The Cub

Vol. 51, No. 4, Jul., 1995

 

 

President's Quarterly Report ...

          My term of duty for this great organization will expire at the 49th Annual Reunion in Orlando, Florida. It has been a real pleasure to work with the very effective staff of the 106th Infantry Division Association. We are all driven by our very young, tough experiences (average age in 1944 was under 22).         

          I want to thank my two Vice-Presidents for the excellent cooperation they have given me in my term as PRESIDENT.     

          Richard L. Rigatti, 1ST VICE-PRESIDENT, has been drumming up business for the December Commemoration Parties by contacting potential Chairmen for the Commemoration Parties. He is also in touch with the Roanoke Committee for the 50th Annual Reunion.       

          Major Hill, 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT represented our Association very well at the re-dedication of the St. Vith Memorial during the 50th Anniversary Celebrations in Europe.

Our membership growth has been tremendous since 1986, when the Adjutant's Report showed 652 members. The current membership is 1,680. Most of this probably relates to the relatively youthful group reaching retirement age during the last ten years.

          Gil Helwig, our MEMBERSHIP CHAIRMAN has accounted for 449 new members since 1988.

          John Kline, our EDITOR, has a very fine touch in The CUB of the Golden Lion which is a superior communication tool with excellent content. Upon the death of Boyd Rutledge, our former Adjutant, John took over the transitional duties until our new Adjutant was selected and ready to take over the responsibility.

Sherod Collins wears three hats these days: TREASURER, HISTORIAN and CHAIR of the new committee to review annually the Past and Present worthy appointments to the Order of the Golden Lion. This new committee should provide the membership with timely recognition of outstanding contributors to the success of the Association.

Pete House, our new ADJUTANT, has come up to speed with his necessary transitions into that vital position. My appreciations to you, Pete.

Jack Sulser the 50TH ANNIVERSARY CHAIRMAN, has followed and represented as well this year in various celebrations continuing well into the year. Many of the contacts derived from his former job in the Foreign Service have been beneficial to our Association. Thanks Jack for your representation.

Jerry Eiseman continues to Chair the SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE very effectively, earning the respect of the coming generation for the Association.

John Swett, heading the NOMINATING COMMITTEE has accomplished a very excellent selection of new board members.

Dr. John Robb continues to Chair the MEMORIALS COMMITTEE covering the transition in St. Vith as well as the Memorial at Camp Atterbury which I visited with Sherod Collins in July. A special thanks goes to O. Paul Mere who is our representative for the Atterbury Memorial and to Dr. Richard Peterson, who, with a personal visit, resolved the issues at St. Vith. The Memorial Committee worked as a great team.

(continued next page)

106th Infantry Association President

Thomas J. Riggs, Jr., 1994-1995

CO, 81st Combat Engineers Battalion

 

 

 

 

 


 

President's Quarterly Report (continued) ...

          Reverend Black continues as our personable CHAPLAIN. He has been appointed as our "Roberts Rules of Order" authoritarian.

          We also express our thanks to John Reils, Chairman of the Orlando Reunion Committee. He and his committee, Dick Sparks, Ted Slaby, Sam Davis and Gordon Zicker, have done an excellent job in lining up the reunion for us.

My great appreciation to all of you: Fellow officers, staff and membership for an excellent and continuing Association.

Let as get the business done in Orlando, and enjoy ourselves.

Thomas J. Riggs, President

50th Anniversary D-Day Celebration

 

From Richard L. Rigatti, 1st Vice-President

The 106th Infantry Division Association was represented, at the Fort Myer, VA 50th Anniversary of D-Day by President-elect, Richard L. Rigatti and Mrs. Rigatti: Past President, Jack Sulser, our Association's 50th Anniversary Representative, with Mrs. Sulser and Richard Parker. Services were held on 8 May, 1995 at Fort Myer, adjacent to the Arlington Cemetery.

Noted speakers were President William Jefferson Clinton and General Shalikasvili, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. All branches of the Armed Forces were paraded for an invited gathering of 5,200 people....

From William O. Tower, 106 RECON TROOP

Through an invitation from my Congressman, we were privileged to attend the 50th Anniversary of D-Day Celebration at Fort Myer, VA. We were seated very close to President Clinton's platform and I was able to take the picture showing him - above. The event was covered by the TV networks. The President looked very relaxed and seemed to enjoy the ceremony. As he walked by our areal was able to get a good video of him.

It doesn't seem possible that 50 years has passed. I was 20 miles from the Elbe River on a work Kommando at Altos Lager when the Russian liberated us on 23 April. While it was hard work, I was fortunate to not be forced to walk on those long marches that some of you experienced.

I enjoy The CUB and enjoyed the Fort Jackson Reunion. signed Bill Tower, 106 RECON TROOP

 

2


 

"You Can't Hide ...

SP

Often some says or does something in my presence and then apologies to me for it. The wording usually goes something like this:

"I'm sorry, preacher, I didn't mean to say/do that in your presence".

My usual answer is, "You don't need to apologize to me, I have heard and seen worse! Your apology should be to God."

For some reason people seem to think that if a

Reverend Ewell C     Jr , Chaplain

422. Dr, Assc,         minister or rabbi isn't there to hear or see them —

212 Rid" S'"Pvthe' SC 290" that God doesn't. What a mistake this is! 803-484-686,

The story is told of an astronomer by the name of Mitchell who was observing the setting sun through his large telescope. He gradually lowered the telescope to keep in view this great body of light as it sank slowly in the western sky. As the telescope was lowered the top of a distant hill came into his line of sight-and growing on this hill was a number of apple trees.

As the trees came into his sight, Mitchell noticed two boys in one of the trees who appeared to be stealing the apples. As one was picking the fruit, the other was acting as lookout. With this arrangement, the boys felt safe in what they were doing, for they felt that if someone came they could escape without getting caught, and no-one would ever know that they had been stealing the apples. Unknown to them, this astronomer, though seven miles away was aware of their every move just as though he was standing on the hilltop with them.

You and I often forget that God is all-seeing and that God never sleeps. Because we forget this fact, we seem to think that if we are far from home or if a minister or rabbi does not see or hear us that we have gotten away with something.

How foolish we are to believe such a thing! Proverbs 15:3 tells us, "The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good."

Father God, help us to understand that we are constantly in your sight and that nothing we do or say escapes your notice. So help us to keep our tongues and live our lives that we might not have to fear your knowledge of us. AMEN

 

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Front & Center ...

From Your Editor

I would like to pass along my thanks to the Board and to our Officers, Riggs, Rigatti and Hill. I think they have done an excellent job this year in focusing on some important issues. We may be getting a little too old to make many changes, but is does help "To tidy up the front." I guess those are the words of General Montgomery, but they seem to fit in this case. The work that has been done with the staff and the committees will make it easier to concentrate on the work at hand with some time to relax and enjoy our "autumn years."

For you that have access to "On Line Services" for your computer

Please send me an E-Mail so that I can have your "Address." I find this sort of communication fascinating, inexpensive and totally functional.

My "Screen Name " For INTERNET. is  JKline7265@AOL.com,

If you are on AOL just use JKline7265. I check for mail often.

The above addresses do not apply to PRODIGY or COMPUSERVE, sorry..

If you are not on the computer, maybe you have someone in the home that is.

It's nice to be able to communicate around the world, in a the flash of a few seconds.

As a matter of fact, even though it is not at this time necessary, the CUB text files could be transmitted to a printer, who has the connections, anywhere in the United States, or the world. Amazing how the "State of the Art" is progressing.

THANKS FROM

Carl Messina

"A" Company 81st Combat Engineers

Carl asks that I pass along his "THANKS" for the many cards and letters that he has received.

Carl has been a staunch supporter of the 106th Infantry Division Association. In recent years he has held several very successful "December 16 Commemoration Parties" to satisfy the need of those in the New Jersey area.

You that know Carl, know that he feels obligated to answer each and every one of them, but he has over eighty pieces of mail that are unanswered. He says his energy level is low and that it would take him a month to answer all of them.

know he would like to hear from more of you. HIS ADDRESS IS:

Carl Messina, 926 Seymour Ave Linden, NJ 07036

Drop him a note , I know he will appreciate it.

Thanks to all of You

ANN Sherod ColGtu & joint Vim,

During the renewal of annual dues we get numerous notes and letters thanking us for all we have done for the Association, and compliments on our work. Instead of responding to each, or putting the remarks in The CUB - We just want to say thanks to you - Without your support we could not be efficient in our work.

50th Anniversary newspaper articles. There were so many that it would be impossible to repeat everyone in The CUB. It is "for sure" that the 106th Infantry Division Vets were well received and publicized during the 50th Anniversary. Congratulations to all of you...

 

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Front & Center ...

                   

                   

ANNUAL                  FLASH

MEMBERSHIP FEES                   1995 ORLANDO

WERE DUE             REUNION BULLETIN

JULY 1, 1995                    As of July 21, 1995 there are 696 people that have made HOTEL reservations for 345 rooms, but only 496 have sent REUNION REGISTRATIONS to the committee..

          The Hotel is nearly SOLD OUT of the block of rooms that they set aside for our Reunion. Make your reservation NOW!

          If you have not registered with the Reunion Committee, please do so NOW!

          Registration packets for the

          49th ANNUAL REUNION in Orlando, Sept 7-8-9 were sent in January.

If you have not received your packet, maybe because you are a new member, or the packet got lost in the mail, contact the committee at the following address and you will receive a packet by return mail.

          106th Infantry Division Reunion

          c\o Focal Point

          2867 Stonewall Place

          Sanford, FL 32773 OR

          Call Dick Sparks 904-789-4692 for the packet or any question on the reunion facilities or schedule. TOURS ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE REGISTRATION FEE.

