Yes, I know: it should be a 48-star flag... The 115th A.A.A. Gun Battalion, 1943 to 1945

Symphony in B-Flak


JUNE 12 - JULY 3, 1944

Subject: Congratulatory Message July 3, 1944

The following message received from the Secretary of War is published for the information of all officers and men of the First Army:

"You personally and your staff, commanders and men deserve high praise for your most recent success. You have my sincere gratitude for the careful planning and the courageous execution of the very important operations.

Secretary of War
Henry L. Stimson"

JUNE 12 - JULY 12, 1944

July 12, 1944

To all Corps, Division, and separate units command 21 Army Group.

1. A great deal has happened since my last message to you on 10 June - one month ago; the battle in Normandy has been fierce and hard since then, much has been achieved.

2. Our gains have been definite and concrete, and we have held everything we have gained, despite the desperate efforts of the enemy to push us back into the sea.

On the east flank .... Caen

On the west flank ..... Cherbourg

And much territory in between. And all the time a tremendous struggle with a skillful enemy whose good fighting qualities and tenacity of battle control attracted our admiration. The pace has been hot, and it was clear that someone would have to give ground sooner or later. It was equally clear that allied soldiers would see the thing through to the end and would never give up, and so the Germans have been forced to give ground -- which is very right and proper.

3. And today the Allied armies fighting in Normandy have good ground for solid satisfaction. We have taken over 59,000 prisoners. We have given the enemy forces a tremendous pounding, and we know from prisoners what great losses they have suffered. And we have enlarged and extended our lodgement area and in that area we are very firm and secure, and we are developing our offensive operations in accordance with our plans.

4. And so to every Allied soldier in Normandy I say:

"Well done. Well done indeed. You have performed a great task in a manner which is fully in keeping with the great traditions of the fighting stock from which we all come, and your families and friends in the home land may well be very proud of their men folk serving overseas."

5. It is the earnest desire of every Allied soldier in Normandy to finish this business off as quickly as possible, and to pull his full weight and do his duty until it is so finished off. That we all know and I cannot do better than to conclude this message by quoting the favorite prayer of Sir Francis Drake:

"O Lord God when thou givest to thy servants to endeavor any great matter grant us also to know that it is not the beginning, but the continuing of the same until it be thoroughly finished, which yieldeth the true glory."

6. Let us fight on to victory in the spirit of that prayer.

7. Good luck to each one of you.

Gen. B. L. Montgomery
21 Army Group
S/T/Lt. Gen. O. N. Bradley
Commanding, U.S.Army

JUNE 12 - JULY 12, 1944

July 17, 1944

Subject: Commendation: Performance of duty as an assault group.

To: Col. Thomas W. Mumford, Commander 18th AAA Group.

The Ist Army having won the battle of the Beach-head and having gained momentum in its drive to Paris, I take great pride, as its AAA Commander, in thanking you personally for the efficient preparation and magnificent execution of our AAA plan for the invasion of France.

The professional knowledge and tactical ability displayed by you in disposing and maintaining your command in battle position has made our AAA defense of the beach-head impregnable, and argues well for the success of our able successors, and we turn our force toward Berlin.

I am taking this opportunity of telling you personally and concretely, that I am deeply and humbly grateful for your loyal support of my policies and your aggressive, enthusiastic, and capable leadership in developing your assault group into an efficient all-around team of killers. The foresight and resourcefulness with which you trained your units for battle, as well as the personal bravery and aggressiveness with which you led it is in the highest traditions of the armed services.

You have performed every mission in a superior manner, and must have the inner satisfaction of knowing your children's children will share your pride in a job well done.

My hand is in yours.

E.W. Timberlake
Brigadier Gen. U.S. Army
Commanding, 49th Brigade

JUNE 12 - JULY 12, 1944

To: Commanding Officer of 115th AAA Gun Bn.
July 19, 1944

1. Attention is directed to the basic communication.

2. Expression of approval and satisfaction by the Commanding General, 49th AAA Brigade, of the battle performance and state of battle readiness of the units attached to this group, is a source of great pleasure and pride. In order for this Group to merit such expression, loyal and continuous support from each battalion commander and from each officer and enlisted man assigned to your units is necessary. This quality of devotion to duty has been ever present, and the Group commander has felt that he has had strong foundations upon which he could confidently rely in every instance when particular emergency arose. These strong foundation pillars are the attached Battalions. To be privileged to lead units composed of officers and men so deeply embraced with such a spirit of consecration to duty is indeed a sacred trust.

3. The strength of this Group and its capability to answer whatever mission called upon to perform in the future will be equal only to that of attached Battalions. We have but begun with delivering damaging blows to the enemy. This expression of approval by our Commanding General serves to cement our resolution toward continuing to strive for higher and better performances as each succeeding day dawns. Our good reputation is made and gratefully recognized. Our daily acts in this work will be devoted, I am confident, toward maintaining and increasing the quality of this reputation.

