The CUB

VOL. 27, NO. 4, Jul., 1971

 

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Cover

 


 

THE CUB

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 L 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, August 12th.

 

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

          The association year has now passed into history, the years do have a way of slipping away.

          So many times the year passes and we haven't fulfilled our promise of attending a 106 reunion. This is a new year, lets make sure this year doesn't past without attending a reunion with our WWII buddies.

          Let's fill in the enclosed registration form and assure ourselves of a most pleasant and rewarding time with our fellow 106ers who meant so much to us during those dark days of Dec. '44.

          Looking forward to seeing you in Valley Forge.

 

DUES

Now payable for year 1971-72. Men $5.00, Ladies Auxiliary $2.00. Forward to Bob Scranton, 9441 Lee Road, Brighton, Michigan 48116 Contributions to the memorial fund may be included with dues remittance.

 

106th CHAPLAIN

JOHN T. LOVELESS, JR.

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          Not too far distant from the now-hallowed place where General Washington and his troops spent those awful winter days during the War for Independence is a well-known school. From that school stream young-men who over the years have contributed greatly to the well-being of our nation, not only in military prowess but in all fields of endeavor, their study and training designed especially to fit them for the roles they play in life.

          The Memorial Service at the Reunion this year will be held in the Chapel of that school, the Valley Forge Military Academy. Those who attended the Philadelphia Reunion in 1956 will recall the beauty of the Chapel named in honor of St. Cornelius, the Centurion.

          Such a setting is indeed appropriate for a commemorative service for former members of the armed services of our country. Cornelius, a man of authority and under authority, an officer the Roman legions, though born a pagan, believed in God. He became a devout man, who with all his household feared God, prayed constantly to Him and gave freely of alms to those in need. Would that all men today emulate Cornelius!

John T. Loveless, Jr.

 

BAG LUNCH

(Memorial to Maj. Gen. Alan W. Jones)

1894-1969

Easter Sunday 1971

          Ever since the organization of the Division Association in 1945 and the resumption of publication of the CUB,

 

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many Golden Lions have contributed their memoirs, their letters and their stories of the war to its pages. These are always intensely interesting to other members of the Association who were familiar with or participated in the events recounted. Such a letter was published in the April, May, June 1971 issue of the CUB (Vol. 27, No. 3).

          It was headed LETTER TO HOME, dated 26 May 1945 Germany addressed to his mother and dad. It is very well written. It covers, in time, the whole sweep of activities participated in by the 106th Division from its departure from Camp Atterbury Indiana to the Port of Embarkation until after VE Day in Germany. He keeps very well oriented and always mentions the town in which he is located or near which each event occurs. The letter is written by some soldier in the 3d Platoon of an unmentioned infantry company, battalion or regiment. Of course this information would not be included in his letter to his folks who already knew it. The communication covered 8 pages in the CUB. As I read the letter I deduced from it and from my knowledge of the Division History that he had served in the 1st Bn. 424th Infantry. At the end of the letter he signed only his name Ed. "Dutch" Prewett and home town Brentwood Calif. I looked back at the Association Roster published one year ago in the CUB and found there that he was in Co. B, 424th Inf.

          He started his letter from Biebelsheim Germany, near Bingen on the Rhine. He does not mention his specific duty, but his regiment was guarding 160,000 German prisoners with Prison Camp A-7 located near Biebelsheim guarded by the 1st Bn. and AT Co. 424th Inf. In his letter he follows the moves of his Company from Camp Atterbury Ind., overseas to England thence to France and Belgium and into their initial position near Lommersweiler as part of the 1st Bn. 424th Inf., placed in that area in Division reserve. The Bn. was still there on the morning of 16 December when the Germans attacked the front line positions of the 424th. When his 2d. and 3d. Bns. and Antitank Co. holding the front line became hard pressed, Colonel Reid Regimental Commander, asked Brig. Gen. Perrin Asst. Div. Comdr, who was in Winterspelt to release the 1st Bn. to him.

          This was approved and Colonel Reid ordered Lt. Col. Lamar Welch Bn. Comdr. to send a company down the road to Eigelscheid to reinforce the AT Co., followed by the rest of Bn. As Ed. Prewett tells it in his letter: "We boarded trucks and raced across into Germany to help our boys hold them." By this time intense enemy artillery and mortar fire was interdicting the Winterspelt road, holding up the remainder of the 1st Bn. on the outskirts of that village. When night fell the Winterspelt perimeter consisted of Companies C, B and A from left to right (facing the enemy) with Co. C 81st Engrs. on the south-west flank, which position it reached before the next dawn. As the 16 December 1944 ended, the Germans had not attained their objective. The southern route to St. Vith was still obstructed. The 424th Infantry Combat Team had acquitted itself well in its initial action.

