180th BRIGADE TAKES CÔTE 327 AND HILL 367.0
GENERAL M©ALEXANDER made his dispositions in compliance with Field Order No. 5, 9 P. M.,
September 14, as follows: the 1st Battalion of the 360th Infantry would advance and organize an outpost
position including Côte 327 and the Bois Chenaux; the 1st Battalion, 359th Infantry, to continue this
outpost along Hill 367.0 and through the woods to the brigade left boundary.
Preceding the general advance ordered for the morning of September 15, strong patrols from
both regiments aggressively scoured the country to the front during the night of September 14-15. In the
359th Infantry four platoons, one from each company of the 1st Battalion, were employed on this
Two of these platoons, led by Lieutenant L. C. Davidson, Company A, and Lieutenant Raymond
A. Schoherth, Company B, respectively, raided the trenches along the southeast edge of Bois des
Rappes. This remarkable feat, which was most skillfully executed, was particularly noteworthy in that it
paved the way for the next days advance, enabling the 1st Battalion, 359th Infantry, to cross the open
valley without serious difficulty. In order to slip up on the Germans unaware, Lieutenant Davidson
carried a German-speaking soldier with him to answer the sentrys challenge. The Hun was skeptical,
however, when he received the reply Friends in German, insisting that no patrols had been sent out
from the lines. Lieutenant Davidson replied that his patrol had been out five hours, leaving before the
sentry came on post. During this parley Davidsons men succeeded in cutting gaps through the wire,
and all rushed forward simultaneously Davidson personally killed the sentry whom he had duped.
About twenty Germans were killed, forty were captured, and the patrol took back with it several
machine guns which would have proved murderous the following day had they not been extracted
just in time.
Jumping off at 8:15 A. M., September 15, the battalion suffered only slight casualties and was on
its objective at 11:56 A. M. In the Bois des Rappes a six-inch field-piece, three six-inch minenwerfer,
and twenty machine guns, in addition large stores of ammunition, were taken.
The 3d Battalion, 359th Infantry, followed the 1st in support on the morning of the 15th and took
up a position in the Bois des Rappes. The 2d Battalion remained in the Tranchée de la Combe.
While the 1st Battalion, 360th Infantry, was moving forward on the night of September14-15 to
the jumping-off position in the woods overlooking Villers-sous-Preny, patrols from the 2d and 3d
battalions were paving the way for its operations on the following day. A platoon from Company I, led
by Lieutenant Joseph S. Barnett, surprised an enemy outpost on Côte 327 and captured two machine
guns with their crews of six men each. These guns were operated by Sergeant Caphus Clark and
Corporal Moore from this position during the advance of the 1st Battalion on September 15. Early on
the morning of the 15th a second platoon from Company I joined Lieutenant Barnetts command. A
patrol from Company K, after several daring adventures, reached the saddle between Côte 327 and Bois
des Rappes. It was while on a patrol from Company M that Lieutenant Vernon D. Hart was killed.
Detachments from Companies F and G entered the trenches on the east edge of Bois des Rappes and
killed a number of Germans.
As a result of these courageous enterprises, the 1st Battalion was able to advance on the morning
of September 15 without the stiff machine gun fire which would have proved deadly on any attempt to
cross the open valley. By 10 A. M. the battalion had occupied the outpost position from Côte 327 to the
point in the Bois des Rappes where contact was made with the 359th Infantry, and had reinforced the