Selective Service sends out a draft notice to Llewellyn N. Chilson giving him
about a week before he would be inducted
inducted into the Army in Akron, Oh.
3APR Private CHILSON has been moved
from Fort Benjamin, Harrison MD. and reported to Camp Livingston, La.
Transferred to 112th Infantry for further training.
Wheel of a 105 falls on right Leg giving Cpl CHILSON a severe contusion but not
eliminating him from duty.
14MAY The 112th has been in Camp Gordon Johnston,
Fla. since the fall and now Cpl CHILSON is transferred to Camp Pickett VA to join
the 45th. Division preparing to leave f or Africa. CHILSON has spent 3 months
in Basic training, 5 months in rifleman training and 2 months as a tank driver.
45th shipped from Patrick Henry, Virginia in convoy.
22JUN Drop anchor
at Oran, Algeria and the 45th begins immediately to practice for the assault on
Sicily. Chilson is with Anti-tank platoon, HQ Co, 2d Bn, 179th Reg, 45th Div but
is now back to Pvt and is assigned duties as a machine gunner.
Llewellyn Chilson participates in the invasion of Sicily.
31JUL The 45th
Infantry after its first 22 days of real combat against the German enemy, taking
over 12,000 prisoners and establishing itself as an effective fighting force.
The green troops, new equipment and German soldiers were quickly turning this
National Guard unit into one of the most effective fighting forces this world
has ever known. They had been instrumental in Patton's victory in the race with
Monty to the city of Messina.
Pfc CHILSON IS AWARDED THE BRONZE STAR FOR MERITORIOUS
ACHIEVEMENT in GROUND OPERATIONS AGAINST THE ENEMY (29AUG49).
3SEP the 45th is given its first rest in a camp S mi W of Cefalu.
The 179th marches to San Nicolo.
6SEP assigned to Gen Mark Clark's 7th
Army, 179th goes to Termini and boards British ships to head towards Italy and
a rendezvous with an allied amphibious force.
8SEP On board ships it is
announced that Italy will surrender and expected that the Germans will continue
to withdraw. A few hours Later plans had changed and German bombers were attacking
the ships in the convoy off the coast of Italy. At night enemy planes were out
dropping flares to Light up the target 5 drifting off the Italian coast. During
one alert CHILSON did not get down in the hold with the vehicles and the other
Americans but manned a multi-barreled British Bofor and shot a Large aircraft
directly above the ship. It was a British barrage balloon.
9SEP At 0330
with British N and U.S. to the S, VI Corps invades S of Salerno near the ancient
Roman ruins of Paestum.
1OSEP 179th lands in the morning as Corps reserve
force and march single file to the assembly area 3 miles north of Paestum. At
nightfall they start N to a junction and then head E to the Calorie River and
toward Ponte Sele to block German troops massing to attack from the direction
11SEP By dawn the 179th was spread out up to 22 miles inland
and far into no-mans land with 2nSn off to the right below the German held town
of Alta villa perched atop a Large hill between them and the beachhead far to
the rear. The Germans counterattack the 179th from the high ground and across
the plains near Eboli. By afternoon 2nBn is cut off from the rest of the Regiment,
which is now cut-off from supplies at the beachhead. The coordinated attack of
the 179th and 157th is stalled and, except for the 2nBn, the 179th is encircled
and in an untenable position. The Germans do not realize how desperate the situation
is for the 179th and let up some of their pressure, the Regiment regroups and
save themselves to fight again.
2OSEP The 3d Div joins the 45th
and they start N into the mountains with the 45th on the R along Highway 91.
move through Eboli to Olivetti.
25SEP 2nBn takes Calabritto.
Naples falls to the Allies consolidating a northward front to the W of 45th, moving
up the valleys towards Rome while the Germans are hardening positions on the hillsides
to stop the advance. 45th becomes known as the 'Falcon Division' to the retreating
Germans in their path. 179th's CP is a half-mile from Materdomini.
179th has jumped 33 mi deeper into mountains to 1 mi from Grottiminorda.
