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289th Engineer Combat Battalion
289th Engineer Combat Battalion insignia.jpg
Shoulder sleeve insignia of 289th Engineer Combat Battalion
Active 1943–45
Country United States United States
Branch  United States Army
Engagements World War II (Ardennes-Alsace Campaign, Rhineland Campaign, Central Europe Campaign)
Commanders
Colonel of
the Regiment
Lt. Col. Wallace[1]

The 289th Engineer Combat Battalion (United States) was a combat engineer battalion of the United States Army during World War II. It served under XXI Corps of the Seventh Army in action in France and Germany in 1944 and 1945. Its principal combat assignments included ferrying assault troops across the Saar River at Völklingen, leading to breaching the Siegfried Line at Saarbrücken;[2] escorting an ambulance corps across the Rhine at Worms near Mannheim;[1] and ferrying troops and equipment across the Neckar River in Heidelburg.[3]

History[]

Overview[]

The 289th Engineer Combat Battalion was constituted at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Little Rock, Arkansas, in December of 1942.[4][5] A cadre from the 299th Engineer Combat Battalion was detached to Camp Robinson to form its core.[4] Companies A, B, C, HQ and Service were established.[1] After training,[6] it left New York Harbor for the European Theater of operations (ETO) on October 22, 1944. Upon arrival at Bristol, England on November 1, it debarked for training in Weston-super-Mare. On December 28 it departed Southampton for Le Harve, landing December 31.[7]

In the ETO the 289th was assigned to the XXI Corps of the Seventh Army. Upon arrival in France it traveled by rail in forty and eight railcars, stopping successively in Forges-les-Eaux, Lunéville, and Fort de la Mouche in Epinal. After two weeks frigid encampment there it was again on the move, arriving int St. Avold near Saarbrücken on February 1 after two intermediate stops. There it refined its training and acquired combat engineering materials before entering the combat zone near the German city of Saarbrücken. It's first significant contribution was supporting the crossing of the Saar there March 18–20; followed by support over the Rhine near Mannheim March 30; and ferry and pontoon bridge construction assistance over the Neckar near Heidelberg March 31.[8] From there it moved successively eastward closer to Wurzburg through April 18.

The 289th then pivoted south through heavily contested Crailsheim in several short encampments over the next three weeks of diminishing German resistance in areas now falling well behind rapidly advancing front lines. VE Day was celebrated on May 8, 1945, while stationed in Goppingen, 20 miles southeast of Stuttgart. Immediate occupation duty included rushing 80 miles southeast to secure the Kaufbeuren Air Base in southern Bavaria on May 14. Perceived crucial by TICOM, the U.S. intelligence and technology gathering organization, it revealed itself the final location of the Nazi Party's top secret FA signals intelligence and cryptanalytic agency;[9] Neckarsulm, home of NSU Motorenwerke's SdKfz 2 production,[10] on May 16; and Mosbach, site of an underground Daimler-Benz airplane engine factory, codenamed "Goldfisch".[11]

After serving at Mossbach into August 1945, the 289th was ordered back to France to ship out for deployment to the Pacific Theater in preparation for the invasion of Japan. With the announcement of VJ Day in Europe on August 15, 1945, it was re-routed to the United States, departed Le Harve in September 1945, and demobilized at a camp in Georgia.

Services[]

Among the combat services the 289th provided were the deployment and operation of assault boats[2] and the construction of various pontoon bridges,[12] including M1 treadways,[13] and modular steel truss Bailey bridges.[13]

Actions[]

Principal combat actions involving the 289th Engineers include:

  • Ferrying troops of the 274th Infantry Battalion of the 70th Infantry Division[14] in assault boats across the Saar River at Völklingen[2] against the German 1st Army,[13] followed by laying an infantry support bridge,[2][15] which led to breaching the Siegfried Line and the Allied occupation of Saarbrücken.[13]
  • Escorting an ambulance corps across a temporary bridge over the Rhine at Worms near Mannheim under duress of German artillery fire.[1]
  • Ferrying troops and equipment of the 63rd Infantry Division across the Neckar River in Heidelburg while pontoon bridges were laid after the retreating German army had demolished the historic span across the river there.[3]

Timeline[]

Travels of the 289th by Technician Five John T. Barolomoleo, distributed to members of the Battalion celebrating the end of World War II

New York

England

  • November 1 – Arrive Bristol, England. To Weston-super-Mare
  • December 28 – Southampton

