1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

 

22nd Infantry Regiment History World War II

 

The World War II uniform of a Sergeant First Class of the 22nd Infantry.
Distinctive Unit Insignia of the 22nd Infantry Regiment
on the lapels of his jacket and on his overseas cap.

 

Taken from the 22nd Infantry Regiment Yearbook, printed 1947

 

In the summer of 1939, as the war clouds in Europe gathered as sharply as thunderheads, the 22nd Infantry began its slow and painful change
from a peacetime garrison-type outfit to a wartime, battleworthy unit. Assigned to the Fourth Division at Fort Benning, Georgia, in June 1940,
the regiment began immediately to train and equip so as to be an able integer of the division. Moving to Camp Gordon, Georgia,
and later to Fort Dix, New Jersey, Camp Gordon Johnston, Florida, and Fort Jackson, South Carolina, the regimental training was strenuous
and continuous up until the time the regiment sailed from New York on January 18, 1944, for England.
Training increased in tempo on arrival in that country. It had become increasingly obvious that the division was to participate in amphibious operations,
and consequently, training in that phase particularly was stressed. For the first time in four years the regiment was split;
the First Battalion, under command of Lt. Col. John F. Ruggles, was billeted at Newton Abbot;
the Second Battalion, commanded by Lt. Col. John Williams, was at Denbury Camp;
and the Third Battalion, Lt. Col. A. S. Teague in command, was at South Brent—all in Devonshire.
The Third Battalion underwent special instruction in amphibious assault techniques at Braunton, England.

Although the exact date for the invasion of France was unknown to the participating troops,
and remained so until the night before the operation took place, it was readily apparent that the time was close at hand.
Staffs of regiment, and in turn, of battalions, were acquainted with enough details to allow prior planning.
War rooms, enclosed in barbed wire and closely guarded, were set up for this planning phase.
Everything that could possibly be associated with the operation was cloaked under the highest type of secrecy.
Meanwhile, training in this specialized operation continued apace and tension mounted. This, apparently, was the assignment to end all assignments.
Just before D-Day, and in order to guard the secret until the last possible moment, troops were gathered together in marshalling areas
into which no unauthorized person could enter, and from which no one was allowed to go.
At long last, orders were issued to all and the entire plan was laid out to those in whose hands the success of the operation now rested.
Invasion currency was issued, ammunition was checked, rations were distributed, and troops departed during the night
for the various ports from which the operation would be mounted. The show was on, the time for battle had come.

On June sixth, the 22nd Infantry, under the command of Colonel Hervey A. Tribolet, went ashore into the teeth of Festung Europa.
The channel was rough; even for seasoned seamen the weather was heavy.
The assault plan attached the Third Battalion to the Eighth Infantry Regiment, and at H plus 75, this battalion hit the beach in small landing craft,
followed by the First and Second Battalions, landing abreast in LCI's. On landing, the Third Battalion rapidly turned 90 degrees right
and commenced to reduce all enemy fortifications on the beach; the First Battalion, now commanded by Lt. Col. S. W. Brumby,
moved inland and turned right to seize Crisbecq, a fortified locality.
The Second Battalion, with Major E. W. Edwards in command, moved farther inland and then turned right to seize Azeville,
a similarly fortified position. Although the Quineville ridge was not seized during the first day's operations,
the landing was successful, and by nightfall the regiment had a firm toe-hold ashore.

The attack was resumed on D plus 1, and an attempt made to seize Crisbecq, and Azeville, but the attack was repulsed with heavy losses
sustained by the First and Second Battalions. Task Force "Barber," under the command of Brig. Gen. Henry A. Barber, was formed,
and the Third Battalion was relieved of its beach fortifications mission and brought inland to attack Azeville.
Crisbecq, still in German hands, was to be contained and by-passed. Formation for the main attack was a column of battalions
in the order Third, Second, First, with Lt. Col. John Dowdy now commanding the First Battalion.
The attack was well planned and fires were carefully coordinated. The concrete fortifications of Azeville fell on June 9,
after stubborn resistance on the part of the Germans had been overcome,
and the Third Battalion moved up in preparation for an attack on the emplacements of Azeville.
With the First and Second Battalions protecting its right flank, the Third Battalion assaulted and seized Azeville and its German garrison.
Enemy artillery and mortar fire was causing increasingly large numbers of casualties, and the strength of all three battalions had been appreciably reduced.
Azeville having been captured, the attack toward the Quineville ridge was resumed without delay.
The Second Battalion swung wide to the left and attacked down the ridge toward the Channel;
the First and Third Battalions attacked north with tanks.
The number of German dead found in the position after occupation attested to the enemy's determination to retain the ridge.
The distinctive sound of the nebelwerfer (a rocket-type mortar) was commonplace, and came to be known as the "Screaming Mimi."
On the day following the consolidation of the Quineville ridge, for the first time since landing no attack was ordered.
Personnel were directed to shave and bathe themselves to the limit of existing opportunities.