          There are so many Tours and attractions (TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE HOTEL) in the nearby Walt Disney World, EPCOT Center, Disney/MGM Studios and Disney resorts that there are tours leaving the hotel every hour or so. We felt that groups of you could pick your own entertainment/tours rather than have scheduled Association tours.

We have over 400 members NOT PAID as of July 21, 1995.              

Please look at the label on the envelope that this CUB was mailed in.         

Check the expiration date:           

If it says "LIFE MEMBER" you do not have to worry about ANNUAL DUES.          

If you have paid your dues it should read "Pd thru 06/30/96." Some of you have paid more than one year in advance, so it will read accordingly.                 

If it reads "Pd thru 06/30/95" you are delinquent in paying your ANNUAL FEE.             

Please submit your ANNUAL FEE if you are delinquent:                   

This is "POSITIVELY" the last CUB you will receive, if you have not paid your ANNUAL FEE!                  

CHECK THE LABEL          

ON YOUR CUB                 

ENVELOPE FOR               

THE DATE YOU                

ARE PAID               

THROUGH...          

PAY UP NOW!                   

                   

 

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Front & Center ...

DISCLAIMER:

"Stories and articles published in The CUB are views and thoughts by the writer and are not the views of the 106th Infantry Division Association or its officers, unless it is in reference to Association business, and/or contains the name of the officer reporting." John Kline, editor

EXTRA COPIES of CUB

The cost for each extra copy of any issue of The CUB is $2.50 payable to the 106th Infantry Division Association and mailed to the treasurer. See his address in the inside front cover of this CUB.

Do not send requests and checks to the editor, send them to the Treasurer, whose address is on the inside cover of this CUB,

Golden Lion Patches

Shoulder patches $2.50

Blazer patch $6.50

The Blazer patch is four inches in diameter, with the Association name in a circle around the regular shoulder patch.

These are replicas of the original, not an exact match, but very close

Order from the ADJUTANT. Address on the inside front cover of CUB.

CUB PASSES IN REVIEW

Less than TWENTY left in existence (for sale). Send your $18.50 to the Treasurer.

After they are gone, there will be no more printed.

Treasurer's address on inside front cover of CUB.

NOTICE: '95 Reunion Attendees

The Orlando 1995 Reunion Committee has mailed out discount transportation vouchers to use for the Airport/Grosvenor Resort Shuttle (except for Florida residents.). These have been mailed to all those who have registered for the reunion. Watch for this mailing! This discount will not be available to you without a voucher.

If you have questions,

call Dick Sparks (904) 789-4692.

*Florida residents requiring a voucher should also

contact Dick Sparks.

 

6

 


 

Front, LJR - Dick Sparks, John Reils, Ted Slaby Back L/R - Gordon Zicker; Sam Davis

The 1995 Reunion Committee looks forward to welcoming you in person to Orlando, the city beautiful.... a great place to vacation while renewing old acquaintances and sharing news and memories.

Besides the busy reunion agenda, lots of leisure time has been allowed for you to enjoy the many attractions, beaches, and abundant shopping the area has to offer.

The beautiful Grosvenor Resort, the host hotel for the 49th Annual Reunion, can accommodate all your personal needs and arrangements during your stay.

See you in September... at the 106th's 49th Annual Reunion ... In the Sunshine State!

Your Committee

THE 1995 REUNION COMMITTEE

 

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Welcome from the

City of Orlando

OFFICE OF   (!if R of Orlanbo       .071 l.:6•78.1

GLENDALE. HOOD  CITY HALL. ONE CITY COMMONS         

          400 SOUTH ORANGE AVENUE    

          ORLANDO. FLORIDA        

          32801-3302 

WELCOME!

          On behalf of our beautiful city and its gracious citizens, I would like to take this opportunity to extend a personal welcome to the 106th Infantry Division Association. Orlando is proud to be the host city for your 49th Annual Reunion.

For those who am first-time visitors, we hope you will have an opportunity to enjoy all the wonderful amenities that Orlando has to offer. Visit our beautiful parks and lakes, our championship golf courses and, of course, our world famous attractions. Wherever you go you will find friendly Floridians who am experienced and willing hosts.

Best wishes for an enjoyable reunion. We are glad you am hem and know you won't be disappointed. Orlando is dynamic, full of energy, and the heartbeat of Central Florida. Enjoy our city, meet our people, and please come visit us again.

Sincerely,

cT )44cc,/

Glenda E. Hood Mayor

 

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A tribute to our Belgian Friends Adda and VViM

Adda and VVilli RIKKEN, Gouvy, Belgium

Friends of the 106th Infantry Division

Veterans - Members of CRIBA

The school where Adda taught for years.

Located in Aldringen. Here lived the Germans who had the responsibility of the first V2 - launched from the location called "le Beuleu* in Sterpigny (Gouvy) to Paris - A World Premiere by John Kline

          If you were walking down the street in St. Vith, and a charming couple walked up to you to say, "Are you from the 106th Infantry Division?" it would most likely be Adda & Willi RIKKEN.

Phil and Shirley Gerlach, 424/D were fortunate to meet them during the 50th Anniversary celebrations last year, doing just that - walking down the street to try out a new restaurant. Willi and Adda befriended them for three days.

          Then we learned of the RIKKENS through Bob Lowry, our new ASSOCIATE member who shows up in the article entitled Eric Wood Memorial rededication pages 19-24 of the Jan-Feb-Mar 1995 CUB. Adda is shown in the first photo on page 23, sitting in the St. Vith Church. Adda and Willi also show up on page 26 of the Oct-Nov-Dec 1994 CUB, along with Bob Lowry and his wife, and LTC John Greene and Mrs. Greene.

Tum to next page. w\ 4

1944-1994

Belgium remembers

T. pe.le of fklamm pay Wane

as all those who took part tn the !thermion 01 tIse cuum,

m 19444045

We remember wnli deep wrist. 'how Is. died

dnd those w. were ...Jed. We re indebeed to their bravery

Out or t.ir unlike comes our freedom.

To the 1,11. ,,ettrial....111 take pan

in the  •1995 comawnaoranon we say.

-Welcome back. thank yoa. we shall nom foram sou

kan•Lec DEHADIE otte="et he:..1

Belgium Remembers its Liberators

 

 


 

A tribute to our Belgian Friends Adda and Willi

          My wife Margot and I along with other friends are visiting Belgium in late September. We will be honored to finally meet Adda and Willi, as well as Ltc John Greene, President of the Reserve Officers Association of Benelux (ROA). We have a meeting planned with C.R.I.B.A., their President Andre' HUBERT and the members of C.R.I.B.A. at Parker's Crossroads to honor them, and to get acquainted with those C.R.I.B.A. members we have written to and heard about all these years.

Adda and Willi have been very attentive to the graves of American Soldiers over many, many years.

Please read the letter, replicated on this page, from the United States Committee on Armed Services, wherein Adda receives due honor for the attention she has given our dead servicemen.

Congratulations, Adda and Willi you honor us and our country.

God Bless You.... J. Kline

"""

--"""=7'z—""   United Motes denote

 

May 4, 1995

Ms. Adda Rikken

c/o AMEMBASSY BONN - BAES PSC 117, Box 390

APO, AE 09080

Dear Adda:

          Enclosed is a flag that was flown over the United States Capitol on April 3, 1995, on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of WW II and in appreciation of your 20 years of devotion to adopted graves of American Servicemen in the Henri Chapelle Military Cemetery and the maintenance of the LT Eric Wood Memorial near Meyerode. A certificate from the Architect of the Capitol accompanies the flag.

          Our flag is a symbol of our nation's unity and history. Wherever it flies, it is a testimony of America's dedication to freedom and justice. On this Memorial Day, the BENELUX Reserve Officers Association chapter would like to present this flag and certificate to you as a token of appreciation.

          I would like to add my personal word of appreciation to those of the BENELUX Reserve Officers Association. On behalf of the Senate and the American people, I thank you and your husband, Willi, for all you have done these past 50 years to honor the graves of the American Service men killed in the liberation of Europe. May God bless you and keep you.

Sincerely,

Sam Nunn

Enclosures

COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES

WASHINGTON. DC 20510-6050

 

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Further Tributes to C.R.I.B.A. ...

John Miller, (Col US Ret), 423/E and his wife, Jean, met with Andre' HUBERT, President C.R.I.B.A (shown on left) while touring Belgium.     

HUBERT met them at Marie LeHaire's Restaurant Hotel, L'AUBERGE DU CARREFOUR at Parker's Crossroads (Baraque de Fraiture, Belgium).         

Miller presented HUBERT with a 106th Inf. Div. Association 'bolo tie in honor of the meeting. The Miters thoroughly enjoyed the visit with Andre' and their tour of the beautiful country of Belgium.      

Thanks to C.R.I.B.A.

 

From Huberto Aponte, 422/M Corozal, Puerto Rico

Humberto writes:

"This letter is intended for the sole purpose of making known my thanks and gratitude towards C.R.I.B.A.

"I enlisted the aid of the "Centre de Recherche et d'information sur la Bataille des Ardennes," through its President Monsieur Andre' HUBERT. This was necessary as I desired to make mail contact with a friend who lived in Bas-Oha, Andenne. He assigned this hard task to Monsieur Marc SMETS who is one of the C.R.I.B.A. members and a resident of Andenne. He pursued the matter and via a letter on 24 May, 1995 transmitted the sad news that my friend Mlle, Yvonne Phillipart had passed away over two years ago.

"I hope to establish contact with her daughter and/or a surviving sister. This could not have taken place without the assistance of Monsieur Andre' HUBERT and Monsieur Marc SMETS of C.R.I.B.A.

"Needless to say that I knew of the existence of C.R.I.B.A. and its president, because I read and save every issue of The CUB that I receive.

"Thanks to you as editor and my eternal gratitude to C.R.1.B.A. Messieurs HUBERT and SMETS"

Very truly yours.

