Printed by Art-printing Establishment Jos. C. Huber, Diessen near Munich / Bavaria

Written by Sgt Donald H.Sitz

Upon searching for a copy of this document to put on the 5th Infantry web site, the copy that I received would not scan a good copy.  Therefore I have completely reproduced this document in my computer.  The front cover, in color, is the only page that would get a good scan.

Reproduced by T/Sgt Kenneth A. Young, Company “C” 5th Infantry, 71st Division. Section Sgt of the 60MM mortar section.







starts in 1806 when the Fifth Infantry was organized.  Its history has been well recorded in military annals. This addition to those annals. in an attempt to record the Company achievements in World War II. 

  On 12th July 1944 a new Company Com-mander took over the helm, determined to uphold the traditions of the Company and lead it to further accomplishments.

  At the time the Fifth Infantry as well as the rest of the 71st Division was training at Fort Benning, Georgia, preparing for the task that lay ahead.  It was a period of hard work and intensive training resulting in a well trained, well conditioned unit. Many men will re-member the long hikes over dusty Georgia roads, and long days on the rifle range, and the combat problems where we learned to work together as a smooth and efficient team.

  The alert was sounded on the 20th of No-vember 1944.  Packing and crating started in earnest. New equipment was requisitioned and new weapons were issued.  The 24 hour work day was established and soon we were having Corps Tests.  However we were suddenly ordered off the alert and resumed training.

  This additional training lasted only a few weeks before  we  were  re-alerted,  this  time in all sincerity.  Men were recalled from furloughs, new equipment was again crated and warm clothing was issued.  The “all ready” orders were sounded in January 1945.


As the Division band played “Auld Lang Syne” the Company boarded the train that was to  take  them  to  Camp  Kilmer, New  Jersey, a camp of the New York Port of Embarcation.  Our days of doubt were over.
   Camp  Kilmer,  where  only  one way tickets are issued, was covered with ice and snow.  Many  restrictions were imposed to prevent the  leakage  of  information  which  might  be of use  to  the  enemy,  postal  censorship  was introduced and telephone calls closely watched, yet many men had the opportunity for a 12hour pass to NewYork or Philly where they took in their last of American life for some time to come. 
    And  then on 24th January we again entrain-ed. This time our destination was States Island New York, where we boarded the Navy trans-port U.S.S. General T. H. Bliss for the long voyage across the Atlantic and to the ad-ventures which lay ahead.  The next morning as we weighed anchor and as the Statue of Liberty  faded   into   the  fog  many  men  felt a lump grow in their throats as they finally realized that it would be a long, long time before they would see these shores again. 
    The crossing was uneventful except for a few U-Boat alerts.  For  most of the men it was the first time on the ocean and many experienced the misery of sea sickness. Com-pany “C’s” duty aboard ship was to guard the various compartments and vital points on deck Every one had a chance to get well acquainted 


with   life   aboard   ship and   all   were   more  than ready to debark when we reached our destination. 

 On the morning of 5th Februrary the 52 ship convoy slowly crept into the harbor of Sout-hampton, England, where we picked up a pilot to guide  us across the Channel to our final port, Le Harve.  Here we had our first relization of the grim reality of war.  Huge steel piers were twisted masses of metal. Ships could be seen beneath the waters surface with only their  spars in  the  air.   Houses  that  at one time had been homes, buildings that once had been fine business establishments were now just piles of crumpled derbis.  This was the aftermath of war, France 1945.

 At 0200 on 7th February 1945, we disembark-ed on French soil.  A slow rain was falling  and our truck convoy was stopped several times.  At last we arrived at our destination and found it to be on the outskirts of St. Lau-rent en Caux, a small village with 15 or 20 quaint houses, an old church and a few places that sold   ‘ceeder’,  a drink having an effect not unlike that of  “Carter’s Little Liver Pills”. Our champ was a city of pyramidal tents erected by the Engineers. It was quickly given the name of “Mudville” after the first hour of slipping and sliding in the muck of the Com-pany street.  Amid constant rains we trained, marched and  lived  in the mudhole until the 7th of  March  when  we  received  our  orders to entrain for the front.

