Sgt Edmund M. Westcott - C/32d Armor, WWII
Sergeant Edmund M. Westcott – C/32d Armor, WWII – in his own words…
This is the story of the first time we met Jerry on his own soil: the Battle of Eilendorf, Germany. It all happened so fast that it hardly seemed like an important incident. As a matter of fact, the men of Company C, the light tank company in the 3d Battalion of the 32d Armor Regiment, did not know the importance of the mission they were sent on.
On 14 September 1944, the battalion bivouacked on a hill approximately a mile southwest of the town of Eilendorf, a suburb of Aachen (see map below). At dawn on 15 September, Company C was given the mission of entering Eilendorf. What type of opposition they were to meet was soon to be found out by the men themselves.
Up to this time, the battalion was meeting very stubborn resistance on the outskirts of Münsterbusch, a small town almost directly south of Eilendorf. There were gun emplacements of all types holding up the advance. Pillboxes, anti-tank guns, and artillery guarding the last of the dragon’s teeth of the Siegfried Line.
In view of the shortage of men, equipment, and supplies to make a breakthrough of the line of defense and to hold the ground gained by a breakthrough, some of the resistance had to be drawn away from the main path the battalion desired to take. Therefore, the mission was given to Company C (at the time under the leadership of Captain Hunt C. Maxwell) to enter the town of Eilendorf, thus drawing fire and reserve strength of the enemy on them.
The company penetrated to a point on the far side of a small river in the heart of town and took up positions there. The battle that lasted approximately six hours was the deciding factor in the breakthrough of the defense line and the capture of Münsterbusch, accomplished by the rest of the battalion.
In this battle, Company C lost one man and one tank knocked out by bazooka fire.
Blinded and deafened by enemy artillery for a short time in Mausbach, Germany, the left side of my head was giving me a rough time for some time. I was shaken up a few times, but the above was the only time I was knocked out.
The men I fought with were the best buddies a guy could have had. I think of these men often. I don’t think I’ll ever forget them.
Note: Today Ed Westcott is retired and living in Pittsburgh, PA. He was born in 1924 and was assigned to the 3d Armored Division in Normandy in June 1944 as an individual replacement. He served as the gunner on an M3 Stuart light tank in 2d Platoon, Charlie Company (Light Tank), 3d Battalion, 32d Armor Regiment. He remained with 3AD after the war in Germany until most of the division’s troops shipped back home in November 1945. Mr. Westcott joined the WWII Third Armored Division Association in March 1947 as Member No. 530, and joined the Association of 3AD Veterans and Museum in July 1999 as Member No. 61. The photos on these pages were provided courtesy of Ed Westcott.
Further Note: Ed Westcott passed away on 4 July 2002. God Bless Ed and his family!
Map of the area Ed Westcott discusses in his written account: