After V-E Day, we settled into barracks life, except we were in pup tents. Close order drill, parades, physical training, inspections and softball took up our time. Living in the field, the only latrines available were slit trenches, dug by assigned details or work parties.
The 87th Division was pulled out of the Saar Basin on December 23. It was a cold, barren place with copses of woods concealing enemy machine gun emplacements and tanks, deadly for foot soldiers. We were positioned on the right flank of the Third Army. We were glad to go. It was rumored the Germans had broken through the American lines somewhere to the north.
After several days of what passed for R&R (Rest & Recreation) in Koblenz, we loaded up and climbed on trucks in the late afternoon of March 24 and moved upstream on the west side of the Rhine to the small town of Boppard. We began to cautiously filter down through the moonlit streets toward the shingled beach.
The enduring cold was gradually coming to an end. It was mid-March. The worst of it had been cold feet. They were numbingly cold all the time unless we could capture a village, occupy houses and build fires. If your feet were wet and cold, it was worse. Trench foot with blackened toes could send you back possibly with gangrene and amputation.
On January 15, the 345th Regiment again climbed on trucks and in freezing cold headed for the Duchy of Luxembourg along with the rest of the 87th Division to relieve the 4th Division, which had been on the southern shoulder of the Bulge. K Company occupied Berdorf near the west bank of the Sauer River.