21-24 December 1944 MIAs of
Company "B"
48th Armored Infantry Battalion

7th Armored Division
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The Problem

This web page addresses the following problem.

  • All 34 MIAs (Missing in Action) of B/48 for the 17-24 December 1944 defense of the St. Vith (Belgium) area were reported in the Morning Report of 27 December as MIA as of 24 December. On 24 December, B/48 was 1 mile SE of Manhay, Belgium, about 20 miles from St. Vith. All subsequent retroactive casualties for this period were also reported as of 24 December.
  • But other information on some of these men indicates that they were lost in the St. Vith area, specifically at Rodt (also known as Sart-lez-St Vith, 2.5 miles NW of St. Vith and about 18 miles from Manhay), from which B/48 departed prior to 24 December.
    -- Pfc. Albert D. Clouse's dogtag was found in 2001 in the woods near Rodt.
    -- Pfc. Joe W. Bailey was placed by a witnessing officer at Sart-lez-St Vith (another name for Rodt).
    See the research report of similarly mis-dated and mis-located A/40 dead.
  • Therefore, the 24 December MIA date was almost certainly wrong for some of these men, who were almost certainly lost at Rodt, prior to 24 December.
  • So when and where was each of these 34 men lost?

  • PLUS: This research led to the recognition that 1/A/33 AEB and AT/B/48 AIB fought as a combined group, so that the Company "A" 33rd Armored Engineer Battalion 17-23 December 1944 web page should also be consulted for relevance to AT/B/48.
  • Contents
  • B/48 Location 21-24 December 1944
  • Contemporary Documents - Personnel Records
  • Contemporary Documents - Locations and Events
  • Maps
  • Conclusions

  • B/48 Location 21-24 December 1944

    23 December 1944 was the date of the withdrawal of 7th Armored Division from the St. Vith Salient. When the day began, the Division and attached units held a "fortified goose egg" perimeter, with the eastern end at about Crombach and Hinderhausen, Belgium. When the day ended, no elements of the Division were east of the Salm River and were in fact about 11 miles NW of the River at and north of Manhay.

    The situation in the days prior to and during the withdrawal was one of great flux. And it seems that the ability to keep track on a daily basis was greatly diminished. And it further seems that the resolution of the problem, after the fact, was to report all casualties for the period as being as of 24 December 1944, which was probably the last day before some order was restored in the record-keeping process.

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    Contemporary Documents - Personnel Records

    27 December 1944 B/48 Morning Report: The 34 MIAs as of 24 Dec

    The 27 December Morning Report is the only one for this period that lists MIAs, all listed as MIA as of 24 December. Here are those 34 men. Those shown in red with an asterisk (*) were killed, with their official date of death [which may be wrong] in parentheses. It appears that the groupings that begin with Pfc and then Pvt may be separate squads, whose squad leader was one of the S/Sgt's and whose half-track driver was one of the Tec 5's. Some of the men are known to have been members of the Anti-Tank Platoon and are indicated with "(AT)". Those shown in blue with a double asterisk (**) later returned to duty or corrected to having been evacuated to a hospital.

    S/Sgt. Charles J. Adair
    S/Sgt. George M. Clendenon
    S/sgt. Vincent S. Thomas
    S/Sgt. Ralph E. Eddlemon**
    Tec 4 William M. Compton
    Cpl. William P. Tayse* (24 Dec) (AT)
    Tec 5 Joe L. Anderson* (24 Dec)
    Tec 5 Robert E. Crawford* (24 Dec)
    Tec 5 Lee J. Stout
    Pfc. Albert D. Clouse* (24 Dec)
    Pfc. Steve J. Simon
    Pfc. Walter L. Greer
    Pfc. John L. Sabat
    Pfc. John F. Rieff**
    Pvt. Robert F. Riley
    Pvt. Blane? J. Walker
    Pvt. John G. Tirok?
    Pvt. Joseph A. Scheurich
    Pvt. Victor J. Blair
    Pfc. Joe W. Bailey* (24 Dec) (AT)
    Pfc. Lawrence Barracca**
    Pfc. Andrew J. Baziow* (22 Dec)
    Pfc. Anthony Palladino
    Pvt. Jessie C. Woodard* (24 Dec)
    Pvt. Clarence R. Wright
    Pvt. Cleveland Loeffler**
    Pvt. Bernard D. Large
    Pfc. William A. Kovacic
    Pvt. Fred J. Kuzara* (24 Dec)
    Pfc. Hugh J. Foster**
    Pfc. Thomas N. Everett**
    Pfc. Alfonso M. DeMaria
    Pfc. Stanley A. Dombrowski**
    Pfc. Calvin L. Hester**