(To be continued in next Bag Lunch.)

 

          I thank Ed. (Dutch) Prewett for his letter and the opportunity to review the military history of the 424th Inf. on the initial day of the German attack-16 Dec. 1944. According to the Roster, Ed you are the only member of the Association from B Co. 424th.

L. T. McM.

 

UP-DATE

          STANLEY A. WOJTUSIK, 422 Co. G, 9639 Wissinoming St., Phila. Pa. 19114. Have 4 sons and 1 daughter. Works for Kegstone Auto Mobile Club in Phila.

          RAY REED, 423 Cannon, 2165 Morris Ave., Union N.J. 07083. At present have 3 children in college.

          JOHN J. REYNOLDS, JR., 424 Co. H, 121 West Knapp Ave., Box 694, Edgewater, Fla. 32032. Ask that members in Jacksonville area contact him for Dec. 16th dinner.

          LOREN E. SOUERS, 81st Engr. and 424, 1200 Harter Bank Bldg. Canton, Ohio 44702. Will be attending American Bar Assoc. Meeting in London this July, plan to return for 3rd visit to St. Vith area in past 5 years.

 

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          IRA G. BOTTOMS, 592 Hq., P.O. Box 103, 'Norcross, Ga. Still teaching school.

          CHARLES W. RICHARDS, 423 Service, 113 Clover Drive, Massapequa Park, N.Y. 11762. Completed 35 yrs. with Singer Co. Plan to attend reunion at Valley Forge.

          ART HEFFERMAN, 424 H., 164 Liberty, Pontiac Mich. 48053. Have 2 daughters who are nurses. Son has returned from duty with 101st Airborne Div. in Vietnam. Expect to become grandparent in near future. Plan to see us all at Valley Forge.

          COL. FREDRICK W. NAGLE, 423 Exc. 3532 Old Chambler Tucker Rd., Apt. 8, Atlanta, Ga. 30340. Retired from Army in 1967 and started working for E. F. Hutton and Co. Stock broker. He and his wife, a retired army nurse, fly their own air craft. Would like to see old gang.

(Editor: Come to reunion in Valley Forge.)

 

          Best wishes to Charles Walsh a member of our 1971 reunion committee who is recovering from a recent operation.

 

LETTERS TO EDITOR

Dear John:

          In the Jan.-Feb.-March, 1971 issue of the CUB there was a long article with photograph of this individual reprinted from the Naperville Ill. Sun recounting his distinguished record of 21 years as a local Scout leader. He was awarded a scholarship by the Boy Scouts of America for himself and Mrs. Schnizlein on the basis of outstanding leadership in Scouting, Church, civic and other community organizations.

          Why should he receive all that publicity in the Cub of the Golden Lions? I don't know whether you recall the details, or not John, but I will try to answer my own question by riffling through my back issues of the CUB.

          Glenn started in the Minnesota Chapter of the Association in 1947 where he was elected Chapter President. In 1948 at the Annual reunion in Indianapolis he was appointed Memorial Chairman of the Association, so in December he stepped down and Jim Hatch was elected President of the Chapter. On the Aug.-Sept. 1949 CUB Glenn is pictured with the Board of Directors of the Assn. for 1949-50. Mrs. Schnizlein was elected to the Board of the Ladies auxiliary.

          At the 1951 annual reunion of the Association in Pittsburgh Pa. Glenn was elected our sixth National President. He had moved from Minneapolis Minn. to Philadelphia Pa. Doug Coffey then became Memorials Chairman. At the same reunion Mrs. Rosemary Schnizlein was elected President of the Ladies Auxiliary. I cannot find the record of when the Schnizleins moved to Naperville Ill. His photo was on the back cover of the Aug. Sept. 1950 CUB. The above record certainly entitles them to the publicity received in the issue of the CUB. They have a fine family, I believe 10 children. When I looked at the latest Roster of the Association in the CUB of April, May, June 1970 I was disappointed not to fine his name.

Sincerely yours in the Golden Lions

Leo T. McMahon

 

Sunday 24 Jan. 1971

          John, I am writing to you as a "old" member of Service Btry. 591st FA BN. 106th. This is a letter I have been meaning to write for a few years, but things always seem to happen and I never get around to doing it.

          Would you send me all the information that I may need about the 106th Assn. I do want to join the group and also attend the "71" Reunion.

T/Sgt. William S. Dahlen

303 Charles Road

Linthicum, Maryland 21090

 

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Sir:

          I am enclosing a letter that I wrote to the local paper and that was published today. I thought perhaps you would like to be appraised of it inasmuch as I truly feel as I said I did in the letter. This day for me is one of thought and meditation a day that I like to think all of our buddies will stop for just a moment in whatever they are doing to give one moment of silent prayer for those great people, the G.I. that fought and fell on that memorable morning of the 16th. As I type I can feel it now I am sure that their sacrifices will not have been in vain.

