Page 217

Regiment took advantage of the wide gap between the two strongpoints manned by Companies E and F of the 109th, its leading battalion marching without a fight to Walsdorf, an unoccupied village about two miles from the river. This move particularly threatened Company F, which was on the ridge road three miles north of Bastendorf (the 2d Battalion command post), and which represented the northern linchpin of the regiment. At 1000 Company G came up from reserve at Brandenburg and was put on the right of Company F.

For some reason the German force at Walsdorf did not press its advantage. The forward units of the 15Th Regiment were out of contact with the rest of the 5th Parachute Division, and the regimental commander had difficulty in holding his outfit together. At dusk, however, a second German battalion had arrived at Walsdorf and was committed to the southwest in a drive toward Brandenburg, slipping through a wooded depression between Companies F and G. Colonel Rudder dispatched Company C from the reserve battalion at Diekirch to check this penetration. But the company reached Brandenburg shortly before midnight without encountering the Germans.

The 15Th Regiment drive through Walsdorf marked the most extensive penetration of the 109th Infantry positions on this first day. Farther south battle had been joined in bitter but inconclusive fighting. Company E, in Fuhren, was bypassed by the German first thrust to Walsdorf. This crossroads village lay athwart the main road leading west from the Roth bridgehead and furnished observation for the American batteries firing on the crossing site. About 1100, detachments from the 15Th Regiment in the north turned and brought Fuhren under small arms fire. Radio communication with the menaced company was lost three hours later, but direct assault failed to dislodge the Americans.

Company E was further isolated by the interposition of the 915th Regiment between Fuhren and the 3d Battalion. The 915th had crossed the Our near Bettel and moved swiftly and unopposed up the draws through the 2,000-yard gap between Rudder's 2d and 3d Battalions. Shortly after 1000 the German advance guard was firing its burp guns into Battery A, 108th Field Artillery, east of Diekirch. An hour or so before, the American gunners had seen figures moving through the fog but mistook them for Americans. By noon the 915th Regiment held Longsdorf and Tandel, the latter two miles from the Our, and had patrols to the south only two thousand yards from the main supply road linking Diekirch and Bettendorf on which the 3d Battalion, deployed facing the Our, depended.

Colonel Rudder called on the meager armored reserve allotted him by Cota (the 1st Platoon of Company C, 707th Tank Battalion), sending it north from Diekirch about 1300 to check the 915th thrust. With the tanks went Company A, shortly followed by Company B, the last of the reserve battalion. The fight through the afternoon was hard and the Americans made little progress, but shortly before nightfall the counterattack forged ahead; Company A and the medium tanks came to the edge of Longsdorf and Company B occupied the high ground between that village and Tandel. [3]

[3] During the advance by Company A, 2d Lt. Samuel Leo silenced two enemy machine guns with grenades and killed five Germans with his rifle. He was given the DSC. On this day Pvt. J. W. Jones made a lone attack upon a machine gun which was firing directly at him; he destroyed the weapon and its crew but then was cut down by a second machine gun. Jones was awarded the DSC.