Task Force “Mike”
A fourth task force was also employed in “Operation Brittany.” It was commanded by Lt. Col. Mayo and had as its mission the job of simulating the 35th Infantry Division in a march toward Brest.
No 406th men accompanied this force which halted short of Dol because of the uncertain military situation ahead.
RESULTS: Operation Brittany was a man sized job for 23rd’s first overall problem. Yet all obstacles considered, the job went very well. Each task force’s radio work was rewarded with more than sufficient jamming. The special effects fooled completely the American troops in the operational sectors, so there is every reason to believe that the enemy agents were deceived also.
Although no enemy documents were capture to show that the Wehrmacht believed U. S. forces were being diverted from Normandy for the clearance of Brittany, the Germans did what the American army commanders wanted him to do – keep his troops in the Falaise pocket until the trap was sprung.
Lts. Aliapoulis, Robinson, Daly and the personnel under their commands were highly complimented by the task force commanders for their work during “Operation Brittany.”
The men of the 406th had hardly resettled in the Le Fremondre bivouac when their hearts were saddened by the departure of the Red Cross girls with their hospital unit. But the march of events allowed little time for meditations, sad or gay.
At Brest, the Germans were well intrenched and the U. S. forces were making little headway. The city was an excellent port and the Army wanted the use of its facilities as soon as possible. 23rd Hq. was asked if it could help. Lt. Col. Snee and Capt. Seale were sent to Brest to reconnoiter the situation.
Four 406 men were selected to accompany the two 23rd officers on this sight-seeing trip to the enemy lines. T/5 Bill Brennan and Pvt. Jack Orloff rode with Col. Snee while Pfc. Joe Palermo and Pvt. Al Files were security for Capt. Seale in his 406 peep driven by Pvt. Elmer Cattling.
On the route to Brest, the men had to be especially alert as the roads were subject to the sniping fire of Germans still roving through the woods. However, this did not deter the Colonel from collecting eggs etc. to supplement the party’s “K” ration diet.
Arriving at Brest on August 18th, they inspected the positions of the 6th Armored C. C. A. which was under fire at the time. The next day, the recon party returned to headquarters.