Vol. 36, No. 2, Jan., 1980
President Fred B. Chase
1st Vice President Ken Bradfield
2nd Vice President Russell H. Villwock
Adjutant Robert W. Pierce, Sr.
Treasurer Sherod Collins
Chaplain Joseph C. Matthews, Jr.
Memorials Chairman Douglas S. Coffey
The CUB is the official publication of the Association. Membership in the Association is $10.00 per year (effective August 1, 1979) which includes subscription of the CUB.
Editor John I. Gallagher
All editorial matter should be addressed to: John I. Gallagher 4003 Frances Street Temple, Pennsylvania 19560
All business matters, renewal of membership, renewal of Associate, renewal of Auxiliary dues, memorial fund contributions, etc., should be addressed to: Robert W. Pierce, Sr., Adjutant 474 Federal Street N.W. Warren, Ohio 44483
Membership Dues (8/1/79) $10.00 per year
Associate Dues (8/179) $10.00 per year
Auxiliary Dues $2.00 per year
MEMBERSHIP1978-79 Yr. 440
1979-80 Yr. (Dec.) 304
NEW MEMBERSArthur Bosi RR 2 - 100 Towpath Road Minooka, Ill 60447
Frank J. Fradianni 914 Cloverdale Circle Wetherfield, Conn. 06109
Kenneth K. King Box 14 Brasher Falls, N. Y. 13613
Harold W. Martinek 858 North 95th Place Mesa, Arizona 85207
Alvin W. Skardon 225 Outlook Avenue Youngstown, Ohio 44504
CHAPLAIN'S COLUMNChristmas is a red-letter day in the calendar, on which Christians celebrate the birth of our Savior. But it has an appeal that transcends theologians. Few persons, regardless of creed or race, will deride its thesis of peace on earth and good will to all men.
It is peculiarly a day for children. They, of all humans, so clearly portray love and hope and excitement as they anticipate the unseen arrival of Santa Claus. It is no wonder that our Lord Jesus stressed that we must become as little children to perfect our faith.
Over the centuries Christmas has become a busy and complex season, incorporating new and ancient customs, legends, delightful poems, and some of the most beautiful music ever created. Some sceptics may scoff at these as myths or frills, but the wise editor assured little Virginia O'Hanlon that nothing is so real and abiding for they gladden our hearts and help bring to life its fullest meaning.
And so, with Tiny Tim, and the rejuvenated old Scrooge, and the young in heart of every age, may we wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGEAs I ponder over my message for the second issue of the Cub since assuming the office of President of the 106th, my mind keeps drifting back to our reunion last July and the many fond friendships that one acquires through membership in our association. Each year the list grows.
Upon receiving the last issue of the Cub, I noted and read the many letters to the Cub sent in by those whose names are familiar to me, and many more who are new. This is a very encouraging indication that the future of the Association is quite promising. Keep your letters coming, it is the way to keep in touch between reunions.
While still in Oak Brook last July, I learned that the 1981 reunion host would be unable to carry out that commitment due to changes in circumstances. Ken Bradfield also became aware of this and came to the rescue by offering to host the 1981 reunion. Ken enlisted the help of Van Wyatt and together they began to make plans and check on reservations.
They immediately met with a problem in that the location, apparently very popular, was already booked for July and August. Ken suggested that the date be moved to late June or early September.
In accordance with the provisions of the by-laws, I polled the Board Members for a decision. The results of that poll indicated their preference to be in late June, by majority vote. I trust this change will also be acceptable to the majority of the membership. Good luck to Ken and Van.
The 1980 reunion is scheduled to be held in Hot Springs, Arkansas on July 20 as previously announced. Plan your vacations to join with us then.
Before this column appears in the Cub, the holiday season will be upon us. May I extend best wishes from Agnes and me to one and all for a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Fred B. Chase
NOTICEDues were raised to $10.00 per year effective 1979-80 year. If you paid $5.00 will you consider forwarding an additional $5.00 to Bob. Sorry, but it does cost more these days, particularly for the Cub.
OPERATIONFormer President Clayt Rarick has undergone an operation of the mouth to remove cancerous tissue. The doctors report they were able to cut away all of the affected area.
Memorial to Major General Alan W. Jones (1894-1969)Middletown, Pa. Sunday November 11, 1979
Our dedicated and efficient Editor of the CUB, John I. Gallagher 81 Engr Bn, has reminded me, that 16 December, this year, 1979 is the 35th, anniversary of the Battle of the Ardennes.
I was reminded of it also by Col. Malin Craig, Jr. USA Ret. of Chevy Chase, Md. who was my Executive Officer in the 106th. Inf. Div. Artillery. He sent me a book of his to read. "The Battle of the Bulge, World War II--World War II, Time-Life Books." This book includes the fighting of the 106th Inf. Div. including some photos of combat in the snow and miserable weather conditions. It took me right back to the scenes of 35 years ago.
On November 8, I was surprised and delighted to receive a letter from Francis H. Aspinwall. He was a member of the 589th FA Bn, since its organization March 15, 1943 at Camp Jackson, S. C. He went overseas to Europe with the Battalion as a member of the Fire Direction Center, Headquarters Battery. He served through the fighting and the later reorganization of the Battalion and continued as a member until its return to the United States and deactivation at Camp Patrick Henry Oct. 4, 1945.
Francis wrote a history of the 589th FABN covering its complete service. He was an excellent photographer and a number of his photos are in the 106th Division History "St. Vith - Lion in the Way", where his contribution was recognized by the author Colonel R. Ernest Dupuy USA Ret., now deceased. His address - Francis H. Aspinwall, 120 Nellwood Drive, Ponchatoula, La. 70454.
The letter from Francis Aspinwall to me, came together with a number of photostats of his correspondence with
others in the 106th Division and in the Association. He obtained my address, he wrote, from Juanita Hagman, the widow of Lt. Col. Hagman, my S-3 in the Divarty. He and their young son, Gary Hagman, attended a number of Association Reunions. Juanita was active in the Auxiliary. The three Hagmans put on a memorable 16th annual Reunion of the Association in 1961 at the Western Hills Motel in Fort Worth, Texas. It was not as well attended as some, but the feature was that Association members were guests at a real old-fashioned Rodeo. The Association at Fort Worth elected Ben as National President of the Association for 1961-62. Ben died of a massive stroke at his home in Weatherford, Texas in 1965. He was an attorney and his son, Gary followed in his footsteps.
MESSAGE FROM HOT SPRINGSWe have many things here that we are happy to share with you. Hot Springs has been blessed by nature and we have added much to it.
The thermal waters bring relief to thousands, as they have since the days of DeSoto and the Indians and while you are here, you should take the time to try a thermal bath. They are most relaxing. The lakes, brimming with fish, skiing and boating are most enjoyable and you have your choice of four different lakes. The golf courses are open to visiting golfers. You can hunt for diamonds, arrow heads, crystal or rocks worthy of adding to your collection. Senior citizens find active centers with scheduled activities.
In 1978 the Mid America Museum and Magic Springs Family Fun Park opened for the first time. New attractions are opening each year to add much to your enjoyment. You will find plentiful recreation from morning to night, excellent food in lovely surroundings, scenic vistas on the surrounding mountains and an atmosphere of friendliness everywhere. Campgrounds are numerous, back-packing and trail riding are possible in the rugged mountainous areas surrounding the city.
Come visit our city and our national park. From racing to relaxing, Hot Springs has it all.
THE ARLINGTON HOTELNestled among the pines in the beautiful Ouachita Mountains in Hot Springs, Arkansas, is The Arlington Hotel, a resort-spa. Here, you can play and unwind at the same time. Relax in the swirling waters of the federally controlled thermic baths. These spring-fed waters will penetrate deep into your muscles and relax tense nerves. After your bath, enjoy a soothing massage. What an experience! You'll feel like a new person. There's more though...right outside our doors is Hot Springs National Park and a beautiful hiking trail. And there are a variety of recreational activities. Clean, clear mountain air and scenic beauty await you at Arlington Hotel.
PLAN NOW TO ATTEND 1980
REUNION IN HOT SPRINGS JULY
17-20 -- DETAILS IN NEXT CUB.Reunion Chairman
E. G. Henson
9917 Echo Valley Court
Little Rock, Ark. 72207
GRANDPARENTMany of you have experienced the great joy of being a grandparent, this is the first opportunity for Stella and I. How beautiful to look upon this new life that has been born of our seed. It brings a new vision into our lives.
Brian John was born to our daughter Judith and son-in-law John on October 27th. "How wonderful are the works of the lord"
THE ARDENNES....THIRTY-FIVE YEARS LATEROnce again it was my pleasure to take a group of 106ers back to Europe and our Memorial and the battle areas of the Ardennes.
They came from all over the States; Gene Balke from Scottsdale, Arizona; Carol Beals, Iowa City, Iowa; Gabrielle Dobe from Manchester, New Hampshire; Leo and Margaret Gregory of Hermitage, Tennessee; John and Virginia Kelly from E. Weymouth, Mass.; Howard and Carmagene Kriz (Kit as she liked to be called way out in Wilsonville, Oregon, Laverne McGraw and Jean Schutte of Warren, Michigan; Viola Reilly, Bloomfield, New Jersey; Dr. John and Marilyn Robb, Meadville, 'Pennsylvania, Jim and Maydean Wells of Hephzibah, Georgia; E. C. and Zada White of Whiteface, Texas and little old me from Port Charlotte, Florida. This was a mighty impressive group and such a pleasure to be with and work with to carry out the 106th traditions of returning to the battle areas and hold dignified receptions along the way as well as vacationing.
As usual with the 106th there has to be a foul up here and there or the situation would not be normal.
I arrived at Kennedy Airport in New York, early due to lack of proper connections and made my way to Sabena Airlines, our carrier for the trip, to check to see if all was going to go well before the gang arrived. Upon entering the reception lounge I was surprised by a voice saying 'Hi, Doug!' It was Vi Reilly. I was dumbfounded, after all it was about two PM and our plane didn't leave until 9:45 P.M. When I checked with Vi we found that she had read her ticket 2:45 P.M. instead of the 24-hour method 2145 meaning 9:45. Therefore she managed to get to the airport at least one hour before time as requested and was at the airport about noon. Well, it gave us a chance we hadn't had for a long time to talk and discuss her husband Ed who was a regular 106er and made many of our functions. I almost forgot, I made the first foul up. When I arose to get my early flight from home the alarm said 5 AM. God, was it dark! Isabel didn't appreciate that too much and we were to pick up a friend who would keep Isabel company on the way back from the airport. Got myself all rigged out in my traveling clothes, bags all packed and reached into my sock drawer for a pair of green socks to match my lovely green Florida trousers. Isabel said great you are coordinated for a change. Well, when I arrived at the airport, checked in and waited for the flight to be called when I looked down at my crossed legs and Heavens to Betsy, there I had on a powder blue pair of socks instead of the nice green ones I thought I had put on.
I looked all over the airport to find a shop to buy a green pair but it was too early for the shops to be open. After talking in Kennedy with Vi Reilly, I told her what had happened so I left her to find a shop to find a pair but would you believe, you can buy everything from coins to a fur coat or liquor in Kennedy but not one pair of socks. So, instead of looking like an absent-minded professor I just took the socks off and felt my tanned legs would look better than blue socks and green trousers.