Sincerely yours, Gilbert Marcus

 

BATTLE OF THE BULGE

Article from Chicago Sun-times

          The 106th Division was annihilated in the Battle of the Bulge, on Dec. 16, 1944. In the opinion of the so-called experts that calculated risk (ugh!) was the turning point of the war in Europe. Having been a member of that organization and having lived through the debacle I must take issue with the experts on their judgment. In any event it would be nice to at least mention the date so that my men who fought so gallantly can sleep peacefully knowing that we remember their supreme sacrifice.

Gilbert Marcus

Capt. 423rd Inf (Ret.) 106th Division

 

Dear John,

          I just received my Cub and I was very pleased in a 23 page volume. As you may or not know we lost our boy in September and things haven't been the same around the house since Bill has passed away. Although our son Lou, Jr. had a little baby girl in November and my daughter, Maria had another girl in February. So now we have a grand total of "4" grandchildren. Lyn is still working in the Garmont Industry. She is the big boss now, she runs the show. As for myself I'm still in the trucking business "trying harder". We hope to see all our fine friends in Penna. this July.

Take good care Lou Rossi

Our Sympathy to the Rossis.

 

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The Coffey's: Isabel & Christine & Virginia and Doug Coffey. — July 1969

 

Are you planning to go to Europe this year with Division, Doug Coffey will have details at Reunion? For information prior to reunion contact:

Douglas Coffey

41 Lowell Avenue

West Orange New Jersey 07052

 

A CENTURY!

          Who would have believed that a hundred years ago? A metal machine that can fly through the air? Wagons pulled along the street without horses? Pills that make "crazy" people well again? Hot and cold running water in almost every home?

One hundred years ago, right around 1871, the first elevator was installed in an office building and two patents were granted for a thing called a typewriter. Later Bell invented the telephone; Ford the car; and the Wright Brothers headed for the sky.

 

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          Working in a school for deaf people, Alexander Graham Bell was inspired to invent the telephone. The first telephone communication took place in 1876, when Bell said to his assistant, "Mr. Watson, come here; I want you."

          A short time later, the "Wizard of Menlo Park"--Thomas Edison— set up, shop in that New Jersey town and advanced the telephone with his development of the carbon transmitter. Edison's bright idea was the light bulb, although he patented 1,092 inventions in his lifetime.

          At the turn of the century, the 75,000,000 people in the United States were using nearly a million telephones--and 4,000 horseless carriages. Henry Ford's 1893 invention prompted the passage of new speed and safety laws in each state; New York had a law restricting "speed demons" to 10 miles per hour in cities, 20 miles per hour on the open road.

          In the same year, the Wright Brothers headed straight for the sky— and covered 120 feet of it in 12 seconds!

 

NOBLE TITLE

by George T. Nickolas

Headquarter, U.S. Army Weapons Command, Rock Island, Illinois.

          I am sick and tired of hearing about Irish-Americans, Greek-Americans, German-Americans, Afro-Americans, and etc. If a man claims to be an American, let that man be an American without any qualifying adjectives. Of course, if he is going to claim to be something else, let him drop the use of the word American from his description of himself.

          Americans are people who stand for the cause of progress. Americans are people who have fought and are fighting to make this country a better place to live in for those who have been treated harshly by fate; and a better place to live for those who are affluent.

          Americans are people who stand for an all-out effort to uplift humanity and an effort that will provide for the betterment of all mankind. Americans are pledged to the eternal war against evil, whether that evil is wrought by the few or the many, by the underworld or by a mob of students.

          Americans believe that this country will not be a good place for its citizens 'to live in, unless we make it a place good for ALL of its citizens to live in.

          American youth of today will pay in the future, if we, the citizens and leaders of today, do not do justice to all in these distressing times. Our cause is the cause of right and justice for everyone. Our present problems are just a phase in the larger struggle. I am sure that God is with our cause.

          Americans must dedicate themselves to do all that can be done to solve the social problems of today and preclude future problems of a highly technical and affluent society. Failure to so dedicate the efforts of our society would court disaster unequal in our American history.

          I have used the word American throughout this article, and I should define what I mean when I utter the word American. An American is an individual that is opposed to any political division resting on race and religion. An American is an individual who believes in a free church in a free state, and in a free and unsectarian public school in every city or village. The doors of these public schools are wide open to the children of all races and of every creed. An American looks with contempt upon any effort that will divide Americans according to origin or extraction. An American is proud of the material success of his country. An American is proud of his freedoms, of his advancing civilization, and of the national power that we have developed. We the citizens of the United States of America have been born or naturalized by the courts as citizens of this country. We as citizens of 'this country must earn our title. We must have pride in our country. We must have faith in our leaders. We must accept the responsibilities that our citizenship requires.

