Paul Harmon Worcester
PVT 773 TD BN
WORLD WAR II
MARCH 15 1912
NOVEMBER 29 1944
|773rd Tank Destroyer Battalion Crest||Pvt. Paul H. Worcester||Gettysburg National
Section 3, Row 4, Position 27
|Inscription on Grave stone|
Additional links: History of the 773rd Tank Desroyer Battalion. M10 tank destroyer on Wikipedia
The following is an excerpt from the After Action Report for November 29, 1944, the date that Paul. Worcester was killed in action in the Rhineland:
On 29 November, Bn. Hq (Fwd CP) moved from OBEESCH to BIRINGEN at 1130. Distance travelled two miles. The CP vicinity received quite a bit of enemy mortar and 7.5cm fire during day and night. Ren Co. - At 0600 hrs, the Pioneer pltn left COLMEN (atchd to 3rd pltn A Co.) with primary mission to sweep roads of mines from FURWEILER (174869) to 188869 to 188854. No mines encountered on road but pltn was under heavy artillery fire. There were no casualties but vehicle of 2nd Pioneer section damaged by artillery fire and steel fragments of roadblocks. 2nd section returned to COLMEN at 1300 with 1st section still attached to A Co. 1st, 2nd and 3rd pltns alerted but remained in bivouac. A Co. -At 0700. the 3rd pltn was moving into FURWEILER when a concentration of enemy artillery fell in the vicinity of the pltn causing them to seek shelter olose to the building. The third TD in maneuvering for a position ran over some enemy mlnes destroying the M10 completely, killing 4 men and injuring 8 others. 1 man missing. At 0800, the 2nd pltn moved into position at 18608790. At 0900 the 1st pltn moved into position at 16908585. All pltns were under heavy enemy artillery and mortar fire. B Co. No operations during the day. C Co. - At approximately 1130 the Co. OP wos forced to move on order of the Regt'l Comdr to west end of OBERESCH. The 1st pltn assembled at Co. CP as reserve. At 0600 hours. the 2nd and 3rd pltns in support of the 1st and 3rd Battalions. 359th Infantry, respectively, startod to advance E to objective but were forced to hold at enemy AT ditch E of OBERESCH until 1130 hours. At that time advance continued with light opposition. At 1500 hours pltns occupied the following positions, CF and 1st pltn 15108948, 2nd pltn 19258930, 3rd pltn 18208975. Artillery fire from enemy was heavy in OBERESCH. Weather, cloudy,
The following is a letter sent by Paul Worcester to his parents on November 7, 1944, from France. Paul was killed 22 days later (Nov. 29, 1944) days before the start of the Battle of the Bulge.
I'm sending a money order for $24 and ask that you do the usual favors for me with the Xmas presents. It's not much dough to scatter around amongst all those I'd like to give things to but its the best I can do. If I had gotten some work in this army more to my talents I'd be able to send more but I'm what they call in French "une simple soldat" - in other words a buck private and it is very unlikely that I will be anything else for the duration which may sound strange to you but that's the way the army goes. If I had gotten into the army earlier I would not have fallen into the replacement category and probably would have wound up in some more combat job. But here I am and here I'll probably stay. So, don't feel inferior because you have a son who never got beyond the buck private stage. At least you'll be able to say he is apparently the only one in the family who saw action in this war. This doesn't mean I wouldn't gladly swap with some of the arm chair boys because I would. I have very definitely seen enough. In fact, too much.
I know you would appreciate some instructions on these Xmas presents but I'm stymied for ideas. Use your own judgement. They no doubt need something of practical value at this time more than they need some fancy items. And don't forget yourself & Pop & maybe include John & Irma & their family. What an order I've given you! You no doubt wonder why I can't send some thing from over here. The answer is simple. In the first place there is very little to buy and in the second we've never been within reach of any store. If we're not on the front, we're resting in some dump of a French village that has no store. Of course, I could send some German souvenirs but I don't think they would be very well received and I wouldn't want the junk around my house anyhow. If the old man wants a German Luger, I'll try to oblige, but the rest of the stuff is something I don't go in for. I did have one chance in a city a few weeks ago to try something and had already picked out a good set of table linen that is supposed to be famous for that region and also a very neat pair of native wooden shoes for Michael. Useless, of course, but interesting and a good piece of craftsmanship. However, by the time I was able to complete the purchase, we moved back to the front rather suddenly. Incidentally, I never did give Louise any indications as to when we are on the front & when we are behind the lines resting since she would try to figure it out from day to day which is quite impossible even for us. For instance, when you get this letter, we may be resting again or we may still be up there.
People over here, particularly those who do the fighting, have stopped predicting an early end of the war and apparently London and Washington have come around to the same opinion. It's anyones guess but it's my feeling that our High Command's insistence on unconditional surrender has unified the German's behind Hitler and the army as nothing else could have done. As far as I'm concerned, this "rough" treatment of all Germans, Nazi & otherwise is a sad mistake & the damage has been done. I'm convinced that our psychological warfare efforts are juvenile, totally ineffective and even damaging. Any damn fool of a doughboy here will tell you that. This "conquerors" attitude & our insistence on putting all Germans in the same boat is, I believe, stupid & impossible & militarily sets us back, or rather, prolongs the war a good six months. However this is just my opinion. I hope I'm wrong.
Well, must go now. I hope everything is O.K. and that you finally get the apartment situation straightened out. I never have seen the family beset by so many difficulties for living quarters. I guess I'm lucky to be out of it.
Regards to all. Paul
P.S. The mail situation is good now altho I'm still getting mail from last May, June & July. The up to date mail gets here in about 2 weeks.
Merry Xmas. Paul