    28 December 1944 B/48 Morning Report: 1 SWA as of 24

    The 28 December Morning Report shows S/Sgt. Joseph Scarlata (?32 247 380?) (MOS 653 = Squad Leader) Seriously Wounded in Action and evacuated to an unknown hospital thru the 7th Armored Division Clearing Station as of 24 Dec. SWA meant that his wounds were considered life-threatening, but he is not listed among the 48 AIB deaths, so that he apparently survived. Since he was evacuated, the 24 Dec date is probably accurate, so that he was almost certainly a casualty south of Manhay.

    31 December 1944 B/48 Morning Report: 4 MIAs RTD

    The 31 December Morning Report shows four of the MIAs listed on 27 Dec as returning to duty: Dombrowski, Everett, Foster, Hester. The fact that all four of these men were listed together (with DeMaria) in the original Morning Report further seems to support that they were in the same squad.

    2 January 1945 B/48 Morning Report: 2 MIAs corrected to LWA and 1 MIA to LIA

    The 2 January 1945 Morning Report shows two of the MIAs listed on 27 Dec as corrected to being lightly wounded in action and evacuated thru the 7th Armored Division Clearing Station to an unknown hospital as of 22 Dec 1944: Barreca, Eddlemon. The MR also shows Rieff lightly injured in action and evacuated 22 Dec.

    6 January 1945 B/48 Morning Report: 2 MIAs corrected to LWA and 1 MIA to LIA

    The 6 January 1945 Morning Report corrects the 2 Jan 45 correction by giving the identity of the previously unknown hospital. All 3 men (Barreca, Eddlemon, Rieff) were transferred to the 331st Medical Battalion as of 22 Dec 44. In addition, a further 22 Dec 44 casualty was listed: Cpl. Lowell A. Cox was wounded in his right ear by a mortar shell 22 Dec 44 but remained on duty.

    9 January 1945 B/48 Morning Report: 1 MIAs to Sick

    The 9 January 1945 Morning Report corrects the original report to show that Loeffler was actually "Slightly Sick" (a catch-all for a huge array of reasons) and evacuatd to the 128th Evacuation Hospital as of 24 Dec 1944.

    16 January 1945 B/48 Morning Report: 2 MIAs to KIA

    The 16 January 1945 Morning Report corrects the original report to show that Baziow, Scheurich were killed in action 22 Dec 1944. This presumably came from statements of the survivors, so that the date is almost certainly correct.

    26 January 1945 B/48 Morning Report: indirect LWA

    The 26 January 1945 Morning Report has no direct connection with the MIAs of 21-24 December 1944. However, 1st Lt. John R. Smart whose name appears in the accounts of the events of those dates was lightly wounded in action 26 Jan 1945 and evacuated to the 45th Evacuation Hospital.

    I do not yet have the B/48 Morning Reports for the months after January 1945.

