Division, because this division, under peremptory orders from its commander, had continued the westward advance through the night, the forward troops defiling into the Kautenbach bridgehead. So, in freezing cold, some three thousand men, women, and children set out on the road to Mersch, leaving behind four hundred of the townspeople who refused to abandon aged relatives or property.6, All during the day of the 20th the 109th Infantry was out of touch with the enemy. Combat Command "B" 9th Armored Division, was composed of the following units: Troop "D", 89th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized); Company "B", 9th Armored Engineer Battalion; Company "A", 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion (plus one Platoon Reconnaissance Company, 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion); Battery "B", 482nd Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion (Self-Propelled); Company "B", 2nd Armored Medical Battalion; Company "C", 131st Armored Ordnance Maintenance Battalion; Military Police Detachment, 9th Armored Division. To make success certain, General Brandenberger, the Seventh Army commander, sent army artillery and rocket projectors to join the 352d artillery battalions in creating an "artillery center of gravity" at Bastendorf. Contact with the three line companies was lost, but they fought on in their original positions, under orders from the battalion commander to hold their ground. Despite the poverty of forces allotted Brandenberger's Seventh Army, the Fuehrer was prepared, as always, to expect the impossible. Here, during the night, the 14th made a crossing near Kautenbach, opening the way to Wiltz and the west for the main forces of the division. Colonel Rudder's reserves consisted of Company A, 103d Engineer Battalion; Company C, 707th Tank Battalion; the towed 3-inch guns of Company A, 630th Tank Destroyer Battalion; and his regimental antitank company. Moehring's division had been reconstituted during the autumn following almost complete destruction in Normandy and the retreat across France. Führen was attacked during the day by troops of the 15th Parachute Regiment, the 915th Regiment, and the 914th Regiment. Bridging equipment promised by the Seventh Army had arrived late and inexperienced engineers had further delayed the construction. Citation: He was the leader of a combat patrol on 21 December 1944 near Grufflingen, Belgium, with the mission of driving German forces from dug-in positions in a heavily wooded area. south by Bollendorf. In the center of the 9th Armored sector the 60th Armored Infantry Battalion headquarters at Beaufort discovered that the enemy had cut in between the headquarters and the three companies of armored infantry in the line.7 Six armored cars counterattacked and cleared the high ground north of Beaufort but were unable to drive the Germans from the woods behind the isolated companies. Casualties in manpower and equipment while substantial did not permit the enemy to close in the vital road center at St. Vith. The 15th Regiment drive through Walsdorf marked the most extensive penetration of the 109th Infantry positions on this first day. Its opponent, the 3d Battalion, was deployed on what for this sector was a narrow front, well dug in on the heights overlooking the Our and with its right flank protected by the Sauer. On the whole the Seventh Army command was far from pleased by the day's performance, pressing General Moehring to continue the attack through the night. For example, when the German attack began on 16 December, the U.S. 7th Armored Division … This village lay on a slope and had not been occupied, although American patrols moved in now and then at night to check suspicious lights. The 109th Infantry had held its positions in this first day, and Rudder saw no cause for alarm since he occupied good terrain. The German center, and the bridge train, converged on Ettelbruck. At 1635 hours, enemy infantry began an assault against “D”, 14th Tank Battalion's position. As a result the 986th was able to report that it had made gains on its left and "taken" Bigelbach. Resupply and evacuation were the chief concern of the 109th Infantry on the night of 17-18 December, particularly the problem of getting ammunition to the tanks and Companies E and F. Carrying parties were used and tanks employed to bring up supplies and evacuate the wounded. Several days later, he rejoined the 14th Tank Battalion’s Command Post in the vicinity of St. Vith. The 352d had been promised a Todt Brigade for work on the roads and at the bridge, but the labor brigade never appeared. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Menaced from two sides by superior strength, the American tank destroyers and cavalry were ordered to withdraw to the ridge south of the village. 16-20 December. Furthermore, the 276th lacked the artillery so necessary for close infantry support in this type of terrain and had been forced to parcel its two howitzer battalions in small sections along the east bank. “C” Company maintained this roadblock until 1800 hours on the 24th of December. Medium artillery fire began to fall on “B” Company, 14th Tank Battalion position from 1540 -1605 hours. The 109th Infantry, led by Lt. Col. James E. Rudder, a former Ranger commander, was close to full strength, although, like the rest of the 28th Division, its rifle companies were filled by replacements with limited experience and training. At 0030 hours, General Hoge arrived at the Command Post of the 14th Tank Battalion. Sergeant Abraham was killed in this action. In fact this leading contingent of the 915th had shot its bolt and for the next couple of days would take little part in the battle. But General Moehring did not live to greet his successor en route in his staff car from Beaufort to Müllerthal he was killed by machine gun fire. Staff Sergeant George E. Clevenger, Supply Sergeant of “B” Company, was captured and wounded in the Malmedy Massacre. Plans were made to recapture the 27th Infantry Command Post. 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