I have reviewed the ABMC Cemeteries Listings for MIA/KIA for all units of the Fourth Armored Division during the European Theater.
In The List for 4th Armored Div Units – there are only 9 listed on the Walls of Missing in the ABMC Cemeteries for all time periods. Relating to Chaumont action 2 from 8th TB - Clemons & Kantz, 37th TB - Clark & Parks, 25th Cav Recon - Sklar & St George.
For the benefit of others – Co B, (Combat Command) CCB of the Fourth Armored Division led the Fourth Armored ahead of the rest of Patton's Third US Army across France. On 19 Dec 1944 Patton turned the Third north to support the 101st Airborne at Bastogne – the beginning of The Battle of The Bulge. Major Al Irzyk Commanding 8th TB, CCB started at 12:50AM from the small town of Domnom les Dieuze, near Nancy in France moved west, crossed the Moselle River at Pont A Mousson, then north through Longwy to Arlon and headed toward the Belgium town of Neufchateau. At trip of 161 miles in 22 hours. On the 23rd of Dec they approached the small village od Chaumont where they encountered severe counter attack shelling from German tanks. Eleven tanks were trapped in the town – 6 later recovered. After retreating out of town, they reorganized and along with the 2nd Battalion 318th Infantry of the 80 Division. Major Irzyk planned and executed successful attack for Christmas Day and captured the town. During this attack, Pvt Paul Wiedorfer 318th made a daring dash across an open field to snuff out 2 machine gun nests. For this action Pvt Wiedorfer now 90 years old received the Medal of Honor. One other soldier, 1st Lt Charles C. GNIOT 10th Armored Infantry KIA, buried at Hamm Luxembourg, received the DSC for his action in protecting his troops during the retreat on the 23rd. Two medals of valor awarded for action in a town of approx 100 persons – less than 1 KM square. For further details on the action at Chaumont Belgium during the race to Bastogne go to the sites listed below.
Liberator of Chaumont Revisits
With respect to the 68 men on the list of missing supplied by the Army - review thier unit designations to insure that they are 4th Armored Units. CCB included 8th Tank Bn, 10 Arm Inf Bn, 22 Arm Fld Arty Bn, 489 AAA Sp Bn, 24 Arm Engr Bn, 995 Engr Bridge Bn and 25 Cav Recon Sqd. CCA contained 35 Tank Bn, 51 Arm Inf Bn, 66 Arm Fld Arty Bn, 94 Arm Fld Arty Bn, 489 AAA Sp Bn, 24 Arm Engr Bn, 25 Cav Recon Sqd, 274 Arm Fld Arty Bn, 177 Fld Arty Bn. CCR which broke thru to BAstogne first had 37 Tank BN, 53 Arm Inf Bn, 704 Tank Dest Bn, 94 Arm Fld Arty Bn, 24 Arm Engr Bn, 489 AAA Sp Bn, 25 Cav Recon Sqd, and 995 Engr Bridge Bn.
The best book now available on the 4th Armored Division to Bastogne is Patton's Vanguard by Don Fox - copies availble from Amazon.com, Gen Albin Irzyks book - He Rode Up Front For Patton is only available on the used book market at a cost in excess of $100 or from selected libraries on iinter library loan. The text of it applicable to Chaumont or Bastogne is copied on the Liberator of Chaumont Returns listed above.
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