As we waited for each member of our group to show up we became more anxious to meet those persons we had never met before at reunions or other 106th functions. It was fun trying to figure them out. Then, when most of us were there we spotted a tall, good looking fellow walk in dressed as some of us guessed a General or an Admiral when I spotted Masters Sergeants stripes and a 106th patch. Hey, he's one of us. I walked over and introduced myself and found out he was Gene Balke, my roommate to be for the trip. We hit it off well right on the spot. Gene had promised himself that if he ever went back to the Ardennes he was going to wear his uniform to pay proper respects to his buddies who did not come back. I promised him then and there that when we arrived in St. Vith for Ceremonies he would have the honor of placing the Wreath in Honor of our Departed Comrades.
We waited impatiently for our flight to be called. There used to be remarks about Icelandic Airlines being late but Sabena was no exception, they announced an hour delay. This worked out fine as we had another 106th coincidence pop up. Gene Balke attracted glances everywhere we went and people didn't know, as we first didn't know if he was a General or Admiral. He had served in the Army and Reserve for 36 years so he had all the gold braid on both arms, nine each arm, together with his gold Master Sargent's stripes, the 106th patch and Meritorious Service bolo through his shoulder strap. Well, that did it, a Security Officer walked up to him and said he was in the 106th too, having seen Balke's patch. He was in the 81st Engineers. Maydean heard this and dragged Jim out of the Bar and said there was this fellow who was in the 81st, could possibly Jim know him. I was there when Jim walked back and before anyone could say a word Jim, said "Hi, Sergeant Fitzpatrick, hey fellows this fellow was my supply Sergeant." It certainly is a small world. They managed to swap stories for a half hour, now if our flight hadn't been late this meeting would never have been held.
Upon gathering up our baggage I went through Customs to find our Guide so that I could lead the group through to our Bus. For a change my luggage was the first to arrive and I met our guide, George Hughes and our Driver Rene who was trying to hold a few trolleys (luggage carriers) for our group to use before the maddening crowd got through Customs and took them all away. It was worth his life to try to hang on to them. I then went back to the arrival area to inform our people and found, much to our sorrow that Carol Beals luggage didn't arrive. Our Guide checked with Sabena and thorough search was made but no luggage. Can you imagine a woman going on a vacation and no nice things to wear, no toilet articles or a thing, she lost it all? If it had happened to most people I'm sure you would have heard the walls each and every day all the way back to the States. Carol, being the happy congenial person that she is, just rolled with the punches and said, "C'est la Guerre". Everyone along the way pitched in and loaned her clothes and she never
Photo: Doug and Carol
failed to look as though she came out of a bandbox. She even wore one of my polka dot shirts and I offered her my shorts but felt that was going a bit too far. You may see a photo of this turn up if it came out okay.
We were scheduled to have a mini-bus because we had such a small group but when we saw our bus it was a biggy. Seated 50 persons, was only three months old and came complete with a John and a bar so we used one to fill the other.
Upon arrival I was given a special surprise. My friend Maurice's wife Ruth who spent their vacation with us during our July reunion was at the Hotel to greet me. As we had plenty of seats on the bus after we all cleaned up and rested a bit we took Ruth with us on a tour of Brussels. We visited the Grand Place, one of the most magnificent in Europe and all the other famous spots including the little Pisser of Brussels. Ruth was a big help to some of our guys and gals as she speaks fluent French and made things easy for our Yanks who do not speak the language.
After a delightful dinner at our Hotel we took off for the town of Wieze about an hour outside of Brussels for Octoberfest. You would have to see it to believe it. The atmosphere, the people of all ages, the fun and the drinking of Beer was like nothing ever seen before. The Hofbrauhaus in Munich was tame and dignified compared with Wieze. In the tremendous hall where there were two oompa bands. There must have been at least 3,000 persons, drinking, dancing in the isles, on the chairs and on the tables. Whatever you wanted to do you did, everyone did his thing. Those big mugs went down so smoothly.
The next morning Ruth had problems, they wouldn't take her personal check for her room as they said they would when she registered, then they wouldn't take her French francs. Frustrated she finally found enough Belgian francs to get out of the Hotel. I offered my VISA to pay the bill and settle later. Then they told her that the garage under the Hotel where she had parked her car was closed on Sunday s she could not retrieve her car. We found the door to the garage was open and some of the burly 106ers offered to push her car back up the entranceway but it was not necessary. Ruth managed to get the car out herself and as there was no attendant she didn't even have to pay for the day and night fee so she lucked out in that respect.
As our bus was going towards Ruth and Maurice's home in Roubaix, France I rode with her and followed the Bus and when we reached a turn off I returned to the Bus. It was a sad farewell for me and for the group who had come to know and like Ruth.
We followed a route taking us near Calais and then to Rouen, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. All took pictures of the spot. We arrived in Bayeux, Normandy where we stayed at a modern Motel-Hotel. It was a pleasant stay with wonderful meals and atmosphere and a walk at night to walk off our heavy stomachs. The next day we visited the American Military Cemetery at St. Laurent and the invasion beaches. It is quite a sight to see and to find they still have wreckage out in the water as well as mementoes on the Beaches which have been preserved. It amazed most of us that all along the beaches we failed to see the typical American desecration of the beaches with hotels, motels, junk shops and you all know what we have done. The Beaches are wide open and available for all to use.
At Utah Beach in St. Marie du Mont we were given a reception by the Mayor and City officials. In his speech of welcome the Mayor noted that even though the 106th had not participated in the Invasion they had helped to liberate Belgium in the Battle of the Ardennes. The 101st Airborne group joined with us for the reception and lunch. Doug Coffey made his little speech in French which always pleases our hosts and presented the Mayor with a beautiful plaque which had been given to Doug by Hal Ryder of Galaxy Tours. The Mayor, in turn gave each member a signed souvenir of our visit. We visited the Airborne Museum at Ste. Mere Eglise which was very interesting and informative. It was a part of the War we had to read about and now we could see just what it was all about. We could picture John Wayne in the Longest Day and all they took part in their area many years age. The French still love and respect the part that Americans played in their Liberation. I am sure there have been individual bad incidents with both Yanks and French but by and large anywhere the 106th has been they were treated with the greatest respect and affection.
We crossed over to the Island of Mont St. Michel. This island is famous for the Monastery built here and we all had to climb the thousand and one steps to reach the top and see the surrounding view. St. Michael must have gotten around as our George Washington. There is a St. Michaels Mount off the coast of England that we have visited and I don't know where else he has been. The specialty of the Restaurants here is Omelette Souffle and brother did we get Omelettes. Like nothing ever tasted before.
We were not scheduled for Paris but merely to round it on way to St. Vith but as most of the group would like to see Paris we made a deal with our Guide George and Driver Rene. We would skip one Chateau and go into Paris next day. We did two Chateaus and all were impressed and we don't want to completely bore you with our vacation part of the trip. In Paris we managed all the principal sights, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Arch of Triumph, Les Invalides and Place de la Concorde. A wonderful overview of Paris. All during the trip we had fine weather and this really made our trip so successful.
On our way to St. Vith we stopped at Eisenhower's headquarters in Rheims and were impressed with the War Room. The exhibits were mindful of the terror of the Nazis, the huge wall Maps fantastic in their detail and to see the table and chairs where the surrender was signed was impressive.
Upon arriving In St. Vith the first thing noted was the arrow that the Mayor had promised Doug Coffey on his last visit to place indicating the way to our Memorial. True it only says U.S. Memorial not 106th but then it is more than we ever had. Not only 106ers come here but people of all nations and U.S. Memorial means more than just 106th Memorial. The fact that it is there and is used by others for their services is a credit to the 106th. Our Memorial has changed with the new construction but no detriment to us. Photos taken will show the change for those who knew the old photos.
We held our Ceremony with Monsieur Pankert, Director of the College reading a prayer and then having us all join in the Lord's Prayer. Doug was the Master of Ceremonies as usual and thanked all those present together with the dignitaries for their presence. All joined in pledging Allegiance to our Flag and then Jim Wells gave a wonderful discourse on the occasion of the 35th Anniversary. The Mayor accompanied by Sergeant Gene Balke in all his splendor placed a joint wreath for the 106th and the Town of St. Vith. It was a resplendent moment and a beautiful day with the Belgian and American Flags flying over our Monument.
After the Ceremony we retired to the brand-new Town Hall (Hotel de Ville). It was significant to note that the room number to the Mayor's office is 106. Sure, it was a coincidence but what a nice one. Many photos were taken in front of this doorway to record it for the Cub readers.
Our Reception was a Joyful occasion. The speech of the Mayor was read In English by one of his aides and he presented Doug Coffey with a memento which was a folder of sketches of St. Vith. At dinner that night Doug gave each member one of the sketches rather than keep them for himself or send them to Sherod, our Historian, to put in mothballs where no one could appreciate them.
Doug made another of his speeches in French and presented the Mayor with a bigger and better plaque to the Mayor. After all, St. Vith is our Town, not the Invasion beach. The Mayor was most appreciative of Doug's remarks and the Placque. He also presented both Mayors with Bolo ties.
After the Reception we walked back to the Pip Margraff for a banquet which as It turned out was fit for a king and the 106th. Former Mayor Pip who owns the Hotel went all out with this banquet and all succeeding meals to fatten up our group. Every meal there were seconds not only on the vegetables but the meat course as well. Show me any place In the States today that does this.
Doug took this occasion to present one of our License Plates to Mayor Pip to place in the Hotel and said that the 106th was honoring him as the first friend we made in St. Vith and had been ever since, even after leaving his post as Mayor. Doug spoke about the friendships made in St. Vith and the esteem in which the official family holds the 106th. We could not have had a prouder moment. The former Mayor responded, (in French, of course) and said that he had the utmost respect for the 106th and the Friendships made and he said that when he took his walks in the evening and passed out Monument he thought of the members of the 106th who had come to St. Vith on many occasions and those whom he felt a kinship for, such as Coffey, Jim Wells and Doctor Bullard. His remarks came straight from the Heart and as Coffey has remarked many times in his speeches in French he regretted that his French was not good enough to convey all the things he would like to convey but that everything he said for himself and the group and came from his heart.
The next day we visited all the battle areas that could be visited. We took the new members who had never been before to their areas and
Photo: Doug and Jim at Memorial
many a memory was brought back. Vi Reilly was able to see the places her Ed had been and actually saw the barn where he spent a night. She was fortunate to have Howard Kriz along as he served with Ed and knew where to go. We had our usual bag lunches so that we would never forget we were the bag lunch Division.
To top off our visit to the battle areas Carol Beals had a surprise for all of us. We found a nice spot and she broke out a half gallon of Cointreau complete with cups and did we have a ball. We could only let the driver have one little taste as he still had a lot of driving to do. Our run back to Brussels was uneventful and goodbyes were hastily said as some of group returned to Atlanta and some to New York. I don't think any of this group will forget this trip for a long time. It was a good compatible and interesting group and I was proud to be a part of it. We look forward to the future and many more get togethers such as this one.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Delegated by the Mayor and the town council, I have the honor and also the deep pleasure to wish you a hearty welcome in our modest town of St. Vith.
Just before the end of the second world war, some of you present today, together with thousands of other Americans and also a part of the town citizens have lived terrible hard and crucial moments defending this town and the surrounding country.
It's a known fact, that the veterans of your division have visited St. Vith several times. We're proud that they come back--alone or in groups-to remember and to honor all those young fellows who lost their lives in this part of the world fighting for friendship, freedom, and liberty for everyone.