After clearing the right flank of the Corps the 45th is withdrawn into Corps to
regroup retool and rest after 43 continuous days of combat under terrible weather
and in grueling terrain.
2NOV 179th and 180th in place to attack Venafro.
G Co (179th) crosses Volturno R. towards Venafro but it is driven back.
179th crosses behind the 180th, who had jumped the R a day earlier, and fights
its way into Venafro taking the town, preparing immediately for the inevitable
counterattacks. Through the night, the Germans counterattack but gets nothing.
Germans moving Lines back further into the increasingly foreboding hills N.
2nBn up against strong defense S of Filagno.
7NOV 179th starts the drive
for Hill 769.
8NOV 179th under heavy pressure from artillery deep in the
mountains, taking fire from German position-s near Viticuso and S. Pietro. The
Luftwaffe is also very active in and around the town of Venafro.
Regiment has only taken 25 yards and Hill 769 becomes Mt Kemmerer.
Gen Middleton is relieved by Gen Eagles. Middleton goes to the -states with an
arthritic knee for surgery. Eagles is moved on up from the 3d Division. The 179th
has lost ground in waves of German counterattacks.
29N0V 0600 179th renews
attack but 2nBn is decimated after starting over the top of Hill 750 and the Regiment
must fall back to Hill 700 to regroup once again.
3ON0V 179th moves up again
to just short of Hill 750.
6DEC Hill 750 finally cleared.
Anti-Tank Plt. and E Co eliminate resistance surrounding Hill 769.
179th finally takes Hill 769 with a coordinated Time-on-Target mortar attack and
begins to move forward again. The 34th has been badly damaged on the R flank of
the 45th. and was being relieved by the 2d Moroccan Div.
Until JAN, the
45th would fight with these new French forces and move ever so slowly forward
while scaling cliffs and climbing mountains in the process. The whole Division
earned the respect of these French troops and was awarded the French Cross de
Guerre w/Palm Leaf for "the victory of Aquafondata" against a very stubborn
and professional enemy.
179th begins to be relieved by the 3d Algerian Div and was moved off the frontlines
back to San Potito, SE of Piedemonte. By this time, the 179th had already experienced
over a 100% casualty rate!
6JAN 45th receive-s a letter of commendation
from General Mark Clark and promises to the men that he will do "everything
possible . . . to make your period of rest a comfortable and profitable one."
The 45th is finished being relieved. It had been in Italy 121 days and in combat
110. They had suffered 870 KIA, 2,550 WIA, 256 MIA and 61 captured. During this
same time, they had suffered over 10,000 casualties due to accidents and disease.
By far the worst offender in this statistic was trench foot. (Llewellyn always
knew how to take care of his feet and prided himself with this knowledge. He never
once suffered the fate of those many that rotted away part of their body while
on duty in Italy.) "I always had a clean dry pair of socks."
179th moves to staging area near Qualino and is placed under the control of the
1st Armored Div in preparation for another amphibious assault, near Anzio.
U.S. Fifth Army begins 3 simultaneous landings at Anzio. The
179th is on shore
in the first 24 hours and moves forward steadily. The Germans are not ready with.
Their defenses and the rest of the 45th continues to unload from the leapfrogging
LSTs ferrying the invasion force N from Naples. The first casualties for the Regiment
are from our own flak guns raining spent shrapnel on the troops on the beachhead.
179th holds defensive positions on the R flank of the Corps along the Mussolini
3OJAN Darby's Rangers have been cut off and wiped out trying to
attack forward from the canal. Out of 810 men only 7 had escaped, most had been
By 1FEB, the entire 45th is ashore but the entire VI Corps
is now on the defensive. The attacks of the 3d Div and the 24th Guards are stalled,
and the casualty list is growing rapidly. The Germans are managing to fortify
their positions as fast as the Allies are able to unpack. 179th is reconnected
to the 45th as roving center to stick in the hot spots.
3FEB Germans counterattack
into the Campoleone salient the British had won in the center of the Corps east
of Aprilia. The enemy gains significant ground but fails to take their objective,
the set of buildings known as 'the Factory'.
