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Frederick W FIEN U.S. Army WWII
Frederick W FIEN U.S. Army WWII

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Date of Birth: 7/19/1922
Died On: 11/25/1944
Street Address: 4 Rosemare Street
Service Number: 42124873
Branch of Service: U.S. Army - Company I, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 4th Infantry Division

Veteran Code: KIA-6

BIOGRAPHY Extended Information
Frederick W. Fien

Frederick W. Fien was born in Michigan July 19,1922, the son of Frederick and Loisa Fien. He had one sister Lillian and the family lived at 4 Rosemere Street and were members of St. Paul's Church in Port Chester. Fred was a graduate of Rye High School and prior to enlisting in the army worked at Republic Aviation Corp. on Long Island. Fred enlisted and served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Fred enlisted in February 1944 and seved with the 22nd Infantry regiment of the 4th Infantry Division. On 16 November 1944, Fred Fein's, I Company, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment attacked into the Hurtgen Forest as one of ten divisions participating in a combined offensive by First and Ninth U. S. Armies to close to the Rhine River.

As one of the infantry regiments of the 4th Division, the 22nd Infantry spent eighteen days in November and early December 1944 in the Hurtgen Forest . In a battle many believed mattered little in the big picture, the 22nd suffered 2773 casualties, or 85 percent of its normal complement of 3257 soldiers to take one village and 6000 yards of forest.

Each rifle company went into the action averaging 162 soldiers. Seven days later the rifle companies averaged eighty-seven men, of whom 42 percent were replacements who had arrived during the battle. Fred Fien, in all likelihood, was one of these replacements. By the end of the battle, losses in the rifle companies reached an estimated average of 151 percent of their original strength.

Attack Against Grosshau
For its attack on 25 November, the 22nd is supported by the equivalent of an armor battalion, two battalions of artillery, a chemical mortar company, and an engineer company. Fred Fiens 3rd Battalion again maneuvers north and finds its initial move easy. Problems arise when it takes 3 hours for the tanks to get forward. The German defenders in Grosshau are waiting when the attack finally begins. Six tanks are destroyed and the infantry is driven back into the trees by a tremendous artillery barrage. In the 2nd Battalion area, the tanks do not arrive as scheduled. The infantry advances to the woodline south of Grosshau, but not without heavy losses.

A 500 meter gap exists between the 2nd and 3rd Battalions. Major General Barton commits to the reduction of Grosshau nine artillery battalions, ranging from 105mm to 240mm. The German 353rd Volksgrenadier Division begins arriving as reinforcements, replacing the 344th and layering on top the remaining 344th VGs combat formations. The Americans would slug it out for another four days before declaring Grosshau secure just before midnight on November 29th

Private Fred W Fien was killed in the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest on November 25, 1944 during the attack against Grosshau. Battle Casualties for the Americans were 235 that day, most from Fred's 3rd Battalion. More leaders fall on 25 November than any other day of the battle, 11 officers, and 46 NCOs.

Fred's body was returned home in February 1947. A Funeral Mass was held at St.Paul's Lutheren Church in Port Chester. His Funeral procession was led by both the Port Chester and Rye American Legion Posts. Frederick W. Fien was buried at Greenwood Union Cemetery with full military honors.

The 4th Infantry Division in World War II
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