“Lest We Forget”
PVT. EDWARD L. McDUFFIE, Service Btry, was killed on January 3, 1945. He was fatally wounded in a souvenir pistol accident in his billet at Petite-Hetang, France. Pvt. McDuffie is buried in the Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.
CPL. GEORGE B. GROFF, JR., Btry “C”, was killed in action on October 3, 1944. He was killed while on an observer mission during the assault on Fort Driant. The battalion was part of “Task Force Warnock” which was created to assault and capture Fort Driant, one of the strongest of the Metz forts. (After-action report) He is buried in the Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg. CPL. GROFF was awarded the Purple Heart.
CPL. JAMES W. WAGONER (listed as Cpl. James W. Wagner in the After-action Report), “A” Btry., was killed in action on September 18, 1944. The battalion had just crossed the Moselle River and went into a position just east of the Metz highway and south of the Voisage Farm, at the junction of the road, which wound down a hill to Arry, France. At 1915 hours, the battalion area was shelled by German light artillery. Several rounds of that fire impacted in he area of Battery “A” and CPL. JAMES WAGONER was killed. Two other men were wounded. CPL. WAGONER is buried in the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
PFC. FRANK R. HAVEL, “HQ” Btry was killed in action on December 29, 1944. PFC HAVEL was with the 284th FA Bn up to December 17, 1944 at which time he was transferred to the 26th Infantry Division, 101st Regiment, as a replacement. PFC HAVEL was reported missing in action on December 29, 1944, and his badly crushed body was discovered on February 18, 1945 in Luxembourg. His body was interred in a U.S. Military Cemetery in Foy, Belgium, north of Bastogne, Belgium. Later, at his parents’ request, his body was returned to the United States, where he was buried in the Resurrection Cemetery, Justice, Illinois. At his parents’ request, and with the approval of the U.S. Army, his headstone reads that he was a member of the 284th FA Bn. PFC Havel was awarded the Purple Heart.
PFC JAMES POLAK, Btry “A”, was killed in action on February 27, 1945 near Serrig Germany. The battalion was providing direct artillery support for the 5th Ranger Battalion in a battle, near Hamm Germany, with the German SS 6th Mountain Division. As a result of this battle, this German unit was almost completely ruined as a fighting unit of the German Army. PFC POLAK is buried at an unknown location in the United States. PFC Polak was awarded the Purple Heart.
PFC WALTER A. UMINSKI, “C” Btry, was killed in action on February 11, 1945 near Besch, Germany. The “C” Btry area was heavily shelled by German artillery, and PFC Uminski was instantly killed in this shelling. One other man was wounded during this shelling. PFC Uminski is buried in the Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
PFC MILTON J. DEMPSEY, JR., “B” Btry’, was killed in action on September 8, 1944 at St. Catherine’s Farm, near Gorze, France. The battalion was supporting the crossing of the Moselle River by the 5th Division. After firing in the late afternoon, the battalion received its first counter-battery fire from German artillery. Thirty (30) rounds of German “88 “ mm artillery rounds struck in the positions of all firing battery areas, and PFC Dempsey was the only fatally injured man, but 3 other men were wounded. PFC DEMPSEY is buried in Epinal American Cemetery, France. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
PVT PLETZ M. BELK. “C” Btry, was transferred from the 284th FA Bn to the 328th Infantry Regiment, 26th Division, on December 17, 1944. He was killed in action on Christmas Day, 1944. He is buried in the Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg. PVT Beltz was awarded the Purple Heart.
Tec. 4 CLYDE M. MONTAG, “C” Btry, was killed in action on February 24, 1945 near Ober-Zerf, Germany. While providing direct artillery support to the 5th Ranger Battalion near Ober-Zerf, a direct hit by a German “88” round killed Tec/4 Montag instantly. As a result of this battle the German SS 6th Mountain Division was almost completely ruined as a fighting element of the German Army. Tec/4 Montag is buried in the Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg. Tec/4 Montag was awarded the Silver Star, and the Purple Heart Medals.
T/5 PATRICK WALENTKOWSKI, “HQ” Btry, was killed in action on April 10, 1945, near Mulhausen, Germany. The battalion lost nearly an entire liaison party in this action. Several German aircraft, making a last ditch suicide flight, strafed the column of the 3rd Cavalry Group, and dropped fragmentation bombs. The column halted, and the personnel dispersed into the fields adjoining the road. One cluster of bombs burst over the 284th Liaison, which was in the Cavalry column. T/5 Walentkowski was killed, and three other men from the battalion were wounded. T/5 Walentkowski is buried in the United States. It is believed that he is buried in Elcho Township Cemetery, Langlade County, Village of Elcho, Wisconsin. T/5 Walentkowski was awarded the Purple Heart.
PFC PL J. GARMAN, “B” Btry, was fatally wounded on December 13, 1944 in the area of Picard, Germany, near Saarlautern. PFC Garman was hit by counter-battery fire, which fell in the “B” Btry area. He was evacuated to a hospital where he died of his injuries. He is buried somewhere in the United States. PFC Garman was awarded the Purple Heart.
PFC CLARENCE N. TAMMEN, “A” Btry, developed a throat infection while the unit was changing positions on April 21, 1945. He was transferred to a hospital on this same day, but died from Diphtheria on the next day. PFC Tammen is buried in the Luxembourg American Cemetery, Luxembourg.
PVT EVEREST MASKELL, “C” Btry, was in a party to prepare advance positions near Mardigny, France, on October 30, 1944. This detail received fire from the Metz forts and this shelling mortally wounded PVT Maskell. He is buried in the Lorraine American Cemetery in St. Avold, France. PVT Maskell received the Purple Heart.
These are the only known facts which were extracted from several references. These included the After-action reports, the “HELPMATE READY” publication., and unpublished article by Ron Polson concerning health problems following the war, and from Capt. Kittell’s published book. “I was Helpmate 12”.