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j3rdinf

Day to Day Life Overseas!

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"We just waited to be sent to Le Harve France and home."..thats where my Dad landed when he went over there. Thanks so much for sharing your story and the wonderful photographs. It is very appreciated . We can learn so much from the veterans that were there. My thanks again for your service and for sharing it with us

Cindy

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Cadet A2: Believe it was a B-25. He also mentioned about them trying out a 75 mm cannon in the nose? of them. Ever heard of this?

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Just in case anyone wonders what happens to a jeep when hitting a anti tank mine, here

is the answer. No survivors and almost no jeep.

post-11-1113431318_thumb.jpg

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Nasty repercussions! :unsure:

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Cadet at6: Couldnt figure out how to answer your E mail as no address was given so posting here. Yes, also took Adv. Inf. Training at Camp Howze TZ. Mizzerable place in

the middle of nowhere. Only 6 weeks then right overseas as a Inf. casualty replacement in 3rd Inf Div in ETO. Joined the 3rd Inf Div in France. Your rifle score depends on what course your wee shooting. Usually it was 60 rds for score for record.

20 off hand, 10 sustained time fire kneeling, 10 sustained time fire sitting, and 10 in the

prone, again in sustained time fire. Other courses were the UKD (unknown distance)

course where pop up targets appeared for only seconds at uknown distances out to 300

yds. Dont know about your training there but we spent a LOT of time on various ranges

with familiarization of all small arms. Also thought you might get a kick out of this pic and why, and how damn stupid we wee. In Fulda Germany, after the war and waiting ot go home we had a lot of free time so me and Johnny went hunting. Was around Nov. or Dec? we found this plane in the middle of nowhere. Just sitting. Checked it out a week later and still siting there. So, the idle hands got ideas. Lets get it running or try to.

If we did we were only planning to taxy it around and maybe just a few feet up for a start later. Then see how it went. Went to our motor pool and borrowed wrenches and

pulled theplugs and had them clean them. "Borrowed two cans gas" and got ready.

Suddenly (probably thank God) Johnny got his orders to start home. Then shortly my

orders came in for home also. Probably the "Gods of War" were watching over us as

neither of us had ever been in a plane. I still wonder just what is was doing there.

And if it still is there.

post-11-1113692690_thumb.jpg

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Hi i3rdinf

 

Scrool down past “Enginneers after WW2 “

And “Current & Other Wars Fought “

Yippee just before “Lost & Found†you come to

“The papa Art Section†now we old timers can GAB.

Watch this section and I will tell you about

Good old Camp Howze, Texas

 

That plane you seen looked like Piper Cub. I was

Flying those be-fore and after en-listing in Air Corp.

Also the PT-19 Stearman and AT-6 Texan

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Marion: Went on this site early this morning and found MANY , MANY postings from I believe it was "Sato" apologizing ? for Japan in ww 2. Now they are all gone. Looks

like something was incorrect. It was kinda overkill on his part or something strange, what he did. Maybe he wanted a quick promotion? Just thought I would post a pic of

the "supposidly Anphibian tansks" (given to me by a 3rd Div friend) of the anphib tanks that were to be our support in the Rhine River crossing. Believe 4 of them were

used by our usual 765th armoured Bn in the crossing. Four of them tried to cross.

Bad results on all 4. Found out one took a hit, 2 had the canvas flotation torn up by

gunfire and sank and one was just plain missing. After our crossing we had no tank

support for the town of Sandhofen?? and our 3rd Bn. caught hell. Finally we were most

happy to see 4 Shermans appear from the 765tth tank Bn. . Needless to say it was a

while till we found out the fate of the "Anphib. tanks" , but they sure tried their best.

