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HEADQUARTERS 324TH MEDICAL BATTALION

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HEADQUARTERS 324TH MEDICAL BATTALION
99th Infantry Division
In the field
11 February 1945
 

SUBJECT: History of the 324th Medical Battalion, December 1944.

TO: Adjutant General, Washington, D.C. (Through Commanding General, 99th Infantry Division)

1.Original Unit: No Change.

2.Changes in Organization: No Change.

3.Strength, Commissioned and Enlisted:
  OfficersEM
a.At beginning of period   37  405
b.Net decrease, December 1944 1    38
c.At end of period, 31 December 1944  36  367
 
4.Stations
  Hq DetCo A  Co B  Co C  Co D
Departure, Elsenborn, Belg. 12 Dec
Arrival, Rocherath, Belg.   12 Dec
Departure, Murringen, Belg. 17 Dec
Arrival, Nidrum, Belg.    17 Dec
Departure, Krinkelt, Belg.   18 Dec
Arrival, Nidrum, Belg.   18 Dec
Departure, Nidrum, Belg. 18 Dec18 Dec18 Dec 18 Dec 18 Dec
Arrival, Sourbrodt, Belg.   18 Dec18 Dec18 Dec 18 Dec 18 Dec
Departure, Sourbrodt, Belg.    26 Dec    20 Dec24 Dec 23 Dec 26 Dec

5.Marches: Negative.

6.Campaigns:

a.Campaign of Germany

b.Duration: 15 September 1944 until completion is announced later.

c.Purpose:  To engage the enemy in France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, and Germany.

d.Authority:  Sec VI, WD General Orders 80, 5 Oct 1944.

7.Battles:

a.(1)Defense of Hofen–Hunningen Sector.
(2)Extending southward from Hofen, Germany, through Hunningen, Belgium.


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(3)Date:  9 Nov-12 Dec 1944.
  (4)Campaign of which Battle was a part: Germany

b.    (1) Attack of Siegfried Line.
  (2) Place: Northeast of Rocherath, Belgium.
(3)Date: 13 Dec-18 Dec 1944.
(4)Campaign of which Battle was a part: Germany.

c.    (1)Defense of Elsenborn Sector.
(2)Place: West of Elsenborn, Belgium.
(3)Date: 19-31 December 1944.
(4)Campaign of which Battle was a part: Germany.

d.Summary of Operations, December 1944:

On 1 December 1944, the Division occupied a defensive sector extending for approximately 12 miles, from Hofen, Germany to Hunningen, Belgium, as part of V Corps, with VII Corps on the North, and VIII Corps on the South. Collecting Companies C, A, and B, supported CT's 5, 3, and 4, respectively from North to South, and were established in the Belgian towns of Elsenborn, Krinkelt, and Hunningen, under Battalion control. Evacuation from Clearing Station, at Nidrum, Belgium was by the 575th Ambulance Company, 134th Medical Group, to the 44th and 67th Evac Hospitals, Malmedy, Belgium.

9 December 1944 – The Division G-3 oriented Division Surgeon, the Battalion Commander, and S-3 of a plan of combined offensive operations with the 2nd Infantry Division, in order to permit formulation of plan for medical support. On D-Day, the 2nd Inf Div was to move from the 99th Inf Div south flank, after relief in that sector by the 106th Inf Div, concentrate behind the center of our front, and attack with CT's 9 and 38 thru Krinkelt and Rocherath to Rohren on the North and further objectives toward the Roer River to the East. Simultaneously, the mission of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 395th Infantry, 99th Infantry Division, with supporting elements of CT5 under CT control, was to attack toward Schleiden, seize designated objectives, and protect the South flank of the 2nd Infantry Division, while the 3rd Battalion, 395th Infantry, 99th Rcn, and 2nd Rcn were to hold the front previously held by the 395th Infantry; the 393rd Infantry was to defend its front with limited attacks on the North and the 394th Infantry was to conduct demonstrations along its front and constitute a mobile reserve from its 3rd Battalion on the south flank.