    Contemporary Documents - Locations and Events

    Daily Reports for 20-24 December 1944

    Date B/48 Morning Reports
    End-of-day Locations
    & Record of Events
    48 AIB After Action Reports Interview 1
    Capt. Vogelsang
    Interview 2
    Lt. Van Winkle
    Interview 3
    Anti-Tank Platoon
    Interview 4
    Lt. Millican
    20 Dec 1 Mile E of Poteau, VP 7891
    Company protecting right flank of Bn and remaining in a mobile reserve status. Morale: Excellent Weather: Clear, Sunny and Cold.
    Rodt, Belgium Map Reference: Vielsalm, 1/50,000, Sheet 93
    No change in position of troops except the A.T. platoon of "A" Company which went into position with "B" Company of the 40th Tanks. Weather, clear and cold.
    Patrolling continued, but no enemy activity was noticed in the company sector. [Interview covers only 24-25 December] The platoon took up its positions 18 December, with four tanks of A/40 and a platoon of A/33d Engineers. The engineers mined roads and acted as infantry. During the first four days [18-21 December], there was no infantry action. Patrols were sent out daily, and lots of tanks and vehicles were heard the other side of the woods toward Recht, but neither tanks nor infantry came at the position.

    The men were dug in on a line centering around 811896 (see overlay). They were on the west of the road behind a line of small fir trees, across the road, and at the edge of the woods to the right of the road. Two medium tanks were behind the advanced positions and two were further back. Positions of D/40 light tanks were in town. 17th Bn tanks and 23d AIBn units held the crossroad at 820895. Capt _____ Davenport was in charge of the block.

    Morning of 20th received a lot of arty and some direct tank fire Not a barrage. 3 or 4 rounds from time to time. On the 20th
    21 Dec 1 Mile SE of Poteau, VP 8090
    (no Record of Events entry)
    Salomnefur, Belgium Map Reference: Vielsalm, 1/50,00, Sheet 93. Grid coordinates 793-907,
    Enemy patrols were active in the vicinity of 797-894, capturing and taking prisoners. Vehicles of these men were unmolested. One of the drivers escaped soon after being captured, notifying the rear CP. Immediately word was sent out to all units. A patrol of tanks and infantry was sent through the area North of the road of the capture. No enemy encountered. Rear CP moved from Rodt vicinity to the present location leaving at 1500 and arriving at 1545. Distance traveled, approximately three miles. Weather, snowing.
    Patrolling continued in the morning. In the afternoon, the company was ordered to relieve A Company, and the changeover was made beginning 1800 or 1900. The 1st platoon was placed to the southeast of the road intersection, which was known as Times Square, the second platoon was to the right, and the third platoon to the south on the east of a clearing north of the road to Rodt. The mortar platoon was placed to the south of this road behind the third platoon. There was some enemy patrol action that night and sporadic firing, while the mortar platoon fired into suspected enemy areas, but action was not heavy. [Interview covers only 24-25 December] The platoon took up its positions 18 December, with four tanks of A/40 and a platoon of A/33d Engineers. The engineers mined roads and acted as infantry. During the first four days [18-21 December], there was no infantry action. Patrols were sent out daily, and lots of tanks and vehicles were heard the other side of the woods toward Recht, but neither tanks nor infantry came at the position.

    The men were dug in on a line centering around 811896 (see overlay). They were on the west of the road behind a line of small fir trees, across the road, and at the edge of the woods to the right of the road. Two medium tanks were behind the advanced positions and two were further back. Positions of D/40 light tanks were in town. 17th Bn tanks and 23d AIBn units held the crossroad at 820895. Capt _____ Davenport was in charge of the block.

    The morning of the 21st a good bit of fire.
    Afternoon of 21st called to Bn Rear CP and Capt Pannino gave lt orders to set up defensive positions around area. About 1300. About 1430 these positions dug and occupied.
    Men of 2d plat had just completed digging when the general area was shelled. Men pulled back about 50 yards. Defensive setup facing NE & NW. Positions occupied night of 21st.
    22 Dec 1 Mile SE of Poteau, VP 8090
    Still holding a defensive position at the above location. The vehical [sic] assembly area was attacked by a strong force of enemy. Was successful in driving enemy away.
    Petit-Their, Belgium. Map Reference: Vielsalm, 1/50,000, sheet 93. Grid coordinates 742-915.
    Enemy forces attacked the battalion maintenance and fired on any vehicles which were in an assembly area near Rodt beginning at 0300. Artillery and mortar fire preceded the infantry and tank attack overrunning the A.T. platoon of "B" Company in the attack. Heavy fighting took place which resulted in the units loosing all vehicles and large weapons. A call for help was sent to the Battalion Commander, but at the same time the enemy attacked the troops on the line, therefore allowing no opportunity for help to be sent. The battalion CP was located in the vicinity of "C" Company vehicles. "A" Company was deployed on the battalion's right flank and attacked by enemy forces at the same time. A fierce battle took place for one and one half hour at the end of which the enemy was driven off. Command vehicles left the CP at 1300 moving in column with CC"A". An orderly withdrawal was executed without casualties. Weather, cold and clear.
    Enemy patrol action began early in the day. Around 1100, an eight-man patrol came in between A Co's left flank and B Co's right flank, getting in behind the third platoon of B Co. Of the eight men, six were killed and one captured. They were found to be SS troops. Throughout the day there was enemy mortar fire. Activity could be heard on all sides, in the direction of B Co's vehicles (see appended story) and toward Recht. There was no tank movement in the B Co area.

