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Operation Mariette September 26-27 - 1952

 


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During the night of 26-27 September '52, B company had to carry out a combat patrol in front of the sector held by the 3rd Battalion of the 7th US Infantry, with a Greek battalion holding the left flank on the former Belgian position on KOJAK -KOL. The mixture of these units will render the whole operation especially difficult and also cause several casualties. The purpose of the operation was to destroy the positions on the enemy was preparing on Hill 171. The commander of B company Captain LOQUET, and his headquarters group and artillery observer Lieutenant COPPENS with his squad, were installed on Hill 199 while the tree company platoons took up position in order to attack Hill 171, the second platoon, had to attack the hill from the right, while the 1st platoon did the same from the front. The 3rd platoon was positioned on the left and was to cover the retreat of the other two, collect the wounded and also attack if necessary. As evening felt, a Chinese platoon had pushed an American squad off Hill 160. B Company had therefore initially received orders to recover the Hill. Around 2100 hrs the  DESTREE platoon began with the mopping-up of the trenches , together with captain HAZEE and Lieutenant HERMANS. They were stopped by automatic weapons. 

At the same time suspicious movements were directed West and North of Hill 199. Since several American units were in the same area, it took almost a quarter of an hour to ascertain that this were Chinese troops indeed. This was caused by the fact that so many different units were concerned in this action. All line-communications were down due to the enemy artillery barrage, but captain LOQUET kept in touch by radio. He reported that the DESTREE  platoon was engaged by two Chinese companies and ordered them to withdraw. At this moment the observer squad of lieutenant COPPENS reported the presence  of the Chinese in the trenches. An icy silence followed. Around 24 hours the contact with the B company platoons was restored. Captain HAZEE was missing and Lieutenant HERMANS wounded . As a result, lieutenant de SCHOUTEETE was ordered to re-group the company on the frontline north of Hill 242.
The out post on Hill 199 was taken a gain by 5 o' clock in the morning. The bodies of captain LOQUET and lieutenant COPPENS, 1sgt DOLL and 5 volunteers are found, probably killed in action during a hand-to-hand combat. Lieutenant COPPENS even still clasped his infantry trenching tool in his hand. Captain HAZEE was captured by the Chinese during the withdrawal, but was able, thanks to his courage and cold-bloodedness to throw two hand grenades in their midst during a moment of inadvertence. He was thus able to escape into a rice-paddy where he was  discovered, severely wounded, by friendly troops. The whole operation suffered 9 KIA and 16 WIA

Killed in action
COPPENS J.C Lt 26/09/52 KOJAK-KOL
DOLL J. Sgt 26/09/52 KOJAK-KOL
FETRO O. kpl 26/09/52 KOJAK-KOL
LOQUET J. Cpn 26/09/52 KOJAK-KOL
MAES R. Sdt 26/09/52 KOJAK-KOL
MAGNIN E Sdt 26/09/52 KOJAK-KOL
ROOX  M Kpl 26/09/52 KOJAK-KOL
SCHMETS T Kpl 26/09/52 KOJAK-KOL
STAEL J Sdt 26/09/52 KOJAK-KOL
VEREECKE R Sdt 26/09/52 KOJAK-KOL

 

 

 

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