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Medical Detachment, 393rd Infantry Regiment, A.P.O. 449, U.S. Army

Table of Contents

MEDICAL DETACHMENT, 393RD INFANTRY REGIMENT
A. P. O. 449, U.S. Army


SUBJECT: Detachment History, 1 to 31 December 1944

TO: Surgeon, 99th Infantry Division

    The 393rd Infantry Regiment, until 13 December 1944, was in a holding position along the Siegfried Line with two Battalions on the line and one in a reserve position.  Units were located on the Krinkelt Forest on the Western border of Germany.

    On 13 December 1944, the 2nd Battalion, 393rd Infantry attached to 395th Infantry advanced to attack eastward, on the 3rd Battalion, 393rd  Infantry’s left. The 1st Battalion, 393rd Infantry was situated to the right of the latter battalion. The 2nd Battalion advanced with no opposition to attack pill-boxes of the enemy.  Casualties were light and were efficiently evacuated by the 2nd Battalion Aid Station. The Regiment now covered a front of approximately
10 miles.

    In the early morning 16 December 1944 the German counter-offensive occurred.  The 3rd Battalion, 393rd Infantry fought a determined defensive action, until it was over-whelmed in numbers, and cut off from supporting units tactically and communicatively.  Casualties continued to be evacuated by Surgeon, 3rd Battalion, 393rd Infantry Air Station until 1600, 16 December.  At that time in response to a radio message from the latter Surgeon, an ambulance, Dental Surgeon and technician, with litters as added equipment, was dispatched to evacuate casualties from the latter Battalion.  Severe artillery shelling by the enemy inflicted wounds on ambulance driver and orderly. The Dental Surgeon, assisted by his technician and wounded ambulance personnel, evacuated wounded of a reinforcing unit marching to support our front line units.  The ambulance, driven by the Dental Surgeon, evacuated the casualties to Collecting Company A, 324th Medical Battalion.

    At 1800, 16 December 1944, Commanding Officer, 393rd Infantry ordered no further attempts to contact 3rd Battalion Aid Station as all communication was definitely severed, and the Battalion surrounded.  About 1200, 17 December 1944, Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion, 393rd Infantry ordered his Surgeon to withdraw with his unit.  The Surgeon requested that his detachment be allowed to stay with and care for the wounded.  When last seen that day the station was being overrun by the enemy and was operating under a Geneva Flag and a White Flag.

    At about 1400, 16 December 1944, the Assistant Regimental Surgeon, and the Assistant Dental Surgeon, with technicians, were dispatched to assist in evacuation of the wounded of the 1st Battalion Aid Station.  Operations were carried out under severe enemy shelling but this station was cleared of wounded at 0400, 17 December1944.  At about 0800 the Assistant Dental Surgeon returned to report all wounded at 1st Battalion Air Station had been evacuated.  At 1400, 17 December 1944, the 1st Battalion Air Station which was operating under shell-fire, and practically surrounded


2

by enemy, was ordered to withdraw to the Regimental Area.  All communications of that Battalion Headquarters and is Aid Station were severed.  Reports were verified that this Battalion had fought magnificently to inflict tremendous losses on the enemy.  Remnants of the Battalion joined with supporting elements of the 2nd Division and 394th Infantry Troops, to defend the Western edge of Krinkelt Forest.

    At 0900, 17 December 1944, the Assistant Regimental Surgeon and a technician, were dispatched to assist Collecting Company Aid, 324th Medical Battalion with their casualties. The Regimental Aid Station continued to function from its cellar position in the vicinity of Regimental Headquarters at Krinkelt, Belgium until ordered to withdraw st 0930, 18 December 1944. During the preceeding afternoon and night enemy troops and tanks infiltrated into Krinkelt. A Tiger Tank with crew “commanded an area” over-looking the aid station and Collecting Company A, 324th Medical Battalion.  Enemy small arms fire and shells played their usual harassing role.  Our morale was excellent throughout and many casualties were treated during this period. The Regimental Air Station withdrew with all equipment and personnel in a very orderly manner to Elsenborn, Belgium and set up a Regimental Aid Station.  The Regiment executed an orderly night withdrawal, with all three Battalions to defensive positions on the high ground East of Elsenborn. The Battalion Aid stations accompanied their Battalions in the withdrawal. The Regiment continued in its defensive role until 31 December l944.

    Many of the Officers, Company Air Men, Litter Bearers, and Technicians have served their companies and country with outstanding valor, and without regard for personal safety.  This Command has given the highest praise for the work of the Detachment as a whole.


    Milton J. Cole
    MILTON J. COLE
 Major, MC
 Surgeon