In the name of the administration and of all our citizens of this town, I present herewith our deep gratitude and our hearty thanks to the officers and all the men of the 106th inf. Division who fought for freedom. A special thanks to all of you present here today.
When we remember the Battle of the Bulge, let us not forget names like Hasbrouck, Jones and Bruce Clarke.
All our people, and above all, the young generation know what they owe to the men of the 106th Division.
Best of luck to all of you.
The above address was given by the Deputy Mayor of St. Vith at the town hall on October 5,1979 to our 106th tour group.
This past Dec. 16 I am sure has brought back many memories of 1944. Reprinted are various articles printed about 106.
MANUSCRIPT FATHER CAVANAUGH
THE BULGEHerr Adolf Hitler's last major offensive, which months later we were to learn was called the "Battle of the Bulge", started on the morning of the 16th of December, 1944. Corporal Paul Dalton and I had kept a prayerful vigil during the preceding night so that we would be ready to move out or to administer to the wounded If needed. In the morning fog which enveloped the entire area we made our way to the Battalion Aid Station in a bunker three hundred yards from the Command Post. All day long medical aid men were evacuating casualties from the area of the line companies. Ambulances were busy shuttling back and forth to the Regimental Evacuation Point. By evening the 422nd Regiment had been cut off; no casualties could be removed thereafter to hospitals in the rear. A little later the hilly road to the Regimental Command Post was in direct line of fire. The Second Battalion swung back from our left flank and formed a perimeter defense to the rear of our position. The Germans ceased for a time to assail our area. Our forward lines had held their ground. B Company, in whose area I had said my last Mass, had sustained the heaviest assault. Lt. William B. Brice, a good friend of mine, had been killed during that fight. The platoon he commanded was holding what was perhaps the farthest eastern point in the sector that was called, "The Bulge".
ST. VITH LION IN THE WAYPanic! Out of the swirling confusion of the Battle of the Bulge--Von Rundstedt's smash through the Ardennes forests--that was the word that came down. The 106th Division, green and fresh in the lines, had broken in panic and confusion before the panzers.
It wasn't true then and it isn't true now. The 106th, hit by a force greater than any infantry division spread over 20 miles of front could hope to contain, fell back. The withdrawal was confused, but knots of men and machines gathered at key defensive positions, sometimes by design and sometimes by accident, and fought from these positions until they were driven back or captured. The two forward regiments of the 106th, hopelessly cut off, were gobbled up, but still small groups and single fighting men from these regiments carried on a savage guerrilla warfare with the enemy until the Bulge was finally reduced by American troops.
St. Vith--focus of five key roads and three railroads--was vital to the success of the enemy's attack. His timetable called for its capture by H-hours plus 24, but the 106th had other ideas. Its one remaining Regiment, together with Combat Command B of the Ninth Armored Division, and belated reinforcement by the 7th Armored Division held St. Vith for critical days while the German advance in the St. Vith sector slowed to a walk, denied the use of the road center.
When the Germans finally got the 106th out of St. Vith, it was too late, much too late. From the 106th Division, the 101st Airborne Division, and the Ninth Armored and Seventh Armored Divisions, and the many other units which slowed or stopped the enemy offensive, our forces received the precious gift of time--time to regroup, and to strike back.
The 106th Division made mistakes, a lot of them, and Colonel Dupuy had neither ignored these nor glossed them over, but one thing is clear from his well-balanced account. If the 106th made mistakes, they were mistakes of inexperience, honestly made. And they reflect no discredit on the Division or its men. The 106th fought gallantly, even brilliantly, against great odds, and its record, present here for the first time by a competent, impartial military observer, is as proud as any unit or any man in that unit could want.
THE STORM BREAKSDawn had not yet come at 5:30 a.m., 16 December when an enemy barrage of all calibers up to and including 14-inch shells from railway guns came crashing all along the line and deep into the 106th Division's sector. The 14-inch shells were dropping into St. Vith, rocking Division headquarters. The intense fire came down on crossroads, strongpoints, critical places whose coordinates were as well known to the enemy as his fingertips. Flares--red, green, amber, and white--flickered over the treetops. Here and there searchlights bounced if the low-hung clouds to reflect an unearthly light on roads and other open spots. Wire communications were ripped apart. Although little damage was done to personnel, the sudden impact of shelling was a thing to fill the heart with terror. In the forests, tree bursts showered branches and splinters, sent tree trunks crashing into the snow. Screaming Meemie (Nebelwerfer) shells rasped nerves already raw and tense.
In rapid succession three messages came to Division headquarters, giving a quickly sketched picture of the situation. From the 423d Infantry, at 5:50 A.M., relayed over an artillery line: "423 Int AT Co shelled by arty since 5:30. 2nd Bn 423 Inf alerted. Lines out with AT Co, 2nd Bn and Tr B, 14 Cav. Gr." From the 28th Division on the south at 6:20 A.M.: "28 Inf Div received heavy shelling by arty. Reserve alerted." And from the 99th Division on the north, at 6:32 A.M.: "99 Inf Div taking a heavy shelling all along S part of sector. No atk by foot troops reported." Thus reads the story in the G-3 journal.
Hell was breaking all along the line. As Gen. Jones says of his reactions early that morning: "When they begin to drop 14-inch shells it's the real thing." But other people, it seemed, in Division and in Corps, were still Doubting THOMASES. VIII Corps, at 9:00 A.M. queried: "Please advise us when any reserve strength is committed-- even regimental reserve." And back at Vielsalm the Division bandsmen broke up their first rehearsal, put away their instruments and moved out to St. Vith under arms, as Headquarters Security Guard.
By 6:15 the shelling had stopped. Vague figures in white snow suits, figures who screamed and whooped as they danced throughout the trees, flittered along the front. The clatter of tanks treads reverberated on the roads. At last this was something tangible. American artillery, mortar, machine-gun and small-arms fire came down on the enemy spearheads.
North of the Schnee Eifel the Nazi advance, at first estimated as an Infantry regiment reinforced by fifteen tanks, barged into the Our Valley generally toward Schonberg. South of the ridge they pushed from Pronsfeld through Habscheid on Winterspelt and the Alf-Ihren River valleys. The prongs would converge at St. Vith--must converge there within the first twenty-four hours if Sepp Dietrich and his Sixth SS Panzer Army were to keep their timetable. His I SS Panzer Corps must make room for II SS Panzer Corps on its heels. And on Dietrich's left, Manteuffel's Fifth Panzer Army was attacking, spearheaded more cannily by Volksgrenadier infantry to make the holes through which the armour would come. And so from Honsfeld on the north to Grosskampenberg on the south Dietrich's 1st SS Panzer and the 18th Volksgrenadiers and 62d Volksgrenadiers and 116th Panzer Divisions of Manteuffel were assaulting the 106th's front, the roads behind them jam-packed for miles with the weight of the great counteroffensive.
Up in the Our River valley the rush went through the 14th Cavalry Group strongpoints like a welder's flame through soft Iron. Its reserve, the 32d Reconnaissance Squadron, early committed, was of no avail against that weight. Lanzerath, Krewinkel and Roth were overrun. Enemy tanks were clattering and banging through Auw before noon.
The 422d Infantry's left flank, threatened by this advance, was refused to the north, its regimental reserve committed; our artillery was putting point-blank fire on tanks poking up from Auw--was actually engaging in a close defense fight. By late afternoon Division had committed the 2d Battalion, 423d Infantry, from reserve to protect this left flank, northeast of Schonberg, and to assist the threatened artillery battalions to withdraw. North of the Our the cavalry was now scattered like chaff, contact with the 99th Division lost.
On the south the enemy advance lashed north from Habscheid to Grosslangenfeld, wedging between the right of the 423d and left of the 424th Infantry regiments and threatening Bleialf. At the same time the Volksgrenadiers were also pounding up the Habscheid-Winterspelt axis, and during the morning the 1st Battalion, 424th Infantry, had been released to its regiment to maintain its hold on the southern key to St. Vith.
There was no doubt now that the 106th Division was fighting--fighting for its life in its first engagement. The engineers were being committed as infantry in their respective sectors, service companies and batteries were engaged, and the division was learning the hard way that "sugar-bowl" strongpoints commanded by surrounding high ground are no strongpoints at all.
Organically, Gen. Jones now had no further forces with which to influence the action. But at 11:20 that morning Corps had telephoned that Combat Command B, 9th Armored Division, then at Faymonville, had been placed at the 106th's disposition. It could reach St. Vith shortly after daylight the next day. And the 168th Engineer Combat Battalion, at St. Vith, had also been turned over to the 106th Division.
By that evening the threat from the north appeared to Jones to be the more dangerous. He knew that the 14th Cavalry Group was unravelling and contact had been lost with the 99th Division. So he decided to throw the armored troops, who had been in the area and knew the country, up into the Our Valley to restore the situation. He was still worried, however, about that nasty fishhook now threatening Winterspelt and Bleialf to the south.
If anything went wrong, the 422d and 423d Infantry had no maneuver ground, no terrain to give, whereas the 424th Infantry on the south could, if necessary, give ground to cushion the blow. On the other hand, if it did so, the other two regiments would be in a bad way. They must either be pulled out now--this was between 8:00 and 10:00 o'clock at night--if they could disengage themselves, or remain and stick it out, threatened by encirclement.
Reprint – Col. Dupuy
GLORIOUS COLLAPSEWar is the stimulation of victory that sends you home with the swagger of survival, the dame you met in Paris and the cognac you liberated, the enduring satisfaction of having painfully paid a debt of allegiance to society free from that society's conventions and restraints--for the last time, perhaps, in your life. War also is a dirty, despicable, degrading business, sometimes attended by bitter, unredeemed defeat in a man's first action, leaving him to wonder for the rest of his days whether he was betrayed by circumstances or his courage. That was the side of war the 106th Infantry Division knew.
The 106th virtually was wiped out in the Battle of the Bulge. Five days after it landed on the European continent and went into the line in a "quiet" sector of the Ardennes, the 106th caught the brunt of Von Rundstedt's counteroffensive mounted by three German armies. The first shots fired in anger heard by the green troops literally were the massive barrages that preceded the attack. No other American division in the war was hit by a greater concentration of enemy strength. None suffered such catastrophic casualties in a single brief engagement.
"Decimated," the classic word used in relation with a military disaster, is a grim understatement of the 106th's losses. Two of its three regiments were isolated and liquidated three days after the Germans attacked on December 16, 1944. By December twenty-second, 70 per cent of the division's combat effectives were dead, wounded or captured. St. Vith, the enemy's key objective in the Schnee Eifel was lost by the 106th. And yet the beaten, battered doughfoots achieved a brilliant feat of arms in their first fire fight.
The Battle of the Bulge always will be associated in the public imagination with 101st Airborne's epic stand at Bastogne Without the slightest depreciation of the 101st performance, it can be stated that the 106th's holding action at St. Vith was equally vital, the main force of the German effort was contained in two tremendous lunges at Bastogne and St. Vith, commanding the only north-south roads in the sector suitable for mechanized movement. Bastogne, some twenty miles west of St. Vith, was the target of a ponderous, roundhouse left swing. St. Vith, only twelve miles from the German jump-off, was the objective of a shorter, sharper right hook. St. Vith fell on December twenty-second--five days late on Von Rundstedt's timetable.
