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by bazooka teams stalking successfully under cover of the fog.


When the fog lifted about 0830, three German tanks rolled right along the foxhole line firing their machine guns while the German infantry rushed forward. Lt. Stephen P. Truppner of Company A radioed that his company had been overrun and asked for artillery to fire on his own position. For thirty minutes an American battalion shelled this area. Only twelve men escaped. Company K, which had been attached to the battalion the day before, likewise was engulfed. Capt. Jack J. Garvey, sending a last message from the cellar of the house which was his command post, refused to leave because he could not get his company out. Ten men and one officer escaped. On the left Companies B and C were able to hold their ground; a few from Company B broke and ran but were sent back by the battalion commander.


The German wave carried tanks and infantry inside Rocherath, the fight eddying from house to house, wall to wall, along streets and down narrow alleys. Tanks fought tanks; men were captured, then captured again. Meanwhile, Colonel Boos did what he could to form some defense behind what was left of the 1st Battalion of the 9th. [5] He radioed Colonel McKinley that as soon as the 2d Battalion of the 38th could swing into position, a matter of an hour or more, the 1st Battalion should withdraw. With his remaining two companies transfixed by direct tank fire and surrounded by German infantry, McKinley replied that no withdrawal was possible unless friendly tanks or tank destroyers arrived. "Miraculously, " as the 1st Battalion later reported, a platoon of Sherman tanks came into view. This was a part of A company, 741st Tank Battalion, which had been patrolling the Wahlerscheid road. When the platoon commander was asked if he wanted to do some fighting the reply was profanely affirmative. First the tanks joined the infantry in a counterattack to reach the positions which had been held by Companies A and K. Two of the three German tanks which had been harassing the battalion were destroyed by the Shermans, but no contact was made with the lost companies. A second counterattack by the tank platoon covered the 1st Battalion withdrawal, but the last riflemen out had the Germans yelling at their heels.


The shattered battalion withdrew through the 2d Battalion of the 38th, fell back to Rocherath, and then marched to Krinkelt, where it billeted in a deserted hotel. Approximately 240 officers and men were left of the original battalion and its attached units. In addition to the nearly total loss of Companies A and K, all of the Company M machine gunners attached to the 1st Battalion were missing in action. Of the group that had been rushed in the previous evening from Headquarters Company, 3d Battalion, only thirteen were left. It seems probable that the entire 989th Regiment had been employed in wresting the road to Rocherath from the stubborn 1st Battalion; the fight had gone on for nearly six hours and had given the 38th Infantry time to regroup to meet the enemy drive. Colonel Boos


[5] Here Sgt. James L. Bayliss manned his machine gun to cover his men although he had been under fire by a German tank. Finally he was killed by a tank-gun round. Bayliss was awarded the DSC.