VOL. 27, NO. 3, Apr., 1971
HISTORIC SHRINES -- PHILADELPHIA, PA.
106th Infantry Division Association, Inc.
President John I. Gallagher
Vice-President Robert A. Gilder
Adjutant Robert L. Scranton
Treasurer Sherod Collins
Chaplain John T. Loveless, Jr.
Historian Sherod Collins
The CUB is the official publication of the Association. Membership in the Association is $5 00 per year which includes subscription to the CUB.
Editor John Gallagher
All editorial matter should be addressed to: John I. Gallagher, 4003 Frances Street, Temple, pa. 19560
All business matters. renewal of membership, etc. should be addressed to:
Robert L. Scranton, 9441 Lee Road, Brighton, Mich. 48116
Auxiliary Dues $2.00 per year.
Deadline for next Cub, April 12th.
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGEI ask each of us contact our former 106 buddies and ask them to join up and come to our 25th anniversary reunion. For you and I, the war is long over; but for others it still rages on in the jungles of Southeast Asia. May it be our earnest prayer the end of this conflict is near.
In the meantime will you and I do all in our power to have our prisoners of war released?
Looking forward to seeing you in Valley Forge.
DUESHave you paid your dues? Dues are $5.00; auxiliary dues are $2.00. Please forward to Bob Scranton, 9441 Lee Road, Brighton, Michigan 48116
Contributions to the memorial fund may be included with dues remittance.
ZIP CODEPlease add zip code to address when forwarding dues.
JOHN T. LOVELESS, JR.
February 18, 1971Again the world has witnessed a landing of men on the moon and a successful return to the earth. The crew of Apollo 14 and all those associated in the endeavor deserve all the acclaim that we can give them. Man's storehouse of knowledge has had added to it much that we hope will be of great benefit to all mankind.
Did you sense, as I did, that these excursions are losing some of their excitement for us? True, when problems arose on the flight, most of us, no doubt, prayed a little harder and longer for a safe journey. And, once more, our prayers were answered. Yet the thrill of accomplishment was not the same as when the first landing occurred "moons" ago. But, like an anti-climax, came the earthquake to California, bringing with it death to many, numbered among whom were veterans of the armed forces of our country, and the destruction of countless man-made structures.
On the very day of our rejoicing over the one event, we were saddened and distressed by the other. What a contrast! Think on it. Man has been endowed by his Creator with an intellect so that he can fashion, under Divine Guidance, works of great magnitude, overcome the natural force of gravity and launch out hundreds of thousands of miles into space. But -- without that Guidance man can do nothing.
So we say with the Psalmist: "When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou host established; what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him? Yet thou host made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor. Thou hast given him dominion over
the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet, 0 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth! -- Psalm 8
John T. Loveless, Jr.
(Memorial to Maj. Gen. Alan W. Jones) 1894-1969One of the most stirring and heart rending episodes of this Division's history, was the way in which our folks back home reacted to the German radio announcement New Year's Eve 1944 that the 106th Division had been wiped out. D. W. Frampton, then of Pittsburgh, was the activating force of the "Agony Grapevine." He conceived the idea of turning over the names of the missing to shortwave listening posts. The Framptons were promptly deluged with a volume of mail as the publicity spread, and in the end they had a mailing list of over 600 names. Mr. Frampton is the father of D. B. Frampton 422 Inf., one of the early members who did yeoman work to help keep this Association going. He was national President 1952-53 and Chairman of the very successful Reunion in Columbus, Ohio in 1953. In Cleveland Ohio, in New York and other cities and towns, wherever 106th men hailed from, other groups organized and exchanged information in a similar manner. The faith and courage exhibited by our folks here in the States at that crucial time can never be forgotten.
Later, as they learned of it, our folks listened daily to a news commentator on the Mutual Broadcasting network named Cedric Foster. He gave daily detailed information about the 106th Division in his broadcasts. After the war he attended Association Reunions at Indianapolis and Columbus.
All these thoughts flooded back to me last Tuesday evening, 19 January, when I attended the dinner of the Harrisburg Executives Club where Cedric Foster was the speaker. He had recently visited Siberia. He described the Soviet Communist system of labor and production as one that "can give us a formidable challenge if its leadership decides to take and aggressive course."
After the dinner we enjoyed a pleasant reunion with Cedric and reminisced on his broadcasts about the 106th during the war and his visits to the two reunions at Indianapolis and Columbus. He was a news commentator with the Mutual Network for 37 years. Now living in Denver Colorado, he broadcasts twice daily from a radio station there and does some public speaking.
L. T. McM.
UP-DATEHERBERT B. LIVESEY JR., Cml 0 DHQ, reports that he is retired and living alone in a 5 room air conditioned log cabin on the banks of a good trout stream. He travels alot including three trips to St. Vith and five trips to the British Isles where he does genealogical and archaeological work. Last year Herbert hunted jaguars in the jungles of Venezuela; lived with Eskimoes of Nome, Alaska, and Povungnituk, Quebec. Last Fall, he brought back 43 quail from Tennessee and recently eleven pheasants from Westchester. Deer, foxes, raccoons, grouse, etc., frolic all over his place, but Herbert says they are a no-no! He is setting up a force in his shop and hopes to get back to smithing. Active in the Croton Rod and Gun Club, Herbert puts on barbecues of whole sheep. This winter he expects to get a wild boar and set up is old-time wilderness camp to show kids how they did things in the old days. Herbert is also very active in conservation. He has written two books of poetry and is working on a book of the mysteries of America. Living only 18 miles from West Point, Herbert gets to the games and en-toyed the moral victory of the Army Syracuse game.
JOSEPH KRAFCHIK, Hq. Det. 331 Med. Bn., a local CPA is "still hard at it". He says. "I never cease to wonder at the lack of interest in the association by my outfit, 331 Med, only six enrolled as members." Joseph wishes continued success for the association.
COL. GEORGE L. DESCHENEAUX JR., 422, reports that he is about to retire from his present job after which he will probably travel, play golf, and enjoy a life of ease. He sends warm regards to all his 106th friends.
ALFRED J. GERICKE JR., D 423, was in Europe for three weeks in July and vacationed in England, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Alfred also went to the National Convention of the National Guard Association in New York City in September where he met CW3 Jack Monroe, a former member of A 423. He also met Lt. Col. E. G. Henson, a member of the Arkansas National Guard and the 1970-71. President of the unit's association and a former member of H 424.
GEORGE F. PHILLIPS, Div. Hq., is one of two men developing and planning a new area technical school to be operational in September 1972, the North Fayette Area Vocational School of Connellsville, Pennsylvania.
RICHARD R. ROBINSON. Cannon Co. 424, has been elected to the office of District Judge of the 53rd Judicial District of Michigan. His oldest daughter, Rosanna, is a student at Central Michigan University. Older son, Bradbury, was the leading hitter in his league during the last Little League season. The 106th wishes success and happiness to Richard as he begins his new job.
FLOYD L. ELSTON, A 589 Field Arty., is Chief of Police in Wanaque, New Jersey and father of one boy and two girls. Floyd was with Cadre to the 589th from the 80th Div., Camp Forrest, Tennessee. He would enjoy hearing from anyone who remembers him.
BERNARD UEBEL reports being employed as an asbestos worker for the past 23 years. He and his wife have a son, 21, currently serving a three-year enlistment in the Army and a daughter, 15, a high school sophomore.
FRED B. CHASE, D 422, is presently employed as a planning coordinator for the Dormitory Authority of the state of New York. He has three daughters -- two married and one "looking"! His grandchildren include a boy, 8; girl, 6; and boy, 2.
FRED SCHIEFERSTEIN, A 424, is still selling fruits and vegetables at a family roadside market. He collects stamps and received another award at a stamp show for U.S. plate number stamps. Fred has contributed over 500 hours as a volunteer at his local Veterans Hospital. His wife, Charlotte, and Frederick III, three year-old son, are well and always busy.
DAVID B. SLAYTON, A 422, reports he is executive vice-president and general manager of Dilday Family Funeral Directors, Long Beach and Lakewood, California.
The JOHN J. TAYLORS, Service Co. 424, enjoy retirement. They spent 'a month in Alaska visiting their oldest daughter and husband, who is stationed at Fort Richardson.
LESTER W. CROSSMAN, H 424, Still works for Illinois Bell Telephone Co. His three girls ages-11, 12, and 15-are all growing fast. Lester sees A. T. Harris and John Scalissi fairly often.
Through their pictures, the ARTHUR E. LOOS', I 424, are still reliving the memorial trip last year to St. Vith -- "a never-to-be-forgotten experience".
Because of physical disabilities, DR. JOSEPH F. DREIER, Divarty, has not practiced as a psychiatrist since February 1967. Son Jeff is with the ABM missile unit at Fort Bliss, Texas.
ROBERT A. de ST. AUBIN went into private business after 21 years with Sears and Roebuck. He owns Gamble Department store in Berlin, Wisconsin. In contrast to the Chicago suburbs, one-half acre on the Fox River is now home for the de St. Aubins. Robert can choose to take a boat to town! Their oldest daughter is a sophomore at the University of Dayton; oldest son is a sophomore at Berlin High School; youngest son is in fifth grade. Wife, LaVergne, is a partner in their store.
