Name: HART, Robert S.

Rank: Corporal

Age:

No.32315093

Unit:C Company

33rd Armoured Engineer Battalion

 

Missing since:19-10-1944

Next of Kin: Summitville, New York

 

KIA Information: Believed to have been killed in a minefield near Griendtsveen.



After Action Report, Hq 33rd Armd Engr Bn, 1 Nov 44 (from 7th Armoured Division website)

 

three-fold mission: (1) to block all passages to the canal, (2) Shu-mines were placed in such a manner as to hinder the removal of anti-tank mines by foot troops and Spengreigel (43) mines were placed in such a manner as to prevent the armor from exploding the AP mines, (3) Shumines were thickly sewn in all logical areas of cover and concealment, making night movement through the area virtually impossible.

 

18. On 18 October 1944 two enlisted men of this battalion, First Sergeant Marvin H. Hjalmarson of Company "A" and Staff Sergeant Hubert J. Allen of Company "B" were appointed second lieutenants by the Commanding General who made the appointments at this battalion. These were the first battlefield appointments in the history of this battalion. Both men received the appointments as a reward for the excellent manner is which they had lead their platoons. Company "B" continued sweeping for mines on the road leading to the canal, and removed booby-traps along a ditch, consisting of Shu-mines and egg shaped grenades. They also cleared the road of fallen trees for 600 yards east of the canal near 701233. AP mines consisted of 97% Shu-mines and 3% hand grenades with trip wires. One platoon moved to a side road at 708234 with the mission of sweeping the road from that point south. The first platoon of Company "C" performed outpost duty at Leijel, Holland, and the second and third platoons moved to an assembly area at Vrelswijk, Holland to establish an assault crossing with the infantry at 707181.[1]

 

19. Two squads of Company "B" patrolled roads running parallel to the canal from 687224, 4336, Sheet 4, south. At 1000 one squad made a reconnaissance on the canal for a foot bridge and found a suitable place at 694214. One platoon of Company "B" installed a British Floating Foot Bridge at this point. The bridge was floated to a point at 696209, and was turned over to the infantry. One squad of Company "B" remained to operate and maintain the bridge. Company "C" was relieved of outpost duty by elements of Combat Command Reserve, and cleared a road to the bridge of all debris and mines at 707181. Company "C" filled a crater in the road at 700181 and made it passable for a class 40 load. Company "C" marked and cleared lanes through the general area 700181, 701185, 707185 and 707180 up to the 38th Armored Infantry Battalion front, removing structural steel and debris from old bridgesite by demolitions. Preparing to work with Company "B", cleared an area of 1000 yard radius on the far shore, and continued to search for anti-tank and AP mines in the Combat Command Reserve zone, and found Shu-mines, Spengreigel (43) mines, "S" Mines, and hand grenades. Total mines found: 85 Spengreigel (43) mines, 720 Shu-mines, 1 "S" mine with three prong pressure device, 3 "S" mines with trip wires, and egg shaped grenades with wires.

 

20. Second Lieutenant Favorite of Company "B" with two squads cleared mines on the Combat Command Reserve route to the south to support the Combat Command Reserve bridgehead at the southern site. They drew fire from an enemy strong point which they had surprised due to the speed of Combat Command "B"'s movement to the south. Lieutenant Favorite due to the emergency, attacked with his two squads as infantry and captured a German Battalion Headquarters and approximately 67 men. It is interesting

 

- 5 -


After Action Report, Hq 33rd Armd Engr Bn, 1 Nov 44 (Cont'd)

 

to note the German captain was lead to believe that our force was much larger then it was due to the tank fire, and the immediate agressive attack of the two squads as soon as they were fired on.

 

21. Company "B" cleared the road of mines along the Combat Command "B" route up to 738074. Combat Command "B", at this time, 20 October 1944, relieved Combat Command Reserve and Company "B" relieved Company "C" of all engineer work in this area. Company "B", on 21 October 1944, swept roads east of the canal in the Combat Command Reserve area for mines. Company "B" blew a culvert on a side road; location was 710179, small arms fire was received during this operation. One platoon of Company "B" cleared a road of mines at 707182. On 22 October 1944, one squad from Company "B" trained with the Treadway Ferry Set. The first platoon of Company "C" lifted and blew mines in the vicinity of Greendstreen, Holland. The second platoon guarded and maintained Bailey Bridges at Greendstreen, Holland also. The third platoon maintained a road from Elberg, Holland to Greendstreen, Holland, and constructed a 30 foot single-single Bailey Bridge over a crater at 737174 at 0800.

 



[1] The C/33 Morning Report reads: “1st and 2nd Platoons swept for AT and AP mines, removed approx 700. 3rd Platoon removed road block in vincinity [sic] of Meijel, Holland.” So “Leijel” was Meijel. “Vrelswijk” is the hamlet “Vreekwijk” south of Deurne and shown in square 65-18 on the Maeseyck grid map. 707181 is a point along the railroad line, about halfway between Deurne and Amerika, immediately to the northwest of Griendtsveen, which is shown unnamed on the Maeseyck map.