On June 19, the division resumed the attack with the 22nd Infantry in reserve. Montebourg, by-passed by the division attack,
was entered and secured by the Third Battalion, 22nd Infantry. The regiment made rapid advances against little resistance to the high ground
in the vicinity of le Theil. Thereafter, the enemy stiffened, and because of infiltration from the exposed right flank,
re-supply of forward battalions necessitated the use of tank convoys.
With the final assault on Cherbourg well under way, the 22nd Infantry, supported by tanks, was ordered to turn to the right
and mop up coastal defenses to the east of Cherbourg. After two days of continuous assault of mutually supporting fortified positions
the regiment forced the German garrisons to surrender. Arrangements were speedily concluded, and by mid-afternoon
the last of the more than 1,000 prisoners had been cleared from the area. The operation against Cherbourg was finished;
the mission had been accomplished. Officers and men alike looked forward hopefully to a period of rest and retraining,
for the operations against the fortifications and hedgerows of the Cherbourg Peninsula had cost dearly in men and material.
The following day the regiment moved to an assembly area in the south of the Cherbourg Peninsula,
where the troops relaxed to the luxuries of baths, shaves, and clean clothes, plus hot food.
The regiment had definitely been blooded in battle; "D-Day in Normandy" was a phrase to remember,
and for its assault on that day the Third Battalion had won the Distinguished Unit Citation.

On July 7, having been moved to an assembly area south and west of Carentan, the 22nd Infantry attacked,
thereby beginning one of its bloodiest engagements of the entire war—the Carentan-Periers operation
(otherwise known as "The Battle of the Hedgerows"). The objective of the operation was the seizure of Periers,
a necessary preliminary to the forthcoming breakout from the peninsula. The attack moved with extreme slowness.
Enemy resistance in the form of young SS troops and fresh paratroops was stubborn,
and the ground was given up to the advance of the regiment yard by yard, and foot by foot.
The nature of the terrain, hedgerows with some sections of dense woods, made the effective use of armor virtually impossible.
Counterattacks were repeatedly launched; infiltration was incessant; the determination of the enemy was a thing to be respected.
Colonel C. T. Lanham assumed command of the regiment on July 9, and, with the First and Second Battalions abreast, resumed the attack.
The Third Battalion was committed in a flanking movement to the left, and the First Battalion, under Major George Go-forth,
advanced to the outskirts of La Maugerie. After continuous attack the regiment was relieved by the 12th Infantry
on the general line La Maugerie-La Roserie. The defense and delay by the enemy had been superbly executed,
and as a consequence the advance which the inundated areas on both flanks restricted to a narrow front, was painful and laborious.
The effectiveness of enemy fire coordination is reflected in the extreme number of casualties during what, according to later experiences,
was a relatively short engagement. Those who were there will long remember the names of Sainteny, La Maugerie, and Raids—
all names of tiny French towns in the zone of advance.

