• Tribute to Chester E REBER - Battery HQ & Sv / 680th GFAB

    (January 07, 1914 - November 28, 1966)

     

      

    I have recently acquired this interesting Paratrooper qualification badge ("Wings") engraved by its initial owner. This gentleman has made engrave a date "4/29/44, a serial number "39377485" and his name "Chester E Reber". With these info, I have identified this man as a member of the 680th GFAB.

    Son of Harry F REBER and Ella COOK, Chester E REBER was born on January 07, 1914 at Chehalis in Lewis County, Washington. He grows up and lived there when he was enlisted on March 24, 1941 at Tacoma, Washington. He received ASN 39377485.

    He married Lucille GRIEGER on October 12, 1941 at Seattle, King County, Washington and has had a son.

    Sergent REBER joined the 680th Glider Field Artillery Battalion at unknown date and was assigned to Battery HQ & Service. The date on the brevet is probably the date of obtaining his paratrooper qualification. Unfortunately, this man is not listed on the 1947 Don Pay roster and I haven't found other info on him. 

    He passed away on November 28, 1966 at the age of 52 years-old. He is buried at Cowlitz View Memorial Gardens, Kelso, Cowlitz County, Washington. 

     

     

    This "GI's Tribute" will be archived in the GI's Tribute - 680th GFAB.


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  • Hosingen (Great-Dutchy of Luxembourg), January 29, 1945 : the 193rd GIR fights for the last time

     

    I have made many many research on the 193rd GIR and I'm finishing a book (in french) dedicated to this 17th Airborne's unit. I am currently doing the layout of the Rhineland campaign chapter. On January 28, 1945, the 193rd GIR were located in the little village of Hosingen (Great-Dutchy of Luxembourg) facing the German border and the Siegfried Line (also called Westwall) delimited by the Our river. To better understand the battle, I have made a one day trip in the area and I think it is interesting to share this with you.

    Enjoy,

    TFH

     

    The operation: on January 29, 1945, the 193rd GIR has received the mission to seize the highest ground facing the Our valley to better observed the German border and movements of enemy troops. The offensive starts around 02:00 PM with A Company on left and E Company on right. Under heavy fire, A Company failed to reach its objective while E Company reaches its goal at the cost of numerous losses. The two companies are ordered to withdraw at 05:30 PM. This action will be the last one for the 193rd GIR.

     

     

    Operation of the 193rd GIR on January 29, 1945 (TFH map)

     

    Hosingen before the war & after the battle of the Bulge (from the Archives of Hosingen, available on the web):

     

    The Battlefield today: these pics have been realized on August 12, 2018.

    Hosingen today seen from the left part of the front occupied by the 193rd GIR on January 28 & 29, 1945 :

     

    Both companies leaved the village by the main road to Germany, exactly at this place :

     

    The Our valley today :

      

    The objectives of the January 29, 1945 (still seen from the left flank of the front) :

     

    This pic realized just on the right of the E Company's goal shows very well the very hilly landscape in this area and the incredible difficulties to lead patrols at this place, especially in winter with anti-personnel mines on the ground and enemy fire over your head !

     

    As a testimony of the battle, it is still possible to observe fox-holes. On the first pic, we seen very well a large german collective shelter with wooden roof remains.  On the second one, we can seen individual fox-holes :

     

    Or simply pieces of shrapnel lying on the ground 75 years after the battle ...

     

    Or a commemorative plate in honor of the 17th AB Division :

     

    And finally two other surprises on the way to home ...

    This german 88mm PAK 43/41 anti-tank gun visible on the village of Heinerscheid (Great-Dutchy of Luxembourg) located 10,9 kms north of Hosingen :

     

    And this german 150mm Schwere FH18 visible on the village of Cherain (Belgium) located 10 kms north-east of Houffalize, in the area where the 17th AB has fought during the Bulge. Of interest are the numerous impact of shrapnels visible on this battlefield relic :

     

     


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  • Hosingen (Great-Dutchy of Luxembourg), January 29, 1945 : the 193rd GIR fights for the last time

     

    I have made many many research on the 193rd GIR and I'm finishing a book (in french) dedicated to this 17th Airborne's unit. I am currently doing the layout of the Rhineland campaign chapter. On January 28, 1945, the 193rd GIR were located in the little village of Hosingen (Great-Dutchy of Luxembourg) facing the German border and the Siegfried Line (also called Westwall) delimited by the Our river. To better understand the battle, I have made a one day trip in the area and I think it is interesting to share this with you.

