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about that time ambulances evacuating wounded from Longvilly were checked by bullet fire. [3] Thus far the Panzer Lehr advance guard had run into no serious trouble, but a friendly civilian reported that American tanks had gone through Mageret earlier, en route to Longvilly. [4] These tanks belonged to Team Cherry from CCB of the 10th Armored Division.


Team Cherry on the Longvilly Road


On the evening of 18 December Team Cherry moved out of Bastogne on the road to Longvilly. [5] Since he had the leading team in the CCB, 10th Armored, column, Cherry had been assigned this mission by Colonel Roberts because of the immediate and obvious enemy threat to the east. Cherry had Company A and two light tank platoons of his own 3d Tank Battalion, Company C of the 20th Armored Infantry Battalion, the 2d Platoon of Company D, 90th Cavalry Reconnaissance, and a few medics and armored engineers. His headquarters and headquarters company was established in Neffe, just east of Bastogne; his trains, fortunately as it turned out, remained in Bastogne. The VIII Corps commander had designated Longvilly as one of the three positions which CCB was to hold at all costs. Cherry knew that CCR, 9th Armored Division, was supposed to be around Longvilly, but beyond that he was totally in the dark. Even the maps at hand were nearly useless. The 1:100,000 sheets were accurate enough for a road march but told little of the terrain where the team would deploy.


About 1900, after an uneventful move, 1st Lt. Edward P. Hyduke, commanding the advance guard, reached the western edge of Longvilly. Seeing that the village was jammed with vehicles, he halted on the road. An hour later Cherry and his S-3 arrived at the headquarters of CCR where they learned that the situation was "vague." CCR had no plans except to carry out the "hold at all costs" order, and at the moment its southern roadblock had not yet been overrun. Cherry went back to Bastogne to tell the CCB commander, 10th Armored Division, how things were going, leaving orders for the advance guard to scout and establish a position just west of Longvilly while the main force (Capt. William F. Ryerson) closed up along the road with its head about a thousand yards west of the town. Hyduke's reconnaissance in the meantime had convinced him that the main gap in the defenses around Longvilly was in the south, and there he stationed the cavalry platoon, four Sherman tanks, and seven light tanks.


Just before midnight Lieutenant Hyduke learned that CCR intended to fall back toward Bastogne (although, in fact,


[3] Sgt. M. N. Shay was awarded the DSC for organizing a group of soldiers to man machine guns and defend the village. When the defenders attempted to break out, Sergeant Shay stayed behind to cover the withdrawal and there was killed.


[4] The German sources for the Longvilly fight are MSS # A-939 (Luettwitz); A-942 (Bayerlein); and B-040 (Kokott).


[5] The useful records of the early and confused American reaction east of Bastogne are for the most part those compiled in the combat interviews, shortly after the event, with personnel of the 9th and 10th Armored Divisions. The journals of the 2d Tank Battalion, for example, were destroyed. Most units lost their records and then attempted to compile an AAR from memory. The interviews mentioned above have served as the basis for the description of the Longvilly action in three publications: The Armored School, Armor at Bastogne (1949); Marshall, Bastogne: The Story of the First Eight Days; and Nichols, Impact: The Battle Story of the Tenth Armored Division.