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Oct. 2 - 8, 1918.
REPORT OF OPERATIONS OF COMPANY B.
5TH. MACHINE GUN BATTALION.
OCTOBER 2ND—OCTOBER 8TH.

On the night of October 1st, this company moved up to Navarin Farm with the 2nd Bn. 23rd Infantry and remained there until 10:00 A.M., Oct. 2nd, when we moved up to a position along the railroad about a kilometer southwest of Somme-Py. We remained here until about 4:00 P.M. when we moved back to the Bois de Cameroun, arriving there at 11:00 P.M. We left this place at 3:00 A.M. Octob 3rd, and were led by guides to our jumping off place in the Essen Trench north east of Somme-Py. At this time the men were very much worn out as they had had nothing to eat for 24 hours and scarcely any sleep. Food would be sent up regularly but every time the ration cart arrived we received orders to move to another position where the ration cart was unable to follow. On the march to the jumping off place the Infantry were soon far ahead of my Company and we joined them just in time to go over the top. We were the support battalion of the support brigade. One platoon was assigned to each of the support Companies and I kept one platoon in reserve, which I took personal command of after my platoon leader was killed. In our advance the battalion branched off too far to the left and we arrived in the Aubourg trench, south east of Blanc Mont about noon. We remained here until 4:00 P.M. when the battalion was ordered to attack north west in the direction of Medeah Farm. The battalion had begun to advance when it was called back to the Somme-Py — St. Etienne road where we spent the night with very little protection from enemy shell fire, which was quite heavy throughout the night. On October 4th the battalion moved over to the west of the road about one kilometer north of the cross-roads thus supporting two battalions of Marines. My platoons remained as originally assigned with the exception of my reserve platoon which I held in rear of G. Co. 23rd Inf. in some woods along the railroad 500 meters northwest of the cross roads. Near this position at 266.5—281.5 (on the Tahure Map) while our lines were being reformed a gap of 600 meters was left, making a deep enemy salient in our lines. After reporting this fact to my battalion commander I made an immediate reconnaissance of the place mentioned above, selecting machine gun positions which would afford cross fire on the field, across which I expected a counter attack. Ten minutes after I had finished this reconnaissance three Companies of German Infantry attempted an attack at this place. My guns were immediately set up in the selected positions and about 2500 rounds fired into the approaching enemy, who immediately fled in confusion, leaving many dead and wounded on the field. Then a Company of Marines came up on my right and strengthened the position. A bout [sic] 1:00 A.M. on October 5th, we moved from this position to a place two kilometers further north just west of the Somme-Py — St. Etienne road, the battalion taking up a position north of the railroad at this point. From here we attacked twice advancing our lines another kilometer. On October 6th, Captain Westover of the 4th Machine Gun Battalion brought his Company up to relieve mine, which now consisted of but seven guns and six tripods. Captain Westover took over my advance positions, while I held my Company in reserve just behind his. In our attack on the morning of October 7th I gave him an overhead barrage and throughout the day sent him up ammunition and some of my guns as he required them. On the evening of October 7th, we withdrew to a reserve position along the Somme-Py — St. Etienne road about three kilometers north of Somme-Py.

Ammunition fired 17,000 rounds
Casualties 41.
Food and ammunition arrived O.K. when demanded.
WM. WINTER DEAN
Captain Co. B. 5th M.G. Bn.
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Records Of The Second Division (Regular) Volume 8; Operation Reports — War Diaries
Second Division Historical Section, The Army War College, Washington, D. C.
 
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