Seabees enter Germany - May 1945
#1

Sent to me by John R. Thanks!

 

===========================

 

SEABEES NEWS SERVICE MAY, 1945...

 

C.B.M.U PLAYED ROLE DURING THE LAST ACT OF THE BATTLE OF GERMANY. MAINTENANCE UNIT 629 SPLIT INTO FOUR DETACHMENTS, WAS WITH THE ALLIED ARMIES IN THE SMASH INTO GERMANY AND THE LOW COUNTRIES. THESE SEABEES HAD AN IMPORTANT PART IN THE CROSSING OF THE RHINE, INCLUDING THE SURGE INTO THE RAMAGEN BRIDGEHEAD. ...

 

ONE DETACHMENT WAS IN THE THICK OF THE BATTLE AT AACHEN. THE SEABEES WERE IN THE CITY AT THE HEIGHT OF THE GERMAN WINTER COUNTER-OFFENSIVE.

 

THREE OF THE FOUR DETACHMENTS ASSIGNED TO THE RHINE OPERATION LEFT LE HAVRE, FRANCE, LAST NOVEMBER. THE FOURTH TOOK OFF FROM ORLY AIRFIELD, NEAR PARIS, ON MARCH 6, 1945.

 

DETACHMENT ONE MOVED THROUGH BELGIUM AND EVENTUALLY JOINED OTHER SMALL BOAT UNITS ATTACHED TO THE FIRST ARMY AT AACHEN. THEY WERE THE FIRST SEABEES TO ENTER GERMANY.

 

WHEN THE GERMANS BROKE THROUGH LAST CHRISTMAS, THE SEABEES OPERATED UNDER ARMY COMMAND, AS HEAVY EQUIPMENT OPERATORS AND DRIVERS, AND MOVED STORAGE DUMPS TO SAFETY. THEY WERE AMONG THE LAST PERSONNEL TO EVACUATE AACHEN. MAKING THEIR WITHDRAWL UNDER FIRE.

 

THE UNIT WENT FORWARD TO THE RHINE AT REMAGEN ON 14 MARCH AND STARTED WORK ON PONTOON BARGES. ENEMY REACTION WAS FIERCE AND INCLUDED ATTACKS BY THE NEW JET PLANES. WORKING WITHOUT REST, IT COMPLETED ONE BARGE IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS AND A SECOND A DAY LATER. AT THIS TIME THE LUDENDORF BRIDGE COLLAPSED AND THE SEABEES WERE CALLED OFF THE PONTOON ASSIGNMENT TO AWAIT FURTHER ORDERS.

 

DETACHMENT TWO ARRIVED AT NANCY, FRANCE CAUSING SOME M.P.s TO TO WONDER WHAT THE NAVY WAS DOING 400 MILES FROM THE COAST. THE DETACHMENT WAS SHIFTED TO TOULE, FRANCE AND WITH ARMY ENGINEERS BUILT A PILE DRIVER BARGE FOR USE ON THE MOSELLE RIVER. THE BARGE IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN THE FIRST SUCH NAVY PONTOON UNIT COMPLETED IN INLAND FRANCE.

 

THE MEUSE RIVER WAS THE FIRST DESTINATION OF DETACHMENT THREE, ATTACHED TO THE THIRD ARMY.THREE MEN ASSEMBLED ARMY SEA MULES AND DEMONSTRATED THEIR OPERATION FOR THE ARMY. THE DETACHMENT MADE PROCUREMENT TRIPS INTO GERMANY TO SEARCH FOR TOOLS, SUPPLIES AND COAL. THESE TRIPS RESULTED IN THE SEABEES BEING AMONG THE FIRST TO CROSS THE SIGFRIED LINE.

 

THE DETACHMENT ASSISTED IN THE RHINE CROSSING AT WESEL. "OPERATIONS ON THE RHINE" THEIR REPORT STATED, WERE CARRIED OUT DURING THE DAY AND AT NIGHT BY FLOOD LIGHTS, AT TIMES UNDER ENEMY FIRE.

 

AFTER PRELIMINARY WORK AT WANDRE, BELGIUM, DETACHMENT FOUR FOUND ITSELF PART OF THE FACULTY OF THE RIVER RAT FINISHING SCHOOL. AN ARMY SCHOOL FOR PERSONNEL EARMARKED FOR BARGE AND SMALL BOAT ASSEMBLY AND OPERATION. PRACTICE WAS HELD ON THE MEUSE RIVER. THE DETACHMENT FOUR SEABEES LATER MOVED TO KREFELD, GERMANY WHERE THEY JOINED AN ARMY ENGINEER GROUP. BOTH OUTFITS WORKED ON A BRIDGE SITE NEAR WESEL. THE SEABEES ALSO AIDED IN THE PONTOON WORK AND UNDERTOOK THE LAUNCHING OF SEA MULES FOR THE ARMY...

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#2

MARION - HERE IS ANOTHER SHORT STORY.

REGARDS,

JOHN

ROOSEVELT RHINE RIVER BRIDGE - WAS BUILT WITH THE HELP OF THE SEABEES AND WON CBMU 629 AN ARMY COMMENDATION. MY SINCERE THANKS AND APPRECIATION, WROTE COL. JAMES A. MCCARTHY, COMMANDING OFFICER OF AN ENGINEER COMBAT GROUP. FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE FIXED TIMBER TRESTLE BRIDGE ACROSS THE RHINE RIVER AT WESEL. RHEIN GERMANY.....THE EFFORTS PUT FORTH BY YOUR PERSONNEL ENABLED THE WHOLE CONSTRUCTION TEAM TO COMPLETE THE 4,257 FOOT LONG PROJECT IN RECORD TIME AND REFLECTS CREDIT UPON THEMSELVES AND YOUR ENTIRE ORGANIZATION.

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Reply


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