Maybe the krauts would have been stopped even if St. Vith had been seized in the early hours of the attack, according to plan. The character of the American resistance at Monschau, Stavelot and elsewhere on the northern shoulder of the Bulge suggests as much, but sheer conjecture has a negligible value in war. The path to the war-criminal trials is paved with the German and Japanese High Command's false estimates of the Allies' capabilities. The point is that the painfully green 106th, mauled by four veteran divisions, stood and held until its position had lost all tactical importance, although every reasonable expectation led the enemy to anticipate a quick, decisive penetration.
The 106th didn't win the war or even a battle. It didn't lose a battle, either, and that's the big story that didn't make the headlines. For the 106th was a typical draft division and without getting too sloppy about this, symbolized the courage and resourcefulness of American kids in a desperate situation.
The highest numerical division in the Army, the 106th also had the lowest age average. It was the first outfit to get eighteen-year-old draftees. When it arrived overseas its average age was twenty-two.
It did not have the tradition or geographical integration that charged some outfits with high morale. Any special esprit de corps it might have had was disrupted by the steady drain on it for replacements. In the month preceding embarkation, 95 per cent of its riflemen were assigned to other units. Its training in the States had been routine and its equipment was merely adequate. Everything went wrong in the Bulge. Maj. Gen. Alan W. Jones, its commander, suffered a heart attack induced by overwork and anxiety for the fate of his son, who had become a father the day before the attack struck and was with one of the isolated regiments. Division headquarters had no communications with corps or the two surrounded regiments after December nineteenth. But the overrun 422nd and 423rd Regiments fought without food and water until their ammunition was exhausted, and the 424th, which escaped encirclement, came back with enough heart left to participate in the counterattacks that reduced and flattened the Bulge.
The American soldiers of the 106th Infantry Division stuck it out and put up a fine performance," Field Marshal Montgomery--not especially noted as a press agent for American performances--said. "By Jove, they stuck it out, those chaps." Guarded reports that a new American division had been surrounded and faced annihilation began to trickle back to the States in the early dark hours of the Bulge. Security did not permit correspondents to identify the division, but families at home knew the men of the 106th had arrived recently in Europe and guessed theirs was the outfit in jeopardy. Lacking definite information from the War Department, the folks at home organized one of the most remarkable civilian volunteer agencies to appear during the war, the Agony Grapevine.
Conceived by Duward B. Frampton, a Pittsburgh lumberman, whose son was a corporal with the 422nd, the Agony Grapevine painstakingly set out to determine the fate of each unreported man in the division. In January, 1945, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson announced that 416 men of the 106th had been killed in the Bulge, 1246 were wounded and 7001 missing in action. Frampton and his helpers never abandoned hope that the missing men had been captured.
Reprint Saturday Evening Post – 1946
The Real ThingThe Battle of the Bulge was launched at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, 16 December 1944, along the foggy 85-mile front as enemy artillery shells, mortar rounds and rockets roared, thundered and hissed. The ground shook and fir trees quivered as, with the advantage of total surprise and first-hand knowledge of the Ardennes terrain, panzer and infantry units clanked and sloshed toward Hitler's "Deutschland uber alles" goal.
Fourteen-inch shells, fired from railway guns, battered the 106th's positions--rocking divisional headquarters at St. Vith. "When they begin to drop 14-inch shells it's the real thing," General Jones said in a post-war summary of the battle. His thinly-drawn Golden Lion Division (normal procedure calls for a division to hold five miles, not 27) was under an eruption of shellfire so intense that, at some of the pivotal cross-roads, MP's directed traffic while lying prone in the snow and mud.
By 6:15 the shelling stopped a while so the gun barrels could cool...vague figures in white snow suits filtered through the trees, the clatter of Panther and Tiger tank treads reverberated on the roads as US troops, stunned at first, started to fight back.
Although the deafening barrage had lifted elsewhere, the little Belgian road center of St. Vith--which had been passed through by German infantry in 1914 and again by Nazi panzers in 1940--remained under siege. Waves of Volksgrenadiers, spearheaded by armor, smashed against the 106th's lines in a desperate bid for an early, decisive breakthrough. They were stopped. A second attack was thrown against St. Vith's defenders and again they held. Nazis threw in wave after wave of fresh troops, replacing their losses. There were no replacements for the 106th. The men in and around St. Vith dug deeper and fought with everything they had. German bodies plied up, often at the very rim of the defenders' foxholes...still the Nazis came.
As the day went on the attacks mounted in fury. Hundreds of fanatical Germans rushed straight toward the American lines, only to be mowed down or driven back by a hall of steel. Others came on and met the same fate. Finally, under pressure of overwhelming numbers the 14th Cavalry Group was forced to withdraw on the 106th's northern flank, giving the Germans their first wedge in the unit's front. Enemy tanks and infantry hammered away in increasing numbers, trying to surround the 422nd. In the meantime, a second tank-led assault bored in relentlessly on the 423rd and 424th...the 424th pulled back around St. Vith, tightening its lines. Cooks, clerks, truck drivers and mechanics shouldered weapons and took to the foxholes.
"During the afternoon of 16th December 1944, John Eisenhower wrote, "the commanding officer of the 422nd Regiment (Colonel Descheneaux) sent a task force to try to recapture Auw and cut off the Germans attacking to the south. The task force started out in a snowstorm and made contact with the Germans near Auw, at which point it received orders to return to protect the regimental command post, now threatened by Nazi infantry advancing along the draw from the east...thus the 106th Division, like the 99th on the north, gave very little ground in the areas occupied by its combat troops on 16 December...that evening the intelligence section of the 106th wrote: The enemy is capable of pinching off the Schnee Eifel area at any time." ''
What happened in the encircled 422nd's sector that first day of the battle was as jumbled as the terrain itself. "It can be told only as the doughboys and artillerymen fought it," Colonel Dupuy related. "They fought it piecemeal...to put it briefly, the, 422nd was engulfed by the German advance sweeping wide around its northern flank. Its center (including the First Battalion) and southern flanks were irritated only by sporadic diversionary prickings."
One of the sporadic diversionary prickings killed Colonel Kent when two German shells hit his command post. But our company--a needle in a haystack, the eye in a hurricane--somehow managed to have the war fought around it.
Golden Lion heroes in their battle debut included Lieutenant William V. Shakespeare, a former Notre Dame football star, who bagged a panzer captain near St. Vith while the German was carrying a map case full of battle plans.. an unidentified lieutenant who, survivors said, walked eight miles while breathing through a hole in his back the size of a fist, until he died...another GI who according to witnesses, had an eye blown out and dumped sulfa powder into the empty socket so he could go on fighting.
Reprint - Dan Bled
"Our own losses were high," Eisenhower noted in recapping Adolph Hitler's futile last-ditch plunge in the Ardennes, "With the 106th Infantry Division suffering the worst... because of its exposed position (1) It was not only in the fight from the start, but many men were isolated and captured...altogether, we calculated our losses at a total of 77,000 men; of whom 8,000 were killed, 48,000 wounded and 21,000 captured or missing."
Suddenly, with total surprise, an order was passed down the line: "We're surrendering," a stocky sergeant with an Appalachian drawl commanded. "Bust up your guns!"
At first, I was relieved to realize I had lived through the chaos in the woods - where there was no chance for me to be a hero - without being hurt or killed. When we returned across the draw to the erupting woods, after calling for the mortar fire, I had expected to be shot in the back any second...but there were no shots from the Germans in the woods and all of us survived without a scratch.
But it was a bewildering shock, after the impact began to sink in, to be ordered flat-out to surrender.
Reprint - Dan Bied
ENGINEERSThe 81st Engineer Combat Battalion attached a company to each of the Infantry Regiments. The Battalion CP was in Heuem, about four miles east of St. Vith, on the Schonberg road.
We were still reconnoitering and improving our positions, when a heavy artillery barrage hit the sector at about 0530 hours. After putting the staff on alert, I went to the Division CP in St. Vith to check other reports. St. Vith was being hit from what was described as railroad mounted artillery capable of firing up to 14 inch rounds.
From the G-2 section, I learned the whole front was under heavy attack by enemy infantry supported by tanks and artillery. The Division G-2's attempt to convey this information to the VIII Corps obviously thought that as "green troops," the Division was exaggerating the intensity and scope of the action. Even an attack plan, taken from a captured German Officer, confirming the scope and nature of the attack was either not recognized or never arrived at Corps.
Since the 106th had no infantry in reserve, I was asked by the G-3 to assemble and prepare the 81st Engineers for their secondary mission as an infantry reserve. I returned to the Bn CP about 0800 hours and found that one platoon of Company A and all of Companies B and C had already been committed as infantry reserves by their regiments. This left only the Headquarters and Service Company plus the headquarters and two platoons of Company A.
CPT Harmon, Company A, was the only line company commander on hand at the Bn to attend a meeting, and he was called back to the 422d Regimental Combat Team to defend his Company CP in Auw. Auw was already under attack by enemy infantry in white uniforms and supported by tanks. By 1500 hours, Auw was lost to Germans, and remnants of Company A were working their way back to St. Vith.
Company B, Which had its headquarters in Schonberg, was ordered by the CO of the 423d Regimental Combat Team to clear the village of Bleialf. Our last contact with Company B was through Chief Warrant Officer Carmichael, Bn S-4, who was expediting delivery of ammunition to the company. He also located a few self-propelled tank destroyer guns which eliminated some enemy strong points in the village. Carmichael returned to the Bn CP by early evening before Company B was cut off by the German Advance.
Meanwhile, at the Bn CP in Heuem, phone communications were out and radio channels were jammed. Schonberg and Heuem were being shelled. Auw had fallen, and CPT Harmon had escaped with only a dozen men. Co C. in the meantime, had been committed as infantry to defend the east side of Heckhalenfeld and later to fill in a gap in the line between Heckhalenfeld and Winterspelt..
All reports continued to show a deteriorating situation for the 106th Division. The 14th Calvary Group had fallen back in some areas west and north of St Vith so that the northern flank was wide open. It had also become clear that the Division was being hit by at least four to six divisions, including two Ranger Divisions--not the two Volkszrenadres Divisions originally identified.
REPRINT COL. RIGGS 81st ENGR.
At dawn on 16 December Hitler launched an offensive through the Ardennes. He caught the Allied commanders by surprise, and fog helped to conceal the advance of the German troops. The Germans struck towards Liege, with the further object of capturing the port of Antwerp and splitting the Allied forces, as in 1940. The plan was ingenious and carefully prepared, though Hitler's generals warned him of the difficulties of carrying it through. Actually it was beyond his strength at this stage of the war. But perhaps the attempt was worth making; careful defense could only postpone Germany's defeat. Hitler preferred to gamble on the off-chance of the attack bringing a great German triumph at the expense of the Americans and British. At first the Germans made substantial gains; it was an anxious moment for the Allies. But they collected themselves. The Germans were checked, and then turned back. It was their last offensive.
Reprint T. L. Jarman
LETTER FROM WILL CAVANAUGH OF ENGLAND TO RON MOSLEY. JAN 1979I have come across an item in my collection which may be of interest. It sheds light upon an aspect of the battle which interests you--the encirclement of your two regiments in the Schnee Eifel. In all the books about the battle we are told that General Jones best course of action and that which he decided upon was to withdraw his men back to St. Vith. He had to receive approval from Middleton in Bastogne and called him by phone to do so. During their conversation the telephone connection was inadvertently broken for about 15 seconds and according to the writer of the letter I have, General Jones explained the situation to Middleton. The man who wrote to me is in an ideal position to report what was said since he operated a switchboard in Butgenbach which put through General Jones's call to Bastogne.
The following is his account of that call and the likely confusion which resulted from the call.