4. We have a unity of purpose and oneness of thought which have been visibly expressed in our performance. The group commander is solemnly grateful for this healthy, loyal and universal support and asks that we continue to strive to hold this quality which is the highest insurance of success of victory attainable.

5. It is directed that this communication be read to each officer and enlisted man and that it be filed as a permanent record of your unit history.

S/Col. Thomas W. Mumford
18th Group CAC

JUNE 12-AUG. 2, 1944

Aug. 3, 1944

Subject: Commendation of performance of duty as Battalion Commander in Normandy Beach-head.

To: Lt. Col. Hopper, Commanding Officer of 115th AAA Gun Bn.

The 115th AAA Gun Bn. has been detached from the 49th AAA Brigade. I accept this change of status with sincere regret, but realizing my loss is another commander's gain, I want to wish you good luck, good shooting and to express my hope that we will again serve together.

I am taking this opportunity to tell you personally and in black and white, that I am deeply grateful for your loyal support of my policies, and for your aggressive, resourceful, and capable leadership in making our AA defenses of Normandy Beach-head impregnable.

You have performed every mission assigned by this Brigade in a superior manner, and have the inner satisfaction of a job well done when the chips were down.

S/E. W. Timberlake
T/E. W. Timberlake
Brig. Gen. U.S. Army
Commanding 49th Brigade


JUNE 25-29

Subject: Commendation July 20, 1944

To: Lt. Col. Hopper

1. The 207 AAA Group having performed its mission for the fall of Cherbourg, I take great pride as its commander in commending you and your Battalion for the role that you so efficiently played in the accomplishment of that mission.

2. The orderly and rapid movement of your Battalion from its positions at Omaha under cover of darkness and under the threat of enemy action and the later deployment of your batteries in the fire of German resistance is a tribute to the highest degree of training and leadership that you have attained.

3. I wish to personally thank you for the cooperation and planning that made possible the success of this operation and added further luster to the already outstanding record of AA in the operstion in Normandy. May good shooting and success attend your further mission.

C. W. Gettys
Col. CAC
207 AAA Group

JULY 25-AUG. 14, 1944

ALL UNITS: 207th AAA Group

Through your combined skill, valor and fortitude, you have created in France a fleeting but definite opportunity for a major allied victory, one whose realization will mean notable progress toward a final downfall of our enemy. In the part I have in moment of unusual significance made special appeal to the allied forces it has been my honor to command, without exception the response has been unstinted and the result beyond my expectations. Because the victory we can achieve is infinitely greater than it has so far been possible to accomplish in the West, and because this opportunity may be grasped only through the utmost in zeal, determination and ready action, I make my present appeal to you more urgent than ever before. I request every soldier to go forward to his assigned objective with the determination that the enemy can survive only through surrender. Let no foot of ground once gained be relinquished nor a single German escape through a line once established.

With all of us resolutely performing our special tasks we can make this week a momentous one in the history of this war, a brilliant and fruitful week for us, a fateful one for the ambition of the Nazi tyrants.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Supreme Commander

AUG. 2-10, 1944

General Orders 53, Headquarters, Third Army
Sept. 7, 1944

The following listed units of the 38th AAA Brigade are commended for operations during the period 1 Aug., 1944 to 10 Aug., 1944

115th AAA Battalion

Upon entering the Third Army operation at noon 1 Aug., 1944, the above cited units moved rapidly and efficiently by day and night from beaches and harbor defenses on the Normandy peninsula to assigned critical points along the vital supply route through Coutances, Hyenville, La Haye Pesnel, Avranches, Pontaubault, Pontorson, St. James, Ducey and Vezins. In many cases time did not permit the construction of revetments at the new Battery position because of immediate enemy air and the Batteries went efficiently into action without such protection. As a result of their superior training, skill and coolness under heavy enemy bombardment and strafing, the above units have claims for 61 Cat. I, and 32 Cat. II enemy planes shot down during the first nine days of operation. During this outstanding AA Defense not a single defile, dam or bridge was damaged by enemy air activity within this protected area. Such an enviable record is even more remarkable in view of the fact that the enemy planes flew singly or in small groups coming in from all directions and using window, flares and smoke to mark defense objectives. The high degree of efficiency of these AA units contributed immeasurably to the overall success of the Third Army operations by permitting an uninterrupted flow of vital traffic which was necessary for the rapid advances of this command. The loyalty, enthusiasm and extreme devotion to duty of every individual of these units exemplifies the highest tradition of the armed forces of the U.S.

Lt. Gen. George S. Patton
Commanding Third Army

AUG. 13, 1944-AUG. 17, 1944

Subject: Commendation Aug.14, 1944

To: Officers and Enlisted Men of the XV Corps.

1. It is with extreme pride that I publish to you, the following commendation of the Army Commander on the historic movement of the XV Corps around the German Armies in Northern France during which the Corps advanced against resistance a distance of approximately 180 miles in nine days, and stopped only because of orders from Higher Authority.