   We boarded our new home at Yerville, France, box cars of the none to elite French transportation system, the famous 40 & 8’s.  With 36 men to a car we slowly rumbled our way across France to Kerviller, Loraine pro-vince.  From there we entrucked to St. Louis les Bitche where we relieved the 100th Divison and took their positions on the 7th Army front. Since Company “C” was in Battalion reserve we lived in an abandoned glass factory a few hundred meters  behind the lines.  Here we first became acquainted with the German 88MM

gun  and 88MM mortar and got our first good look at the Luftwaffe. Luckily no casual-ties resulted but many men learned the fine art of hugging the ground. 

   On the 16th of March the First Platoon was ordered on patrol duty to the South, while the remainder of the Company was given the mission of clearing a  huge road block which blocked our advance to Lemberg.  As the Company  waited  shivering for the block to be  cleared and the mined road to be made safe, word was received over  the radio that the Company had suffered its first casualties.  Sgt Viadell had been killed and Lt Johnson had been wounded by the hated German Shu mine leading the First Platoon through a mine field.  We estblished positions on high ground about 2 miles SE of Lemberg and awaited further orders.  We occupied dugouts left by the retreating Germans.  We had a very new and odd feeling that night as we had no com-munication with our nearest Battalion element nearly  three  miles to our rear.  On the 18th, we received orders to continue by motor con-voy to Roperviller.  From here we made our entry into Germany where we established positions overlooking the Siegfried Line. Dra-gons  teeth and Pillboxes dotted the terrain and German troops could be seen walking around these fortifications in a very self- assured manner, but a few well placed rounds of Artillery taught them more caution. All was quiet that and until about 1400 the next day when German mortar fire began falling in our area.  However no caualties resulted and late that night we were relieved by the 14th Infantry Regiment of the 71st Division.

   The  21st  of  March was a day of rest and we were issued clean clothing and had a chance to take a sponge bath.  The next day orders came  through  for  a  quick  dash  of  74 kilometers to the north, so passing through a break in the Siegfried Line we were given the mission of taking Landau.  We passed through Landau overcoming enemy resistance

and continued to Altdor, Schwegenheim, and Rickenbergershif atop tank destroyers.  The Rhine River, our objective, was only a few kilometers away so the 27th of March we took off in our usual “scalded dog” manner for Rheingonheim on the Rhine.  A brief pause and an explanation is in order at this point  to describe the symbol of the Scalded Dog First Battalion.  From this point  until the end of hostilities in the ETO we moved so fast that we  resembled  a  dog  with  a hot teakettle tied to his tail.
   Rheingonheim had to be cleared of German Army personnel that had already donned civil-ian clothes and continued  sniping.  We pa-trolled and searched the town.  The Third Platoon set up a “Watch on the Rhine” capturing  ten prisoners and keeping the enemy  under constant observation. 

   We were relieved on the 29th by the 103rd Division and proceeded to Schifferstadt.  The next day we left there and rode in truck convoy for 128 kilometers to Schmidtweiler.  After a few hours rest we again  headed for the Rhine crossing it at 0530 on the 31st of March and continuing to Neu-Isenberg, six kilometers from Frankfurt.  We were now in General Patton’s Third Army.  The next day Easter Sunday, we marched 34 kilometers to Rockingau for a nights rest. 

   The next day new tactics were involved, woods searching.  We would form a skirmish line and sweep a large area of woods and country for miles.  The enemy would be found trying infiltrate through our lines to play havoc with our rear elements. We left Rockin-gau on the 2nd and moved to Gudingen and went into position on the west side of the village.

   On the 3rd of April we made contact with elements of the 6th  SS Mountain Division near Breitenbaum.  After we reached there the Company hastily deployed for action.  Contact with the enemy was made at 1145 and our push  through   the   wooded   and  hill  terrain

began.  At 1500  our intra-Company radio an-nounced  that  our  right flank had been held up by enemy action and that two men had been killed and one seriously wounded.  These men  were:  2nd Lt Muray D Box, Leader of the 2nd Platoon, killed,S Sgt Stephen Revilock, platoon guide, seriously wounded, and Pfc George R Woodburn, rifleman, killed. Several days later we learned from our  Chaplin that Sgt Revilock had died of his wounds. 

