202nd Field Artillery Battalion
United States Army  World War II

United States Army World War II

TIMELINE OF NOTABLE EVENTS




16 September 1940
The 189th Field Artillery Regiment, composed of National Guard units, was inducted into Federal service and stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The Regiment was assigned to the 45th Division of the Third Army.


 

 

6 March 1941 The 189th Field Artillery Regiment moves to Camp Barkeley, Texas. 


 

 

11 February 1942 The 2nd Battalion of the 189th Field Artillery Regiment becomes the 202nd
Field Artillery Regiment, General Headquarters Reserve at
Camp Barkeley, Texas. It is de-
tached from the 45th Division.  The 1st Battalion becomes the 189th Field Artillery Battalion.

 

 

5 August 1942 The 202nd Field Artillery Regiment, Army Ground Forces moves to Camp Gruber, Oklahoma for further training. The Regiment is now part of the 16th Field Artillery Brigade,
X Corps.

 


 

 

1 March 1943 The 1st Battalion, 202nd Field Artillery Regiment was reorganized and redesignated as the independent 202nd Field Artillery Battalion. The 2nd Battalion, 202nd Field Artillery Regiment becomes the 961st Field Artillery Battalion.

 

 

18 October 1943 The 202nd Field Artillery Battalion moved to Camp Howze, Texas.

 

 

25 December 1943 202nd is alerted to prepare for overseas shipment.


 

 

6 January 1944 The Battalion departs Camp Howze, Texas via train.

 

 

10 January 1944 Arrival at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts after a long train ride through the Midwest and across Canada.

 

 

18 January 1944 The 202nd boards the SS Borinquen and embarks the following day for the United Kingdom. Also aboard the ship is the 961st Field Artillery Battalion and a Quartermaster Graves Registration company.

 

 

29 January 1944 The 202nd arrives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Boards train for Camp Drumilly in County Armagh. The Battalion is attached to the 144th Field Artillery Group at Camp Drumilly until the 208th Field Artillery Group, commanded by Col. Eric A. Erickson, takes over in April.

 

 

6 May 1944 The Battalion leaves Camp Drumilly and boards the United States Army Transport George W. Goethals in Belfast at 2130 hours. The 961st Field Artillery Battalion is also onboard.

 

 

7 May 1944 The 202nd sails from Belfast at 1200 hours to the port of Liverpool.

 

 

8 May 1944 Battalion travels 175 miles southeast to Holton Mill, Wheatley, just east of Oxford. The Deuce is stationed near its sister unit - the 961st Field Artillery Battalion.

 

 

30 June 44 Left Camp Wheatley, England and traveled about 75 miles to their marshalling area at Camp Hursley.  Later that afternoon, they left for their Embarkation Point.

 

 

1 July 44 Arrived Southampton, England at 0030 Hours and began loading men and equipment onto three LST’s. The 202nd sailed into the English Channel towards the coast of Normandy, France

 

 2 July 44 at 0900 Hours the Battalion arrived at the beachhead codenamed Utah.  They waited for the tide to recede and then went ashore at 1445 Hours. They proceeded to the de-waterproofing area at Field #6, Coordinates 394993.  Then on through the towns of Ravenoville and Ste-Mere-Eglise, stopping just north of Vindefontaine. The 202nd set up their howitzers and fired a few rounds into enemy territory to register their guns. They were attached to the 174th Field Artillery Group, VIII Corps, U.S. First Army.  

 

3 July 1944 The 202nd fired 16 missions and expended 343 rounds on their first full day in combat.

 

 

12 July 1944 The Battalion was relieved from the 174th Field Artillery Group and attached to the 333rd Field Artillery Group.

 

 

2 August 1944 The Deuce-O-Deuce received orders to join the 5th Armored Division column near Périers at once.  The 202nd was now part of XV Corps, United States Third Army commanded by Lieutenant General George S. Patton.

 

 

9 August 1944 The Battalion was now supported by the 387th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion (Self-Propelled).

 

 

18 August 1944 Near Broué, the Battalion suffered its first fatality since its arrival in France. An M-10 ammunition trailer pulled by a 4-ton Diamond T truck caught fire and exploded.  Private Lester F. Joyce of “A” Battery, riding in the back of the truck, was struck in the head by a shell fragment, killing him almost instantly. 

 

 

24 August 1944 The 202nd Field Artillery Battalion was relieved from attachment to the 5th Armored Division and attached to XV Corps Artillery.  The 202nd formed a groupment with the 975th Field Artillery Battalion (155mm howitzers) and the 250th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm howitzers) with Lt. Col. Tom Lewis commanding.

