243rd Field Artillery Battalion - After Action Report
243RD FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION
11 September 44
SUBJECT: After Action Report.
TO : Commanding General, Third United States Army, APO 403.
1. This battalion departed Fort Bragg, N.C. 14 June 1944 by rail and
arrived Camp Shanks, N.Y. 15 June 1944. It departed N.Y. P.O.E. 22 June 1944
and arrived Greenock, Scotland 28 June 1944. The battalion was quarted at
Camp Stanage, Wales for a period of equipping and training. It departed from
Camp Stanage 3 August 1844 and arrived at Marshalling Area D 14, 4 august 1944.
The battalion departed Marshalling Area 5 August 1944 and arrived Utah Beach,
France 6 August 1944 disembarking 7 August 1944.
2. The battalion spent 7 and 8 August in bivouac near Bricquebec, France
and on 9 August 1944 moved to Champcey, France. The battalion departed Champcey,
France and arrived near Miniac, France 10 August 1944, going directly into
position upon arrival. The battalion was attached to VIII Corps and 202 FA Gp
upon arrival at Miniac, France.
3. The first firing in France took place at 1700, 10 August 1944; one gun
being registered. The battalion remained in the vicinity of Miniac, France
until 19 August 1944 firing a total of 540 rounds in support of the 83rd Infantry
Division in the siege of St. Malo, France. Of these 540 rounds the majority were
fired at gun emplacements and pill boxes in and around Dinard, St Servan Sur Mer,
St Malo and Ile de Cezembre. By the evening of 15 August 1944 all of the St.
Malo area with the execption of Ile de Cezembre and Port de la Cite, commonly
referred to as the Citadel, were in American hands. Although the minium range
of the 8 gun with normal charge on level ground is 15000 yards, Battery C of
this battalion was emplaced during the night 16-17 August to fire direct on the
Citadel from a range of 2400 yards. This was accomplished by digging the guns
in so that the carriage had a forward slope of approximately 11°. Occupation
of position was started at 0800 16 August and completed at 0905 17 August 1944.
A total of 112 rounds using normal charge and shell H1, fuzed T 105 were fired
at the Citadel. Immediately after the shelling by this battalion and before
the scheduled bombing and assault by the infantry, the garrison surrendered.
(For a complete report of this action see The Reduction of Fort de la Cite of
St Malo among the supporting papers).
4. The battalion departed vicinity of Miniac, France 19 August 1944 and
closed in bivouac in the vicinity of Les-Neven, France 20 August 1944, remaining
under the controll of 202 FA Gp and VIII Corps. The battalion went into position
in the vicinity of Treglenou, France 22 August 1944, emplaced so as to fire in the
direction of Lochrist and Le Cocquet, France. One gun was registered from an
R position 23 August. On 4 September Battery A was attached to 561st FA Bn
and 174th FA Gp for the remainder of the Brest operation and moved into position
in the vicinity of Loperhet, France.
5. The battalion moved forward from Treglenou to the vicinity of St-
Renan, France 6 September. Battery B was emplaced to cover the Lochrist
Area and Battery C to cover the Crozon Peninsula. By 9 September, Le Cocquet
had been taken and the three 280mm guns of the Graf Spee Battery at Lochrist had
surrendered so on 10 September Battery B was shifted to fire on the Crozon Pen-
6. Our part of the Brest Operations consisted mainly of firing on heavy
guns positions and concrete pill boxes using terrestial observation. In
addition to our own firing we conducted a total of 32 missions with other
battalions. 20 of these missions were fired with combined observation, the
plotting and computing being done in our fire direction center. A total of
1013 rounds were fired by this battalion in the Brest Operations.
7. The battalions moved back into bivouac in the vicinity of Les-Neven,
France 20 September 1944. The guns of the battalion were calibrated by Third
Army Calibration Team 22 September. On 24 September the battalion moved to
the vicinity of Floudaniel, France and bivouaced the night of 24-25 September.
On 25 September, the battalion was attached to the 24th FA Brigade and the
196th FA Gp and departed vicinity Floudaniel for Vic Coetquidan, closing there
26 September. The battalion was relieved from attachment to the 196th FA Gp
8. The battalion departed Vic Coetquidan 24 September to arrive Onville
3 October, to be relieved from attachment to 9th Army and 34th FA Brigade upon
For the Commanding Officer:
RICHARD G. BANKS
Major, 243rd FA Bn.