War on the Continent
The 99th Infantry Battalion (Separate) was actively involved throughout the war in Europe, from the time of the Normandy invasion and all the way through the defeat of the Third Reich. As a Separate Battalion, they were used where the need was most pressing, which usually meant that they were attached to various units throughout the war. Much like orphans, or “Homeless Waifs” as they ironically wrote on the Headquarters truck on above picture.
Below is the story of the 99th during the European Campaign. The data is compiled by Arnoe Lasoe of The Netherlands.
10 June 1944
Battalion was alerted for immediate movement. Battalion moved to Uffculme
14 June 1944
Battalion arrived in Plymouth and prepared for overseas movement.
17 June 1944
The battalion boarded the SS John Henry, a “Liberty Ship”.
19 June 1944
The 17th 18th and 19th were spent enroute to Normandy, France.
22 June 1944
Due to inclement weather, the 20th, 21st, and 22nd were spent offshore the Omaha Beachhead, St-Pierre-du-Mont, and the landing of the battalion was not effected until the evening of the June 22nd. The Battalion spent the first night in France in Transit Area #3, which was located 3 miles inland.
23 June 1944
Battalion moved from Transit Area #3 by truck to Colombieres and became attached to the Provisional Ranger Group of the First U.S. Army.
29 June 1944
Battalion moved from Colombieres to Saint-Joseph on the Cherbourg Peninsula.
30 June 1944
Battalion moved from Saint-Joseph to Cherbourg and became attached to the 4th Port Headquarters.
8 July 1944
From June 30th until July 8th, the battalion was attached to the 4th Port Headquarters, during this period the battalion secured the city of Cherbourg and guarded various military installations. The battalion was relieved from its assignment and moved to Hau de Haut, which was located 8 miles S of Cherbourg.
25 July 1944
From July 8th until July 25th the battalion in conjunction with the 2nd and 5th Ranger Bns as well as the 759th Light Tank Battalion patrolled the area of the Cherbourg Peninsula between Cherbourg and Valognes. In addition, the security patrols also checked the area for enemy material, ammunition, and casualties. During the period, field fire exercises, primarily German weapons, were conducted on the beach at Biville, which is located 15 miles W of Cherbourg.
6 Aug 1944
From July 25th until August 6th , the battalion conducted night firing, field problems at Teurthéville-Hague, which is located 10 miles SW of Cherbourg.
10 Aug 1944
From August 7th to August 10th, the battalion was located at le Mesnil-Herman which is located 10 miles SW of St-Lô, where training was coordinated with the 759th Light Tank Battalion.
13 Aug 1944
During the period 11th , 12th and 13th, the battalion set up a general defense of the town of Buais.
14 Aug 1944
Battalion became attached to the 2nd Armored Division and assigned to Combat Command “B” of that division for an mission. The mission was cancelled and the battalion was assigned to Division Reserve.
18 Aug 1944
While in 2nd Armored Division Reserve the battalion was indoctrinated to operate as armored infantry and were given instructions and demonstrations by the 41st Armored Infantry Regiment in the proper installation of road blocks, proper use of artillery, and proper use of communications within an armored division.
19 Aug 1944
The battalion moved with Division Reserve to Essay which was located 15 miles NW of Alençon and went into bivouac for the night.
20 Aug 1944
The 2nd Armored Division Reserve moved to Tourouvre (10 miles NW of Mortagne-au-Perche) and the battalion established several road blocks. Upon completion of the battalions road blocks some were heavily shelled by German artillery.
21 Aug 1944
During a mine accident two enlisted men were killed and wounded one officer and ten other enlisted men.
22 Aug 1944
Battalion moved to Biet and established several road blocks.
23 Aug 1944
Battalion moved to Le Failly; billeting detail upon entering the town made contact with a company of Germans and were forced to withdrew. The town was later captured by 2nd Armored Division Reserve, and 150 prisoners were captured.
24 Aug 1944
Movement was made to Cesseville (12 miles South of Elbeuf ), where the battalion set up road blocks. 14 prisoners were captured during the night and next morning hours.