    Early that evening, the third platoon was ordered out of its positions in the woods to tie into the right flank of the first platoon. The men were drawn up in a semi-circular position on the Rodt road. This move was made after A Co had moved north of Poteau and the 40th Tanks had gone north of Poteau.

    At 2330, the third platoon outpost reported that enemy tanks and infantry were coming down the road from Rodt. This road had been mined. The enemy tanks, however, fired flares down the road and saw the mines. The first two tanks cut north into the clearing, and then backed into the woods to the east. The third tank came across the clearing, firing all of the time, and overran the left sector of the third platoon.

    Capt Vogelsang ordered the company to withdraw to a previously designated position just south of Poteau (see map). As soon as the men began to dig in, the Capt saw that the position was a bad one. It was in the open, and the ground was hard and excellent for tanks. He got in a peep and went back to the Bn CP to get permission to change the positions. His peep collided with another peep just north of Poteau. The driver[s] of the two peeps were injured, and Capt Vogelsang suffered a leg injury. The Bn S-2 came along at that time, and agreed to stay with the wounded men until help arrived. Captain Vogelsang went to the Bn CP in the S-2's jeep, and explained the situation. The Bn CO ordered the S-2, who arrived shortly with the two injured men in another vehicle, to reconnoiter for new B Co positions.

    The new positions were to the west and north of the town. A Co was on the right flank. C Co was in the town itself. The men left their positions south of the town at 1745 and were dug in by 1900. The enemy tanks were still in the woods but did not fire. Enemy patrol action continued that night, but there was no attack in the B Co sector.

    [Interview covers only 24-25 December]

    There was continuous enemy patroling the night of 21 December, but no action until 0400 22 Dec when the enemy attacked in unknown strength on the left (west) flank. It was probably a combat patrol. Shortly thereafter, other patrols struck to the west of the platoon's positions, circling the flank, and to the east of the road. The Germans shouted, whistled, and sang. The engineers, the anti-tank platoon and the tanks opened up and inflicted heavy casualties, but they were outnumbered and the enemy was able to circle the flank to the west and infiltrate the positions, getting into the general area of the command post and into the houses which lined the road. Between 0400 and 0600, three men were killed and two were wounded. This does not include engineer losses. The enemy got into the same house as the CP and killed three engineers. The Americans managed to get out the back way. The Germans captured the AT platoon's headquarters track. One of the wounded infantrymen crawled beneath the track and spent the rest of the night there, unnoticed by the Germans.

    One prisoner taken, a man of about 40, told his captors that there were three companies. One had made the initial attack, and the other two were to follow with tanks. One of our tanks had six bazooka shells fired at it. Five missed and the sixth glanced off. Through it all, the men in the forward lines held their positions. Our tanks ranged about firing at the enemy. The 50 calibre machine guns did a great deal of damage.

    At 0600, the enemy in the houses along the road apparently became confused, probably because the expected reinforcements failed to arrive. Many of them tried to get back to their own positions. Pfc Dumbrowski and Cpl Finke killed nine of them with rifle fire. As it grew light, the tanks began to clean up the houses and the woods to the north systematically, spraying the area with m/g fire. The infantrymen and the engineers cleaned out the area. The CP was set afire by a tank, and Pfc EVERETT and two engineers entered it. The Germans were in one room and the Americans in the rest. The Germans surrendered and the Americans put out the fire. The half-track was recaptured.