          When we have accepted the responsibilities of our citizenship, and only then, will we live up to the most noblest of title that any country can bestow and any man can bear — CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

 

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25th ANNUAL REUNION

Valley Forge Holiday Inn, King of Prussia, Pa., July 22, 23, 24,1971

LOCATION: AT VALLEY FORGE EXIT OF PENNA. TURNPIKE.

HOURLY LIMOUSINE SERVICE FROM PHILA. INT. AIRPORT.

 

THURSDAY, JULY 22

3:00 P.M. — Board of Director Meeting

7:00 P.M. — Hospitality Suite

FRIDAY, JULY 23

9:00 A.M. — Registration ez Welcome Free time for golf, relax, shop at large center next to motel, etc.

1:00 - 4:00 P.M. — Tour of Historic Philadelphia Independence Hall, view from top Penn Title Bldg., Society Hille restored Colonial Homes, etc.

8:00 P.M. till ? — Reunion Party Renew friendships, exchange stories, songs, laughter, enjoyment and refreshments for all.

(25th Anniversary films of Europe will be shown in separate room.)

SATURDAY, JULY 24

10:00 A.M. -- Memorial Service Valley Forge Military Academy Tour of Valley Forge and Freedoms Foundation.

1:00 P.M. — Men's Business Lunch

Ladies Special Surprise Luncheon. 4:00 P.M. — Board of Directors

6:00 P.M. — Cocktail Hour

7:00 P.M. — 25th Reunion Banquet 8:30 P.M. till ? — Dance Party

Total Registration for Full Convention

Men, Ladies — $26.00 Children under 12 — $13.00

Your Convention Committee

Clayton Rarick, Chairman Charles Walsh

Frank Maloney

John I. Gallagher

Request you forward your advance Registration to John I. Gallagher so that

proper arrangement can be made for all reunion activities.

Enclose Motel reservation card should

be mailed directly to motel, no postage required.

Ladies, we have a big surprise luncheon coming up just for you on Saturday, July 24.

It will be held at Wanamaker's in the King of Prussia Mall.

Be sure to make plans to attend. Reservations must be made in advance.

This is a planned event you should not miss.

Please circle on registration form.

Forward the pink copy of registration form to one of your buddies of the 106th.

 

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FATHER BOYLE

"Reprint from St. John Vianny Parish News." Northlake, Ill.

          Father Boyle was born in Chicago on August 29, 1905. His education began at St. Brendan's School. He also attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois. Father Boyle was ordained on April 11, 1931.

          His first assignment was at St. Mary's Church in Joliet where he worked for a little over four years. He was transferred to St. Andrew in Chicago where he administered to the parish for seven years under Bishop Sheil. In July, 1944 he entered the U.S. Armed service. For bravery during the "Battle of the Bulge" he was awarded the Silver Star for "Gallantry in action."

          Returning from service he was assigned to St. Bernard's Church in Chicago where he spent five years.

          He was appointed pastor at St. John Vianny in January, 1952.

          His love for the priesthood and for the "People of God" assigned to him was soon felt. Just two months after his assignment, March 2, 1952, ground was broken for the church-school building. The school was opened on September 20, 1952. The first three grades were opened with 152 pupils. The following year the enrollment was 412 children. An addition had to be built and was opened in October, 1956. Father's great interest in youth was shown by the fact that in this addition he included a gymnasium which even today is the envy of all our visitors. Father's dreams were complete on March 7, 1965 when the beautiful, much admired, church was dedicated.

          All of our parishioners who have lived here during Father's pastorate recall the many other activities. The forming of organizations, the organization of drives, the carnivals, the building of the convent, and the enlarging of the rectory. The first few years Father Boyle lived alone in the original rectory where he was cook, housekeeper, and secretary. The spiritual impact of Father is known only to God. However we can see some of the effects of his pastoral love in the good people of the parish. The close friends he has made, the many memories of his parishioners.

          Today, when so many priests have become disenchanted with the priesthood, what does Father think of his priesthood after 40 years? He says that his life has been very rewarding and very interesting, even you might say a "Glorious Adventure." He has never had a bored moment because he loves people and has found many things to keep him busy even today. The only sad note is the fact that he will have to retire in four years and he worries whether he can stand the quiet years after a full priestly life.

          God bless and keep you always, Father Boyle. May you always imitate our great patron St. John Vianny in following the footsteps of Christ.

