Liberation of Chateauneuf de Faou
On 5 August, the 86th Reconnaissance Squadron of the 6th US Armored Division entered Chateauneuf du Faou by the Pont du Roy. There was in immediate outbreak of joy in the streets of the town as the people showed their immense gratitude to their liberators. Unfortunately, this joy was short-lived.
After the departure of the American squadron, four German soldiers on motorcycles made their way through the crowd and went to the Pont du Roy. They had observed the comings and goings of an American dispatch driver who was behind the armored division. From the bridge, they fired on the American and hurt him seriously, thus depriving our liberators of their liaison officer. Meanwhile, the US division had left the town and was fighting against the Germans three kilometers north, on the road to Châteaulin. They then decided to come back to Chateauneuf du Faou, not knowing that the enemy was lying in ambush below the Chapel Notre Dame des Portes, which offers a magnificent vantage point. From this high position, the Germans attacked the last of the American vehicles with grenades and machineguns, easily succeeding, on the sharp bend, in isolating them from the rest of the division. The Americans who had crossed the bridge were powerless to stop the slaughter of their comrades. Twelve American soldiers lost their lives in this fight for the liberation of Chateauneuf du Faou.
Source: MICHAEL DANIEL.
On Augrust 5, 1944 Troop D was given the missj-on to take Chateauneuf.We had to cross this very high white well built concrete bridge to get there.
It puzzled me why the bridge was not blown.
The townspeople were overjoyed at seeing us but they were just getting in our way. We proceeded to the end of the town and observed enemy tanks and infantry moving on the road toward us. We estimated they were of regiment strength. We called for assistance and were told our Cornbat command had changed course and to fight our way out. We reversed our vehicles and headed back to town to cross the bridge. We then heard this loud explosion and the bridge was blown. We were trapped and were being fired at from all directions. Above an armored car and jeep that had been knocked out, well above a rocky ledge, was a graveyard and that is where the enemy was. They were firing anti tank weapons, throwing grenades and firing everything they had at us. We managed to put three men on top of that ledge and were relaying grenades up to them. They did a very good job of throwing the grenades at the enemy and i believe this is what got us out of this trap.
While half of us were engaging the enemy, the other half was turning our rernaining vehicles around and getting the hellout of Chateauneuf. We were firing at everything that moved. I suddenly noticed someone stil1 alive at the side of the road and we backed up, which was very dangerous, and picked up the wounded rnan. ft was Lt. Bunch and when i met him five months later at Bastogne he told me he had been shot five times. He refused to be sent home on a medical discharge.
We now had five men in the jeep and two of us got out and pushed it up the hill while the nachine gunner sprayed the enemy on top of the cliff when we finally got out of town we spotted a large column and thought we were really finished now. It turned out to be our Combat Comnand and
General Read greeting us and asking if this was the Reconnaissance. We said, "Yes" and he said 'Take the point."
Twelve men were killed in action that day, 11 from Troop D whom I knew well and one from troop E.
Chateauneuf du Faou
On the occaision of the 50th anniversary of its liberation, August 6th 1944, the town of Chateauneuf du Faou, which holds the "Croix du Guerre" for its resistance during the war, erected this memorial in honor of those Americans who died on its soil. A group of American veterans, some of who had fought in the battle for Chateauneuf du Foau in 1944, were present for the unveiling ceremony.
Hoyt A. Cannon
Martin J. Clark
John N. Hall
Ruby A. McKinney
Anthony J. Pilipaic
Edward J. Powers
Paul D. Shaver