I remain your comrade, (signed) Humberto Aponte

 

 


 

1995 Memorial Ceremonies - Camp Atterbury

Report of Camp Atterbury Ceremonies, 16 July 1995

by Sherod Collins, Treasurer/Historian

Indiana National Guard officials headed by Camp Commander Colonel Garry Willis spared no effort to produce a successful event on Sunday 16 July 1995.

Representatives of all units who trained at Camp Atterbury were present. An appreciative audience was seated beneath camouflage netting, which reduced the effects of the very severe heat of the day. Temperatures must have ranged up to over 100 degrees.

          Dignitaries and unit representatives were seated in front of the memorial wall upon which colorful unit shoulder patches were reproduced. These dignitaries and unit representatives were introduced after preliminary music by a bagpipe band.

Col. Thomas J. Riggs, Jr. 81st Engineers, gave the principal address. Following this and after remarks by 106th Historian Sherod Collins, Col. Riggs read a citation awarding the Order of the Golden Lion, Officer Class, by the Board of Directors of the 106th Infantry Division Association to O. Paul Men 422nd Service Company. Paul serves on the advisory committee to the Board of Directors of the Camp Atterbury Memorial Park, he is also a member of the Board of Directors of the 106th Infantry Division Association, whose term expires this year. Paul also serves on the Association's Memorial Committee that is Chaired by Dr. John Robb. Wreaths from all units were displayed and were retired as part of the ceremonies. The bagpipe band concluded the activities.

          106th Division Association members came from all directions. Present were Col. Tom Riggs; Sherod Collins; Phil Cox; Ken Smith; 0. Paul Merz; Damon Young and couples M/M Gene Saucerman; M/M Harold Hawkins; M/M Ken Bradfield; M/M Bob Scranton; M/M Charles Datte, and M/M William Dahlen.

          Prior to the celebration, the City of Columbus, Indiana celebrated the 50th Anniversary, of the end of World War 11 by unit reunions, a parade, a reception at the Holiday Inn, and a ceremony and aircraft display at Baklar Air Force Base

 

Lai

Photo of the Camp Atterbury Memorial, taken during the original dedication which was held on August 15, 1992. Coincidentally on the date of 15 August, 1942,

Camp Atterbury had conducted an "Open House' dedication of the new Army Post.

 

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1995 Memorial Ceremonies - Camp Atterbury

Photos furnished by Collins, Saucerman and Merz -LJR: men of the 106th:121§soki Harold Hawkins; Bob Scranton; Col Thomas Riggs; O. Paul Merz; Damon Young; G07-5-Ricerrnan;

Sherod Collins and Phil Cox. Kenneth Bradfield managed to slip away as camera snapped.

Tom Riggs deep in thought at Camp

Atterbury Memorial Service, Sunday 16 July,

1995 It was HOT!!!"

Col. Thomas J. Riggs, Jr., CO 81st Combat

Engineers, delivering principal address at

Camp Atterbury Memorial Service.

 

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1995 Memorial Ceremonies - Camp Atterbury

Preliminary presentation by Sherod Collins ...

          My name is Collins and I am the Treasurer/Historian for the 106th Infantry Division Association. We are an organization of 106th veterans, number nearly 1,700.

          From the beginning of the Association we have recognized outstanding, extra-ordinary efforts my awarding the recipient a medal and a citation. We call the award The Order of the Golden Lion. Over the years, there have been very few of these awarded, yet those that were were for duty beyond the ordinary, which does not include any military connection.

          This year our president, who will address you today, has appointed a committee of five Association members to consider more eligible person, and to honor some who may have been overlooked.

All the awards are secret and confidential to the Board of Directors until they are actually presented. Now, with your indulgence, we would like to surprise another of our diligent workers, one with whom you are familiar. He will be unable to attend our 49th Annual Reunion in Orlando in September, but is here in this audience, so we will take this opportunity to award him his Order of the Golden Lion, Officer Class (silver).

Will O. Paul Merz come forward. Paul is a member of the Camp Atterbury Memorial Committee and a member of our Board of Directors. We know you will be pleased that he is receiving this due credit.

The medal w. presented, accepted and the audience was very appreciative in their congratulations to Paul Merz.... end of presentation

The Infantry Division is well recognized at Camp Atterbury and the help of the Association is appreciated and recognized at all times   Sherod Collins

Cartoon from The CUB 'Newspaper' datelined "Somewhere in Indiana, May 5, 1944"

Captioned "And here's another spot you didn't clean."

 

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From West Burlington, Iowa....

I am seldom without my Royal 440, the "best friend" of its kind I've had since the M-1 rifle issued to me while with the 106th.

My typewriter is even a better friend than my Garand, come to think of it. I've written ten books and more than 1,200 published articles on my $50 machine, I haven't seen my M-1 since Dec. 19, 1944, and assume it's still in a ditch near Schoenberg, where I was ordered to throw it.

Anyway, the absence of my 440 during a recent Amtrak trip to Nevada and back allowed me time to catch up on some reading. The books I took along included Andy Rooney's "My War" and Kurt Vonnegut's "Paint Sunday." I also had some letters with me, including two especially good ones from 106th vets Bob Scheffel and Paul MacElwee, who included copies of articles about their experiences with our division in the "Bulge."

Rooney, the CBS-TV personality who serves as resident grouch on "Sixty Minutes," did a superb job on his memoir about the war in Europe. He was a reporter for Stars & Stripes, experiencing the air war and the war on the ground, and he noted a lot of things that might have been overlooked by a vet without his "nose for news.-

The 106th gets mention in "My War." We were "all but wiped out during the Battle of the Bulge," Rooney notes. "The longer the infantryman was in the line, the better his chance for survival became because of his experience. The green 106th had come up to replace the veteran Second Infantry Division." Sounds were important," he adds, "and experienced old soldiers, who might have been as old as 22, were familiar with every sound made at war. They could differentiate the sound of a General Motors truck from a German troop carrier, and the roar of a Wehrmacht Tiger sounded nothing like a US Sherman to them."

Rooney's book, published by Time Books, sells for $25 and is worth the price. It includes much of the author's wit and his cynical, sometimes sarcastic observations. On balance, it is one of the best books I've read about WW-2. Bill Mauldin's "Up Front" is the only war book that tops it for capturing the way the GIs felt about what we were trying to do in 1944-45. Both books tend to "let it all hang out.-

Vonnegut, as most of you know, was in the 106th. His big hit, "Slaughterhouse Five," was based on his experience as a POW at Dresden and made into a movie, etc., after being published in 1969.

I was amused by Vonnegut's reference to the 106th as "the bag lunch division" in his memoir, "Palm Sunday," which deals with high and lowlights of his life.

He puzzled me, however, by alluding to the Bulge as "the largest single defeat of American arms (the Confederacy excluded) in history." I recall the Bulge as being a huge victory for American troops and a terrible loss for the Germans. I recall, also, that some 200,000 of Germany's elite troops surrendered in North Africa and that the only solid wins for their army came against such hapless foes as the Poles, the

Dan Bied, "A" Co., 422nd Combat Inf. Reg.

108 Leffler Street, W. Burlington, IA 52655

Tele: (319) 752-5708

 

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From West Burlington, Iowa (cont.) ....

Norwegians and the inept, disorganized French.

Scheffel, a fine guy, was a pal of mine in the 106th and it was great to hear from him after 50 years. He looked just as I recalled him in the photo that ran in The Grand Island Piper, in Nebraska, along with an interview in which he recalled being "green as grass."

"They got to be like your own brothers," Bob pointed out in reference to others in the 106th. "You got to be that close."

MacElwee, now 85, was also in the 422nd. He wrote a 50th anniversary article about the Bulge for The News-Item paper at Shamokin, Pa., which he edited prior to his retirement.

Paul %vas in some hot actions as described in his reminiscence. "Finally," he recalled, -we were unable to fight back because all we had were our rifles against German machine guns and mortars." His unit's position was -hopeless," it was explained, because the Germans had "the personnel and armament to annihilate us."

Dan Bied

From Pete House, Adjutant

Forty-five years ago David Price wrote about the first five years of our Association in the 1951 February-March CUB. Dave was the first man to serve a full term as our president. He also served as Adjutant and Treasurer. In his final report he proposed an Association Honor Roll for the years 1945-1950 consisting of 83 Members.

          It is interesting to note that forty-five years later twenty of these men are still registered. Tom Riggs is our President, Joe Mathews is an Honorary Board member, and Pete House is Adjutant.

 

The full list can be found on page 320 of The CUB of the Golden Li.: PASS'ES in REVIEW. Those still registered are:

Francis Aspinwall   

Ed Luzzie, Pres 50-51

Pete Frampton, Pres 53-54

Joe Matthews, Pres 65-66

John Hall     

Vollie McCollum

Al Harding    

Jack Middleton

Jim Hatch, Pres 60-61      

Tom Riggs, Pres 94-95

John Hopebell         Marvin Rusch

Pete House, Pres 69-70     

Bob Ruff

Bob Howell, Pres 82-83     

Bob de St Aubin

Bob Kelly     

Russ Villwock, Pres 81-82

Marshall Lipkin      

Jim Wells, Pres 52-53

          Wouldn't it be nice to take a picture of these men in Orlando for The CUB?

If you still haven't purchased a copy of The CUB of the Golden Lion: PASSES in REVIEW, you may still get a copy, while they last, for $18.50. Send your money to Sherod Collins, Treasurer - his name and address appear on the inside front cover of every CUB. I understand there are only 20 copies left. John's getting a quote for reprints, but it has not yet been decided whether we should purchase additional copies. Nearly 2,100 have been distributed since September 1991.

Pete House. Adjutant

 

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A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

AN ENGINEER'S

SEVEN DAY WAR

CUB Editor's Note: August 1995.. This is a reprint of an article from the Fall 1975 magazine - THE ENGINEER - published by The United States Army Engineer School, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Published with the permission of Thomas J. Riggs, Jr., former commander of the 81st Combat Engineers Battalion. Currently the 19941995 President, of the 106th Infantry Division Association.