The problems of medical support of this plan were: (1) To support CT5 (less 3rd Bn) with entire personnel and equipment to Coll Co C; (2) To provide Co C, if necessary, with additional litter bearer support, in order to guarantee casualty evacuation by long litter hauls over difficult terrain; (3) To establish provisional medical support of 3rd Bn, 395th Infantry and 99th Rcn; (4) To coordinate with the 2nd Infantry Division on evacuation over a common main supply route (MSR).

10 December 1944 –  The plan of the 2nd Medical Battalion


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was discussed with Lt Col Jorns, Battalion CO, 2nd Medical Battalion.

12 December 1944 –  D-Day announced as 13 December 1944. Company C reverted to CT5 control and moved to Krinkelt, Belgium. Provisional Units were established vicinity Hofen and Kalterherberg to support of 3rd Battalion, 395th Infantry, and 99th Rcn. Each of these units was under command of a medical officer, and consisted of a medical technician, litter bearers, and drivers, with medical equipment and ambulances.

13 December 1944 – The attack started at 0830. Evacuation of casualties was difficult in attack sector, due to limited road net and difficult terrain.

16 December 1944 – Night Litter Squads from Companies B and D were attached to Company C to aid in evacuation. Enemy activity increased in zones of CT3 and 4, and enemy artillery barrages hit vicinity of Krinkelt. Casualties were heaviest in 1st and 3rd Battalions, 393rd Infantry, as Companies B, C, I, and K received heavy attacks. Strong enemy attacks against 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 394th Infantry were reported.  Evacuation continued through enemy artillery fire at 393rd and 394th Aid Stations.

17 December 1944 –  Enemy armor was reported at Hunningen. 3rd Battalion, 393rd Infantry, was surrounded. 2nd Battalion, 393rd Infantry commenced withdrawal. Heavy action continued in 394th Infantry Area. The MSR through Bullingen was cut off, and contact with Collecting Companies was lost. A German offensive of great strength was reported. The medical situation became critical with the realization that a withdrawal was imminent through an area with no adequate evacuation route. A new route was reconnoitered by the Battalion S-2 through Berg–Wirtzfeld, and a convoy of QM trucks, loaded with patients was led through heavy artillery fire by the Battalion S-2 to the Clearing Station at Nidrum. Company B left Murringen and withdrew to the Clearing Station to reorganize support of CT4, withdrawing under heavy fire through Krinkelt. Companies A and C were alerted for movement, but continued ambulance evacuation over roads swept by small arms and artillery fire. The enemy had infiltrated into Krinkelt, site of both Collecting Companies (A and C).

18 December 1944 – Companies A and C supported a difficult daylight withdrawal of CT3 and CT5, and moved to Nidrum over the Wirtzfeld–Berg–Elsenborn route in order to reorganize. A provisional collecting unit, under command of CO, Co A, departed for Berg to continue evacuation of the Division. The Division, supported by 26th CT, 2nd Inf Div, continued its withdrawal toward Elsenborn. The provisional collecting unit at Berg moved to the Clearing Company at Nidrum to center its support behind Elsenborn. Evacuation to the rear of the division area had been cut of by the mounting German offensive when the MSR to Malmedy had been threatened by an SS Panzer Division. Ambulances of the 575th Ambulance Company, evacuating to Malmedy, had failed to return. It later developed that the Ambulance Platoon


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Officer had been included in a group of officers and men murdered after capture by the Germans in the vicinity of Malmedy, while he was attempting to get through. The Army Ambulances remaining at the Clearing Company had then evacuated casualties to Eupen, but had failed to return. The Clearing Company moved by echelon to Sourbrodt, and Hq Det, Companies A, B, and C followed. Remaining casualties were moved by Battalion organic transportation to the new site.