 

DANGER OF DRUGS

          Ours is a drug-oriented society. Many people use such substances responsibly — from an aspirin for a headache to a morphine injection administered by a physician to alleviate a patient's pain.

          But drugs can be harmful.

          They can be abused, they can cut us off from the world of reality, they can bring as into conflict with the law, and they can aggravate personality defects.

God has invited us to shape a community of justice and love. This requires that we develop our potential as fully as possible, that we muster as much consciousness a we can.

          "I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live." (Deut. 30-19)

Christopher News Notes

 

NETHERLANDS WAR - GRAVES COMMITTEE

          The Netherlands War Graves Committee, Amsterdam, has announced its fourth memorial pilgrimage to Europe for American Servicemen next-of-kin for the

 

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29th of August, 1971.

          Departing New York via KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, relatives of American Servicemen STILL buried in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg will be the guests of the Dutch people for nine days during which time visits to the graves of America's war dead will be arranged and a special memorial service conducted at Margraten. During their stay in Europe, all participants will be hosted by the Netherlands - all transportation in Europe, lodging and meals being provided WITHOUT COST. Lodging generally will be in Dutch homes. A complete program of activities will also be provided during their visit to further the "people to people" approach and to acquaint everyone with the highlights of these countries.

          The entire program — all expense — including round-trip air transportation from New York to Amsterdam, lodging, transportation in Europe and all other incidentals except purely personal expense is offered at a total cost of $191.00 per person. For relatives who cannot afford to pay this amount, a limited number will be assisted financially by the Netherlands War Graves Committee, as it is the desire of the Dutch to make a trip to the veteran's burial site possible for everyone who wants to do so even if finances are of great consequence to that relative.

          Though this medium, the Dutch people by their hospitality hope to demonstrate in a positive way the great gratitude to those who, though the sacrifice of their lives, liberated the Netherlands from Occupation in 1945.

          Inquiries should he addressed to Mr. H. F. Ryder, U.S. Representative, Netherlands War Graves Committee, 636 Public Ledger Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106.

 

THE FREEDOMS FOUNDATION

          Established at Valley Forge in 1949, Freedoms Foundation is dedicated to the fundamental principal that freedom belongs to all the people, and that only by thoughts and acts in their everyday lives can the American people preserve and extend their liberty under law.

          A nonprofit, nonsectarian, nonpolitical organization, under its charter Freedoms Foundation exists:

          "To create and build an understanding of the spirit and philosophy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and of our 'bundle' of indivisible, political and economic freedoms inherent in them."

          "To inspire love of freedom and to support the spiritual unity born of the belief that man is a dignified human being, created in the image of his Maker, and by that fact possessor of certain inalienable rights."

          Over the years of its existence Freedoms Foundation has made more than 25,000 independent jury-selected awards to every area of spiritual, economic and civic life for God and Country.

 

EUROPE 1969

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Dr. & Mrs. DeLaval with Virginia Coffey at luncheon, St. Vith. — July 1969

 

THANK YOU

Our thanks to V.F.W. and American Legion for announcing our reunion in their magazine.

 

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FORTUNES OF WAR - 1944-1945

Contributions to the Chronicle of the Ardennes Offensive between VENN and SCHNEIFEL.

FIRST FLY SHEET FORTUNES OF WAR 1944-45

Contributions to the Chronicle of the Ardennes Offensive between VENN and SCHNEIFEL.

 

SECOND FLY SHEET

TOP

FORTUNES OF WAR 1944-45

Published by the Historical Society "Between VENN and SCHNEIFEL.

BOTTOM

Contributions to the Chronicle of the Ardennes Offensive between VENN and SCHNEIFEL.

Back of second fly sheet.

BOTTOM

          Copyright by "Geschichtsverein Zwischen Venn and Schneifel" St. Vith Special Printing— All Rights Reserved-1st Printing 1969 Complete Production— Publisher and Printer H. Doepgen-Beretz, St. Vith Binding Design: Hermine Roth Doepgen.

 

FOREWORD

          On December 16, 1969, it has been 25 years since the region between VENN and SCHNEIFEL was struck by the scourge of war.

          Our home, a border land has already experienced many a fateful time. In 1815 the Districts of Malmedy and St. Vith after they had belonged to the principality Stavelot-Malmedy of Lower Austria, Luxembourg and Kur-Trier, was made a part of the kingdom of Prussia where they remained until the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. The previous French time under Napoleon caused our people heavy and severe burdens. The Napoleonic wars found many of our sons in foreign uniforms who gave their lives on the distant battlefields of Russia. In addition the Prussian Wars of 1866, 1870-71 and 1914 -18 had taken their blood toll of our sons serving in the German Army.