7FEB The main enemy counteroffensive
9FEB The Factory is now in German hands and they begin using it
as a staging area for their continuing counteroffensive. Time after time groups
of tanks and infantry would spill out into the corridors toward the center of
the Allied beachhead.
10FEB 179th begins replacing the British 168th Brigade
in the middle of the weakest spot just S of the Factory.
11FEB 179th assisted
by 191st Tanks attacks to recover the Factory.
1st Bn reaches the objective
but is driven back.
12FEB Another attack by 45th thwarted.
2d Bn goes on line S of Factory with G Co's position on the Left flank and straddling
the "bowling alley" or RR bed, just to SE of Carroceto overpass. CHILSON
AWARDED PURPLE HEART from shell fragment.
16FEB 0600 Out of eerie silence
German guns erupt from behind the factory and the Allies counter, turning the
battlefield in a solid cloud of smoke and explosions. This was the beginning of
a series of counterattacks directly in front of the 2d and 3d Bns. They began
to move down the Anzio-Albano road 'the Bowling Alley' and though they were taking
heavy losses, the sheer numbers were overwhelming the entire 179th sector. By
mid-afternoon both sides were threatening to crack in this game of chicken but
CH1LS0N and his squad had run out of ammo and it was all over. The 179th held
that day but only by a thread and grave weak spots had been punched into the defense
of the entire beachhead. The 157th was less successful to their Left, and E Co
of the 157th had moved back opening up a hole to the left of G Co. Chilson and
3 other-s with him were spared from being killed and taken prisoner to help carry
ammo and stretchers on the other side. The attack by the Germans had not been
altogether successful. Far too many of their soldiers were now casualties too
and the easy victory they had been promised had certainly not materialized.
In the early morning another wave of 60 tanks come out of the underpass and head
right up the flank of G Co, wiping out or taking captive most of the men. 2nPlt
Commander Lt Reiman is one of many lost in no-man-s land on the wrong side of
the front, alone, silently trying to find a way across back towards the beachhead.
The Germans increase their coordinated air and ground effort in offensive against
the Anzio beachhead but spare the 179th from the brunt of the attack, shifting
to their right and the relatively fresh 180th. This was a miracle for the men
of the 179th that were still left in what had become a shredded regiment. Germans
attain deepest penetration of the campaign. The 179th is all the way back to the
2OFES Allies decisively beat Germans in the middle
of the salient with the use of coordinated TOT artillery barrages from all of
the artillery batteries, ships and tanks within range, thus ending the German
attempt to breakthrough the beachhead. CHILSON uses this barrage to take advantage
of the German's panic and captures some German prisoners bringing them and valuable
information back across the lines resulting in the capture of 40 more Germans
AWARDED SILVER STAR.
45th begins to be relieved from the front lines and digs into new defensive positions
as artillery continues.
MARCH The supply lines had been so terrible for
the Anzio invasion that the men ended up eating whatever they could find. At one
point, CHILSON's men were so desperate they shot and ate a ram. (CHILLSON would
never eat lamb again.) The battle has reached an undeniable stalemate, however,
and the troops are given periods of rest. CHILSON goes to Naples and bivouacs
on an ancient lava flow of Mt Vesuvius near Pompeii.
18MAR Mt. Vesuvius
erupts at 1640 hours. CHILSON is realty beginning to wonder what is happening
2OMAR The Mountain erupts again and this time a lava flow begins.
CHILSON wants to go back to Anzio.
27APR The 45th is moved back to the
front lines to begin a coordinated offensive to push off the Anzio beachhead.
45th is waiting for the final push for Rome.
2MAY H A Meyer becomes CO
of the 179th.
11MAY Drive on Rome begins along the entire Gustav Line.
Cpl CHILSON makes asst. squad leader.
18MAY Mt Cassino finally falls.
At 0545, the 45th and the rest of the Anzio Beachhead begins to move forward after
3 months of stalemate. In coordination with the rest of the Allied force in Italy,
Operation Buffalo begins to drive out of the Anzio beachhead with the 45th on
24MAY 179th repulses German counterattack.