At about 10:00 p.m. (Dec. 16) the telephone line became very busy with both 106th Div. and 99th Div. wishing to use it. At about 10:30 the 106th Div. operator broke in on a call to state he had a priority call for General Jones. Listening to him I heard him reach General Middleton at VII corps, Bastogne. General Jones explained how one of his units had collapsed leaving a gap in the lines which he could not close and 2 units were in danger of being encircled. He said he had decided to withdraw them to cover St. Vith but wished General Middleton's approval before issuing the order. At that moment the flap on the switchboard indicated the 99th Div. calling. It was a tiny switchboard with no telephone of its own so I had to disengage our field telephone from the one position and connect at another to acknowledge the call. The 99th operator said he had a priority call from Dauntlers 6 (Gen. Laver) for Victor 6 (Gen. Gerow). I told him the line was occupied by 2 "6s" now on a priority call but I would call him as soon as I could get them off. When I plugged into Gen. Jones call I discovered I had inadvertently broken the connection. When I reconnected it, I heard Gen. Middleton discussing the help he was securing for Jones and when they would arrive. At the time I could not understand in full what was being said because I could not match the code names being used for the units involved. I did not think to break into the conversation to tell them they were cut off for, perhaps 15 seconds. It was perhaps 15 years later that I deduced in reading one of the books on the "Bulge" that that break caused a tragic and drastic misunderstanding.
Battle of the BulgeMost startling to Americans, who had overestimated the effect of our air raids, was the continued vitality of German industry. Despite ceaseless war in the air, Germany succeeded in maintaining production levels in many industries, and even increasing it in the absolutely vital fields of artillery, airplanes, and tanks. This remarkable achievement was brought about largely (through the transfer of important facilities underground. Further cause for optimism on the production front was offered Hitler by the prospect of stabilizing the air war in several months, through use of the new duesen (jet-propelled) plane, which he knew would be superior to anything the Allies would be able to offer for some time. With stability in the air achieved, he would be able to expand production still further.
These were the considerations which led Hitler to believe that he would be able to take the initiative on at least one front, to destroy considerable enemy troops, and to influence the course of the war. But where to attack? And with how many divisions?
"Mein Fuehrer, give me between twenty and thirty divisions, and I will launch an attack." blustering Field Marshal Keitel opined. But the Germans could no longer pick up such a number of divisions at a moment's notice because they had been fighting for five long years. Where would such a force come from? First, by scraping the manpower barrel for the last time, a whole new series of divisions called the Volksgrenadiers, were to be formed--infantry divisions shorn of all but essential units, largely horse-drawn rather than motorized. Into the Volksgrenadiers, not to be confused in any way with the Volkssturm (the People's Army) were to be poured new draftees, young men barely old enough to fight and older men who had fought out the war on the production front. These men were to be fitted around a core of regular army officers and noncommissioned officers, and the divisions were to be filled out with ersatz infantrymen - pilots without planes, ground crews without fields, sailors without ships - all of whom were to be given guns and told how to shoot and fight.
At this last planning session, each army commander outlined the condition of his troops. Dietrich, the chronic complainer was loudest in his protestations that he was unready for the attack, but his cries went unheeded by Hitler. However, to add strength for Dietrich's vulnerable north flank, Hitler provided a battalion of special Jagdigers, with twenty-one huge Tiger tanks mounting 12.8 cm guns, total weight of each being 72 tons, with special armor said to be thick enough to stop any known shell. These tanks were to lumber up the roads leading into the penetration area from the north, and in conjunction with von der Heydte's parachutists prevent reinforcement of the Allied forces from this direction.
Brandenberger carefully shunted his attack divisions into their proper positions, always attempting to prevent detection of unusual movement. Our forces along the front heard these movements--even the Germans can't move seventeen divisions to within a few miles of the front lines completely undetected--but interpreted them as a relief of front line divisions. As one intelligence officer later commented: "Hell, I thought they were moving troops either to the north or south to meet our attacks from these directions. I knew it couldn't be us they were after as this was the quiet sector where everyone got a rest."
Equally worrisome to the German field commanders was the failure of several trainloads of vital gasoline to arrive. From their carefully hoarded supplies of fuel reserves, built up during the calm period from September to December, the German High Command allotted 20,000 tons of fuel: 8,000 tons to carry the attack to the Meuse, an additional 8,000 tons from there to Antwerp, and a final 4,000 tons for a reserve. But again the Germans were caught in their own web, and because the supply officers had initially been instructed that the German attack was a defensive thrust--Wacht Am Rhein--much of the fuel was stored east of the Rhine River. Only a small portion of this hoard was available to panzers.
American soldiers bedded down in the hilly forests of the Ardennes on the night of December 15, peacefully oblivious that late into the night the German commanders labored over plans for the morrow. Although Dietrich begged unpreparedness, while one of his commanders complained that his route was for bicycles, not tanks, Brandenberger cried for more bridging material, Hitler would brook no further delays: "It is now or never," he said. "Quick exploitation of the success of the first day of the attack is decisive," remarked Model. "The first objective is to achieve liberty of movement."
Roaring cannons along an eight-mile front served as the alarm clock for thousands of sleeping American troops that murky morning. It electrified men who felt safe in the assurance that theirs was a rest area. Commanders and their staffs tumbled out of bed to eye with wonder the flashes of the distant artillery and listen, amazed, to reports from their outposts. They didn't wait long: shortly after six o'clock, the first reports were hastily relayed back to the command posts that through the early morning dark could be seen German infantry, moving forward slowly. Behind them snorted the tanks, ready to roar through the gaps cleared by the Infantry. In at least one instance, the Infantry were driving a herd of cattle before them to detonate any mines which might have been planted in the earth by defending troops.
"I told the Furhrer on the first day of the attack that the surprise had been completely achieved," a still smug Jodl announced after the war. "The best indication was that no reinforcements were made in your sector before the attack." So complete was the surprise that not until the next morning did even Middleton, VIII Corps commander, realize the extent of the attacks. "Just a local diversion," one intelligence officer remarked that first day. The Germans had played their cards well, had further confused their intentions by organizing on the spur of the moment a two-battalion attack on the vulnerable north flank of the Ninth Army. You ask, how could we mistake an attack of seventeen divisions, representing probably a total of 200,000 men, for anything but a major attack? One must always remember that at any given time no more than a handful of the total troops of any unit are actually fighting. in the confused situation in the sparsely held Middleton line, where communications rapidly broke down, it was not easy to grasp immediately that this was the great German attack of the Western front. Small groups of Germans, perhaps thirty to forty, were moving forward, feeling their way through the weak points, eliminating the few strong-points we had manned in the Ardennes forests.
Reprint: Robert T. Merriam
589thThe 589th Field Artillery Battalion was activated as a part of the 106th Infantry Division March 15, 1943. Its cadre was furnished by the 80th Infantry Division.
Basic and unit training were completed at Fort Jackson, S. C. The Division engaged in Maneuvers in Tennessee in February and March 1944. On April 2 it went to Camp Atterbury, Indiana, Near Indianapolis. Here its organizations received unit training designed to coordinate the various units and give them practice in working with each other as a team.
Photo/Map: PENETRATION December 16
A large number of men were transferred overseas in May and June and replaced by new men from Replacement Centers at Fort Bragg, N. C. and Camp Roberts, California.
The division was alerted for movement overseas in September and moved by train to Camp Miles Standish on October 9 and 10. The month following was spent in awaiting transportation during which time the equipment was packed and training was continued.
The 589th Field Artillery Battalion left for the European Theater of Operations with the following officers in command:
Commanding General, Division Artillery - Brigadier General Leo T. McMahon
Battalion Commander - Lt Col Thomas P. Kelly
Executive - Major Elliott Goldstein
S-3 - Major Arthur C. Parker III
Headquarters – Capt. Alva R. Beans
A – Capt. Aloysius J. Menke
B – Capt. Arthur C. Brown
C – Capt. Malcolm H. Rockwell
Service – Capt. James B. Cagle Jr.
HISTORICAL JOURNAL OF THE 589th FA BNNovember 10 the Battalion moved to the Port of Embarkation in Boston on special trains from Camp Miles Standish. It rained hard most of the day and the troops were pretty wet by the time they boarded the train. They detrained directly on a covered pier and were served coffee and doughnuts by the Red Cross, leading immediately onto a transport, USCGSS Wakefield", the former luxury liner SS Manhattan, sister ship to the SS Washington and one of the largest ships ever built in America.
The battalion occupied D and E decks forward, sharing the ship with the 590th Field Artillery Battalion, 591st Field Artillery Battalion, 592d Field Artillery Battalions, Headquarters Battery, Division Artillery, and the Division Special Troops. The ship was crowded, there being 5 canvas berths between floor and ceiling, with little space left for passageways.
December 9 - Moved into the line about 11/2 miles south of Auw, Germany. The 106th was relieving the Second Division and the 589th took over the position of the 15th FA Bn. The Cp was set up in the kitchen of a substantial German house. The firing batteries took over log huts and dugouts vacated by the 15th. The howitzers were put into the holes dug by the 15th, as the division was relieving the 2d Division in place. Service Battery sent into position a few miles to the rear (about 4 miles south of Schonberg, Belgium). The veterans of the 2d Division assured their successors that they were in a very "Quiet" sector where nothing ever happened. They hated to leave and when the 589th saw what relatively comfortable quarters they were leaving they could understand it: they had been prepared to live in tents. By 1630 registration was completed by "A" battery and the battalion fired harassing fire that night.
December 10 to 15 - The 422d Infantry, which the battalion was supporting, was occupying the first belt of pillboxes of the Siegfried Line which had been cracked at this point the previous fall. The Germans were well dug in opposite them in pillboxes and other defensive positions in the area of the Schnee-Eiffel, a wooded ridge about 3 miles to the front. The enemy communications center for this area was Prum which was at maximum range (12,000 yards) for "A" Battery.
During this period there was little activity other than few patrol actions. Few observed missions were fired due to the poor visibility. The battalion did, however, have a substantial unobserved, harassing program which was fired every night. The forward observer adjusted by sound, using high angle fire, which necessitated re-digging the gun pits. Alternate positions were selected and surveyed by the survey officer and his party. There were some reports of enemy activity but nothing, apparently, more than routine truck and troop movements. Headquarters Battery crews reported being fired upon on the 15th and the night of the 15th an enemy "recon" plane circled the area for an hour or more. Numerous flares were seen to the flanks of the battalion and a patrol was reported in the area.
December 16 - At 0605 German artillery began shelling the battalion area. The barrage lasted about 30 minutes during which time several shells landed in the immediate area of the CP. The battery positions also appeared to be targets, however no casualties were suffered. The survey officer made studies of craters for determining azimuth of fire (shall-reps) and from an inspection of the fragments it was determined that the enemy was using 88mm, 105mm and 150mm guns.
Telephone lines forward were reported going out and the wire cross were alerted to service the lines.
At about 0800 the battery positions again came under heavy enemy artillery fire. And again no casualties were suffered.
At about 0900 communication was again established with Division and with the 422d Infantry. However the lines were soon shot out again and after 1300, the battalion was, for all practical purposes, isolated from its supported regiment.
The Communications Officer and the Assistant Communications Officer went forward to the Infantry Regimental CP at about 0900 and while returning were fired upon and the Communications Officer, was wounded. He was brought in and later evacuated.
