Carpenter led the main body of the battalion out of Rochefort. He told Jack Shank: "At 0930 I received orders from Major Bahe to withdraw to Jamelle.
"While the units were being organized for withdrawal, a sergeant from Tank Destroyers arrived with news that Jamelle had been occupied by the Germans the night before. I decided that in any event I must get the company out of Rochefort. To screen our movements the men threw smoke grenades into the street and moved out on the double. We went down the railroad tracks for a thousand yards and came to a wooded area. I called a halt to get organized. A count revealed 80 men from Company K, 60 men from Company I and a few from other units. I found myself in command of 150 men. Starting out on an azimuth of 130 degrees, we went about 1,000 yards and met a 2 1/2 ton truck that had escaped from Rochefort. The driver agreed to shuttle the men down the Rochefort-Wallin road to a point where the bridge was out—about two miles. When the last load arrived at this point a Belgian civilian told us that German forces were ahead. I decided to abandon the road. The truck driver elected to take a chance and try to reach Dinant on the Meuse and seek help. He left with thirty volunteers.
"I took the remainder of the force and moved about 800 yards. Three more civilians we encountered told us that the Germans were gone and Americans were now in Wallin. Shortly after this I met up with the battalion S-1 (intelligence officer). He went ahead and came back with several trucks which transported the whole force to Givet. We arrived about 1730."
Carpenter was a bit early. It was 0100, according to the after-action report, before "the remainder of the 3rd Bn. and attached units reached Givet, Belgium (The after-action report writer needed a geography lesson. Givet is, and was, in France) after a successful evacuation of Rochefort by the route St. Trond, Warenne, Givet."
END OF EXCERPT:
From “Dear Captain, et al;: the Agonies and the Ecstasies of War and Memory”
This board is dedicated to the memory of CAPTAIN LEONARD REED CARPENTER, Company Commander, November 19, 1944 - March 27, 1945.
BOARD HOST: Allan W. Howerton (E-mail: Allanhowerton@aol.com)