    About 0830, enemy mortar fire became very heavy, and there was a great deal of machine gun fire from the woods. One mortar shell exploded in the left (west) flank positions, knocking out an anti-tank gun. Cpl. Finke, who was in charge there, gave leadership of the squad on the flank to another man, loaded five wounded men on the half-track and drove it out.

    The houses, however, were not completely cleared and many of the enemy remained hiding out in them.

    About 0900, enemy tanks were heard in the woods to the north. One hit the mines in the road and apparently was immobilized. Visibility at the time was only about 100 yards. For about an hour, the men were unable to move because of heavy m/g fire. Lt. Smart finally ordered the men to fall back to positions nearer the town. Most of them made it, but the squad on the left flank were unable to move. None of them got back.

    As the others retreated, they cleaned out the houses. In one house, 13 Germans were captured and three dead were found. The 13 were taken to the TD's at Krombach. About 45 other Germans surrendered at this time. As the Germans were taken to Rodt, others voluntarily came from the houses and joined the column, One tank went into the town with the prisoners.

    As the prisoners went down the road and were lined up, German tanks appeared. The number is not known, but there were at least four. One pulled into town from the west unnoticed, and got behind a building on the other side of which the prisoners were lined up.

    Still receiving intermittant fire that night. Nite of 21st, lt carried rations up to company. At that time CO ordered that at daybreak morning of 22d that Lt. M move the vehicles forward to an assembly area past CCB at bend to 783913. At approximately 0345 22 Dec, Sv Co located in Rodt at approx 813889. Capt Davenport called Lt M on radio and reported that he was surrounded by an enemy patrol. Lt M picked 6 men to accompany him to go up to Capt D & bring aid if possible. When Lt M was ready to leave, called Capt D on the radio and he told him that things were quiet at that time with him as it seemed the patrols attention had been diverted to the AT Plat. (Reptd to bn CO)
    Rest of morning, lots of s/a, m/g, tk, arty fire from hill. The AT plat was getting some s/a fire (Lt John R Smart).
    About daybreak when supposed to move out, were receiving some arty & some direct tk fire. Two en Tanks north of Rodt. One on either side of road. Also receiving direct s/a fire from patrol which infiltrated into town.
    The position at Rodt corssroads receiving shellfire also, this was on the road which they had to take out. Contacted bn and informed them of the situation. It was suggested that we mount the vehicles and attempt to get out by throwing a lot of m/g fire from tracks. Lt M told CO that since en patrols were already in on us and since en tanks had direct observation on our position, didn't believe we could make it because of vehicles had camouflage nets on them which were heavily covered by snow making them very well camouflaged, and that if we tried to remove the nets, the vehicles would stand out great & would bring tank fire on the vehicles. We were told then to do the best we could.
    En soldier came up 75 yds, was climbing fence, shot. Probably a scout. Shortly before 0830, bn called Lt M and said tanks were on way to help. As far as we know the tanks never arrived.) off hill, passed on right flank, going toward Krombach.
    Around 0830 or 0845 the AT plat was overrun by an estimated company of infantry & tanks.
    Tankers 40th who had been with the AT plat, moved south to CR at 0900; in 2 groups (20, 10; 10). About 10 min. later, Capt Davenport & his men came thru our position. About 2 or 3 mins late, Lt Smart and his men came through.
    At approx 0915, 4 tanks came heading south, Told that tanks were going to stop & fight again. The tankers (40), Lt D, Capt S group followed the tanks.