In his note to the CUB editor Tom says, "This article was a complete surprise, although I did teach at the Engineers School, first in demolition, then advanced in the basic

training section to Battalion Commander and a Major, two years before moving to the 106th Infantry Division."

From the original article -Editor's Note: Mr. Riggs' article is a true story which, until now, has never been told. Although it portrays only a small segment of the actions of W.W.II, it exemplifies the versatility and importance of engineers as part of the combined arms team.

Training, youth, and discipline are key factors in most pursuits in life; they are crucial in a military career.

My military career began in February 1941 when I graduated from the University of Illinois and received a ROTC commission, as a second lieutenant, in the Corps of Engineers. After attending a refresher course at the US Army Engineer School, I was assigned to the Engineer

Belvoir, as a platoon leader in a training battalion. The following two years moved by rapidly and during this time I received a Regular Army commission, completed the Engineer Officer Advanced Course, and became a battalion commander with the rank of Major.

          By 1943, I was becoming impatient with my role in training, and I began investigating the possibilities of a transfer to the Paratroopers, or the Rangers, or some combat division. My opportunity came in the spring of 1943, when I was ordered to the 81st Engineer Combat Battalion as the Executive Officer. The Battalion Commander was Lieutenant Colonel William J. Himes, who had recently returned from duty on the Alaskan Highway.

          The 81st was part of the 106th Infantry Division being activated at Camp (now Fort) Jackson, S.C. Most of the enlisted men were 18 year old draftees, so the average age of the Division was under 22. With an excellent cadre of officers and noncoms, the Division was enthusiastic and receptive to tough training standards. I remember being impressed with the fact that the Chief of Staff of the Division was Colonel William C. Baker, Jr., formerly of the Corps of Engineers. By late summer of 1943 1 had been ordered to establish an Engineer Combat Battalion in Camp Gordon, GA. LTC Himes insisted that I hand

81st Combat Engineers

Replacement Training Center, Fort          select the best officers from the 81st to

 

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A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

         .•        ,

a'.'"     -        

Gridder "Riggs" - three years (38-40) Varsity - University of Illinois

Captain (1940) of the IIlim Under Zuppke.

See page 22-24 The CUB of Jan-Feb-Mar 1990 for story on Riggs being chosen as "I" Man of the Year.

Also on pages 132-133 of The CUB of the Golden Lion: PASSES in REVIEW

sion had supplied over 7,000 enlisted infantrymen, or 60% of its trained men, to an overseas replacement center. Fortunately, the Engineers lost only four officers and no enlisted men in this transfer. There was to be no time to adequately train the enlisted infantry replacements for the Division.

Prior to the embarkation, I was met by a fellow staff officer who informed me that I was to turn my battalion over to my Executive Officer, MAJ Marshall, and that I, as the Division Engineer Officer, was to be sent to England with the Division Commander, his staff, and three infantry regiments. In theory, we were to continue training in England and to be used as an infantry combat group. Without the service units, and particularly their artillery, neither mission was that practical. The support units followed 30 days later.

By late November, the 106th was assembled in England as a Division and by 1 December embarked for the channel crossing. A few days later, they debarked in Rotten in mud and rain and moved by unit convoys into a combat sector around

Lt. Colonel Thomas J. Riggs, Jr

CO, 81st Combat Engineers

make up my cadre. Sixty days after we had started to train the new battalion, I was ordered back to the 81st to replace LTC I-limes who was moving on to command an Engineer Corps.

We continued our training at Camp Jackson in preparation for maneuvers in Tennessee during January-March of 1944. We had inserted some Ranger training in guerrilla warfare which helped sharpen the individual instincts of our young group.

From Tennessee, the Division was ordered to Camp Atterbury, Indiana to continue training and await deployment. Shortly after our arrival at Camp Atterbury, I was ordered to the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. I returned to the Division shortly before we were ordered to the embarkation port. In my absence, the Divi18

 


 

A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

St Vith, Belgium. We relieved the 2d Infantry Division which was being deployed to launch an attack through the 99th Infantry Division.

The relief of the 2d was accomplished in three days, man-for-man, and position by-position. The two sectors occupied by the 422d and 423d Infantry Regiments, of the 106th, were astride the old Siegfried Line in the Schnee Eifel mountain range.

As the 81st relieved the 2d Engineer Combat Battalion, there was a lot of banter from these combat veterans about the "country club" atmosphere of the position due to the daily exchange of fire but no real action. From an engineer support point of view, there was the difficult task of maintaining the roads which were critical, for re-supply. We inherited the fortifications, mine fields, and barbed wire which had been originally established by the 4th Infantry Division and reinforced by the 2d.

By 12 December, the 106th had taken over the sector and began to review their mission and means. The mission of the Division was to defend a salient that was over 20 miles wide and extended 8 miles into the German lines. To accomplish this, the 422d, 423d, and 424th Infantry Regiments were on line from north to south.

The 424th adjoined the 28th Infantry Division to the south. The 14th Cavalry Group, reinforced, occupied the northern five miles of the front and were tied into the 99th Infantry Division to the north. In addition, the Division had the following attached units: 275th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 820th Tank Destroyer Battalion, 634 AAA Battalion, and the 168th Engineer Combat Battalion. The last unit was assigned to maintain the road net in the rear of the sector.

The 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 offering 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 was misunderstood. 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 The CUB °Pile Golden Lion I 9

Riggs as President (1954) of F. L. Jacobs

A firm with five automobile parts manufacturing plants. He reached this position within seven years from the termination of his military service career. (Ten years after the Battle of the Bulge) He was, at this time, also elected to The Young Presidents Organization (YPO)

A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

attack was either not recognized or never arrived at Corps.

Since the 106th had no infantry in reserve, 1 was asked by the G-3 to assemble and prepare the 81st Engineers for their secondary mission as an infantry reserve. 1 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 la 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 CP to attend a meeting, and he was called back by the 422d Regimental Combat Team to defend his Company CP in

Auw. Auw was Camp Atterbury Platform, compliments 81st Engineer;

already under          Construction supervised by

attack by enemy      Sgt Ed Wojahn, "B' Company

infantry in white uniforms and supported         Cavalry Group had fallen back in some

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. Schoenberg 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.

A I I reports continued to show a deteriorating situation for the 106th Division. The 14th

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 Schoenberg, 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 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 Volksgrenadier Divisions originally identified.

Around midnight, Corps and Army were finally convinced of the true situ-

 

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A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

81st Engineers "A" Company "Tennessee Maneuvers" photo furnished by Gus Agostini:

Front UR- Imperia; Agostini; Messina Back UR: Unknown; Garbin; Cowden; Turner;

Honeman; Lucker; Sabatini Stanley; Deane and Chura

ation and were committing Combat Command B (CCB), 9th Armored Division, and CCB, 7th Armored Division. The 7th Armored would arrive at 0700 on the 17th of December and be assigned to attack through the St Vith-Schonberg road to the entrapped 422d and 423d regiments. 17 December 1944:

          I returned to the Bn CP to instruct Headquarters and Service Company to clear the St Vith Sch&berg road and to evacuate the engineer heavy equipment from Schonberg to Rodt, just west of St Vith. The remnants of Company A and Headquarters and Service Company were to hold in Heuem.

The previous day of heavy combat action left a very confused impression on me. We had lost many men in Company A. Communications, both internal and external, were confused and growing more difficult by the hour. Rumors were grow ing and difficult to dispute without facts. Unit commanders were jittery. Some service units, such as Corps Artillery, were starting to move to the rear without their artillery. At the Division- CP, I could sense the desperation of the Commanding General for his two regiments that were being cut-off and his relief when given the two armored CCBs. Meanwhile, the commanding officer of the 14th Cavalry Group was desperate and unable to marshal any organized resistance in his critical sector on the north flank.

          I felt frustrated because most of the 81st Engineers were under other commands, and the sole function of the Headquarters and Service Company was one of re-supply where the roads were still open. Although the men of the 81st were fighting as infantry, we were not doing it as a unit.

 

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A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

Later, in the early morning, I returned to the Division CP in St Vith. The situation in front of St Vith was becoming more fluid. By 0830 hours, my headquarters had lost contact with Company B beyond Schoenberg and were preparing to evacuate the CP at Heuem in the face of approaching enemy infantry and tanks. At 1000 hours, I was ordered by the Commanding General, Alan Jones, of the 106th, to organize a task force to defend St Vith. The 168th Engineer Combat Battalion was attached to the 81st with orders to assemble all available men from both units as well as division headquarters personnel.

We were to hold St Vith for the counter attack of CCB, 7th Armored, through, our positions. After relaying these orders to the 81st and the 168th, I left for Heuem and met my staff and part of the 168th command group on a natural rise about a mile east of St Vith. They were being followed by an enemy task force of infantry and tanks which had cleared Heuem. That particular location, in addition to having a line of woods at the top of the rise to the north, had a good field of fire back down the Schonberg road for 1000 yards. To the south side of the road was a 20 feet wide fire break running parallel to the wood line on the north and leading to an opening and a farm house about 200 yards to the south.

As units arrived from the 81st and 168th Engineer Combat Battalions, they were placed astride the road and a skirmish line of engineers, converted to infantry, gradually dug in with some automatic weapons. Knowing that the counter attack by CCB, 7th Armored, would be through us, I elected to place several daisy chains of mines across the road and placed 2 bazooka teams in the woods for cover. A 37mm anti-tank gun was placed with an engineer squad to cover them. This gun was lost in the first exchange of fire.

