455th AAA (AW)
Battalion

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History

*8 July 1944 - Landed on Omaha Beach
*12 July 1944 - Joined 8th Infantry Division. Remained with the 8th until breakthrough.
*26 July 1944 - Started marches south meeting aerial activity to Rennes, France.
*15 August 1944 - Started march to Brest until 13 September 1944. Moved from Crozon Peninsula for eventual move to Luxembourg.
 *26 September 1944 - Crossed France and arrived near Wiltez, Luxembourg on 29 September 1944. Gun sections took combat positions over a 50 mile front near Germany. Remained until 19 November 1944 surviving considerable shelling.
*19 November 1944 - Moved from Luxembourg to Huertgen Forest near Mularschuute, Germany. The battalion remained in active combat in the Huertgen Forest until 7 February 1945. The 445th experienced intense activity and many losses from aerial activity, shelling and mines.

*7 February 1945 - Units started the drive Duren meeting intense ground firing. The unit provided AA protection for the crossing of the Roer River and all gun sections took severe punishment. Duren taken, the unit continued to Cologne-Bonn, meeting intense shelling all the way and considerable strafing and bombing.
*29 March 1945 - Unit moved from Cologne-Bonn to the southern end of the Ruhr pocket. The 8th Infantry Division formed the spearhead driving north with the 1st and 76th divisions on each side. The unit encountered intense ground action at Siegen. The gun sections were in continuous action and lost much equipment due to the speed of the drive. For several days after the drive was completed, the unit was engaged in rounding up stragglers (German) and convoying them to POW cages.

*26 April 1945 - Unit was alerted to drive across the Elbe River with the British 2nd Army to protect the flanks on the drive to Hamburg. On 1 May the unit crossed the Elbe and drove north to the Baltic Sea encountering some ground fire until the Russian forces were encountered above Schwerin, Germany. Thousands of prisoners were taken and all equipment was used in guarding the prisoners and transporting them to central inclosures.
*8 May 1945 - Gun sections were taken from alert status and rejoined batteries in central areas but not brought under battalion control for some time.

The 445th AAA AW Battalion was in continuous combat from 12 July 1944 to 10 May 1945. During this time intense fighting was experienced at La Haye du Puits, Avranches, Brest, Huertgen Forest, Roer River crossing, Duren, Erft Canal, Cologne, Ruhr pocket, Elbe River crossing, etc. The 445th AAA AW Battalion has a record of 67 confirmed aircraft knocked down, the highest record of any Automatic Weapons Battalion in the ETO.

(Source and : 455thaaa.com )

Relevant links

455thaaa.com

Casualties of the Battalion buried in Margraten or KIA in the Netherlands and buried elsewhere.

         
Burgins Sgt Hubert B Margraten 5 April  1945
True Pvt Joseph N. Margraten 4 April 1945