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Walter McElvain's Letters From World War II: Army Commendations

by ateamwar

Contributed by 
ateamwar
People in story: 
Bill McElvain
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A4645604
Contributed on: 
01 August 2005

The following story appears courtesy of and with thanks to Walter and Bill McElvain.

HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH ARMY------- APO 758, US ARMY....................... 23 November 1944.................. GENERAL ORDER NUMBER 112 ....................... TO BE READ BY ALL TROOPS.......................... SOLDIERS OF THE 44TH INFANTRY DIVISION: First introduced into combat the latter part of October in the Eastern part of the FORET DE PARROY, you drove the Germans from their remaining strongpoints in the forest and by continued and active patrolling kept the enemy from any offensive action in this section. As the left assault division of the XV Corps, in its attack to capture the SAVERNE GAP you attacked on the morning of 13 November overcoming strong enemy resistance after heavy fighting. By a brilliant flanking movement you captured VACOURT and succeeded in destroying a large German force defending BOIS DE IA GARENNE. On the 17th, striking swiftly to the East you captured BOIS DE IA GARENNE in the face of savage enemy counter-attacks. The same day you struck suddenly toward the important road center of RECHICOURT, keeping the enemy off balance, forcing him from his prepared position, pursuing his scattered units tirelessly, and liberating AVICOURT, MOUSSEY, AUTREPIERRE. Without respite, you continued to attack and by the 19th had taken RECHICOURT, ST. GEORGE and FOUICNY. Hundreds of prisoners and much equipment were captured. By this action you assisted immeasurably in accomplishing the final defeat and disorganization of the bewildered enemy in your sector. Your tireless efforts and relentless pursuit of the enemy resulted in the liberation of SARREBOURG on 20 November. By nightfall of the 21st you stood ready to reduce the few remaining positions guarding the northern entrance to the SAVERNE GAP. Your outstanding accomplishments against a strong and experienced enemy indicate a high standard of training and discipline and reflect a splendid morale on the part of your division. Men of the 44th Infantry Division, by your valor, skill and determination you have contributed another bright page in the history of your fine Division. ..................A. M. PATCH......... ..................Lieutenant General, USA, Commanding ..........Reproduced by: Hq 44th Inf Div, 25 Nov 44 ........DISTRIBUTION: To include platoons.......... HEADQUARTERS........SIXTH ARMY GROUP................ OFFICE OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL, APO 23............ 13 January 1945..................................... SUBJECT: Commendation.............................. TO: Commanding General, Headquarters 44th Infantry Division, APO 44.................................... THRU: Commanding General, Seventh Army, APO 758.... Since the night of 31 December 1944 the 44th Infantry Division has achieved new successes. Receiving the initial impetus of the main enemy attack on the evening of January 2, you maintained the integrity of your defense in the face of determined and repeated attacks by the German 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division, supported by strong elements of two Infantry Divisions. The stubborn resistance of your Infantry elements, supported by artillery action, the devastating power and accuracy of which was unsurpassed, is outstanding. You repulsed, with exceedingly heavy losses to the enemy, several strong attacks on January 1, and numerous other attacks and continuous aggressive action since that date. The collective gallantry and superb fighting qualities of the 44th Division compelled the enemy to shift his main forces to another area. I congratulate every member of the Division and its supporting units for these courageous and successful actions............ JACOB L. DEVERS............................... Lieutenant General, US Army, Commanding............ Reproduced by: Hq 44th Inf Div, 19 Jan 45......... 1st Ind., Office of the Commanding General, 44th Inf. Div., APO 44, US Army 19 Jan 45.................... TO: Officers and Men of the 44th Infantry Division.. 1. It is with the greatest pride and deepest humility that I express my appreciation to you officers and men of the 44th Division, who, by your individual and collective gallantry, are responsible for the achievement that resulted in this citation.......... WILLIAM F. DEAN..................................... Brigadier General, United States Army, Commanding ..............DISTRIBUTION: To include Platoons ****************************************************** Special Orders for German-American Relations: 1. To remember always that Germany, though conquered, is still a dangerous enemy nation. 2. Never to Trust Germans, collectively or individually 3. To defeat German efforts to poison my thoughts or influence my attitude. 4. To avoid acts of violence, except when required by military necessity. 5. To conduct myself at all times so as to command the respect of the German people for myself, for the United States, and for the Allied Cause. 6. Never to associate with Germans. 7. To be fair but firm with Germans. ---- Headquarters, Sixth Army Group ---- Europe 1945

Continued….
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