RICHARD E. BARTZ, Div. Hq.-AG, has retired from Federal Government service (U.S. Railroad Retirement Board). He now has plenty of time "on his hands" and looks forward to the reunion in Philadelphia.
The Villwocks enjoyed this year's reunion. At the time of the Philadelphia reunion, Russell and Jackie will be attending the 13th world jamboree of scouting in Japan.
ROBERT M. COURTRIGHT, Div. Hq. 600 W. Main St., Ashville, Ohio 43103. Reports living on farm and working at Dupont.
HARRISON C. TRISSOT, "C" Co. 422, 6510 Murray Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45227. Production Control clerk at Milacron Co.
RALPH J. MURPHY, "L" Co. 424, 11 2031 S.E. 14th Lane, Ocala, Florida
32670. Ralph is a new member, welcome.
RICHARD JOCHEMS. Div. Hq. A. G. sect., 2940 Okemos St. SF Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506. Dick is in real estate business, active in Kiwanis, has 2 children and 4 grandchildren.
LETTERS TO EDITORDear Doug:
When you fellows were in St Vith in July of 1969, there was a list of 106 Infantry men buried at the military cemetery at Nieuville en Crondoz. Would you have such an extra list available?
I was in St. Vith about July 2nd that same year. At the time I didn't know where that military cemetery was. I had hoped that in my travels in that area I would get some leads, but, I didn't. At Ciney, northeast of Dinant and Philippeville I was the closest to it on my way to Bastogne and St. Vith.
Eric Wood was three or four vehicles ahead of me on Sunday morning, December 17th, when the tires on the vehicle in front of me got on fire from burp and rifle gun fire from the wooded hillside to the right a hundred yards from the bridge at Schonberg. Eric Wood was my roommate at Gloucester for three weeks. His Father was on Eisenhower's Staff in London. I think Eric was the only man from the 589th who got to go into London. We were surprised when we were on our way to Weymouth when he told us that we were going to a front line position rather than that which we had been told. After we were in position at Auw there was word going around that Eric's Father had even visited him up there at Battery A.
The next time I go back I want to visit that cemetery.
Sincerely yours, Michael E. Connelly, M. D. Med. Det. -- 589 F.A.Bn.
Can anyone help the doctor?
Editors Note: Anyone have this list available for the good doctor?
If not he can get it from the cemetery Supt. through the American Battle monuments Commission in Washington.
Have contacted 10 ex-members of 106th to inform them about 25th reunion at Valley Forge and of our next trip to Europe.
Will bring my 750 colored slides to show at Valley Forge.
Anything I can do to help at reunion?
Walt Bandurak Ed. Thanks for all your help to the 106th, looking forward to seeing your films.
Here is a list of fellows to whom I would like to have "CUB" mailed. Hope this will get them to next reunion, I will add to this list in future.
Ed: Jack wrote to Cub previously with idea if each member would pay to have "Cub" mailed to six of his buddies we should be able to get new members and
better attendance at reunion.
Forward names direct to CUB editor to mail next edition which will contain details of our 25th reunion. Cost is $.25 each.
Dear Mr. Editor,
Just a line from the Treasurer's pen.
Hope things are moving along well for the next CUB and also that plans are developing well for the reunion in July. The meeting will be here before we know it.
I understand you folks have had several feet of snow up your way. It's been kinda unpleasant doses here ton though not that bad.
Cora and I went to an interesting seminar sponsored by the Alumni Association at my alma muter, the University of Georgia, in February and it turned out to be real informative. The topic under discussion was "World Politics", and we had some noteworthy speakers and discussion leaders.
Dean Rusk, former Secretary of State, and now professor of International Law there was the keynote speaker and added immensely to the occasion; a real nice guy and full of factual information.
In addition, one of the group leaders was General Earl G. Wheeler who retired in 1969 after having served longer than any other man as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His subject, naturally, was the role of the Military in World Politics.
Other discussion leaders were University of Ga. professors well qualified in their fields both in civilian and military careers. Their subjects were Ideology, Economics, and International Dispute Accommodations (as related to World Politics). A large group of enthusiastic alumni enjoyed the two-day sessions.
Since that time, Cora and I have been to extreme North Georgia to try to buy a little piece of land, but you know-- those mountaineers have found out that no more land is being manufactured, so prices even up there are almost out of reach. We're still thinking about it though.
Hope you and yours are well. Keep up Ike the marvelous job on the Mag.
Sincerely Sherod Collins
P.S. Adjutant says we have 251 members last count.
A LITTLE GOLDEN LION
Goes about his daily chores.
Shown in 'the picture is David Enlow, as he prepares to feed some of the twenty five thousand (25,000) Turkeys, he and his family have raised this year. David was the youngest traveler on the trip to St. Vith in 69.
David is the Son of Mr. & Mrs. Russell Eaton of Taswell, Ind. (D, 423)
DECEMBER 16HEADLINE! Hepzibahe Ga. -- (106th)
Capital of the Southeast, Dec. 12, 1970. What fun! Fifteen Golden Lions drove to the Augusta suburb at the invitation of their hosts, Jim and Maydean Wells. The home was tastefully decorated in the Christmas motif and provided a perfect place for relaxing and enjoying the warm companionship of people who see each other all too seldom.
After a warm-up time, a delicious meal was served. Throughout the evening the hosts were aided in entertaining by
friends Carolyn and Arthur Baker.
We were highly entertained by a showing of movies and slides of our 1969 European tour by courtesy of the Alexander twins and Papa Bill.
At a late hour the party broke up and all repaired to their motels.
The following attended our gab-fest: Joe and Anna Matthews (422) of Raleigh, N.C.; George and Margaret Bullard (Med 590), Mebane, N.C.; Duke and Martha Ward (81 Engr), East Point, Ga.; Sherod and Cora Collins, (423), Atlanta, Ga.; Horace and Eva Mansfield (424), Athens, Ga.; Bill Alexander and daughters Carolyn and Marilyn (423) of Forest Park, Ga.; Sam and Myra Davis (423), Atlanta, Ga. (picked up a new member here); Louise and Bob Howell (424), Griffin, Ga.; and cur hosts Jim and May-dean Wells (81st Engr), Hepzibah, Ga.
If anyone is interested in Lion pins, rings, cuff links, tie tack or pendant; Mario Jewelers, 227 Main St., Closter, N.J. 07624 will be happy to make them up. He will give a discount to a 106er. Mario will be happy to make them with the stones you would like. His telephone number is 201-767-0631.
Marge De Heer
The New Jersey 106ers gathered together on December 16th for dinner at the Rock Spring Inn in West Orange. Nineteen Persons attended and as they ate they watched the snow come down and pile up. At last count all returned safely. Doug Coffey has his Belgian guest and she was quite impressed with some of the battle stories and experiences of our men in Belgium.
As usual, due to the kindness of our regulars, there were donations made so that we could have a drawing for the Memorial Fund. A sum of $29.00 was collected for the Fund.
Next year Dave Brummer and his wife will hold the reunion in Union, New Jersey. Attending were the Coffeys, the Bickfords, Thomas, De Heers, Earls, Schiefersteins, Rossis and the Brummers. Bob Stack, H. Kushner and Onnie Janssen.
RUSSELL VILLWOCK reports that a delightful cocktail dinner get-together was held on December 12th at Neilson's Village, Elmwood Park, Illinois. This traditional affair dating back to 1948 is held to commemorate December 16th. Father Edward T. Boyle, a former chaplain of the 424th, gave the invocation. Those attending including: Mr. and Mrs. Frank Anderson, Mr. and Mrs. Herb Meagher, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Henning, Mr. and Mrs. Al Miller, Mr. and Mrs. William Lucsay, Mr. and Mrs. John Bieze, Mr. and Mrs. John Stribling, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Libman, Mr. and Mrs. Russell Villwock, Mr. Ed Heideman, Mr. Ben Carpenter, and Father Boyle. Everyone enjoyed discussing current "happenings" and reliving "old times". Six new members were recruited into the 106th!
December 12, 1970We almost had standing room only this year. One more person and we would have had to knock out a wall at the Loveless's Homestead.
Undoubtedly, the reputation of the Loveless's Hospitality and excellent food is spreading far and wide-- even including Texas. Our "Southern Representatives" this year were Gary Hagman and his lovely wife (do we have to admit that they are now living in Suburban Washington, D.C.). By forsaking us and going to Atlanta, Ga., Colonel Joe and Anna Mathews, Tex included, missed a delicious Loveless dinner and an enjoyable evening. We on the other hand missed you. However, we were pleased to have Joe's sister Dr. Mary Mathews present. We were all happy to welcome General and Wilda McMahon back to our group. We missed them last year when the General
was "under the weather". After dinner, slides were shown of the trip to Europe and last years Convention in Iowa. In attendance were: General and Mrs. Leo T. McMahon, Mr. and Mrs. Lester Smythe, Mr. and Mrs. Buddy Wilkerson, Mr. and Mrs. Don Regier, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Hagman, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Schoch (who is now in charge of the Robinson Barracks Commissary Stuttgart, Germany) they left the U.S. on January 20, 1971. Mr. and Mrs. John Early (from Norfolk, Va.), Mr. and Mrs. John K. Loveless. Althea Loveless, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Kemp and 2 sons, Mr. Oliver Lothrop, Dr. Mary Mathews, Mr. and Mrs. Henry M. Broth. Ralph and Rita. To quote John, "We are thankful for the fellowship these get-togethers afford".