19 December 1944 – Contact was made with Regimental Aid Station, 395th infantry, and two ambulances evacuated the remaining casualties of the Regiment, as it withdrew from Krinkelt. An Ambulance Regulating Point was organized at Elsenborn to permit direct evacuation from the aid stations to the Clearing Company. Evacuation to Eupen from Clearing Company was reestablished by support of 565th Collecting Company, 134th Medical Group following a telephoned plea for help by the Battalion CO to the Surgeon, V Corps.

20 December 1944 – 1st Platoon, Clearing Company, and Company A moved to Jalhay, Belgium, in reserve. Strong enemy thrusts, supported by armor, hit the Division defenses at Elsenborn, which had become the cornerstone of the north shoulder of the German salient. Artillery fire increased in Elsenborn and Camp Elsenborn, and the ambulance regulating point moved to the Clearing Station to better support evacuation of the Kalterherberg as well as the Elsenborn Area. The evacuation of the 3rd Battalion, 395th Infantry and 99th Rcn was performed thru one provisional collecting station, with ambulances, at Kalterherberg.

21 December 1944 – The defense of Elsenborn stabilized and activity was confined to artillery duels and patrolling.

22 December 1944 – The provisional unit at Kalterherberg withdrew on account of heavy artillery fire, but evacuation was maintained, and the unit reestablished on 23 December 1944, evacuating over an alternate route north of Camp Elsenborn.

26 December 1944 – The provisional unit at Kalterherberg was withdrawn, and evacuation was by ambulance direct to Clearing Company. 3rd Battalion, 395th Infantry, and 99th Rcn came under 9th Inf Div control. One collecting company continued the Elsenborn evacuation and Companies were rotated to permit complete reorganization air replacement of lost equipment. 99th Division Headquarters moved into the Battalion Headquarters Area at Sourbrodt to improve communications. Clearing Station and Battalion OP therefore moved to Jalhay. Collecting Companies A and C established northwest of Sourbrodt (K-852111). Company B established evacuation between Collecting Station and Clearing Station. Evacuation from Clearing Station was taken over by 452rd Collecting Company to 128th and 97th Evacuation Hospitals, Verviers.

28 December 1944 – Company C moved Northeast to K-838117 after receiving some damage to material by incoming enemy counter-battery fire.


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3l December 1944 – At the close of this period, 3rd Battalion, 395th Infantry and 99th Rcn continued defense of the Hofen area under 9th Division control, and were evacuated by 324th Medical Battalion Collecting Company ambulances direct to the functioning Collecting Company. 393rd, 394th, and 395th (less 3rd Bn) Infantry Regiments continued the defense of the Elsenborn Area, flanked by the 9th Infantry Division on the North, and the 2nd Infantry Division or the South. Evacuation has been by Medical Battalion and Regimental litter bearers and jeeps to Battalion operated by one collecting company reinforced by ambulances from a second collecting company, to the Clearing Company. The third Collecting Company remained in Jalhay in reserve. Companies have been rotated every four days.

Continuous evacuation was rendered, throughout the Division offensive of 13 December 1944, the defense against the powerful German offensive, and the withdrawal to the present defensive positions at Elsenborn, to the 99th Infantry Division, attached units, and adjacent divisions.

Clearing Company Statistics, 1-31 December 1944:

Admissions 2524
Battle Casualties   850 33.7 per cent of total admissions
Trench Foot Cases 681 27.0  “   “  “ “  “  
Combat Exhaustion    261 10.3 “   “   “  “  “
No. Transferred   2272

8.Commanding Officers in Important Engagements:

Battalion Commander :Lt Col Philip R. Beckjord, MC
CO, Hq Det :  Capt Daniel L. Fane, MAC
CO, Company A: Capt Anthony J. Lentine, MC
CO, Company B: Capt Thomas E. Bivins, MC
CO, Company C: Capt Thomas A. Egan, MC
CO, Company D: Major Oscar G. Noland, MC

9.Losses in Action: Officers and Enlisted Men:

a.Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line.

