143rd AAA Gun Battalion - Page 26
HEADQUARTERS 49th ANTIAIRCRAFT ARTILLERY BRIGADE
APO 758, U.S. Army
10 May 1945
- SUBJECT: Commendations of 143rd AAA Gun Battalion for Performance of Combat Duty in the Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and Central European Campaigns.
- TO: Lieutenant Colonel Myron T Fleming, Commanding Officer, 143rd AAA Gun Battalion APO 230, U.S. Army.
- 1. At the conclusion of our victorious campaign through Europe, I want to express my deep appreciation to you, and through you, to the officers and men of your seasoned Battalion, for the outstanding drive, tenacity of purpose, and aggressiveness with which the 143rd AAA Gun Battalion performed all combat missions in the Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and Central European Campaigns.
- 2. Narrative.
- a) The 143rd AAA Gun Battalion landed on the Utah Beach, Normandy, France, in August, 1944, and joined the Allied race through France, Belgium, and into Germany, moving progressively forward in the zone of action of the FIRST U.S. Army, successively and successfully defending IAZ's, airfields, defiles, ASP's and other vital installations.
- b) When the German Ardennes Counter-offensive was launched on 16th December 1944, the Battalion, which had been given the mission of destroying PAC over German territory, was enroute to the anti-Robomb Belt east of Monschau -- St. Vith, but was diverted to an anti-tank mission in the Houffalize -- Manhay -- Werbomont -- Stoumont -- La Gleize area, directly across the path of the 6th German Panzer Army seeking to reach the Meuse. Moving into positions under cover of darkness, the 90 mm guns of the 143rd AAA Gun Battalion, with practically no infantry support, brought to an abrupt halt the breakthrough aspirations of German Armored Force Commanders in the above area. The Battalion becoming, in effect, the front line until the arrival of the 82nd Airborne Division of the XVIII Airborne Corps from the rear, on 21 December 1944, when its guns became the rallying point, and later the line of departure for the attacking infantry of this Corps. Twelve German Royal Tiger M-VI tanks and their American uniformed crews were definitely destroyed by the 143rd AAA Gun Battalion in the vicinity of Stoumont Station and Stoumont alone, (no prisoners were taken) while many other tanks, armored cars, assault guns, and motor vehicles which gave evidence of being hit by 90 mm fire were later found in the La Gleize Pocket.
- c) Attached to the 30th Infantry Division of the XVIII Corps on 23 December 1944 in the anti-tank mission, the 143rd AAA Gun Battalion, leap frogged ahead under cover of the thick fog prevailing during this period, seeking out and destroying German Tiger Royal Tanks,