25 Aug 1944
The battalion still attached to 2nd Armored Division Reserve was alerted for an attack of the woods immediately south of the town of Elbeuf and with the final objective, the south side of the town itself. Except for artillery and mortar fire, no resistance was encountered until the battalion entered the city at 1600 hours, There were several German medium tanks in town and support of Tank Destroyers was requested by the battalion. The tank destroyers did not arrive until two hours later, so the battalion pushed forward against enemy artillery, mortar, tank, and small arms dire and took the final objective at 1635 hours. The battalion command post was set up in town with a rear command post and reserve on the high ground south of the town.
26 Aug 1944
At 0600 hours a counterattack was launched by the enemy on the northwest section of Elbeuf but was driven off by fire from the tank destroyers. At 1147 hours the battalion command post was shelled and the Battalion Commander Lt. Col Turner was wounded and evacuated. The Executive Officer, Major D. Hansen took over the command of the battalion. At 1700 hours, all organized small arms resistance ceased, and artillery and mortar fire was still being fired on the town from the north side of the Seine River. At 1800 hours the battalion was relieved by the 4th Canadian Armored Division and moved to St. Croix de Martin. During the capture and defend of Elbeuf the battalion suffered the following casualties: seven enlisted men killed, nine officers and forty-one enlisted men wounded.
27 Aug 1944
Battalion moved to Poey-sur-Eure.
29 Aug 1944
Battalion crossed the Seine river and moved to Saint-Martin-la-Renne. Battalion became attached to Combat Command “A” of the 2nd Armored Division again for an attack the next morning.
30 Aug 1944
The battalion took its objectives and encountered no enemy resistance. The final objective were the woods north of the town of Villers en Arthies. In the evening hours the battalions Command Post was established in the town of Villers en Atrhies. After reaching its objectives the battalion was relieved from its assignment to the 2nd Armd Div and became attached to the 7th Armored Group which was in XIX Corps reserve.
31 Aug 1944
The battalion moved to an assembly area near Dreucourt for an rest period.
6 Sept 1944
The battalion was alerted and moved from La Glanerie, France to Mons, Belgium with the mission of securing the city. Upon arrival road blocks were set up and the city patrolled.
8 Sept 1944
The battalion moved from Mons, Belgium to Valenciennes, France for the purpose of securing the First U.S. Army sector against an probable attack by an enemy pocket in the British sector to the north and west of Valenciennes.
12 Sept 1944
Battalion released from its attachment to the 7th Armored Group. At 1700 the battalion became attached to the 2nd Armored Division .
13 Sept 1944
Battalion moved by truck to Lerinpt in the vicinity of St. Trond, Belgium. At 1800 the unit moved to Winterslag Cite where they secured the city and railway bridge.
14 Sept 1944
At 0645 hours “A” and “B” companies were attached to Combat Command “A” of the 2nd Armored Division. At 141345B September, the battalion less “A” and “B” companies moved to Walterscheide Cite. At 1830 hours the battalion moved to an new assembly area near Mechelen.
15 Sept 1944
“C” Company was attached to the 2nd Battalion of the 66th Armored Regiment and at 1700 moved to secure Reckheim. At 1500, the unit was assembled and orders issued to attack east of the Zuid Willems Vaart Canal.
16 Sept 1944
At 1700, “C” Company moved out with 5 light tanks and 6 medium tanks. At 2000, “A”, “B”, and “D” Companies moved across the Zuid Willems Vaart canal to support the attack of “C” Company. At 162200, the forward elements reached it objectives. The night’s operation resulted in one officer and one enlisted man killed; one officer and twelve enlisted men wounded. Fourteen prisoners of war were taken.
17 Sept 1944
The battalion continued the attack at 0700 hours “B” and “C” Companies leading the attack. “D” Company supported the leading elements and “A” Company was held in battalion reserve. Light and medium tanks of the 66th Armored Regiment supported the attack. All objectives were reached by 1600 hours and the battalion reorganized and held strong points to meet any counterattack. Estimated casualties: forty enlisted men. 111 POWs were taken.
18 Sept 1944
“A” and “C” Companies of the battalion with “G” and “H” Companies of the 66th Armored Regiment continued the attack at 0700 hours and seized its objectives at 1700 hours. The final objective was secured and at 1800 hours the battalion was released from attachment to the 2nd Armored Division and B company of the 744th Light Tank Battalion was assigned to the battalion and assisted in establishing security of strong points. Assigned mission of the operation was completed; estimated casualties for the operations from the 16th thru the 18th: one officer killed, two officers wounded, eight enlisted men killed, seventy-five enlisted men wounded, and ten enlisted men missing. Four hundred and forty prisoners were taken during the operation. Missing personnel were later all accounted for.