    Enjoy,

    TFH

     

    The operation: on January 29, 1945, the 193rd GIR has received the mission to seize the highest ground facing the Our valley to better observed the German border and movements of enemy troops. The offensive starts around 02:00 PM with A Company on left and E Company on right. Under heavy fire, A Company failed to reach its objective while E Company reaches its goal at the cost of numerous losses. The two companies are ordered to withdraw at 05:30 PM. This action will be the last one for the 193rd GIR.

     

     

    Operation of the 193rd GIR on January 29, 1945 (TFH map)

     

    Hosingen before the war & after the battle of the Bulge (from the Archives of Hosingen, available on the web):

     

    The Battlefield today: these pics have been realized this last sunday (August 12, 2018).

    Hosingen today seen from the left part of the front occupied by the 193rd GIR on January 28 & 29, 1945 :

     

    Both companies leaved the village by the main road to Germany, exactly at this place :

     

    The Our valley today :

      

    The objectives of the January 29, 1945 (still seen from the left flank of the front) :

     

    This pic realized just on the right of the E Company's goal shows very well the very hilly landscape in this area and the incredible difficulties to lead patrols at this place, especially in winter with anti-personnel mines on the ground and enemy fire over your head !

     

    As a testimony of the battle, it is still possible to observe fox-holes. On the first pic, we seen very well a large german collective shelter with wooden roof remains.  On the second one, we can seen individual fox-holes :

     

    Or simply pieces of shrapnel lying on the ground 75 years after the battle ...

     

    Or a commemorative plate in honor of the 17th AB Division :

     

    And finally two other surprises on the way to home ...

    This german 88mm PAK 43/41 anti-tank gun visible on the village of Heinerscheid (Great-Dutchy of Luxembourg) located 10,9 kms north of Hosingen :

     

    And this german 150mm Schwere FH18 visible on the village of Cherain (Belgium) located 10 kms north-east of Houffalize, in the area where the 17th AB has fought during the Bulge. Of interest are the numerous impact of shrapnels visible on this battlefield relic :

     

     


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  • Unknown 17th AB trooper

     

     

    Who know this trooper ? 

    This is an interesting unknown  17th AB soldier's pic. It has been probably realized at the early time of the unit  as the GI's wears a trooper visor hat rather than an overseas cap and has only one qualification badge on his jacket. Of interest is the shoulder sleeve insignia not sewn according the specification !


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  • January 04, 1945  The Battle for Cochleval

     

    In its first day of combat, the 1st Battalion of the 513th PIR met heavy resistance on the National 4 road, north west of Bastogne, in a small hamlet called Cochleval. This hamlet does not survived to the battle and/or to the enlargement of the road realized after the war. It no longer exist and I have never found any pic of the place during WWII or before. The only proof I have found from its existence is an aerial pic realized on December 27, 1944.

    As I was in the area this last December 16, 2016 (the date of the 72nd anniversary of the starting of the Battle of the Bulge !) and the weather was clement, I have stopped few minutes in this place where the 1st Bn / 513th PIR fought so heavily and suffered a lot of casualties.

     

     

     Cochleval from the sky on December 27, 1944. 

     

     The red dot is my location on December 16, 2016 and letters correspond of the direction I have made the pic.

     

     A : today, the only building remaining at the place is a recent barn. It is exactly at that place the Company C was nearly annihilated and survivors surrendered in the afternoon of January 04, 1945.

     

     B : this is the view toward Flamierge. It is from this side that German tanks launched their counter-offensive.

     

     C : in the direction of Bastogne. The Company B was approximately located on the right side of the road, at the horizon line.  It is in this area Isadore S JACHMAN, on of the fourth divisional CMH recipient was killed in action. The barn where the First Aid Post was opened was approximately located near my car.

     

    D : the path we can see on the aerial pic is still present and absolutely unchanged since 72 years ! 

     

    Lors de son baptême du feu le 04 janvier 1945, le 1er Bataillon du 513th PIR rencontra une résistance inattendue en arrivant sur la route Nationale, au nord ouest de Bastogne, dans un hameau appelé Cochleval. Les constructions situées à cet endroit n'ont pas survécu à la guerre et/ou à l'élargissement de la route réalisé après-guerre et je n'ai jusqu'à aujourd'hui jamais trouvé de photographie de l'endroit avant ou pendant la guerre. La seule preuve tangible que j'ai de l'existence de ce hameau est une photographie aérienne réalisée par un pilote de l'USAAF le 27 décembre 1944.

    J'ai profité de mon passage dans la région et d'un temps très clément ce 16 décembre dernier (date anniversaire du début de l'offensive des Ardennes) pour m'arrêter quelques instants à l'endroit exact ou combattit si durement au prix de terribles pertes le premier bataillon du 513th PIR.

     

    This article will be later placed in the "Then and Now" chapter.


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