SOUTHERN FRANCE CAMPAIGN
PURSUIT TO BELFORT PASS
During the pursuit of the enemy, Platoon B-1, while convoying the 977th Field Artillery near Marloz, fired through a screen of roadside trees at two ME-109s, attempting to take off from a nearby road, and destroyed one.
The remainder of the German XIXth Army was moving with the utmost speed to reach the Belfort Pass and safety. U.S. units sometimes moved for an entire day without sighting the enemy. Advanced units used short cuts and country roads to bypass ambushes, roadblocks and minefields. Supply problems continued to build up since day and night shuttles were still bringing supplies from the southern beachhead. Every vehicle, including the 443rds gun-tracks, was loaded with infantry troops so that the pursuit could proceed as rapidly as possible. After several days scattered resistance began to develop and over 1,000 prisoners were taken and a ½ million gallon fuel dump was captured relieving the supply problem as far as fuel was concerned. A strong German force attempted to hold Vesoul on 10 September. but after nine hours of house-to-house fighting, Vesoul was captured two days later. This delay enabled the sad remnants of the XIXth Army to gain in their race to retreat through the Belfort Pass, east of Vesoul. Intelligence from the 36th Division warned units of possible, large scale enemy air attacks and ordered all defensive measures possible to be taken. The 443rds gun-tracks were manned at all times.
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