At 0915 a report was received of enemy patrols in Auw. An observer from "C" Battery went forward to a position commanding a view of Auw and from there directed effective fire on the town until he was pinned down by small arms fire. "C" Battery was unable to bring guns to bear on Auw due to a high mask of trees between it and the target.
At about 1030 a patrol was sent out; as additional security, to man defensive positions along the road from Auw. Since it was now apparent that the enemy held Auw, an attack from that direction was expected. This patrol soon reported small arms fire from enemy
Infantry moving out of Auw. An OP was set up in the attic of a building used as quarters for part of Headquarters Battery. At about 1500 three tanks were seen coming along the road from Auw toward the battalion command post. At about 400 yard range the lead tank opened on one of our machine gun outposts damaging 3 machine guns. Small arms fire was directed against the tank, it buttoned up and came on. When it came within range of our bazookas, they opened fire. One hit immobilized the lead tank, it was immediately hit again by guns from "A" Battery and burst into flames. The crew and other personnel attempting to escape were taken care of by small arms fire. The second and third tanks were brought under fire and a hit was scored on the second, however, it and the third tank were able to withdraw to defiladed positions under heavy fire from our guns. One of the tanks firing from a hull down position kept up a harassing fire. Counter fire was directed on its position and it is believed that it, too, was knocked out. The effective work of this patrol and of our firing batteries kept the whole battalion position from being overrun that afternoon.
The 2d Battalion, 423d Infantry, in Division reserve, was ordered forward to hold positions in front of the battalion while it displaced to the rear. The battalion held on in the face of heavy small arms and machine gun fire until relieved shortly after midnight by the Infantry.
Reprint History 589th
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Sorry we couldn't make the Chicago convention. Will make it next year the Lord willing. My family is all well.
James E. Teel
#5 Pearl Street, Port Norris, New Jersey 08349
I want to express my appreciation to the members of the reunion committee for the fine job they aid at the Chicago convention.
To date I have contacted 14 members of Co. L and hope to have been in touch with at least 4 more by the time this reaches you. Hopefully I can talk some of them into joining the Association. Keep up the good work.
2014 Highfield, Dargton Plains, Mi. 48020
I was in C Btry, 590 FA bn. 5th section. When the earth did shake around me, Dec. 16, 1944, and three days later on the 19, I was captured. What sticks in my mind real clear is when they (enemy) lined us up for the long death march (11 days) the German Corporal who spoke English told us they were on their way to get General Eisenhower and the war was over for us and if one prisoner escaped they would shoot 20 hostages. These are special memories, for I still have a vivid memory of that ordeal.
I would like to hear from some of the boys who were in "C" btry. As for me I'm sorry that I did not join the association sooner but on the other hand I did not hear about it until the first of 1979 and then I joined it right away.
One of the members of the association is Wesley R. Robinson who lives about 20 minutes from me. He & I got together last week and we had long talk that I really did enjoy.
I'm wishing you a joyous holiday season.
Rt 4, Box 320, Shepherdsville, Kentucky
Really enjoyed my first issue of the Cub.
Since I am a recent member please make these corrections in my listing: Last name is Oelschig, unit listing Hq. Co. 1st Bn. 423. Please send me some information on the memorial fund. Just how is it used, in what purposes.
Keep up the good work and thanks again.
1715 E. Gwinnett St., Svannah, Ga. 31404
*The memorial fund is used to support memorial in Leige, Belgium.
Enclosed find my check for dues and a contribution to the Memorial fund.
Sorry I was unable to attend the Chicago convention this year, but I hope I will be able to make the next one.
40 Indian Road, Port Chester, New York 10573
Would like to report that Harry Zorn of Bal Harbour, Florida had his leg amputated a few months ago. His wife, Beatrice Zorn said he is coming along okay so far. She said he is in VA Medical Center, Miami, Fla. 33125, Room A 711.
947 N. W. Arnet Street, Port Charlotte, Fla. 33952
There were nineteen--a congenial group and lots of fun. From Brussels we drove to Normandy, where we spent two days. On the first day we had a reception at the town hall, in the town of St. Marie Du Mont, along with a group from the 101st Airborne Division.
Another high point of the tour was our stay in St. Vith. The weather was mild and it was great to see the Ardennes without snow.
Last month we were in Dallas attending a Dental convention. We met E. C. and Zada White for a short visit.
They brought several of the early issues of the Cub plus the Lion's Tale and Col. Dupuy's book St. Vith, Lion In The Way. I have really enjoyed reading all of these.
Sorry we didn't get to see you and everybody in Chicago.
John G. Robb D.D.S.
238 DeVore Drive, Meadville, Pa. 16335
Noted in the last THE CUB that you were interested in items pertaining to the Bulge, etc. Enclosed is a picture of the town in East Germany where I spent most of my time as a prisoner.
The Kommando at Gleina was made up of 130 Americans who were mostly from the 106th. We came to Gleina by train from Stalag IV-B. Our 'home' was upstairs in a German home in what had been a nightclub before the war. The family lived downstairs and we had a stage at one end and a grand piano in the hall. Our guards lived in a small room at the front of the building. Across the street in an old warehouse were 120 British. The cooking was all done by them at a kitchen set up in the warehouse.
We lost ten of our men during the time we were there--mid-January until April 12, 13. They were buried in the local cemetery and I am not certain whether or not they were ever listed as other than missing in action.
It is likely that John Beals and other 106ers marched through Gleina as we knew that men were passing through, although we did not move. On April 12th we were told that they were going to move us but some of us refused to go. David Slayton (an Association member also of A-422 went with the group which was moved. He escaped several days later. Those of us who stayed behind were liberated by American armor the next afternoon, after being shelled on the 12th. The day of liberation was Friday, April 13, 1945.
The man in the picture with me is Wesley Eckblad who now lives in New Hyde Park, N. Y. He is on the right and I am on the left. We spent the afternoon in the Gasthof eating and drinking beer. As night came, he and I decided that we would not stay there but would walk to Zeitz which was about 31/2 kilometers. About halfway we met an Infantry patrol and they carried us to spend the night in an apartment house which they had taken
over. They cooked us supper of eggs, etc. and carried us to the medics the next morning: From there we went to different hospitals by ambulance. I remained in hospitals until about the middle of May and then went to Camp Lucky Strike at Le Harve and from there home.
Ewell C. Black, Jr.
(Picture quality too poor to print) Ed.
Dear Mr. Gallagher:
Back about 1953 I attended a 106th convention in Columbus, I did not meet anyone I knew and became "discouraged" permitting my Association membership to lapse.
I'm enclosing a recent sequence of correspondence which has resulted in Mrs. Ben Hagman graciously sending me some back copies of the CUB, which has now "renewed" my interest in the organization of men who shared, with me, some critical, exciting, and dangerous days back in 1944-45.
For some reason, not exactly clear to me, I was assigned to assist in the writing of the history of the 589th F.A. just before it was deactivated on Oct. 4th 1945 at Camp Patrick Henry, VA. I kept a copy and, upon discharge, turned it into a short booklet which I distributed (at $1.00 per copy) to anyone who was interested. Perhaps you have run across it but if not I still have 6 or 8 copies and I'll enclose one in case it may prove of interest to you.
On re-reading it now I'm impressed by its amateurish, disjointed character but at least it does contain reasonably accurate names, dates and places!
I was a member of Fire Direction Center, 589th F.A. which was emplaced a mile or two south of AUW and just east of Schlausenbach on Dec. 16th. I was "left behind" when HQ Battery was attacked and displaced about 7AM the next morning at a position a couple of miles South Schonberg on the Belgian/Ger Border. I then joined a mixed group of stragglers, led by Lt. Wood, which was shot up and dispersed upon entering Schonberg, from the south, at about 8AM on the 17th. spent the day alone walking east thru the woods on the high ground just south of the Schonberg-St. Vith road. I was finally "corralled" about 4PM by an armoured outfit near Brietfield south of St. Vith.
I was later in a group which travelled by a roundabout route from Vielsalm to Delembreaux (south of Liege) during the period Dec. 22nd to 26th, and I have often regretted I did not write down the time of arrival and the name of the various villages we passed thru. On reading some of the history's ("Dark December", "Lion in the Way" and the War Dept. "Battle of the Bulge") I realize we must have been "Just over the HILL" FROM THE POINT OF Peiper's 1st SS as it moved west thru Stavelot, Trois Ponts and Stoumont. At the time, of course, records never entered my mind but I realize how vital they are (and how meager their sources!) to an accurate understanding and reconstruction of battlefield events.
By copy of this letter I am forwarding, to Robert Pierce a request to be reinstated in the Association.
Francis H. Aspinwall
S/Sgt HQ-589th F.A.
We had a very uneventful trip home from the reunion. Not even any rain.
Every year it seems the convention ends earlier and earlier. We had a very pleasant time and everyone was just wonderful. Saturday night the band was just wonderful. I and Phil danced our little legs off, and we didn't figure on being out all night. Ha Ha.
Well, Bob, I'll close for now and our love to you and Jean from both of us.
Jean & Phil Schutte
I just last week received my new Cub. Enclosed please find my check for dues for the new year. I certainly enjoyed the back issues of the Cub you sent me as well as the current copy.
I wanted to share a couple of experiences with you and our readers. One, I had written to George H. Kaufman in Springfield, Ohio some time back. I had remembered him being in my platoon. Much to my surprise I received a long distance call from George shortly after he got my letter, and we must have talked 30 minutes! It turns out George and I were in the same group who made it through German lines when Co. H., 423 was captured, at least most of them. We later served together for a short time in Co. A., 424th, and he was with me when our squad was hit with 88's on 29 December, 1944. I think it turned out that George, Cpl. Carl Dopp and I were the only survivors of that blast. Dopp and I were wounded and sent to England. George remained with the outfit. How good it was to hear from him, and I have you and the Association to thank for that. I finished out my term overseas with the Signal Corps, serving in Reims, Chalons, Arcis-sur-Aube, Troy, and Marseilles, France; and Linz, Austria where I was placed in charge of a former German Signal Depot warehouse.
Two, my wife and I recently spent our vacation in North and South Carolina in our truck and camper. My, it was nice weather and beautiful scenery. Before leaving South Carolina I just had to visit Ft. Jackson. We found our 106th marker, visited the museum, and found old "Tank Hill." The barracks on the Hill are the only World War II barracks still standing and will be torn down next year. I drove right up to my old former company and found my old barracks. The enclosed picture will show our old mess hall and yours truly. It was quite a nostalgic visit, and I must confess I shed a few tears. I had never been back since we left for Tennessee maneuvers.
Photo: MESS HALL - FT. JACKSON
I saw one inquiry about memorabilia about our old outfit. I, too, have some which I would be glad to share, even an Army Times of 1946. I have an old newspaper picture that appeared in the Army Times in early 1945 which shows our little small group on the morning we hit the American lines on December 23, 1944. I have several pictures that I made with my camera of the men in Co. H, 423 while we were in Ft.
Jackson. To share these with you I would have to get them copied. Let me know.
I was so glad to learn that Colonel Cavender and Colonel Joe Puett were still living. Though just a non-com I remembers them well. I send my blessings to them, and indeed to all who have survived to this day.
Isham A. ‘Ike' Harris, Jr. H 423
1408 Windermere Drive, Columbia, Tenn. 38401
Sorry I couldn't make the reunion in Chicago this year. The move from Jersey to Florida took a great deal of work. Hope to make the reunion In 1980. Sending my dues for the coming year.