28MAY 2nBn strikes
NE astride Anzio-Albano Rd. 179th moves in between 45th and 34th. 2nBn seizes
ridges by Corioli and take Campoleone by dusk.
29MAY Anti-tanks and tanks
take high ground one by one. F Co takes Colle Cavaliere and then E moves to Red
31MAY E, G & F Co's spearheads the Division into the Albano
Hills S of Rome.
1JUN F Co swings around G & E and assaults K-9. Fighting
heaviest resistance of the entire drive for Rome.
3JUN G Co takes Corioli.
Final German defenses are finally breaking up. In the evening the Tiber R, S of
Rome reached and crossed. 45th establishes bridgehead.
4JUN When liberation
was imminent the 1st Am Div and the 35th pass through the 45th. While the celebration
goes on in Rome the 45th is left to hold the bridgehead and then to continue north
to bivouac in a cornfield to the W of the Vatican.
11JUN Cpl CHILSON goes
to Rome for two days from Latonia, without permission.
13JUN Upon returning
CHILSON is given extra duties training replacements.
19JUN CHILSON takes
off again and this time is thrown in the stockade upon his return on 3OJUN.
invasion of S France changed from Anvil to Dragoon. There has been a solid We-stern
Front established and being strengthened everyday by the cross-Channel supply
9JUL Chilson is Given Special Court Martial for two counts of AWOL.
SILVER STAR is taken back; he is busted to Private once again, charged
a month for 4 months and given 4 months confinement (suspended).
is released from the stockade, transferred to G Company from Antitank Company.
He begins training for the next invasion, this time in the French Riviera.
12AUG Sail from Naples.
45th lands between Nice and Toulon near St. Maxine, The French Riviera. 45th is
in the center of VI Corps and secures the beaches but the town holds out until
noon. 179th held in reserve as 45th clears to Blue Line.
16AUG G Co takes
a strategic hill holding out near Chaume.
25AUG Daily showers have turned
to -solid rain and the retreating Germans are beginning to show sign-s of stiffened
27AUG 179th w/45th takes Bourgoin, midway between Grenoble
Lyons. On the western front Paris has fallen and elsewhere Turkey has
in the towel, while Finland and Bulgaria are talking peace and the
with their Rumanian and Yugoslav allies are advancing from the
E. 2nSn moves
by train to Grenoble to hook up with rest of 179th.
3OAUG 2nBn crosses
Rhone R at 1830 and heads toward Meximieax.
31AUG Germans fighting hard
to break through 7th Army between them and Germany. F Co attacked hard at roadblock
midway between Lagnieu and Meximieux.
4SEP Bourg is taken. General Patch's
Seventh Army has moved 318 miles in 19 days. Entire German divisions heading back
to defend the fatherland have found out that they are being cut off by the Seventh
Army moving north. Entire units surrender intact and on a few occasion-s are left
organized and armed to march to the rear away from the vengeance of the French
FF1 and to the relative safety of Allied POW camp's.
7SEP 45th has motorized
N and crosses the Doub's River near Baume-le's-Dames.
8SEP 2nBn returns
to 45th control & drive's S of Doubs River towards Clerval-de-la-Doub's and
attacks East towards Clerval up against a largely German population for the first
time. Private CHILSON has been assigned to S-2 since the French invasion and has
been gathering and interrogating prisoner's in the quick move north as the 7th
Army has been trying to catch the retreating German soldiers in a pinch between
them and the 3d Army. At 0900 CHILSON sustains an injury from one prisoner who
must have resented the questioning. He bit Llewellyn on the right hand and that
night CHILSON went to the aid station. They told him it was nothing and sent him
back to duty.
13SEP Back in the aid station and being regarded as AWOL
24OCT 179th takes Mortagne on enemy side of Mortagne R and gains
a foothold entering into the Lorraine region of N France.
counterattack inflicting heavy casualties and forcing a temporary retreat, but
soon a new Line was formed that could be defended. Around this time, CHILSON would
capture a heavily defended hill and 25 prisoners that G Co had been trying to
dislodge for some time. He had snuck around their flank and surprised them. Lester
Pinion was a witness to this event and would tell the Awards board in 1947 but
CHILSON never received an award for this action either.
