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Hensley, Enoch

PFC Enoch N Hensley was assigned to the 36th Texas Division during World War II.  While assigned to the division, PFC Hensley participated in comabt operations in Italy and Germany. In a grinding offensive, the 36th Texas Division crossed the Meurthe River, breached the Ste. Marie Pass and burst into the Alsatian Plains. The enemy counterattacked, December 13, 1944, but the 36th held the perimeter of the Colmar Pocket. Two days later, the division was released from attachment to the French First Army, and returned to the control of VI Corps, now under Major General Edward H. Brooks, under the Seventh Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Alexander Patch. The German counterattacks out of the Colmar Pocket were so fierce, that at times, the field artillery was forced to fire over open sights at point blank range to stop them. On December 20, 1944, the division resumed the attack, advancing northward along the Rhine River to Mannheim meeting heavy resistance at HaguenauOberhofen, and Wissembourg. In this action Company "G" of the 143rd Infantry received a Presidential Unit Citation. On 27 December 1944, the division was reassigned to Major General Frank W. Milburn's XXI Corps of the Seventh Army, and was pinched out and returned to Seventh Army reserve on December 30, 1944. The division was taken out of the line for the first time since it had landed in the south of France. On January 3, 1945, the division was reassigned to Major General Wade H. Haislip's XV Corps. In January 1945, the division was reassigned to VI Corps. It returned to the line early March. The 36th was reassigned to the Seventh Army on March 29, 1945, and moved to the Danube River on April 22, 1945. It was during this time that PFC Enoch N Hensley was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism during combat operations against the German forces. The 36th Division has been recognized as a liberating unit for its work securing the subcamps of the Dachau concentration camp system. The 36th Division was reassigned to the XXI Corps on April 27, 1945, and attacked the Künzelsau area on the 30th. Members of the 36th Division's 142nd Infantry arriving as reinforcements on May 5 tipped the Battle for Castle Itter in favor of a combined U.S. Army/Wehrmacht defense against a Waffen SS attack, the only time German and American forces fought side-by-side in World War II.

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