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HEADQUARTERS, 508TH PARACHUTE INFANTRY
APO #230, U. S. ARMY

7 December 1944

57 DAYS IN HOLLAND AND GERMANY
WITH THE
508TH PARACHUTE INFANTRY
_________________________________
 

PART II - 24 September to 5 October 1944.

The regiment remained in Division reserve until 29 September. At 1850 hours 28 September 3rd Battalion was placed under Division control as Division reserve. At 0110 hours 29 September the 2nd Battalion relieved the 3rd Battalion, 504 Parachute Infantry, on the MLR in the VOXHIL area. At the same time the 1st Battalion went into position on the RRL in the rear of the 2nd Battalion.

On the night of 29 September the 2nd Bn sent two combat patrols to DEN HEUVEL and the woods southeast of there. The patrol on the south reached its objective after some fighting. In DEN HEUVEL, a violent small scale battle was fought. The patrol penetrated DEN HEUVEL some two hundred yards, fighting from hole to hole. Enemy in the woods were deeply entrenched with overhead cover. As the patrol advanced each dugout had to be cleared out individually. Eight German machine guns and a 20mm flak wagon brought fire on the patrol. The patrols returned with four prisoners. While the patrols were keeping the enemy occupied along the front, attached Engineers from Company D, 307th Engineer Battalion, laid a mine field across the front of the VOXHIL position.

On the following day the enemy began intensive shelling of our forward, reserve and regimental command post areas. Light, medium, and heavy artillery were employed. At midnight 1 October the enemy culminated an extremely heavy barrage with an infantry attack supported by armor. The rear area barrages were extremely effective in cutting all wire communication between battalions, regiment, and division.

At 0005 hour D and E Companies were attacked by enemy estimated at a battalion of Panzer Grenadiers supported by tanks, engineers, assault guns and artillery. The weight of the attack drove the right platoon of Company E back seven hundred yards. F Company counterattacked from its reserve position at 0400 hour and restored the original position at 0430 hours. Company D destroyed a Panther Tank with bazooka fire at 20 yards. The attack cost the 2nd Battalion 9 men killed and 38 men wounded. Twenty prisoners were captured. At dawn it was discovered that the 2nd Battalion had destroyed one Panther Tank, three half tracked personnel carriers and two self propelled assault guns during the night.

On the night of 3-4 October demolition personnel, led by 1st Lt. Donald W. Hardwick, set fire to the abandoned and partially damaged enemy vehicles.

Subsequently the enemy confined his activities to sniper and harassing artillery action until the night of 5-6 October at which time the regiment was relieved in this sector by the 325 Glider Infantry Regiment.

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