John Kucharz G/424
3136 Fiesta Dr., Dunedin, Fla. 33528
Plan to retire in one year from now and hope to make the reunions and the trip to Europe in 1980 or 81.
You people are doing a great job and look forward to receiving the Cub.
Thanks Walt and hope the assn. has a great year.
E. Hagen Jr.
Rt. 2 Box 45, Siseton, S. Dakota 57262
Enclosed is $5.00 money order for current dues. I've been retired for four years from Stamlry Tools. I don't know where the time went, but it sure flies when you are enjoying yourself.
I am still active as American Legion Service Officer, also doing driving and disaster casework for the Red Cross.
I am still in good health, as are my wife and 3 sons. I still correspond with John Carr and John ‘Pat' Hayes. I would be pleased to hear from any of the 422 F fellows.
Waldo B. Pierce F 422
530 East St., New Britain, Conn. 06051
Although I found it impossible to attend the last reunion in Chicago, the report in the latest Cub that I received yesterday documented an excellent report of that event. The CUB as always is the greatest piece of informative material that reaches me.
Enclosed find my dues for the coming period and hopefully I will be able to make Little Rock next year. I spent 1942 there as a 2nd Lt. at the IRPTC; it holds some fond memories for me.
Please record my change of address.
Capt. Gilbert Marcus 423rd Inf.
525 Hawthorne Place Apt. 1707, Chicago, Ill. 60657
I'm a little late with my dues, sorry about that. This year we had the state V.F.W. convention in town, and it was a lot of hard work. I wanted to get to Chicago for our convention, but couldn't make it.
This year we are also having a Prisoner of War convention in town, for the state of Wis. in October. These people have some good ideals. They would like to see all the P.O.W. get at least 50% disability. Anybody that was captured in the Bulge would qualify.
Also, was said there are seven states that give free license plates to the P.W.
We have to be organized in order to get anything from the government. If I get any more information at the convention I will let you know.
Donald Stone C-589 FA
1505 E. Memorial Drive
Janesville, Wisc. 53545
Enclosed is check in amount of $10.00 for 1979-80 dues of 106th Inf. Div. Assoc. sorry that I am late, as usual.
Got to see Sherod Collins & John Gallagher this past Sept. First time I had seen Sherod Collins since Camp Lucky Strike in France 1945. We were both in Service Co. 423 Inf. That was the first time I had met John.
William B. Harris
409 Sunset Rd., West Reading, Pa. 19611
Sorry we missed the reunion in Chicago this year. We are planning to be with the group in Arkansas next year, God willing.
Rt. 2 Box 316, Lucasville, Ohio 4564
Sv. Btry 591st F.A.First I want to correct the information printed in the last Cub as reported by Russell Villwock that I fell down stairs, my back went out, caused by an old injury that comes back every so often and it sure took an inopportune time to go out, two days before we were to leave for the reunion.
I know that we missed a good time and I want to thank Russ for being so understanding. This has been a bad year for me, in April I had a gallbladder operation, two weeks after I was out of the hospital I tried to cut off two fingers on my right hand, laid up again.
I want to thank you John for the wonderful job you are doing with the Cub and I want to take this opportunity to send some messages onto some of my old Service battery buddies. In the last four years I have been unable to get out the news letters that I used to but I see by the latest roster that Service Btry still had eighteen members and two associate members so they are still holding in there in spite of the poor correspondence on my part. I will try to remedy this in the future and I will have to use the Cub more and more. Two weeks ago we received a card from Viola Reilly from France, she went over there with some of the 106th group.
A few weeks back I received a phone call from Bill Hutchinson, he called to tell me that John Jones had died on June 12, John had a bad heart for a number of years and it played out on him.
Kay and I visited John and his wife last fall, the first I had seen John since 45.
I had a call from Orvis and Agnes Samples and they are both doing fine, also heard from Kenneth and Lois Pettit and they are both in good health.
The Pettits don't live too far from Little Rock and if you can stop off to see them on your way to the reunion next ear, Kay and I will be visiting with them. Had a phone conversation with Bill and Barbara Dahlen, they didn't make the reunion this year because of family obligations.
Kay and I will be going to Virginia to spend the Christmas holidays with our daughter and her family and we will try to visit the Dahlens and the Dattte's at that time.
After the reunion this year Bob Ringer and the Bradfields stopped off here for a short visit and I see by the Cub that Brad is going to have the reunion again in 81, glad to hear that as they have a nice spot down there for a reunion.
I don't know what happened to the Clarks and the Serino's that they didn't make the reunion this year as soon as I hear I will pass the information on.
We had planned on taking a trip down south this fall to visit the Clarks, Serino's and the Evans and then I had to get sick so maybe we will be able to make it next spring.
Will end this letter with the hope that I hear from some of you soon and that I will have more to tell in the next issue, take care.
Jack Schlesser Serv-591
11603 W. 206th Avenue, Lowell, Ind. 46356
Sorry we were unable to attend the 106th reunion in July-- recently had back surgery.
A short run down on my family. My wife Margaret and I have 6 children, 14 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. My wife works for a doctor's clinic and I am an electrical engineer at the Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital here in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
We were so sorry to read of the death of Capt. Charles B. Reid. Would it be possible to get the account of the deaths of he and his grandson. Capt. Reid was my Capt.
God willing we will be at the 1980 reunion in Arkansas.
Leonard J. Butterbaugh
228 Frank Street, Council Bluffs, Iowa 51501
SERVICE BATTERYService Btry. held its 26th reunion and annual picnic on Sept. 2, 1979 at the picnic grounds of Hershey Park, Pa. The weather earlier was threatening and we had a shower but luck was with us and the rain stopped and we had a nice day.
Those attending were: Alice & Tom Dorosky, Daisey & Charles Walsh, Betty & Charlie Laphan, Mary & Tom Fox, Ethel & Emil Solecki.
Guests were: Jane & Russ Everetts (Fox), & sons Doug Everetts & Andy Everetts, Bonnie Maceiko (Dorosky) & children Michael Maceiko, Michelle Maceiko, Kathy Maceiko & friend Robert Hackling, Kay & Ray Kemp & children John Kemp, Tom Kemp, Brian Kemp & friend Robert Nickolson, Althea & Tom Zimmerman, Kathy & Dick Morgan (Dorosky), Marie & Elliot Knecht, Gen. & Wilda McMahon & son Leo McMahon, Jr. (retired Col.), John & Stella Gallagher, Vicky & Charlie Cooley & daughter Tammy Cooley & his brother George Cooley.
A pleasant day was had by all.
Emil M. Solecki SVC 592
98 Wood Port Road, Sparta, New Jersey, 07871
As a new member of the 106th Inf. Div. Assn, I do not know what has been written during the past years but I would like to give you a few of my experiences for who may be interested.
I had attended a reunion in Indianapolis immediately after the war at which Joe E. Brown the comedian was a guest and have some pictures around somewhere of this reunion.
However, I never heard from the 106th again until this year when I read about it in the American Legion Magazine.
I became a part of the 106th Div. at Camp Atterbury, then on to Stow-on-the-Wold, England--then to Germany and capture in Dec. ending up in Stalag IX B outside of Bad Orb, Germany.
Since that time I have wanted to revisit Germany and on our 25th wedding anniversary our children sent us on a trip to Munich where we enjoyed a week of traveling to tourist areas of Southern Germany and Salzburg, Austria. I think the highlight of the tour was renting a car and driving to Bad Orb and visiting the site of Stalag IX B. For those of the 106th who were imprisoned there I would like to tell you that the railroad station there still looks the same but the dirt road that led up the long hill to the camp is now a modern asphalt highway. There is still a childrens summer camp on top of the hill--which I think is the old prison camp--but several local residents told me that the Russian cemetery on top of the hill is the site of the old prison camp. We didn't get to visit the area where the 106th fought, but hope to visit Europe again during the next few years.
Victor W. Breite
829 Chain of Rocks Dr., St. Louis, Missouri 63137
Enclosed is $10.00 check for the 1980 membership dues.
I am sorry to have missed the Chicago reunion, but hope to be at Hot Springs next year. I hope more of the cannon co. 422nd joins the division assoc. and that I can contact them.
William E. Rogers
548 Haven Tree Ave., Hazelwood, Mo. 63092
I think we forgot to send the $5.00 more for the dues.
We hope you are all well.
Last week we went out to lunch with Flo and Tom. They love the new place they are living in for it is the first time they have a house alone.
Marge & Dick DeHeer
19 Hopkins, Hillsdale, N. J. 0764
Am enclosing my check for $15.00, ten for the memorial fund and 5.00 for license plate emblem. You mentioned that it was $2.50. Put the rest to postage as I know things have gone up so.
Glad to hear you all had a good time in Chicago at the reunion. Hope next year I'll be able to make it.
Kindly send emblem to address below. Best to you as adjutant.
Alfred Stover F422
2923 Concord St., Sarasota, Fla. 33581
Dear Mr. Villwock:
As a member of the 106th Div. from its activation at Ft. Jackson in March of 1943 to my capture in the Battle of the Bulge, Dec. 19, 1944. I would very much like to become a member of the 106th Inf. Div. Assn.
When you have time, I would Appreciate your sending me the necessary information. I was in Headquarters Co. 1st bn. 422nd Reg. A buck Sgt. in the A & P platoon.
Sam L. Cocke
2517 Harriotte Avenue, Jackson, Miss. 39209
I trust your convention went over all right.
I would like to rejoin the association once more so that I too may keep up with the Lions news.
Will you please send me an application along with a bill for dues.
I was with the division since March, 1943 at Fort Jackson and left them at the bulge.
I was with Hq Battery, 589th FABN, 422nd Reg.
914 Cloverdale Cir., Weathersfield, Conn. 06109
Sorry we could not make the reunion in Chicago. We sure miss seeing all the 106th people. Plan to go to Arkansas in 1980.
Ken Bradfield has purchased a business near here. We talked to him today. Also had dinner with Ken and June last week.
Enclosed is check for 1979-80 dues.
602 West 8th St., Benton, Ky.
Enclosed Is my check for 1970-80 dues.
Johnny Gallagher did a great job in getting the air sections photo and report printed for the Cub. I'll say again thanks for the tremendous job you, Johnny and others do to maintain a viable 106th Inf. Div. Association.
Catherine and I retired last April 1st.
She from the State Dept. of Education and I from the State Dept. of General Services, where I managed the state printing and graphics division.
6414 Monument Avenue, Richmond, Va. 23226
Will you kindly print the following information in your magazine.
Camp Lucky Strike: France
Need information concerning:
INTERNMENT STALAG 9A Bad Orb
STALAG 9B, Ziegenhein
GERMANY to substantiate claim;
Herbert R. Warner,
42 Walter Avenue, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey 07604.
INCOME AND EXPENSE GENERAL FUNDINCOME
Member's Dues $2442.00
Auxiliary Dues 316.00
Interest Earned 225.23
Sale of Emblems and Patches 31.50
CUB Expense 4674.94
Postage & Freight 207.00
Office Supplies and Printing 32.35
OCGL Medal and Scroll 144.60
Registration Fees-3 Officers - 1979 Reunion 177.00
Net Decrease (2225.16)
FUNDS ACTIVITIESGENERAL FUND RECAP
Brought Forward $4213.19
Net Decrease 2225.16
Balance June 30, 197fr 1988.03-
MEMORIAL FUND ACTIVITY
Brought Forward $6476.15
Interest Earned 442.60
Balance June 30, 1979 7855.75
CHANGES IN CASH POSITIONGENERAL FUND MEMORIAL FUND TOTALS
This Year 1988.03 7855.75 9643.78
Last Year 4213.19 6476.15 10,689.34
BANKS OF DEPOSIT Checking - First National Bank of Atlanta $ 50.50
Savings - Fulton Federal Savings and Loan Association 9793.28
Thank you for your faithful support.