          Eupen-Malmedy-St. Vith was assigned to Belgium by the Treaty of Versailles. A comforting period of peace followed. On May 10, 1940 was overrun by the first of the Germans and with these days an unusually severe & difficult time of suffering began for our homeland. On May 18 Eupen-Malmedy-St. Vith was annexed by Germany and this decree meant a further increase of suffering for our borderland. In a short time the first of our sons was drafted into the armed forces. Many of them had already served their 18 day of field training and knew war in all its facets from their own experience. Some refused war service and the nearby border favored their flight. Nevertheless the years till 1944 were hard years for many of these service evaders.

          When the Americans arrived here in September 1944, the face of the country had been very little marred by war. St. Vith and Camp Elsenborn were bombed on August 9, 1944 and some other places had been spared out of sympathy in the previous four years of the war. In all the villages of our own homeland parents and wives grieved over their sons and husbands who had given their lives on the battlefields of the second World War. Many of our sons were still serving at the front in the East and West. North and South in the service of the German armed forces. They as well as their home folks knew that the Hitler regime for which they had all endangered their lives led to a collapse, to an unspeakable chaos.

          The arrival of the Americans gave the people of the area: Eupen - Malmedy -St. Vith a chance to breathe again. The occupation of the land Allied armed forces was a sign of the accelerating ending of World War 2. The well-equipped allied armies were an infallible sign of the strength which the withdrawing German armies could no longer withstand. When the Americans arrived a boundary was erected between the homeland and their sons who must still serve in the German Armies. Fearful days; weeks and months passed with no news from this side or that side; nevertheless the daily life here appeared to slowly normalize again. New administrations released the older people and they returned to the land they had known before the war. All were animated by the same wish, that the peace would not be long in coming.

          In October, when the evacuation of many of our villages was carried out, a new time of suffering began for the inhabitants of our towns who had to leave

 

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their goods and possessions behind. They entered upon a very uncertain way of life. Sorrow, poverty and cold awaited them. Some ventured on the trip back home on their own responsibility; nevertheless for most it was a separation that they must painfully overcome while they endured the long months. At times the question arose as to whether the villages might be in the front lines.

          On 16-17 December this wild dream came true. The inhabitants of the region between VENN and SCHNEIFEL, in a wholly unsuspected measure, fell into the ravages of war. A great stream of fugitives flowed towards the west before the German armies, launched by the aspirations of a totalitarian regime, which were soon overtaken by the forward charging Panzers. Hence many, in their flight, came into the cross fire of two fronts. Attackers and defenders in this great winter battle have shown much humanity; nevertheless this war fate has been especially hard on our people.

          It is, obviously, impossible to record all who have experienced the fortunes of war, since many witnesses of that time have died; however, the following eyewitness accounts show that these difficult days remain indelibly engraved on their minds. The diary of events of that time are especially noteworthy in that they reveal the tragedy of those days with positive calmness.

          The purpose of our book, then, is to record realistically the hard time our people has endured during those days at the front and to present it for posterity. We were able to do this since the experiences of the people have been oft repeated. We have intentionally not changed the style of the different witnesses and writers. However many a portrayal may appear to others, it is significant that all had to bear the same fate. In these different accounts, if one or the other does not correspond to the historical record, it is understandable since some memories have been dulled by the years. Or it could be for propaganda reasons to satisfy some higher official.

          In order to acquaint us with the history of the battle in the Ardennes and the military-strategic aspects of the winter offensive, Henri Bernard, Professor of history at the Royal Military School in Brussels wrote us an all encompassing account. Contrary to all strong opinions, he emphasized one significant fact that here in St. Vith the offensive was shattered. For his assistance he deserves our deep thanks.

          General Bruce C. Clarke, American Brigadier General of the 106th Infantry Division (SIC), later Commander in Chief of SHAPE in Heidelberg was the heroic defender of St. Vith. who, through his five day defense, foiled the success of the German offensive. He placed at our disposal "The Battle at St. Vith". a study at the American War School at Ft.. Knox and authorized us to translate it into German.

          General of Panzer Divisions Hasso von Manteuffel was Commander in Chief of the Fifth Panzer Army in the Ardennes offensive, whose advance elements almost reached the Meuse. He also graciously accepted our invitation and wrote his own significant manuscript for our book. We are also greatly indebted to him. One can get no closer to the truth than having all participants give their version.