Shortly we were reinforced by more armour.. After capturing the town we prayed for

getting some replacements and continued on. My hat is off to these brave men in these

Anphib. tanks who gave their lives. And no thanks, would rather paddle across and

walk than use these contraptions..

post-11-1114038860_thumb.jpg

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Cadet AT6 : She deserves still another star. Thanks. Joe

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Thanks a ton for the STAR gentlemen. Consider me the MP. She won't tolerate the jerks. Off with their heads, mates! :lol::lol:

 

Hey Joe, wasn't that the strangest thing? I don't know where this Sato guy was coming from, but I took the time to warn some other forums about him SPAMMING our site. Hey if he really wanted to make a point and be a grown-up, then he should have stated his case and let it be. But he chose to be a child. If he was serious(?), then he blew any credibility he had. Anyway, he not's worth more than a few sentences, so on to bigger and better things.

 

Interesting that you brought up amphibious tanks because I just got down reading about them in a DDAY book. Talked about the darned things rolling over and not living up to what they were supposed to be. Good idea, but it fell a bit short.

Thanks for the photo!

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Marion: Been tring to get 3-7-I Recon (Russ Cloer, platoon leader of the 7th Reg. Intellegence and Reconacense platoon to join. He tried yesterday but couldnt get it

established, but I did get his permission to post some of his ww 2 activities. He was in

the same Reg. as I was but in a different outfit. Till I get him here I will start posting a

few of his experiences as some of the battles were ones we both were in. I only joined the outfit in France but he started at Anzio. This was posted on another forum by Russ. Remember, this is HIS posting. "Rhine River crossing"

 

I reported to my Co upon my return from Paris and told him I was back a day early and why. "Good," he said, "I have a job for you. We are crossing the Rhine tonight. H hour is 0230 and we will be crossing about 200 yards downstream of the blown Autobahn bridge. I want you to take your jeep and reconnoiter a route down the the river bank suitable for tanks. Then come back here and there will be 4 amphibious Shermans waiting to follow you down to their I.P. For a moment, I considered reminding him that I was still on leave, but I decided against it!

 

I rounded up my driver PFC Steele and we headed east in his jeep. It was pitch dark, but it was a flat Rhine flood plain interlaced with a few dirt roads, used by farm equipment. Steele's night vision was superb and we could guide on the slightly elevated autobahn on our right leading to the blown bridge. We rode right down to the river bank. It was about a 4 foot drop to the water. The river was 400 yards wide and the water was flowing at 8 MPH.

 

There were no obstructions to our night vision. but what I remember most is the absolute silence! The only sounds were the soft gurgling of the water against the river bank and the muffled sound of the jeep's idling engine. None of the sounds of war! The blown autobahn bridge on our right was silhouetted against the night sky, a huge and very high suspension bridge with a section of roadway missing the center. I scanned the other side of the river looking for defenses, but saw nothing but more flat ground with no tall vegetation or structures. There had to be anti-tank guns over there, probably under the far side bridge ramp, which would provide both overhead protection and concealment for the crews.

 

At about 10:30PM, we turned around and headed back to Frankenthal to pick up the tanks. We saw nothing in the way of military preparations for the crossing, which surprised me until I found out that the Infantry was crossing south of the Autobahn and were hidden from our view by the elevated Autobahn highway.

 

The tank commander proudly showed me the accordion like rubberized canvas bellows, reinforced by a steel framework to hydraulically lift it into place so the DD Sherman tanks could float. There were 2 small propellers on the back for propulsion and steering. I remember thinking it looked like a real "Rube Goldberg" and I tried to visualize this 35 ton monster dropping off that 4 foot bank into the 8 MPH water! Or climbing the far 4 foot bank! (See photo of DD Sherman on this topic. I didn't take this photo.

- It came out of a book.)

 

The tanks started their engines and the roar was deafening! They started forward in column behind my jeep and the clanking of the tracks was fearsome! I remember thinking that when we got down to the river bank, all that noise would alert every Kraut within miles. All hell would surely break loose!

 

And so it was! Our jeep was about 20 feet from the river bank when the first 88mm shell came streaking across the river from beneath the far side bridge ramp and hit the lead tank causing it to burst into flames right behind us. As the burning tank lit up the area, more shells followed, focusing on the remaining tanks. Steele and I dove out of the jeep and crawled into the nearest depression in the ground which appeared to be a small bomb crater from an earlier air attack on the bridge.