We were fortunate to have a platoon of six tank destroyer guns which were set up in the edge of the woods to the north of the road. Before the position was consolidated, we had an exchange of fire with the enemy. By about 1600 hours, the position had been consolidated and four tanks plus an estimated battalion of infantry began to advance on us from the woods about 1000 yards away. The tank destroyer platoon engaged the tanks by bore-sighting the guns which had been received in the morning. While they did not disable the enemy tanks, they did force them to retreat to the woods with their infantry. The tank destroyer platoon was then ordered to shift their position north on the leading edge of the woods for future action. They moved north and out of our sector without reporting. This was the first of several units that left our sector to join a movement to the rear. It was this kind of attitude that increased my determination to hold our position.

 

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A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

Later in the afternoon, the Division Air-Ground Liaison Officer made contact with the only American aircraft that we were to see. We assumed that the enemy tanks and infantry were hidden in the woods to our front and had requested a mission to be fired by the Division Artillery, but they were not able to respond. I got on the radio with the Air-Ground Liaison Officer to guide the P-47 over the woods. According to CPT Ward, CO of Headquarters and Service Company, the plane made 4 passes before sighting the tanks. He then made several strafing passes over the area and hit one tank.

At about 1700 hours, a Major Boyer arrived with the first elements of B Troop, 87th Reconnaissance Squadron, CCB, 7th Armored Division, to support our position. I did not like the idea of putting this fine mobile unit in a fixed defense position, but their heavy automatic weapons were ideal for the ample fields of fire in front of the wooded position to the north of the road. As they moved in, Headquarters and Service Company, 81st Engineers, plus part of A Company were moved to the south of the 168th Engineer Combat Battalion to extend that flank. Some medium tanks had arrived and were ordered to hold in the defilade back of the hill crest.

Boyer reported the roads to the rcar were full ofretreating vehicles and the remainder of CCB, 7th Armored, would be delayed until the 18th at the earliest.

As the Headquarters and Service Co, 8Ist, were deploying into their new position, they were engaged at close range by an enemy tank and infantry. A daisy chain of mines disabled the tank and the infantry was driven off by small arms fire. CPT Ward requested the fire support of some

American medium tanks in his area; however, they refused because of the deadly 88inm gun on the enemy tank.1 suggested that he and his officers "ride" the tops of the tanks to steer them into position. He "rode" the lead tank into position and was knocked off by the first 88mm round, but he scrainbled to safety. The American tanks then knocked out the enemy tank and withdrew to defilade again.

At about 1900 hours, an enemy combat patrol penetrated our lines and got within thirty yards of the CP. I gathered about four people in the CP and ran up the hill to the point of penetration, closed the gap and ordered a cleanup of the infiltrators. I found that the gap in the skirmish line had been made by men fading to the rear. From that point on, I visited our front line every hour or so, particularly at night, to let the men know that their commander was there.

Later in the evening, the Forward Observer from the Armored Field Artillery Battalion re ported that his unit was in the area and wanted to provide artillery support. The unit could provide close support fire, but tree bursts would create casualties for us well as the enemy. To combat this

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The CUB o f the Golden Lion

23

A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

problem, we covered the foxholes with logs and earth with a space to roll under when an incoming mission was signaled. It worked many times for us.

As units of the 38th Armored Infantry began to arrive, a staff meeting was held at about midnight. The meeting included officers of the two engineer battalions, B Troop, 87th Reconnaissance Squadron, 38th Armored Infantry, the attached platoon of medium tanks, and the Armored Artillery Battalion. It was decided to move Company B, 38th Armored Infantry, into the positions occupied by the 168th Engineers. The 168th Engineers, which by now was reduced to two companies, would move into a gap on the right flank of the position in order to connect the line with a company of the 23d Armored Infantry, CCB, 9th Armored Division, to the south. This action was carefully organized and executed by digging a parallel line of foxholes behind the 168th Engineers position. The engineer platoon leaders then led the infantry forward to individually relieve the engineers so as to prevent an internal fire fight.

18 December 1944:

By 0300 hours, the position was fairly well consolidated. This finished the second day of battlefield testing forme. In the previous 24 hours, I had seen blood, bravery, fear, and death. It was also confirmed that the two infantry regiments, the 422d aric...14.22/ were now completely surrot.....ada and we were their closest possible contact. We were still expecting a counter-attack by the 7th Armored, but they seemed to be gradually absorbed in our defense.

19 December 1944:

Early in the morning, the enemy began a series of probing attacks. About 0930 hours, they launched a company size attack and supported by a Tiger tank. The attack was directed at the clearing south of the fire break which was defended by the remaining men of Co A, 81st Engineers. The attack was repulsed and the Tiger tank was knocked out by three American medium tanks which had been placed in position behind the engineers. Lieutenant Rutledge, acting company commander of Co A, 81st Engineers, directed this attack. He was wounded in front of his own position, refused first aid, and was killed trying to pursue the enemy himself. The loss hit hard, and his actions were a great inspiration to us all.

At about 1500 hours, another company size attack penetrated this same area and reached our task force CP. I heard the small arms fire and saw soldiers crouching along the roadside. I gathered the officers and men in the CP and got the soldiers crouching at roadside to launch a charge back up the hill into the break in the line. We killed 4 ofthe enemy and closed the gap.

At about .1600 hours, A Company, 38th Armored, arrived and was ordered to relive B Troop, 87th Reconnaissance Squadron, which then moved to reinforce the position occupied by Co A, 81st Engineers. B Troop had lost 40 officers and men in their position.

At 1700 hours, I received verbal information that the 106th Division Headquarters had moved to Vielsam and that the 81st Engineer Task Force was being attached to the 7th Armored Division. This shift of CPs and command did not sound like the aggressive attack that we were expecting.

By 1900 hours, Lieutenant Colonel Fuller, commander of the 38th Armored Infantry, arrived with instructions from General Clarke, Commanding General of CCB, 7th Armored. Since most of the

 

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A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

units in the position were now infantry, it had been decided that LTC Fuller should take command, and I was to be his Executive Officer. I felt a personal let-down in the change of responsibility, but I did get the first sleep that I had since the early morning of the 16th.

20 December 1944:

During the day the 8Ist Engineers laid mine fields in the area in front of Co A. While we had prepared the bridges in St Vith for demolition, we did not mine the St Vith-Schonberg road in order to keep it open for the expected counter-attack through our position.

21 December 1944:

During the morning, enemy patrol activity increased. By 1500 hours, a concentrated barrage began and continued until about 1730. During the barrage, I was hailed by the Forward Observer of the 275th Armored Artillery Battalion to report that his CO wanted to talk to me. I got on the radio to hear LTC Clay reporting that he was down to his last round. I instructed him to fire his last round and to get out. The enemy barrage was taking a heavy toll. One tree burst killed a company commander from the 38th Armored Division, his supporting tank unit commander, and two other casualties.

Being on the scene, 1 adjusted the command of the unit and committed a provisional platoon from the 423d to this unit's sector. At about 1800 hours, LTC Fuller announced he was placing me in charge of the position while he reported back to Headquarters, CCB, 7th Armored, to plan alternate defensive positions. He never returned and our orders stood to defend St Vith.

About 2200 hours, an enemy attack was launched up the Schonberg-St Vith road straight into our position. The enemy force consisted of six Tiger tanks and sup ported by about a battalion of infantry. Our temporary daisy chains of mines and bazookas were ineffective against their massive attack. We committed four and then a total of six American medium tanks to this point blank contest. It was really no contest. The German tanks lobbed parachute flares to the rear of the American tanks and fired their 88s directly at the silhouetted American tanks. In three successive shots, they disabled three of the American tanks, and the other three vanished in the direction of St Vith.

Our position was now split, and I ordered my staff to fall back to St Vith. I picked my way to our front positions and learned that, subsequent to the frontal assault, we had lost contacts with units to the north and the south of the original skirmish line of 17 December. Through the forward artillery observer radio, I reported to the 7th Armored Division that our position had been penetrated, and we had lost contact with our flanks. I was ordered to organize an attack on St Vith and to work our way back to Vielsam.

22 December 1944:

It was now close to daybreak. I issued instructions to assemble in a nearby park that overlooked St V ith. By dawn, every incoming road to St Vith was filled with enemy traffic. We scouted a line of vehicles abandoned by the 9th Armored at the base of the hill below our position and recovered some "grease guns" (45 caliber sub-machine guns) and ammo. With only two officers and thirty or forty men completely fatigued, an attack appeared hopeless, so we made terrain maps and split into 5 or 6 man patrols. All of this group were subsequently captured.

As a prisoner-of-war, I was marched with a 20-man group for 140 miles in 10 days to a rail head in Germany. I lost about

 

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A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

50 pounds and witnessed the death by starvation by at least three of the group. In Poland, I escaped after 28 days of imprisonment and was picked up by the Polish Underground. A rendezvous was arranged with the Russian Army who evacuated me from Warsaw through Odessa on the Black Sea, through Istanbul to US Army Control in Port Said, Egypt. I was then moved to Naples for shipment home.

I was terribly disturbed and distressed over the terrible losses taken by the 106th and the 8Ist Combat Engineers and our failure to hold our

defensive sector. It was difficult to believe that the units on our flank had fallen back on the night of 21 December without notifying us. I had been so localized in that position in front of St Vith that I did not perceive the magnitude of the total action and the strategic importance of denying the road net at St V ith to the enemy.

I began this report with a view on the importance of training, youth and discipline. I feel that the infantry training of the 81st Combat Engineer Battalion enabled it to be co emitted effectively as a ready reserve.

We took pride in weapons training and special training such as the Ranger program. Most of the officers in the 81st Engineers were qualified as experts in every weapon authorized the unit. The high degree of discipline was the result of programs involving weapons, explosives, and physical fitness.

