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The 808th Tank Destroyer Battalion

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The 808th TD Attached to 80th Infantry

The 808th was attached to the 80th Infantry from September 25, 1944 until December 1, 1944. Though the 808th was not attached to the 80th after December 1 they continued to work along side and support the 80th through the Battle of the Bulge.

The 808 tank destroyer battalion joined the 80th infantry on 25 September, 1944. The 80th infantry was already deep in combat and had been fighting for weeks to secure a large tract of land including many towns. Dieulouard France was on the fringe of this area and had already been secured. Newspaper with war news

The Division maintained an aggressive defense of positions  west of the Seille, and prepared for the Third Army sweep into the industrially vital Saar Basin. The attack jumped off on 8 November, they advancing through Delme Ridge, Faulquemont, and St. Avold to within 5 miles of Saarbrucken.

On November 7 they were at the Seille River and the Germans were on the other side. The Saar Basin was the goal. On the morning of the 8th. When the Germans were sure we would be hunkered down trying to stay warm and dry, we attacked! By nightfall we were across the river and the high ground was firmly secured.

Winter training and Patton's orders were at work this day at their fullest.Somewhere near the front line

On the 9th the pathway to the Saar Basin was within sight. It was a bald plateau, the Delme Ridge, 1,380 feet above sea level and 4 miles long. Its importance was summarized by The New York Times: "The ridge was one of the most important objectives in Lt. Gen. George S. Patton's attack and just had to be taken if the Metz-Nancy line were to be straightened."

It did take a couple of days but by 1600 on November  11 it was no longer held by the Germans, the great fortress of Metz had been taken.

The Maginot Line was the next target for the 80th Infantry and the 808th as well as the other units with them. They fought their way into position and on the morning of November 25 it began.The American grave yard in France where men lost in battle for the Maginot line are burried.

A German commander, whose battalion was ground to bits soon after the assault got under way, described the attack as remarkable. He was amazed by the skillful utilization of tactical advantages, and the cooperation of infantry and armor with all supporting heavy weapons.

Fort Bambiderstroff was taken an hour and 15 minutes after the jump-off. Soon Forts Laudrefang, Teting Woods Kerfent, Bambesch, Kinseling, Einseling and Quatre Vents crashed.

Paced by 90mm guns, which shattered more than 13 reinforced pillboxes, the Maginot Line was ours on November 26 to stand before the industrial heart of the Saar Basin. The 808th TD were those 90mm guns.

The grave marker is for S. Sgt Fayette McDonald of the 808 Tank Destroyer Battalion buried in a WWII French  graveyard. He died on November 26, 1944 as marked on his cross. He lost his life in the battle for the Maginot line in France.

On December 1, 1944 according to after action reports, the 808th was relieved of attachment to the 80th division. Prior to being relieved of attachment to the 80th Division they fired 331 rounds HE indirect fire on 10 missions.

 

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