Henry M. Broth
MAINE MINISTER HONORED BY UNICEF CITATION
Dr. and Mrs. Mosley with Mrs. Lindquist of UNICEFThe Rev. Dr. Ronald A. Mosley, retired minister of the United Church of Christ and resident of Freeport, Maine, was honored on January 13th by-the United State Committee for UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund). A certificate was presented to him by Mrs. Robert E. Lindquist, Maine's UNICEF representative.
The certificate reads: "The United States Committee For UNICEF Certificate Of Appreciation is presented to Rev. Ronald A. Mosley to honour outstanding leadership in promoting projects in support of the United Nations Children's Fund. This dedicated service has resulted in greatly strengthening the Fund's effort to assist needy children throughout the world.
"In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the Committee to be affixed on this 13th day of January in the year One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy-One."
It was signed: "Helenke Pantaleoni, President," and attested, William R. Baker, Jr, Secretary."
Dr. and Mrs. Mosley have worked 20 consecutive years in directing Halloween "Trick-or-Treat" programs for UNICEF in a project has had only 21 years of operation in the USA. Their service is the longest in Maine and, possibly, in New England. Dr. Mosley's interest in feeding victims of war and other suffering goes back to the tragic days of World War II when he saw children in Europe picking over garbage in army dumps while serving as a chaplain with the 106th Infantry Division.
The Mosleys began their service with UNICEF in 1951 in Natick. Mass., and took the program to New Hampshire in 1952 (Marlborough). The Mosleys also directed the projects in Bar Harbor and Camden, Me., before moving to Freeport in 1967. Dr. Mosley took medical retirement last fall from the pastorate of the First Parish Church (United Church of Christ), Freeport, Maine. He is a retired ITS Arm,' Reserve Chaplain and a disabled World War II veteran.
He is a Life Member of the Military Chaplains Association of the USA and First Vice President of the New England Chapter, MCA. From 1950-53, he served as Massachusetts State Chaplain, American Veterans of World War II (AMVE TS).
SPECIAL EVENT FOR THE LADIES!!!Luncheon at Wanamakers with fashion modeling around tables by professional models with advance showing of new Fall fashions for 1971.
Be sure to make plans so you will not miss out on this special event being planned for your enjoyment by your 1971 Convention Committee.
P.S. Reservations will be limited.
For those of you who have indicated an interest in a return trip to Europe in 1971, I present the following for you to chew over and let me know your ideas before any plans are actually formulated. I don't know just what you have in mind but willing to listen. I would attempt first, to get an air fare which would be flexible, that is, we could all go together but return at any time from the planned trip without paying any additional fare. This way, if someone could not make the trip for three weeks he could return from the tour in two weeks or if he had more time available he could remain in Europe for up to 45 days. That fare would now be $210.00 by Icelandic Airlines D.C. 8 jet. Other airlines at least $100.00 or more higher for some privilege.
Just to throw it on the table, as it were, here is a possible itinerary.
New York to Luxembourg leaving September 12 with four days in St. Vith, Spa area. Spa has more hotels with shower or baths and has a Gambling casino and a Battle of the Bulge museum. Then on to Lausanne, Switzerland, St. Moritz, Salzburg, Austria, then Vienna on to Trieste. From Trieste to Venice and Rome, Frei, Roe, to Nice on to Preneve, Switzerland on to Luxembourg and home. This would take until October 3rd. If on the other hand, you have an interest in going into Germany, around into Denmark and .Amsterdam over to England, back to Brussels and Luxembourg this could be worked out. I left. Paris out as most people indicated they didn't care too much for it. Could be included if you wish.
I have 24 persons already deeply interested, are you??
Depending on the number going would determine mode of transportation. Could be hedgehopping by plane or Eurail pass let elects all over or if enough a smell bus could be used. If only this 24 is firm the rental of a couple of Volkswagen buses might be the ticket. Please let me hear from you, again, this is your trip. Doug advises you to contact him immediately if you are interested in return to Europe.
Onnie JANSSENWho is Onnie JANSSEN?? She is really Annie but if pronounced as we Americans pronounced it, it wouldn't sound as great as Onnie.
When George Bullard and I were in Spa we didn't know there was a gambling casino in Town and that it was open for business. Being just at the end of the season there wasn't too much cooking so we walked the Town over seeing Pat-ton's and our First Army headquarters. The Museum on the Bulge was closed so we made our way back to our Hotel and had dinner. After dinner, as was George and my custom, we talked with people and in this instance it was with Madame Janssen, the owner of the Hotel and Restaurant "Canterbury". We enjoyed our conversation in English, French and German. We discovered that she spoke seven languages including Russian. She showed her work book that she used to learn languages. She 'travels by bicycle from her home in Vise, near Liege, to Masstricht, Holland for her lessons. George end I concluded she must really be in earnest to go through so much trouble. She explained that she had a group of Russians during the summer that was led by a tyrant of a woman. The young girls were not permitted money so that they could not buy souvenirs but Madame one day instructed her daughter ONNTE to take them all out and buy things for them.
Then she spoke about the fact that her daughter had been hoping for three years to come to United States to see how we live but no success. Being a man of the World I suggested "Au Pair". This is an international organization which exchanges young people back and forth to stay in homes and the persons involved baby sit and do light duties and it gives all a change to see how life goes on and improves the languages. She immediately replied, "I don't want my Onnie to work, she works hard enough all season in the Hotel-Restaurant. I then asked about the Belgo-American Association of which she said she and her husband were a part. She said she had contacted the Secretary and had no luck in placing her daughter in three years. I said I knew the Secretary from my past dealings with the Association and gave her my opinion. She then agreed with me and
now we know why Onnie has not found her way to America.
Having talked all this while and seeing what kind of a person we were talking with I was so impressed that I said I would speak with my wife who was coming to meet me in a week and ask her if she thought there was any possibility of having Onnie as our house guest. This would be difficult, I explained as we both work and our young girls are living in ILLINOIS. However, if Onnie came in December with all the rush of Christmas and the fact that our girls are expected home then perhaps we could manage. Imagine my own complete surprise when I confronted Isabel with the idea and she said, "I think we could do it, if she comes in December".
We called Madame and informed her of our decision. I think I saw Onnie for a total of five minutes and wondered if I would remember her when she arrived. Naturally, I suggested she take Icelandic Airlines as it would be the cheapest way to come. This she did.
Isabel and I and a young friend we brought along ventured over to Kennedy Airport to meet our charge. Those of you who have come though Kennedy know just how hectic it can be and your trials and tribulations with Customs. We kept looking and looking for really we didn't know what. We thought if we saw someone who looked lost it might be Onnie. Everyone looks lost at Kennedy. For same strange reason I told our friend and Isabel to look for a brown tweed coat or a leather coat. Believe it or not Onnie was picked out by me and she had a brown leather coat on.
She was completely lovely and of course bashful, meeting people she knew nothing about, not knowing just where she would be taken, what kind of a Town she was coming to nor what kind of a home she was coming to. Who wouldn't he frightened and overwhelmed. During the drive home it was clear and the lights of the Metropolitan area shone their brightest for Onnie. The Verrazano bridge, like a string of pearls loomed into sight. I told Onnie she could see this same view from my home which I don't think she really comprehended. Even though we are only about an hour and a half from Kennedy, it must have seemed an age to Onnie before we arrived in West Orange. We stayed up half the night talking and drinking coffee and she and Isabel hit it off well; they both consume too much coffee and too many cigarettes.
Well, we took Onnie on shopping spree after shopping spree. I took her to New York, which she loves, and showed her all the sights the visitors like to see and the natives don't see until a visitor arrives. I took her, of course to Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas show which is really beautiful. I never heard the French expression "FORMIDABLE" spoken so much. Onnie didn't speak English too well so I had always to be the interpreter and it sure helped my French to put to the challenge. The movie that went along with the Christmas show was "Scrooge". Now that's an English Carol, not American, but Onnie said she didn't know the story.
You should have heard me in my meager command of French explain the story and when it came to the Ghost of Christmas Past Present and Future, you tell me when you learned the French word for Ghost in school. I fished until I came up with "Apparition" which if you put a French accent to it, it is the same word. That sufficed and I overcame another hurdle. As I said to Isabel when we arrived home, "Onnie understood all right, she cried in the right places".
One of my brothers took Onnie to his home for two days and he showed her a filmed story of John F. Kennedy which she enjoyed. She is quite a Kennedy fan and we were able to give her a Kennedy key chain and a Kennedy record. She wears a beautiful gold ring with the heads of John F. and Robert engraved upon it.