 

We felt reasonably safe there until artillery air bursts began to blossom overhead! I remember thinking that it had to be "friendly fire" because every shell seemed to burst at the same height indicating use of proximity fuses, which the Krauts didn't have yet. But it mattered not who was firing it. We had no overhead cover, so we made a desparate run for the near side bridge ramp about 100 yards away. I found out later that the first tank had been destroyed, 2 others had their flotation gear perforated and the fourth was "missing." When things quieted down, Steele and I walked back to the CP abandoning our jeep on the river bank. I have since read that 3 more amphibious tanks came forward after the enemy anti-tank guns were silenced. The 7th Inf. had 7 DD Shermans attached for the crossing. One DD made it across the river, 3 were destroyed along with their crews and 3 were damaged and couldn't enter the water.

 

(to be continued)

 

3_7_I_Recon

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Am continueing 3-7-I Recon's posting along with my reply to it.

 

 

 

Posted Fri 16 July 2004 12:32

Crossing the Rhine (cont'd)

 

When we got back to the CP, I noticed for the first time, that there was a lot of pain in my upper left arm. I peeled off my field jacket, pile liner, wool sweater and wool shirt and found that the upper arm from shoulder to elbow was completely discolored in blues, purples, greens, reds and yellows and it was swollen and throbbing. I walked over to the Aid Station where I was told that I had probably been hit by a 'spent'shell fragment but it had not broken the skin because the blow was cushioned by my heavy clothing. No treatment was necessary. "It will go away in a few days" No purple heart!

 

I had little time to think about it. My CO had another assignment. Engineers were building a pontoon bridge across the Rhine at Worms, which was 10 miles north, where the 30th Infantry was crossing. I was to get another jeep and lead 4 conventional Sherman tanks north to the new bridge, take them across the Rhine, and then lead them ten miles south through the enemy held east bank to join the 7th Inf bridgehead, all during the remaining hours of darkness. (A tank driver's visibility is very limited, especially at night, and they need to follow another vehicle, I was told.) I was still technically on leave in Paris, but I thought it wise not to bring it up again! One of my most vivid memories of that night is looking back at the 4 Shermans following my jeep across the steel treadway pontoon bridge. The 35 ton weight of each tank depressed the rubber pontoons beneath it and the well spaced tanks looked like they were floating on water!

 

I acomplished the mission by daylight and felt good about having helped to get armored support to the rifle companies which were meeting stiff resistance in the battle for Sandhofen on the east bank. J3rdinf was there with the 3rd Bn, 7th Inf. He told me recently, that the troops were overjoyed to see the 4 Shermans coming up behind them, and he wondered at the time how they had gotten across the river!

 

3_7_I_Recon

 

Posts: 1020 | Registered: Wed 28 February 2001

j3rdinf

Member

 

Posted Fri 16 July 2004 13:14 by j3rdinf in reply::

Yes Recon. Remember it well. We later heard about the fate of the "anphibious? tanks" but wondered

just where our tank support got to . We were catching hell without tank support. Was a great thing when finally the Shermans showed up. We sure

needed them badly to survive. Actually we could have used a lot more of them. It seemed like the

Krauts did not want us on that side of the Rhine

River to say the least. River crossings are always

just plain hell. You feel like a sitting duck in a

shooting gallery. Which is exactly what you are.

And once you get across it is even worse as things

are always "confused" to say the least until they

get a bit straightened out. I guess that is why we recieved that extra $10.00 per month in Combat

Infantry Badge pay. Good pic and post Russ..

 

If you wiish anymore of Russ's (3-7-1 Recon) posts let me know till he can do it himself..

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Good morning Joe and our latest member Russ. Boy this is just great having the two of you here from the 3rd Inf Div. Wonderful and can't wait to hear more! :D

 

Sorry you had trouble in the beginning Russ. The reason you couldn't get on right away was because of the way it is set up. Got your email and you mentioned the security system on the site. Yup, you are correct, it AIN'T easy getting on. So when someone initially signs up, it has to be approved by yours truly. Since I have company this week from out of town, my step-daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, I haven't spent much time on my email or the message board, so I didn't get the chance to authorize your registration until late yesterday. You will now be able to post your messages on this board. Just login with your User Name and password. If you have any problems just ask me. I'll be glad to help you out.