b.Killed: Pfc Onward L. Gardner, 34464559, Co B.

c.Wounded:
Pfc K. D. Mason, xxxxxxxx, Co A,16 Dec 1944.
Pvt Donald P. Stevens, xxxxxxxxx, Co A, 16 Dec 1944.
Cpl Ormen Z. Rippeon, xxxxxxxxx, Co A, 17 Dec 1944.
Tec 4 Henry G. Hutton, xxxxxxxxx, Co A, 17 Dec 1944.
Pvt Melvin L. Gerard, xxxxxxxx, Co A, 17 Dec 1944.
Sgt Frank E. Cushin, xxxxxxxx, Co A, 17 Dec 1944.   
Pfc John E. Mizerak, xxxxxxxx, Co A, 17 Dec 1944.


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S Sgt Robert Anstice, xxxxxxxx, Co A, 17 Dec 1944.
Tec 3 William K. Tucker, xxxxxxxx, Co C, 18 Dec 1944.
Pvt Olie A. Williams, xxxxxxxx, Co C, 18 Dec 1944.

d.Missing:
Pfc Edmund B. Evans, xxxxxxxx, Co A, 16 Dec 1944.
Pvt Phillip T. Lewis, xxxxxxxx, Co A, 16 Dec 1944.
Pvt Loran V. Smock, xxxxxxxx, Co A, 16 Dec 1944.
Pfc Dewey Hill, xxxxxxxx, Co A, 16 Dec 1944.
Pvt Fie Chan, xxxxxxxx, Co A, 16 Dec 1944.
Pvt William D. Smith, xxxxxxxx, Co B, 17 Dec 1944.
Pfc James V. Welsh, xxxxxxxx, Co B, 17 Dec 1944.

e.Taken Prisoner: None.

10.Former and Present members who have distinguished themselves in action:

a.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line: Campaign of Germany.
(2)Name:Tec 5 Eugene C. Barrett, xxxxxxxx, Co A.
(3)Act:Courageous performance of duty. Evacuation of casualties in ambulance, while under enemy fire on 16 Dec 1944 in vic Krinkelt, Belgium
(4)Reward: Bronze Star (Gen Orders 1, Hq 99th Inf Div, 3 Jan 44 [45])

b.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line: Campaign of Germany.
(2)Name: Capt John M. McRae, MAC, xxxxxxxx, Bn Hq.
(3)Act: Courageous action, good judgment, and excellent leadership, in evacuation of casualties by leading convoy of trucks loaded with wounded through enemy artillery fire between Krinkelt, Belgium and Nidrum, Belgium on 16 Dec 1944.
(4)Reward: Bronze Star (Gen. Orders 2, Hq 99th Inf Div, 5 Jan 44 [45])

c.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Lire; Campaign of Germany.
(2)S Sgt Frank J. Longobardi, xxxxxxxx, Co C.
(3)Act:Remained with wounded men, rendered first aid, and organized a litter squad for their evacuation under fire, in vic Krinkelt, Belgium, on 18 Dec 44.
(4)Reward: Bronze Star (Gen Orders 2, Hq 99th Inf Div, 5 Jan 45)

d.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
(2)Name: S Sgt Arthur E. White, xxxxxxxx, Co C.
(3)Act:  Evacuation of casualties under heavy enemy fire in vic Rocherath, Belgium, on 17 Dec 1944.
(4)Reward: Bronze Star (Gen. Orders 2, Hq 99th Inf Div, 5 Jan 45)