In our totally professional and volunteer army, combat proficiency should con tinue to be encouraged for engineer units. I know from experience that engineer soldiers will have to fight for survival in many Engineer support situations El

CORPS OF ENGINEERS

DESIGNATED COMBAT ARMS

On 12 September 1975, the Chief of Staff, Army, approved an action which designated the Corps of Engineers as "Combat Arms." The Combat Arms category now includes Armor, Infantry, Artillery, Air Defense Artillery and Corps of Engineers. This significant decision resulted in the Corps being the only branch in the Army to be classified as Combat. Combat Service and Combat Service Support......"

Personal Summary

Thomas J. Riggs, Jr. on returning to the States was appointed as Military Aide to the Ambassador to Mexico. On completion of his tour of active duty in November 1947, he joined the U.S. Army Reserves and served as a Colonel in the Intelligence Corps of USA.

For 13 years, Mr. Riggs was Group Vice President for Textron, Inc., based in Providence, Rhode Island. In October 1972 he became Executive Vice President of Operations and a Director of Katy Industries, Inc. of Elgin, IL and Boston, MA. Mr. Riggs is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Lawson-Hemphill, Inc. of Central Falls, R.I.

In September 1985 The Small Business Association of the United States recognized him for Distinguished Service as Chairman of the National Advisory Council in 1983-1984 and 1985

Read Lt. Col. Riggs'

Remarkable WWII Odyssey where he tells of traveling through eight countries for a distance of 5,000 miles, to rejoin the 81st Combat Engineers, after escaping from a Officer's prisoner of war camp in Poland.

You will find it in

 

 

The CUB of the Golden Lion:

PASSES in REVIEW, pages 127-

131, or in the

JUL-AUG-SEP 1988 CUB

on pages 6-11.

 

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A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

Corporal L.C. Anderson and Sgt Donald Barserna, 81st Engineers, HQ Co.

at the Schnee Eifel Approach

Members of the 81st Engineers

Reporting:

L.C. Anderson, 81st Engineers,   

 

 

S-2 section was located. I later went back

Headquarters Company      toward Heuem with the ADE jeep driver.

S-2 Section - Reporting      We attempted to reach y headquarters. By

I joined the 81st Engineer Btn. At           that time the road network was jammed

Camp Atterbury, just after the division    with vehicles moving in both directions.

arrived. My previous duty included com- In retrospect  one seemed to know the

pletion of engineer basic training at Ft.   overall seriousness of the attack even

Belvoir. I also completed a tour of duty    though each crossroad was being sub-

w ith the air corps serving at Greensboro,          jected to heavy shelling. The M.P. stopped

North Carolina, and George Field, Illinois,          us outside of Schonberg and told us to take

at base engineer's ofTice then transferring         another route and return to Division if we

to the 106th. could. Communications were out to most

I served in the S-2 Section under Cap-    attic C.P.s and his guess was I I-S would

tain Souers through May of 1945. On De-         be pulling out if they had not done so. I ran

cember 16th I w. in a jeep delivering       into Sergeant Grant Dobbs of my section

position overlays and maps to line compa-         and he had me join him in the section's 3/4

nies when the first artillery barrages be-  ton truck. I left the ADE jeep and Sgt. Eans

gan. I madc it back to St. V ith where the          and joined Sgt.. Dobbs. He was headed to

         

 


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A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

our old bivouac area which I think was near Heuem. We arrived at a road junction and in the distance could see a column of tanks firing towards the road leading to Schonberg from the East. It was dark when we arrived at the bivouac area which we found deserted except for a few trailers and some equipment. We salvaged the S-2 trailer and were trying to hook it to the weapon's carrier when we were interrupted by rifle fire. It was pitch dark and we could not determine if we were being fired over or fired at. By that our imaginations caught up with us and we decided discretion over valor and proceeded to depart without further delay. By the time we reached the road junction it was crammed with vehicles headed for St. Vith. Trucks, jeeps, artillery and light armor from one of the re

con or calvary

Photo by LC. Anderson - units were all in          81st Engineers inspect

one long disor-        Jagdpanzer and two

ganized line jamming the road almost bumper to bumper.

We finally reached St. Vith about 3:00 A.M. as 1 recall. Our section was located in the basement of a large hospital building which also housed Division headquarters. My memory is not clear but I recall a great deal of"bedlam" and confusion. The rumors were abundant that Division was pulling out for Vielsalm. S-2 had already moved the mapping chest and the ADE(Assistant Division Engineer Section) was enroute to Vielsalm. Artillery

shells had begun to fall on the outskirts of St. Vith by this time and we could see planes strafing the hillside just to our northeast. We heard that Col. Riggs had been placed in charge of the defense and assumed we would soon be joining in the hills then under attack.

We ran into Captain Towne, however, and he advised us to join several other engineer trucks and regroup in Vielsalm. Sgt. Dobbs and I argued for a moment as to the correct action for us to take.

"Dobber" decided we should head for Vielsalm which we did. Had we ventured into the hillside defense perimeter, I doubt if I would be writing this account as we later learned most of the defense platoons were decimated or captured by German armor.

The road to Vielsalm by this time was bumper to bumper with traffic. We heard the

7th armored Strickland and Kaplan, ing a knocked out German casualties would soon be in St. Vith to relieve us. By night fall the convoy had moved only a few miles west of St. Vith. We could see a tank battle ensuing about 3,000 yards to our rear. The Germans were shining lights up in the low clouds which reflected back to the ground gave an eerie effect to the ensuing battle. We could not determine who was engaged but assumed it was elements of the 7th armored. Some of their tanks and vehicles were using part of our road and by now traffic away from St. Vith had come to a standstill. The temperature had dropped

 

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A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

into the twenties and the fluid around our wheels had begun to freeze. Both Dobbs and I fell asleep for an hour or so as we had not slept for twenty-four hours and could not stay awake.

We did awaken around 2 A.M. and were amazed that all was quiet outside of distant artillery fire. The trucks were all motionless on the side of the road and no more vehicles were moving in the opposite direction to St. Vith. I walked up the road a few hundred yards around a curve to find the road clear. The lead vehicle driver was sound asleep. I asked him how long had the traffic in front of him been gone. He groggily replied he did not know and that the road was jammed to a standstill before he fell asleep. I ran back to our vehicle and told Dobbs the road was now clear. We pulled out of line and proceeded on toward Vielsalm followed by the trucks we passed as our vehicle must have aroused them. We approached Vielsalm and were met by an officer in an M.P. jeep. He asked for our unit and designation. He then instructed us to proceed through Vielsalm to Marche and to use our headlights if necessary as blackout conditions were lifted due to the urgency to clear the roads for the 7th armored division and all vehicles on the road at dawn would be forced aside where they were.

Our route after Marche is not clear in my memory. We were regrouped with the remnants of our battalion and rejoined the Division in support of the 424th in the counter attack until February when we were pulled back to the Brest Peninsular for reorganization. We later returned to the Rhineland and were billeted in Bad Ems, Germany. I departed the division at some point in May of 1945 and proceeded to Preswick, Scotland, via Paris and Lon-

"Bull" Marshall. Exec Officer, at Honsfeld - with remnants of the 81st Engineers

after the initial breakthrough.

 

29

 


 

A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

Photo by Capt Harold Harmon, "A" Company — 81st Combat Engineers receiving the

Presidential Citation for their activites in The BULGE.

don where I was flown to Ft. Dix via Iceland and Greenland.

From a thirty day furlough, I was sent to Ft. Leonard Wood, MO; and, at the termination of hostilities, was sent to Camp Atterbury, Indiana were my association with the division had begun a year earlier. An eventful year I will never forget. Nor shall I forget the men who fell as well as the survivors. I hope someone will help me to locate Capt. Souers, Sgt. Psolka, Sgt. Grant Dobbs, Cpls. Campbell and Whermeyer, Pvts. Kilguss and Sgt. Eans or any of the men in the 81st who I knew. My service continued for a period after the war. I became a Captain in the 95Ist Eng. Group, finished an engineering degree at Vanderbilt University and became a general contractor in Nashville. I am still active and hope to attend the Sept reunion.

signed L.C. Anderson Harold Harmon, 81st Engineers, CO - "A" Company - Reporting

Colonel Riggs called and asked if I had any photos - I have enclose one showing the Battalion receiving the Presidential Citation for its Battle of the Bulge activities.

The only story I have, which may be of interest is:

The division history mentions the assault on a "Fortified Position." Since I personally took part in this operation I feel that I can tell the story - firsthand.

The assault was to be made by a platoon of the 422nd Infantry and three engineers of Company "A.," 81st Engineers. As company commander of "A" Company, and having practiced this type of operation during training, and seeing it performed in movie films - I could not pass up this opportunity to go on the mission, as an observer and not as a participant.

The group moved out and arrived at the pill-box and a short exchange of fire

 

30

 


 

A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

Photo by Gallagher. First Reunion Indianapolis- 81st Eng Vets: Back UR - Fava; Hartzell;

Gallagher: Adair; Hayden and Morrell Front UR - Hardy; Cessna; Bandurak and LeTellier

took place, then there was a period of silence. Soon the infantry began calling for the engineers. I looked around I believed the only personnel to have been hit in this short exchange of fire were two of the engineers, who had been carrying the 15 pound shape charges.

I then went to one of the engineers and took his shape charge to the back door of the pill-box, where I found Private Jake, the third engineer, who had pulled the fuse lighter on his charge and it had failed. He was trying to light the fuse from the fire of a flame thrower that an infantryman had placed on the wall of the pill-box.

I told Jake to place his charge against the interior wall and then I handed him my charge to place behind his and he pulled the fuse lighter. About 15 seconds later all hell blew up. The infantry followed in to the pill-box and cleaned out several prisoners which were taken. Then we all headed back.

About four-five days later, the Division Commander called me to his headquarters and he politely informed me that Engineer Company Commanders were not expendable and that I had no business being involved in this operation. 1 replied, -Yes Sir," saluted and returned to my company. signed Harold Harmon

John 1. Gallager, "C" Company, 81st Engineers - Reporting

Col. Riggs asked that I send along some photos for the special report on the 81st Engineers. I have enclosed several photographs, hope they help.