31OCT Lt MILLWEE
OWENS joins G Co and becomes CHILSON's Platoon Leader.
2NOV 2nBn trucks
from Fraipertuis to Baccarat and sets up a N-S defensive line with the 117th Ran
Trp until 5NOV.
7NOV 2nBn relieved from the front and 'sent to bivouac
far from the war near Xertigny with the Division occupying a line running for
33 miles W of Epinal. In 540 days overseas, the men of the 45th had been on the
line fighting this war 352 of them.
22NOV 45th has passed to XV Corps of
the 7th Army.
24NOV 2nBn sent toward Denshein to sever the road leading
west out of Mutsig. Tech/Sgt CHILSON is AWARDED SILVER STAR for an action just
west of Denshein, France. On this day, he single handedly moved against a roadblock
getting to within 20 yards of a German position protecting the western entrance
to Mutsig. He threw 2 grenades and opened fire with his Thompson, killing 3, taking
nine prisoner, and thus interdicting the road and materially aiding in the capture
29NOV A pre-dawn patrol of the 179th's 2dBn drew a saturation
response of heavy tank and mobile gun fire on the attacking echelon near Muhlhausen,
but by 0915 they had won the high ground NE of Engwiller
3ONOV G Co holds
some heights in a forest less than 2 mi SW of Gumbrechtshoffen. The Germans attempt
to break the drive of the 45th once again and send waves of infantrymen across
a clearing and down a slight hilt toward 2nPlt's position in a section of the
woods where it was impossible to dig foxholes because of the root system in the
forest. CHILSON is recommended for CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR by his Lt OWENS
for being primarily responsible for successfully holding that position that day.
Waiting until the Germans were just a few yards in front of him he would stand
in the open and lay down the firepower of his Thompson 45 cal sub-machine gun
at close range cutting down all who dared attack. An indefensible position was
thus held and 100 Germans were left lying in piles just a few yards in front of
their position. Also this same day General Eagles was injured by a German mine
and relieved of duty.
1DEC The 45th takes Zinswiller. They have cracked
through the Vosges Mtns and are looking at the Alsatian Plain of the upper Moder
3DEC 179th has reached Gumbrechtshoffen. Gen Fredricks has taken command
of the 45th.
4DEC 179th takes Gundershoffen and occupies the village of
Lauterbacherhof drawing large amounts of fire as the German determination to stop
the Allied advance is strengthening.
6DEC G Co takes Lauterbachen.
Counterattack repelled w/help of 103d. The 179th on West of the Falkenstein River
prepares for assault across.
5DEC 45th attacks North to Niederbronn. A
deception program simultaneously begins to lead the enemy to expect a Rhine crossing
in the Strasbourg or Bischwiller areas to the SW of the 45th's positions.
The 45th advances through the Maginot line and clears Lembach and Wingen.
At 1245 elements of the 45th Div cross into Germany and are the first troop-s
of the 7th Army to penetrate.
17DEC 45th reaches West wall.
Elements of 45th attack across the Lauter River penetrating the Siegfried Line.
CHILSON reports to Bn Aid 'station with a fever but given no treatment and sent
back to the front.
21DEC it is getting clearer that the 45th has outrun
the rest of the Allied drive and is becoming more vulnerable to being cut-off.
The Germans are moving more and more troop-s into the Upper Vosges Mountains to
the left of the 45th. CHILSON begins to get noticeably -sicker.
45th is given a warning that the Germans are massing for an offensive.
CHILSON makes Platoon Sergeant.
28DEC CHILSON is diagnosed as having acute
infectious hepatitis (From bite to the hand)and evacuated to the 58th Evac. Hospital.
