ATKINSON, CAPT. LEWIS L.
CAPT. LEWIS L. ATKINSON
Luxembourg, October 1944
U. S. Army - Combat
1941 – 1946
Military Honors and Awards:
4 Campaign Battle Stars
I was in the Army from July 1941 until February 1946. I graduated from Purdue University in June 1941. I received a commission in Army upon graduation. I was called to active duty at once.
I joined the 56th Field Artillery in October 1941 and remained with this unit until 1946. The 56th was a battalion of 105mm howitzers. Our mission was to provide direct and close support for the 121st Infantry Regiment.
We maneuvered in South Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and the Arizona desert. We did guard duty in the Florida Keyes from Homestead to Key West in April and May of 1942.
I was stationed at
Ft. Jackson, South Carolina
Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri
Camp Laguna, Arizona
Ft. Still, Oklahoma
Camp Forrest, Tennessee and
Blessingbourne, North Ireland
I landed in Normandy at Utah Beach on July 1, 1944. I fought in Normandy, Brittany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany.
In addition to four Campaign Battle Stars, I was awarded a Silver Star for action in combat while near Lutzel, Germany in 1945. I was also awarded a Bronze Star for action in combat while near Pleurtuit, France, in Brittany in 1944.
I served as Battery Commander of C Battery, 56th F.A. during training and as Commander of Liaison Party with the 121st Infantry during combat. It was our duty to plan and direct artillery fire immediately in front of the advancing infantry troops. This softened up the Germans and provided a little easier time for the infantry riflemen.
Our last combat operation was in April 1945. We crossed the Elbe River and after advancing about 50 miles we met the Russians.
We had 266 days of combat and fired 150,000 rounds of 105mm ammunition. 4500 rounds were fired in just one 24-hour period. The 8th Division had 13,000 casualties and took 316,000 prisoners. It was an honor and privilege to serve our country!