Jim Roan

4th US Infantry Division

The patch of the 4th Infantry Division.
The fourth infantry division was battle hardened by the time the German advance began in Belgium. The division was the first divion to land on Utah beach on D-day. After that relatively each landing is fought a long and hard campaign in the hedgerows of Normandy. When Patton and his third army broke out of Normandy the 4th followed in the advance. The division had the honor of liberating Paris together with the French troops of General Leclerc. Later that year the fourth was one of the divisions that was sacrificed in a seemingly useless battle in the Huertgen Forrest in an attempt to cross the Siegfried line and to enter the industrial heart of Germany. The division was send to the Ardennes, which was considered a relative quiet sector to gather strength and to receive reinforcements.

When the Germans attacked on December the 16th, the 4th Division was on the frontline in Belgium, stationed just south of the 106th Division.
Jim Roan recalls:
We were right in the line of the advancing German tank columns, in fact we heard the entire German army was just six miles away and advancing fast. We did not have the stuff to stop them although the line companies did their best. It appeared that the German intelligence was smart enough to know where our soft spots were. We left in total darkness and only had black out headlights used on the GI trucks. We stopped at some country, gravel road and Herbster and I were instructed to bury the Regimental colors (the US, and the Regimental flags) together with the battle streamers that dated back to the Civil War, just in case we were captured or killed. The only digging equipment we had was our little entrenching tool. We tried over a half hour to dent the hard ground, which was as hard as a concrete driveway. We gave up, placed the boxes back on the 2 ½ tone truck and continued our way. I often wondered what the results would have been if we were successful in our task and had to return to the area to retrieve the precious cargo? We had no idea as to where we were at the time and would still be looking for the burial spot.
Lt. Ragland was in the john when it was sprayed with machine-gun fire. We thought that we were being attacked by Germans for a that time we had heard that they dressed in American uniforms and would work behind our lines to see how much damage they could do. My buddy Larry and I were sent out to track them down. It was a cold night and the building we were in was isolated in a deep woods. We heard voices all in German coming from a farmhouse. One was a woman apparently they were having a party. Larry and I decided to set by a very large tree and wait, for we had no idea as to the number of occupants. Two GI's exited the house both had their fill of liquor. We yelled at them, one responded in broken English that they were leaving and returning back to their outfit. Larry said "What do we do now shoot them?" Their jeep had 4th Division marking so we let them go on their way. I know there was one German in our division, his name is Walter Klein he was a Jew who had been arrested by the people of his town in Germany and was sent to a concentration camp. He somehow managed to get away and make it to the States where he joined the 4th Division. As fate would have it the Fourth Division captured his hometown and he arrested the people who had turned him in. I hope it was Walter that we let go.

Lekker winkelen zonder zorgen - Gratis verzending en retour