I arranged a VIP tour of the White House for Onnie, my daughter Chris and my niece Kathy. They had the honor of talking with our Congressman Joseph Minish in his office in Washington and he even offered them his Washington apartment if they wanted it. They declined as they had other plans. They were kind enough to stop and see Alyce Jones end present her with a painting of our Memorial in St. Vith which was painted
by one of the students. They observed Congress in session and Onnie was pleased to see Ted Kennedy rise from his seat, go to the podium, pick up some papers and return to his seat so her day was really full. They had dinner with my sister, who lives in Washington. Saw all the sights of Washington and returned home tired but fulfilled.
Onnie was the kind of person who fit right into our family life and became our daughter for a month. If she didn't have to return for her sisters wedding the end of January she would still be with us.
We called her parents on Christmas day and when her father answered he couldn't believe it. He said, "Onnie Onnie from America?? The Janssens in turn called us on New Years day to verify Onnie's flight home as they did not get her letter informing them. There was a fire in the post office in Liege and it was feared her letter went up in smoke.
Onnie is safety back in Belgium now. She has visited St. Vith to return our Memorial book to the Lectern after being made over to fit the new Lectern placed in memory of General Jones. She also notified me that Mayor Pip is no longer the Mayor so I gums I'll have to start all over again, building bridges to St. Vith. She is also taking latest Cub to Doctor Delaval and knitting material for the Doctor's sister that Isabel had promised her. Onnie has indeed become an honorary member of the 106th.
Now you know who Onnie is. I wish that each and every one of you could find an Onnie to come into your life. Our life has been made richer by our acquaintance with her and her family and yours could be made richer also. George Bullard and I saw many, many young people all over Europe. We wondered what they were looking for and why so restless. I think they are looking for an acceptance by us old folks. There is no such thing as a generation gap, it is an understanding gap. We think we found that understanding with Onnie and the fact that she wants to return to the States is a good indication that all is not bad. In her thank you note to Isabel and I she said she liked our area, but most of all, the making of friends such as the Coffeys and that she felt as much at home with us as though she were in her own home. No greater tribute could be paid to Isabel and my family.
CRUCIAL PERIODAmerica is facing period of crisis, general warns.
General Bruce Palmer Jr., Vice Chief of Staff US Army, addressed a dinner meeting of the Harrisburg Penna. Chapter of the Navy League at Mechanicsburg Pa. Naval Supply Depot on January 18, 1971. He warned that America and her armed services "are experiencing one of the most crucial periods in our history" as they get out of Vietnam, phase out the draft and anticipate a "decade of peace."
"We are demobolizing and at the same time continuing to fight a war-- an extraordinary situation. Moreover we are doing so when international tensions and our treaty commitments have not lessened."
Turning to the "people part of defense" the General said, "perhaps the most critical defense issue today concerns manpower-- the future of the draft". The current draft law will have to be extended at least two years beyond its expiration date of June 30, he contended. "With that kind of breather we can reach a volunteer force. Practically speaking, no one really knows-given today's youth and today's society and environment-- what can be accomplished in a vohmteer way." There is only one way to find out and that is to try it."
L. T. McM.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS
Advise Bob Scranton on any change of address.
LETTER TO HOME
26 May 1945 GermanyDear Mom & Dad, At last the lid is off so I can give you a little history. First of all please save this envelope for my collection. I doubt if we'll ever see anything like that again. A two cent envelope converted to a 6 cent air-mail.
I can even tell where I am. That is if I can figure it out myself. The town I'm living in is Biebelsheim. I doubt if its on any maps. It's 6 km to Bad Kruesnach (or Kreusnach) in one direction and 11 km to Bingen in the other. If that's still too small -- will they say Bingen should be on the map. We're practically on the Banks of the Rhine. Biebelsheim is a one horse town. It is typical of all the towns around here. Every two or three km there is a town. Each has its own home bakery, drug store, etc. Their mainstay is the farming land around the town. Every house has its oxen or maybe a horse and its chickens, etc. And every day they take off out into their fields with a bottle of wine and some bread for their lunch meal.
27 May 1945They interrupted me by telling me that there would be a show last night. It was "Foreign Correspondent" with Joel McCray. It is an old picture but we get to see a show so seldom that I went anyway. Well let's see shall I start here and work back or start back at Atterbury.
We left dear old Camp Atterbury, Ind. on the 10th of Oct. 1944 and headed North. No one knew where we were going, but there were a lot of rumors. As it is, I would have never guessed it because I had never heard of the place. However we did realize that we were seeing some of New England. And soon after we passed thru Providence, R.I., we arrived at our destination-- Camp Myles Standish (and I didn't spell Myles wrong that is the way they spelled it.) The closest town to the camp was Tounton; however we could go on pass to Tounton, Providence and Boston. Boston was the farthest -- being 35 miles distance.
I never left the camp although I wanted to. We were permitted to leave only twice. Half of us could go one time and half the other. I won on the first time but someone elses buddy didn't so I let him go in my place. When the next time came around we got stuck because of some training, etc. I didn't mind though because there was more than enough entertainment in Camp. About all I cared to go to town for was to see it and say that I'd been to Boston. We stayed in Standish (or CMI as we called it; because we could never name it in public) about a week getting some last minute training and completing our final clothing & equipment check-up.
We left CMI on the 20th for places unknown. Most of us thought that we were headed for Boston, but we ended up in New York. However they maintain now that we were supposed to go to Boston only the last minute they caught some spys around there and changed our orders. About that same time it was in the papers about catching or uncovering some espionage work up there; so I guess that that may have been true.
We arrived in New York under cover of darkness and much to our distaste -- rain. By daylight we were all on the ship. The Red Cross handed out doughnuts and served coffee, while we were waiting our turn to board the ship.
We left New York and the good old U.S.A. the next morning -- 21st of Oct. 44
There was a lot of joking about-- now we're getting 20% overseas pay etc. But down underneath everyone had kind of an empty feeling. Everything was new to us so we got busy investigating the ship, which took our minds off it. Our ship was the British's 3rd largest -- the "SS Aquitania". It was a big baby all right. It had speed so we traveled alone. The trip was uneventful as far as the war was concerned except for a few incidents. Once another ship came a little too close & our ship fired across its bow. It veered off quick. Then later on as we came to England we spotted mines floating loose. But by that time we had picked up a couple of destroyers as escort and they would locate them for us and explode them by shooting them. Also we would spot a few planes now and then but all friendly.
I've already told you how we all got sick. The trip was a lazymans trip so you know I liked it. However it wasn't pleasant like you'd imagine. We were crowded and the air conditioning system (or ventilation) broke down. We were down in the hole where they used to store the luggage and keep the pets. Then we were told we would have boat drill which kept continually having inspection, etc. And us out in the rain and icy wind for hours. Also we had different chores. They didn't amount to much -- mine was carrying boxes of P.X. rations from the swimming pool, which was being used as a storage room, to the P.X. That was a good job, if you know what I mean. The chow was terrible, which I think made a lot of the guys sick. Not only that, but we just seemed to have our rounds with Limey Merchant Marines. There were a lot of Scotchmen, etc., on board. They were all soldiers, who had been thru quite a bit. A lot of them had been evacuated from Dunkirk. They were being used as MPs and were taking prisoners to America and this was their return voyage. We could get along swell with them. They were swell guys but these blasted Limeys. Even before we left the New York Harbor, in fact before we got on the boat, one of our cooks, who was in the advanced party, landed in the brig. It seems that he told them to stick his royal Majesties royal ship up his royal ass.
We never knew our destination. But when we got in close the Scotch started identifying places for us. We slipped in close by the Isle of Man and on up into Scotland and up the Clyde River. The name of the port slips my mind and no one seems to be able to remember it. Its name isn't prominent although it's a big port. However it was the same one used by the Queen Mary, Elizabeth, etc. The same one where they torpedoed that aircraft carrier in, etc. It's on the West coast of Scotland opposite Glasgow. Just over the hill from there was the "Bonny Bonny Banks of Lak Lommon".
We arrived on the 27th of October and first set foot on Scotland on the 28th of October -- Zarrago's birthday (19 yrs.). From there we boarded a train. Once again our destination was unknown. While it was daylight we enjoyed the beauty of Scotland. It is beautiful. Not rugged like one thinks. It's roaming hills like our small foot hills. Everything was green and nice -- it seemed so clean. It wasn't cold either altho it probably would be at night because a way far off you could see snow-capped mountains. Once again before we left the station we were served coffee and doughnuts. This time by little red headed Scotch Lassies -- Red Cross once again. They were darlings. Someday I'd like to go back to Scotland. The country just seemed to be alike with rosy checked healthy little children. We figured them to be the evacuated children from London, etc.
Our destination before daylight the next morning turned out to be a little town in Oxford county with quite a famous name -- Banbury. I dropped a hint to Sis at the time. There is some poem: "Something about riding a horse to Banbury Cross to see a fair maiden. She has rings on her fingers and bells on her toes and she shall have music where ever she goes (or something). Tried to memorize it; but have had too many things to remember. Didn't stick very well. Our homes while there were some old factories, etc., which had been fixed up with double decker chicken wire beds. These same billets (as the English call them) were used by the D-Day invasion soldiers, while they were waiting for that eventful day.
