George S Little-941st FA and Occupation Duty with 89th Div

I have re-visited your website and find that it has been nicely re-done. I am sure that it will be very popular.

I would like to correct and extend my past emails to you. They were made as I began my research and I now know quite a bit more than I did last year.

My father was George S. (Stanley) Little and he was trained if FA at Fort Bragg from Sept 43 to Feb 44. He shipped out in March arriving in England on March 21. He was then placed with the 941st FA Bn, an outfit filled primarily with men from New Hampshire (as it was a reconstituted N.H Nat Guard unit). Many were of French-Canadian hyphen American descent and most could speak French - a definite plus during the 73 days they spent in France.

The 941st was attached 95 percent of the war directly to V Corps and therefore Dad didn't have a division patch until he got his 89th patch during occupation duty. The 941st landed at Normandy on D+7 and fired their first rounds the next day. Their last shots they fired were in March 1945 at the Rhine River crossing. This unit was in all the toughest battles, including supporting the infantry in the Hurtgen Forest.

The 941st pulled back from the Hurtgen Forest and over to Monschau, Germany. They had a few days of peace during December and then on Dec 16 they took a beating from the opening German artillery barrage at Monschau as the BOB campaign began.

The German spies had carefully plotted all the OB Posts and HQ/FDC positions and accurately fired upon all the places the 941st were living.

The German 6th Panzer Division desired the road net at Eupen and had to go through Monschau to get there. Since artillery units are supposed to be further back behind the lines, the 941st hastily packed their equipment and began to withdraw to the west only to run into elements of the German paratroop division dropped the night of the 16th.

Pfc. Raymond Yeatts, of "A" battery made a report to the company HQ the night of the 16th to report that he had heard many planes coming from the east and then returning to the east, without dropping any bombs, but his report was apparently given little credence by the unit G3 officers. Big mistake!

The 941st could only go two directions -east or west. To the east the 6th Panzer division was advancing. To the west were the elements of the southern edge of the paratroop division. Fighting in two directions has to be really rough. The 941st temporarily unable to move continued to fire at the advancing Germans with only the barest minimum cavalry and infantry support to their front. (There was one other FA unit included in this fight but I haven't been able to identify them yet.) The ferocity and accuracy of fire in this engagement was duly noted by V Corp. HQ and other higher echelon officers.

The commanders of the 941st really wanted to go west but they had no infantry screen and only a few heavy machine guns plus everyone's personal small arms. Fortunately, before too long, a small US reinforcing unit came down the road from the west and provided the firepower to hold the German paratroops while the most of the artillery pieces, ammunition trucks and the rest slipped away. Several artillery pieces were abandoned in place because they were frozen in the ground with no time to get them moving.

By the time the last of the 941st was leaving the area the German paratroops had begun to arrive in force and the firefight became real hot. This was the escape that Dad must have been referring to that I got wrong in my previous email to you. I have learned that my father was on the FDC "night shift" so he was asleep (incredible to think about) as the "evac" began in earnest. This is the time that Dad told me about his Lieutenant came by frantically yelling and kicking him awake and telling him to run to a truck right away. Dad said as they careened down the road in their truck rounds from small arms fire were whizzing by.

The help screen the "evac" the 941st left 15 men and machine guns in Monschau on detached service with the 38th Cavalry Recon Squadron and a couple of other units that I can't recall. This group held up the German 6th Panzer Army and other German units for 24 hours (plus or minus). These units eventually withdrew under the force of the advancing divisions but only a mile or two at most. These units were part of the defense of the "BOB northern Shoulder" of the Allied armies and yielded precious little additional ground to the Germans.

Happily this was much to the frustration of the German Task Force Pieper, the "spearhead" of the advancing German units. The task force was infamous for the atrocities perpetrated near Malmedy and other spots.

The actions of that small force at Monschau December 16-18 of 1944 were rewarded with a Distinguished Unit Badge. I have included the "official citation" below.

Below is the article in the 941st battalion's official "field newspaper" of June 18, 1945.


Fifteen members of this unit [941st FA Bn] have been awarded the Distinguished Unit Badge for their work in assisting the 38th Cavalry Recon Squadron (CRS), to repel the German counterattack in the Monschau area last December [1944]. These men were on detached service with the 38th [CRS] at the time and remained in support of that mechanized unit for about 10 days. The citation is directed at the 38th Cavalry Recon Squadron (Mecz) and attached units and read as follows:

The 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized), with attached units, is cited for outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy during the period 16-18 December 1944, in Germany.

During the major counter-offensive staged by the 6th German Panzer Army, the squadron and attached units displayed extraordinary heroism and outstanding combat proficiency in repelling for three successive days the desperate [attempts] by the 326th Volks Grenadier Division to open the Monschau sector for exploitation by the 2nd Panzer Division.

Defending a front of 9,000 yards and standing alone between the full-scale German attack and vital road nets leading to Eupen and Liege, this thinly spread force held its ground in the face of five attacks ranging in strength from a reinforced battalion to the combined elements of two infantry regiments. Three of these assaults were supported by direct self-propelled artillery and rocket fire, which preceded the attacking infantry.

The battalion of German paratroopers, which had been, dropped behind the lines on the first night of the engagement seriously harassed front line elements as well as the forces rear areas.

Despite the fact that the numerically superior enemy made several penetrations, one of which was in battalion strength, isolated outposts and platoons held their lines with grim determination. Although artillery [941st FA Bn] observation posts were overrun, the personnel fought with small arms to maintain their positions and adjusted devastating fire upon waves of German infantry.

All enemy infiltrations were thwarted by determined fighting and close hand-to-hand combat. When the battle was most intense every available man, including personnel of rear echelon maintenance and supply sections and soldiers being treated in the squadron infirmary, were employed to drive back the advancing forces.

The gallantry and combined skill of this force resulted in 300 enemy killed, thirty-one prisoners taken, and countless casualties inflicted upon the enemy ranks.

The strength, courage and determination exhibited by the personnel of the 38th Cavalry and attached units in denying the Germans access to the vital road net contributed largely to the ultimate defeat of the German offensive in the Ardennes.

Men of the 941st Field Artillery Battalion Receiving this Award:


Cpl. Alexander, Ethan D.,Service, Danville, Ill
Cpl. Methot. Harold L., C, Wetmore, Mich
Cpl. Potter, Orland P., C, Detroit, Mich
Pfc. Daly, Edward P., HQ, Philadelphia, PA
Pfc. Evans, Ben, A, Chicago, Ill
Pfc. Figueroa, Unk, Unk
Pfc. Hewitt, Homer E., Service, Manchester N.H.
Pfc. Landry, George E., Service, Manchester N.H.
Pfc. Rooth, Calvin S., C, Chicago, Ill
Pvt. Coonradt, Clarence L., A, Osage, Iowa
Pvt. Griffith, Charles B., C, Quitman, Miss
Pvt. Morris, John L., Service, Struthers, Ohio
Pvt. Murph, Walter, C, Charlotte, N.C.
Pvt. Oliver, Kenneth E., HQ, Harrisburg, Ill
Pvt. Spagna, Charles A., HQ, Bronx, N.Y.