Closing of the Aachen Gap: 119th Co. F and 18th IR Co. K 1st ID on Oct. 16th, 1944 16:15

This part is from the 119th Official History Book:

Look also here.

The First Battalion had, long before dawn, bridged the Wurm River in front of Kohlscheid and proceeded to the north edge of the town, meeting scattered but stubborn opposition. The Wurm River ran generally south to north. It was small and could he termed a good-sized creek. However, in the “Line” battle. the Regiment had to bridge it three times-once moving east at Rimburg, once moving west at Kohlscheid, and once moving east, south of Kohlscheid. 
The leading platoon of Company A was pinned down by machine gun lire until T/Sgt. John Overman, a mortar observer, charged the machine gon position with his sub-machine gun and killed three of the enemy crew. After that, progress was fairly rapid. First Battalion had the downtown area cleared before noon and was on its way southwest in the direction of Ursfeld and Richterich. Second Battalion jumped ofi at daylight, and though it soon ran into resistance from tank, machine gun, and artillery fire, it was able to knock out one tank and two pillboxes. Secure footholds were established finally on the northern and western edges of Wurselen.

Our plan was not to push directly through Wurselen to cut the highway, hut to come down the western side of the city and cut the highway at a point southwest of it, making contact with the First Division at the same time. In the afternoon the Second Battalion held positions reaching down the slope to within 500 yards of the highway, and a company of the 99th Infantry Battalion, an American Norwegian Battalion attached to us, had men dug in just short of the highway. The enemy held a considerable force of tanks and infantry on the high hill directly south of WurseIen overlooking the highway. This force brought such heavy fire to bear on the men of the 99th that they were unable to leave their foxholes by daylight.
The enemy also had pushed tanks along the road and sent six of them, accompanied by 40 infantrymen, against Company E holding the extreme right of the Second Battalion west of the highway. One of the tanks, a Mark VI, was able to advance to within 175 yards of our lines. A bazooka team was sent out, but, Ending that the bazooka had no effect on the heavy armor of the monster tank, the team came back. In a second attempt Pvt. Blair I... Mutimer took the bazooka and went forward 50 yards and fired. One rocket hit the tank, glanced off without doing any damage, and two otlters, though they missed, accounted for I5 of the accompanying infantry. The attack was finally driven off by artillery and small arms. 

At nightfall, a patrol was sent from Company F to contact the l8th Infantry of the First Division. The patrol slipped forward in the darkness and rain, coming within 200 yards af the First Division front lines before they were fired on by an enemy outpost. S/Sgt. Frank A. Karwel, who was in charge of the patrol, vanished. Fortunately he had given orders to avoid a fire fight and get on to the First Division. Two lead scouts, Pvt. Edward Krauss and Pvt. Evan F.Whitis, succeeded in crawling out from under the concentrated small arms and mortar fire, and in reaching the First Division lines. The seven other men of the patrol managed to work hack to our lines in the dark. Private Krause and Private First Class Whitis guided a patrol from the First Division hack to our lines later that night, but found no trace of Sergeant Karwel. lt was not known whether he was killed or captured.


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