Wasserbillig Again

From:
SECOND UNITED STATES CAVALRY – A HISTORY
Compiled, edited and published by Historical Section, Second Cavalry Association
Maj. A. L. Lambert and Cpt. G. B. Layton, 2d Cavalry

WWIIT/Sgt. Branaman, Troop C, 42d Squadron

1 March 1945

We were proud of Sgt. Hummer in C Troop of the 42d, and the day he returned to the platoon C.P. just outside of Wasserbillig (map 34) with his new gold bars we were all glad to congratulate him. It seemed just a few minutes later when the report came in that one of our attached Engineer’s had been badly injured by an exploding mine while sweeping the approaches to Wasserbillig.

2nd Lt. Hummer organized a patrol, as the area was still unhealthy, and pushed down into town to get the man back for medical attention.

The Krauts, from their dominating positions on the high ground across the Sure river from Wasserbillig, took the patrol under fire on that long naked stretch south of the town. One shot clipped “Shorty” Walsh’s helmet off (Walsh used to drive for Major Pitman before coming to C Troop), which led that young man to remark later, “Finally I’m really glad that I’m a runt!”

When the patrol reached the wounded man, Lt. Hummer, moving forward to aid him, exploded another mine and was sorely injured. The Lieutenant was turning blue when Patterson, the C Troop Medic, reached him, and it is likely that the aid man’s prompt action in opening Hummer’s nostrils (he was smothering in his own blood) saved his life. In fact, the presence of Patterson on all the dangerous patrols across the Moselle and behind enemy lines did much to boost the morale of the C Troopers who made them.

Later, Capt. Harris’ driver “Moon” Mullins, was driving down the hill to the platoon C.P. there in front of Wasserbillig when he came under fire. One round came particularly close and “Moon” instantly evacuated the vehicle in full career. Mullins got a face full of gravel, while the jeep wound up against a picket fence. “Just a case of immediate action”, said “Moon”.

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