German's launch counter-offensive creating salient in Bitchie region. 2d and 3d
Bns of 179th positioned near Lembach. 45th contains enemy by Phillipsbourg after
major penetration has been affected and hard won territory lost. Several German
divisions were thrust up against some new divisions of GIs. The 45th is forced
to attack into the salient and try to regain an Allied front. The German soldiers
were among the fiercest they would ever encounter and were made up of SS elements
from all over Germany, whose mission it was to break through the Allied front
lines toward-s their Headquarters at Luneville.
3JAN Enemy expands Bitchie
salient entering Wingen and Phillipsbourg.
6JAN Germans continue building
up W of Rhine on NE flank of Corps. GWOREK captured.
7JAN 45th reach heights
overlooking Althorn. Lt OWENS earns Bronze Star.
10JAN OWENS wounded and
17JAN 3d Bn of the 157th attacks and gets cut off N of Hill
18JAN G Co of
the 179th (with a 1st Bn 157th force) strike northward towards the road junction
west of Reybach in order to seize the ridgeline between Hills 415 and 390, especially
Hill 363. 0800 G Co moves out but is forced to hold up and dig in when its men
reach the southwestern slope-s of Hill 363.
19JAN Attempts to rescue the
5 companies cut-off and under imminent threat of annihilation by 55 Troops were
2OJAN Orders are given for the men of the 157th that were
isolated to try and break out themselves. An hour later there were only 125 men
left of the 5 companies and they were ordered to disband and try to infiltrate
back. Only 2 made it.
12FEB CHILSON is released from the hospital and heads
back to duty having missed most of the German's winter offensive, which had taken
a large toll on the 45th.
17FEB The 179th is moved into a reserve area
22FEB Llewellyn's older brother Alvin is killed in action
in the Philippines.
13MAR Sgt CHILSON is on the AWOL list again.
CHILSON is back to work for a final crescendo of war. The
45th ha-s jumped
off from the Sarrequemines area entering Germany and has swept through to the
left of the industrial Saar. The 2d Bn is on the attack north up the Blies River
valley leading the 179th, which is now in the middle of the 45th attack.
The 45th reaches the West wall with the 179th in the center near Blieskastel.
The enemy's defenses on the Siegfried Line in front of the
45th's -sector are
punctured and broken. The 45th begins assault on pillboxes 6 dragon's teeth of
the West wall. 2d Bn is assaulting the pillboxes in the high ground NE of Webenheim.
The German defenses have been thrown into disarray by Patton's forces slicing
in front of the 45th's sector.
2OMAR Breakthrough of West wall as the 45th
21MAR The 179th is motorized and reinforced for the drive
to the Rhine R at Rhein-Durkheim. Patton's 3d army has broken E all the way to
Worms on the Rhine and opened up a path for 45th to drive straight to the banks
of the Rhine River North of Worms.
23MAR Patton's Third Army to the N crosses
The 45th begins assault at 0230 without any artillery support or air cover. On
N or L flank of the 7th Army the 179th in amphibious assault crosses between Hamm
and Rhein Durkheim and drives Corps across and through the German defenses. G
Co is on the extreme L of the 7th Army and spearheads the drive to contact the
3d Army to N and to take the town of Gernsheim. CHILSON AWARDED DISTINGUISHED
SERVICE CROSS in crossing of Rhine when CHILSON takes charge of the assault platoon
after 2 Platoon Commanders are wounded: Lt Steven CERNAN and Lt Michael Sarubbi.
By his own initiative, he organized the platoon into an assault force leading
his men East down the bank of the river against heavy fire and towards their mission.
His action resulted in 11 enemies dead and 225 of the 1,047 prisoners the Division
rounded up that day. He personally destroyed an ammunition vehicle, 2 heavy machine
guns, captured 2 others and destroyed 3 enemy flak vehicles while suffering no
casualties among his men during his command!
27MAR G Co bivouacs near town
of Stettbach and prepare for further advances, in Akron Oh. The local DAV chapter
sends a request to the Army to have CHILSON returned to the states to an ailing
father and a mourning family.
2SMAR 45th has reached the Main R between
the ancient city of Aschaffenburg and Obernau and crosses on an old RR bridge.
