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Allied fighter-bombers shattered the village, and Karsteter finished the job with his tanks. Task Force Collins was delayed on the 8th by a formidable ground haze which lingered around Sibret all morning. Halfway to its next objective, the crossroads at Chenogne north of Sibret, the American column came under enfilading fire from a small wood lot close to the road. The tank company turned to deal with this menace and finally suppressed the German fire, but light was fading and the column laagered where it was.


In the meantime General Kokott had gathered a counterattack force, a company of the division Pioneers, to retake Sibret. While at breakfast on the 29th eating K rations on the tank decks and in foxholes beside the road, Collins' troops suddenly saw a body of men march out of the nearby woods. An American captain shouted out and the leading figure replied, "Good morning"-in German. The Americans cut loose with every weapon, to such effect that some fifty dead Germans were counted, lying in column formation as they had fallen. Late in the day, however, the fortunes of war turned against the Americans. Collins' tanks had moved through the village square in Chenogne and were approaching a road junction when high velocity shells knocked out the two lead tanks. Then, in a sharp exchange of shots, the enemy gunners accounted for two more of the Shermans, and the Americans withdrew. They could not discover the exact enemy locations in the twilight but were sure they were facing tanks. That night, the VIII Corps artillery reported, it "blew Chenogne apart."


While Task Force Collins was engaged on the road to Chenogne, Task Force Karsteter also was moving north, its objective Senonchamps, the scene of hard fighting in previous days and a sally port onto the main road running west from Bastogne to Marche. Here Task Force Karsteter was unwittingly threatening the assembly area of the Fuehrer Begleit which lay in the woods north of the highway, none too securely screened by remnants of the 3d Battalion of the 104th Panzer Grenadier around Chenogne. Remer's brigade already had taken some share in the action against CCA and one of his 105-mm. flak pieces was responsible for holding up Task Force Collins in the fight at the roadside woods, continuing in action until it was rammed by a Sherman tank.


Not far out of Villeroux, Task Force Karsteter came under hot and heavy fire from the Bois de Fragotte, lying over to the northwest. What the Americans had run into was the main body of the 3d Panzer Grenadier Division. Losses among the armored infantry were very high, and that night a liaison officer reported that the task force front was "disorganized." Four of Karsteter's tanks ran the gauntlet of fire from the woods and entered Senonchamps, but the infantry failed to follow. The cumulative losses sustained by CCA in the three-day operation had been severe and it was down to a company and a half of infantry, although 21 medium and 17 light tanks still were operable. [11]


[11] During this battle Sgt. T. J. Dawson, Company C. 19th Tank Battalion, was killed by a direct artillery hit while attempting to rescue the crew members from his burning tank. He was awarded the DSC posthumously.