundstedt launched his great counter-offensive into Belgium.

This issue of "ScrapBook continues, briefly, the story from here.

The fighting to pry the Germans out of the Belgian Bulge in the rugged Ardennes forested mountains s as painful as any the 30th Division had done.

For there Old Hickorymen had much more than the enemy to fight. There the Germans were sitting inside looking out - looking down the  throats of the attacker which was bad enough, but to advance into their flaming weapons 30th riflemen and their supporting elements had to struggle through snow knee-deep on the level and in places up to their arm pits to climb the mountains and rout the defenders.

Battle casualties were heavy, non-battle casualties - frostbite, trench foot, exhaustion and pneumonia - the heaviest of any period, But the battle against the Germans and the elements was successfully prosecuted and after 11 days the 30th held the high ground looking down on St. Vith and the Germans' last point of vantage in the Belgian Bulge was denied them.

With the Germans driven from Belgium the 30th was moved back to an assembly area in the vicinity of Lierneux, Belgium, the first elements arriving there January 27, 1945. There the Old Hickorymen enjoyed the Division's first period away from the fighting front since it had entered combat more than six months before.

On February 2, 1945, the Division, in "top secret" orders, was alerted for movement back to the Ninth U. S. Army, its aid mission in the First U.S. Army having been completed, and with enforcement of utmost security measures moved back to the Roer River area north of Aachen.

There the 30th practiced river crossing on the Inde River and "sweat out" the decline of flood waters on the roaring Roer,

Still highly secret the 30th as the right flank unit of the XIX Corps and the Ninth U.S. Army, benefited from the element of surprise when it crossed the Roar River at 2:15 a.m. on February 23.

The operation was an engineer's headache and had caused much apprehension among commanders and staff members.

Actually it wasn't a river crossing, but a crossing of a wide, boggy swamp with a current of six miles an hour.

"'When this war is over, I'm going to explore the rivers of Germany to see if there could possibly be a worse crossing site in the entire country," Lt. Col. Carroll Dunn, Division Engineer, had said during preparations for the assault.

Because it is at such an impossible place the crossing there was not expected by the Germans and early opposition was light. After the surprise element lost its effectiveness, the bridging work and troop crossing continued uninterrupted by enemy action because of the skillful employment of "manufactured fog".

In this spectacular assault crossing, two regiments attacked abreast. Each had sent squads across the river in assault boats shortly after midnight to aid the engineers and each regiment crossed two platoons in assault boats when the artillery started its pulverizing preparatory fire.

Some troops charged into "booby-trapped" woods, all had difficult going for several days when without rest they advanced from one objective to another.

The Division Artillery's barrage had driven the Germans to cover, in many instances away from their weapons, and disrupted their communications to ease the advance of the riflemen.

With this splendid support by the artillery and the tanks and tank destroyers, the infantrymen fought east through Altenburg, Selgersdorf, Krauthausen and Selhausen before turning north to blast their way past Niederzier, Hambach through dense stretches of the mysterious Hambach and Grosse Forests.

Although originally scheduled to take only a limited objective, the 30th was ordered to continue north and east and completed highly successful attack after defeating the Germans in the Grevenbroich arid Kapellen sectors.

Spectacularly executing its part in the Roer River crossing the 30th was secretly selected for the greatest river crossing of the many it had made in Western Europe - the Rhine River crossing.

Under organized methods of deception the 30th keep its whereabouts unknown to the enemy the 30th was moved back to the vicinity of Echt, Holland, on March 6, and there on the Meuse River it staged the "dress rehearsal", working with the Navy and the Engineers, for the assault it, with the 79th Division, was to spearhead.

From an assembly area near Alpon at 2 a. m. on March 24, after the greatest artillery preparation of the war in Western Europe the 30th attacked across the Rhine, three regiments abreast. First elements crossed in storm boats, followed by troops in assault boats and later while the bridgehead was being established all types oŁ amphibious equipment and engineering equipment were thrown into the operation.

The 30th crossed immediately south of Wesel and engaged in exhausting fighting until it reached Dorsten,

Then from Dorsten it motorized and with the Second Armored Division and the 83rd Infantry Division headed east estimation Berlin.

Fighting from there on was scattered. There was a scrap in the mountains passes near Detmold and a battle for Brunswick after a dramatic conference under the white flag of truce between Major General Hobbs, 30th commander, and Major General Karl Keith, commander of the German troops in the Brunswick garrison, failed to bring response to General Hobbs' demand for unconditional surrender of the garrison.

The German general was captured later trying to flee the old Hickorymen who had attacked and captured the city.

Prior to the capture of Brunswick, the picturesque towns of Hamelin, scene of the Pied Piper legend, had fallen to the 30th.

The 30th's last major fight was in the taking of the large city of Magdeburg on the Elbe River and then it went promptly into occupational duties while awaiting the link-up with the Russian army which occurred May 5 east of Schoenebeck.

In the meantime Major General Kurt Dittmar, an official German military news commentator, had surrendered to the 30th in Magdeburg.

Every before V-E Day the 30th's area had been extended as it took over territory from other divisions moved back from the front for crew assignments, and it worked into its peacetime job smoothly.

Late in May after the British moved in to occupy the Magdeburg-Oschersleben-Halberstadt-Aschersleben area the 30th moved south, established its Division CP at Possneck and occupied an area bordering Czechoslovakia.


In this, the second issue of the "Scrap" Book, an effort has been made to reproduce the best stories written and published about the 30th Infantry Division and its assigned and attached units since the first issue was published.

This "Scrap" Book, as was its predecessor has been compiled from newspaper clippings submitted to the Public Relations Office. It by no means contains all the stories published about the 30th and its affiliated units but it does include all the representative stories available to the Public Relations Office.

Readers of this "Scrap" Book are asked to consider that while most of the stories refer to the 30th Infantry Division without specifying its various essential parts, the recognition given the 30th belongs to the entire 30th Division battle team.  Stories about 30th Division actions are stories about:

30th Division Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

The 117th Infantry Regiment.

The 119th Infantry Regiment.

The 120th Infantry Regiment.

The 30th Reconnaissance Troop.

The 30th Division Artillery Headquarters and Headquarters Battery.

The 113th Field Artillery Battalion.

The 118th Field Artillery Battalion.

The 197th Field Artillery Battalion.

The 230th Field Artillery Battalion.

The 105th Engineer Combat Battalion.

The 105th Medical Battalion.

The 743rd Tank Battalion.

The 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion,

The 551st Anti-aircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Battalion.

The 30th Signal Company.

The 30th Military Police Platoon.

The 30th Quartermaster Company.

The 30th Division Band.

The 730th Ordnance Company.

And the G-2 detachments, the teams of the Counter-intelligence Corps, Photo Interpretation, Military Intelligence Interpretation, Interrogation of Prisoners of War, and Order of Battle.

Page last revised 01/03/2009