On July 19 the regiment moved behind the lines to the vicinity of La Mine, where,
attached to Brig. Gen. Maurice Rose's Combat Command A of the Second Armored Division, it began almost immediately
to plan and train for the forthcoming breakthrough operations. The overall plan contemplated the use of heavy bomber aircraft
for saturation type bombing and, hence, was dependent on weather suitable for flying. Infantry-tank teams were organized.
Training was pursued in this type combat to the end that members of the 22nd Infantry and Combat Command A developed confidence one in the other,
and became fast friends. July 25 dawned clear, and the weather, which had heretofore been overcast with steady rains, was announced satisfactory.
At 1100 the St. Lo Breakthrough commenced with bombardment by B-17 type aircraft. At the conclusion of the bombardment,
elements of the Fourth Division penetrated the enemy's defense and rolled back the flanks to right and left.
One day later Combat Command A of the Second Armored, with the 22nd Infantry attached, began its move toward St. Gillis and Canisy.
Combat Command A moved in three columns on July 28 and, while the First and Second Battalions of the 22nd Infantry were held up
along the stream south of Moyen, the Third Battalion seized the high ground northeast of Percy. The First Battalion, now under Captain Bruce Lattimer,
and the Second Battalion, under Major H. L. Drake, disengaged from the enemy and, having moved west to the Le Mesnil Herman-Percy axis,
attacked south toward Villebaudon. Near Villebaudon, Combat Command A was struck by enemy columns counterattacking from three directions,
and the situation became critical. Bold and decisive action by leaders in all echelons, and courage and determination on the part of the troops,
stabilized the situation by nightfall. On the first of August, the Third Battalion, with accompanying armor, seized Tessy-sur-Vire,
and outposted the high ground beyond. At noon the next day the regiment reverted to the control of the Fourth Division,
and the initial phase of the breakthrough operation was terminated.
For its outstanding performance in this operation the regiment was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation.

The regiment resumed the attack on August 4 against heavy small arms and tank fire, and seized St. Pois on August 5.
The Second Battalion, now commanded by Major Glen Walker, moved up to the high ground in the vicinity of Chateau Lingeard,
and repulsed two enemy counterattacks. Severe casualties resulted in the Regimental Command Post on August 9
from concentrations of artillery and mortars directed against Chateau Lingeard. Vigorous patrolling and the establishment of various defensive positions
occupied the regiment until August 17, when the 22nd Infantry was ordered to move to the vicinity of Carrouges
with the mission of reinforcing the Second French Armored Division. Because of the extreme rapidity with which the attack had carried across France
following the breakthrough operation at St. Lo, confusion was rampant. There were orders and counter-orders, alerts and counter-alerts;
speed and dispatch were the by-words of the day. Small wonder that few people knew at one moment what was to be expected the next.
With it all, however, the esprit of the troops was superb, and orders normally considered difficult to execute were agressively and willingly obeyed.

At 2200 hours on August 24, after having moved all night and all day, the Third Battalion of the 22nd Infantry was ordered to force a crossing
of the Seine River prior to dawn of August 25. Five "20-Man" rubber boats were available for the task.
At 0630 four of these boats were launched, and were promptly sunk by enemy small-arms fire
and by anti-aircraft weapons employed in an anti-personnel role. The Second Battalion commenced to cross the Seine
immediately following the arrival of assault boats at 1400, and by 1700 a bridgehead was established.
Tremendous concentrations of coordinated fires had materially reduced the German will to resist.
At 1330 hours the next day, after an improvised footbridge across the Seine had been completed,
the regiment was ordered to re-cross to the west side of the Seine, and was alerted for movement into Paris.

During the morning of August 27th the 22nd Infantry entered the capital city, and upon the troops were heaped the plaudits
and gratitude of the now laughing, now crying, flag waving, kissing, hugging, wine dispensing, champagne drinking, hysterical populace.
Because of the enthusiasm and excitement of the Parisiennes movement was difficult;
the regiment closed into its assembly area at 1300 hours.
The attack was resumed immediately, with the Second Battalion crossing the Canal De L'Ourcq,
and the Third Battalion seizing Villepinte. In two days the 22nd had advanced a total of five miles and reached its objective, Le Mesnil Amelot.
Combat Team 22 reverted to division reserve and staged forward into an assembly area in the vicinity of Vez.

The race across France was definitely on, and the regiment, as a part of Brig. Gen. George A. Taylor's Task Force "Taylor,"
moved toward Belgium. At Chauny stubborn German resistance made it necessary to split the columns,
with Lt. Col. John F. Ruggles' west column on the left to overcome the enemy, and Col. Lanham's east column swinging right
and continuing to follow the route. Dawn a day later saw the columns rejoined and the Task Force sixty-five miles on its way.
The race continued. Scattered enemy resistance consisting of rifle and machine gun fire and tanks was encountered;
but the pace was maintained. The main bridge over the Canal De La Sambre was destroyed as the leading elements entered Landrecies.
Thirty minutes later medium tanks of Task Force "Taylor" were crossing the Canal by means of an abandoned railroad trestle.
The rapid advance caused untold disorder in the ranks of the Germans; enemy columns, caught as they retreated bumper to bumper on open roads,
were slaughtered wholesale by P-47's; whole enemy columns were cut in two and destroyed or captured; individual German soldiers,
lost and hopelessly bewildered by the ever-changing situation, were grateful for the chance to surrender.
Because of the increasing number of Germans by-passed in this phenomenal advance, it was necessary for the regiment to pause on September 5
and mop up the area. Combat Team 22 had taken over 1,400 prisoners in the operation.

