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Dog Company - 16th US Infantry - 1st Division

Torrance AAR
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Torrance, Pennsylvania
March, 2007

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        After an extended and gut busting voyage on the SS Knighton, our troops disembarked at Torrance PA. Everyone began setting up the Supply Depot for Todds wares and worked like an overgreased piece of machinery.

        After having arrived a little later than expected, Rory and I found we had commanders meeting scheduled in a few minutes. After hurrying up getting our uniforms on, we hustled and promptly got lost on the way back to registration. After backtracking we finally made it in time for the meeting. As the meeting was ending Rory and I were dragged out onto the porch of the "Sanitarium". Here we met 3 members of the other leg units in attendance. It was determined that I had rank (note to Rory, remind me not to wear the bars) and was put in overall command of the Infantry units the next day.

      Getting back to camp we found the rest of the unit beginning to set up camp. The rest of the night was pretty calm. Attempts were made to cook some of the food we brought, and was fun until the cold set in.

      0500 the next morning found us either already up or getting up to get ready for the battle. By 0600 the rest of the infantry units had filtered in and we began moving towards our first objective. By 0645 we were engaged with the enemy. After some tense moments with a halftrack and a flank attack we pushed the Germans out of the first objective. 0800 saw us trying to walk across a 1/4 mile stretch of open cornfield.

      Accompanying Dog Company was members of the 83rd Infantry Division. Once we found ourselves on top of a crest of a hill about 2/3rds of the way across the cornfield, we began to fire on the Germans in our next objective. The hope was to draw their fire while the 83rd could sneak up closer. Finally elements of the 35th and 29th ID's had worked their way around the back of the enemy position and began to occupy the position. At this time we rushed forward and assisted in clearing the woods.

      After a lull in the fighting we maneuvered behind the Germans engaging the Airborne units and proceeded to move towards the next objective. We expected to find resistance at the bridge but no one was there. Once we were in place a judge called the area hot. We observed German units move into position down the road but never actually attacked. Shortly after a halftrack came down the road. Just as the halftrack passed the unit, the sound of gunfire erupted. The halftrack stopped and 7 or 8 guys stood up inside and with total surprise removed their helmets while shaking their heads.   

      Eventually the Airborne troops arrived in force and was very reminiscent of the "Band of Brothers" scene where Lt. Winters captured and set up a perimeter around a crossroads before Capt. Sobel come running up. Ah, the feeling of pride...

      After a few moments another German unit set up a mortar on top of a hill overlooking the bridge. The accuracy of the mortar was scary.  After enduring the mortar attack and the girlie cries of Pvt. Knighton, the judges called the area clear. It was then a break was called as we all ate something and rehydrated.

      During this time we witnessed one of the scariest moments you could imagine in reenacting. A jeep lost control and careened into the woods. After some tense moments the injured judge was away in an ambulance. At this point the battle was called and we headed back to camp.

      After a wonderful meal of stew, we all relaxed after a hard days fight. That night it started to rain so we packed up most of our gear and headed for dryer accommodations. It was an enjoyable and well-fought weekend. I for one am looking forward to next year. Note to self; remember to not wear the bars...

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