28 Sept 1944
During the period 18 - 28 September, the battalion’s front lines were reinforced by three hundred Belgian. Enemy artillery fell occasionally during this period and on the evening of the 19th and the morning of the 20th, Belgian patrols reported heavy enemy traffic from Maeseyck to Rothem and Dilsen. Enemy counterattack was expected on the morning of the 20th. Fire of the battalion’s 81mm mortars and artillery support from the units on our right, the British on our left discouraged the counterattack and the enemy withdrew to the vicinity of Roermond. On September 28th the battalion was relieved by the 7th Armored Division and on the same date the battalion moved to the vicinity of Mechelen.
29 Sept 1944
Battalion relieved from assignment to the XIX Corps and became attached to the First Army. Battalion left Mechelen and moved by truck to the vicinity of Eupen.
30 Sept 1944
The battalion went into bivouac in the vicinity of Montzen.
12 Oct 1944
Battalion attached to XIX Corps and moved to Marienberg, Germany in XIX Corps Reserve.
15 Oct 1944
Battalion moved to a forward assembly area in the vicinity of the railway station Wurselen (North) and prepared to attack the following day.
16 Oct 1944
The battalion became attached to the 30th Inf Div. The battalion was reinforced by the 116th Inf Rgt (less one battalion) and the 3rd battalion 66th Armd Rgt attacked all along the line at 0600 hours. “C” Company less one platoon moved forward to make physical contact with units left and right. The remainder of the battalion held their present positions. 34 POWs were taken.
17 Oct 1944
Battalion held its positions except for “A” Company which at 1600 hours was counter-attacked and driven from their positions by two enemy tanks and approximately 50 riflemen. “A” Company made several attempts to out flank the enemy and finally got back into the battalion sector, reorganized and at 2000 hours moved back into their positions.
18 Oct 1944
Battalion maintained contact with 1st and 2nd Battalion of the 116th Inf Rgt and 18th Inf Rgt. The enemy counterattacked in the vicinity of Haarenheidchen (south of Wuselen) with five tanks and approximately 100 infantrymen but no ground was lost. Six POWs were taken. The following casualties were sustained by the battalion: One enlisted man killed, two officers and fifth teen enlisted man wounded.
19 Oct 1944
“C” Company attached to the 2nd Bn, 116th Inf Rgt advanced slightly and 9 POWs were taken. The following casualties were sustained: One enlisted man killed five enlisted man wounded
22 Oct 1944
On 20 thru 22 October, “C” Company was still attached to the 2nd Bn, 116th Inf Regt. “B” Company attached to the 3rd Bn, 120th Inf Rgt. A and D Companies were in reserve of the 116th Inf Rgt. No attack was made during this period. 25 POWs were taken during this period and the battalion sustained the following casualties: 4 enlisted man killed, 4 enlisted men missing, 3 officers and 17 enlisted men wounded.
23 Oct 1944
The battalion held its present positions until 2000 hours when “C” Company was relieved by “E” Company 116th Inf Rgt. During the day 6 POWs were taken and sustained the battalion the following casualties: 1 officer killed, 3 enlisted men wounded.
24 Oct 1944
At 1730 hours the battalion was relieved by elements of the 116th Inf Rgt as well as from the 119th Inf Rgt. The battalion moved out to the vicinity of Bardenberg and was relieved from its attachment to the 30th Inf Div
29 Oct 1944
At 1500 hours the battalion moved from Bardenberg, Germany to Henri Chapelle, Belgium.
30 Oct 1944
Day were spent in drawing supplies, maintenance and administrative details.
31 Oct 1944
Day were spent in drawing supplies, maintenance and administrative details.
25 Nov 1944
From 1 thru 25 November the battalion was billeted in the vicinity of Henri Chapelle. During this period a training program was set up including firing of weapons and training films. On 25 November the battalion left Henri – Chapelle and moved towards Tilff with the mission of reserve for Army area against any enemy airborne attack, infiltration tactics, and guerilla warfare. “A” Company of the battalion was billeted in the vicinity of St. Hubert to guard three main supply routes as well as two enemy ammunition dumps.
