The Rhine: Co. E Starts Across
E's 1st platoon, led by Lt. J. W. Porter, was supposed to be on the left flank of the company i area. As they headed out into the stream, 20mm antiaircraft guns and machine guns opened up : on them. The men stayed low and kept paddling. The 3rd squad boat almost hit another boat which later sank. The platoon drifted downstream under bands of fire. On the way across the river the firing was intermittent but as they reached the east shore the Germans let loose at them. They scraped bottom 20 yards out in the river, jumped into the water and waded ashore.
The first boat to hit the beach got a machine gun ashore. But they had no ammunition. Pvt. Lorenz Gludovatz Jr., the ammunition bearer, with 40 pounds of ammunition on a packboard on his back, jumped out of the boat into deep water and swam ashore. The ammunition he brought helped destroy a machine gun and two automatic weapons which were holding up the advance of the platoon. Just as the last man got out of the first boat it was hit and sunk. Moving to their left, the men drew a lot of sniper fire. A 20mm zeroed in on their right. They crawled and crept along the shore. Snipers on barges kept working them over. The platoon's medic, T/3 Milton Wardle, was pinned behind a three-foot wall to the right of their objective when he noticed two wounded men in the water. Wardle ran out under heavy machine gun fire, pulled the men ashore to a sheltered spot, treated them and stayed behind to help the rest of the wounded when the platoon moved on. In all, he carried four wounded men back to shelter and, later in the day, set up an aid station to which he evacuated the wounded from the beach.
Under the wall the platoon stopped to reorganize. Neither the platoon leader nor the platoon sergeant were there. S/Sgt. Glenn L. Lucker assumed command. He quickly formulated his plans and began an attack on St. Goarshausen. As they moved in on the town, the platoon was held up by sniper and machine gun fire. Realizing the necessity of moving forward quickly with the least possible casualties, T/Sgt. Klebert P. Rigot crawled toward one machine gun and destroyed the position with a hand grenade. Once in town, Lucker took on another machine gun. He crept up to the flank assigned his men to clear snipers from the houses. He himself went alone through enemy sniper and automatic weapons fire to get in touch with the units on his right.