frontline operations

Major General Manton S. Eddy, Division Commander (seated in the jeep with his hand on the windshield) pauses to get information from US 9th Division infantrymen in the hamlet of La Cour Miette near Les Champs de Losque, in the push toward Marigny, Normandy. The frontline for ‘Operation Cobra’ July 26, 1944

On July 10th, 1944, VII Corps were on the offensive with the 4th, 9th and 83rd Infantry Divisions abreast. Crossing the Canal de Vire, the 9th Division moved on the Hommet Woods. Slowly but surely pushing on, it moved until it reached the St. Lo – Perriers Road by July 21st. A lot of action took place on the 25th of July, 1944. On this day all troops of the 47th Infantry Regiment were pulled back about 1200 yards north of the Periers – St. Lo road. They assembled in an area west of Ponte Ducrie, near the hamlets of La Cuillourie and Ponte Hairie. 1st Battalion held the area at the west, 2nd Battalion was in the middle, and the 1st Battalion on the east. Allied bombing started by medium bombers and the first raid went OK. However, by the time that the heavy bombers arrived, the south wind had blown the smoke designating the bomb line back onto the troops. As a result, the heavy bombers bombed their own men. Men of the 1st Battalion only suffered a few casualties. They were lucky, as one of the bombs dropped right in the middle of an aid station, but it proved to be a dud, and did not explode. 2nd Battalion also escaped with slight losses. The 3rd Battalion however suffered heavily. The Command Group of 30 men were all killed or wounded except for the Battalion commander and the Commander of K Company. Several other members of K Company and one platoon of M Company also suffered losses during the bombing. This all happened in the morning, around 0930 hours. Around 1100 hours, 2nd Battalion began to push forward and attacked an area near La Couperie. 1st Battalion fought near La Rillerie and went towards Marigny and the Periers – St Lo Road. 3rd Battalion took a bit longer to prepare, and fought their way via Montreuil. It sure was a tough day for the 9th Infantry Division. (9thinfantrydivision.net)

(Photo source - US Signal Corps)

(Colorized by David Stroodle from the USA)