17 Dec 1944
During the period 1 to 17 December 1944, the battalion less “A” Company was located at Tilff. From Tilff the battalion patrolled an main supply road and B Company patrolled an railroad supply line and its vital bridges. “A” Company was located in the vicinity of Marche and St. Hubert and patrolled three main supply roads as well as guarded an enemy ammunition depot in the vicinity of St. Hubert. At 1800 hours of 17 December, the battalion was alerted and proceeded from Tilff to Malmedy with the purpose of blocking the further advance of the Germans in that sector. Attached to the battalion was the 526th Armored Infantry Battalion and “B” Company 825th Tank Destroyer Battalion to form Task Force Hansen. Because of the congested roads caused by the great quantity of personnel and material being evacuated from threatened areas, the progress of the column toward Malmedy was extremely slow. Lt Col Hansen and Maj Bjornstad proceeded ahead of the battalion an arrived in Malmedy at 2130 hours. By this time the town of Malmedy had been evacuated by all military personnel with the exception of approximately sixty (60) men of the 291st Engr C Bn under the command of Lt. Col Runkin. The engineers had established road blocks consisting of mines and were prepared to destroy bridges and knockdown trees to further block the approaches of Malmedy. “B” Company of the battalion took a separated route and arrived in Malmedy at around midnight. “B” Company immediately took up positions to the SW of Malmedy to block the roads and occupy the high ground commanding the approach to the town from the south.
18 Dec 1944
At 0300 hours the remainder of the battalion (less “A” Company) arrived in Malmedy. “C” Company took positions to the NE to block the road from Eupen. “A” Company, 526th Armd Inf Bn and one platoon of the 825th TD Bn became detached from the Task Force Hansen and proceeded to Stavelot. “B” Company, 526th Armd Inf Bn and some TD guns blocked the approaches southwest of Malmedy. At 0530 hours “A” Company of the battalion was alerted and moved from St. Hurbert also towards Malmedy. The column arrived at 1030 hours just outside Stavelot but was unable to proceed through Stavelot so it continued around of the town and back to Spa and then proceeded to Malmedy were they arrived at 11330 hours. At 1645 hours a American jeep with tree Germans and two American POWs ridding on the hood approached an road block which was maintained by “B” Company. One of the Germans was shot trying to escape the other two were taken prisoner. At 1830 hours one battalion of the 117th Inf Rgt as well as one battalion of the 120th Inf Rgt arrived in Malmedy and went also in position. At 2110 hours four parachutist were reported dropped one-half mile west of Malmedy.
19 Dec 1944
In the afternoon “B” Company of the battalion remained in position while the rest of the battalion withdrew one-half mile to the Northwest of Malmedy and went into position as 120th Inf Rgt reserve.
20 Dec 1944
At 1700 hours “B” Company captured two Germans on an motorcycle and killed two more approaching their positions.
21 Dec 1944
At 0655 hours the Germans tried to break trough road block #5 of “B” Company with a column of armor and infantry. The column consisted of 3 American jeeps, 1 half-track, 1 American M8 armored car, 1 German Mark VI tank and 2 American medium tanks. Three of the lead vehicles hit some mines in front of the road block and at the same time were fired upon by the three inch tank destroyer guns. Mortar and MG fire and all weapons of “B” Company were placed on the vehicles and personnel therein . Artillery fire was concentrated along the entire approaching column. The attack was repulsed and about 100 enemy were killed by small arms fire and artillery. Three POWs were taken. Two American jeeps and the M8 armored car were recovered in usable condition. At 0915 hours, 1 platoon of “A” Company was sent to investigate heavy small arms fire in the town of Burneville. The remainder of the battalion moved to comb the woods and area west of Malmedy. No enemy was located in the area searched. By 1800 hours the disposition of the battalion was as follows “B” Company in same position it had originally occupied SW of Malmedy. “A” Company in Burneville, Hq , C and D in the vicinity NW of Malmedy.
27 Dec 1944
At 1600 hours, “C” Company supported by 230th FA Bn raided the town of Hedamont. 1 POW was taken and estimated 30 Germans were killed during the raid
28 Dec 1944
“A” Company took over “B” company’s positions on the front line and “C” Company took over the sector on “B” Company’s left, formerly occupied by “L” Company of the 120th Inf Rgt. “B” Company was moved to Malmedy in mobile reserve.
29 Dec 1944
At 1630 hours “B” Company supported by artillery and mortars attacked the town of Otaimont. No prisoners were taken.