179th on both sides of R attacking in Sellback region and trying to close in around
the heavily defended city of Aschaffenburg. G Co is in the outskirts of Schweinheim
3OMAR 0700 G Co moves out, as right flank protection
for the Bn. CHILSON's platoon is R flank security for company and ordered to dig
in on a strategic hill above Obernau. In order to reach it however a well-defended
roadblock must be taken out. CHILSON acts and climbs on top of a tank in clear
sight of the roadblock and directs the firing of 3 tanks in front of the roadblock.
The enemy trains all available firepower on tanks for a 40-minute firefight. CHILSON
did not get off that tank until the roadblock was eliminated, 2 enemy dead, 40
captured and G Co was moving again to the hill overlooking Obernau.
CHILSON takes a 5-man combat patrol into Obernau. and finds a German to capture.
He finds out about German defenses from the prisoner and upon hearing about one
machine gun position near the entrance to the town he approaches that position
by himself, crawling to within 50 yards he throw's 3 grenades into the position
killing the entire crew. Only then did he order his patrol to follow him. They
then proceeded to fight into the town, house to house. One of his men was shot
under the eye and temporarily blinded. CHILSON ran the 50 yards to him through
machine gun fire where he picked him up and ran with the man to a place of cover
where he removed the bullet. Resuming the fight CHILSON found another 4 enemy
soldiers ensconced in a house. He smoked these out with grenades and shot them
as they fled. Only then did he return to the Company. He was AWARDED the BRONZE
STAR for this action. G Co then moved N from Obernau along the ridge circling
south of Aschaffenburg, again with CHILSON's platoon in the lead. From prisoners
they learned that a ranger's house in nearby woods was also a heavily defended
German position. AGAIN, CH1LSON went alone to reconnoiter and ran about 75 yards
from tree to tree through heavy fire to get to within 25 yards of the house finding
cover by a woodshed. He then threw some grenades in and called out for the men
inside to surrender. They answered with heavy fire instead. Chilson went back
and got his platoon to establish a Forward Observation position for the 3 supporting
tanks to fire on the house. After about 35 minutes of tank fire 6 of the enemy
had been killed and the other 7 had surrendered to CHILSON. His platoon went back
on the advance and followed the
ridge towards the town of Hessenthal. Proceeding down an open slope above the
town of Hessenthal they were hit with fire from 2 flak wagons behind the town
and numerous positions in front of the town pinning down the platoon. CHILSON
got up, ran 300 yards back to the woods, and found another tank to climb on top
of. He rode this tank to a good location above the town to fire. He stayed here
in conspicuous sight until 1 of the guns was silenced, 6 enemies were killed and
another 7 captured. He was AWARDED SILVER STAR for this action. These three medals
for valor were given to CHILSON in DEC 1946 by President Harry Truman along with
4 others. These three were given because the War Department had turned down the
European Theater's recommendation to give CHILSON the MEDAL OF HONOR for these
actions collectively. CHILSON was also AWARDED the LEGION OF MERIT for exceptionally
meritorious achievement for this period of 26-31MAR. This award is very rarely
given to an enlisted man and was given to CHILSON because he was functioning in
the position of an officer .
1APR CHILSON turns 25 as LtCol Smith's 2nSn
is on the R flank of the
45th with the 3d Division to their right. They move
through Hessenthal and then Strass-Bessenbach with G Co spearheading the drive
u-sing CHILSON's platoon as a 3 or 4 jeep patrol. CHILSOW ha-s now acquired a
distinctive outfit and looks 'something like a Cossack. He ha-s a brown leather
jacket, a black caracul's hat, bandoliers, a saber and 2 Belgian .45 pistol's
looking very much like the leader he was.
2APR Aschaffenburg finally fall's
and 2nBn start's moving faster than their tank support, NE to Heinricthstal with
CHILSON's men leading the way.
3APR G Co takes Aura and then 1stBn moves
through to take the lead for a while.