I've told you all about Banbury and its
people & pubs etc. We stayed there about a month getting our land legs back and toughening up by breaking our feet down hiking all over the English countryside on hard pavements. The hikes were long, but they wouldn't have been so hard if we wouldn't have had to stay on the roads. We had our Thanksgiving Turkey there and I celebrated my 23rd birthday.
Around the end of the month we packed up and left. Had a few dry runs to throw any enemy off the track then one night slipped away. Down to South Hampton and onto another Limey boat. This time the "Cheshire" was our home for a few days. This English boat was manned almost entirely by Indians. The damned Limeys like to use someone else for their hazardous duties. The trip was short, but we had to land in L.S.T.s, which would run right up onto the beaches. We had to wait for the water to be very calm. So we stayed on board quite a few days. We landed at Le Havre on the 6th of December, just 6 months after D-Day. We say we landed on D 6. We don't have to tell them that the 6 stands for 6 months. There we boarded trucks and took off. We had heard all kinds of rumors as to where and how we would spend the night. It had rained for quite a few days. So all along the way the trunks would stop and then go on again, reel' time weld make cracks about -- no this can't be the place, the water is only 3 feet deep, etc.
Finally we arrived -- naturally after dark and it was raining cats and dogs. We picked out our spot to pitch by feeling out a spot in the dark -- a clear spot between the cow turds. Then the details flew thick and fast. We spent two days there. "There" this time is Yervillia (or Yersville or something close to that) I doubt if it's on any map either. But this is where I got my first taste of Cognac. I was on a detail, which took me to the town, -- so o o o. There also we received our artics (goloshes.) I' lost out there because I was on detail and when I got back all that were left were size 7's. You know what good those would do R Prewett's feet. Right there was the start of foot trouble. We also got paid there. Our first contact with the well paper Francs. They really came in all shapes and sizes.
From there we headed North and ran into our first snow. We were soaked from sleeping in the rain and everything was damp and over crowed on the trucks. The cold really hurt. We spent one night traveling all night and the next night we landed in the Hurtgen Forest, in the dark as usual. We were getting used to that by now. All in all we were on the road about 2 days and one night. A lot of the fellows really suffered from cramps, etc.
Well our new home was covered with snow. I hadn't had much experience with it and was kind of scared of it. But we made out all right. We only stayed there a couple of days, while our officers went up on line, etc. and found out the situation. They came back with good stories. "its a Quiet front. We send out patrols in the day time and they send them out at night. so that they'll never meet, etc." Well you know the story -- it's been written up enough.
We soon moved into our new home again; this time up on line. Only, our battalion was in reserve for about a week, so our home was the little town of Lommerswieler. (Relieved 2nd Div. ) We did some training, not much constructive -- mainly just aggravating. We lived right with the civilians, whom at the time we considered friendly Belgium people. According to our maps, Lommerswieler was in Belgium. According to Germans, it was in Germany. I don't care how the map showed it, I'm sure that it was Germany now.
My platoon was kind of separated from the rest of the Company and Battalion. We lived down at the railroad, about a mile from the town. Some of the guys lived in the railroad station. Others of us lived in the attic of the civilians homes. Flow rid like to find that attic again with everything untouched. There everything I owned, except the few things I carried on me, were left when the Krauts broke thru.
We had it figured out that we would be on line Xmas, so we (the 3rd platoon) were kind of planning to plan a little party for ourselves before we left. We were going to hunt down a deer and have a real dinner. Well we never got the dinner or
did we complete our week and go up on line. The line came to us. One night all hell broke loose (Dec. 16th). The noise of the Field Artillery echoed and re-echoed down our canyon. Long before we got any news, we knew that something was up. We packed our stuff up, ready either way the orders came. They came down, "fighting equipment only".
Being green, we started off wrong to start with. We left our shovels on our packs. We sent back after them and later were damned glad we had, because it turned out to be one of our most valuable weapons. We made lots of mistakes, in our choice of clothing and everything. I wore my O.D.'s the extra clothes was a sweater under my shirt and a field jacket. My weapons were a rifle, a shovel, two hand grenades and eight clips of ammo. That wasn't of our choosing. That's all we had. We boarded trucks and raced across into Germany to help our boys hold them. We didn't know what it was. I figured that since we were a new outfit on line, the Krauts were throwing a little attack to see what we were made of. Anyway we held them all that day. But that night we were overrun and we had to get out as best we could. That first night we got busted up and although I stuck with my platoon leader, he wasn't with the company and only about half of my squad was with us. From then on we never knew what happened to the rest of the Company until we were all ordered out and re-organized ourselves. As it worked out although each Company was split up -- the parts all banded together and reformed new fighting companies. And they did a good job.
Here is where my story and the main body of the company's story differs. After we were over-run that first night the group I was with withdrew to Stienbruck where we fought for about 3 days held the bridge there. There also is where I learned a lot. After freezing thru that first night I managed to get a hold of another shirt and pair of pants, also a blanket, which later had to be left behind. From that day on until we moved back into France I always wore double pants and shirts. Besides keeping you warm it gave you more pockets. There isn't much that we can say about the fighting. For some reason or other most of it seemed to be done at night. Everything would be more or less quiet during the day than about 3 o'clock in the morning all hell would break loose. If we held them until daylight, we were sure of another day. Of course all the time they would lob in 88's and mortars, but not as intense as early in the morning.
At first we moved back across the river and set up road blocks with bazooka teams, but we didn't have the equipment to carry them thru. So finally, we just stuck to Steinbruck. Then after about 3 days (a guy kind of lost track of time -- every minute seemed like years), I went with my platoon leader and about 4 others back to Lommerswieler to try and find some food (We had been getting food and ammo at first). While we were back at Lommerswieler, the rest of the men were ordered out of Stienbruck. We found ourselves, six men, alone, cut off and facing the whole German army coming over the hill into Lommerswieler.
We took off across country and met up with some units of the 9th Armoured. From there its all mixed up. The Lt. and I were the only two who got back with the outfit. (The rest may still be tankers.) But for the time being we were tankers. The first night I was with a light tank. But things got too hot for us the next afternoon. We were just foot soldiers riding the back (exposed on the
top of the tank) and helping during the night keeping anything from sneaking up on them. They could button up and ride out, we were exposed.
We hooked up with a half-track mortar bunch next. (I say we because the five of us enlisted men tried to stick together -- we'd usually be with different vehicles, but all a part of the same group we didn't know where the Lt. was.) Incidently the tank I had worked with later got knocked out and all occupants killed. We were only with the mortars a short while when they needed some Infantry men to stop some enemy in a wooded area. We were part of it. We went with their reconnaissance men and their Armoured Infantry. There is where we got separated. I was with a machine gun as its ammo bearer. I don't know what happened to the rest. I was with the machine gun group a couple of days during which time we drove them out.
For a long time now the enemy had been practically all around us. St. Vith was in their hands. We were ordered back and once again I rode back on a tank. We swung by a column of Infantry heading back. They were all a sorry looking bunch. Yes, it was the 106th. Right then and there I rejoined my outfit.
I jumped the tank and joined the column. It was the same Regt. but the wrong battalion. I went with them as far as they went then tried to locate my company. I hitched a ride from there to Commanster where at last I found my unit. They had just withdrawn from Brecht.
Much to my delight I found a lot of the guys that I never expected I'd see again. We were hoping to get relieved but we found out differently. We were due to join some tanks and ride back in. That would have been sad. My Lt. was back also and he was kind of glad to see me. At least right there I was put in charge of the squad. At least what was left of it.
From that time on guys kept showing up each one with his own adventures. There were glad hands to welcome him whenever one of the boys did make it back. Well, our orders did change and trucks (wezzles) arrived to take us back. We later heard that not two hours after we left, Commanster was taken.
We went under cover of darkness and arrived the next morning at Ferrieres. There we were allowed to crawl into a hay mound and pass out. We rested all day. The old Johnny on the spot Red Cross was on the ball again. They issued a few razors and blades, a little candy, gum, etc. They couldn't have been nicer. The people of the town were swell. The little kids gave us apples, etc. It seems the Germans committed some of their atrocities against them there.
We got a little cleaned up and they held a sick call. There wasn't anything that they could do. We all had rheumatism and trench feet. I'd gotten a pair of Arctic's Lommerswieler, but even they couldn't protect us. After the first night our feet were soaked and never given the chance to dry out. I fared better than most because of my few days with the 9th Armoured. When night came we moved out of the town and the woods once again was our home for the next couple days.
We didn't have anything but that was nothing new for us by now. Three of us shared one blanket and one overcoat between us. The overcoat, I stole from the 9th Armoured and the other guy stole the blanket at Ferrieres. We weren't far behind the lines, because we had to keep fires dlown to the minimum. Also from there we watched the famous air flight on the 23rd or 24th of Dec. The one which was talked about so much and photographed so much. It was in "Life" and in the News Reels.