Although the Germans employed every stratagem to delay the advance—felling trees for road blocks, blowing bridges, cratering roads—
and although the problems of supply, particularly gasoline, were becoming acute, initiative, resourcefulness,
and determination pressured the attack forward, and, at 2130 hours on September 11, leading elements of the 22nd Infantry,
and of the American forces in Europe, crossed the border into Germany, to be followed by the rest of the regiment.
On September 12 combat patrols pushed on to Buchet, and there came face to face with that formidable barrier,
the Siegfried Line, whose defensive value was about to be tested.

The attack against the Siegfried Line commenced at 1130 hours on September 14. Against this heretofore unpenetrated defensive work,
against small arms, mortar, artillery, and anti-tank fires which had been coordinated through years of planning, and against stubborn SS troops,
the Third Battalion advanced to the line—and cracked it. Again under Lt. Col. John Dowdy, the First Battalion followed,
pushed through the gap, and turned sharply to the north. The Second Battalion attacked as planned, and by 2100 hours was on its objective.
The Third Battalion immediately began moving toward Brandscheid, making slov, but steady progress. By 1315 on September 17,
the Third Battalion had entered Brandscheid, and had taken some prisoners, but heavy counterattacks in the First Battalion sector,
which required parts of the Third Battalion to be drawn to their assistance, demanded an adjustment of the line to a position just short of the town.
Shortly thereafter further attacks on Brandscheid were ordered discontinued. In an attempt to regain the fortifications of the prized Siegfried Line
vigorous German counterattacks were attempted. There followed a period of patrolling, resupply, and mutual harassment,
and on October 4 the combat team was ordered to move to a new position on the line in the vicinity of Bullingen.
Beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt the 22nd Infantry had proved that the Siegfried Line was capable of being penetrated;
equally certain was the terrific toll that the operation had exacted. Familiarity with the Siegfried Line did not breed contempt.

Through the remainder of October, and up through November 5, the regiment occupied a portion of the line leaning against the Siegfried fortifications
in the vicinity of Krinkelt, Belgium, and remained relatively static. Combat and reconnaissance patrols operated during the day and night,
and valuable information concerning the disposition and attitude of the Germans was accumulated.
At intervals throughout the period orders were received and plans prepared and promulgated for a second breaching of the German defenses,
but the attack never materialized. The weather increased in severity and the countryside was smothered under an oppressive overcast,
reinforced by dismal rain and penetrating cold. Every advantage was taken of the comforts that could be enjoyed.
Showers, movies, doughnut wagons, and other recreational facilities were exploited.
Artillery and mortar harassment, delivered in quantity by the Germans, was frequent, and Combat Team 22 retaliated in kind;
troops were trained and rested to the limit of existing circumstances. Enemy "buzz bombs frequently passed overhead.
Patrolling, friendly and enemy, continued without respite.