A  moment should be dedicated to these men at this time.  Finer soldiers, were never had.  Lt Box  with all his humor and grand ways was missed considerably. Sgt Revilock, a very competent platoon guide, was one of the older members of the unit and in heartfelt manner we salute him. Pfc Woodburn, a good soldier, feared  no one he fought and died a brave man

 Later that day Pfc Schmidenberg was slightly wounded. However the enemy was driven back and the Company pushed to Wachersacher where we billeted that night. Salmunster, where we arrived the next day, was reported as sniper territory.  Each house had to be search-ed from cellar to attic.  Company “C” flushed the town and interrogated civillian captives, some of whom were disguised  SS troopers.  Orders came late that day to entruck to Neuborn where we were billeted late that night. 

 Early the next morning in the pouring rain we pased through Fulda and relieved the 104th Infantry of the 26th Infantry Division at Dirlos.  Here the Company was on outpost duty until the 7th when we received our first reinforce-ments and departed on motor convoy for a distance of 63 kilometers   to Einhausen.  The woods in this area had to be cleared of enemy troops.  We were now in Battalion reserve, but the  Third  Platoon was motorized on tanks and formed a patrol in this sector.  The next morning we started for Adelhausen and by shuttling every obtainable vehicle, finally arived at that destination.  One man was wounded   and   evacuated   to   the  rear. 


Our next  assignment  was  to take  Coburg, a large German industrial city, nine miles to our front.  Much  resistance  was believed to be there so a careful plan had to be executed.  We went into an assembly area about two miles from the town  and  formulated  plans for a dawn attack.  While digging in, two German observation posts were spotted and delt with properly.  Plans were suddenly changed and  we  were  ordered to take the city immediately.  Like all other towns, Co-burg had to be searched, house to house, for enemy snipers after its  capture.   A CP was set up in a house formerly belonging to Ge-neral Von Arnheim  and check points had to be established on all roads leading into the city and all bridges.  For the first time in many days we bathed, received clean socks and a very welcome hot meal. 

   On the 14th of April  the First Battalion of the  Fifth  Infantry  was  sent to Heinersreuth to assist the 14th Infantry of the Division in capturing Bayreuth.  As we approached the outskirts of the city our big guns which had been shelling the town, lifted their fire.  Enter-ing the town, Company “A” which was in the lead  was  pinned  down by small arms fire and Company “C” was given the mission to outflank the  enemy  to the west and knock him out.  Finally the enemy was pushed back and climbing over mammoth road blocks we double-timed through the city. Fearing a counter-attack we set up a defense on the far side of town along a broad front. That night the Battalion was visited by some of the few remaining planes of the Luftwaffe.  Luckily Company “C” was not bombed but the men had a real thrill the next morning when two American fighters shot down a  JU 88 that was preparing to strafe the Company.  Pvt Ossio was wounded while on detached service with Battalion Headquarters.  In comparrison with this one casualty the Company killed 6 Germans and  captured 118 on the 14th and 15th of April.  WE were then relieved by the

14th Infantry which took the credit for Bay-rueth’s  capture, but men who were there know different. 

    We moved on the 16th to
Oberkonnersreuth, a short distance to the south, and discovered an enormous, well-camouflaged ammunition dump and captured an additional 38 men and nurses.  The  17th  and 18th were quiet days and on the 18th we established positions cut-ing  the  enemys  main  route  of supply west of Michelfeld.

   The 20th was a day of action.  The Com-pany, plus two Medium Tanks, and 3 Tank Destroyers and an antitank platoon proceeded in the direction of Krottensee.  Woods had to be  searched  along the way and the enemy was driven back into the village.  Enemy tanks were seen in the town and 200 Germans were reported massed for defense.  Since Artillery was unavailable from Division, the tanks and antitank guns were ordered to shell the town.  Several hundred rounds were  fired while the Company was manoeuvering for the assault.  As the moving element was in place to assault and the attack began, the enemy pulled out to a  wooded  draw  south of the town.  We were told that they wanted to surrender and that they were unarmed.  Lt Tuxford, a tank and two squads of riflemen were given the mission of capturing these Germans. This almost ended disastrously as the group was fired on by machine pistols and machine guns, but under the cover of friendly machine guns were able to withdraw to better positions. During this time one tanker was hurt and the tank withdrew. Another tank was advanced and was able to lay down a concentrated fire, into their positions.  A concentration of 9 machine guns 8 mortars and 2 Anti-tank guns were brought to bear on the enemy positions and the result is obvious.  Fortunately we lost only one man killed, but he was greatly missed.  Pfc Lester L Freeman died in a great service to his fellow soldiers.