My Story of the 81st Engineers

I recall my first contact with the 106th. I was transferred from the Air Force, Lake Chorla, Illinois to Camp Atterbury, shortly after they came in from Tennessee Maneuvers.

 

31

 


 

A Salute to LTC Tom Riggs and his 81st Engineers....

I was disillusioned in my first contact. I thought what a sloppy bunch of soldiers, everything they has seemed to be wet and the barracks was in disarray.

My previous Army experiences was in Engineer Replacement Training Battalion, before my brief stay in the Air Force. Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where I took Basic Engineering training and remained there as cadre. We were all "Spit and Polish." I had been to Fort Belvior, Va Engineers School.

I learned that first impressions can be wrong. After that period of time I found the 81 st Engineers, "C" Company to be a well trained and disciplined outfit.

Over the years the 106th has been part of my extended family, how fortunate I was to have been transferred to the 106th.

I have many fond memories with the 106th all the way from Camp Atterbury to the final days of ending up at Heckhalenfeld, Germany and the Bulge

I remember how the Battle of the Bulge interfered with our Christmas Plans and the first day with the Engineers near Pram in a minefield.

How fortunate I was to have Engineer buddies visit me after the war and my acceptance to join the 106th Infantry Division Association.

The memories of the 106th Inf. Div. first Reunion in Indianapolis and all those reunions I have attended since. '.

Thank you 106th (81st Engineers) for proving my first impression to be wrong. You were, are, and always will be my inspiration.

I recall a good friend "Richard DeHeer, who always said the 106th was his "Alma Mater." I am sure many ofyou, like me, have the same emotions....

signed John I. Gallagher. 81 st/C

Congratulations Engineers .... JK

Photo fumished by -Gallagher. Engineers Reunion - New Jersey, no date given

Note: Jim Wells, 2nd row left, still in uniform

 

32

 


 

German Patrol (Spahtruppen) with winter clothing in the Ardennes Offensive.

From Der Zweite Weltkrieg (World War Two), book 3 of 3 German books covering VVVV II

DECLASSIFIED

CAPTURED DIARY (German)

From the United States Archives...

Furnished by Don Herndon

106th Int Div Association SECRET

Annex No. 5 to G-2

Periodic Report No 51 106th Inf Div Translation of Diary

captured by 424 Inf Reg 106 Us Inf Div, Vic Henumont (P-7297), 13 Jan 45)

"On December I, at 4 o'clock I arrived in HAMBURG at 0530 I was standing in the ruins of my house. My heart stood still in my mouth. It was here that I lived with my wife and children in peace and comfort. Who is to blame for all of this? The English? The Americans? Or the Nazis? Had a Hitler not come, there would have been no war. If the Nazis hadn't talked so big. or put on such a

show, or rattled so with the saber, we would have had peace with those who are our enemies today. Had we retained democracy in Germany we would be in understanding with England and the United States. It was with these

thoughts that I stood before my ruined home.

"On the 16th of December, about 0530 in the morning we attacked. I shall march once more through Belgium and France, but I don't have the smallest desire to do so. My Platoon was in Regimental reserve for AT defense. On the way we found enough rations and cigarettes from the Americans. It was very good that we had this because our supply lines gave us nothing. I can't suppress my surprise at how much the Americans have to eat. The way they care for their troops is entirely new to us Germans.

 

33

 


 

" On the 19th of December we had our first contact with American tanks at BM 522 for ST. V1TH. We had many losses. I saw for the first time the fire-power of a tank. The infantry attacked. In our platoon we had many killed. I marvel at my escape.

"We spent two days and nights in a fox-hole with no food. On the 21st of December at 4 o'clock in the afternoon the attack of St. Vith started. But we get through in spite of it. At night vve are in St. Vith. We dig in. It is snowing and raining. I am thoroughly wet. In the early morning we go back to the city and again had lots to eat, because the American have left much behind. At night we marched a few kilometers, then the American artillery started again. Comrade Hans and I were alone. Next to me is a comrade whose left arm is off. I gave !Inn first aid.

SECRET

Page 2 of Annex No. 5 to G-2 Periodic

Report No. 51 106 Inf Div Page 2

"About 20 meters ahead of us are the Americans. Suddenly our platoon leader is with us. We join him. We pass a house. There are a couple of men standing around a tank. Suddenly one yells loudly, "Oh, the Germans." We ran in the other direction. They discovered us at the other side of the railroad track and we received a terrific mortar fire. Brenner and I ran into a house. In the cellar is a wounded Lieutenant. A medic is with him. The house is hit suddenly, but the cellar remains safe. I went out and discovered an American tank in front of the house with a crowd of Americans. We remained very quiet. In the morning the Americans had gone. Shortly afterward

we located our company in a village. A cup of coffee and crackers from the Americans. We are soon on the move again.

The night is quiet and in the morning we are in a chateau in a valley near a small Belgian village. In the mountains beyond the Americans are dug in. We don't care for that. We only look for a place to sleep. During the night the Americans annoyed us with artillery fire and it rained rnortar shells. We are drinking real coffee with milk and sugar. Suddenly we are called and told that wc are going back for a rest. Hans remarked it was the best Christmas present ever. But our happiness is short, for the next day we go back again. Ach! If this idiotic war would end! Why should I fight? It only goes for the existence of the Nazis. The superiority of our enemy is so great that it is senseless to fight against it.

"We are in a village, we are beaten down to the last one-quarter of the company. The village is called WANNE. The heavy artillery is firing at us. This evening we go to STAVELOT. Between us and the town there is only a little river. We are in a cellar. We don't go out by day, only at night to stand guard. We are called a supporting point. We are only a couple of men. If our enemy only knew how thin our lines is!

"On 30 December an enemy combat patrol took our Sgt (Feldwebel) and two men. It is ghostly at night here..."

Taken from a pocket notebook of

HEINZ TRAMMLER, Pvt,

Wermacht, killed near

HENUMONT, BELGIUM 13 Jan 45

 

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New Members

                                       

Anderson, Jr., L.C. 81st ENG/HQ                     Nowak, Casimir M. (Charley) 422/B         

28 Whit, Bridge Rd                      7940 Wells Riverside, CA 92503   

Nashville. TN 37205                     Retired from AMTRAK 1986 after 20 years. Worked at Rock Island Railroad in Chicago 20 years.     

615-353-1826                                      

I was in the S-2 Section, Headquarters, 81st Engineers and attended a 50th Anniversary Reunion of the Bulge Veterans in December 1994. While I was there I met two 106th men who mid The CUB was still being published and the organization was well and alive. (L.C. I see that Sherod Collins sent you an address for Captain Loren Souers. I checked my PROPHONE CD-Rom Disk and could not find a Grant 0 Dobbs. I did find a couple names which I sent you. Glad you met the 106ers in Belgium. Welcome back to the 106th. .. J. Kline)                                       

                              DeMarzo, Joseph L 4221 HQ       

                              90 Pembrook Dr. Yonkers, NY 10710     

                              Deck, Robert B. 423/C      

                              3916 N.W. 32nd Ave Miami, FL 33142-5010     

                              305-633-8755        

                              John, I enjoyed our chat the other day. Hope to meet you in Orlando. I submit an optimistic LIFE MEMBERSHIP with a six year old quadruple bypass. I am a widower, so address my mail to the business address above.

Barello, Joseph J. 423/G                                

2701 Glenwood Ave Joliet, IL 60435 815-744-223                                     

My First Sergeants name was Rifleman, at that time 27 years of age. I was 18 when I joined the 106th in early March 1945. We cleaned the pockets at Lorient and St. Nazaire. I am a bricklayer - Local 14 - Joliet, Illinois.                                 

(Editor's Note - Joe, Sgt Rifleman died two or three years ago. He lived in Wisconsin at the time of his death... J. Kline)                                       

                              Emmett, Phyllis ASSOC.   

                              834 Monroe Ave I lagerstown, MD 21740

                              (Editor's Note - Phyllis is the widow of David Emmert. David appears in St. Vith: A Lion in the Way in the photo section as a snow-encrusted GI. David was a 424/HQ "wireman."... J. Kline)      

                              Falkenheimer, William C. 422JM 

                              408 Georgia Street  

                              Vidalia, LA 71373   

                              I am a retired Judge. I was not aware of the 106th active Association until recently when Dr. James Clark of the 590th FAB and Wesley Caldwell, 432rd Headquarters, both from Natchez, Mississippi, contacted me and let me we a copy of The CUB. I will not be able to attend the Orlando reunion, but hope to attend another later.     

                              I was captured near Auw (I think), went to Stalag 9-B, Bad Orb, then later to Hammelburg. I was liberated by the 4th Armored and then recaptured when 

BELLENS, Jr, Stan C. ASSOCIATE                                      

rue Jules Disc, 2/1 114040 lierstal, BELGIUM                                

(Stan BELLE:NS and Pierre MAWET are in charge of the CRIBA Committee that drive U.S. Vets that go to Belgium. They have in their group several people who speak English. Stan purchased the book, The CUB of the Golden Lion: PASSES in REVIEW and joined us an ASSOCIATE members. Welcome Stan. I hope to see you this September when I visit Belgium... J. Kline)                                     

                                       

 

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New Members

the "Raid" disintegrated; then Hammelburg to Nuremburg (train) then to Moosburg (walking). Liberated May '45.

Because information given from the time we landed at Rouen to my capture was scant I have read many publications about the Bulge in an attempt to find out what happened and why. The early books by Merriman and Eisenhower did not enlighten me about the particulars of my situation. Toland's gave me more data, including a footnote describing the situation near Auw. The more recent works by Pallud, McDonald and others have been better. I found the reappraisal by Whiting, The Last Assault, to be very interesting, but I can't say that I agree with, or accept his theory.