 

 

During the month of August 1944, the 202nd Field Artillery Battalion traveled over 543 miles, fired 360 missions, expended 5,547 rounds of 155mm howitzer ammunition and captured 73 enemy prisoners.  The liaison air section flew a total of 43 missions totaling over 62 hours, including 16 reconnaissance, five surveillance, 12 adjustments and 10 registrations.

 

 

12 September 1944 An observation post (OP) party consisting of Captain Harold E. Brown, 1st Lt. Gurdon B. Flagg, 2nd Lt Arthur Rice, and Corporal Hoyt D. McAnally was pinned to the ground by enemy machine gun fire on Hill 376 (coordinates 890765) overlooking Charmes, France.  Corporal McAnally was wounded in the thigh and died before he could be evacuated to the 79th Division medic’s collection point.  This was the second fatality in the unit since its arrival in France.

 

 

13 September 1944 Orders were received from the 208th Field Artillery Group that the Battalion was now to reinforce the fires of the 310th Field Artillery Battalion.

 

 

15 September 1944 The Deuce was relieved from assignment of reinforcing the 310th Field Artillery Battalion and was now in general support of XV Corps. 

 

17 September 1944 The Battalion was to reinforce the fires of the 2nd French Armored Division. They moved 14 miles to a new position near Vaubexy, France.

 

23 September 1944 The commanding general of XV Corps Artillery, Brigadier General Edward Stanley Ott, presented the Air Medal for completion of 35 combat sorties to 1st Lieutenant Allen L. Hathaway, 1st Lieutenant John W. White and 2nd Lieutenant Walter R. White.  These officers were the first in the XV Corps to receive this award.

 

 

28 September 1944 The American attack into the Parroy Forest by the 79th Division began.  The German Fifth Panzer Army had established bases and depots deep in the Forest of Parroy, located five miles northeast of the Deuce’s current position near Fraimbois, France.  The Germans were using the forest cover as an assembly area for troops and armor mounting counterattacks against the Third Army's right flank.  They controlled the main highway (N-4) leading to Sarrebourg and the Saverne Gap, which hampered a rapid advance eastward by the Allies. The American 313th and 315th Infantry Regiments were battling the German 15th Panzer Grenadier Division.  Over the course of the next eleven days, the Americans would make painfully slow progress against the determined German resistance.  Two days later, the infantry had barely penetrated over one mile into the forest.

 

 

29 September 1944 Control of the XV Corps officially passed to the 6th Army Group and the Seventh Army. The Deuce-O-Deuce was now fighting under the Commanding General of the Seventh United States Army, Alexander M. Patch.

 

 

6 October 1944 The 214th AAA Battalion, equipped with 90 mm guns, was now attached to the Deuce-O-Deuce. 

 

 

During the month of October 1944, the Battalion fired 6,237 rounds of ammunition in 469 missions.

 

 

8 November 1944 Lt. Flavey E. Baker, Executive Officer of “A” Battery, and his driver, Private William H. Parker, were in the vicinity of Migneville, France looking for a suitable observation post when their ¼-ton Command & Reconnaissance truck (jeep) ran over a mine at 1210 hours.  Private Parker was killed instantly and Lt. Baker received a fracture of the left arm and lacerations on the face.  The vehicle was completely demolished.  Lt. Baker was evacuated by the medical personnel of the 2nd French Armored Division and taken to the 51st Evacuation Hospital near Vincey, France. Private Bill Parker was the Deuce’s third fatality since its arrival in France. 

 

 

13 November 1944 The howitzers and cannoneers of the Deuce-O-Deuce had their busiest day to date.  They completed 101 missions and expended 1,290 rounds. The Battalion was involved in the intensive artillery preparation for the XV Corps November offensive against the narrow Saverne Gap, now defended only by three weak German volksgrenadier divisions. 

 

 

18 November 1944 The skies had cleared that morning allowing the Deuce’s liaison planes to take to the air.  Pilot 1st Lieutenant Allen W. Hathaway and Observer 2nd Lieutenant George T. “Tommy” Schleier were airborne about 1430 hours when they located some enemy troops and requested artillery fire.  After the first round of adjustment, contact was lost with the plane.  Reports indicated that the Piper Cub exploded in mid air. Further investigation proved that the plane was hit by a friendly artillery shell.

