DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY HEADQUARTERS, 1ST BATTALION, 22ND INFANTRY REGIMENT,4TH INFANTRY DIVISION
21 November 1944
SUBJECT: Combat Operation After Action Report (U)
TO: See Distribution
1.(U) Name of Operation: Operation Queen (Toward to Vossenack. Phase II.)
2. (U) Date of Operation: 191200 to 201500 November 1944.
3. (U) Location: Hurtgen Forrest (AT 500 200), Vossenack-Hurtgen district, Germany; Map references: Map Scale 1:50,000, Series L7014, Sheets 6739 I, 6739 IV.
4. (C) Control and Command Headquarters: HEADQUARTERS, 1ST BATTALION, 22ND INFANTRY REGIMENT, 4TH INFANTRY DIVISION
5. (U) Reporting Officers: CO of Able Company, 1/22nd Inf.
6. (C) Organization:a. 1st Platoon, Co A, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry (4th ID)
7. (C) Supporting Forces:a. 20th Field Artillery Battalion – provided suppressive fires to destroy the enemy and relieve enemy pressure in Hurtgen Forrest. b. 4th ID recon – provided reconnaissance missions in the Hurtgen Forrest.
8. (C) General:
a. In second phase of Operation Queen U.S. 4th Division was to clear the northern half of the forest between Schevenhuette and Huertgen, capture Huertgen and advance to the Rur south of Dueren. The VII (U.S.) Corps, 1st Army attacked 16 November 1944 with 1st Inf Div, 4th Inf Div, 104th Inf Div, and CCR 5th AD to clear Huertgen Forest and the path of 1st Army to the Rur River. After heavy fighting, primarily by the 4th Infantry Division, VII Corps’ attack ground to a halt.
9. (C) Intelligence:
(1) The weather conditions during the period of 17 to 20 November 1944 were: generally cloudy skies with little rain, middle humidity and even temperatures averaging 41F maximum and 31F minimum.
(2) Effects on enemy operations: Periods of reduced visibility favored undetected movement by enemy units.
(3) Effects on our operations: Periods of reduced visibility which made it difficult to locate and identify enemy targets negated the employment of 105mm Artillery during all the operation.
b. Terrain: The terrain in the area of operations is generally flat and contains pine tree forrest, open fields and several streams formed by Rur River. Open fields are covered with some bushes.
c. Enemy:(1) Numerous intelligence reports indicated that the enemy had improved his strength with fresh arrived 272nd Volksgrenadier Division and increased his activities at bunker line in Hurtgen Forrest, especially at bunkers # 554 (AT 489 242), # 555 (AT 500 223) and # 562 (AT 540 240).
10. (C) Missions:
a. Provide security for and defend the bridge over the river and prevent or defend against attacks from Hurtgen Forrest toward that bridge.
b. Provide reconnaissance missions in Hurtgen Forrest near bunkers # 554 (AT 489 242) and # 555 (AT 500 223).
c. Provide security for and defend detachment location near destroyed bunker # 556 (AT 505 202) against enemy attack.d. Search-and-destroy enemy radio bunker # 562 (AT 540 240).
11. (C) Execution:
November 17, 1944
1300 Able Company ordered to assault entrenched by the enemy Hill 102 at AT 460 230. Heavy friendly artillery barrage destroyed one bunker. First wave of attack resulted in 11 US KIA, 1 US MIA enemy KIA more than 25.
1400 Second wave of attack on the right flank of the enemy positions. US KIA 7, enemy KIA unknown, Able Co. withdrew for regrouping and resupply to the Battalion area.
1500 Reinforced Co. stormed the hill and suppressed enemy resistance, 3 enemy POW, no US casualties.
1530 Orders received to hold the positions. Short rest.
1600 Able Co. ordered to demine the main road. 3rd squad sent for this mission.
1635 3rd squad caught in heavy enemy machine-gun and sniper fire. 5 US KIA.
1645 1st squad pushed for rescue of the demining team. No KIA, bodies recovered.
1730 1st Platoon entrenches on the ridge of the Hill 102
2000 Rations detail sent
2210 Enemy attack on the positions. 2 US KIA, unknown enemy casualties.
2230 Counter attack lead by SGT Harp forces enemy to retreat.
November 20, 1944
0800 Able Co. starts the push to the forest ridge, heavily fortified and entrenched.
1000 Enemy positions secured, over 50 enemy POWs
By 1200 hrs Detachment from Able Co., 1/22nd Inf. under the command of Sgt. Pascual were delivered to check point Kilo at AT 520 200.Report signed by Pascual, Flaco, Sgt. Infantry, Commander-in-charge.
In 1100 detachment moved to AT 505 202 to find a place near destroyed bunker # 556 to establish temporary field camp.
1130 – 1200 Detachment provided security and defend mission of the bridge over the river. Enemy activity was spotted at AT 480 213. The next few mintues detachment started to receive small arms fire from several enemy locations around the bridge. Detachment returned automatic fire and used some frags. By 1215 hrs, firing stopped resulting in 5 US KHA.
By 1230 detachment received the order to clear the bridge of mines and secure it for the TDs passing. 5 land anitank german mines were found and destroyed. The road and bridge was cleared and secured.
In 1330 detachment left the area moving back to its field camp.
In 1500 detachment received the order to provide reconnaissance mission in Hurtgen Forrest near bunker # 555 (AT 500 223). Pfc. Olson was left to guard the camp. On 1615 detachment at AT 509 221 came under heavy mortar and incoming automatic weapons fire only 50 m. to their front. They identified four different enemy locations near the bunker # 555 (AT 500 223). Several enemy hand grenades that exploded near and inside the position of the detachment as well as heavy small arms fire killed 4 soldiers. The detachment retreated to regroup. Within a few hours detachment tried to counterattack enemy positions without success. By 1800 hrs, firing stopped resulting in 6 US KHA.
In 1900 detachment provided reconnaissance mission near bunker # 554 (AT 489 242). On 1945 detachment at AT 502 223 started to receive incoming automatic weapons fire 100 m. to their front. They identified several different enemy locations near and inside the bunker # 554. Using hand grenades and heavy small arms fire the detahcment was able to attack bunker and kill the garrison including german officer (papers were sent to HQ). Sgt. Flaco established defense perimeter. A few hours later detachment was released from this area of operation.
November 21, 1944
On the morning at 0740 hrs detachment [under the operational control of HQ 1-22] was given the mission to find and destroy enemy radio bunker (bunker # 562 AT 540 240). Around 1100 detachment was heavily engaged in fire with enemy. Within a couple of hours radio bunker was destroyed but enemy was able to relocate the communication center to unknow location. 8 US KHA.
Because US Forces were released from the bunker # 554 area enemy had time to prepare counterattack to that bunker that’s why the detachment received the order to move back to the bunker and establish defense perimeter and defend bunker # 554.
At 1200 enemy counterattacked the bunker using heavy mortar and automatic fire as well as hand grenades. With 7 KHA detachment had to retreat to bridge left the bunker # 554 to enemy.
Taking heavy casualties during defending the bridge detachment was released by Bravo Company.
SSG B.C. O’Flannigan