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
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
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
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
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.
MACHINE GUNNERS RECEIVE AWARDS FOR WORK AT MONSCHAU
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 .
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:
NAME, BATTERY, HOMETOWN
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.