After Action Report / 17-18 May 2008
In celebration of Armed Forces Day, several members of the BROLHO again participated in the Lancaster Historical Society's WWII Weekend Event at President Buchanan's Wheat Land.
Roster of 1st Division Members participating in this mission:
T-3 Robin Markey
Cpl. John Alenbach
T-5 Doug Shope
Pvt. Dillon Young
Jeff & Jae Hain-Matson
Despite driving rains on the previous night and into the early morning hours, the 1st Division began taking up a position just outside of town at 0800 hours on 17 May. Muddy terrain necessitated the use of mules, carts and frequent trips by foot to transport equipment and supplies from vehicles on the hard road to the C.P. By 1030 hours, a firm foothold was established and the enemy's advance was halted.
By 1100, the clouds cleared and the earth had absorbed much of the rain water. Joyful citizens began coming out of their homes to greet the Allied Soldiers. Thankful for the LIBERATION of their home, members of the "Society" prepared meals and drink for the troops. Visits from more and more town's people continued throughout the day. At dusk, members of the town band gathered at the gazebo to perform for the Liberator's and the good citizens. The festivities lasted into the late evening hours, with much dancing, laughter and high "spirits". The rain showers returned, but not until the celebration ended and the town retired.
Enemy troops began to withdraw during the hours of darkness. Cpl. Alenbach was sent forward with a patrol to observe the enemy's movements and ensure that they did not launch a counter attack. Our British Comrades were dispatched to the rear with a message for reinforcements to redeploy as the town was now secure.
On the morning of May 18, the heavy rains returned, and few citizens ventured out into the streets and countryside until later in the day. This allowed time for our weary troops to rest before performing required duties in preparation for our continued advance late in the day.
In summation, the actions of 17-18 May were a success, and a boost to Allied morale.
Douglas R. (Doc) Shope, 1st Division Aidman
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