| Battalion assigned XII Corps 8 September and
joined on 9th in vicinity Bar- Le-Duc. First mission was support of the
35th Division in crossing of Moselle River in vicinity of Crevechamps,
France. The Battalion manned the assault boats for the crossing, built
an Infantry Footbridge and in addition constructed two (2) Treadway Bridges
in the Division's South sector. In the operation the Battalion suffered
15 casualties by small arms fire and artillery in the bridging stage.
On the Muerthe River the Battalion ferried the Division across and constructed an approach Bailey plus a Treadway across the Muerthe in Nancy under sporadic artillery fire.
On 18 September the Battalion was assigned support of the 4th Armored Division and the following day lost 10 men while holding a flank in vicinity of Chateau Salins. Stayed with Armor in protective bivouac for following week losing approximately 10 men during the period.
From September until the end of the month the Battalion was in support of the 35th Division and during the period built three (3) Bailey Bridges across the Sielle River.
During the next 5 weeks of temporary stalemate the Battalion was occupied in extensive road maintenance in area East of Nancy. Also during the period supported 2nd Cavalry Group on the Corps right flank an in addition to clearing mines and road maintenance built two (2) Baileys in vicinity of Luneville.
When hostilities were resumed on 8 November the first mission was a 110' Bailey at Chambrey and two (2) smaller Baileys at Salonnes and Moncel-Sur-Sielle. From then until 25 November the Battalion supported the Corps effort, mainly 4th Armored and 2nd Cavalry across the stream infested Saar Valley. During the period 11 bridges were built an innumerable mines removed. Among the bridges constructed was the first of U.S. forces across the Saar near Fenetrange, which required 24 hours work under constant mortar and F.A. fire. Four (4) casualties incurred.
In the following 2 weeks two (2) more Bailey Bridges were put across the Saar, one at Diedendorf and one at Sarrewerden. Major effort was in support of the 4th Armored, replacing short Treadway spans with Fixed Bridges and removal of mines.
On 8 December Battalion reverted to support of 35th Division in its crossing of the Saar in vicinity of Sarreguimines. Bridge at Sarreinsming started just prior to dark but direct S.P. fire slowed operations all night and well into day. Town was finally shaken down and bridge construction resumed. Completed at 2300 on 9th with 25 casualties and weakened bridge because of direct hits.
Beginning 14 December four (4) assault bridges over the Blies River were put in an as many nights. The first a 100' Bailey at Sarreguimines, the 3rd a 130' Treadway at Reinheim, and the fourth a 80' Bailey at Gersheim - all for the 35th Division.
From 22 December until 17 January 1945 the Battalion was engaged in preparing Barrier zone defenses and removal of snow from and maintenance of roads in Luxembourg. Generally supporting 5th Division.
On 18 January, D- Day of the 5th Division assault of the Saur River, two bridges were completed, one at Gilsdorf and the other at Ettelbruck. In the action six (6) casualties occurred. The following day two (2) more bridges were placed across the Sure at Etttelbruck and one across the Saur at Diekirch.
During the following 2 weeks many AP and AT mines were remove North of the Saur River. In addition three (3) Bailey Bridges were put in for liaison between 80th and 5th Division across the Sure and two (2) continuous Baileys on MSRs across the Saur.
On 6 February the Battalion was placed in direct support of the 80th Division in a planned assault crossing of the Our River. Despite intense small arms and mortar fire the crossing was made and sustained for 3 days. Mission of constructing Treadway Bridge in vicinity of Dillingen assigned on 9 February and despite small arms, mortar and F.A. fire plus the fact that the river was at flood stage and raging torrent the bridge was brought to a successful conclusion at 1600 13 February.
During the following week another Continuous Bailey was put in across the Saur and three (3) Baileys built across the Gaybach River North of Wallendorf. In addition A and AT mines and pillboxes of the Siegfried line were destroyed. Continual road maintenance in progress.
The next bridge was one across the Our River South of Vianden; completed on the 24th.
During the next three weeks the major effort was on road maintenance in support of 90th and 4th Armored Divisions. During the period five (5) more vital bridges were constructed across the Kyll River.
On 13 March the Battalion was assigned bridging missions in support of the Moselle River crossing of the 90th and 5th Divisions South of Koblenz. By dark of D-Day two (2) Treadways were completed despite the technical difficulties of a strong current and harassing enemy fire.
In the following week many road blocks and abatis were removed facilitating the advance of the 90th and 5th Divisions.
22 March the Battalion was assigned the mission of constructing the first assault bridge of the 3rd Army across the Rhine. After a successful assault the bridge was started and completed before dark of D-Day despite harassing F.A. fire and enemy air attacks. The following day a second Treadway was started and protective anti-mine and anti-personnel booms installed.
On 28 March the Battalion supported the 90th Division in a successful assault crossing of the Main River.
On the Saar River while supporting the 4th Armored Division, the 26th and 35th Infantry Divisions built five (5) bridges across with artillery and mortar fire ranging from intense to moderate on all 5.
On the lower Moselle two (2) assault bridges were built while supporting the 5th and 90th Divisions.
On the Rhine River the first assault Treadway Bridge was built by the Battalion as well as a 2nd two (2) days later.
While in support of the Corps effort from September until March the Battalion has built a total of 49 Baileys of total length 4620', 11 Floating Treadways of total length 4500', a grand total of 9100' of bridging plus a number of short spans of Fixed Treadways and permanent wood and steel structures.
Total casualties incurred during the seven (7) months period are officers killed 2, enlisted men killed 23, officers wounded (evacuated) 11, enlisted men wounded (evacuated) 127, officers LWA 17 , enlisted men LWA 114 .
Office of the Commanding General
20 April 1945Message to All Corps Troops, XII Corps:
A year ago the XII Corps began to collect its strength to strike. Eight months ago, against an enemy still strong and dangerously aggressive, we struck. We struck with a boldness and a viciousness that have never failed us in nearly constant combat through three countries. Today, as we prepare for the final kill, there can surely be no corps in Germany more feared than the XIIth. Here is your record.
In August 1944 you launched a drive through Northern France which must rate as one of the most spectacular coups of this war. Your bloody battle of the Saar basin breached the Maginot line, and was leading you well into the Siegfried defenses when the German Ardennes offensive began. Your magnificent forced marched to Luxembourg and your spirited defense of the Duchy are now history. In February you crossed the Sauer and smashed the Siegfried line against the bitterest possible conditions of flood, winter cold, and stubborn enemy resistance. Your lightening drive to the Rhine, and vigorous exploitation of its west bank, prepared you for what was probably the first assault crossing of this ancient barrier in military history. Your dash into central Germany, well ahead of any other allied unit, proceeded to electrify our nation. You have advanced some 600 miles into the heart of Nazi Germany, conquering some 12,000 square miles. Since entering Germany alone, you have captured over 125,000 prisoners, taken such prizes as Frankfurt and Worms, seized enormous stores of Military equipment, rolling stock, and supplies, including what must have been the bulk of Germany's gold reserve, released thousands of Nazi slaves and allied prisoners, and driven a beaten enemy into his last stronghold.
I congratulate you upon a glorious record. I share the share the pride which every officer and every soldier of the XII Corps has a right to feel for it. The XII Corps has always been a spearhead unit of a spearhead army. It has never failed to accomplish its missions with dash and courage and skill. Your final mission is at hand. God speed you to it.
/s/t/ M. S. EDDY