VERITABLE 1945: the Canadian finale (Moyland Wood & Goch-Calcar road)

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by stolpi, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. Kurt Johnson

    Kurt Johnson Member


    I am trying to establish where 007 Castonguay was killed in action -- I know the date Feb. 16, 1944 and location -- Louisendorf -- but I don't know what circumstance such as a firefight or mortars or tank -- ???
     
  2. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Hi Kurt - it will be hard to figure out what exactly was the cause of death. Do you know which Company he was in?

    He was involved in the assault on Louisendorf on the 16th, as described in post #22 (see: VERITABLE 1945: the Canadian finale (Moyland Wood & Goch-Calcar road)). There was a lot of shooting going on, small arms and machine gun fire as well as shellfire (mortars and guns). Moving forward in Kangaroos the infantry was relatively well protected against the enemy fire. Most casualties were incurred when the infantry debussed close to the objectives in and around Louisendorf and charged the enemy positions on foot.

    He probably was killed instantly on the battlefield as he was initially buried in a field grave at the northern edge of Louisendorf (Map reference 9621 4902). On 5 March 1946 his remains were brought over to the Canadian Cemetery at Groesbeek:
    doc4199164.jpg

    The site of the field graves is indicated on the map below:
    Louisendorf map.jpg

    Louisendorf Google maps.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
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  3. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    For some context on this action:

    016

    "The whole of the area was then heavily shelled and rocketed by the Germans during the advance but the casualties were very light.
    It was during the attack on Louisendorf that covered 50 yards when Corporal McSpadden received his head wounds. The casualties were heavy in the Regiment.
    He then was taken to a Field Ambulance Unit, then to No. 14 Casualty Clearing Post and finally to No. 6 Canadian General Hospital."

    MCSPADDEN 2.jpg

    McSpadden, John Earl | Dutch-Canadians Remember as One
     
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  4. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    As is usually the case, an action which merits little more than a few lines in a diary or history text, has profound effects for the infantry on the ground:


    "Lieutenant Harry Badger was commanding Number 9 Platoon which led "A" Company’s assault on the fortified village of Louisendorf, Germany. The attack was carried out in Kangaroos, troop carrying tanks, and in the advance, two of the tanks were knocked out leaving only platoon commander Badger and 10 men to make the attack.


    About 50 yards from the objective, Badger and his men dismounted under extremely heavy shell fire as well as machine gun fire from a group of buildings nearby. Undeterred, the platoon commander quickly rallied his men and pressed home his attack with such vigour that that the enemy’s resistance collapsed. They were then fired on by the enemy in a blockhouse to the right.


    Realizing that with his small party he could not hope to clear the blockhouse, he dashed out of the building across a field, that was being swept by machine gun fire, to a troop of tanks that were supporting the company attack and obtained a tank to support his platoon’s attack. Gathering up his men on the return trip, the small party rushed the blockhouse with such zeal that the enemy, 50 in all, surrendered. This attack was carried out with such daring that the group suffered only two casualties.


    For his courage, determination and coolness under fire, Badger was awarded the Military Cross (MC)."
     
  5. Kurt Johnson

    Kurt Johnson Member

    Thank you very much for the detailed information. I will check his service record to see if I can find out which company. I am trying to prepare biographical info for the Faces to Graves project of Groesbeek as well as for his son Wally Castonguay who lives in my Ottawa area. I deduce that Rifleman Castonguay probably was killed in the early minutes of the firefight with the enemy.
     
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  6. Kurt Johnson

    Kurt Johnson Member

    Wow! What an unusual situation I have not encountered before! I checked the Burial References for Groesbeek on Castonguay -- He is buried at XXV, D, 1 Two other RWR soldiers killed on same date and same Moyland Woods are buried beside him -- Koenig XXV, D, 2 and Gold XXV, D, 3.
     
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  7. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    From the above Graves Concentration Report it transpires that the Field Graves of Koening and Gold were also in the same spot at Louisendorf .. so they kept them together when reburied at the Groesbeek Cemetery. This was no unusual policy.

    Good luck with your research Kurt, good work!
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  8. Kurt Johnson

    Kurt Johnson Member

  9. Kurt Johnson

    Kurt Johnson Member

    Hello again to Stolpi. I followed your advice to find out what company Castonguay was part of -- it is "D" Coy. Eureka! I discovered the reference in a letter of enquiry from his mother, dated April 21, 1946 a full year after his death. She wrote: "We would be very grateful to receive news concerning his death... "
    So, now, I can review your posting of the various RWR companies looking for D Coy. Thanks
     
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  10. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Kurt - Good find!

    Re "D" Coy: details of the action can be found in de War Diary in post #25; the positions on the map in post #22 are those given by the War Diary (Map References). Position: 'D Coy' was reached on 16 Feb and 'D Coy 2' was occupied next day, Feb 17th.

    I do not know if there is a Regt History of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, it might have some more detail.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  11. Seroster

    Seroster Canadian researcher

    Looks like I am going to be going back to the library as such books may be briefly be of use for me. Toronto Public Library lists:

    - Little black devils : a history of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Bruce Tascona,1983, 241 pages

    - Named by the enemy : a history of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Brian A Reid, 2010, 299 pages
     
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  12. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Seroster: could you please email me the pertinent chapters? Everything re Rhineland (Feb - April 1945).
     
  13. Seroster

    Seroster Canadian researcher

    I'll try... depending on how many pages that is! But it may be a couple of weeks before I can get there.
     
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  14. Kurt Johnson

    Kurt Johnson Member

    You’re the Best, Stolpi & Company
     
  15. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    You're welcome.
     
  16. Wrgmr1

    Wrgmr1 HMS Wolsey at the East Mole Dunkirk

    Stolpi, Chris and Canuck, fantastic thread!
    I'm a newbie here and have been scouting around. As a wargamer, these kinds of threads are pure scenario gold.
    Thanks very much for all your hard work!!!
     

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