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Battle History Company "A" 331st Medical Battalion

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BATTLE HISTORY COMPANY “A” 331ST MEDICAL BATTALION
[January 1945]


1 January 1945

After a sober opening of the New Year, the company settled down to serious thoughts of helping to win this war. As the year began the company was established in a resting area at Hody, Belgium. The strength of the company at this time consisted of 3 Medical Officers, 2 Medical Administrative Officers and 87 enlisted men. Several of the enlisted men celebrated the day with promotions. Pvt. Harold E. Bryant was elevated to the grade of Technician fifth grade while the following men became Privates first-class.

Balarzs, Ernest
Fox, Thomas J.
Giandonato, Alfred J.
Jednzeyowski, Leo
Myers, Robert
Smith, Harold D.
Tulio, Genaro J.
Walters, Wilbert H.

All day preparations were made to attack the huge and delicious turkey dinner provided by our quartermaster. The attack started late in the afternoon and the object taken in short order with no casualties.

2-9 January 1945

During this period the company remained at Hody, Belgium, resting, polishing up the equipment and reequiping the unit. Station material that had been given to other units in particular was received. Entertainment in the form of stage shows and movies were provided at the rear echelon. All were greatly enjoyed. Tuning the ears to the various sounds of the V 1 bomb (Buzz Bomb) keep many of the company busy and awake at night. The distance they were away from our area could be distinguished and with careful observation it was discovered that they came from three different directions. The feeling that they originated from Von Rundtedts bulge was later confirmed. As the bulge was reduced the number of buzz bombs fell off. Although many cut out near by none fell close to Hody, but the buildings were shaken. On 6 January Pvt. Luman F. Woodfin was assigned to the company. His older brother Lyman is a member of the company. On 8 January sixteen men of the company were placed on detached service with the Medical Detachment of the 424th Infantry. They were Technician fifth grade Ballantyne, Grasberger, Guelcher; Privates First class Balarzs, Giandonato, Descb, Waltrip, West, Smith; Privates Hutchison, Judge, Lubovich, Maycroft, Vassallo, Mandel, and Naliwka. On 9 January S/Sgt. Carl D. Peak left the company for a deserved furlough to the States. He was placed on temporary duty with the 92nd Replacement Bn, 3rd Replacement Depot. On the 9th the company was assigned a mission of setting up a holding station to relieve the clearing company of much load. An area South West of Spa was reconnoitered for the station. This same day an ambulance was placed on detached service with the 592nd Field Artillery.

10 January 1945

The company moved from Hody, Belgium at 1000 to Fange Maron in the vicinity of Spa, Belgium and established a holding station for the Division. Late this day 29 non-battle casualties were received from the clearing company.


2

Here it was learned that the 424th had been assigned a mission on the line near Trois Point (Trois Ponts). Technician fifth grade Oscar F. Pawasarat was promoted to Technician fourth grade while Pfc. Richard W. LeLong was promoted to Technician fifth grade.

11 January 1945

As Fange Maron was located in an area assigned to another Division it was found necessary to move. The 29 patients were returned to the Clearing Station. It was located at Niveze, Belgium which is just East of Spa. A move to Fr. Berinzinne [Berinsenne], South of Spa was made by motor convoy. A station was established but no casualties were received.

12 January 1945

At Fr. Berinzenne [Berinsenne] awaiting orders. The company was notified of an impending offensive toward St. Vith. The 517th Para-regiment was attached to the Division. The area North of Stavelot was reconnoitered for possible Collecting Station site and routes of evacuation to support the 517th. It was later learned that the 517th had a plan of evacuation not necessitating the use of a collecting company. Instead plans were reestablished to have the company function as a holding station. No casualties were received.

13 January 1945

The company moved to Nivize, Belgium and occupied the buildings vacated by the Clearing Station which had moved to Sanat de Borgoumont. A holding station was established immediately with 47 patients. The type of cases received were foot cases, upper respiratory diseases, and exhaustion cases. An ambulance shuttle was set up at Francochamps [Francorchamps] by Lt. Jennings. This was to give additional support to the 517th Regimental Aid Station. Their run to the Clearing Station was rather lengthy. Two ambulance were attached to C Co. It was reported that Pfc. Desch received a Purple Heart while on detached service with the 424th. He was struck by a shell fragment on the right thigh. The wound was not serious enough for evacuation. 18th Corps artillery could be heard throughout the entire night.

