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Medical Detachment, 394th Infantry Regiment, A.P.O. 449, U.S. Army

Table of Contents


MEDICAL DETACHMENT, 394TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
 A. P. O. 449, U. S. ARMY


SUBJECT:    Medical History, 1 to 31 December 1944

TO:    Surgeon, 99th Infantry Division

    Prior to 16 December l944, the 394th Infantry Regiment was defending a front of approximately 4 miles extending North from the vicinity of Losheim, Germany along the Siegfried Line.

    At 0500, 16 December 1944 the enemy attacked on the entire regimental front and laid heavy artillery concentrations in Hunnigen, Belgium, the site of the Regimental Aid Station. Heavy fighting continued through the day and night.  Communications were interrupted. Battalions were forced to make a difficult daylight withdrawal before superior enemy infantry and armor.

    At 0900 the three battalion surgeons called for litter bearers to assist in the evacuation of casualties. These aid stations gave continuous close support. Litter bearer reinforcements were secured from Collecting Company “B”, 324th Medical Battalion.  A second call for additional litter bearers and ambulances was received at 1000 from the 3rd Battalion Surgeon. Regimental Air Station personnel, and line troops from Regimental Headquarters and Service Companies ware used as emergency litter bearers. All casualties were collected and evacuated by litter jeep, ambulance and other available vehicles as the Infantry Battalions withdrew.

    The 3rd Battalion Aid Station located in F. Bucholz was shelled at 1300 and the building it occupied was shattered, forcing it to move to the 1st Battalion sector when it operated in conjunction with the 1st Battalion Aid Station.

    The enemy attack continued on the 17th and all of the aid stations operated under heavy artillery and small arms fire. The 2nd Battalion Advance Aid station was forced to withdraw with its battalion and the 1st and 3rd Battalion Aid Stations continued to operate together during the day.

    At 1400, 17 December 1944 the regimental aid station moved one mile North by motor to Murringen, Belgium. All of the unit dental equipment was destroyed by enemy shell fire.  In Murringen, the aid station was set up in the building occupied by Collecting Company “B”, 324th Medical Battalion. The three battalion aid stations withdrew behind their respective battalions to Murringen at 1900 and immediately set up stations and treated casualties. Aid stations were located in basements and treatment of casualties was difficult. The battle continued around Murringen through the night. Enemy artillery fire was heavy.  All known casualties were effectively evacuated.

    At 0145, 18 December 1944 the order was received ordering the regiment to withdraw from Murringen at 0230. Litter and walking wounded ware evacuated on the regimental headquarters medical section’s 2½ ton truck.  Therefore the medical equip-


2

ment and supplies had to be abandoned. The motor convoy left Murringen at 0235 for Krinkelt, Belgium.  Some personnel of the Regimental Medical Detachment and a 2½ truck remained in Murringen to evacuate casualties of the covering shell. This vehicle with casualties and 14 members of the Medical Detachment was ambushed and fired upon with machine guns by the enemy one-half miles out of Murringen.  The First Sergeant of the Detachment escaped when the Cannon Company fired their 105mm Howitzers point blank into the enemy.  The Supply Sergeant of the Medical Detachment was released by the enemy 14 hours later to take a message into Krinkelt asking the commander to surrender.  Twelve of the detachment and the wounded in the two and one-half ton truck are missing in action.  The main body of the Regiment had moved to within twp miles of Krinkelt when the order to abandon  vehicles was given because of enemy activity. Troops then moved on foot toward the town and word was brought back that the town was in American hands. Vehicles were again mounted and the convoy passed through the 395th Infantry Regiment at Krinkelt and processed [sic] to Wirtzfeld, where plans for regrouping the regiment were put into effect. The wounded were sent on to the Clearing Station. Approximately 1/3 of the Detachment's personnel was missing in action. The Regiment occupied defensive positions on the high ground East of Elsenborn during the night according to plan. The Battalion aid Stations established stations in Elsenborn and advance stations are set up near the front.

    From 19 December 1944 until the close or the year, the Battalion Sections operating advance and rear air stations in support of their respective battalions.

S. M. Gillespie
S. M. GILLESPIE
Major, M.C.
Surgeon