Actions of 1/325 GIR on 9th June 1944

Discussion in 'American' started by Pat Curran, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
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    Oct 20, 2012
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    Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
    Hi All,

    I am currently researching the movements of 1/325th GIR on the 9th June 1944. The only source I can find is the account by Capt. Wayne Pierce, XO Company B, 325th. I have two versions of this account, one in "Glide to Glory" by Jerry Lee Richlak, Sr. (p. 167-174) and the other in "No Better Place to Die" by Bob Murphy (p. 193-196).

    Does anyone know of any other accounts? I don't have a copy of "Let's Go", also by Capt Wayne Pierce, now a rare and expensive volume.

    I am also interested to know if any work has been done by other researchers in tracking down the location of the 'Wheat Field' and/or the location of Pfc Charles DeGlopper's MOH action.

    Thanks,

    Pat
     
  2. John Szweda

    John Szweda Administrator
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    Oct 25, 2012
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    Pat ,

    There is a section in Phil Nordyke's book ALL AMERICAN ALL THE WAY that covers the actions at the time between pages 332 thru 337 with a map on page 335. It might also be a good starting point.

    I did see some reports on the WWIIARCHIVES.net website in the past too.

    Respectfully,
    John Szweda
     
  3. Jpz4

    Jpz4 Active Member
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    Oct 24, 2012
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    There's eight pages about the 1/325gir actions in 'Let's Go!' Don't have time to scan them right now, but probably will this weekend.
     
  4. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
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    Oct 20, 2012
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    Thanks Guys,

    I appreciate the help.

    Below is a very rough estimate of a sketch map shown on page 108 of "No Better Place to Die". What is accurate is the relative size of the direction arrows indicating a much reduced force in both Company B and Company C following the decision to withdraw:
    [​IMG]
    I had a look at NCAP_ACIU_US7GR_1857_8011 flown on the 12th June and extracted our AoI below:
    [​IMG]
    Image Credit: RCAHMS/www.aerial.rcahms.gov.uk

    The only field within the movement loop of Company C which is not an orchard is marked thereon. This is not by any means conclusive proof that this is the 'Wheat Field' but it does warrant further investigation IMHO. For one thing, I would like to get a ground photograph of this field in order to ascertain if there is a ridge running across it with sufficient height to allow only 'bobbing heads' of withdrawing troopers to be seen at one end by an observer in a prone position at the other end.

    I would also be like to know if this area is in direct line of sight with the former railway gate house PN 104. Genevieve Duboscq observed an incident through binoculars which I will refrain from elaborating on here on the open Forum. Readers with 'Researcher' status can read about this in the closed 'Green Room' section in a day or two.

    Comments and corrections are, as always, welcomed and appreciated.

    Regards,

    Pat
     
  5. Jpz4

    Jpz4 Active Member
    Researcher

    Oct 24, 2012
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    Pat, seen this thread?
    http://triggertimeforum.yuku.com/topic/8182/Pfc-Charles-DeGlopper
     
  6. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
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    Oct 20, 2012
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    Thanks Niels,

    Yes, I was reading it last night.

    It seems there are two schools of thought; one placing the DeGlopper action north of the D15 and the other quite a bit further south on or near that road.

    If it is the southern option, C Company would have strayed much further forward than was intended in the attack order. On the other hand, is there a ridge line visible three quarters of the way up the field above the blue marker in Patrick's screenshot on TT?

    I wonder is it possible to rule out a wheat field at one of the two locations :dodgy:

    Regards,

    Pat
     
  7. patelie

    patelie Active Member
    Researcher

    Hello

    Below is a map drawn by wayne pierce in 2007. The red dot show the location wayne pierce recall the action with DeGlopper

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
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    Oct 20, 2012
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    Thanks Patrick,

    C Company must have encountered resistance before the 'Wheat Field' if the route marked on the above map is correct. Also, withdrawing one field from this location would not have improved their lot very much as it appears to have done in the written account.

    John, does NCAP have any other cover for both options besides frame 8011?

    Thanks,

    Pat
     
  9. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
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    Oct 20, 2012
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    Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
    Hi All,

    Below is a GE screenshot of what I take to be two possible candidates for the 'Wheat Field'. I would be very grateful if someone on the ground can take a photograph of each to check for a ridge line:
    [​IMG]
    I had a look at the index for sortie US7GR_1857 flown on the 12th June and there appears to be a run of frames very close to the southern 'Wheat Field' option. The yellow shading there on is mine and indicates a very unfortunate step westward between frames 4047 and 4049:
    [​IMG]
    Image Credit: RCAHMS/www.aerial.rcahms.gov.uk
    I wonder if 4048 (not shown) was printed...:dodgy:

    I think it's worth getting down low resolution proofs of 4047, 4048 and 4049 just to see the exact area of coverage. Before I do, can I ask if anyone has any of these three frames already?

