The Distinguished Unit Citation for

 

2nd Battalion, 397th Infantry Regiment

 

is authorized by War Department General Order 101-46

The 2d Battalion, 397th Infantry Regiment, is cited for outstanding accomplishment in combat during the period 4 to 12 April 1945, at Heilbronn, Germany. On 4 April the 2d Battalion launched its frontal assault against Heilbronn, key German rail center and defensive bastion of the Neckar River line. Ferrying assault forces across the Neckar under intense concentrations of artillery and mortar shelling as well as small-arms fire, advance elements overran entrenched enemy positions on the east bank, inflicted heavy casualties, and established a precarious bridgehead. For 7 consecutive days, the 2d Battalion then fought its way forward street-by-street, house-by-house, and even room-by-room, overcoming fanatical enemy resistance and repulsing counterattack after counterattack as the enemy struggled desperately to hold Heilbronn at all costs. Enemy artillery fire on dominating hills surrounding the city pounded the river crossing site with unabated savagery, preventing the bridging of the stream and making it necessary to ferry supplies and casualties across the Neckar throughout the battle. Attempts to float armor across the river failed when improvised -rafts capsized, and lacking tank support, the 2d Battalion doggedly inched its way forward until, on 11 April, final remnants of the defending forces were routed from high ground behind the city. Thus the 2d Battalion, 397th Infantry Regiment, by dint of resolute, unfaltering courage displayed by every man and the perfect coordination of all elements, crushed fanatical enemy resistance, breached the formidable Neckar defense line, and made possible the present drive. into Austria.. -(General Orders 260, Headquarters 100th Infantry Division, 29 September 1945.)

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