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Remembering Skyline Drive Part I

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  • Remembering Skyline Drive Part I

    In mid-December, 1944, Colonel Hurley Fuller’s 110th Infantry Regiment held a ten-mile stretch of the U.S. 28th Division’s front in the Ardennes. The 28th Division was a National Guard outfit from Pennsylvania, the “Keystone State.” Their shoulder patch was a red keystone, but the Germans did not understand the significance of the patch’s shape and so called it “the bloody bucket.” The division earned that nickname the hard way in the Huertgen forest that autumn. It suffered over six thousand casualties in the close, nasty fighting around Schmidt, and had moved to this quiet sector to rest and absorb replacements.

    Over half the regiment’s strength was made up of new men, but the replacement quality was high and the leadership cadre of the regiment tested and proven. The regiment held a naturally strong position, a long ridge paralleling the Our River to the east and the Clerf River to the west. A road connecting Diekirch to the south with St. Vith to the north ran along the spine of the ridge, essentially marking the regiment’s main line of resistance, and the 110th nicknamed the road Skyline Drive.

    Although the units of Fuller’s regiment were up to strength, the 28th Division withdrew one of the regiment’s three battalions to act as the division reserve. This left Fuller with six rifle companies, plus supporting heavy weapons, to hold ten miles of front. There was no question of holding a continuous front and so the regiment held a series of strong points in towns at ...




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