On November 8, having been relieved in its defensive position, the 22nd Infantry moved to an assembly area near Zweifall, Germany,
just west of the Hurtgen Forest, and there prepared its plan to attack through the dense woods toward Duren.
Because of bad weather, and because heavy bombing and strafing attack was to preface the infantry assault, a period of five days was spent
waiting for the rain to clear; but at 1245 on November 16th the attack jumped off. Immediately the German displayed the stubbornness
which would mark his resistance in the Hurtgen, and from the beginning the attack moved slowly and deliberately,
seldom averaging more than 500 yards a day. The forest itself was extremely thick, with bands of heavy trees every few yards,
and, even in clear weather, the light under the mass of foliage was dim and uncertain. Enemy shells, mortar and artillery,
falling into the tops of the trees almost invariably achieved the effect of airbursts;
never before had such terrific concentrations of enemy fire been encountered. The German was reinforced almost daily,
and the identification of unit upon unit was made. Casualties in the regiment mounted steadily, hour by hour and day by day;
no one in the regimental area was safe from the enemy's self-evident determination to hold this ground at all costs.
Battalion commanders and staffs changed daily, and it became necessary for battalions to check frequently
to see that subordinate commanders were alive and healthy. The trek of wounded to the rear became a continuous stream,
and the medical detachments were hard-pressed because of the extremely long handcarriers made necessary
by the dreadfully inadequate road net. Snow and rain were incessant; trench foot added to the casualty rate;
blankets at night for the forward battalions were luxuries seldom enjoyed; shaving was impossible.
German counterattacks increased in viciousness and constant infiltrations made communication extremely dubious and unreliable;
radios and telephones were destroyed by mortar and shell fire in wholesale lots. The long, thin line of replacements filing to the front
passed the long, thin line of the wounded limping to the rear. The attack continued. On November 29, the town of Grosshau was seized.
Casualties among battalion commanders continued; command of the Second Battalion was taken by Lt. Col. Thomas Kenan;
of the Third Battalion, by Major Carrol Kemp; and Major George Goforth again took the First Battalion.
The following morning the attack with all three battalions was resumed. Finally, on December 3, after what seemed years of combat
to those individuals still alive, the regiment was relieved and moved the next morning to take over a portion of the defensive front
to the east of Luxembourg City. The 7,500-yard advance through the Hurtgen Forest had cost the combat team 2,575 enlisted men
and 103 officer casualties; but the front had been pushed to the open ground which formed the approaches to Duren.

From the sixth through the 16th of December, the 22nd Infantry occupied an extremely broad defensive sector along the Moselle River,
in Luxembourg, and utilized its time in this quiet sector to attempt to rectify the ravages of the Hurtgen Forest Campaign.
The regimental strength was depleted in the extreme; and it was thought that reinforcements would be received, resupply completed,
and that troops would be at least partially integrated before further combat. But the German counteroffensive of December 1944,
an effort to stall the entire Allied advance on the Western Front, seriously interfered with these expectations.
On the morning of December 16th, German Field Marshal Von Rundstedt ordered his powerful counterattacking force into action,
penetrated the Allied lines north of the positions occupied by the 12th Infantry, and pushed dangerously deep into the Twelfth Army Group rear.
The 12th Infantry Regiment of the Fourth Division, on the southern shoulder of the German bulge, was badly mauled by the enemy
and several units were encircled and cut off from supply and reinforcement. The situation became critical on a major scale,
and it was necessary to order troops, regardless of their condition, into the line to stem the German advance.
The Second Battalion of the 22nd Infantry, relieved from front-line duty three days before, was attached to the 12th Infantry
and moved motorized, on December 17, to a forward assembly area. There it debouched for an attack, with armor in support,
to seize the town of Osweiler, which contained a company of the 12th Infantry encircled and trapped by the Germans.
The enemy counterattacked and isolated elements of the battalion, but by noon of the next day this unit had entered Osweiler,
relieved the 12th Infantry company there, and established positions for the all-out defense of the town.
The 22nd Infantry, less the Second Battalion, was alerted for movement to assist the 12th Infantry should the need arise.
On December 21, the Second Battalion, still attached to the 12th, was ordered to attack to the north to seize high ground in that direction.
Later during the day the remainder of the regiment moved to the north, regained control of the Second Battalion,
and attacked to the east in conjunction with Combat Team 10 (Fifth Infantry Division).
The Third Battalion, upon reaching Dickweiler, reinforced the defense of that town, and sent one company to assist in the defense of Osweiler.
The Second Battalion assisted by fire the advance of Combat Team 10. Throughout the remainder of December the situation,
which had been extremely fluid, was stabilized; regimental dispositions were adjusted, and defensive positions,
consisting primarily of very dispersed strong-points, were improved.

To appreciate the action of the regiment during these initial phases of the Ardennes Offensive,
it must be borne in mind that these defensive operations were carried out with strengths depleted to the point
where it became necessary to use every man available as a rifleman, which at times brought cooks, clerks, and drivers to the front.
Minor operations to straighten the line were now initiated, and patrol activity, necessary to cover the gaps between strongpoints
and to determine the enemy's attitude, was increased. Resupply procedures were resumed, and reinforcements were trained
to the limit of available opportunities on what had become an extremely active front.