We spent Xmas Eve there and I happened to be one of the lucky few who had an old wrinkled up V-Mail form in one of my many stuffed pockets. So I wrote you a letter and then addressed it to myself. What a guy! That I found was one way to be sure to get mail. Altho it took until the 15th of January to get back to me. That's fast service.
We started back up Xmas day and moved up to Harre. There we each got an overcoat and a few other things were given around. We cleaned up all the weapons. In the meantime we (my platoon) found a building with a stove and everything. We all went on a scavenger
hunt and dug up quite a Xmas dinner for ourselves.
We were to stand by so I snuggled in to one of the beds for a little while anyway. It was heavenly. But just like Alice in Wonderland at one minute after midnight my dream was over. We moved on up into the line. However we were only used as a secondary defense. By this time the Break thru had been checked and we were backing up the front line in case another attack came. We weren't far back, only about 500 yds. behind the front line. Artillery and what not was zooming over our heads. We could see it set fire to buildings, etc. But we now had superiority. They were throwing screaming meemies and 88's back at us naturally. But in comparison it was a quiet front. I understand that the towns out to our front were Manhay and Grandmenic. We were there about a week and then were relieved by the 75th Division -- Green as could be. The first Sgt. actually came along with his flash light and inspected each hole before he put his boys into it. He got a few Screaming Meemies down on his head for doing it.
There From there we drew back to Clavier, where we stayed in a school house. There we spent our New Years Eve. We got some reinforcements. The only celebrating was done by one of the new men, who shot a hole in the bumper of a Jeep when the driver was a little too slow in giving the password. The Company Commander was more than pleased because he knew that he had one good soldier in the new men anyway.
We didn't stay there long but moved to Tavier. The reason for these moves might be explained on a map. I don't know the reason, unless it was to move us to where they were expecting trouble. Anyway at Tavier. we were going to be quartered in an old fort like barn. It was one of those with high walls all around it and the barn house combination inside and a big court yard or barnyard inside the walls. The kitchen was set up in one of the barns and we were to live in another part above the people who owned it. We scouted around and found some people, who could spare a room or two until we'd gotten almost everybody in more comfortable places. My squad stayed in one room of a swell little Belgium lady. She had a sweet little baby, who promptly won us all. I think the baby got all our soap and a good part of our candy rations. There wasn't anything we wouldn't do for the baby. Even to this day it's a big joke among the fellows, who used to be in my squad, that whenever they get to wrestling around they always come out with, "remember the baby down stairs". Those who did have to stay in the barn were about three stories up. Everyones kidneys were weak from sleeping on the ground and in the dampness too long. One of the guys couldn't make it one night and the next day the 1st. Sgt. had to give the company a little talking to because of complaints made by the people who lived below.
From Tavier, we went to Winamplanche, which is just outside of Spa. But we spent one night at Balmoral. Ah! Balmoral! It's a resort hotel above the city of Spa. What a palace! It was like a dream to us, because we didn't know where we were going and it was snowing and miserable. The trucks stopped -- "De truck". Oh my God! There wasn't a building in sight -- nothing but woods and snow, lots of snow. Well there wasn't anything we could do -- we braced ourselves for the worst and de trucked. But practically before our eyes our palace arose up around a bend and there it was. Beds, electric lights, mirrors valor, everything. Like all good dreams, it was short lived. That was too good for the Dough Boy, an Engineer outfit was due to take over that for their home in the morning. So come morning, we packed our belongings and reluctantly left our Palace in the sky and moved down the hill to Winamplanche.
There my platoon was barracked in the upper stairs of a coffin makers home. It was very pretty country around there. In back there was a babbling brook with all the scenery to go with it. It was here that I wrote you about how beautiful the snow looked, especially when you're on the inside looking out. And from that you tried to picture me hurt and in the hospital by reading between the lines.
From there we went up on line again, relieving the 112 Regt., which was part of the 82nd Airborne Infantry Division.
(Spinaux) From there we kicked off into an attack. For this attack the 517th Infantry Airborne Regimental Combat Team was attached to our division, giving us two regiments. Enclosed is the clipping from the Stars & Stripes about that. During the attack the 30th Division was on our left and the (now not so green as before) 75th Division was on our right. We took the town of Lavaux and got to the outskirts of Coulee. But darkness kept us from entering the town. Darkness and the possibility of booby traps. So we withdrew to Wanne. However, we drove the Krauts out of Coulee, because the next day the 517th entering it -- at sling arms, so we kid them. Which they themselves will admit, because the town was abandoned.
It was at Wanne that I picked up the stamps and scarf. Evidently the party, who occupied the building before us was a collector. The collection must have been blown to hell. But while looking for things to make my stay more comfortable, I spied a stamp on an envelope, so naturally I investigated. I found that I'd not only found one stamp but inside was a collection of them. I looked around and found a few more but couldn't find any real collection. That was quite a place, I'll always remember it because of the swell home we had. This just goes to show you what a swell hunch I had in my squad. They didn't need a squad leader all they needed was someone to represent them. Anyway this is how it happened and this is the way it always worked. Our company was more or less around this building. It was a matter of everyone for himself. That night most of the gang spent the night in a cellar. A few of us found other places. But the next morning, without anyone guy knowing what the other was up to, we went out scouting. One guy found an old room with a lot of junk in it and a stove. One of the other guys happens along and they cleaned it out and we had a room. Someone else found something and so forth until our squad had the best set up in town. We all added ideas, etc. We even had a gasoline torch-light and a double black out doorway, so that we could keep a light. My largest contribution to the house-hold was a freshly liberated case of 10 in 1 rations. I was getting pretty good at it by then and the tank men always had plenty. Ioy
Much to my sorrow, I had to leave the gang there. The platoon Sgt. looked over our feet and ordered me to go on sick call. The doctor said -- evacuate. I didn't want to go exactly. I wanted to go all right; everybody was glad to get back for the rest, but after getting everything fixed up. The best set up we'd had in a long time. Well I didn't see why it had to come at a time like this.
The rest of these names to me are just names, but to the rest of the gang they each spell adventure. From Wanne to Henumont, Eibetange, Diepenburg, Me-dell and Meyerode and then Strivax. You mentioned something about Medell being announced over the radio as being taken by the 424th. I'll remember Medell, because my squad (no longer Mine) got into a little trouble on a patrol.
Enclosed is my hospital tag, which incidently was supposed to have been turned in. It gives my history better than I can tell it. I went from Wanne back to collecting and from there to clearing. I stayed a couple of days there. Saw a swell movie -- just layed back on my stretcher an watched it. About Abbott and Lou
Costello in a "night in a Harem" or something. Also had a tooth yanked. The Doctor did a good job, too. From there I went on to a special hospital set up by the medics of the 422nd and 423rd, just for treatment of frost bitten feet and bad colds. This was just outside of Spa. We were permitted to go in groups to take baths at one of the famous bath houses. It was swell, brass tubs, etc.
Spa was a swell place. It was strictly resort stuff. There was plenty of beer and cognac. Also we could get pies and cookies and ICE CREAM. It was really kind of tasteless but it was ice cream. In the hospital we all swapped stories, etc. There were a few Paratroopers of the 517th and they got the razzing about taking Coulee at sling arms. They paid us some nice compliments. They said, "That next to their airborne infantry division, they would rather be working with the 106th Division than with any other outfit". I considered that to be quite a tribute coming from paratroopers.
From the hospital, I worked my way
back to my outfit. That turned out to be quite a process. I had to go thru a Casual Company, where I would get re-equipped, etc. There I got held up quite a while, while waiting for certain equipment to arrive. There is where I met Madam Henin. Once again, we more or less had to take care of ourselves for a home. They provided an old abandoned building, but that was mighty cold. So when we got the chance, we looked over the town. We weren't exactly looking for a home then, but Madam Henin came upon us and offered. It was a language of signs -- our international one, but we easily understood that she was offering us a bed to sleep in and we graciously accepted.
She gave me the enclosed card. Evidently her sons were in the transporting business before the war. They had a Ford truck. The card also shows the town to be "Anthisnes". I told you all about her and she wrote that note in my letter to you. They really were swell to us.
I finally got hack to the Company around the end of the month and joined them at Strivax. Strivax is near Esneux. It's a little bigger town, I visited it and was able to get a post card picturing it. There I rejoined the gang and the world had gone on without me. My assistant had my squad and he had a new assistant.
At Strivay, Marie Jose came into our life. We lived upstairs in this old ladies home. Evidently from this address, which Marie Jose wrote, her name was Madame Bouillon. (Marie Jose Pouilus, Strivay Plainevaux, No. 216 Chez Mame Bouillon.) She was a swell old lady, who took care of this little girl, Marie Jose Paulus. Marie was about 9 or 10 and quick to catch on to things. We called her "no compree". By the time we left, some joker had taught her to say, "I love you kiss me quick". And no cracks, I wasn't the guy.
From Strivay, we were supposed to go back into France; but it seems that there was a little hole, which we could fill up on a quiet sector on the Front. Another of those Quiet sectors, hum! But this time it really was quiet. We relieved the 99th up in Germany and for better than a month we sat and stared at the pill boxes and dragon teeth in front of us. It was too well fortified so they were breaking thru at other spots and coming around it.