4-7APR The 179th takes Zeiflof's,
Badbruckenau, Zuntersback, Motten, Dalherda and Rodenbach and on the 7th is given
5 Apr 2nBn leads the way through resistance in Thundorf, Stadt
Lauringen, Mailes and Wetzhausen. The forward element's reached Birnfield.
2nBn cleans any enemy out of Wettringen, Aidhausen and Happerthausen. In the afternoon,
Lt REIMAN reconnoitered in Hofheim and found 2 lovely freuleins. That night both
REIMAN and CHILSON had an unauthorized good time and got to know the two German
ladies who were very happy to see the American liberator's come into their village.
3rd 6 45th mass Corps NW of Nuremberg (Nurnberg) and roll through Hofheim towards
20APR After furious battle Nuremberg falls. CHILSON and his
partner Frenchy Little field were the first 2 Allied soldier's into the city,
leading Lt Owens's' platoon, and were interviewed by the BBC soon after. On this
same day back in the states the Army is turning down the Day's request that CHILSON
be 'sent home.
21APR 45th alerted to continue drive to Munich.
1st & 2n jump off abreast with 2nBn on L and make 20 mi against resistance.
Zn is in woods NW of 1st. Hit's Gohren at 2015.
24APR 2nBn jumps Atmuhl River
at Pappaheim then drives to Solnhofen.
25APR in the morning 2nBn meet's and
smashes a German convoy retreating S to the Danube. CHILSON AWARDED DISTINGUISHED
SERVICE CROSS when his company was opened up on by 20mm guns shortly after entering
the town of Meillenholen.
Z6APR Danube is crossed and heavy fighting in
Neuberg. CH1LS0N AWARDED PURPLE HEART.
27APR AWARDED DISTINGUISHED SERVICE
CROSS for action in the fighting S of Weuberg. CHILSON found himself and his platoon
in a bad situation, halted by automatic weapons fire from an apartment house.
He rushed across the fire-swept -street, into the building, ran upstairs, and
destroyed the position with a grenade. 2 dead, & captured. Immediately after
in a courtyard he got a bullet in his right arm and fell back, breaking a bottle
of cognac he had helped liberate earlier. He then got mad, for the first time
in combat, and fired on the enemy position killing 2 and 'sending another fleeing.
He chased and caught this soldier and beat the unwounded German until both of
them were unconscious. At first, his men had a hard time getting medical attention
for their wounded Sergeant. Because of a very strong smell of cognac, the medics
thought he was just drunk. This when his outfit disappeared.
is over for CHILSON as he meets his wife to be, his nurse, Lt. Mary Armstrong
in the Army hospital in Stockbridge, England.
& MAY V-E Day. The men
of G Company having captured Nazi Party headquarters in Munich write letter-s
of Victory back to their loved ones on Hitler's personal stationary.
Brigadier General B. M. Fitch writes a letter to CHILSON explaining that the recommendation
for the CMH had been carefully considered in the War department and that, "the
gallantry displayed was not considered sufficient to warrant the award of the
MEDAL OF HONOR.
6DEC President TRUMAN awards CHILSON 7 MEDALS at the White
House established as first time in History of War Dept as the most medals given
to a person at one time. Paradoxically this moment of honor will shortchange him
later. When the media counts his medals after that they usually overlook a few
because he had been awarded even more medals than he had received that day. AUVIE
MURPHY was given the CMH and went into the movies, thereby entering history as
our most decorated hero. it is overlooked that CHILSON was possibly the greatest
war hero of the last European War. His name would not be mentioned in any of the
accounts of the war written by the Army, in fact, the Army doe-s not even include
LLEWELLYN CHILSON on the list it has that names the VSC winner's, and Chilson
won 3 of them (only Gen MacArthur would match that)! CHILSON'S CMH award was the
only recommendation turned down that was submitted by the 45th Division and this
denial means that the 179th RCT, having compiled one of the finest records of
the whole of WW II did not have even one of its men bestowed with that highest
of all honors. They had been too busy with war, to worry much about bureaucracy.
CHILSON reenlists in Akron to serve in the Army again, this time as recruiter,
waiving his 40% disability for the wounds he received in Neuberg.