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U.S. Albert Lucchesi Jr , WW2, Normandy, Battle of the Bulge
Albert Joseph Lucchesi, Jr was BooMBooM.OsM father in Law and he requested this, Below are a compilation of L company 112th Infantry Reg 28th Infantry Division from numerous sources.
Lucchesi was drafted on 20 Feb 1942 at Camp Shelby Miss.and was subsequently assigned to L co. 112 Inf Reg. of the 28th Infantry Division. The official nickname of the Division was "The Keystone Division" however it is commonly known as the Bloody Bucket , due to the shape of the patch and the patch being colored red and the amount of casualties the Division took.
July 22, 1944, the 112 Inf. w/ L Co landed on the beaches of Normandy. From Normandy, the 28th advanced across western France, finding itself in the thick of hedgerow fighting through towns such as Percy, Montbray, Montguoray, Gathemo and St. Sever de Calvados by the end of July 1944. The fury of assaults launched by the 28th Infantry Division led the German Army to bestow the Keystone soldiers with the title "Bloody Bucket" Division.
In a movement north toward the Seine in late August, the Division succeeded in trapping the remnant of the German 7th Army through Vorneuil, Breteuil, Damville, Conches, Le Neubourg and Elbeuf before entering Paris to join in its liberation. The famous photograph of American troops before the Arc de Triomphe, marching in battle parade down the Champs Elysees, shows the men of 28th Infantry Division. With no time to rest, the Division moved on to fight some of the most bloody battles of the War the day following the parade.
The 112 INF REG. of the 28th continued to advance through the Forest of Compeigne, La Fere, St. Quentin, Laon, Rethel, Sedan, Mezieres, Bouillon and eventually across the Meuse River into Belgium. The Keystone soldiers averaged 17 miles a day against the resistance of German "battle groups." The city of Arlon, Belgium, fell to a task force as the Division fanned out into Luxembourg in early September. On September 11, 1944, the 28th claimed the distinction of being the first American unit to enter Germany.
After hammering away in assaults which destroyed or captured 153 pillboxes and bunkers, the Division moved north toward the Siegfried Line, clearing the Monschau Forest of German forces. After a brief respite, the Keystone soldiers made another move northward to the Huertgen Forest in late September. Attacks in the forest began November 2, 1944. The 28th Infantry Division stormed into Vossenack, Kommerscheidt and Schmidt amid savage fighting and heavy losses.
In the Hurtgen Forrest, L co and the 112th had to endure a constant 3 day artillery barrage that made a few of the men break.After numerous assaults on the town of Scmidt, Lucchesi's L co. had only 81 men left, some walking wounded, out of 193 who were with the company at the beginning of the battle. Lucchesi was one of the lucky ones from the 112 and the 28th as they were deemed combat ineffective after this battle suffering 6,184 casualties (killed, wounded or captured)
By November 10, the 28th began to move south to rest and refit , where it held a 25-mile sector of the front line along the Our River. During December 1944, the 112th Infantry Regimental Combat Team with Co. L was holding a 6-1/2 mile sector in which the Germans attacked with 9 Divisions. The Combat Team inflicted 1600 casualties and destroyed 18 tanks during 9 days of continuous actions, which later became known as the "Battle of the Bulge."
The 112th Infantry Regiment (the most northerly of the 28th Division's regiments), was holding a continuous front east of the Our, kept German forces from seizing and using the Our river bridges around Ouren for two days before withdrawing progressively to the west Overwhelmed by the weight of enemy armor and personnel, L co. maintained its defense of this sector long enough to throw Von Runstedt's assault off schedule. This won L co and the 112th a Presidential Unit Citation and allowed the 101st Airborne Division to reach Bastogne. With allied forces able to a move in to counterattack, the "Battle of the Bulge" ensued, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy forces.
During the battle, Lucchesi was manning a .50 Caliber Machine gun at a check point, a patrol of L company was returning under heavy fire and Lucchesi covered their return , allowing the entire patrol to return unharmed and with information on German positions. . During the Battle of the Bulge and Huertgen Forrest all able bodied and walking wounded of the 112th were made into Infantry to hold the line,so everyone fought as infantry including truck drivers, cooks and mechanics.
During early January 1945, the Division and L co 112th Inf were charged with defense of the Meuse River from Givet, Belgium to Verdun, France. Later that month a move to the south, to Alsace, was made. There the 28th had the experience of serving in the French First Army in the reduction of the "Colmar Pocket" and to it went the honor of capturing Colmar, the last major French City in German hands. Further advances to the east across the L'Ill River and Rhino-Rhono Canal to the west bank of the Rhine followed. By 23rd February, the Division had returned north to the American First Army and was in the line along the Olef River. March 6th was the jump-off date in an attack which carried the Keystone to the Ahr River. Schleiden, Gomund, Kall, Sotenich, Sistig and Blankonheim all fell in a rapid advance. Many prisoners and large stores of enemy weapons, equipment and ammunition were taken. The Rhine was crossed and an area south of the "Ruhr Pocket" occupied by the 28th awaiting an southward drive by the German forces trapped in the pocket. Early in April the Division moved west of the Rhine and took up occupation duties in the area north of Aachen along the Holland-German border. Two weeks later came a move to the permanent occupation area; the Saarland and Rhonish Palatinate.
The 28th Infantry Division was in combat for 196 days ,suffered 24,840 casualties this includes killed, captured and wounded, for a 176.3% causality Rate, one of the highest of WW2 and Albert Lucchesi Jr made it home. All the major battles the 28th fought in everyone including cooks, mechs,clerks and so on fought on the front line as Infantry.
Last edited by bobdina; 10-27-2009 at 02:03 PM.