          The Second World War was not only conducted with the clash of arms, and so the account of the German armed forces which we present, belongs with the weapons of the spiritual conduct of the war. On the other hand we have included American Army reports supplemented by these of the allied armies and divisions. The accounts of the soldiers should be taken with a warning word. In most cases they reflect the difficult situation. The battles in the final phases of the Second World War were fought with such ferocity that it resulted in many accounts being critical of the handling of the war. We want to positively emphasize that we have deliberately omitted any descriptions of the known great atrocities, since it is not a part of military reports to bring light from the dark. That happening cannot be made retroactive. We shall not fail to hear the stories of the GIs and Landsers. We especially thank Professor Freiherr von der Heydte, whom Professor Bernard designates a gentleman. Likewise to PFC William McDonald, Rudi Fruhbeisser, Herman Laffer, Frederick W. Mack Peter Mandt as well as the Association of members of the American 106th Infantry Division, who have enlarged our accounts with their own information. We have received

 

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strong support from County Commissioner Hoen A. Banneux and M. Delaval, who afforded us great help by documentation. We must express our special thanks to them.

          One of the most difficult problems was the illustration of our book. Special thanks to Bernard and Graefe of Frankfurt, to the U.S. Army Military Mission in Brussels, to the Federal Military Archives, Coblenz, to the Imperial War Museum London, to the Maximilian Publishing Co. of Herford and to V. Rosseau as well as all who placed picture material at our disposal.

          The collection of the different accounts has involved a great amount of work. An uncounted number of eye-witnesses were contacted. Many depositions were assembled into a mosaic. Our heartfelt thanks to our industrious assistants, who have all selflessly placed themselves at our service. They are: H. Binot, businessmen. J. Breuer, G. Ellenbecker, P. Flemings, N. Gehlen, E. Gennen, P. Graf, H. Grieves. N. Heinzius, M. Jacobs, H. Jenniges , L. Jenniges, Rev. F. Kelkel, H. Kuches, R. Lejeune, Rev. J., Lanfant, W. Margraff. C. Meyer, G. Michaelis Jr., J. Niessen, L. Nilles, Rev. P. Ramseheid. W. Reuter, M. Schorkops, V. Schutz. Rev. H. Signon, E. Von Fruhbuss as well as Miss C. Kirch, Mrs. .J. Konigs-Pfeiffer and Miss Tafniez. Thanks also to the many eye-witnesses which space precludes naming here.

          In order to assemble and produce this book Mr. R. Graf, L. Nilles, Rev. H. Signon and Mr. W. Reuter assisted me in a superior. way. I am especially thankful to them.

          Furthermore I must not fail to thank the printing firm of Doepgen-Bentz for the attractive publication of the bock and their help in its preparation as well as Mrs. Hermine Roth-Doepgen for the artistically beautiful design of the binding and its rich form.

          We want to draw a positive balance from these war days, so we come to the following conclusion. The material losses incurred during this time were very high; nevertheless the strong construction of our Eifel houses withstood many a shelling and also that our losses did not reach an astronomic total.

          That the offensive which rolled over our region fell in this time period likewise had a favorable outcome for our people. In the fall, except for some villages in the front lines, the crops could be harvested.

          Since a heavy snow fell in the winter of 1944-45 most mines lay under the snow cover. Unfortunately these death traps have invalided many or have been the cause of death. Great acknowledgement is due to the mine detection group commandos, who at the risk of their life have disarmed or exploded these mines. Also thanks are due to the cities at home and abroad, who, through their aid stations have sought to lessen the suffering and misery of our people.

          During the Ardennes offensive different citizens of the area between Venn and Schneifel who had to serve in the German army, at times revisited the homeland, either as a soldier from the front or on leave. Some considered their homeland captured, which, under the existing conditions was easily understandable. Many first returned home after long months or years with many a bitter memory of the war. They, as well as those who had remained in the homeland had come to consider the war as the hostage of mankind. Certainly it has produced victor and vanquished; nevertheless it seemed that the dead alone won the greatest victory.

          25 years of peace lie behind us and all most strive to maintain this peace at any price. It is high time to clasp hands. We felt it was our duty to write this book. To those who experienced the Offensive may it be a continual remembrance of those days. but to the younger generation a frightful example.

          The inhabitants of the Cantons of Malmedy and St. Vith had to undergo, difficult times in those days. Their fate welded them together in a companionship of sorrow; however they hastened to rebuild. Meanwhile most of the battle wounds are healed but we must never forget them.

Signed

Fagnonl

Kurt Fagnoul Chairman of the Historical Society "Between Venn and Schneifel".

Our thanks to General McMahon for translation of above article.

Looking forward to additional translations from the "Kriegsschicksale".

