Since you are focused on the last 6/7 months of the war, I assume that your kinsman joined the 1st Infantry Division as a replacement, just like most of us joined our units.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that this was perhaps the most engaged unit in the war, having fought in North Africa, including the Algeria-French Morocco and Tunesia campaigns, for approximately 163 days, thence to the campaign for Sicily, another 37 days, then to ETO for another 292 days on the line.That represents almost 2 years in combat.
Casualties for ETO:
3,316 Killed in Action 15,208 Wounded in Action 664 Died from Wounds.
Divisional strength would have been around 12,500 men, which means that its casualty rate exceeded 100%.
The Battle for Aachen ranged 4 Oct 44 / 1 Dec 44, and involved US General Omar Bradley's 12th Army Group vs Field Marshall Walther Model's German Army Group B.
These armies were not equal in strength and material, 300,000 US/British vs 250,000 Germans, 750 Allied tanks vs 500 German tanks.
Thirteen US Infantry Divisions and one British ID, plus other elements were committed to the campaign.
The 1st ID included three Infantry Regiments (16th IR, 18th IR and 26th IR), plus other essential elements.
The dvision entered Germany by crossig the Meuse River from Liege, Belgium, 9 Sep 44; it assaulted Aachen, Germany, 12 Sep 44; 16th IR was halted by strong German resistance at the West Wall, or Siegfried Line, 15 Sep 44; 1st ID resumed action against the Aachen defences, 8 Oct 44; in this time, 16th IR held defensive positions near Eilendorf, where it met with severe German assaults; the city was finally taken by direct assault involving house-to-house combat. 1st ID was relieved in the line, then opened 1st Army's offensive to secure bridge crossings over the River Roer, east of Aachen, 16 Nov 44; 16th IR attached to V Corps, 5 Dec 44; 16th IR cleared the Bambusch Woods; 1st ID turned back a German drive, advancing on the West Wall, 28 Jan 45, attacking through Buchollz Forest; 1st ID attacked across River Roer at Kreuznu, using 16th IR, which met only minimal opposition; division took Burg, 27 Feb 45; 16th IR crossed the Neffel River, 1 Mar 45; division assaulted Bonn, 7 Mar 45, and captured it 9 Mar 45, ending German resistance west of the Rhine River; 16th IR assaulted across the Rhine, 15 Mar 45; the division attacked toward Sieg, despite strong German efforts to deter it; division attacked with all three regiments in line, in order to capture the heights above Seigen; division was relieved by 8th ID, 1 Apr 45.
That is about I can relate concerning the 16th Infantry Regiment as it relates to his return date, 23 Mar 45.
1. Stanton's WORLD WR II ORDER of BATTLE. Excellet narrative accounts.
2. Stephen E.Ambrose's CITIZEN SOLDIERS. A wonderful narrative of the war from D-Day to V-E Day. Includes at least two references to 16th IR, with one in particular citing incidents at Eilendorf. There are 10 references to 1st ID.
Let me know how this fits your profile on the subject. OK?