Into Central Germany: Gossel
At 1815 as Battalion approached Gossel, Lt. Glen C. Belew, Battalion S-2, volunteered to go into the town with two German civilians under a flag of truce to demand its surrender. It was agreed that if he failed to return within half an hour the town would be subjected to intense artillery fire. When the trio entered Gossel they were immediately taken prisoner by about 60 German SS troops. The minutes ticked by. Five minutes before the artillery was scheduled to let loose, the Germans withdrew from the town taking Belew with them. By lagging behind he managed to elude his captors and worked his way back to the Battalion. The information he brought back -- that there were no enemy troops in the town -- helped to speed up the Battalion's advance. Later that night the Battalion was forced to the town cellars by 250 rounds of mortar and artillery fire from the vicinity of Pleue. When a man in Co.L was wounded, T/4 Donald A. Linder, a medic, attended him in spite of the fact that enemy fire was so close that his patient was wounded again.
At this time a definite pattern in the enemy's defense system had become apparent. During the mornings our troops were advancing .easily, meeting little opposition. Then in midafternoon the enemy would open up and continue firing until darkness. During the night they withdrew to their next defense area. The Regimental CP on April 1 0 was in Ohrdruf and the next day it was set up in Wullersleben.
On the 11th the 1st Battalion began a movement at 0300 to a new assembly area at Lopenfeld. There Task Force Owens was formed, based on Co. C. As the Task Force formed in apparent concealment, a lone German machine gunner sat and watched. He waited until the force started to move and then -- timed with a feint air attack -- he opened up and drove the tank borne Co. C to the ditches. Several rounds from the tank's 76mm made a good German out of him and Task Force Owens moved on through Arnstadt and into Marlishausen. There 88mm fire and sniper fire forced them to dismount again. The tanks destroyed the building from which the sniper was firing and 88 withdrew. The rest of the Battalion reached Marlishausen at 1700.
The 2nd Battalion started across the Gera River at 0445 after all-night artillery preparation. Co. G entered Seiglebach at 0530 and Dannheim at 0630 against no resistance. By 0930 Co. E : was a Marlishausen and F and G Companies were in the vicinity of Hausen. The Battalion continued through Bosleben and Wullersleben, where Capt. David N. Galloway, CO of Co. F. was wounded towards Wizleben.