87th Infantry Division
Personal Combat Log
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                            THE 87th IN ACTION!!






                            New Combat Log Found


    All of us who trained in the Infantry in World War II -- every mother's 
son of us -- can attest to the discipline that was drilled into us.  Today
I look back and wonder whether it could have been otherwise.  But then?
Well, then, you couldn't have expected us to like it.


    I had just reached 18 when I entered the Infantry ("with dirt behind
their ears"), 19 when I was baptized by combat.  A little of the rebel
remained in me somehow.  Not withstanding the stern, even punitive warnings
against GI's keeping combat logs, I kept one.

    I had more opportunity than most to compile one.  Sent overseas as a
heavy machine gunner, I was reassigned to heavy mortars, then made mail
clerk and assistant company clerk.  Having started to study journalism
before being drafted, I was often detached from the front lines to write
citations for Silver and Bronze Stars as well as battlefield commissions
on various battered American and German typewriters.  I must have batted
out 15 citations.

    To this day, I can recite details of some of the most sonorous deeds of
my fellow combat infantrymen of Co. D, 345th Infantry.  To this day, some
of those deeds bring tears to my eyes.

    This memoir was sparked by your last issues featuring the combat log of 
Sgt. Johnson of the 346th Mine Platoon.  My own combat log is more cryptic
than Sgt. Johnson's, but it does evoke some of the places, names, conditions
personal feelings, and the bold sweep of the Third U.S.Army in World War II.

    At first I secreted the log in my clothes.  After the war, however, I
carried it for awhile in my wallet, then stuffed it in drawers and suitcases
wherever I lived.  Without the Golden Acorn News feature and the solicita-
tion by the Army History Institute, however, I never would have been re-
mined of my log.

    It's not always legible and not always clear, but its mere existence
in the face of severe and repeated admonitions against keeping one is, to
me, a minor miracle.  For this reason I don't think very many others will
be uncovered.  I don't know at this time whether I want to surrender by
original to the Army History Institute, but I send them the enclosed copy.

    Mitchell Kaidy (Cpl. Co D 345th)

