Camp Lucky Strike
When the trucks stopped and the men got out, stamping their feet and beating their arms to get up a little warmth, they found themselves in what seemed to be a bleak, snow-covered field with a few rows of tents lined up along the sides of the road. This was Camp Lucky Strike. Members of the advance party were on hand to greet the Regiment. Cots and stoves were issued, the men were assigned to tents and those who could went to sleep.
The first few days at Lucky Strike were bitterly cold. The food was meager. But soon the
Company kitchens were operating, supplies started coming in and the weather relented. Ice was replaced by thick, calf-deep mud. The battalions started working on a training schedule. Emphasis was put on marches, especially night marches. Men from all companies were sent to mine school. The Battalion A & P platoons and the Regimental I & R platoon started working as mine clearing units operating in nearby fields. During one of these operations Pvt. William Penn of the I & R platoon hit a trip wire in a muddy field. The explosion won him the dubious distinction of receiving the Division's first Purple Heart. Another man standing beside Penn at the time got away with a hole in his pants.
During its stay at Lucky Strike the Division was attached to the 15th Army, at that time a newly-formed and very secret organization. Battalion problems were held near Cany, France. Almost a month after its arrival in Europe, on February 22, the Regiment pulled out of Lucky Strike and went up the Channel coast, through Dieppe and a few miles to the east. The CP was established in a chateau in Grandcourt. The 1st Battalion was at Gamaches, the 2nd at Criel and the 3rd at Douvrend. At this point the Division was transferred to the 3rd Army. The Regiment's first fatalities in Europe occurred on March 1 when Sgt. Glenn Nordeen and Pfc. Clayton Campbell, Hq Co, 3rd Battalion, were killed near Sur-Mer while operating with the Battalion A & P platoon in clearing mine fields. An S mine killed the two and wounded Pfc. Robert Harsin. A memorial service for the two men was held the following Sunday in the ancient Norman Catholic Church in Douvrend.