OCCUPATION DUTY

 

On April 1st, the news from the north was that the Third Army was on the loose and that the 143d Infantry would not be in on the final kill. The Division was spread thinly in the Kaiserslautern-Zweibrucken areas in first occupation efforts. The pleasant occupation duties were nice at first, but when training began to interfere with the fun, some were heard to clamor for a return to the line.

So it was that the Regiment left the Kaiserslautern area on April 24th, but had to race more than 100 miles before it could effect the relief of the 63d Infantry Division at Landsberg. Moving south behind the 12th Armored Division, the mopping up duties was novel and pleasant to the Regiment. The route took the Regiment through Bad Tolz, Murnau and when the war was terminated, the Regiment was in the tourist's paradise, Tegernsee. To the 143d Infantry fell the task of guarding Festung Landsberg, the prison in which Hitler spent 14 months writing his infamous "Mein Kampf." When the 143d Infantry arrived at the prison, it housed more than 1,400 inmates, although it was built to contain no more than 500. The prisoners were from all nations, and were both political and criminal. On May 5th, at 1830, the message carne which ended the war. On the next day the Commander of the 143d Infantry accepted the surrender of the German XIII Corps and then began the gigantic task of creating order out of the beaten enemy fords.

 

redline.gif (912 bytes)

Copyright 1957, 2000
All Rights Reserved
Email comments to: Texas Military Forces Museum