"I" DID IT
A History of Events
355TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
89TH infantry Division WWII
There follows a six-month log of the day-to-day activities of the six months period, January 1 to June 27 1945, experienced by members of Co. "I", 355th Infantry Regiment, 89th Infantry Division. It was written and typed in the days following the end of the war, and after the move of the Division back to the "cigarette" camps. Typed on old-fashioned mimeograph masters, it was run off on European-sized paper and distributed to many but not all members. Those who failed to receive a copy were those who had availed themselves of the opportunity to study in to one of the great European universities, and were thus away from the Company during the period when the journal was distributed. The log was sent to the Society by one of the members who have puzzled for the last 50 years as to the authorship.
So, to date, the author remains unknown.
Hopefully, some member will read the journal and remember who gets the credit for authoring the document.
Left Camp Butner, N.C., at 1000 hours on way to POE (Port of Embarkation), passed through Washington, DC and New York City.
Arrived at Camp Myles Standish near Taunton, Mass. At 1500 hours. Detrained, formed, and marched to barracks in Area 4.
Lectures and shots are given-crap games and bunk fatigue, a pastime-Food excellent-Guard and KP duty plentiful.
Passes issued to Boston and Taunton, Mass, and Providence R.I.-Forms of entertainment were movies and dances. General processing begins-new clothing issued. More lectures-routine duties.
Company awakened at 0400 hours-Early chow-Shipping numbers given by roster-marched to train loading point-Duffle bags handled by picked detain-Reached Boston P.O.E.--Completed embarkation at 1700 hours--Name of Vessel USS Uruguay, formerly Panama Mail, SS California.
Joined convoy at sea off coast of Long Island, at 0300 hours.
At sea--Enroute to unknown destination-rumors and speculations prevailed--Nightly bingo games and movies--Music by Regimental Band-Daily boat drills and inspections--Monotony-Seasickness.
Entered English Channel-Submarine sighted-Depth charges fired by escort destroyers. Tense-moments. Anxiety-Anticipation
Land sighted at 0830 hours-Much speculation as to whether it was the Straits of Dover or the Skyline of France-Wagers were made--Everyone excited-Dropped anchor at 1100 hours--LE HAVRE, FRANCE.
Loaded on trucks for move to next destination-Passed through city of Le Havre, Fecamp, and Cany Barville---France, bitter cold!!!!
At 1300 hours anchors raised-Movement through inner harbor began-All were amazed at the total destruction of the city-Debarkation was accomplished with the aid of LSTs due to the complete destruction of all port facilities-Debarkation completed at 2000 hours.
Arrived at Camp Lucky Strike at 0200 hours-Company reformed-Coffee and sandwiches served in cold. Endless lines-Feet frozen in sub-zero cold. First impression of France, not so good-Not much sleep because of intense cold-The less fortunate were detailed to put tents up-Fires were not authorized-Many who did not have cots slept on the snow-covered ground in the tents-Only two meals the first day-Morale low.
January 26 to February 22
Improvement of tent area-Digging of air raid shelter-Fighting the Battle of Mud-A training series Hikes-Tactical problems-Lectures on Battle experiences A lecture on Psycho Neurosis -A lecture given by Col. Lentz, our Battalion Commander, on actual Battle Experience from knowledge gained on a recent visit to the front lines-Classes given by Sgt Walker on the critical situation of the war due to the Ardennes Bulge interested everyone because of the part we were to play in the not too distant future.
Also in order were passes to various nearby towns. Many visited St. Valery, Fecamp, Cany Barville and Rouen, but were soon discouraged because of the lack of entertainment and the scarcity of stores where souvenirs might be obtained. Some continued the ventures for the purpose of purchasing cognac and perhaps bread, but they too soon became discouraged when orders were given that no food would be bought from the French.
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