14-15 January 1945

Still functioning as a holding station. 58 patients were treated on the 14th and 75 on the 15th. Artillery fire still very prominent. On the 15th Privates Adinolfi, Bischoff, Casalino, Caswell, Hutchison, Jackson, Maycroft, Warren, and Judge were promoted to the grade of Private First—class. A movie “Lost in a Harem” was shown to the patients and men of the company on the 15th. That evening Technician fourth grade McNaulty of the special service department entertained the complement and patients with a 9 piece orchestra.

16 January 1945

72 patients were treated on this day. Capt. Craig was relieved of assignment and duty and assigned to the 591st Field Artillery. Lt. Jennings with 2 Medical Technicians and 2 ambulances moved to Stavelot and established an ambulance relay point in support of the 517th Regiment. They had advanced to the South and East. The regimental aid station was now set up in Henimont. They transported casualties to the Clearing Station at the Sanatorium.


3

17 January 1945

82 patients were treated. A buzz bomb fell 1000 yards from the station. 8 civilians and one soldier were administered aid for minor cuts received from flying glass. Windows in the building occupied by the station were broken by [but] no casualties here. Lt. Robson assigned and joined company.

18 January 1945

81 patients in holding station. The 424th and the 517th having achieved their objective, the 424th went into reserve while the 517th was attached to the 30th Division which was on the 106th Division’s left. Lt. Jennings relay point was discontinued. The ambulance with the 592nd Field Artillery returned.

19 January 1945

75 patients treated. P-X supplies were received and distributed.

20 January 1945

62 patients in station. Technician fifth grade Heillman and a 15 piece band entertained the patients and men of the company with magic and music. Lt. Shryock took the drummer’s position for several numbers and was well received.

21 January 1945

57 patients in station.

22 January 1945

75 patients in station.

23 January 1945

61 patients being treated. A three piece musical group entertained the patients.

24 January 1945

80 patients in station. Clearing Station moving to Chau du Grand Chene near Esneux. All units of the Division other than the 424th Infantry Regiment and the 2 Field Artillery Battalion were not needed to further reduce Von Runstedt’s (sic) bulge. Several men of the company sent to Hody to hold the buildings in the town for the company.

25 January 1945

All patients in station not able to be returned to duty were transferred to the Clearing Station now in rest area. Sgt. Hulsey and Pfc Adinolfi leave for a 3 day pass in Paris. Pfc. Harold B. Smith on detached service with the 424th Inf was killed in action. At the time he was acting as an aid man with L Company. His actions before his demise were exemplary so much that recommendation for the Silver Star will be made. He braved intense small arm fire to give aid to a Doughboy. On returning for a litter he was deliberately shot in the back by a German sniper who now is extremely sorry that he performed such an act.

26 January 1945

The company moves to rest area at Hody, Belgium.

27-31 January 1945

In rest area at Hody. The men take time to clean up and care for their equipment. Company equipment is repaired and restored to functioning conditions. On the 28th the entire company went by convoy to the Clearing Station where they witnessed Sgt. Reinhardt of C Company receive a battle field commission. General Perrin also presented Technician fourth grade Pawasarat and Pfc. Buckley with the Bronze Star Award. Technician fifth grade Ballantyne and Pfc. Balarzs were unable to receive the Bronze Star Award at this presentation as they were still on detached service with the 424th. On the 29th the 424th was relieved from the line. All men on detached service with this unit were returned. Inspection of clothing and equipment was made. Requisitions were submitted. P-X supplies were received and issued. Adinolfi and Hulsey returned from Paris after 3 exciting days of sight seeing. On the 31st some clothing and equipment was received and issued to the men. Lt. Shyrock left for a 3 day pass in Paris. Lt. Jennings transferred to Division Surgeon’s office the 27th but refused position vacated by Capt. Klett who was left in England at a General Hospital. Lt. Jennings to stay with company. Lt. Rhinehardt MAC attached unassigned to company. Technician third grade Castaldo transferred to B Company but remains with company on detached service. Pfc. Wilbert H. Walters promoted to the grade of Technician fifth grade. The month ended with 3 Medical Officers, 2 MAC Officers, and 81 enlisted men in the company. In the minds of all was the offensive that the Russians were waging. We are wondering how this marvelous offensive will effect the outcome of the war. Interesting discussions have been started over this offensive.

                        
Signed
ROBERT C. MITTERLING
Capt. MC
Commanding