Rocherath the battalion column came to a crossroads which had been picked as a profitable target for the enemy artillery and Werfers. Company A at the head of the column passed safely, but the rest came into a gantlet of the most severe shelling the veteran battalion ever had encountered. Company C, third in the serial, suffered most and became badly disorganized. German tanks were near the crossroads and might have cut into the American infantry had not T/4 Truman Kimbro placed mines across the eastern entry. Kimbro was killed, after having been hit innumerable times. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.
The leading company, now alone, entered Rocherath at dusk but found no guides and marched on through the next village until met by bullet fire. Twice the company doubled back on its trail until finally found by the battalion executive and directed to the proper position. Company B arriving about 2130, moved in on the left of Company A but was still on the surface (not having had time to entrench) when German tanks and infantry struck from the northeast at Krinkelt. Company A, well dug in and with all its weapons emplaced, let the tanks roll past and then took on the infantry. Its neighbor, Company B, exposed and without its supporting weapons, was riddled, only one platoon managing to escape. The Company B survivors, joined by what was left of Company C, fell back to the regimental command post in Rocherath and joined the antitank company in the street fight raging there.
Back at Krinkelt three German tanks with infantry clinging to their decks got into the eastern streets: with this foothold won more Germans appeared as the night went on. The fight for Krinkelt surged back and forth, building to building, hedgerow to hedgerow. Men on both sides were captured and recaptured as the tide of battle turned. A German attempt to seize the heavy-walled church on the northern edge of the village was beaten off by the reconnaissance company of the 644th Tank Destroyer Battalion, which had lost a platoon at Bullingen during the morning. The communications officer of the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry, 1st Lt. Jesse Morrow, knocked out a tank with only a rifle grenade. (Morrow later was awarded the DSC.) The situation in Krinkelt was further confused by retreating troops from the 99th Division, intermixed as they were with the infiltrating enemy. One German, using a captured American to give the password, got past two outposts, but a sentry finally killed both men. At midnight a column of 99th Infantry vehicles started pouring through the town and continued the rest of the night.
At Rocherath, the Germans who had so boldly entered the village earlier in the evening destroyed three American tanks as these inched their way out of the village to help Company K of the 38th Infantry. Here too the fight was bitter and confused. At one time a battalion commander of the 38th was reported to have men from sixteen different companies fighting under his command. By midnight, however, the enemy tanks behind the American lines had been accounted for and the German infantrymen captured or killed.
When the wild night of fighting drew to a close, the Americans still were in control of the two villages and the near sector of the Wahlerscheid withdrawal