• Last modified 5593 days ago (Feb. 21, 2009)
  • Return to Checkerboard

Cloud remembers using 60mm shells as grenades years ago

Cloud remembers using

60mm shells as grenades

     During the Battle of the Bulge, I reported to the platoon CP at dusk one evening to purchase rations, etc., for my squad.

     My squad was assigned outpost duty and we were assigned a German pillbox (bunker) on the front line in the Hofen/Alzen sector.

     I noticed a box of 60mm mortar shells and I asked about them.

     The box of shells had been sent to us as there was a shortage of ammo for us. Along with them was instructions on how they were to be used. It came from a major who conceived the idea.

     They would be used for the grenade launcher and by removing a certain number of increments, the shell could be placed on the launcher and used like a regular grenade. It was effective from 50-100 yards.

     I was first scout and used the M-1 and Joe Hebert, New Iberia LA, second scout, had the launcher on his rifle — Springfield as I remember.

     Following instructions, we retreated from the CP, which was located in a brick apartment building on the hill away from the pillbox in open terrain some 300-400 feet away for a test.

     The shell was affixed to the grenade launcher. The butt of the rifle was placed on the ground and set at an angle facing the upper part of the brick building away from anyone.

     The rifle was fired. It worked! It blew a good-size hole in the side of the building penetrating into the inside. The butt of the rifle was at least six to eight inches in the ground.

     Both of us were astonished that it could be accomplished even though we were assured it would work. To my knowledge, this was the only time it was used. However, by the first of the year both Joe and I had left the front.

Jim Cloud L/395

11204 Greystone

Oklahoma City OK 73120