At that time we were the right wing of the 1st Army. On our left was the "Fighting 69th" and on our right was the 87th Div. (a part of the 3rd Army). Around the 5th of March they broke thru some place and the Kraut started to pull stakes. We moved in on them. Could have picked up a lot of nice souvenirs from the Pill Boxes, but didn't know how long we'd have to pack the stuff, before we could send it home. We moved on past the pill boxes, etc. and took the towns of Berks and Bassum, then we were pinched off and were out of the fight again. There wasn't any fighting on my part at those two towns. Some of the forward elements might have hit some. The Germans were on the run by then and didn't stop until they were on the other side of the Rhine. In fact they didn't stop long there.
We spent one night in Bassum, then drew back to some abandoned pill boxes and prepared to spend the night there. Right there is when my pass came thru to go to one of our rest areas in Eupen, Belgium. I wrote you all about that without naming Eupen. Enclosed is my pass to Eupen. From Eupen, I came back to the Pill Boxes. We were still in the same place awaiting orders. I spent one night there. Then was sent as advance party to San Quentin. (here we became a part of the 15th Army) And you know all about that. Enclosed also is my pass used while there. Again I'm not supposed to have had that.
While there, we lived in an old factory and had double decker beds with wooden springs, if you know what I mean. While there they started training this special demonstration platoon, which was supposed to be the best in the Division. Just before we left San Quentin, I went on Pass to Paris. Enclosed also is that pass. I told you all about that.
From Paris, I joined the motor convoy just outside of Paris on its way to Rennes. Then most of the outfit came by 40 & 8 box cars. At Rennes, the Demonstration platoon was separated from the rest of the company and sent to this Infantry School where we did the demonstrating and other work around there. There we
lived in our chateau, which I wrote all about. We moved down there, I think to take over those pockets of resistance at St. Nazzari and Lorrient. Some of the outfit did see some action here, but I wasn't in on it.
All of a sudden, we got orders to pack up again. On to the 40 & 8's again. 40 & 8 stands for box cars, which hold 40 men or 8 horses. We ended up a few miles from here on the banks of the Rhine. There we pitched tents and stayed (here the news came of the end of the war in Europe, which I wrote you about) until we got our duties assigned over here and came to live at our present home Biebelsheim.
We're still on the West Bank of the Rhine, but Ill cross it before I leave this country if I have to swim it. Well that's the story from start to finish, now I'm beginning to wonder how I'll ever mail it to you. I'll need a special envelope.
Love to all, "Dutch"
Rt. 2, Box 730 Brentwood, Calif. 94513
"STORY OF P.O.W. OF WW II EUROPE"
Article submitted by Bill Alexander of
Forest Park, Fla.
D-DAY SCOOP!Twenty minutes before New York had news of the invasion of France by Allied troops on D-Day, June 6, 1944, the "POW WOW," secret camp newspaper at Stalag Luft I in Germany, had brought out an extra, "to be read silently, quickly, in groups of three, then folded up again and passed along to other eagerly waiting Kriegie readers. Just how this bit of journalistic enterprise was accomplished under the very noses of the guards must still remain an untold secret of the Kriegies.
THIS IS OUR STORY
This is our story .. .
The story of the Yankee Kriegies,
who lost their freedom and in losing it learned for the first time
what it meant to be free.
This is our story .. .
How we lived, and laughed
behind barbed wire in an alien land
because our country
forgot that to be free you must be strong
forgot that the pain of far-off millions
is echoed in heart-breaks
in Maine and California.
This is our story .. .
Read it, America,
read it with a fierce pride
and burning shame.
Read it, America, and vow
that never again will you grow
soft and smug and fat and complacent
while maggots crawl over the earth
and mock your strength.
This is our plea...
Stay alert and strong, America,
and remember that the agonies of Buchenwald and Belsen
and the March of Death
is the price the world has had to pay
for your awakening.
Much has been told of the hardships and privations suffered by American prisoners of war, but the world knows
all too little of how the average prisoner, with typical Yankee ingenuity, daily achieved small miracles to ease the unfortunate lot of himself and his comrades.
So that the American people may know more of this, the Y.M.C.A. has asked two Yankee Kriegies (POW slang for the German word, Kriegsgefangenen, meaning prisoner of war) to tell this story. They are Colonel C. Ross Greening, an Army Air Forces officer, and Sergeant Angelo M. Spinelli, a photographer assigned to the Army Ground Forces. The illustrations in "The Yankee Kriegies" were made in captivity by Col. Greening and another prisoner, Lt. Carl Holmstrom. While a prisoner Sgt. Spinelli succeeded in obtaining a camera and at the risk of his life took hundreds of photographs, many of which are reproduced here.
In publishing "The Yankee Kriegies" the Y.M.C.A. hopes it will give you a new appreciation of the fortitude of America's fighting men and at the same time will make you want to do all in your Power to work toward that day when men will never again hold other men as prisoners behind barbed wire.
It should be remembered that all of the activities reported by Col. Greening and Sgt. Spinelli were carried on despite cold and drafty barracks, hunger, the an annoyances of fleas and lice, stern regulations and in many cases pitifully inadequate supplies. That Yankee Kriegies established little Americas in Nazi Germany in the face of these obstacles says more than anyone can of their bright hope and courage. The spirit that cut the chains from a shackled world could not be fettered even behind barbed wire.
MAIL MEANT THE WORLD TO USWe lived for it, and just about the worst punishment we could receive was for our captors to withhold our mail. Mostly it brought us good news, but not always. Some men received hundreds of letters; others spent years with no word from home, and when it came it sometimes didn't matter anymore. Usually the folks back in the States were understanding and sympathetic, but every little while one of us would get a letter that really set us back on our heels, like the Kriegie's father who wrote, "I hope you are able to get in plenty of golf, and don't drink too much of that good German beer, it is very fattening." Then there was the girl friend who broke it gently: "You were missing for a month so I married your father," and signed it, "Love, Mother." Or the aunt who said, "I'm so glad that you got shot down before flying became dangerous," and the lady who replied, when a Kriegie thanked her for a sweater received through a relief organization, "I'm sorry you got it. I wish it had gone to someone on active duty." We tried to laugh them off and put them up on the bulletin board where our friends could laugh with us, or maybe at us, and it helped.
MAIL INCIDENTHe clutched the precious letter in the hand,
Unopened and unread, and in his eyes
The nearest saw and could not understand
The weary, listless look of one who dies
Replace the eager, glad, expectant glow;
And then, with neither anger nor in hate,
He tore it into bits, precise and slow.
The nearest heard him whisper, "Late-- too late,"
And watched him-- with a strange, untroubled mask,
Watch till the tiny pieces ceased to blow,
And then resume some trivial daily task.
Lt. Henry G. Lee
I AM NOT ALONEYour hand reached out across the miles and touched
Mine for a little while tonight; your laughter
Echoed and re-echoed down the vaulted Arches of my memory's hall of dreams,
And for a little while the room was bright:
It sparkled with your smile.
But now the Loneliness comes rushing in again to drown
My dreams and stifle all the hope your words arouse.
And I am not alone; there are
The others here with me, so closely packed
Our souls have hardly elbow room to move
Around,-- yet each apart from one another
In his self-consuming misery.
The unused, empty days crawling slowly
By each leave a question burning in
The mind: How long? A little while? For what?
But stabbing at us, underneath them all: The price we're paying, is it worth it all?
Lt. John M. Coppinger
HOBBIES OF FOUR P.O.W.'SYou'd be surprised what you can make if it must be made.
SGT. SPINELLI: A man never knows what he can do until he has to do it. To keep from losing his mind, many a Yankee Kriegie became proficient in building model airplanes, making water colors or oil paintings, or even making a clock from tin cans.
COLONEL GREENING: What's really unusual about it is that these things were made not in a well-equipped workshop, but with such crude tools as an old razor blade, a broken pocket knife or a piece of glass.
SGT. SPINELLI: Some handicrafts had a very practical turn about them. Men became experts in repairing shoes because someone had to repair them. And then the work of fixing the shoes kept their minds and hands busy. Other men became tailors and repaired uniforms and made stage costumes. Others became book binders and gave new life to our well used volumes. Still other men took up watch repairing and did themselves and their fellow prisoners a good turn by keeping our watches fixed up.
COLONEL GREENING: The outstanding piece of handicraft I saw was a beautiful violin made by a prisoner from bed boards, a packing case, the back of an old chair and pieces of barbed wire. It took the prisoner two months to make the violin-- two months in which he might otherwise have sat around and brooded. Mice were a big problem in camp and as a result some ingenious mousetraps were devised. Kriegies developed a love for sportsmanship and even in their mousetraps gave the mouse a chance for freedom. One mousetrap made in our camp was a six-way gadget giving the mouse a chance to get out if he survived guillotining, poisoning, crushing, being impaled by spikes, hanging from a noose or solitary confinement! Another mousetrap had eight swastikas painted on it commemorating its Nazi rodent victims.
