Unit history

Excerpt: Official history of the bombing

The following excerpt details the circumstances of the July 3 bombing.  The entire document is available below.

[Page 10] On Monday [3 July] the procedure was to be repeated.  The men had an early breakfast and at 0730 hours were ready to leave for their work.  They were to be dispatched in trucks.  The first group was being loaded in front of the billet (No. 6 Sloane Court)/ Without warning a robot bomb came out of the haze.  It was headed straight for the billets in which the men were and in front of which they were standing.  The company commander and several of the men gave warning.  (This warning is credited with saving a number of lives).  The men on the sidewalk ran into the buildings to the cellar, other[s] ran around the corner to escape the blast.  The men in the truck did not have time to get off.  All this took place within a matter of seconds.

[Page 11] The men who ran around the building were much safer than those who ran to the cellar.  The blast completely destroyed No. 6 Billet and almost completely destroyed No. 4 & 8.  The buildings had collapsed all the men in the buildings had blasted the truck into the side of the buildings.  It is doubtful that any man on the truck came out alive.  Immediately after the bomb struck rescue squads were at the scene helping the men out of the wreckage.  Some men walked out of the building amidst smoke and flame.  A fire started which added to the hazards of the men who were trapped beneath the debris.  Some of these men in the debris were severely burned.  They were in such a position that they couldn’t move and could do nothing about the flames.  Most of the men were trapped for a number of hours.  One man was trapped for four days.  He was in a shelter that was formed by falling timber.

This was the greatest single disaster of United States Army and Personnel in the London area.

Immediately prior to the incident the unit was scheduled to leave London, for the continent.  After the incident this was of necessity postponed.  The company was moved to Little Heath Camp in Essex, just outside of London.  This was intended as resting up place for the men of the company who were left. […]

Unit history of the 130th Chemical Processing Company

Although undated and unsigned, the below official narrative history describes in detail the experiences of the men of the 130th Chemical Processing Company.  The version of this document is a copy from the original, which is stored at the National Archives building in College Park, Md.