    About 5 minutes later, en tanks came up. One report said 4 of tanks came from NW where A Co's vehicles were located. At least 5 tanks known.
    During this time, we were expecting to be able to make a break with the vehicles. Situation reported to bn & we were ordered to clear everyone out as our arty was going to shell the town. We pulled back towards Krombach about 0945-1000. The 40th tanks had stopped, and caught up with them at approx 81-87.
    There we stopped and called all men of B Co for reorganization. At least five-seven men still MIA. (While withdrawal received automatic s/a fire & direct tank fire. Rept one tank hit a group with he.)
    (AT vehicles had been lost on hill. Others in park.) Impossible to get to vehicles.)
    Had approximately 32-35 men in group, all B Co. Dropped back to Krombach & contacted Maj Frazier of the 23d. He gave Lt Smart the mission of setting up defense around AT guns.
    3 AT's, 3 TD's. Lt M on left of road, Lt Smart Rt.
    Men in position and dug in Expecting an attack from Hinderhausen. Dug in approx 1730.
    About 7-7:30 enemy came in from direction of Rodt. Seemed they had overrun an outpost along rr. Enemy inf & tanks,
    Enemy also reported coming down the railroad. Lt Smart & Lt M in the CP. Some of men in bldg, some in defenses. Positions overrun. Received orders to withdraw.
    When got out of CP, TD's already turned to leave; went back to positions. One man said the men had been told to withdraw around hill. Went down to catch men. This about 2000.
    driver wounded, another evacu.
    Lt Smart took off.
    Then mortar fire on bridge
    Lt Smart: battle 330 to 830. Out of 37 men, came out with 12
    At one time had about 36 prisoners
    Pl leader tks ran them into Rodt. Had them lined up in col of 2's. Tiger Tank on other side of houses. Several dif outfits.
    23 Dec Harze, VK 5306
    Holding positions gained until 1345 when withdrawal was ordered. Co was covered by a succeeding Company druing [sic] withdrawal Troops returned to vehicle assembly area and began moving out at 1500. Marched to above location and arrived at 2200. Distance travelled 25 miles. Morale: Excellent Weather: Clear and sunny.
    Harze, Belgium. Map Reference: Vielsalm, 1,50,000, sheet 93. Grid coordinates, 539-067.
    Units left Petit-Their at 1545 with "C" 48TH and "C" 40TH as advance guard followed by CC "A" , Battalion Reconnaissance, Headquarters Company, "B" Company, "A" Company and Medical Detachment followed by the remainder of the tanks. Regulating points for the IP known as Holy, the bridge at Vielsalm called Brooklyn and the assembly area called Flatbush. Arrived at Harze at 2030 and the distance traveled was 25 miles. Weather, clear and cold.
    Enemy patrol action was greatly increased Saturday morning beginning about 0900, but B Co fired constantly and kept the patrols off. C Co began its withdrawal from town at 1400. When C Co was completely through the A Co positions, B Co withdrew, beginning about 1430 to 1445. At this time artillery, tanks and TD's were firing into enemy positions. Enemy troops were in the heavy woods to the north of the town, but continued s/a and arty fire kept them from attacking. [Interview covers only 24-25 December] The order to withdraw was given by Captain Davenport. The men who were in front of the prisoners were ordered to the rear while the prisoners kept their hands above their heads. Then the men withdrew toward Krombach, covering the Germans. Some of the men followed the road, others went cross country. This was a little after noon. The enemy did not follow. The infantrymen and engineers caught up with some 40th Bn tanks and rode into Krombach on them.


    There were 36 officers and men of the AT platoon and 38 engineers. 18 members of the AT platoon and 14 engineers got back.

