A Narrative Report of Company “D”, 17th Engineers, early August 1944
Seine River Crossing:
After pushing a bridgehead force across, Company “A”, 17th Engineer Bn., built a thirty-foot treadway bridge. Gen. Collier ordered them across before nightfall.
A Narrative Report of Company “D”, for early August 1944, It goes like this :
In assembly area at Notre Dame De Cenilly.
2 August 44: Moved to Percy,
3 August 44: Moved one mile west of Montbray.
4 August 44: Moved from Montbray to one mile south of Montbray where enemy was contacted and company with reconnaissance elements ( 82nd Reconnaissance ) were forced to withdraw.
(Edit: Private Amado P. Castro was killed in action on August 4, 1944. )
5 August 44: Moved to one and one-half miles east of St. Sever De Calvados. Removed twenty # 2 and # 4 Teller mines from the roads and booby traps from the hedgerows.
6 August 44: Moved three miles west of St. Sever De Calvados.
(Edit: Private Chester L Patcyk was killed in action on August 6, 1944)
7 August 44: Moved to two miles west of LeTeilleul.
8 August 44: Moved to two miles southeast of Lonlay L’Abbaye and at 2300 blew bridge in center of town after having entered earlier in the afternoon and then withdrawing. Also blew up enemy ammunition dump at this town and destroyed four enemy vehicles. All this was done in conjunction with a platoon of the 82nd Recon. Bn.
The 17th Engineers used a tank with a bulldozer blade to go through hedgerows in France. But then the Germans would wait until the tanks would cross with infantry following on foot then fire on them. In order to counter this, the American forces started through the hedgerows with their main guns loaded with canister and pointed to the rear and to the flanks. As the tanks crashed through the opening , they fired parallel to the hedges, inflicting great casualties. For this the 2nd Armored was given the name of “Roosevelt’s Butchers,” a name which the division gladly accepted.