                         COMBAT LOG CO D 345th INF

    10 Oct 1944...........Left Ft. Jackson, S.C. Destination Unknown.
    11 Oct................Arrived Cp Kilmer, N.J. after daylong ride.
    15 Oct................Left NY POE and boarded Queen Elizabeth.
    17 Oct................Sailed. Goodbye, old gal. See you soon!
    22 Oct................Arrived Grennoch, Scotland. Trip uneventful.
                          Weather balmy.
    24 Oct................Disembarked to Biddulph Moors, England.
    25 Nov................Left Biddulph for Southhampton.  Goodbye
                          "Merrie Old England"
    26 Nov................Set sail for France on LSI 37. Good food.
    27 Nov................Went over the side of the LSI to an LCT at
                          the battered port of Le Havre.
    28 Nov................The Old Apple Orchard near Amiens.  Just mud.
     4 Dec................The "Forty and Eight" days -- boxcars full or
                          human beings
     6 Dec................Arrived Metz after 2 nights in cattle cars.
                          Committed to action 2330 taking Fort Jean D'Arc.
                          relieving Fifth Div.
     8 Dec................Met Al*, who had come from Verdun, after about 
                          two and a half years.
    13 Dec................Left Metz by truck for Saar Basin, Rimling,
                          Urchen, Medalsheim, and Obergailbach.
    24 Dec................Xmas Eve.  Left Saar after an eternity of Hell.
                          Relieved by the 44th Div after much blood.
    26 Dec................Rivouaced outside Reims, France after numbing
                          convoy ride.  Attached to 7th Army.
    29 Dec................Crossed Belgium border at 1515, Province of 
                          Luxembourg.  Snowing hard.
    30 Dec................This was the "Bulge", little did we suspect it.
                          Objectives -- Jenneville and Moircy.
     2 Jan 1945...........Show packed hard and high.  Fighting hard.
                          Living miserable.  Stayed at Laneville.
     5 Jan................Moved to Ochamps.  Collected 9,500 dollars for
                          Money Orders.  Made corporal.
     8 Jan................Left for Jenneville.  Just snow..
    10 Jan................Campaign for Bonnerue.  12 men captured from
                          our Company.  Many casualties.
    11 Jan................Back to Moircy for rest and replacements.
    13 Jan................Defensive positions at Sprimont.
    17 Jan................Truck convoy to Wilper, Luxembourg.  Patrols
                          sent across Our River at Echternach.  Snow.
    26 Jan................Back in convoy to Wilper, Luxembourg.
    29 Jan................Moved into a flattened city called St. Vith.
                          Taken by 7th Arm Div and 82nd A/B.  Jumped off
                          overland to Hume.
    30 Jan................Carrying party of emergency rations and a 
                          mail bag full of socks 12 miles overland in 
                          knee-deep snow. Brought wounded man back. 
                          He died.
    31 Jan................Took Hume after shelling by "88's".
     3 Feb................Andler, Belgium.  Poverty, snow and manure.
     6 Feb................Moved over sea of mud to Auw, Germany.
     7 Feb................Prepared to assault the Siegfried Line.
                          Crossed I.P. in approach march at midnight.
     8 Feb................Jumped off to attack Siegfried Line at 0700
                          from Walschied, Germany.
     9 Feb................Men against concrete.  Cracked some pillboxes.
                          Tanks and TD's in support.  Artillery, too.
    10 Feb................CP in house with big gaping hole at Olzheim.
                          Jerries coming in by truckloads.
    12 Feb................The "Screaming Meemie" days.  Sniped at going
                          up with mail.  Patrols into booby-trapped woods.
    14 Feb................Back to Auw for a rest.  9th TAC in fray.
    19 Feb................Left Auw for the Siegfried Line again. Shelling
                          terrific.  Many close ones.
    22 Feb................Taking and sleeping in pillboxes.
    24 Feb................Took many small towns.  One man captured.
    27 Feb................Two men killed.  7 wounded this week in our Co.
    28 Feb................After an arduous campaign we moved to Neunstein.
                          Not much left of it.
     1 Mar................Infantry on tanks and TD's to Schoenfeld.
     3 Mar................Moving fast we hit Gonnersdorf.
     5 Mar................On tanks to Digel, Dollendorf.  Fed hot chow
                          anytime we can catch up.  Usually midnight.
                          Brief rest here.
    14 Mar................Moving every day and moving fast, we passed
                          through many pretty towns untouched by war.
                          Plenty of Schnapps and Champagne.
    16 Mar................Big move to Karich, and the drive to Coblenz
                          started.  Crossed Moselle River at Winnengen
                          in assault boats.
    18 Mar................Long pontoon bridge built by Engineers under
                          smokescreen.  Took Coblenz after moderate 
                          street fighting.  Some casualties.  Big news
                          splash.
    23 Mar................Into woods ten miles from Boppard.  Very hope-
                          ful now.  Birthday today.
    25 Mar................Took Boppard.  Crossed Rhine under smokescreen
                          after 89th Div had failed further up the river.
                          Some casualties from "88's".
    26 Mar................Pontoon bridge knocked out but we pushed in-
                          land to Dahlheim.  Returned for mail and was
                          ferried across Rhine by U.S.Navy.  Snipers in
                          Boppard, taken by 76th and 89th Divs following
                          us.
    27 Mar................Esback, Bettendorf, Zollhause, Gimmerich. 6th
                          Cav Grp moving ahead of us.
    30 Mar................Niederfelters, Butzbach, Brandoberdorf.
                          Flushing out of woods, snipers.  Trapped Regt
                          of SS Troopers.
     5 Apr................Obersul, the Waldfinch, Fich and Tambach.
     8 Apr................Counter attacked.  We lost some men in 2nd Bn.
    12 & 13 Apr...........Plauen, Ehrenstein, we freed thousands of
                          slave laborers of every nationality, daily.
    15 & 16 Apr...........Two Heinies give in to kitchen tonight.  They
                          were hungry.  We moved to Judenew and Fossa.
    17 Apr................Pausa then Plauen, the city flattened by the
                          Air Corps.  Camped in tents overlooking the
                          city.
     7 May................Falkenstein,  false VE Day.
     8 May................VE Day, not much excitement, though.

     * -- The reference on 8 Dec 1944 to "Al" is my brother Albert.
          a T/5 in the 386th AAA Bn.

Sources & links: Personal Archive of Mr. Mitchell Kaidy (Cpl. D Company, 345th Infantry Regiment, 87th Infantry Division)
Text by: Mr. Mitchell Kaidy (Cpl. D Company, 345th Infantry Regiment, 87th Infantry Division)
Site design & initiative: Hans Houterman
Site created by: Jeroen Koppes
Last update: 15.01.2003-CSS
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