During the spring of this year I started a research project on Private Carl D. Altomonte. When browsing through the 2nd Infantry Regiment’s casualty list I came across his name, Carl was listed as missing. Later on I found out that he was also on the wall of missing soldiers at the American Luxembourg Cemtery at Hamm, Luxembourg.
Carl was a member of the 2nd Regiment of the 5th Infantry Division. We assume that he fought in Patton’s 3rd Army to push back the Germans at the Southern Front of the Battle of the Bulge. In February the Division crossed the Sauer River into Germany and moved further inland capturing towns while beating back the Germans. On one of those days, February 18th 1945, something must’ve happend to Carl as he was listed Missing in Action on that day.
Right now there are so many questions. What happend to him? Which unit was in? Did he get hit? It could be possible that he was hit by a mortar or other explosive that completely destroyed his body. It is also possible that is body is still hidden somewhere on German soil. I’ve researched and browsed through the unit history of the 2nd Infantry Regiment and it stated the following
“The 3rd Battalion patrolled the Enz River for a suitable bridge site, and at 0300 hours, February 17, elements of this unit struck at the highground 1500 yards east of Shankweiler overlooking the Prüm River and captured it. In this attack Company I crossed the Enz River by means of a log bridge and caught the enemy napping.” (2nd Regiment Unit History, US Army)
I used February 17th to watch the units movements and gain more knowledge and insights about their actions. So far nothing special has happend, so we’ll have to take a look at 2nd Battlion.
“The 2nd Battalion was committed and lunged for the town of Stockem the next day. Resistance was mounting, and the 2nd felt the fury of enemy counterattacks as it attemted to take the objective.” (2nd Regiment Unit History, US Army)
This means that the 2nd Battalion went into action on February 18 and it’s more assumable that Carl was in one of it’s companies. According to the Regimental History, the 2nd Battalion had been in regimental reserve all the time. It is likely that the battalion moved to Shankweiler and from here lunged to Stockem. Right now our sources are limited and we can not confirm this, yet. We’ve requested all the documents of the 2nd regiment at NARA and hopefully we’ll be able to tell you more in the near future. I feel like it’s my mission to bring Carl D, Altomonte home. He deserves a final resting place among his brothers in arms so that he’ll be able to rest in peace. I will continue writing posts as soon as I have updates on the subject.
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To be Continued.