Seeking information on the 159th Engineer Combat Battalion that served in Europe and inparticular the Battle of the Budge.

Two of my uncles served in WW-II during the Battle of the Buldg.  One uncle was in radio contact with his brother PFC Neil Elmeier when the radio went silent due to Neil’s company being captured by the Germans.  Neil and fellow  POWs were executed by the Germans when they retreated east due to the approaching Allies.  Neil is buried at the American Cemetery at Luxembourg.  Neal is a Purple Heart recipient.  I have been trying to locate his Army service record informatiom.  However, the Army Historical Record Center in St Louis, MO indicates no record exists due to most likely being destroyed in a fire at that sight in the mid 1970.  Neil served in 159th Engineer Combat Battalion.  His service number 33689155.

I am see,ing any information available to reconstruct his Army service.


Louis Kobet

Commander, US Navy Retired

  • My father was a member of the 159th and was WIA on 21 December 1944 in Echternach. 

    The Broad Mountain Chapter of the 159th had copies made of the original book published August 1945 for their 1989 reunion. The chapter has since dissolved since all the their members have passed.

    I have a copy of the book I believe you are looking for. I would be more than happy to try to share it with you.

    if you could provide to me a direct email address, we can chat further. 

    kevin Hinkle, Lt Col, USAF (ret)

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  • I am in the process of trying to obtain a library copy.  If I can not get a response I will let you know.  My Uncle Neil  KIA  21 Dec., 1944 while a POW.

  • Thanks to you I was able to get a library copy of the book asyou suggested. A short read of about forty pages and forty pages of historical photos.  My uncle Neal was listed as KIA, but, he did not show up in any group photos.  I suspect the group photos of the battalion were taken shortly before the battalion was disestablished.  Thanks for responding to my posting.

    Lou L

  • I do have a pdf copy of that publication. Additionally, I will be traveling to Luxembourg in December 2024 for the 80th Anniversary events. I have an excellent historian who is assisting me in getting as much information as possible for the 159th. I am planning on visiting the American Cemetery to visit the grave sites of those who served in Company B with my father. I would be more than happy to share this information before and after my travels. 

  • Pfc Neal Neil) Elmeier was also in Company B of the 159th Engineer Combat Battalion.  The copy of the book that I obtained from the library has no photos of him and he is listed as KIA.  For decades we thought he was a POW. Yes I would welcome information on his unit should you be willing to share it.

    Lou K

  • I was aware of your uncle as he was listed in the 159th book. As I mentioned, I have an experienced historian working the National Archives for any and all documents related to the 159th. As soon as I can get more information, I will pass it along. We will definitely be stopping at the American Cemetery to pay tribute to those who are interred  there.

    I would be honored to share a photo of the grave site if you do not already have it along with any 80th anniversary events.

  • Sir , do you know if the 159th had a distinctive unit insignia or logo type they adopted or made ? 

  • I reviewed the Book on the 159th Engineer Battalion and no reference to unit arm patch and photos on solders in uniform show no arm patches.  Internet and ebay searches show Vietnam era 159th Eng. Bat.. patch and other Eng. Bat. patches but no 159th.  On line military insignia sites, from what I see so far, do not show 159th arm parch. If I come across anything I will let you know.


  • To the best of my knowledge and review of the material I have- no official logo. I do have someone during a bit more extensive research on this in prep for my trip to Luxembourg December 2024.

    The best I have found is just the 159th along with the Engineer's Castle.

  • Searching Google on the 159th Engineer Combat Battalion brings up several Army Chapters related to the Battle of the Bulge with referencing the Engineer Combat units.  I would recommending looking into that and a book from your local library on the same.  Several references exit in this respect on the WW-II campaigns across Europe.  All interesting and well documented.

  • There are several excellent books readily available on combat engineers- tracing the route from Normandy, to the Bulge and crossing the Rhine. One or two focus on Patton's 3rd Army.

    I am going to try to dig in a bit more with the 4th ID. Records I have found indicate that the 159th was a unit assigned under them. 

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