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D-Day Documents

29th Division - Headquarters Company - After Action Report

 

Elements of Headquarters Company and attached unit aboard LCI 414 landed on Omaha Beach in the vicinity of Vierville sur Mer at 1500 hours on 6 June 1944 for the participation of the invasion of Europe. The remaining elements of the Forward Echelon could not land at this time because of heavy machine gun and artillery falling on the beach. The command post originally scheduled to be set up at a chateau picked from an serial photograph could not be used because the advance elements of the assault troops had not reached their first objective. The elements of the advance group set up the first command post in a stone quarry (645914 Sheet 6 E/6 Isigny) one hundred yards from the beach on the road to Vierville-sur-Mer. This command post operated at this location until 8 June 1944 when the remaining elements of the Forward Echelon landed at 1500 hours on Dog Red Beach and proceeded to the command post at the stone quarry on the road to Vierville-sur-Mer. The command post then moved four hundred yards inland to Vierville-sur-Mer (645910 Sheet 6 E/6 Isigny). The following morning, 9 June 1944, at 0600 hours, the command post moved by motor into the vicinity of Longueville, France (588882 Sheet 6 E/6 Isigny), a distance of six miles. While at this location, the division captured Isigny which was a strong point in the German defenses. Until 1500 hours, 10 June 1944, the command post operated in the vicinity of Castilly, France (561818 Sheet 6 E/6 Isigny), a distance of  six miles. The command post operated at Castilly, France, until 1300 hours, 15 June 1944. While at Castilly, the division captured St. Clair-sur-Elbe, a strong point in the German defenses. The command post then moved by motor to the vicinity of Fosse aux Loups (563787 Sheet 6 E/6 Isigny), distance traveled, three miles. While the forward echelon was in this area, the rear echelon left marshalling area, C-21, at 15 hours on 16 June 1944 and boarded the SS Pearl Harbor at 1530 hours at Southhampton, Hants, England. The rear echelon landed on Dog Red Beach at 1330 hours, 17 June 1944, and established at St Lo.

The forces engaged by this company consisted of small groups of isolated enemy resistance. The main function of this company is to operate and move the division headquarters command post. The casualties inflicted upon the enemy by this company consisted of five prisoners and no enemy dead. The first prisoners being taken by Pvt 1cl Adam Baron, 33083819, on 10 June 1944 at Castilly (554818 Sheet 6/E Isigny). The other four prisoners were taken by a 57mm gun squad commanded by Cpl Winfield Klinefelter, 33001137, at Vessie (535701 Sheet 6 F/2 St. Lo). While the command post was located at Vessis, France, a small pocket of resistance located south of Vessie, France several times threatened the division command post. Final protective lines were formed from (532703 6 F/2 St Lo.) to (535701 Sheet 6 F/2 St Lo), but at no time was any contact made with the enemy. The prisoners captured by the company did not consist of any important captives.

The first casualty of this organization or attached teams was Tec 5 Jack Hitchcock, 16099184, of the CIC Detachment. He was wounded by a piece of flak about 2300 hours, 8 June 1944, while in the command post at Vierville-sur-Mer. The next casualty was Pvt 1cl Frederick Martin, 31132296, who was wounded at Castilly, France while returning from the front at the command post located in vicinity of Castilly. The next casualties suffered by the organization were on 16 June 1944 in the crossroad one half mile west of St. Clair-sur-Elle. Captain Otto H. Graas, 0408948, and Pvt 1cl Carleton Walls, 12047758, were seriously wounded, and 2nd Lieutenant Orin O. Carpenter, Jr., 0446040, was killed when the encountered a German machine gun. The total number of casualties suffered were three enlisted men and one officer wounded and one officer killed.