On January 17 the regiment received orders to move by motor to the vicinity of Mailer, and there to relieve portions of the Fifth Division
occupying a defensive position. From that time until late January the regiment maintained its sector overlooking the Sauer River
and patrolled extensively to its immediate front. The division having been ordered to attack, the regiment moved to the northeast of Bastogne,
and there, as division reserve, staged forward behind the attacking echelons to Schweiler where, with the dreadful irony that only war can produce,
orders were issued on February 2 for the 22nd Infantry to again penetrate the Siegfried Line in the Buchet-Brandscheid sector—
the identical point at which the regiment had struck the line four months before. The attack commenced on the afternoon of February 3,
and, assaulting from Buchet with the same scheme of maneuver that had been used in the earlier attack,
the First Battalion passed through the first line of pillboxes, which were unoccupied, and advanced to find
that the Second line of pillboxes contained adequate personnel for a proper defense. The Third Battalion, following the First Battalion,
again turned sharply to the right and moved to attack Brandscheid, seizing that town at 1530 hours.
The First Battalion, echeloned to the left rear of the Third Battalion, established a defensive left flank.
Orders were then received shifting Combat Team 22's zone of action to the north, with an axis of attack southeast toward Prum.
The Third Battalion, in Brandscheid, was to be relieved by elements of the 90th Division. Shortly before dawn on February 6,
as this relief was being made, an enemy counterattack, estimated to be a battalion in strength, was launched against Brandscheid.
In the confusion of the relief, and the blackness of the night, casualties were heavy, but the German attack was broken
and Lt. Col. Carrol Kemp's Third Battalion turned over Brandscheid intact to the 90th Division. Meanwhile, the First and Second Battalions,
attacking abreast, moved in the direction of Prum. Enemy resistance stiffened and counterattacks throughout the day
were thrown against the First and Second Battalions. The attack was resumed; Obermehlen and Neidermehlen were seized,
and high ground overlooking Prum was taken by the First and Third Battalions. The Third Battalion probed into Prum and,
by 1300 on February 12, organized German resistance in that town had ceased. In these nine days of offensive action
the 22nd Infantry had advanced approximately 10,000 yards through the dreaded Schnee-Eifel, penetrated the Siegfried Line,
secured Brandscheid, and, after advancing over extremely rugged terrain, had seized the focal point of the entire area—Prum.

Throughout the period 13th to 27th of February, the regiment remained in this position, limiting its combat activities to a consolidation of its position
and harassing fires. Reconnaissance was effected with a view to further offensive action to the east.
At 0515 on February 28, the combat team attacked, with the First and Third Battalions abreast, to force a crossing of the Prum River.
By 0600 hours two companies of the Third Battalion were on the east bank of the river advancing against small arms fire.
Armor crossed soon after by means of a ford, and the town of Dausfeld fell before the advance.
The First Battalion, after crossing the river on improvised footbridges, encountered extensive mine fields covered by small arms fire,
while the Second Battalion, following the First Battalion across, turned south to clear the high ground overlooking the river and city.
Strong counterattacks developed on the front of the Second Battalion, which Major Clifford M. Henley now commanded,
but the situation was rapidly stabilized. Throughout the crossing of the Prum, elements of the German Fifth Parachute Division had been fanatical
in their resistance, and the combat team sustained casualties in proportion.
Because of difficulties encountered in bridging the river to support vehicular traffic, supply and evacuation problems were aggravated,
and long hand-carries of food, ammunition, and casualties became necessary. Regardless of these facts, however,
the attack was resumed at 0640 hours on March 1. Combat Team 22, attacking initially with the Second Battalion,
and later with the First and Third Battalions abreast, penetrated to approximately 1,000 yards east of the road leading southeast from Weinsheim.
Weinsheim and the high ground beyond were seized by the Second and Third Battalions; the First Battalion, meanwhile,
continued the attack against moderate resistance from enemy tanks and machine guns.

On March Third, Colonel John F. Ruggles, formerly Executive Officer, assumed command of the regiment,
Colonel Lanham having been ordered to the 104th Infantry Division as Assistant Division Commander.
Lt Col. Arthur S. Teague, who had commanded the Third Battalion on D-Day and for months thereafter,
succeeded Colonel Ruggles as Executive Officer.
The 11th Armored Division, attacking to the east, passed through the 22nd Infantry, and the regiment,
with the Second and Third Battalions abreast, attacked in conjunction with the armor. The day's advance carried 6,000 yards
and included the capture of Schwirzheim by the Second Battalion. Again the 11th Armored Division passed through the combat team,
and the regiment began to stage forward in the rear of the armor. The 22nd relieved forward elements of the 11th Armored Division
in the half-mile-deep bridgehead across the Kyll River, and sent patrols into Hillesheim.
On March 14, having been held in its position while other units moved to the east, the 22nd Infantry was ordered to Luneville, France,
for a rest and recuperation, and thence to the vicinity of Hochstett. This period of relief from combat, continuing through March 29,
was utilized to the fullest extent possible for rehabilitation, resupply, training, and administrative details.

