William A. McNulty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Then Lt. Col. (later Colonel) William Anderson McNulty (1910-2005) was a battalion commander of then Lt. Gen., later, full General George S. Patton’s Third United States Army command. It was Lt. Col. McNulty's command, the 3rd Battalion, 301st Infantry Regiment of the Third Army’s 94th Division,[1] that in face of withering defensive artillery, tank, antitank and machine gun fire and with McNulty heroically at its head,[2] forded in the dead of winter on February 23, 1945 the icy and swollen Saar River in southwest Germany at the then Siegfried Line to become the first Third Army troops to enter upon German soil, seizing the east bank German city of Serrig and establishing the vital bridgehead, which the balance of the Third Army used to sweep into the German Saarland,[3] thereafter, taking the German cities of Trier, Coblenz, Bingen[disambiguation needed], Worms, Mainz, Kaiserslautern and Ludwigshafen, while killing or wounding 99,000 German troops and capturing another 140,112 of them, which represented virtually all of the remnants of the German First Army and the German Seventh Army.[4]

Third Army command decided that the 3rd Battalion, 301st Infantry Regiment would establish the bridgehead from Serrig,[5] but intelligence could provide very little information on enemy dispositions.[6] Not to be deterred, William McNulty himself secretly reconnoitered the proposed Saar crossing and enemy positions the night prior to the 3rd /301st ’s assault upon the German positions.[7] The following day the troops of the 3rd/301st, again, in face of withering defensive fire and with their commander Lt. Col. McNulty, exposed at their lead, inspiring and directing them, forded the Saar River to attack and capture the city of Serrig, Germany.[8] For his actions at the Saar on February 23, 1945, Lt. Col. William A. McNulty was awarded both the Legion of Merit and the Silver Star. Other medals awarded the Col., a 1932 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal and the Legion of Honour (France) and the Croix de guerre 1939-1945 (France).[9]

External links[edit]

  • [1] Find A Grave, additional photograph of the Colonel and information on his later military career are here available for view

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tony Le Tissier Patton’s Pawns The 94th U.S. Infantry Division at the Siegfried Line (2007) University of Alabama Press, pp. 307, 352
  2. ^ Citation text of General Orders: Headquarters, 3d Army, General Order No. 158 (July 2, 1945), awarding Lt. Col. William A. McNulty the Silver Star
  3. ^ Tony Le Tissier Patton’s Pawns The 94th U.S. Infantry Division at the Siegfried Line (2007) University of Alabama Press, Chapter 8 “Crossing the Saar” (commencing at p. 147) p. 158
  4. ^ See, generally, D'Este, Carlo (1995), Patton: A Genius for War, New York City, New York: Harper Collins, ISBN 0-06-016455-7
  5. ^ Tony Le Tissier Patton’s Pawns The 94th U.S. Infantry Division at the Siegfried Line (2007) University of Alabama Press, Chapter 8 “Crossing the Saar” (commencing at p. 147) p. 152
  6. ^ Tony Le Tissier Patton’s Pawns The 94th U.S. Infantry Division at the Siegfried Line (2007) University of Alabama Press, Chapter 8 “Crossing the Saar” (commencing at p. 147) p. 149
  7. ^ again, Citation text of General Orders: Headquarters, 3d Army, General Order No. 158 (July 2, 1945), awarding Lt. Col. William A. McNulty the Silver Star
  8. ^ again, Citation text of General Orders: Headquarters, 3d Army, General Order No. 158 (July 2, 1945), awarding Lt. Col. William A. McNulty the Silver Star
  9. ^ See, also, generally, L.G. Byrnes History of the 94th Infantry Division in WWII Nashville: The Battery Press (1982) and Tony Le Tissier Patton’s Pawns The 94th U.S. Infantry Division at the Siegfried Line (2007) University of Alabama Press, additionally, at pages. 72, 78, 111, 141 for other mention of McNulty and the entirety of its Chapter 8, titled “Crossing the Saar” for context and further detail.