CORPS OF ENGINEERS
entered service in the US-army at 13 April april 1944, in the 290th Engineer Combat
Battalion. This unit was activated four months earlier, and was
located at Camp Shelby in Mississippi. They recieved their basic
military training and were trained to be 'engineers': building
bridges, repairing roads, demolition of mines, etc.
In the end of September the
order came to prepare for overseas movement. On 22 October 1944 Adrian Griep
departed from New
York and at 11.00 the ships passed by the statue of liberty. On
2nd November 1944 the 290th arrived at the quaint little town of
Tiverton, located in picturesque Devonshire. Adrian and the
B-Company joined the battalion few days later, because their
ship first landed in Cherbourg. Till the end of December the engineers
recieved extented training in the construction of the floating
and fixed Bailey Bridge.
On the day after Christmas the battalion was alerted for
movement to the Continent.
De dag na kerst komt het bericht van vertrek naar Frankrijk. Op
31 december zet het Engelse libertyschip ‘HMS Empire Rapier’ het
290th Engineer Combat Battalion over naar Le Havre. Na zes dagen
bivak in modder en sneeuw volgt een tocht van vier dagen in
legertrucks, om hen 300 km verderop naar Melsheim in de Elzas te
On January 5, 1945, the 290th Engineer Combat Battalion was
deployed at the frontline at Orbey. On that moment, further
north the Battle of the Bulge was going on. Many units had been
send there to provide relief, which caused serious shortages of
infantrymen to man the frontline near Colmar. Although they were
not trained for this kind of job, for three weeks (January 17 to
February 5) the ‘engineers’ had to fill in
this gap. During that period they were attached to the 28th Infantry Division.
This 28th Division formed part of the American 7th Army.
In January 1945 that army was deployed between Strasbourg and Mulhouse.
It had recieved orders to throw the Germans out of the so-called Colmar
pocket. Because of that, an ‘agressive defense’ was
maintained, with frequent patrolling towards enemy lines. This
had to be carried out under extreme weather conditions. During
that period temperatures were as low as -4º F, with frequent
Already on their first day on the frontline, his unit had to
withstand a German attack, which they succesfully did. On
January 23 they recieved orders send out two patrol units to
penetrate into enemy territory to gather information about the
German positions. Adrian Griep was part of the ‘B-company’
under lieutenant Hunnicutt. They started their mission at 7.20
hours, and only after half a mile of advance, their patrol came
under heavy German fire. They could not move to either direction
anymore, some men were immediately killed, and others were
Lieutenant Hunnicutt and ten of his men, under which Adrian Griep,
were cut off from the rest of the patrol. At 13.27 the whole
mission was terminated, and the group under lieutenant Hunnicutt was
reported as ‘Missing in Action’.
KILLED IN ACTION
On February 5 Adrian his body was found, and on March 4 the
staff of the 28th Infantry Division made up his 'Report of Burial'.
On March 10 a letter was send to his family to aknowledge them
about his death.
Adrian Griep was buried at the US Military Cemetary at Epinal.
The location of the grave is: plot A, row 13, grave 55.