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e.(1) Engagement:  Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
(2)Name: Tec 3 William K. Tucker, xxxxxxxx, Co C.
(3)Act:Volunteered to remain in Rocherath, Belg. to treat wounded and to evacuate them by straggling vehicles, after his company had withdrawn, 18 Dec 44.
(4)Reward: Bronze Star (Gen Orders 2, Hq 99th Inf Div, 5 Jan 45)

f.(1) Engagement:  Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
(2)Name: Sgt Drayton N. Clary, Jr., xxxxxxxx, Co C.
(3)Act:Volunteered to remain in Rocherath, Belg. to treat wounded and to evacuate them by straggling vehicles, after his company had withdrawn, 18 Dec 44.
(4)Reward: Bronze Star (Gen. Orders 2, Hq 99th Inf Div, 5 Jan 45)

g.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
(2)Tec 5 Wayne W. Isaacson, xxxxxxxx, Co B.
(3)Act; Volunteered to search for and to evacuate wounded soldier in Krinkelt, Belgium, after Germans had infiltrated and during enemy artillery fire, 17 Dec 44.
(4)Reward: Bronze Star (Gen. Orders 2, Hq 99th Inf  Div, 5 Jan 45)

h.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line: Campaign of Germany.
(2)Name: Pfc Donald O. Johnson, xxxxxxxx, Co C.
(3)Act:Evacuation of casualties under heavy enemy fire in vic Rocherath, Belgium on 17 Dec 1944.
(4)Reward: Bronze star (Gen. Orders 2, Hq 99th Inf Div, 5 Jan 45)

i.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line: Campaign of Germany.
  (2)Name: Pfc Joss G. Navarro, xxxxxxxx, Co A.
  (3)Act:   Evacuation of casualties by ambulance thru heavy artillery fire and through area in which German snipers had infiltrated.
  (4)Reward: Bronze Star (Gen. Orders 2, Hq 99th Inf Div, 5 Jar 45)

j.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line: Defense of Elsenborn Sector; Campaign of Germany.
  (2)Name: Capt Thomas A. Egan, MC, xxxxxxxx, Co C.
  (3)Act:For meritorious service in command of Co C during the period 16-20 Dcc 44.
  (4)Reward: Bronze Star (Gen. Orders 3, Hq 99th Inf Div, 8 Jan 45)


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k.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Defense of Elsenborn Sector; Campaign of Germany.
(2)Name:Capt Anthony J. Lentine, xxxxxxxx, Co A.
(3)Act:For meritorious service in command of Co A during the period 16-20 Dec 1944.
(4)Reward: Bronze Star (Gen. Orders 10, Hq 99th Inf Div, 30 Jan 45)

l.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
  (2)Name:Pfc Robert J. Hart, xxxxxxxx, Co C.
  (3)Act:For initiative and heroic conduct in evacuating 27 members of Company C and two wounded soldiers by making 5 trips in a 1/4 Ton Truck between Rocherath and Krinkelt, Belgium through artillery and small arms fire on 18 Dec 1944.
  (4)Reward: Bronze Star (Gen. Orders 10, Hq 99th Inf Div, 30 Jan 45)

m. (1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
 (2)Name: S Sgt Harold X. Etter, xxxxxxxx, Co C.
 (3)Act:For heroic action in organizing and leading two litter squads to evacuate casualties through artillery and small arms fire in vic Rocherath, Belgium, on 18 Dec 1944.
 (4) Reward: Bronze Star (Gen. Orders l0, Hq 99th Inf Div, 30 Jan 45)

n.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
(2)Name: S Sgt Paul R. Priel, xxxxxxxx, Co C.
(3)Act:For bravery and leadership in evacuation of twenty seriously wounded from Rocherath, Belg. and Krinkelt, Belg. in the face of enemy fire on 17 Dec 1944.
(4)Reward: Bronze Star (Gen. Orders 10, Hq 99th Inf Div, 30 Jan 45)

o.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
(2) Name.  Pvt Otto W. Johnson, xxxxxxxx, Co C.
(3)Act:  For bravery and service rendered in ambulance evacuation under enemy fire between Rocherath, Belg. and Krinkelt, Belg. on 17 Dec 1944.
(4)Reward:  Certificate of Merit (Ind., Hq. 99th Inf Div., 11 Jan 45)

p.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
(2)Name: S Sgt James D. Compton, xxxxxxxx, Co. C.
(3)Act:For bravery and heroism in voluntary evacuation of wounded through enemy fire in vic Rocherath, Belg. on 18 Dec 1944.
(4)    Reward:  Certificate of Merit (Ind., Hq 99th Inf Div, 11 Jan 45)