 

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Index for: Vol. 27, No. 4, Jul., 1971

 


101st Abn. Div., 6

106th Div., 4, 8

106th Inf. Div., 19, 20

106th Infantry Division Association, 2

424th Inf. Regt., 4

591st FA BN, 6

81st Engr., 5

Amsterdam, 14, 15

Ardennes, 19, 21

Ardennes Offensive, 17

Austria, 17

Banneux, Hoen A., 21

Battle Of The Bulge, 8, 13

Belgium, 4, 15, 17

Bell, Alexander Graham, 10

Bernard and Graefe, 21

Bernard, Henri, 19

Bernard, Professor, 20

Biebelsheim, 4

Bingen, 4

Binot, H., 21

Bottoms, Ira G., 6

Boyle, Father, 13

Breuer, J., 21

Brussels, 19, 21

Camp Atterbury, 4

Camp Elsenborn, 17

Clarke, Gen. Bruce C., 19

Coblenz, 21

Coffey, Doug, 6, 8

Coffey, Douglas, 8

Coffey, Isabel & Christine & Virginia & Doug, 8

Coffey, Virginia, 16

Coffey's, The, 8

Collins, Sherod, 2

Dahlen, T/Sgt. William S., 7

Danger Of Drugs, 13

DeLaval, M., 21

Delaval, Mrs., 16

Division History, 4

Doepgen, Hermine Roth, 17

Doepgen-Bentz, 21

Doepgen-Beretz, H., 17

Edison, Thomas, 10

Eigelscheid, 4

Ellenbecker, G., 21

Eupen, 17

Eupen-Malmedy-St. Vith, 17

Fagnoul, Kurt, 22

Federal Military Archives, 21

Fifth Panzer Army, 19

Flemings, P., 21

Ford, Henry, 10

Fortunes Of War - 1944-1945, 17

Frankfurt, 21

Fruhbeisser, Rudi, 20

Gallagher, John, 2

Gallagher, John I., 2, 12

Gehlen, N., 21

Gennen, E., 21

Germany, 4, 17

Gilder, Robert A., 2

Graf, Mr. R., 21

Graf, P., 21

Grieves, H., 21

Hatch, Jim, 6

Hefferman, Art, 6

Heidelberg, 19

Heinzius, N., 21

Imperial War Museum London, 21

Inf, Capt. 423Rd, 8

Jacobs, M., 21

Jenniges, L., 21

Jones, Maj. Gen. Alan W., 3

Kelkel, Rev. F., 21

Kirch, Miss C., 21

Konigs-Pfeiffer, Mrs. .J., 21

Kriegsschicksale, 22

Kuches, H., 21

Kur-Trier, 17

Laffer, Herman, 20

Lejeune, R., 21

Lommersweiler, 4

Loveless, John T., Jr., 2, 3

Luxembourg, 15, 17

Mack, Frederick W., 20

Malmedy, 17, 22

Maloney, Frank, 12

Mandt, Peter, 20

Marcus, Gilbert, 8

Margraff, W., 21

Margraten, 15

McDonald, Pfc. William, 20

McMahon, Gen., 22

McMahon, Leo T., 6

Memorials, 6

Meuse, 19

Meyer, C., 21

Michaelis, G., 21

Mundelein, Illinois, 13

Nagle, Col. Fredrick W., 6

Netherlands War Graves Committee, 14, 15

Nickolas, George T., 10

Niessen, J., 21

Nilles, L., 21

Perrin, Brig. Gen., 4

Prewett, Ed., 4

Prewett, Ed. (Dutch), 4

Quigley Preparatory Seminary, 13

Ramseheid, Rev. P., 21

Rarick, Clayton, 12

Reed, Ray, 5

Reid, Col., 4

Reuter, Mr. W., 21

Reuter, W., 21

Reynolds, John J., Jr., 5

Rhine, 4

Richards, Charles W., 6

Rossi, Lou, 8

Roster, 4, 6

Roth, 17

Roth-Doepgen, Mrs. Hermine, 21

Russia, 17

Ryder, Mr. H. F., 15

Schneifel, 17, 19, 21, 22

Schnizlein, Mrs., 6

Schnizlein, Mrs. Rosemary, 6

Schorkops, M., 21

Schutz, V., 21

Scranton, Bob, 2

Scranton, Robert L., 2

Sheil, Bishop, 13

Signon, Rev. H., 21

Souers, Loren E., 5

St. Brendan's School, 13

St. Vith, 4, 5, 16, 17, 19, 22

Stavelot, 17

Tafniez, Miss, 21

The Freedoms Foundation, 15

Treaty Of Versailles, 17

Valley Forge Military Academy, 2, 12

Venn, 17, 19, 21, 22

Vietnam, 6

Von Der Heydte, Professor Freiherr, 20

Von Fruhbuss, E., 21

Von Manteuffel, Hasso, 19

Walsh, Charles, 6, 12

Watson, Mr., 10

Welch, Lt. Col. Lamar, 4

Winterspelt, 4

Wojtusik, Stanley A., 4

Wright Brothers, 9, 10