Sherod Collins, Treasurer
REPORTFor over a year the Department of Defense has been attempting to identify former military and civilian Defense personnel who participated in the atmospheric nuclear tests conducted from 1945 to 1962. The Defense Nuclear Agency is the Executive Agent for this program.
If you participated in these tests, which were held largely in Nevada and at Bikini and Enewetak atolls in the Pacific, you are urged to contact the Defense Nuclear Agency if you have not done so in 1978-79.
Index for: Vol. 36 No. 2, Jan, 1980
106th Div., 5, 13, 15, 16, 17, 20, 22, 23, 43
106th Div. History, 3
106th Inf. Div., 3, 17, 19, 21
106th Memorial, 11
116th Panzer Div., 16
14 Cav. Gr., 15
14th Calvary Grp., 22
14th Cav. Gp., 16, 17, 19
15th FA BN., 27
168th Engr. Cbt. BN, 17
18th Volksgrenadiers, 16
1st BN, 424th Inf., 16
1st SS Panzer, 16
28th Inf. Div., 15
2nd BN, 423rd Inf., 29
2nd Div., 27
2nd Inf. Div., 27
422nd Inf., 16, 27, 28
422nd Inf. Regt., 14, 20
422nd Regt. Cbt. Team, 21
423rd Inf., 15, 16, 17, 37
423rd Regt., 18
423rd Regt. Cbt. Team, 21
424th Inf. Regt., 16, 17
589th FA BN, 3, 25, 27
590th FA BN, 27
591st FA BN, 27
592nd FA BN, 27
62nd Volksgrenadiers, 16
7th Armd. Div., 14
80th Inf. Div., 25
81st Engr., 8, 21
81st Engr. BN, 3
81st Engr. Cbt. BN, 21
99th Div., 23
99th Inf. Div., 15, 16, 17
Agony Grapevine, 19
Alf-Ihren River, 15
American Military Cemetery, 9
Antwerp, 22, 25
Ardennes, 7, 17, 19, 21, 22, 25, 31
Ardennes Forest, 14, 25
Aspinwall, Francis, 4
Aspinwall, Francis H., 3, 4, 33
Auw, 16, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 33
Auw, Germany, 27
Bad Orb, 41
Bad Orb, Germany, 41
Balke, Gene, 7, 8
Balke, Sgt. Gene, 11
Bastogne, 17, 23
Battle of the Ardennes, 9
Battle of the Bulge, 13, 14, 17, 23, 33, 43
Beals, Carol, 7, 8, 13
Beals, John, 31
Beans, Capt. Alva R., 27
Bied, Dan, 21
Black, Ewell C., Jr., 33
Bleialf, 16, 17, 21
Bosi, Arthur, 1
Bradfield, Ken, 1, 3, 43
Breite, Victor W., 41
Brice, Lt. William B., 14
Brown, Capt. Arthur C., 27
Brown, Joe E., 41
Brussels, 9, 13, 31
Bullard, Dr., 12
Butterbaugh, Leonard J., 40
C Btry, 590 FA BN, 29
Cagle, Capt. James B., Jr., 27
Camp Atterbury, 41
Camp Atterbury, IN, 26
Camp Jackson, SC, 3
Camp Lucky Strike, 33, 38, 44
Camp Myles Standish, MA, 27
Camp Patrick Henry, 3
Camp Patrick Henry, Va, 33
Camp Roberts, CA, 27
Carmichael, CWO, 21
Carr, John, 37
Cavanaugh, Father, 13
Cavanaugh, Will, 23
Cavender, Col., 35
CBT CMD B, 14
CBT CMD B, 9th Armd., 17
Chase, Fred B., 1, 3
Clarke, Bruce, 13
Cocke, Sam L., 43
Coffey, Doug, 10, 11, 31
Coffey, Douglas S., 1
Collins, Sherod, 1, 38, 45
Cooley, George, 41
Cooley, Tammy, 41
Cooley, Vicky & Charlie, 41
Craig, Col. Malin, Jr., 3
Dahlen, Bill & Barbara, 39
Dalton, Cpl. Paul, 13
Dark December, 33
DeHeer, Marge & Dick, 42
Descheneaux, Col., 20
Dietrich, Sepp, 16
Div. Arty., 3
Div. Special Trp.s, 27
Dobe, Gabrielle, 7
Dolitsky, Libby, 31
Dopp, Cpl. Carl, 35
Dorosky, Alice & Tom, 41
Dupuy, Col., 15, 17, 20, 31
Dupuy, Col. R. Ernest, 4
Eckblad, Wesley, 32
Eisenhower, Gen., 29
Eisenhower, John, 20
Everetts (Fox), Jane & Russ, 41
Everetts, Andy, 41
Everetts, Doug, 41
Fifth Panzer Army, 16
Fitzpatrick, Sgt., 8
Fort Bragg, NC, 27
Fox, Mary & Tom, 41
Fradianni, Frank, 43
Fradianni, Frank J., 1
Frampton, Duward B., 19
Ft. Jackson, SC, 25, 35, 43
Gallagher, John, 38
Gallagher, John & Stella, 41
Gallagher, John I., 1, 3
Gallagher, Johnny, 43
Germany, 22, 23, 31, 41, 44
Gerow, Gen., 23
Goldstein, Maj. Elliott, 27
Gregory, Leo & Margaret, 7
Habscheid, 15, 16
Hackling, Robert, 41
Hagen, E., Jr., 37
Hagman, Gary, 5
Hagman, Juanita, 5
Hagman, Lt. Col., 5
Hagman, Mrs. Ben, 33
Harmon, Capt., 21, 22
Harris, Isham A. ‘Ike', Jr., 35
Harris, William B., 38
Hayes, John ‘Pat', 37
Henson, E. G., 5
Hester, Kenneth, 30
Heuem, 21, 22
Hitler, Adolf, 13
Hitler, Adolph, 21
Hotel De Ville, 11
Hq Btry., 589th FABn, 422nd Reg., 43
HQ Btry., Div. Arty., 27
HQ Co. 1st BN. 422nd Reg., 43
Hughes, George, 8
Hutchinson, Bill, 39
I SS Panzer Corps, 16
II SS Panzer Corps, 16
Jarman, T. L., 22
Joan Of Arc, 9
Jones, Gen., 15, 17, 19, 23
Jones, John, 39
Jones, Maj. Gen. Alan W., 3, 18
Kaufman, George H., 35
Keitel, Field Marshal, 23
Kelly, John & Virginia, 7
Kelly, Lt. Col. Thomas P., 27
Kemp, Brian, 41
Kemp, John, 41
Kemp, Kay & Ray, 41
Kemp, Tom, 41
Kent, Col., 20
King, Kenneth K., 1
Knecht, Marie & Elliot, 41
Kriz, Howard, 13
Kriz, Howard & Carmagene, 7
Kucharz, John, 35
Laphan, Betty & Charlie, 41
Laver, Gen., 23
Leige, Belgium, 30
Liege, 22, 33
Linz, Austria, 35
Lion In the Way, 33
Longest Day, 10
Maceiko (Dorosky), Bonnie, 41
Maceiko, Kathy, 41
Maceiko, Michael, 41
Maceiko, Michelle, 41
Marcus, Capt. Gilbert, 37
Marseilles, France, 35
Martinek, Harold W., 1
Matthews, Joe, 2
Matthews, Joseph C., Jr., 1
McGraw, Laverne, 7
McMahon, Brig. Gen. Leo T., 27
McMahon, Gen. & Wilda, 41
McMahon, Leo, 5
McMahon, Leo, Jr., 41
Menke, Capt. Aloysius J., 27
Merriam, Robert T., 25
Middleton, 23, 25
Middleton, Gen., 23
Mont St. Michel, 10
Montgomery, Field Marshal, 19
Morgan (Dorosky), Kathy & Dick, 41
Mosley, Ron, 23
Munich, 9, 41
Nickolson, Robert, 41
Ninth Armd., 14, 15
Ninth Armd. Div., 14
Normandy, 9, 31
Oelschig, Albert, 30
Our River Valley, 16
Our Valley, 15, 17
Pankert, Director, 11
Paris, 11, 17
Parker, Maj. Arthur C. III, 27
Peiper's 1st Ss, 33
Pettit, Kenneth & Lois, 39
Pierce, Robert, 33
Pierce, Robert W., Sr., 1
Pierce, Waldo B., 37
Pip Margraff, 11
Pip, Mayor, 11
Prisoner of War, 37
Puett, Col. Joe, 35
Rarick, Clayt, 3
Reid, Capt., 40
Reid, Capt. Charles B., 40
Reilly, Vi, 7, 13
Reilly, Viola, 7, 39
Rhine River, 25
Riggs, Col., 22
Ringer, Bob, 39
Robb, Dr. John & Marilyn, 7
Robb, John, 13
Robb, John G., 31
Robinson, Wesley R., 30
Rockwell, Capt. Malcolm H., 27
Rogers, William E., 41
Roubaix, France, 9
Ryder, Hal, 10
Salzburg, Austria, 41
Samples, Orvis & Agnes, 39
Saturday Evening Post, 19
Schlesser, Jack, 39
Schnee Eifel, 15, 17, 20, 23
Schonberg, 15, 16, 21, 22, 33
Schonberg Road, 21
Schonberg, Belgium, 27
Schonberg-St. Vith Road, 33
Schutte, Jean, 7
Schutte, Jean & Phil, 34
Scott, Earl, 43
Seevers, Ralph, 38
Seventh Armd., 15
Seventh Armd. Div., 15
Shakespeare, Lt. William V., 20
Siegfried Line, 27
Sixth SS Panzer Army, 16
Skardon, Alvin W., 1
Slayton, David, 31
Solecki, Emil M., 41
Solecki, Ethel & Emil, 41
SS Manhattan, 27
SS Washington, 27
St. Marie Du Mont, 9, 31
St. Vith, 8, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 31, 33
Lion In The Way, 14
Lion In the Way', 3, 31
Stalag 9-A, 44
Stalag 9-B, 44
Stalag IV-B, 31
Stalag IX-B, 41
Stavelot, 18, 33
Stimson, Henry L., 19
Stone, Donald, 37
Stover, Alfred, 43
Stow-On-The-Wold, England, 41
Sv. Btry 591st FA, 39
Teel, James E., 29
Tennessee Maneuvers, 35
The Battle of the Bulge, 3, 17, 19
Trois Ponts, 33
Utah Beach, 9
Vielsalm, 15, 33
VII Corps, 23
VIII Corps, 15, 21, 25
Villwock, Russell, 39
Villwock, Russell H., 1
Volkssturm (The People's Army), 24
Von Der Heydte, 24
Von Rundstedt, 14, 17, 18
Wacht Am Rhein, 25
Walsh, Daisey & Charles, 41
Warner, Herbert R., 44
Washington, George, 10
Wells, Jim, 11, 12
Wells, Jim & Maydean, 7
White, E. C. & Zada, 7, 31
Winterspelt, 15, 17, 22
Wood, Lt., 33
Wyatt, Van, 3, 43
Zimmerman, Althea & Tom, 41
Zorn, Beatrice, 31
Zorn, Harry, 31