143rd AAA Gun Battalion - Page 19
A mortar shell landed in a U.S. halftrack which was parked in the vicinity, setting off its ammunition and the 90mm ammunition of Gun 2. This destroyed ,the gun which had to be abandoned in the face of the enemy advance. The gun crew took their places as infantry together with the crew from Gun 4.
During this time, in answer to a request for volunteers by an infantry officer, Pfc's Darago and Seaman volunteered to attack two German Mark VI tanks with bazookas, which they had never fired previous to this time.
After crawling behind the building where the tanks were parked each man fired his one round into the rear radiator, setting the tanks afire.
Retiring around the building, the men were given another round of ammunition apiece and crept forward again to make sure of their kill.
For this heroic action, these two men were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
During this engagement, the medical detachment of the battalion can pride itself on knowing that all of its personnel conducted themselves in the tradition of the medical corps.
On several occasions the medics aided not only their own batteries but also infantry men near by. All of them gave untiring attention to the men assigned to their care.
Now the full pressure of this German armored column became apparent as the enemy pushed on to Stoumont Station close on the heels of the retiring American tank and infantry units.
There was a heavy fog that morning and the reactions and sensations of the boys from Charlie were mixed as they saw our troops retiring, realizing that they were to stand in place in front of this armored thrust.
The last American tank to leave made a temporary road block by pulling a "daisy chain" of mines across the road.
The explosion of these mines did not stop the tiger tank but it did warn us that shortly out of the fog would come the spearhead of the German advance.
At the first appearance of the dim shape of the tiger tank at approximately 400 yards, we opened fire and destroyed this tank with seven rounds.
A second tank following closely on the heels of the first attempted to pass the disabled Mark VI but as it did so, Gun 1 opened fire again and destroyed this second tank in such a fortunate position as to form a road block for the armored vehicles which followed.