Of The 347th Ordnance Depot Company
Chapter 6: Germany
Once again we were back in tents; as we knew would happen - it started to rain the second day in the field. This made the area one sea of mud so after a week in the woods we received orders to move to Mainz - on the Rhine. Except for a little air activity by the Luftwaffe at night, it was a quiet week that we spent there, although no one knew just how many free Germans were still West of the Rhine.
The company stayed only a short time in Mainz because of conflicting orders. We were obliged to move to a new location across the Rhine. At that time there were only a few pontoon bridges over the river so the traffic was heavy. After a four hour wait in our own man made fog, we crossed and soon found a suitable spot in Höchst, a suburb of Frankfurt.
The new site was a former German antiaircraft Caserne and fitted our needs to a tee. By this time news came that the Armored Divisions were close to the Russians. A rumor spread stating a large force of German soldiers, with American equipment, were behind the American forward units. They were reported to be led by an SS General, attacking all service units and heading North for the Ruhr pocket. This soon developed to be a POW cage that had broken loose but was later recaptured.
After two weeks in Höchst, serving all units including the 4th, 6th, & 11th Armored Divisions, we were scheduled to move again. This time north toward Eisenach but at the last minute the orders were changed, we were instructed to sit tight and await new orders. Twenty-four hours later the company was on the road - south toward Nuremberg.
Arriving at Erlangen, 10 miles from Nuremberg, we were told Nuremberg was captured but that the Volkssturm was active. Our troops were pulled back and the city was given a terrific pounding by our heavy artillery. In the meantime we waited out in the woods for two days for the go ahead sign to move into the city.
On April 25th, after a recon was taken by plane by our Battalion Commander, we moved into the former German Infantry Caserne located in Fürth just outside the wrecked city of Nuremberg. A few days later the American Armies joined with the Russians and we could see the beginning of the end.
The war came to an end on May 8th, 1945 exactly 19 months after the 347th sailed from New York harbor. After more than five months in the Nuremberg area our work still went on. The company scheduled to go to the Pacific under the command of Lt. Glynn C. Payne will not go. V-J day came in September and our orders were to go home. In September, 129 men were transferred to the 489th Ordnance Company scheduled to go home. About twenty men were to go through the Repple Depples. Those men with insufficient points were transferred to the 984th Ordnance Depot Company.
Orders were then received to turn in all equipment and spare parts, the company consisted of Lt. Payne, Sgt. Matts and Sgt. Rimkus. With acting M/Sgt. Lloyd and eight men waiting to go to the Repple Depple, Lt. Payne finally wrote finis to the 347th Ordnance Depot Company.