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q.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
(2)Name: Pfc John E. Mizerak, xxxxxxxx, Co A.
(3)Act:  For bravery and attention to duty while evacuating casualties by litter at 1st Bn Aid Sta, 393rd Inf, 16 Dec to 17 Dec 1944 in face of enemy fire.
(4)Reward: Certificate of Merit (Ind., Hq 99th Inf Div, 10 Jan 45)

r.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
  (2)Name: :Pfc Alton G. Puller, xxxxxxxx, Co A.
  (3)Act:For bravery and attention to duty while evacuating casualties by litter at 1st Bn Aid Sta, 393rd Inf from 16 Dec to 17 Dec 1944 in face of enemy fire.
  (4)Reward: Certificate of Merit (Ind., Hq 99th Inf Div, 11 Jan 45)

s.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
(2)Name: Pfc Amos H. McVeigh, xxxxxxxx, Co A.
  (3)Act:For bravery and attention to duty while evacuating casualties by litter at 1st Bn Aid Sta, 393rd Inf from 16 Dec to 17 Dec 1944 in face of enemy fire.
 
t.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
  (2)Name: Pfc Jerome M. Drell, xxxxxxxx, Co A.
  (3)Act:For bravery and attention to duty while evacuating casualties by litter at 1st Bn Aid Sta, 393rd Inf from 16 Dec to 17 Dec 1944 in face of enemy fire.
  (4)Reward: Certificate of Merit (Ind., Hq 99th Inf Div, 11 Jan 45)

u.(1)Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
(2)Name: S Sgt Guy Knighton, xxxxxxx, Co A.
(3)Act: For bravery and attention to duty while evacuating casualties by litter at 1st Bn Aid Sta, 393rd Inf from 16 Dec to 17 Dec 1944 in face of enemy fire.
(4)Reward: Certificate of Merit (Ind., Hq 99th Inf Div, 11 Jan 45)

v.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
(2)Name: Pfc Oba V. Patton, xxxxxxxx, Co A.
(3)Act:For bravery and attention to duty while evacuating casualties by litter at 1st Bn Aid Sta, 393rd Inf from 16 Dec to 17 Dec 1944 in face of enemy fire.  
  (4)Reward: Certificate of Merit (Ind., Hq 99th Inf Div, 11 Jan 45)

w.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.


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(2)Name: Pfc William H. Tramel, xxxxxxxx, Co C.
(3)Act:For gallantry in continued first aid treatment of a casualty in  the face of enemy artillery and small arms fire in vic of Rocherath, Belgium, on l4 Dec 1944.
(4)Reward: Certificate of Merit (Ind., Hq 99th Inf Div, 11 Jan 45)

x.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
(2)Name:Tec 4 Raymond J. Rodrique, xxxxxxxx, Co C.
(3)Act:For heroism in voluntary evacuation of wounded under enemy artillery and small arms fire in vie Rocherath, Belg. on 18 Dec 1944.
  (4)Reward: Certificate of Merit (Ind., Hq 99th Inf Div, 11 Jan 45).

y.(1) Engagement: Attack of Siegfried Line; Campaign of Germany.
  (2)Name: Tec 4 Glenn W. Beckholt, xxxxxxxx, Co C.
(3)Act:For bravery in supervision of evacuation and treatment of the wounded under enemy small arms fire in vic Rocherath, Belg. on 15 Dec 1944.
(4)Reward:  Certificate of Merit (Ind., Hq 99th Inf Div, 11 Jan 45).


For the Commanding Officer:

[signed]

E. A. MORSE
Captain, MAC
S-3

Source:  National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 407, 324th Medical Battalion, 99th Division, 1944, Box 14212.