around the battalion command post where bullet and mortar fire made the streets "a living inferno," the surrounded garrison made ready for a break. Enough vehicles had escaped damage to mount the battalion headquarters and Company M. The rest of the force formed for march on foot.
At 1800 the two groups made a concerted dash from the town, firing wildly as they went and hurling smoke grenades, which masked them, momentarily, from a German tank lurking nearby. Sgt. J. W. Waldron manned a machine gun as a line rear guard, was wounded, but rejoined his company.
(He received the DSC.) The vehicular column headed west for Givet, and it is indicative of the widely dispersed and fragmented nature of the German forces on this day that the American column reached the Meuse without being ambushed. The foot column, led by Lt. Leonard R. Carpenter, started north with the idea of reaching the outposts of the 3d Armored task force known to be thereabouts, but here the spoor of the enemy was very strong and movement was slow. During the night some trucks were sent east from Givet and found parts of Companies I and K; two officers and thirty-three men belonging to Company I were picked up in an exhausted state by 2d Armored patrols and brought back to the American lines.
The defense of Rochefort had not been too costly: fifteen wounded men, under the care of a volunteer medic,