PRISONERS OF WARWho is today's P.W.? He is the boy from down the block. He is the young man who took our daughter to the senior prom five years ago. He is the man who is married to our best friends daughter. He is the boy who was captain of our 1962 High School Team. He is the student who was voted most popular in our sons College graduating Class. He may be our Son-in-Law or our Son.
The important fact is he is an American who gave of himself to defend the freedom we fought to preserve twenty seven years ago; and our fore fathers gave their lives to win.
Let each of us ask what do I owe these my fellow American. Can I do Ims then show the world my concern for their welfare. Let each examine our own conscience then write to Hanoi and tell them of our support for release of our prisoners.
You can show your concern over Hanoi's treatment of our prisoners-of-war by signing the statement below (adding a personal message if you wish) and sending it at once to: "Help Our POWs," American Red Cross, P.O. Box 1600, Washington, D.C. 20013. The Red Cross will tabulate the responses and see that your message gets to the government of North Vietnam.
WE WANT PROOF, NOT PROPAGANDA
President Ton Due Thang
Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Hanoi
c/o American Red Cross "Help Our POWs," Box 1600 Washington, D.C. 20013
You have claimed repeatedly that American citizens held in your "detention camps" are being treated humanely. But you offer no proof of this. Except under the most restricted circumstances, you will not even allow foreign observers to enter these camps.
Proof of your sincerity would be the immediate repatriation of all sick and wounded captives and the release (or transfer to some neutral nation) of all prisoners whose health has been jeopardized by long confinement. By doing so, you could perhaps end some of the uncertainty and dismay your policies have created throughout the community of nations. I join with millions the world over in urging you to take these steps.
Name and Address
25th ANNUAL REUNION Valley Forge Holiday Inn, King of Prussia, Pa.
July 22, 23, 24,1971LOCATION: AT VALLEY FORGE EXIT OF PENNA. TURNPIKE.
HOURLY LIMOUSINE SERVICE FROM PHILA. INT. AIRPORT.
Thursday-- Welcome party, hotel suite.
Saturday-- A.M. Memorial Service, Val Friday-- Registration
A.M. Free time-- Golf, shopping, etc.
P.M. Tour Phila. Historic sites. Board of Directors Meeting. Evening-- Get-together party. (Opportunity to renew friendship with buddies, exchange stories, films of Europe, song session, etc.
ley Forge Military Academy. Noon-- Mens Lunch and Business Meeting.
Ladies Lunch and Modeling show Wanamakers.
P.M.-- Board of Directors.
Free time swim, relax, etc. Evening-- Dinner Dance.
Full details will be included with next Cub along with reservation cards for motel and registration fee.
Index for: Vol. 27 No. 3, Apr, 1971
106th Inf. Div., 14
106th Infantry Division Association, 2
15th Army, 36
1st Army, 36
2nd Inf. Div., 26
30th Inf. Div., 34
3rd Army, 36
422nd Inf., 4
517th Inf. Abn. Regimental CT, 34
75th Inf. Div., 32, 34
80th Div., 6
82nd Abn. Div., 33
87th Div., 36
Agony Grapevine, 4
Alexander, Bill, 12, 38
Anderson, Mr. & Mrs. Frank, 12
Bad Kruesnach, 22
Baker, Carolyn & Arthur, 11
Baker, William R., Jr., 14
Banbury, 24, 25
Banbury Cross, 24
Bandurak, Walt, 8
Bartz, Richard E., 8
Battle Of The Bulge Museum, 16
Belgium, 12, 20, 26, 32
Belgo-American Association, 17
Biebelsheim, 22, 38
Bieze, Mrs. John, 12
Bouillon, Madame, 36
Boyle, Father, 12
Boyle, Father Edward T., 12
Broth, Henry M., 14
Broth, Mr. & Mrs. Henry M., 14
Brummer, Dave, 12
Bullard, George, 16, 20
Bullard, George & Margaret, 12
Camp Atterbury, Ind., 22
Camp Forrest, Tennessee, 6
Camp Myles Standish, 22
Carpenter, Mr. Ben, 12
Chase, Fred B., 6
Clyde River, 24
Coffey, Doug, 12, 16
Collins, Sherod, 2, 10, 12
Collins, Sherod & Cora, 12
Connelly, Michael E., 8
Coppinger, Lt. John M., 42
Coulee, 34, 35
Courtright, Robert M., 8
Crossman, Lester W., 6
Davis, Sam & Myra, 12
de St. Aubin, Robert A., 6
DeLaval, Dr., 20
Descheneaux, Col. George L., 5
Dreier, Dr. Joseph F., 6
Early, Mr. & Mrs. John, 14
Eaton, Mr. & Mrs. Russell, 10
Elston, Floyd L., 6
Enlow, David, 10
Eupen, Belgium, 36
Fighting 69Th, 36
First Army, 16
Foster, Cedric, 4
Frampton, D. B., 4
Frampton, D. W., 4
Frampton, Mr., 4
Gallagher, John, 2
Gallagher, John I., 2
Gericke, Alfred J., 6
Germany, 6, 16, 22, 26, 28, 36, 38, 40
Gilder, Robert A., 2
Greening, Col., 40, 42
Greening, Col. C. Ross, 40
Hagman, Gary, 13
Hagman, Mr. & Mrs. Gary, 14
Harris, A. T., 6
Heideman, Mr. Ed, 12
Henin, Madam, 36
Henning, Mr. & Mrs. Jim, 12
Henson, Lt. Col. E. G., 6
Holmstrom, Lt. Carl, 40
Howell, Louise & Bob, 12
Hurtgen Forest, 26
Inf. School, 37
Isle Of Man, 24
Janssen, Madame, 16
Janssen, Onnie, 12, 16
Jochems, Richard, 8
Jones, Alyce, 19
Jones, Gen., 20
Jones, Maj. Gen. Alan W., 4
Jose, Marie, 36
Kemp, Mr. & Mrs. Raymond, 14
Kennedy, John F., 18
Krafchik, Joseph, 5
Kushner, H., 12
Lak Lommon, 24
Lausanne, Switzerland, 16
Lee, Lt. Henry G., 41
Libman, Mr. & Mrs. Oliver, 12
Liege, 16, 20
Lindquist, Mrs., 14
Lindquist, Mrs. Robert E., 14
Livesey, Herbert B., 4
Lommerswieler, 26, 28, 30
Loos, Arthur E., 6
Lothrop, Mr. Oliver, 14
Loveless, Althea, 14
Loveless, John T., Jr., 2, 4
Loveless, Mr. & Mrs. John K., 14
Lucsay, Mr. & Mrs. William, 12
Mansfield, Horace & Eva, 12
Mario Jewelers, 12
Masstricht, Holland, 16
Mathews, Col. Joe & Anna, 13
Mathews, Dr. Mary, 13, 14
Matthews, Joe & Anna, 12
McMahon, Gen. & Mrs. Leo T., 14
McMahon, Gen. & Wilda, 13
Meagher, Mr. & Mrs. Herb, 12
Miller, Mr. & Mrs. Al, 12
Minish, Joseph, 18
Monroe, Jack, 6
Mosley, Dr., 14
Mosley, Dr. & Mrs., 14
Mosley, Dr. Ronald A., 14
Mosley, Rev. Ronald A., 14
Murphy, Ralph J., 8
Palmer, Gen. Bruce, 20
Pantaleoni, Helenke, 14
Paris, 16, 37
Paulus, Marie Jose, 36
Phillips, George F., 6
Pip, Mayor, 20
Pouilus, Marie Jose, 36
Prewett, Ed, 38
Prisoners Of War, 43
Queen Mary, 24
Regier, Mr. & Mrs. Don, 14
Rhine, 22, 36, 38
Robinson, Richard R., 6
Rusk, Dean, 10
Salzburg, Austria, 16
San Quentin, 36, 37
Scalissi, John, 6
Schieferstein, Fred, 6
Schlesser, Jack, 9
Schoch, Mr. & Mrs. Charles, 14
Scranton, Bob, 2, 21
Scranton, Robert L., 2
Screaming Meemies, 32
Slayton, David B., 6
Smythe, Mr. & Mrs. Lester, 14
Spa, 16, 32, 34
Spinelli, Sgt., 40, 42
Spinelli, Sgt. Angelo M., 40
SS Aquitania, 24
St. Moritz, 16
St. Nazzari, 38
St. Vith, 4, 6, 8, 10, 16, 19, 20, 30
Stack, Bob, 12
Stribling, Mr. & Mrs. John, 12
Strivax, 34, 36
Stuttgart, Germany, 14
Taylor, John J., 6
Thang, Ton Due, 43
Trissot, Harrison C., 8
Uebel, Bernard, 6
Vietnam, 20, 43
Villwock, Mr. & Mrs. Russell, 12
Villwock, Russell, 12
Ward, Duke & Martha, 12
Wells, Jim & Maydean, 11
Wells, Jim & May-Dean, 12
West Point, 4
Wheeler, Gen. Earl G., 10
Wilkerson, Mr. & Mrs. Buddy, 14
Wood, Eric, 8