781st Tank Battalion

Honor Roll

Distinguished Unit Citation for Company C

Distinguished Unit Citations are the collective equivalent of the award of a Distinguished Service Cross to an individual soldier. Company C was awarded the the Distinguished Unit Citation for its actions while attached to the 100th Infantry Division and supporting the 1st Battalion, 397th Infantry during the assault crossing of the Neckar River at Heilbronn in April, 1945.

The text of War Department General Order 101, 10 September 1946 follows:

The 1st Battalion, 397th Infantry Regiment, is cited for outstanding accomplishment in combat during the period 5 to 11 April 1945, in the vicinity of Heilbronn, Germany. Crossing the Neckar River by assault boat under heavy fire, the 1st Battalion secured a bridgehead in the face of unyielding resistance and inaugurated its block-by-block, house-by-house, and even room-by-room conquest of the key rail city of Heilbronn. Deadly cross-fire from automatic weapons emplaced in rubble heaps and cellars of ruined buildings slowed the attack; snipers in countless vantage points constantly harassed our troops; and thickly wooded hills on three sides afforded the enemy perfect observation for the direction of all types of artillery fire. Yet despite fanatical resistance,the 1st Battalion continued its implacable advance, repulsing repeated tank-infantry counterattacks and destroying group after group of infiltrating enemy infantry. Supporting armor and tank destroyers were sped across the river by a hastily installed pontoon bridge, which was as quickly demolished by artillery fire; casualties were evacuated and supplies brought forward by ferry under continuous shelling; and on 11 April, after seven days of the most savagely prosecuted fighting on the entire western front, the 1st Battalion, 397th Infantry Regiment, virtually completed its capture of the city, because of the individual bravery of its members and the esprit de corps of the organization, reflecting the highest traditions of the military service. (General Orders 260, Headquarters, 100th Infantry Division, 29 September 1945.)

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