 

Must run for now. Have to go play with my granddaughter!

 

:wub:

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Hey guys. I may have missed a post somewhere, but did either of you serve with the 3rd Division in ITALY??

At the moment, I can't remember how far north the 3rd Division advanced in Italy. They moved out of Anzio and into Rome. I think they were deployed north of Rome but I'm not sure. I'll have to check my references. By 15 August, they were landing on the shores of southern France.

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Yes, they did leave after Anzio and Rome and the 3rd left with my dad and other units and went to southern France late summer of 1944.

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Russ and Joe:

 

Make sure you check out this post today:

 

http://208.56.11.96/Invision/index.php?showtopic=1140

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Custerman: While I joined the 3rd Inf Div in France, Russ (3-7-I Recon) joined the 3rd

Div. at Azio. Both of us as Inf. casualty replacements. The Division was made up primarily of casualty replacements. Very few "originals" left.

 

Marion: Would really like to see some of "Dennis's" photos of the 3rd Inf Div., and wonder if he ran across another 3rd Inf. Div combat cameraman, namely sgt. William

Heller from the 3r Signal. Hopefully Russ (3-7-I Recon) will be on soon, but he is

having health problems . Actually did not ever meet Recon, but somehow we got

together on the net (E mail) and found out we both served in many of the same battles

together and have been friends for years since, even though being in different outfits

in the 7th Inf Reg. He being a I&R platoon leader (Lt.) and me being a PFC company rifleman made no difference. We still go back and forth via E mail regularly .

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Joe:

 

I will contact Dennis right now and let him know. I'm sure he'd be more than happy to look into it and share what he knows. Let me know when you hear from him.

 

Interesting how you and Russ met. So many vets have made new friends or been reunited through the internet. It is a GREAT tool! :pdt34:

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Joe:

 

I sent you Dennis' email address yesterday. Let me know what transpires.

 

Thanks so much for sharing Russ' history. We look forward to hearing from him and from you.

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Berchtesgaden, the Berghof and the Eagles Nest.

 

As a "newbe", I have been reading some of the old posts on this site.

 

Both J3rdInf and I were at the Berghof on May 4, 1945. Rather than repeat the old news, let me tell you this! I was in 7th Inf Hq Co. at that time and was on the inside, so to speak. Our 3rd Div C.O., General Iron Mike O'Daniel, knew that the last prize of the War was in the French Army Zone of advance. But he ordered the 7th Infantry, 3rd Divisionn to send out strong patrols to take the only two bridges across the Saalach River and set up strong road blocks to let no one outside the 3rd Inf Div. to pass! The patrols were led by a couple of Lt. Colonels and included anti-tank guns.

 

When the French arrived at the bridges, they were denied passage, despite demands by General Le Clerc himself. After the 7th Infanty was firmly establishedatthe Berghof and the Eagles Nest, and held an American flag raising ceremony, the French allowed to cross the bridges. They looted the town of Berchtesgaden and tried to enter the Berghofarea but were not allowed entrance. A day or so later, the American 101st AB Division arrived and they too were not allowed in. Itwas part of their assigned post war occupation zone and they came in as we left for Salzburg, Austria.

 

I have several photos taken at the time, but I can't handle the frustration of trying to post them.

 

Russ Cloer - IstLt, 7th Inf, 3rd Inf. Div.

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Gee, Lieutenant, I wish there were something I could do to help you! There must be somebody in your neck of the woods who could sit with you for a spell and work with you. We have enjoyed looking at what you've posted so far!

 

Marilyn

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Hey Russ, if you want, you can send the photos to me as email attachments, and I'll be more than glad to post them for you. I frequently help out Papa Art and several others too. I understand your frustration.

 

;)

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