| About March 17, 1945, Syl and I (Bob
Pearl) were on a Recon where we cover as much area as we could, in front
of the troops at times and off on side roads at times. We wanted to see
the Rhine and so we went into the town near where we later built the bridge.
It was quiet and the town didn't have any white flags in it. This was probably
four or five days before the assault crossing. We went through the small
town where we could see the water but there were no troops around that
we could see. When we came back out, there were white flags in and out
the windows but no people showed. The next day or two, Capt. Christiansen,
Syl, and some of the Line companies went in to complete the necessary plans
for building the bridge.
During the planning Capt. Christiansen suggested that in the bayou next to the River where they had decided to build the pontoon bridge, there was enough room to build the entire bridge. Then they could tow it out and have it done in a very few hours. This idea was considered but eliminated. However the building of the 12 ft sections in the bayou began nearly as soon as the assault crossing began and once the river was in control the sections were put together in ones twos and threes. The bridge 972 ft long was accepting crossings in ten hours.