Most of the available 38 AIB records can be obtained through the instructions on this page. The rest can be obtained by following the links on this page.
Each company, Bn HQ, and the Medical Detachment completed a report as of 2400 and submitted them the next morning, hence the name "Morning Reports". These are by far the most important records for researching the history of a Company. There is no substitute for them. These records are held at the Organizational Records Unit of the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. Since these records contain personal information, Freedom of Information Act authority is needed to research them. However, the daily locations, unit strength counts, and occasional "record of events" entries are available. See below for details.
Each month, the Battalion submitted the following records to the Division for forwarding to the Office of the Adjutant General. These were not filed separately. The Journals were attachments to the After Action Reports. The Operation Instructions, Messages and Map Overlays were attachments to the S-3 Journal. These records are now at the National Archives II Branch at College Park, MD. For information on obtaining these records, click here.
As needed, the Battalion could issue General and Special Orders. Finding these is relatively rare, since they have apparently were not kept in any permanent repository.
Whenever a man was cited for an award, a citation would be written. These records are apparently not in any central repository. The copies that do exist are the copies given to the men at the time of the award and are in their possession.
For those men who died overseas, there may be some records in their Individual Deceased Personnel File, held by the Total Army Personnel command. For other casualties, the records apparently have not been retained.
Unless the Court Martial led to a dishonorable discharge (extremely rare), the Court Martial records and other disciplinary records have not been retained.
The Information and Historical Section of the Army conducted combat interviews of survivors after certain important actions. They also conducted hospital interviews of wounded officers.
Since 38 AIB was on the front lines at the critical battles at St. Vith, Krombach, and Grandmenil during the Battle of the Bulge, some of the surviving members of the Battalion were interviewed in January 1945.For information on obtaining these records, click here.
Lt. Mario Fortuna of 38 AIB was interviewed in hospital after he was wounded in September 1944. For information on obtaining these records, click here.
Wesley Johnston (son of Walter G. Johnston of AT/B/38 AIB) has transcribed and fully indexed the following National Archives records of the 38th Armored Infantry Battalion into separate books. Click on those records that are highlighted, in order to see a sample of that record for December 19, 1944.
Any member of the battalion during World War II is entitled to one free copy of each of these. To order copies of the interviews, please send a check (sorry but I am not set up for credit cards), payable to Wesley Johnston, to:
For orders outside the U. S. postal system of single books, please add $5 to cover the extra postage. For 2-3 books, add $10. For 4 or more, add $15.
You should also consider the Combat Interviews and Hospital Interviews of 38 AIB men. These are records of the Information and Historical Section but are highly important to the history of 38 AIB.
There was no great activity on the 19th of December but on the 20th enemy artillery became a little heavier about 0800 hours and at 0810 hours enemy tanks and Infantry were observed massing in WALLERODE.
19 DECEMBER 1944 At 0300 vehicular movement and commands in German heard in front of "B" Co posns, seemed going N. At 0900 "A" Co requested arty fire on 87.5 89.8. One barrage sent over, however btry was forced to displace because of contact with enemy tanks. Intermittent arty fire throughout early hours until daybreak. S-3 counted 19 dead paratroopers in our sector. Two (2) PWs taken to aid station. Five (5) enemy vehicles knocked out in "A" Co. sector; one ammunition vehicle, four (4) passenger vehicles. Enemy mortar fire fell between forward and rear CPs about 1505 st to be 30 rounds. At 1530 air was requested to fire on likely arty or mortar posns in WALLENRODE. No air support.
19 December 1944 .
0554 One platoon of the TDs is released to the north in support of the 31st Tank Bn.
0725 "B" Co. of the 23rd A.I.B. reports tank movement on their right flank.
0930 Bn C.O. checks B Co 23rd as to whether they are tied in properly on their right flank.
0935 B Co reports that they are tied in on their right and everything is under control.
1115 See Msg for enemy formation.
1130 B Co 23rd A.I.B. instructed to make reconnaissance in case their line must pull back. In case they do, the right flank will anchor and the left flank will swing back.
1215 CC-B requests that we submit air target as air support is available.
1315 Tanks are spotted on the left of A Co 38th A.I.B. and are reported taken care of.
1423 line of the present time runs-
860 894, 865 887, 868 889,
871 888, 873 882, 870 873,
1430 See order attached (C.O. CC-B)
1525 Enemy supply vehicles were attacked in 31st Tk Bn sector and four (4) were destroyed.
1720 Twelve (12) enemy tanks at 865 903 and vehicle movement is reported in vicinity of 863 900. The extra platoon of TDs is to fire along that road if possible.
2000 See attached overlay for position of our troops.
CO's 31, 23, 38, 87, 275 191430 Dec 44
1. 17 Plus attached to CC"B" at once details as to their situation and use later.
2. CC"B" 9th A.D. moving vehicles including tanks through ST VITH to-night to hold line from rear of RR. station to RODER HARVI
3. 275 F.A. will send one or two F O's to 23rd Hdq at once to be added to 31st front.
4. 87 will put outpost of at least one light tank. platoon vicinity of OBR EMMELS.
5. 434 has been requested C O is here will inform you if they come.
6. We must hold what we have. No ground will be given up except on my order.
B W CLARK