The regiment crossed the Rhine River at Worms on March 30, and moved to the east with little resistance.
Main elements, preceded by motorized patrols, reached their objectives easily. The Second Battalion, motorized with organic transportation,
moved rapidly east to cross the Tauber River during the afternoon of April 1. In so doing the battalion drew heavy fire from the ridge to the southeast.
Intense fighting was necessary before Major Henley's Second Battalion cleared the ridge and captured Grunsfeld.
By careful use of transportation normally assigned to the regiment, the 22nd Infantry was able to press the attack forward
at a pace which covered fifty road miles in the first day's action. The First and Second Battalions, after assisting Combat Command R
of the 12th Armored Division in crossing the Tauber River, reverted to the control of the regimental command, and the attack was resumed to the south,
where contact was made with German students from the SS Munchen Officer Candidate School, (average age 18 to 21 years)
defending Bad Mergentheim. The Second Battalion seized Messelhausen and, shortly thereafter, Deubach fell to Lt. Col. George Goforth's First Battalion.
On April 6 the resistance north of Bad Mergentheim was broken, and the regiment advanced four miles to seize the high ground overlooking the town.
The Third Battalion moved through Bad Mergentheim and on to high ground beyond, to be joined there by the remainder of the regiment.
The attack continued, and day by day the gains became larger and larger, movements being made sometimes by foot, more often by motor.
At various points throughout the advance the German resistance stiffened, and vicious local fighting ensued,
requiring troops to dismount and go into the attack in the normal role of infantry; at other times the attack surged forward against little or no opposition.
Prisoners in increasing numbers were captured and sent to the rear; small units were isolated and destroyed;
columns were caught and mutilated beyond recognition; small strong points, desperately attempting to stem the onslaught,
were by-passed and mopped up by secondary elements. The death rattle of the once famous Wehrmacht could be heard on all sides.
Radios came to be relied upon exclusively; to lay wire was impossible. Five, ten, fifteen miles a day, the attack surged and eddied
like a storm-swollen river that has broken its banks; death and destruction lay everywhere in the wake of the Allied effort.
The once arrogant had been reduced to the pitiful; and from early morning to late at night the attack continued, town after town falling to the 22nd.

The regiment crossed the Danube in the vicinity of Lauingen on April 26th, and moved through Winterbach and Glottweng
to the very foothills of the snow-capped Alps. It crossed the Lech River against slight resistance and advanced to the Amper River,
capturing 1,000 prisoners. The Amper was crossed by the First and Third Battalions, and Gauting was taken;
the First Battalion capturing 10,000 liters of aviation gasoline and 100,000 liters of fuel oil. The Second Battalion seized a bridgehead
on the east bank of the Isar River, and, with the Fourth Reconnaissance Troop leading, the Second and Third Battalions continued the attack.
Snow-fall and increasingly cold temperatures accompanied the troops as they swept on to the base of the Bavarian Alps—the final objective.
Relieved on May 3, the 22nd Infantry moved to the vicinity of Nurnberg, shrine city of Nazidom,
and there took over the occupation and guarding of the Nurnberg-Ansbach area.

After the cessation of hostilities, and until the early part of June, the regiment occupied its assigned occupational area of Landkreis Ansbach,
Landkreis Feuchtwangen, and Landkreis Dinkelsbuhl, guarded military installations, operated Displaced Persons' Camps,
processed prisoners-of-war, patrolled by motor an area of approximately 1,400 square kilometers, enforced military government regulations
and maintained military control of the sector. Men of the regiment fretted under non-fraternization regulations, and prepared themselves
for what they presumed to be an extended tour of occupation duty. Early in June, however, word was received that the regiment would return to the States,
pause briefly for 30 days of rest and recuperation and proceed to the Pacific, there to engage in further operations.

On July 3, having moved by rail and motor from south central Germany through various camps and staging areas,
and having been processed at Camp Old Gold, in the vicinity of Le Havre, France, the regiment sailed for New York.
After a smooth and uneventful crossing via the U. S. Army Transport, GENERAL JAMES PARKER, the regiment landed on July 11.
(H and M Companies, detached from the regiment, sailed on the S. S. EXCELSIOR, debarking at Norfolk.)
Within three days the officers and enlisted men of the regiment had scattered throughout the length and breadth of the land,
as each, to his own home, returned for the blessed 30 days recuperation leave.
The 28th of August saw the division reassembled at Camp Butner, North Carolina, and the commencement of the discharge program
applicable following the capitulation of Japan. Officers and men alike, eligible for discharge, were eager to return again
to home and civilian pursuits. Thus it was that the comradeship created in the crucible of war was split asunder,
and the handclasps of old friends sufficed as a prelude to the inevitable separation. The war service of the 22nd had come to an end.

It would seem appropriate here to set down the honest and heartfelt gratitude which the members of the 22nd Infantry desire to express
to its companions in the combat team—Lt. Col. Carl Warren's 44th Field Artillery Battalion, Captain Short's Company C of the Fourth Engineer Battalion,
and Captain Harwood's Company C, Fourth Medical Battalion. This was the team that did the job, and not ours alone the credit for its accomplishment
This, in brief, is the history of the 22nd Regiment of Infantry and the part it played in the prosecution of the war.
"DEEDS, NOT WORDS," is the motto of the regiment, and hence, let nothing that has gone before be construed as being boastful or meaningless bragging.
From D-Day in Normandy to V-E Day in Germany, 1,653 officers and enlisted men of the 22nd Infantry had been killed in action,
and 6,053 had been wounded, a total of 7,706 battle casualties—Deeds, not Words.
Perhaps in the years to come the individuals that comprise the regiment will share with us a justifiable pride
as they handle the streamers that hang from the staff of the regiment colors, proclaiming the major engagements in which the regiment participated;
and perhaps, too, as they read over the names Utah Beach, Normandy, St. Lo, Paris, Brandscheid, Hurtgen, Luxembourg, Prum,
and all the rest, they will feel a bit awed.

*********************

 

Casualties 22nd Infantry Regiment *

 

Enlisted-----------------------------------Officers

June 1944----------------------Wounded----1560----------------------------------------104

-----------------------------------Killed------ --373------------------------------------- ---23

 

July 1944----------- ----- -----Wounded - --1044---------------------- -------- ---------56

------------- ------- --------------Killed---- -- -263-------------------------- ----------- --16

 

August 1944------------------Wounded--- ---381----------------------------------------26

------------- ------- --------------Killed---- ---- -65-------------------------- ------------ --7

 

September 1944------------- Wounded--- ---433----------------------------------------31

------------- ------- ----------------------Killed---- ---- -93-------------------------- ----------- --11

 

October 1944---------------- Wounded--- ---102-----------------------------------------9

----- ------- ----------------------Killed---- ---- -15-------------------------- ------------ --1

 

November 1944------------- Wounded--- ---1641----------------------------------------89

----- ------- ----------------------Killed---- ---- -208-------------------------- ----------- --25

 

December 1944------------- Wounded----- ---570----------------------------------------21

----- ------- ----------------------Killed---- ---- -186-------------------------- ------------ --3

 

January 1945----------------- Wounded----- ---89-----------------------------------------3

----- ------- ----------------------Killed---- ----- -18-------------------------- ------------ --1

 

February 1945--------------- Wounded----- ---728----------------------------------------44

----- ------- ----------------------Killed---- ----- -136-------------------------- ---------- --10

 

March 1945------------------ Wounded----- ---361----------------------------------------14

---- ------- -----------------------Killed---- ----- -101--------------------------- ---------- --2

 

April 1945-------------------- Wounded----- ---376----------------------------------------21

---- ------- -----------------------Killed---- ------ -88--------------------------- ----------- --7

 

May 1945-------------------- Wounded-------- ---2------------------------------------------1

---- ------- -----------------------Killed---- ------- -1--------------------------- ------------ --0

------------------------____________________________________________________________

TOTAL----------------------Wounded---------7287----------------------------------------419

---- ------- -----------------------Killed-- ------11547--------------- --------- ----------- --1106

 

* Compiled through the S-1 Section 22nd Infantry

 

Above casualty figures are from the book:

HISTORY OF THE TWENTY-SECOND UNITED STATES INFANTRY in World War II
by William S. Boice 1959

 

*********************

 

 

 

 


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