280th Combat Engineers Battalion  

1944 ~ 1945

Nicholas F. Duva

       

December 9, 1925 ~ February 11, 2010

Please Click Here to View and Sign His Guestbook at Legacy.com

 

 

 

This site is dedicated to my father, one of many 280th Engineer Combat Battalion veterans who performed a vital role in WWII from 1944-1945. ALL combat veterans who served in the United States armed forces during WWII deserve the utmost credit and respect from all of us collectively as a grateful nation. Additionally, the world owes a debt of gratitude to these men and this country for stopping Hitler and the German Empire. As far as I am concerned, the men who lived and those who paid the supreme sacrifice, saved the world from an uncertain end. My dad is one of those men who today may not feel like a man who saved the day or even feel he deserves a pat on the back for his efforts as a young soldier in 1944-45. I for one would sure like him to know that every time I see him I am not just looking at a man, I am looking at a hero. I was blessed to have him as a father and proud to be his son, and thank him for helping to maintain the very freedom that so many take for granted.

 

Click on the eagle to view the men of the 280th

  

  

 

 

Click here to view some amazing original photos of the 280th in WWII - Courtesy of Marlin Kreighbaum... Thank you so much Marlin!

Click here to view the Photo Gallery of the 2008 September Reunion held in Peoria Illinois

 

BATTLE of the BULGE
December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945

 

Short History

On a wintery mid-December day in 1944, three powerful German armies plunged into the semi-mountainous, heavily forested Ardennes region of eastern Belgium and northern Luxembourg. Their goal was to reach the sea, trap four allied armies, and impel a negotiated peace on the Western front.

Thinking the Ardennes was the least likely spot for a German offensive, American Staff Commanders chose to keep the line thin, so that the manpower might concentrate on offensives north and south of the Ardennes.
The American line was thinly held by three divisions and a part of a fourth, while the fifth was making a local attack and a sixth was in reserve. Division sectors were more than double the width of normal, defensive fronts.

Even though the German Offensive achieved total surprise, nowhere did the American troops give ground without a fight. Within three days, the determined American stand and the arrival of powerful reinforcements insured that the ambitious German goal  was far beyond reach.

In snow and sub-freezing temperatures the Germans fell short of their interim objective - that of reaching the sprawling Meuse River on the fringe of the Ardennes. All the Germans accomplished was to create a Bulge in the American line. In the process they expended irreplaceable men, tanks and material. Four weeks later, after grim fighting, with heavy losses on both the American and German sides, the Bulge ceased to exist.

 

HISTORICAL FACTS

On 16 December 1944 the Germans started their ARDENNES OFFENSIVE. The 106th Infantry Division, in place on a salient jutting out into Germany were hit with full force. After three days of battle, two of the Regiments, the 422nd and the 423rd were surrounded. The 424th, south of the other two regiments, was able to withdraw and join with the 112th Regiment of the 28th Infantry Division. They formed a Regimental Combat Team and were successful in the oncoming days of January 1945 in helping counter the German attack driving the Germans back through the same area where the 106th had been in position in mid-December 1944. This German Offensive became known in the U.S. Forces journals as The Battle of the Bulge.

 

 

 The European Theater of Operations    THE ARDENNES:  BATTLE OF THE BULGE
by
Hugh M. Cole

http://www.history.army

 

 

 

BATTLE FACTS

·  The coldest, snowiest weather “in memory” in the Ardennes Forest on the German/Belgium border.  

·  Over a million men, 500,000 Germans, 600,000 Americans (more than fought at Gettysburg) and 55,000 British.  

·  3 German armies, 10 corps, the equivalent of 29 divisions.  

·  3 American armies, 6 corps, the equivalent of 31 divisions.  

·  The equivalent of 3 British divisions as well as contingents of Belgian, Canadian and French troops.  

·  100,000 German casualties, killed, wounded or captured.  

·   81,000 American casualties, including 23,554 captured and 19,000 killed. 

·  1,400 British casualties  200 killed.  

·   800 tanks lost on each side, 1,000 German aircraft.  

·  The Malmedy Massacre, where 86 American soldiers were murdered. This was the worst atrocity committed against American troops during the course of the war in Europe.  

·  Here is a short fact that hammers home how devastating the Battle of the Bulge was. The 106th Infantry Division, average age of 22 years, suffered 564 killed in  action, 1,246 wounded and 7,001 missing in action at the end of the offensive.   Most of these casualties occurred within the first three days of battle, when two of the division’s three regiments was forced to surrender.  

·  In it's entirety, the “Battle of the Bulge,” was the worst battles- in terms of losses -  to the American Forces in WWII.

 

 

 

Mail Call!

 

Bastille Day

 

Outside the Barracks, Glastonbury England

 

Entertainment when Logistics fail to pack Baseball gear!

 

East side of the Rhine River, making the ramp ready for tanks

 

 

What the hell do we do with it now?