    [Interview does not include this date.]
    24 Dec Manhay, UP 5390
    Co alerted at 0630 and moved out at 0845 to Mont Binin Station (P 5393) remained here until 1330 when Co moved to defensive position 1 Mi SE Manhay. Remained here until orders to withdraw to new positions. Reconnaissance was made and beginning of withdrawal was scheduled for 2300. Enemy counterattacked at 2245, split our forces and impeded withdrawal by distrupting communications. An intense battle followed. Weather: Clear. Morale: Good.
    Manhay, Belgium Map Reference: Vielsalm, 1/50,000, sheet 93. Grid coordinates 584-903.
    Battalion left Harze at 0845 and traveled South through Werbomont, Champ de Haire, Chene at Pieire and arrived at Mont Behin Station at 1000. CP was established there. Troops went forward and were deployed South of Manhay. As darkness drew near the Battalion Commander with the Company Commanders made a reconnaissance of a new area to the Northwest of Manhay. Plans to withdraw the troops from the lines and to deploy them in the new area were made with the first company withdrawing at 2200. Soon after the first troops had begun to withdraw, the enemy launched an attack. "A" Company withdrew intact. Companies "B" and "C" became disorganized through the fierce attack and parts of the troops came back to take up a new defensive position South of Mont Bihen Station. New CP was established at Mont Bihen Station.
    [Interview only covers thru 23 December] Manhay On 24 Dec, B Co was ordered to take up positions southeast of Manhay. B Co with C/40 tanks was to be in reserve. The men began digging in about 1700. The first platoon was on the left of the road to Malempre, the second platoon was on the right of the road, and the third platoon was in support.

    There was no enemy action noticed in the Co sector.

    About 2100, Lt Van Winkle was called to the Bn CP and ordered to make a reconnaissance for the withdrawal of units to Manhay. The withdrawal was supposed to take place at 2300. Just as the recon was completed, enemy tanks and infantry attacked C Co, about 2000 yards to the south. This was at 2230. To help C Co, the second platoon of B Co was moved southwest 200 yards through heavy woods to a position where they could fire up the road to the south and help throw back the attack. The tanks remained where they were.

    The fight continued for about an hour, with the second platoon joining in. At about 2330, two Tiger tanks came down the road, passed the Co CP. They were followed by two other tanks (not Tigers). The Tigers came within 10 yards of the house in which the CP was located, apparently not knowing what it was being used for. The German infantry was not following very closely.

    Lt Van Winkle was awaiting an order from the bn CO to withdraw. After the two Tiger tanks passed, the order was given. By that time, the infantry had closed in with the second two tanks which were around the bend in the road. This cut off the second platoon of B Co. The platoon had to withdraw in small groups.

    When the tanks came down the road, the 1st and 3rd platoon members and the tankers left. The tanks' machine guns drove the men back, and they made their way back toward Manhay as best they could.

    Lt Van Winkle went to the 1st platoon to try and use its radio and report the situation, but it was out of order. He found one wounded tanker and the communications sergeant, also wounded. He got these men back to the woods to the north, then returned to the CP and checked the 1st and 3rd platoon positions. Everybody had left.

    He then made a wide circle back of the woods, since the tanks commanded the road to Manhay. He came out on the Manhay-Vaux Chavanne road and ran into the tanks of the 14th Tank Bn of the 9th AD about half-way between the towns. He reported on the situation to a tank officer, then went to Manhay to see if he could find his company. He could find no friendly troops in town. Enemy tanks were in Manhay, spraying the main streets with m/g fire. Lt. Van Winkle returned up the road and spoke to the tank officer. The tanks were bumper to bumper, and German tanks were only about 150 yards off on the other road. The tank officer called the bn CO and received orders to withdraw up the road and not to fire. Lt. Van Winkle went with the tanks and made his way back to this own outfit the next day.

    In the meantime, the second platoon broke into units which made their way north. Most of them got through Grandmenil where they ran into units of the 3rd AD. Others got back through Manhay. One man was missing in action. Lt. Kiline led part of his platoon back to Harze, and Lt Lavrenz, third platoon leader, went to Manhay by himself and there managed to pick up some of the first and third platoon members. Four men are MIA from these two platoons. Some of the men did not get back to their unit for several days.

    [Interview only covers thru 23 December] [Interview does not include this date.]

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    Manhay - St. Vith, showing B/48 Daily Locations 21-24 December


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    This section is not yet complete ... and may never be complete. My conclusions are listed from greatest to least confidence.

    High Confidence in Dates

    The Morning Reports that later list corrections of dates are those in which I have the highest confidence. Clouse's dogtag found at Rodt also gives me high confidence that he was killed there 22 Dec 44 and not 24 Dec 44 when B/48 was south of Manhay.

    The official dates of death of 24 December for Bailey and Clouse are wrong, due to the way the MIAs were reported on the Morning Report.

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