France

  • December 31 – Le Harve, France
  • January 2, 1945 – Forges-les-Eaux
  • January 9 – Lunéville
  • January 11 – Fort de la Mouche [lower-alpha 1]
  • January 24 – Landroff
  • January 30 – Merlebach
  • February 1 – St. Avold

Germany

France

  • March 23 – Bitche

Germany

Post VE-Day Occupation Duty:

Campaign credit[]

See also[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 http://www.trailblazersww2.org/TrailblazerMagazine/1991_summer.pdf Account of Dalton R. Dennis
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 http://www.trailblazersww2.org/units_270ECB_docs_aarMar45.htm 70th Infantry Division: 270th ECB: Documents: AAR Mar 45
  3. 3.0 3.1 Image of 289th ferrying operation in action
  4. 4.0 4.1 http://www.299thcombatengineers.com/History01Thayer.htm The [299th] Battalion arrived in Fort Pierce during the night of 14 December 1943...Two days after our arrival at Fort Pierce, a cadre was drawn from our unit and sent to Camp Robinson, Arkansas, to activate the 289th Engineer Combat Battalion.
  5. http://digicom.bpl.lib.me.us/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1009&context=ww_reg_his Thayer history of 299th at Bangor Public Library
  6. http://fultonhistory.com/newspaper%208/Niagara%20Falls%20NY%20Gazette/Niagara%20Falls%20NY%20Gazette%201944%20Feb-Apr%20Grayscale/Niagara%20Falls%20NY%20Gazette%201944%20Feb-Apr%20Grayscale%20-%200141.pdf Niagara Falls Gazette article on promotion of Corporal Clarence R. Jackson, February 17, 1944
  7. All travel dates established in "Travels of the 289th"
  8. http://www.6thcorpscombatengineers.com/engforum/index.php?showtopic=7871 The ferry was operated by the 289th Eng Combat Bn.
  9. 9.0 9.1 http://www.ticomarchive.com/the-targets/fa-nazi-party FA Nazi Party cryptoanalytic agency site
  10. 10.0 10.1 http://www.wehrmacht-history.com/heer/sd.kfz.2-halftracks.htm NSU Motorenwerke's SdKfz 2 production facility Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "wehrhist" defined multiple times with different content
  11. 11.0 11.1 https://archive.org/stream/AYearOfPotsdam/AYearOfPotsdam_djvu.txt Daimler-Benz underground airplane engine factory Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "potsdam" defined multiple times with different content
  12. http://digicom.bpl.lib.me.us/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=ww_reg_his 549th Engineer Light Ponton Company history
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Dixon, Steven, K. (2002). The 270th Engineer Combat Battalion in World War II: From Camp Adair to Germany (4 ed.). Mirriam Press. p. 88. https://books.google.com/books?id=npGCS9YbMlYC&pg=PA67&lpg=PA67&dq=%22289th+Engineer%22+Combat+army+-299th&source=bl&ots=BvGstYNgcb&sig=QrhKDLVwoZ1qnutvUIzK8-0jFaY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=_jrZVNiuOYbgaLu7gNAO&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22289th%20&f=false. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  14. http://www.trailblazersww2.org/units.htm 70th Infantry: Attached Units - Engineer
  15. Image of infantry support bridge over Saar erected by 289th
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 http://www.apd.army.mil/pdffiles/p672_1.pdf Department of the Army Unit Citation and Campaign Participation Credit Register, p.242
  17. http://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/pdf/go4863.pdf Units Entitled to Battle Credit, p.22

Notes[]

  1. In Epinal
  2. Krüghuttestrasse, near the Saar in Saarbrücken
  3. 5 m. W of Saarbrücken, 5 m. E of Völklingen
  4. In Ludwigshafen
  5. 1/2 way between Mannheim (25 m.) and Wurzburg on straight diagonal
  6. [1] Gissigheim
  7. 3/4s way to Wurzburg from Mannheim (20 m. from Mudau, 15 from Wurzburg)
  8. 10 m. from Gissigheim (Konigheim), 5-10 from Wurzburg
  9. Part of Landkreis Neustadt an der Aisch-Bad Windsheim
  10. German Wikipedia: Village within Wallhausen
  11. Part of Wallhausen in Landkreis Schwäbisch Hall
  12. Final location of top secret Nazi Party FA signals intelligence and cryptanalytic agency[9]
  13. Home of NSU Motorenwerke's SdKfz 2 production[10]
  14. Site of a Daimler-Benz underground airplane engine factory, codenamed "Goldfisch"[11]

External links[]

Library of Congress Veteran's History Project

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