143rd AAA Gun Battalion - Page 14
Little wonder that we cheered when the order came for us to move into the comparative comfort of three badly battered buildings in Cherbourg. But even Cherbourg itself was a sea of mud from the constant traffic of vehicles to and from the beaches."
"The 2- 1/2 s' operated on a twelve hour schedule. A lot of the work involved clearing the port of mountains of supplies that were landed daily. This port clearance work meant only short runs from the docks to supply dumps a few miles inland."
"Each time I crawled behind the wheel of my truck I would think- I'm boss. I am the guy that runs this truck. I'm responsible for the cargo I carry, and I must get through; for the men on the line need my supplies. Yes, it's important work and I am glad I am one of, the guys doing it."
"Red Ball was rough because of the long hours, long hauls and the traffic jams of Cherbourg. But the food was good and there was plenty of it. Our free time wasn't too exciting; just a Red Cross and a couple of movies, and they were always crowded with GJ's."
"When the supply emergency was over and it was time to return to the battalion, we knew that we had done a good job. Our accident rate was one of the lowest among all of the Red Ball companies. We had always gotten through with the supplies.
Our mechanics repaired trucks and maintained them even though there was mud, rain, and a severe shortage of spare parts' and tools. We received a superior. rating from the Big Shot and every one regretted, to some extent the end of our participation in Red Ball."
While the Battalion Headquarters was at Asniers in July, Lt. Col. Jack D Hunnicut, our Commanding Officer, was transferred to the Army Engineers Corps as Commanding Officer of the 2nd Engineers Battalion of the 364 Engineers Regiment. It was stationed somewhere near Aaachen, within a stones throw of the enemy lines, and in the midst of the American drive to break through the vaunted Siegfried Line.
We all remember our Col., he was with us from our activation. His many considerations of our troubles and his kindness made it difficult to see him Ieave. He went into a life of action and difficult problems. Because of his dynamic energy, we know he is happier there.
There was to be one more, move while in Paris proper and on November 8th, we received march order for all units of the battalion. Battery A moved to Exposition Park, Porte de Versaille, and, occupied a former German AA position with a mass of German ammunition and some 88 s still in firing position.
Baker Battery moved from Porte de Clichy area to the racetrack at St. Cloude in the middle of rain and more mud. Everybody in Baker Battery felt they were leaving home and so they sent back for their friends in Porte de Clichy for their first dance at the new position.
Charlie Battery caught a rugged deal and moved into an open field South of Versaille. Here we got our first taste of continental mud and living in the open with a minimum of cover. However, we all worked and in several days were comfortable again.
D Battery moved to Los Loges Nen Josas in Versaille amidst more mud.