654th Tank Destroyer Battalion

Sgt. Frederick Easley (Click to enlarge)Unknown Soldier on 654th TD(Click to enlarrge)Sgt. McEachern and unknown soldiers(Click to enlarge)654th TDB entering Nancy, France(Click to enlarge)Sgt. Frederick Easley entering Nancy, France(Click to enlarge)Sgt. Frederick Easley, St Avold, France(Click to enlarge)

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Ocotober 10, 1944
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Command Post,
Amance, France.
Coord
102400 October, 1944.

The 134th Infantry and 3rd battalion, 137th Infantry attacked and mopped up in the town of Fossieux. Company "C" with 737th Tank Battalion attacked to the NW to blow bridges on approaches to the town. Operations halted at 092030 hours due to darkness and fog. One platoon Company "G" and one platoon of Company "F" remained in Arraye-et-Han. 1st battalion established contact with 80th Division on Hill 216, coord U9429.

The results of the days operations were: 134th and 137th Infantry continued action within Fossieux repelling several enemy counterattacks in the town itself, which was broken up by combined forces of artillery, infantry and tank destroyers. The remained of the division continued to hold, defend and improve their positions.

The 320th Infantry reported that the enemy is improving his defensive positions at the edge of woods at coord Q069275. Prisoners were captured from the Rcn Bn 17th SS Pz Division and from 119th Repl Bn (11th Pz Div) in our north sector. Prisoners stated that the 11th Pz Div was located at Dieze, and that only the 119th Repl Bn of that Div came to our sector. Also that one company of the Rcn Bn of the 17th SS Pz Div came south from the vicinity of Metz into our sector.

Patrols reported enemy movement in vicinity of Sallones. Enemy attempted to improve his defensive positions in our sector and is attempting to hold a pocket of resistance in the town of Fossieux.

Five rounds of heavy artillery, thought to be 280mm fell in the vicinity of St. Max, on the outskirts of Nancy during the night. Intermittent light artillery harassed all forward positions during the period. Four rounds of heavy artillery, 280mm fell in Brin during the night.

Two more of the 7 tanks reported in Fossieux were destroyed on 9 Oct. Enemy casualties 150 - 42 prisoners.

No change in battalion CP. A few rounds of heavy artillery, estimated to be 280mm fell around the CP during the night. The 240mm guns in position in the area answered immediately with counter battery fire.

One enemy plane was over the area during the night, in the rain, on reconnaissance.

There is a mild epidemic of common colds within the unit due to the weather being so wet, cold and miserable.

1st Lieut. Alexander Smith, Reconnaissance Company, while on reconnaissance missions in Company "A"s sector, ran into a heavy enemy artillery barrage. He hit the dirt and five rounds, one after another fell within 5 feet of him, but did not explode; all were duds. He became sick after it was over with and vomited. Who wouldn't?

The front is comparatively quiet again. Resistance in Fossieux died down to a great extent along the last part of the period.

The CP of Company "A" remained at Ecuelle during the period. Pvt lcl Page was admitted to hospital. One M10 was destroyed by direct enemy tank fire at coord 968292. The destroyer, commanded by Sergeant Easley, was in AT position at Fossieux when a AP shell fired from an enemy tank put a hole through the destroyer at 1130 hours. Corporal Chapoton, the gunner and Private Pollard, the assistant gunner were instantly killed, and as Sergeant Easley climbed over the turret to abandon the destroyer an enemy soldier killed him with a burp-gun. Sergeant McEachern in position 50 yards away opened upon the enemy who killed Sergeant Easley and killed him with his carbine. The bodies of both Chapoton and Pollard were completely destroyed by fire.

The 1st platoon in support of the 134th Infantry destroyed one enemy tank at 1100 hours and the 3rd platoon destroyed one at 0930 hours, both in Fossieux. One destroyer was destroyed on 9 Oct at coord 968288.

The 2nd platoon moved from coord 968247 to 965289 at 1830 hours on 9th Oct. The 1st platoon now in AT positions at coord 983273 and the 2nd at 966290. The destroyer lost on 9 Oct was due to enemy bazooka fire in the town, and it was burned, presumably by our infantry to keep it from falling into the hands of the enemy.

No change in Company "B". In support of 320th Infantry. Had no enemy contact. No change in Company "C". In support 320th Infantry. No enemy contact. At 1800 hours 20 enemy tanks pulled into the woods at coord 9930. Battalion alerted for armor attack at dawn.

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