 

 

24 November 1944 The Deuce-O-Deuce closed station at 1900 hours and traveled 26 miles through Phalsbourg, Saverne, Hochfelden and into its new bivouac, and XV Corps assembling area, in and near the town of Mommenheim, France. A Lt. Baker of XV Corps Artillery was awaiting the arrival of the 202nd with news of the deaths of T/4 Kenneth W. App and Private First Class Joseph L. Marzocco, both of HQ Battery, who were on special assignment as radio operators with the 2nd French Armored Division.  The men were working in a radio trailer at the command post at the Military Palace on Bismarckplatz in Strasbourg, France when it was shelled by German artillery.  Both men stayed at their radios during the attack and were killed at 1330 hours by the concussion of an enemy shell explosion.

 

 

During the month of November 1944, the Battalion expended 7,017 rounds of 155 mm howitzer ammunition on 461 missions.  The Battalion’s air observation posts observed 55 of the missions.

 

 

2 December 1944 The Battalion was now supporting the 100th Infantry Division and reinforcing the fires of the 375th Field Artillery Battalion.

 

 

4 December 1944 By tragic coincidence, at 1030 hours, the Battalion’s remaining L-4 Grasshopper observation and liaison aircraft was hit by friendly artillery fire and fell in flames near Puberg, Alsace, France.  Pilot 1st Lt. Orris E. Herr and Observer 1st Lt. John W. White were killed instantly.  A howitzer in “B” Battery was conducting registration fire in the area of Hinsbourg, France when the plane was hit.

 

 

10 December 1944 The Deuce-O-Deuce was relieved of reinforcing the fires of the 925th Field Artillery Battalion and given the mission of reinforcing the fires of the 374th Field Artillery Battalion. 

 

 

16 December 1944 Beginning of the Ardennes-Alsace Campaign. Five forts in the Maginot Line were targeted by the Battalion’s howitzers on 16 December.  About 262 rounds were expended, one third of the fuzes used were T105 concrete busters.  2nd Lt. Kenneth R. Brantley, “A” Battery Reconnaissance Officer and a forward observer, reported many direct hits but virtually no damage to the fortifications.  The fortifications were nearly impervious to artillery and aerial bombardment except at entrances, escape hatches, and open gun emplacements. The eventual conquest of the massive concrete forts would depend mainly on teams of infantry and combat engineers.

 

 

18 December 1944 Late that night, Patton’s Third Army was ordered to halt its attack to the east, change direction and move over 100 miles to the north, and begin another full scale attack on the southern flank of the German forces. This would prove to be a notable tactical and logistical achievement for Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.  After several days of bitter fighting, elements of his 4th Armored Division’s 37th Armor Regiment reached the besieged 101st Airborne in Bastogne, Belgium on 26 December.

 

 

21 December 1944 That afternoon, Captain Harold E. Brown, Battalion

S-2 (Intelligence Officer), and his HQ Battery driver, Private Robert L. Williams, were on a reconnaissance mission for observation posts from the Battalion’s position near Rimling, Moselle, Lorraine, France.  They became the first members of the Battalion to set foot on German soil when they crossed the frontier in the vicinity of Medelsheim, Germany at 1300 hours.

 

 

24 December 1944 The entire Battalion departed for a new position near Schmittviller, France. The march passed the towns of Bining and Rahling. The Deuce-O-Deuce was ordered to cover the entire Main Line of Resistance (MLR) of the 100th Infantry Division, which was replacing the 87th Infantry Division in the line.

 

 

28 December 1944 The Deuce-O-Deuce was ordered to transfer the equivalent of 10% of its authorized enlisted strength to the 2nd Replacement Depot as infantry replacements. 

 

 

31 December 1944 Shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve the Germans launched Operation Norwind (Northwind).  This new offensive, in the Alsace region of the southern Allied front, was meant to take advantage of Patton's shift north to the Ardennes.  Norwind targeted the Saverne Gap, 20 miles northwest of Strasbourg, to split the Seventh Army's XV and VI Corps and retake the Alsace north of the Marne-Rhine Canal.  This was the area that the XV Corps, with the help of the 202nd Field Artillery Battalion, had taken from the Germans the previous month.


 

 

1 January 1945 The Battalion was busy on the first day of 1945 repelling the German attack in the left part of their sector in the vicinity of Gros-Réderching, France.  In the morning, “B” Battery expended 92 rounds on tanks and infantry reported by the 374th F.A. Bn. at coordinates 64925677.