"Please accept for yourself and transmit to the Officers and men of your command my sincere appreciation and commendation for the masterly manner in which the Corps has pressed relentlessly forward, executed difficult changes of direction and taken calculated risks with the utmost daring. The whole performance on the part of yourself, and your officers and men, has been very satisfactory."

2. You have done a fine job. You have whipped the German wherever you have met him. You have strewn the country side with the wreckage of his equipment. You have captured thousands of prisoners. With the experience gained in this campaign you will handle whatever lies ahead of us with confidence and ease. My heartfelt thanks and best wishes to you all.

S/Wade H. Haislip
T/Wade H. Haislip
Maj. Gen., Commanding
XV Corps, U.S.Army

AUG. 3-23, 1944

Subject: Commendation Aug. 24, 1944

To: Officers and Enlisted Men of the Group.

When I think of the splendid work done by the AA units attached to the XV Corps, during our advance from the vicinity of Avranches to the Seine River and especially during the period while we were establishing across the Seine, I realize that probably never before has a group commander had the privilege to command organizations that have accomplished what you have accomplished in destroying 94 E/A and probably destroying 47 more in such a short period of time. It is believed that we have established an all time record in destroying 43 planes in the short period of 2 days (August 21, 22).

During this drive your performance of duty has been outstanding. You have followed closely the advance elements of armor and infantry. In furnishing timely protection for bridges and other critical points along the routes of advance you have given protection to marching columns and troops in position. You have carried out your mission with courage and enthusiasm. The alertness of your gun crews, as well as their accurate firing, has prevented as far as possible many damages being done to bridges and other installations in the Corps zone. Only a small number of casualties have been caused by enemy aircraft, and only minor damage has been done to material and equipment.

I take great pleasure in commending you on your superior performance, which I confidently believe will go down in history as one of the outstanding achievements of AA during this war. As we continue our relentless drive against the enemy -- may we, each officer and man, perform our duties in a manner that will reflect continued credit on the AA of the XV Corps.

Col. J. B. Fraser
23rd Group

SEPT. 11, 1944-OCT. 15, 1944

A.G. 201.22 (6) Sept. 30, 1944

To: Officers and men of XV Corps.

Subject: Letter of Commendation of Commanding General, Third U.S. Army, on termination of our service with that Army.

1. It is with great pride that I publish to the command the following letter from the Commanding General.

Maj. Gen. Wade H. Haislip
Commanding XV Corps
Third Army Headquarters

My Dear Gen. Haislip: Sept. 29, 1944

My regret at losing you and your command is only equaled by my profound appreciation and admiration of your magnificent achievements and the superior manner in which often, with inadequate means, you have invariably defeated the enemy. Please communicate these sentiments to all officers and men of your command and especially to Gens. Whiche and LeClerc and to Col. Vennard Wison.

May the success you have so richly merited continue to attend you and may the 7th Army profit as much from your valorous deeds as have we.

Most sincerely
Lt. Gen. G. S. Patton Jr.
Commanding Third U.S.Army


I have informed the Commanding General, Third Army, of our sincere regret at leaving his command. I have told him that whatever success we gained under him was due to the inspiration of his leadership. I have told him that we will attempt to perform all future tasks in a way that will meet with his high standards of accomplishments.

Maj. Gen. Wade H. Haislip
Commanding XV Corps

OPPENHEIM 22-30 March, 1945

Subject: Commendation Mar. 30, 1945

To: CO, 115th AAA Gun Bn.

I desire to commend you and the personnel of your Battalion for your excellent performance in the AA defense of the XII Corps Rhine river crossing. During the operation enemy aircraft made persistent and repeated attempts to destroy bridges. By constant vigilance, expert adjustment of radars, fire control equipment, and smooth team-work with gun crews your battalion scored numerous hits. Your accurate fire forced evasive action to the extent that at no time could any attacking plane place its bombs near the defended installations. Your mission was accomplished in a manner consistent with the highest tradition of the service.

S/Col. E. F. Adams
T/Col. E. F. Adams
Commanding, CAC
27 AA Group

To: Commanding Officer of 115th AAA Gun Bn.

Through: Commanding General of Third U.S. Army APO 403.

Let me add my own commendation to that of Col. Adams for your fine contribution to the success of the Rhine crossing by the XII Corps.

S/M. E. Eddy
T/M. E. Eddy
Major Gen. U.S. Army
Commanding XII Corps

Members: Login

Not a member yet?

Click here to Join

Donations help support this site.
On This Page

... lists unit commendations received. This list applies to the entire Battalion.
Updated Tuesday June 07, 2005 09:09:19 PDT
The original text of Symphony in B Flak, published by B Battery in 1945, is in the public domain. So how, you may ask, can I claim that the contents of these web pages are protected by copyright?

The answer is that it is my own transcription of the text and images into electronic format, and compilation into these web pages that is copyrighted. In addition, the web design, art, and annotations, plus all material from my father's personal albums are copyrighted original works. I reserve all rights to how all these materials are used. You may not copy them or store them in any retrieval system without permission.