    Thanks,

    Pat
     
  10. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
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    Oct 20, 2012
    2,556
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    Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
    Hi All,

    Kevin has very kindly provided new present day cover for both options. This cover is available via the OS X Mavericks for Macs software. Being an avid PC user, I had no idea this mapping was available.

    Below is the southern option for the 'Wheat Field', which if not wheat, has certainly recently been harvested of some cereal crop (could be barley or oats also):
    [​IMG]
    My self imposed limitation of 850 pixels on image width in embedded thread images does not do this image the justice it deserves - it is very impressive at 100% - thanks Kevin :D

    Note the power pole which I have marked as a tie to the GE street view screenshot below looking south east from the D126:
    [​IMG]
    Its difficult to be sure as the GE 'street view' camera can distort straight lines, but I cannot see a ridge in this field using this view. The maize (corn) crop will reflect the contours of the ground in which it grows so we should still see a 'reflection' of the field contours on the top of the stalks. I certainly doubt if there is a SE/NW ridge sufficient to give a prone observer a view of 'bobbing heads' as C Company made their withdrawal. I would be less sure that there is no SW/NE ridge running across the short axis.

    Just my thoughts and I could be wrong :D

    Regards,

    Pat
     
  11. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
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    Oct 20, 2012
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    Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
    Hi All,

    John has just sent me his copy of IGN cover for our AoI flown in 1947. Below is an extract showing the possible southern option for the 'Wheat Field':
    [​IMG]
    This looks to be high summer and the two fields, which today are merged into one, certainly look to be growing a cereal crop. I note especially what appear to be 'lodged' areas in the crop which are indicative of poor growth due to disease or storm damage. A hay meadow would not have these patches. I also note that the western headlands of both fields appear to have been cut, normal harvesting practise as these areas would get the least amount of sun during the day and consequently the cereal crop would take longer to dry before trashing. I am very confident that these two fields are growing some form of cereal crop in the summer of 1947. They are therefore marked down as such for crop rotation by the farmer and could well have had their previous cereal crop three years before.

    Thanks John.

    Regards,

    Pat
     
  12. Tex82ndABD

    Tex82ndABD Member
    Researcher

    Aug 16, 2013
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    Hi Pat,

    I ran across this thread and wanted to see if I could clear up a few things about C/325 and DeGlopper's action. The point on Wayne Pierce's map is accurate as far as the right flank of C/325 is concerned and that part of the area is a wheat field. The area on the left flank of C/325 was an orchard. DeGlopper's platoon was in the center of the C/325 advance and crossed the road into the field beyond, where it came under fire. A German machine gun located in the second floor of a barn near the right flank of C/325 was placing plunging enfilade fire on the road while another machine gun was set up in the intersection to the left of C/325 and was placing grazing enfilade fire on the road. This machine gun was later taken out with a grenade. A truck approached along the road toward the right flank of C/325 just as the firing began. Lieutenant Kinsey stopped the truck and killed the occupants and then destroyed it with a rifle grenade. DeGlopper covered his platoon's withdrawal through a single opening in the hedgerow back to the road, where they were pinned down by the two machine guns and a short time later by enemy fire coming from the hedgerow east of the road where the platoon had been. DeGlopper stood up in the road and fired at the two machine guns and at the Germans behind the hedgerow with his BAR and drew fire upon himself, allowing the survivors to crawl or dash across the road into the wheatfield and orchard to the west. I hope this helps clear up this question.

    Respectfully,

    Phil
     
  13. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
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    Oct 20, 2012
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    Thanks Phil,

    So there is probably a wrecked truck 'close' to where DeGlopper's action took place?

    I'll try to translate your description onto a GE screenshot for further discussion.

    Regards,

    Pat
     
  14. Tex82ndABD

    Tex82ndABD Member
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    Aug 16, 2013
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    Hi Pat,

    It could have been towed away by a German prime mover or horses that morning, since an artillery battery was set up in the field east of the road. Also, since the area was taken later that morning, it could have been towed away by a US tank or tank recovery vehicle. Also, the truck was purported to be an ammunition truck, which if true may have disintegrated when it exploded. However, the truck may have been in the area, as aerial photographs may reveal.

    Was the remainder of the explanation clear in terms of understanding?

    Respectfully,

    Phil
     
  15. John Szweda

    John Szweda Administrator
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    Oct 25, 2012
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    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Hi Phil,

    If we have the correct location for DeGlopper's actions, then I am assuming you are referring to the D15 road as we see it on Google Earth and that by crossing over the road the C/325 was actually approaching the farm area south of the D15 known as Hameau Flaux?
    Was this also the general area of the German artillery battery or would that have been closer to the Gueutteville area?

