"...the mysterious Seamstress..."
… it was 1633, in the afternoon of Friday, October 27, 1944, when we – members of the U.S. Army’s 104th “Timberwolf” Infantry Division – entered the town of Zundert, Brabant, Holland . Birthplace of famed artist painter Vincent van Gogh, Zundert was our first major town to be liberated, since crossing the Belgian/Dutch border and we expected strong German resistance ! At the time, I was a First Lieutenant and Platoon Leader of 1st Platoon, I Company, 413th Infantry Regiment. The 413th Infantry Regiment – “Seagulls” – was commanded by Col. Welcome P. WALTZ, while the 3d Battalion’s CO was Lt. Colonel William M. Summers, my immediate superior, in charge of I Co, was Capt. Albert E. Johnston . The Division G-2 (Intelligence Staff Officer) estimated total enemy strength , along the 104th TW Division front the morning of October 26 at approximately 7 infantry battalions with an average of 200 to 300 men each and with 2 more battalions in reserve . The further estimate included antiaircraft artillery as well as self-propelled guns . Plans for our assault, originally scheduled for October 27, 1500 hours, included a very large preliminary barrage by both American (385th & 386th Field Artillery Battalions) and British (68th Field Artillery Battalion) artillery . While the 414th and 415th Inf Regts maintained pressure on the enemy in the center and the left sector, the 413th Infantry Regiment was to attack toward Zundert . After having seized the intermediate objectives, and after a brief reorganization, the Regiment drove further forward, to the north . The 329th Engineer Combat Battalion meanwhile had hurriedly constructed a 60-foot Bailey