 

 

3 January 1945 Just after midnight on 3 January, the Germans began the intermittent shelling of the town of Bining where the Deuce’s HQ Battery was located.  About 0100 hours, “C” Battery received numerous 150mm rounds in the battery area near the town.  Sergeant William C. Shirley, Jr., a gun section chief in “C” Battery, was killed by a shell fragment.  During the night, the Germans penetrated to within 3000 yards of the Battalion area.

 
9 January 1945 In the afternoon, “A” Battery was hit with German 105mm artillery fire at their position just north of Rahling, France. One round landed near the number four piece (howitzer) and shell fragments wounded cannoneers Pfc. Robinson and Pfc. Robert J. Ellison.  Private First Class James Ovis Robinson was evacuated to the 10th Field Hospital, 2nd Hospital Unit, located near Vibersviller, and died from his injuries the same day.

 

11 January 1945 The temperatures were getting colder – a low of 14°F.  The winter of 1944-1945 was one of the coldest on record in Europe

 

 

25 January 1945 The Ardennes-Alsace Campaign officially ended on this day.  The Germans had now lost control of France.

 

 

12 February 1945 The 567th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion  departed and the 1st Platoon, “C” Battery, 798th AAA (AW) Bn. assumed anti-aircraft protection for the Deuce-O-Deuce.

 

 

8 March 1945 The Battalion received a message from the 208th Field Artillery Group that elements of the 9th Armored Division and 9th Infantry Division of the First Army had established a bridgehead over the Rhine River on 7 March by capturing the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen—the last one standing on the Rhine. The retreating Germans had destroyed all of the other bridges on the river.

 

 

13 March 1945 The Battalion was relieved of the mission of reinforcing the fires of the 374th Field Artillery Battalion and assigned to support the 10th Field Artillery Battalion of the 3rd Division Artillery. 

 

 

15 March 1945 Activity in the firing batteries picked up at 0100 hours.  This was H-hour for the 3rd Infantry Division’s attack of the German defense line in northern Alsace.  A total of 87 missions with 1,819 rounds expended were fired that day.

 

 

17 March 1945 That afternoon, the Battalion displaced to the vicinity of Brenschelbach which was the first position occupied on German soil. The six mile march was through the towns of  Peppenkum, Riesweiler and Brenschelbach.

 

 

18 March 1945 A preparation in support of the 3rd Infantry Division’s attack on the Siegfried Line was started at 0510 hours.  The Battalion fired 92 missions that day including: seven enemy activity on road, 21 harassing, 14 preparation, two road runner, 31 enemy battery, one infantry, one enemy tank, three smoke screen, one orienting, six enemy strong point, one enemy entrenchment, two enemy troops and vehicle, one counter attack and one enemy mortar.  A total of 1,678 rounds were expended. 

 

 

20 March 1945 The 202nd Field Artillery Groupment was formed with the 937th F.A. Bn., 772nd F.A. Bn. and the 202nd F.A. Bn. Col. Tom Lewis was the commanding officer.

 

 

21 March 1945 The 202nd F.A. Battalion was given the mission of reinforcing the fires of the 41st F.A. Battalion.

 

 

26 March 1945 0230 hours was H-hour for the crossing of the Rhine by the 30th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Division.  Major John R. Northup, 202nd Field Artillery Battalion Executive Officer, reported to the command post of the 41st Field Artillery Battalion at 0630 hours to act as the Deuce’s control officer for the river crossing.  At noon, a reconnaissance party composed of Lt. Col. Tom Lewis, Major Glenn G. Parmer and Capt. Harold E. Brown crossed the Rhine in an assault boat.  The Battalion followed at 1620 hours, crossing the Rhine on a heavy pontoon bridge which was built that day by combat engineers.  The Battalion closed in the new position area on the east bank of the river. 

 

 

30 March 1945 A preparation was fired between 0200 and 0300 hours in support of the 3rd Infantry Division’s crossing of the Main River at Worth. The 202nd Field Artillery Battalion was given a temporary change in mission that day.  Two batteries were to reinforce the 250th Field Artillery Battalion during displacement of the 41st Field Artillery Battalion.  One battery was to reinforce the fires of the 39th Field Artillery Battalion until they displaced.  That night, the Deuce moved 6 miles through Haingrund and Seckmauern to the vicinity of Worth am Main.  They were now in the German state of Bavaria.