6 Jan 1945
From the 1 – 6 January 1945, the battalion occupied front line defense positions on the outskirts of Malmedy. Patrol action was common and enemy artillery and rocket fire was fairly heavy. During the nights German combat troops dressed in white camouflage suits raided forward positions without success. These nuisance raids together with the cold of the foxholes served to exhaust the men more than did artillery fire or the lack of warm food. In the evening the battalion moved to the vicinity of Stavelot its old positions at Malmedy were taken over by elements of the 30th Inf Div
10 Jan 1945
The First offensive action in the battalions new positions around Stavelot took place this date. Enemy positions were attacked with marked success by the 2nd Platoon of “A” Company and many Germans were killed, wounded or taken prisoner. Resisting violently with mortar and small arms fire, the enemy was driven from its positions and well camouflaged fox-holes. The attack was in the nature of a raid and after driving the enemy back the unit withdrew.
11 Jan 1945
The 2nd Platoon of “A” Company again attacked the same sector, which the enemy had re-occupied, but with less success as the previously day. Hand to hand fighting followed and the men were pinned down by concentrations of enemy mortar, machine gun and artillery fire. Almost surrounded, the platoon fought back savagely with grenade and bayonet until it had a chance to withdraw with only fair losses.
12 Jan 1945
Elements of the battalion once more attacked the same sector, Chevefosse, which, according to the prisoners, was strongly outposted and fortified to prevent patrols from infiltrating across the bridge into Thieux. On the same day the 119th Inf Rgt attacked from the vicinity of Malmedy and across the battalions left front. The Battalion supported the attack with heavy machine gun and 81mm mortar fire. During the attack the enemy heavily shelled the battalions positions causing some casualties.
15 Jan 1945
The 517th Parachute Regiment attacking on the battalions right front, and the 119th Inf Rgt attacking on the left front, finally squeezed the battalion out of the front line. Once again the battalion supported the attack with mortar and heavy machine gun fire and once again it sweated out the incoming barrage thrown by the desperate enemy.
17 Jan 1945
During the last previously two days the battalion maintained its positions in their sector and conducted patrols.
18 Jan 1945
After 31 days of continuous fighting, living in snowy fox-holes at sub-zero temperatures and being under unrelenting artillery fire and observation by the enemy, the tired, bearded men of the battalion were formally relieved from their front line positions and the battalion moved out to Tilff.
22 Jan 1945
After three days of rest at Tilff, Belgium the battalion boarded a train for a long trip back towards the coast of France.
25 Jan 1945
After an trip of approximately 74 hours the battalion arrive at Barneville, France
At Barneville the battalion joined another unit, the 474th Infantry Regiment. This regiment was composed of former paratroopers and rangers of the First Special Service Force which had distinguished itself at Anzio and in the invasion of Southern France. Training here was designed to mould these proven combat units into an aggressive and efficient striking force to carry out the hazardous mission then in the offing. The 99th Infantry Battalion operated as individual battalion .of the 474th Infantry Regiment (Separate). A steady round of tactical problems, firing exercises, use of new assault weapons and lectures went on week after week. Tanks and other armored vehicles were included in the regiment.
2 April 1945
The 474th Infantry Regiment (separate) left Barnevile, France via truck and box-car for a 500 mile trip to Aachen, Germany where the final reorganization took place. The 99th Infantry Battalion made itself comfortable among the ruins, salvaging everything from mattresses to floor lamps and waited for the next order to move up.
11 April 1945
The battalion became temporarily separated from the 474th Infantry Regiment and traveled 300 miles into southeastern Germany to the town of Hertsfeld in the Third Army area. It was the battalions mission to patrol roads, woods, and towns, cleaning up pockets which had been by-passed by the rapidly advancing American Army.
21 April 1945
The battalion which now was bivouacked in the woods located one mile from Eitersfeld moved to Heroldsbach (15 miles North of Nuremberg, Germany)
11 May 1945
The battalion was relieved from its “clean up” work in the Bavaria by elements of the 4th Infantry Division which occupied the territories secured by the 99th Inf Bn.
13 May 1945
The battalion return to France
14 May 1945
15 May 1945
16 May 1945
Individual Awards and Decorations 99th Infantry Battalion (Separate):
Silver Stars: 15
Bronze Stars: 20
Purple Heart: 305
Good Conduct: 763
Combat Infantry Badges: 814