143rd AAA Gun Battalion - Page 28
HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH ANTIAIRCRAFT ARTILLERY GROUP
APO 758, U. S. Army
23 August 1945.
- SUBJECT: Commendations of Performance During Ardennes Offensive.
- TO: Commanding Officer, 143 AAA Gun Battalion.
- 1. During the period 18 December 1944 to 3 January 1945 the 143rd AAA Gun Battalion was attached to the XVIII Corps (AB) and subsequently attached to this Group Headquarters and the 30th Infantry Division pro- marily in an antimechanized role initially and later in an AA Role. This battalion performed in a superior manner during this period and I deem it fitting that I, the Corps AA Officer at that time, should take the initiative and express the praise for this unit that was felt throughtout the Head- quarters of the XVIII Corps (AB) and the 30th Infantry Division.
- 2. As Shown by the battalion's official records the 143rd stopped the enemy's armored spearhead that was thrusting North toward LIEGE in the vicinity of STOUMONT and STOUMONT STATION on 19 December 1944. It was during this action that the 143rd fought their guns with practically no infantry support, knocked out six (6) Tiger tanks and two (2) M-4 tanks with their 90 mm guns, and bazookas borrowed from what withdrawing infantry troops there were in the vicinity. When on 21 December 1944 the battalion was attached to the 30th Infantry Division for an AT and TD mission, the same superb performance of duty prevailed and again the 143rd proved their fearlessness and was the victor over three (3) Mark VI Tiger tanks and one (1) M-4 Sherman being operated by the enemy, in the vicinity of La Gleize.
- 3. While the 143rd was given practically no opportunity to prove their efficiency in an AA role while attached to this headquarters, they did hang up an outstanding record as tank destroyers and as infantry. I cannot praise this battalion too highly for their courageous and inspiring actions at a time in the initial phases of the ARDENNES offensive when the courage to stand and fight one's guns was almost a supreme sacrifice in itself. This battalion definitely stopped the enemy spearhead headed for LIEGE and I salute every man in that battalion for their superb performance during this period.
Signed: HARRY P NEWTON, Colonel, CAC, Commanding