    Thank you for your help,
    John
     
  16. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
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    Oct 20, 2012
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    Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
    Hi Phil,

    Yes, your description is very clear - we just need to get your lines of advance and withdrawal tied to Google Earth. As far as I can see, the whole thing hangs on where the 'wheat field' was located. The crop would still be green in early June so it's going to be difficult to extract it from surrounding grassland when viewing aerial cover of the area.

    I was tied up last night with two of your Horsa crash photos - the Horsa with the BAR guy posing in front of the wreck with his buddies. Un-related to this thread but I suspect there is a good candidate on LZ 'O'. Will open a new thread tonight.

    In the meantime, if anyone else wants to have a go at a GE screenshot for the 'wheat field', please feel free.

    Regards,

    Pat
     
  17. Tex82ndABD

    Tex82ndABD Member
    Researcher

    Aug 16, 2013
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    0
    Hi John,

    C/325 and B/325 approached Cauquigny guiding on the present day D126, with B/325 north of the road and C/325 south of the road. C/325 came upon the the present day D15 and halted. Its right flank platoon was guiding on the hedgerow bordering the wheat field on the south. The left flank platoon was guiding on the D126 road from Amfreville and approached the D15 through an orchard. The center platoon maintained contact with the platoons on both flanks. Batterie I, 191 Artillerie was set up in the field east of the D15 on the Hameau Flaux farm along with elements of 2/1058 GR. In reserve in the farm buildings to the south of the right flank of C/325 was Fahrrad (Bicycle) Kompanie 243, which must have had the machine gun up in the barn which placed enfilade fire on C/325. I hope this helps.

    Respectfully,

    Phil
     
  18. adambez517

    adambez517 Guest
    Guest

    Hi All,

    What is the general consensus regarding the position of the MG on the right flank of C/325? I have discussed this action at reasonable length with Phil via E-mail and what he believes as the position of the MG, that being in a barn located where there is now two large barns, in the fork in the road where the DeGlopper memorial board is, makes perfect sense. A barn situated there with a certain location for the placement of an MG would be able to fire quite devastatingly along the D-15 in the direction of Cauquigny. However, from what I have seen so far from original maps, it doesn't appear as though any solid structure was at that location during the battle. If the aerial photograph that Pat has posted could be zoomed to that fork in the road to give a clear indication, it may answer the question.

    My theory was that, possibly, an MG was placed in an upper floor window of the complex almost directly South of the location of the DeGlopper memorial board and the assumed location of his action. Whilst I appreciate that this building is set back from the road, the lay out of the building affords a great number of options for placing an MG. And it could have been elevated. No doubt that hedgerows would have hampered firing from this position but I do believe it would have been possible over that sort of distance (Roughly 500-700ft) for it to have fired quite accurately upon the D15 in the hands of a capable crew.

    I have attached a screenshot from Google Streetview showing the complex from the road with the DeGlopper memorial directly behind. No doubt google streetview causes the complex to appear further away. It would need a Normandy resident to go and stand on that spot and make their own assessment/take photographs.

    I do want to make it clear that in no way am I trying to say that any of the information previously stated by others is wrong, just putting my few pence in.

    Adam
     

    Attached Files:

  19. John Szweda

    John Szweda Administrator
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    Oct 25, 2012
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    Hi Adam,

    I'll base my theory a bit or use some interpretation on what Phil Nordyke had posted in post #12 of this thread.
    I agree with you that a machine gun was in the upper level of the complex to the south and Mr Nordyke also indicated so in the post.

    But what is kind of surprising is that Mr. Nordyke said another machine gun fired from the left of C/325. Since C/325 is facing south crossing over the D15 road, left of them would be the area towards Cauquigny. In theory, I think that this machine gun would be able to fire on the road intersection of D15 and D126, but then may have heard the movement of C/325 behind them and turned around and engaged them.

    Now I don't know if this is an accurate interpretation of what Mr Nordyke means by left side of C/325. Maybe he does mean the left side as the Germans faced C/325 which would put a machine gun firing into the right flank of C/325 from the road west. I think if that is the case, the machine gun would have to be back some distance (maybe 250 meters west) from where the DeGlopper memorial is. A machine gun at the intersection where the DeGlopper memorial is, is just too close that it would lay instant accurate fire DeGlopper who would have no time to act, and that corner is heavily wooded.

    I don't know if it helps at all, but it is interesting to theorize.

    John
     
  20. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
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    Oct 20, 2012
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    Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
    Hi Adam,

    A 19.1MB TIFF full resolution version of the IGN 1947 cover can be downloaded from the ADrive cloud here. If I recall correctly, there is no digitised NCAP cover for your AoI, but I'll check their site again to make sure.

    Regards,

    Pat
     

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