During the early morning hours, on July 3, 1944, an attack was progressing toward the base of Hill 95 (a.k.a. St. Catherine's Hill), which overlooked the German occupied town of La Haye du Puits, Normandy, France. Approximately 44 "F" Company men, who were greatly outnumbered by enemy forces, conducted the attack. The initial leg of the attack was led by 1st Lt. Hoyt T. Goodale who was accompanied by both Sgt. Chatoian and T/5 Giegold. The advancing attack was made parallel to a long hedgerow. The opposite side of the hedgerow, thickly wooded, was being occupied heavily with Germans. Sgt. Chatoian, radioman, had made contact with Regimental Headquarters concerning the progress of the attack. Very soon after closing radio contact we were hit with artillery and heavy mortars. Apparently the Germans had triangulated our position during the radio contact. Artillery and mortars became devastating, hitting the trees adjacent to the hedgerow resulting in terrific tree-bursts and detonations. Heavy shrapnel blanketed the area, wounding both Lt. Goodale and Sgt. Chatoian. Being knocked to the ground by concussion, T/5 Giegold crawled to Lt. Goodale and Sgt. Chatoian lying closly together. My observation proved they were critically injured with broken bones and possible internal injuries. Sgt. Chatoian received head and facial injuries to the extent that he was extremely disfigured as well as having broken bones. Both men appeared dead or dying. With continued shelling it was neccesary to find cover ahead along the hedgerow. When the shelling decreased, those men who were behind us advanced, recovering Lt. Goodale and Sgt. Chatoian, carrying them to a make-shift aid station at the farm home of Henri and Phillip Vasselin near the base of Hill 95.
You can see la Haye-du-Puits just a little to the south-east of Hill 95.
Part 1: Bill talks about the approach to Hill 95.
Part 2: Bill talks about Frank McKee.
Part 3: After a long Day One, Bill continues on about Day Two.
Part 4: Bill gets to practice his sharp shooting.
Part 5: The end of Bill's fighting on the hill.
Joe Labuda talks about the forces needed to finally take Hill 95.