CENTRAL EUROPE CAMPAIGN
With only the 443rd Battalion attached, the 36th Division moved to the Kaiserlautern area to garrison, police and support Military Government in areas west of the Rhine in that sector, prepared to move elsewhere on 24 hours notice. So on 1 April 1945 veterans of the 443rd were in their first rear area assignment, occupation duty. Troops were housed in spotless German houses and buildings. Fraternization was "verboten" and the monotonous drudgery of classes and training caused many to agitate for combat action again.
During the military government duty men were in motorized patrols with checkpoints to reduce German travel to a minimum and to pick up German soldiers in civilian clothing. Great amounts of enemy ammunition and equipment were seized. On 2 April the 443rd Battalion S-3 issued instructions regarding the setting up of check points and conducting patrols as well as a process for "screening" all towns in the area assigned to the Battalion. All male civilians were questioned and anyone not having a Wehrmacht discharge was treated as a prisoner of war. All displaced persons were registered. Travel passes were issued to persons whose work made it necessary for them to travel up to 3 km out of town. One old woman was given a pass so she could follow her occupation of gathering fallen sticks in a nearby forest and selling them. Towns assigned for screening were:
Lt. Col. Larson, during a TDY of five days in Paris, was awakened by a French chambermaid who tearfully broke the news that "President Roosevelt is dead". During this period both officers and men were able to have several days leave for rest and recuperation in Paris, London or the Riviera.
But on 22 April the 36th Division was relieved by the 28th Division and the 36th Commander General Dahlquist sent the following commendation to the officers and men of his command:
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