270th Engineer Combat Battalion

The units of the 70th Infantry Division Special Troops were activated 15 July 1943 at Camp Adair, Oregon. They trained there for their combat missions for the next 12 months. During that period, the division was tasked to provide replacements for U.S. Army losses in Europe and the Far East. This required new replacements and retraining of some of the Special Troops units. In late July 1944 the division entrained for transfer to Fort Leonard Wood, MO, and resumed training there. The last of the replacements arrived in early October 1944. After the three infantry regiments embarked for Europe during the first week of December, an advance party from the Special Troops units sailed for Europe on 13 December 1944, landing in Marseilles on 23 December,  and moved to the  Task Force Herren operational area in Northeastern France.

The main body of Special Troops sailed for Europe on 8 January 1945, disembarked at Marseilles 18 January 1945 and moved by road and rail to Northeastern France; they joined the division elements already in place and on  17 February 1945, began combat operations as a division.

Operational support to the regiments provided by the 70th Division's 270th Engineers:

Company A supported the 274th Infantry Regiment.

Company B supported the 275th Infantry Regiment.

Company C supported the 276th Infantry Regiment.

Building bridges was perhaps the most conspicuous of the Engineer tasks. And when done under enemy fire-which was much of the time-it was also the most hazardous. They constructed a variety of bridges: of prefabricated steel components, logs they felled themselves, of treads laid across rows of pontoons. They also repaired roads and constructed new ones to speed movement of men and material to the front. Another duty was the destruction of enemy emplacements. Captured pillboxes were dynamited. In defense, bridges were wired with explosives in case they needed to be destroyed to slow an enemy advance. They were also responsible for laying and clearing minefields. The engineers were also responsible for providing water for the whole Division. Purification plants, which were mounted on trailers, were designed and maintained by the 270th. Water was drawn from lakes and streams and purified the water at a rate of 15 gallons per minute.


270th Engineers repair roads in the area near Forbach. Exact date and place of picture is unknown. Junior McDaniel's (C/270) notes to me indicate that the Engineers lost some men near this location.

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