From the 20th to the 24th of April the Company moved forward very rapidly captur-ing  30 odd  towns and innumerable pri-soners.  On the 24th, we entered the battered city of Schwandorf. 

   We had became hardened to most of the sights  of  war  but  in Schwandorf we saw new and unforgettable.  On a railroad siding near the town was the remains of a trainload of political prisoners.  Some were dead, all were starving and many had been badly mistreated by their SS guards.  This spectacle inspired the men with a determination to push forward  so  that  the men  responsible could be rounded up and punished.

   The following day we had a real experience in mountain climbing.We moved from Teblitz to Regensdorf  by motor convoy and crossing the Regan River established positions on Hill 515.  From here we moved to Sulzbach where we received orders to move into an assembly area preparatory to crossing the Danube River.  Enroute one truck of the convoy overturned and three men were injured.

   At 0700 on the 26th of April the Company crossed the Danube River in assault boats under German 20MM flakfire. Enemy mortars and 88’s opened up as  the Company  went into position behind a levee about 500meters north of the river. Many men were wounded by shrapnel and had to be evacuated by the Medics. The Company’s 60MM mortars were put into action behind the levee and succeeded in  stopping the enemy mortar fire allowing the Company to advance.  We attacked imme-diately and captured their positions at Altack and Eltheim. Although passing under concent-rations of timed fire no more casualties were suffered and the Company was relieved the next day as the 13th Armoured Division crossed the river on an Engineer built bridge.  Several more days of hard marching through

rain and snow brought us to the Austrian border where we crossed a dam into Milling, leaving Germany behind us on the other side of the Inn River.  Many prisoners were taken  in these few days of pushing forward and many smaller towns captured. Soaking wet, the Company  pushed  forward  through the rain to Grigzenleub, capturing a castle containing property belonging to Albert, Crown Prince of Austria and heir-pretender to the Austrian throne.  Again it snowed and grew very cold leaving the countryside very beautiful,but making life very miserable for the foot soldier. 

   On 4 May Company “C” was termed the “Wagon Company”.  We were ordered to proceed to Friesman, Austria, as fast as pos-sible.  On  foot  this  would take a long time, so sending jeeps forward to reconnoiter the route, the rest of the Company proceeded to commandeer all the wagons and horses available along our route of advance. 14 wagons of horse drawn Infantry now moved forward, but this method was still too slow and entering a town full of former French prisoners of war, new arrangements were made.  The French notified us where we could find some abandoned German vehicles and leaving the wagons and some German arms for the French, the Company once more took off, this time in former Wehrmacht trucks.

   On 5th  May the Company moved forward 90 kilometers, by passing thousands of Ger-man troops.  The 5th Infantry had been given the mission of capturing Steyr and the entire Regiment moved forward on all sorts of vehicles through cheering crowds and every one believed that the war as well as over. However, at Steyr, a few Germans opened up with 88’s and the Company deployed, searching woods and finaally reaching the Enns River.  Praying that the thousands of Germen troops behind us would not realize that we were cut off 

from the rest of the Division, the 5th set up positions on the Enns and waited for the elements in our read to disarm these bypassed Germans.  Luckily, our bluff worked and all enemy troops in the vicinity surrendered and the prisoner toll mounted to 15,000. 

   In our positions on the bank of the Enns River  we  waited for the Russians to arrive and  for the official word that the war was over.  The men of Company “C” breathed a long sigh  of  relief  as   May  8th  brought   the

official surrender and the arrival of the Red Army on the opposite side of the river. 

   So now on May the 8th  the men of Com-pany “C” could hold their heads high, realiz-ing that they have come from France, through Germany and deep into Austria always driving the enemy before them and whipping him thoroughly wherever he chose to stand and fight.  They had done their part in riding  the world of Naziism and they were tired, yet proud and happy.



Thanks to "Doc" for the banner!