 

 

31 March 1945 At 0900 hours, the Battalion crossed the Main River on a treadway pontoon bridge at Worth am Main. During the month of March, 8,004 rounds of ammunition were expended on 503 missions.  The Battalion displaced a total of 144 miles and captured 46 German soldiers. 

 

 

5 April 1945 The Battalion was given the mission of reinforcing the fires of the 39th Field Artillery Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Division.

 

 

8 April 1945 The 15th Infantry, who the Battalion had been supporting, was squeezed out of the line so the mission was changed to reinforcing the fires of the 10th Field Artillery Battalion in support of the 7th Infantry.

 

 

12 April 1945 The 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, died in Warm Springs, Georgia.

 

 

16 April 1945 The Battalion left the area of Hemhofen, Germany shortly after 0900 hours.  They traveled 4.7 miles to Baiersdorf, crossing the Regnitz River on a pontoon bridge and the Ludwig Canal on a Bailey bridge. The reconnaisance parties, which preceeded the rest of the Battalion, were the first troops to enter Uttenreuth, Germany and liberated a French and Italian prisoner of war camp.

 

 

19 April 1945 The Battalion fired 431 howitzer rounds into the city of Nürnberg upon the request of the 45th Division. The city was the site of Nazi Party conventions known as the Nuremberg (English spelling) rallies. The rallies became huge Nazi propaganda events, a center of Nazi ideals. Nuremberg fell to troops of the U.S. Seventh Army, the 3rd, 42nd and 45th Infantry Divisions, two tank divisions, and an armored reconnaissance regiment, on 20 April 1945 after four days of fierce fighting. 

 

 

28 April 1945 The Battalion crossed the Danube River on a pontoon bridge in the vicinity of Schäfstall at 0030 hours.  Two hours later, they crossed the Lech on another pontoon bridge near Genderkingen. The mission of the 202nd was changed to reinforcing the fires of the 392nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 42nd Infantry Division.

 

 

29 April 1945 The Deuce-O-Deuce passed a few miles northwest of the infamous Dachau concentration camp which was liberated earlier that day by troops of the 45th Infantry Division.  American GIs in a rage of anger after discovering the horrific conditions then executed over 500 German soldiers at the camp.   

 

 

During the month of April 1945, the 202nd Field Artillery Battalion fired 171 missions and expended 3,552 rounds of ammunition.  A total of 414 miles were traveled in 39 displacements. 162 German soldiers became prisoners of the Deuce-O-Deuce.

 

 

1 May 1945 The first day of May found the Battalion in Pasing, a western suburb of Munich.  The mission of the Battalion had been changed from reinforcing the 42nd Division Artillery to reinforcing the 3rd Division Artillery, and further, assignment to the organic 39th Field Artillery Battalion.  About noon they crossed the Isar River south of Munich and continued on south to Oberhaching.  The second move of the day was to Otterfing, about 35 miles south of Munich. The latter march took place in a blinding snowstorm which continued for two days.

 

 

5 May 1945 The fighting in Europe was over for the Deuce when at 2000B hours (Bravo Time Zone) on 5 May, word was received that German Army Group G had surrendered to U.S. forces at Haar, Bavaria, Germany and the Battalion was ordered not to fire unless attacked

 

 

7 May 1945 Pfc. Raymond E. Szurgocinski, a field lineman in “C” Battery, died at the 66th Field Hospital in Salzburg, Austria.  He had sustained an accidental gunshot wound on 4 May. Pfc. Szurgocinski was the twelfth soldier of the Deuce-O-Deuce to die in Europe. 

 

 

8 May 1945 Germany surrenders.

 

 

9 May 1945 When the official cessation of hostilities in Europe was announced at 0001B hours, the Battalion was in Salzburg, Austria.

 

 

7 June 1945 The Battalion moves to Obertrum am See, Austria.

 

 

14 June 1945 Pfc. James G. Bafkas, a field lineman in HQ Battery, died at the 112th Evacuation Hospital in Obertrum, Austria of injuries sustained in an accidental fall from a hay loft near Bergen, Germany.  He was the last of thirteen men in the Battalion to die during the War. 

 

 

15 August 1945 Japan surrenders.

 

 

15 September 1945 The Deuce-O-Deuce moved 50 miles southeast

to Bischofshofen, Austria.

 

 

21 September 1945 The remaining members of the 202nd Field Artillery Battalion boarded a train for Camp Boston at Suippes, France (about 120 miles east of Paris).

 

 

2 December 1945 The 202nd was inactivated at Camp Shanks, New York.





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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