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World War II: Desperate Hours at Kesternich

Originally published by World War II magazine. Published Online: June 12, 2006 
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12 Responses to “World War II: Desperate Hours at Kesternich”


  1. 1
    drew fair says:

    i was watching a program on the allied attack on the west wall of
    germanys border in 1945, at one point it was mentioned that a
    whole uss company vanished without trace (f company). can any
    body tell me has this vanishing ever been solved ? sorry the
    information im providing is a littel vage, but its all i have. Drew.

  2. 2
    Fiedler Rudi says:

    Hallo!
    Ich suche nach meinen Vater, Rudi Walter Fiedler, geboren am 24.12.1914.
    Mein Vater war Angehöriger der 8. Kompanie/ Grenadier-Regiment 980, Feldpostnummer 04716 E.
    Er war zuletzt eingesetzt bei Kestenich/ Eifel wärend der Abwehrkämpfe gegen vorrückende Amerikanische Verbände.
    Sein letzter Kompaniechef war Leutnant Helmers.
    Kann mir Jemand Helfen?

    Danke,

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Rudi Fiedler

  3. 3
    Ed Malouf (Dallas, Texas says:

    On the 13th of December, 1944 the 2nd Battalion ((includes "F" Company) of the 310th Regiment of the 78th Infantry Division attacked Kesternick, They got into a serious situation, so the second battalion of the 309th Regiment was sent in.
    Kesternich ans Simmerath werre keys for the resupply of German forces that were to attack in the Battle of the Bulge. Get a copy of Lt. Colonel Edward Miller's book A DARK AND BLOODY GROUND and you will find your answer. "F" Company was amongst the 549 Americans who were killed, captured, or Missing in Action in the Battle
    The battalion strength was 871. What happened was that the German 116th Panzer Diiivison was on it's way through Kesternich, and Simmerath to get into place for the BULGE. . KESTERNICH, and ESPECIALLY SIMMERATH were FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN BASTOGNE in stopping the Germans. Historians are gradually getting the drift. The Germans went AROUND Baston=gne, and I personally consider the Bastogne incident a "MEDIA EVENT., for it was WEST of Bastogne that the Germans nearly got to the Muese River. Col. Miller's book is published by the Texas A & M University Press, and it won the prestiiigiuos POGUE AWARD for the best military book published in 1997.

  4. 4
    Tom MacKnight says:

    Rudi,

    I have been researching the battle at Kesternich for over ten years now. My father was on the American side and was captured. I would be glad to correspond with you, but I can also suggest a friend in Koingswinter (Bonn). His name is Ralf Klodt. Ralf's email is ralf.klodt@t-online.de. The 8. Kp of the 980 Regiment, 272 VGD was in Kesternich during the battle in December. My email is architdog@msn.com.

  5. 5
    Ruby Waters says:

    My brother 2nd Lt Henry Raymond Haynes of the 309th 2nd Bat.platoon 3 co F,was killed at Kesternich in that battle.
    I have letters from some of the solders who were there with him thanks to a very helpfull man who knew how to find the exact information that I needed, I E.his co and platoon #s.He is buried at The Henri Chapele Am.Cem in Belgium.

  6. 6
    Felton McAfee says:

    My father Pvt Felton D. McAfee, Company E, 78th Div, 310th Reg was killed in Kesternich on December 14th 1944. I have been researching this battle for years and would appreciate any information anyone can forward to me. I plan on visiting Kesternich and also Henri Chappelle Cemetery in October 2011.
    Felton McAfee
    fmcafee@verizon.net
    943 Private Road 5937
    Emory, TX. 75440

  7. 7
    Peter Szyman says:

    Hi,

    Contact Gerhard Kristan via email Gerhard.Kristan@t-online.de. I was with him today in Kesternich and is expert on this area.

    Good luck,

    Peter Szyman son of Sgt. Robert Szyman, 78th, 311, k.

  8. 8
    Michael says:

    So what did happen to F Company?

  9. 9
    Tom MacKnight says:

    Of those from Company F who made it into the village, one of the rifle platoons was captured after they held up in one of the houses. The rest of Company F held up in a couple of houses nearby on the south west side of the village not occupied by the Germans. After three days, two of the men made it out to reach 78th Division lines. They guided some others from the 78th back to the men and brought them out in small groups. Many were wounded or suffering from the effects of exposure.

  10. 10
    Jim Edelhauser says:

    I'm wondering if anyone has any information on Company A 736rd Tank Battalion. My Great Uncle Lt. Conwell Myers was killed in Kesternich on Jan. 31, 1945 and received the Silver Star. It seems that this was an important moment in the Battle of the Bulge and I would like to find out more.
    Thank you,
    Jim Edelhauser

  11. 11
    Bud Hawk says:

    My Father was wounded at Hurtgen Forest, was also @ Kesternich, later Remagen. Sargent Bud Hawk, Binghamton, NY. 311th, Headquarters Company. Recieved a Bronze Star for spending the first night in a sand-bagged Machine Gun Nest in the middle of an intersection in Kesternich. He told me that they did not know there was a retreat and became more and more surrounded as the night wore on. He asked his squad to vote as whether or not they wanted to surrender and they voted to surrender after firing all of their rounds. He said what saved them that night was that the Nazis stayed out of the main road because of the lack of cover. The next day, the 311th re-entered the Town and fought back to the intersection where they were. They stayed down until the 311th got to them, then re-joined the fight. He said later, their Colonel asked what they were they doing there. He said; \You told us to stay there, Sir\ and the Colonel said; \Well goddamit, son, I didn't mean all night!\. He said that they heard fighting into the night further up the road than they were, but it stopped and fell silent eventually. He wondered later in life who that was. He told me they were the bravest men he never knew.

  12. 12
    Ed Malouf says:

    The Battle of the Bulge was over on January 28th. Two days later, the final offensive began to capture the Roer River dams. Get a copy of Lt. Col. Edward Miller's book A DARK,AND BLOODY GROUND, Texas A & M University Press. Four lines up from the bottom of page 191, your great Uncles unit is SPECIFICALLY mentioned. I was just South of our Great Uncle (with \B' Company, 311th Regiment.m 78th) The book will give you terrific insight as to the fighting in the Huertgen.
    Best regards,
    Ed Malouf, Dallas, Texas.



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