120th Infantry Regiment
The following information was provided to this website with the invaluable assistance of Tommy McArdle of Parsippany, New Jersey. He obtained the material from Mr. Kitchell with Elmer's blessing to share with other 30th families. This is an incredible collection of recommendations for bravery, combat descriptions, newspaper articles, and maps. The maps were provided by this website. (Click on all photos to enlarge):
Award of Silver Star
Bronze Star Citation
This telegraph was actually in error. On Feb. 23rd Elmer WAS seriously wounded.
This telegraph was also in error. Elmer was NOT seriously wounded on Oct. 9th.
Description of the Oct. 9th action from the 120th History Book:
Maps of Oct. 9th, 1944 Attacking the Siegfried Line:
The following was an interview I had with Mr. Kitchell about
the Oct. 9th action on the phone, Oct. 8th, 2005:
This was part of the action of the 30th Division's assault on the Siegfried Line that started on Oct. 2nd. On Oct. 9th Company F was advancing south of Ofden, Germany toward Euchen. It seems we were advancing up a hill, I remember it being somewhat like a sand pit. When we reached the crest, an open field was in front of us. In the distance were railroad tracks that we were not aware of in advance. I told my platoon commander Jacobsen that it looked like Germans on our right. He said no that has to be the 1st Battalion. We started across the field and the 1st Battalion turned out to be GERMANS. Four or six German tanks appeared from behind the RR tracks and opened fire. German machine-guns also let loose. We jumped into holes that the Germans had dug earlier. We had to call in our own artillery to drop a smoke screen for us to get out of there. While in my hole I received numerous bullet wounds to my legs...none serious. I also had a machine-gun bullet travel into my backpack and through my groin. While being transported back to a medical treatment site by jeep, the action did not cease. We first had to cross a road with another company of men. The road was being covered by German machine-gun fire. Luckily, all but one of us got across safely. The jeep with me on a stretcher on back entered some woods. An artillery barrage started to rain down upon us. The driver stopped the jeep and he and his passenger jumped into the ditch. Well, I was still carrying my '45. I yelled to them to get back in this jeep...because either the artillery or me was going to make sure they did not get out of this alive. Of course, they listened and we got out of there.
Induction papers, Camp Forest photos, Medical progress
reports, Recommendation to Second Lieutenant
Camp Blanding papers and map
Report on Tech/Sergeant Elmer Kitchell's heroic actions in
the Battle of the Bulge...Jan. 19th, 1945
Description of Jan. 19th action from the 120th History Book:
Mr. Kitchell's description of the Jan. 19th action for Oct. 8th, 2005 phone interview:
Fontaineblaeu Castle On Dec. 25th I attended Christmas Service at Fontaineblaeu Castle, former residence of Napoleon. I had been recovering from my Siegfried Line wounds. We then boarded trucks and returned to Company F. On Jan. 19th my platoon leader, Jake Jacobsen, and I approached the top of a mountain. We discovered a German bunker made out of logs. The Germans had not seen our approach and had their rifles stacked like haystacks outside of the bunkers. Jacobsen told me to go back and get the platoon. I told the men to not fire until I did. We surprised them pretty good and got some prisoners. We dug in for the night, but during the night the Germans did capture two of our men, right out of their foxholes.
Maps of the Jan. 19th, 1945 actions: (Click on maps to enlarge)
Objective "P" X is site of action
Photos from the National Archives taken in the area of the Bulge with T/St. Kitchell fought:
Kitchell's Jan. 19th action took place just about 2 miles north of this photo. This photo from the National Archives reads: "From Rodt (or Sart-Lez-St. -Vith), one could easily look down on St. Vith and the Division Artillery units were in a position of observation of the primary roads and the railroad leading into the city.
Another photo from the National Archives shows one of the many fire breaks throughout the Ardennes. Photo description reads: "Besides using the fire breaks for points of vantage for anti-tank weapon emplacements, the enemy utilized those lanes to bring armor and troops forward when their travel was prohibited because artillery or a 30th Division unit controlled a particular road." (Picture taken by Lt. Sigband. Vicinity: 815998, Jan. 21st, 1945. This would put it one mile NW of Ligneuville. Mr. Kitchell in a Oct. 8th, 2005 interview with myself related this story about fire breaks: "During the break before the St. Vith offensive new replacements were coming in daily. While T/Sgt. Kitchell was looking through binoculars he spotted out a German '88' in one of these fire breaks. When he pointed that out to some of the replacements, they immediately wanted to go grab some souvenirs off it. Elmer told them that would be their first and LAST action of the war. The Germans always booby-trapped abandoned equipment."
This is a National Archives photo of the town of Lignueville. Location can be found on maps on this page. The description reads:"Almost every city taken in the 30th Division's zone in the advance to St. Vith was dominated by a high point or ridge line adjacent to the environs of the city. (Picture taken by Lt. Sigband, vic 811989, Jan. 19th, 1945. This was only 3 miles north of T/Sgt. Kitchell's action on that day. You can only imagine how cold that was. Mr. Kitchell also told me a story that took place in the St. Vith advance...but was not sure if it was the 19th action. But the men did finally get overcoats...no winter equipment had been provided up to that point. The men were to go on the offensive and had to give up their overcoats while advancing. They were told when they took their objective, they would get them. They gained their objective...never saw their overcoats again. But he said, 'We survived'."
An additional story from the Jan. St. Vith advance was told
by Mr. Kitchell in our phone interview:
"Our company was advancing through another company's dig-in position. An artillery barrage commenced and I jumped into a foxhole. I jumped onto a body...it did not move or make a sound...another man jumped on top of me. I yelled, is this guy under me dead??..the guy on top of me yelled..NO...he's just scared shitless!!"
Reports on Tech/Sergeant Elmer Kitchell's Silver Star actions
on Febuary 23rd, 1945 during the Roer River assault.
Description of the Feb. 23rd action from the 120th History Book:
Maps of the Feb. 23rd, 1945 actions: (Click on maps to enlarge)
From National Archives
On May 1st T/Sgt. Kitchell was
promoted to Second Lieutenant.
Mr.Kitchell stated he was lucky to be made a Lieutenant after the fighting had ceased. Many times he ended up being in command of his platoon as a Sgt. because Lieutenants did not last long. One of the biggest mistakes the U.S. Army ever made was to add that big white bar on the back of an officer's helmet.