Also on 1 January 1945,
the German launched Operation Nordwind. this
operation was in support of the already fledging
Ardennes offensive. While the 3rd battalion of
the 275th took over the line from the 1st
Battalion of the 62nd Armored Infantry Brigade,
the Germans had already overrun C company of the
62nd. 2nd Battalion, with G company and
S/Sgt Lojko, took up positions south of
The 275th felt the
pressure from the German offensive the moment
they took over the line. G company was shelled
and attacked by infantry. The
Germans managed to infiltrate Baerenthal several
times due to aggressive patrolling. The
fighting continued on the 2nd and 3rd. The 2nd
Battalion near Baerenthal expected the 313th
Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division to
retreat through their lines. The 313th was
involved in heavy fighting since the German
launched their attack, but their retreat was
On the 4th of
January, the 313th had still not filtered
through the lines of the 2nd Battalion. Now the
lines were under attack of German artillery as
well as continued pressure by what now turned
out two battalions of SS troops. The Germans
their infiltration tactics, harassing raids and
counter-attacks in battalion strength, trying to
exploit a gap on the battalion's left flank.
This greatly increased the possibility that the
battalion would be encircled. Large German
patrols infiltrated through the right flank of
"G" Companies position.
stands behind William Manser, who gets a
haircut, in this picture from
Ft. Leonard Wood in
Missouri, September 1944.
William Manser was killed near
Baerenthal on January 11th, 1945.
courtesy and (c) Ordeal in the Vosges)
The next day, January 5th, another
German patrol was reported in the area and S/Sgt Lojko, the platoon sergeant of 1st platoon, G
Company, let his platoon looking for them.
Tveter and James Phillips, also in this platoon,
had been sent back to haul water for the
platoon. In ORDEAL IN THE VOSGES, Pvt.
Tveter remembers: "Arriving back at the platoon
CP, Philips and I learned that our platoon was
off looking for an enemy patrol, and we went
after them to help out. When we caught up, we
found our guys engaged in a firefight. The
Germans seemed to have the advantage of position
and could see Philips and me as we moved to join
A soldier named
McCoy takes on the story from here: "Lojko and Tveter took off to find a spot from which they
could observe and fire into the enemy, whom we
could not see at all from where we were. The two
men were ambushed. A German machinegun opened
up, and Tveter was wounded. Lojko tried to get
back to the platoon but was cut down and killed
instantly. We could not give covering fire
because we could not see the machinegun and were
afraid of hitting Tveter, who seemed to be only
a few yards away from it. We finally drove the
Germans away so we could get to Tveter."
had taken place around noon, but it took until
late in the afternoon before the wounded
private Tveter could be brought back. Pvt
Phillips, who caught up with his platoon to help
out, was killed a few days later.
The exact date
of S/Sgt Lojko's death is still not certain.
Different sources state 4, 5 and 7 January, but
the 5th seems the most likely.
is buried at Margraten American Military
Cemetery, Plot J Row 13 Grave 15.