When I checked my Guest Book this week, I found an yet another entry from a son of a combat engineer. Dean's father was a medic with the 148th Combat Engineer Battalion. He shipped out on the Santa Elena and sailed to England. From there he landed on Utah Beach and served in the battles and campaigns of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, the Ardennes & Central Europe. He was in Eisenach, Germany at the end of the war and returned to the states on the Victory ship Waycross.

You can read more about him and the 148th below and also see some great photos including one of the General Hodges Bridge. It is the same bridge that Gene Fiducia of the 631st helped build.

Update - July 22, 2015

My condolences to Dean Page on the loss of his father, Lawrence Page, who was a medic with the 148th Engineers, WWII. Dean signed my guestbook when my website was in its infancy and shared his father's history and photos with me. He had just turned 91 on July 19. Rest in peace, sir.


PFC Lawrence T. Page
148th Engineer Combat Battalion
Medical Detachment Surgical Technician


March 21/Sept. 21, 1943 Camp Shelby, Miss. 1st Army

Sept. 25, 1943 Camp Miles Standish, Mass.

Oct. 8, 1943 Shipped out on the Santa Elena **

Oct. 21,1943 Arrived in Liverpool, England

Oct. 22, 1943 Camp Delamere in W. Cheshire, England

Feb.26, 1944 Left Camp Delamere for Camp Chisolton

Feb. 27, 1944 Camp Chisolton

June 6, 1944 Left Camp Chisolton to Southampton, England

June 7, 1944 Landed on Utah Beach

June 8, 1944 Joined 82nd Airborne, 101st Airborne and the 2nd Armored to enter Carentan, France.

Lost town, recaptured it the same day. Remained with the 82nd until joining
the 90th Infantry Div. in St.Sauveur LeVicomte as infantry support.

Rejoined the 82nd Div. before battle of LaHaye du Puits. Entered LaHaye with the 82nd Airborne and 8th Infantry Div.

Joined VII Corp and entered Lessay, continued onto St.Lo in breakthrough. Stayed
with VII Corp until joining VIII Corp in Paris. Was in the battle Mortain and Alencon before entering Paris Aug.26, 1944. Little action from Paris to Liege, Belgium.

From Liege to Aachen, Germany, breakthrough. of Germans forced us out of Germany.

Joined the 82nd in Hamur, Belgium, participated in Battle of the Bulge. Saw action in Stavelot, Monschau, Elseborn and Butenbach.

Arrived in Remagen, built bridge after collapse of the Ludendorff Bridge.

Moved on to Bad Godesburg, Germany. The 148th built the Hodges Bridge across the Rhine River. The 148th started on the construction on the East shore and 207th Engineers on the West shore.

From Bad Godesburg to Beverungen, Germany. Built timber bridge across the Wesser River. Then to Eisenach. Was in Eisenach when war ended May 8, 1945.

Joined 9th Army on Return to France. Returned to Camp Atlanta and 1st Army.

Left France on the Victory ship Way Cross to Brooklyn, N. Y. then to Fort Dicks N. J.

Fort Dicks to Indiantown Gap, Pa. Then home by train to Canton, Oh.

(**Santa Elena in Black Sea 11-6-43 damaged by aerial torpedo, 11-7-43 collision, sunk)

Bridges Built

Utah Beach and the Tucker Bridge (Purple Heart Bridge) in Carentan, France

Class 40 & 70 Bailey bridges between St.Sauveur LeVicte & LaHaye du Puits, France

A Treadway bridge in Lessay for Patton's 3rd Army to cross going to St. Lo.

Rebuilt bridge and road in St. Lo

Class 70 bridge in Huy, Belgium (12-25-44)

Class 40 Bailey bridge in Remagen, Germany (3-19-45)

General Hodges Bridge (1180 ft long) in Bad Godesburg, Germany 3-26-45 to 4-6-45. The 148th was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

Timber bridge across Wesser River in Beverungen, Germany.

Medals Awarded

Sharpshooter / M1 Rifle (in basic training)

Good Conduct Medal

Combat Infantryman Badge

WW2 Victory Medal

European Theater Medal (with silver star for 5 major battles and Arrowhead for spearhead action)

American Campaign Medal

Army of Occupation of Germany Medal

Presidential Unit Citation

Bronze Star

Normandy Landing 50th Anniv. June 6, 1994

The General Hodges Bridge - Gene Fiducia informed me that the men in the photo are officers of the 1110th Combat Group, which the 148th and 631st were part of

Lawrence Page at the WWII Memorial 2004

The 148th Engineer Combat Battalion in Remagen, Germany* March 1945

At 1800 on 17 March, only three hours after the collapse of the Ludendorff Bridge, the commanding officer of the 148th Engineer Combat Battalion, Lt. Col. William J. Irby, received orders from First Army to build a Class 40 floating Bailey bridge at Remagen.The floating Bailey was regarded as a "semi-tactical" bridge, normally used to replace treadway bridges and requiring considerably more time to construct than either treadways or pontons. The battalion was one of three operating a Bailey bridge park at Weilerswist about ten miles West of Bonn, under the 1110th Engineer Combat Group, First Army's Bailey bridge and mine boom experts.

Col. Irby lost no time. Ordering his men to begin loading the bridging equipment on about one hundred trucks, most of them borrowed from quartermaster units, he sent two of his officers to reconnoiter for a site and instructed his company commanders to move their men to the Remagen area and to meet him at this advance command post at Remagen at 0200 on 18 March. Then he hurried to group headquarters, where he was told that he would have the help of Company C, 291st Engineer Combat Battalion and sixty men of the 501st Light Ponton Company.

Irby had not expected orders to build a Bailey bridge over the Rhine so soon, and his planning had focused on a 25 March target date. Nevertheless his men were ready, having practiced on the Meuse near Liege for months. Most important, the equipment was ready, neatly laid out along the roadnet at Weilerswist in the order in which it would be used, landing bay equipment in one stack, floating Baileys in another.

Work began at 0730 on 18 March at the site where the heavy ponton ferry had operated from Remagen to Erpel (downstream from the treadway bridge). While the company from the 291st Engineer Combat Battalion prepared approach roads to connect with the existing roadnet, the 148th Battalion built the bridge. Here, as with the treadway and ponton bridges, the swift river current made it difficult to tow components into position. Repaired civilian Rhine tugboats were to slow and clumsy, but three U.S. Navy LCVPs proved excellent. The rushing waters of the Rhine also complicated anchorage, but the engineers solved this problem by dropping five 1500-pound anchors upstream and sinking two rock filled barges to which cables were attached.

Artillery fire occasionally landed near the bridge but did no damage. Men worked around the clock. By 0715 on 20 March to 1258-foot floating Bailey was ready to take traffic -- twenty-four hours earlier than the First Army had expected.

Click here to see a slide show of the Hodges Bridge - April 1945 - updated 03-13-05
This was submitted by Lawrence's son, Dean. Thanks a million. Great photos!