(Editors Note - Judge Falkenheimer, Welcome back to the 106th. Hopefully by now you have received the papers I sent with the welcome letter. The "book list" contains a couple books that you did not mention. St. Vith: A Lion in the Way is known as the 106th Infantry Division history - recommended reading. The CUB of the Golden Lion: Passes in REVIEW is a compilation of many of the stones that appeared in The CUB since September 1946. There are only 20 copies of that book left. Nearly 2,150 were printed. Place your order with our Treasurer, Sherod Collins, and read up on what they troops had to say all these years. Collin's address is on the inside front cover of every CUB... J. Kline)

Gilles, James D. 590/HQ

E877 Lauritzen Ln Waupaca, WI 54981

715-258-6829

Graham, Paul H. 422/H

680 Scrcnity Dr.

Meadville, PA 16335

814-336-5117

I recently met and became friends with John Robb (Memorial Chairman,

Past-President of the 106th Association) he gave me a couple of old CUBs and convinced me to join the Association, of which I was unaware that it existed.

I was in the machine-gun squad with Hartbanks and Pudlaski. Captured 19 December '44, our box-car strafed on Christmas Eve, Stalag 4-B, Miihlberg (Werdau?). After 37 years in the banking business I retired in 1987. Took a part-time position on the County Common Pleas Court. My wife Shirley and I have a son and daughter and three grandchildren. It would be nice to hear from any person who remembers me.

Greene, LTC (AUS Ret) John G. ASSOCIATE

NSA PSC 79, Box 1658 APO SE 09724

(Editor's Note - John is the President of the Reserve Officers Association of Benelux (ROA), and resides near Brussels, Belgium. Refer to pages 19 - 24 of the JAN-FEB-MAR 1995 CUB about the Eric Wood Memorial. John is mentioned on pages 21, 22 and appears in a photo on the bottom of page 23 (on the far right). He is a close friend of Adda and Willi RIKKEN who are CRIBA members. A small group of us are traveling to the Ardennes battle area to meet with our Belgian friends of CRIBA, Andre' HUBERT and members of his CRIBA organization. Also we have established contact with a German Veterans group and shall visit with them (their invitation) during our trip to Belgium and Germany.

Ltc John Greene will be a participant in all the meetings that we will attend.

I am looking forward to learning more about John and the activities of the ROA. .

I'll make a report in the next CUB about our September 95 European travels ..J. Kline)

 

36

 


 

New Members

                                       

Jennings, Charles F. 106 MP                            Peters, David J. 427JK      

5110 West 60th St.                               

Davenport, IA 52806                                       

319-391-4793                                      

I joined the 106th in June of 1944. Stay until the war ended then was transferred to the 505th MPs in Vienna, Austria. Discharged March 1946 at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin.                                 

                              457 Horning Rd      

                              Pittsburgh, PA 15236-3315         

                              412-833-1078        

                              Pilcher, William E. ASSOCIATE    

                              1716 Saunders Way Glen Burnie, MD21061-4330      

                              (Editor's Note - William's address show "SFC USA (Ret) and he was directed in our direction by Ted Slaby of the 423 l&R Platoon. He ordered The CUB of the Golden Lion: PASSES in REVIEW, also at the advisement of Slaby. Welcome William to the 106th Infantry Division Association... J. Kline)       

Jones, Thomas A. 423/HQ 2BN                                 

10605 Moore Dr                                   

Manassas, VA 221 I 1-2929                                       

703-335-6790                                      

Love, Ebenezer P. 422/HQ                              

617 Carolina Avc Gastonia, NC 28052                                  

I was a member of the 423rd I&R Platoon. I was an Association member in 1988 and want my membership reinstated.                               

                              Peterson, Alex W. 423/HQ I&R Platoon  

                              13830 Casa Linda Dr. W.  

                              Sun City West, AZ 85375-5453    

                              602-584-8653        

                              I began my service with activation of the 106th Infantry Division in Fort Jackson, South Carolina on March 15, 1943, as a scout in the 2nd squad and served until November 20, 1943.     

                              My service after the 106th was primarily in training as an aerial gunner at the Las Vegas, Nevada gunnery school. I then became part of a combat crew in B-17's and was assigned to the 384th Bomb Group, 545th Bomb Squadron, 8th Air Force in England as a tail-gunner.        

                              Near the end of the war I trained as a navigator and received a DR Navigation Certificate. Honorably Discharged on April 16, 1946 with the rank of Staff Sergeant.       

                              I enlisted in the Air Force reserve in June 1947 and was Honorably Discharged with the rank of 1st Lt.  

                              I worked for Standard Oil in marketing Distribution for the Chicago Branch. I lived in Deerfield, Illinois. I   

Mehr, Joseph O. 4248                                    

66 Brookside Dr.                                  

North Kingstown, RI 02852                                       

401-884-4877                                      

Hello to you all - I am sorry it has taken so long to get "back to you." I am on a vacation from work and am tidying up loose ends for myself and my husband Joseph.                                      

He is unable to use his right arm due to a stroke, after surgery, three years ago. He has some speech difficulty, but makes himself understood. I am home evenings, in case you would like to call. Need information on Orlando Reunion. We are members of the national and Local Veterans of the battle of the Bulge.                               

                                       

 

37

 


 

New Members

                             

was later transferred to Huntington, Indiana as Terminal Manager of a new Anhydrous Ammonia terminal. While living in Huntington I was a member of the Rotary Club and served as President in 1975-76.                             RIsberg, Duane V. 423/HQ

After retiring we moved to Sun City West, Arizona in 1987. Evelyn and I have been married 41 years and have three sons, one is married and we have one grandson.                     5509 Elliot Ave So.

I am an Elder of the Desert Palms Presbyterian Church. In addition am active in three local organizations; Indiana Club, Scandinavian Club and Stam Am retirement Club. I am a Past-President of each of those clubs.                           Minneapolis. MN 55417

My primary activity is playing golf as a member of the Briarwood Country Club in Sun City West.                            612-824-9964 (Editor's Note - Another 423rd l&R Platoon man back in the group. Duane, who I have not yet met personally, have had several nice phone chats. He and I intend to fly together to Orlando for the Reunion. I know his 423rd l&R Platoon comrades will give him a BIG welcome... J. Kline)

                              Russell, Alden F. 424/D

                              20892 St. Lawrence Park Rd

                              Alocandria Bay, NY 13607

                              315-482-2319

                              Shaw, Robert M. 424/H

                              418 Scou St. Algonquin, IL 60102

                              I was on active duty 15 Oct 1940 with the 108th Infantry of the 27th Division. Trained at Fort McClellan, Alabama and shipped out of San Francisco in March 1942. Returned to the States in march 1943 to attend OCS at Fort Benning, Georgia. Assigned to 424/H in June 1944. Left the 424th in July and was sent to Nice, France for duty in the R&R Headquarters. Discharged in February 1945. Every year in December the memories come back. I served with as fine a group of men that you could find anywhere. They had nerve and guts beyond any description...

Rice, Cyril B. 424/K                    

7907 Kentlruul Ave                     

Canoga Part, CA 91304-4609                          

818-702-9949                            

On 17 March 1943 I left Michigan and proceeded to Fort Sheridan, Illinois, then on to Fort Jackson, South Carolina. It was late March and the 106th Infantry Division was being activated. I started my basic Training with "K" Company, 424th Regiment.                             

In December 1943 I was transferred to the Air Force. After gunnery school and flight training I became a top-turret gunner on a B-24 Liberator bomber. Flying from a base in Italy on a mission over Austria (25 July 1944), our plane was badly damaged by enemy fighters and flak. We parachuted into to Austria and spent the next ten months in German prison camps...                            

                              Sherman, Jack 422/HQ

                              33 Foxborough Lane Rochester, NY 14618-5419

                              For 50 years I wondered what happened to my buddies from the 106th. Well, the enclosed letter from Skip Friedman will explain that. Never dreamed there was a magazine and Association and things like that.

                             

 

38

 


 

New Members

I joined the Division at Camp Atterbury in April 1944. Spent some time in Stalag 4-B, Muhlberg. There are so many questions that I would like answered. Let me know what to do.

(Editor's Note - Jack, when I received notice of you joining from Sherod Collins, our Treasurer, I sent a packet of information which included a "Book Review," a list of books that will help you understand what went on. St. Vith: A Lion in the Way is known as our "History Book." The CUB of the Golden Lion: PASSES in REVIEW, is a compilation of 185 CUB magazine articles from 1947 through mid-1991, which should bring you up to date. There are two other books listed in the left column of that list - Hugh Coles book - one of a series of the 'US Army in World War It produced by The Superintendent of Documents, Washington D.C. It is entitled The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge. Also Charles B. MacDonald A TIME FOR TRUMPETS: The untold story of the Battle of the Bulge. (That's the book that brought me back to the 106th in 1987). We have only 30 copies left of The CUB of the Golden Lion: PASSES in REVIEW. if you want one, better order it at a steal price of $18.50 ppd. Read all those and you will become an expert. We have several of those in our organization (just joking...) See you... J. Kline)

Smith, Catherine E. ASSOCIATE

PO Box 3912

No. Myrtle Beach, SC 29582

803-249-4338

I am the sister of Reuben Hay (deceased) Born in Columbia, S.C., a Sears retiree, moved to South Carolina in 1993 -Hobbies: Travel, cooking, sewing and gardening. A Methodist, I teach Adult Church Class - love to study Bible and Bible History..

(Catherine, it was so nice to see your application in the mail. Reuben Hay, 423/M (same company as me) was a special friend and comrade. We will all miss him at the reunions and on the phone. Hope to get in a golf game

in your city, one of these days... J. Kline)

Tacker, Frank 589/HQ

4405 Glendale Square

Nashville, TN 372044114

615-385-9281

Washburn, Leighton A. 106 MP

88A Main Street

Northboro, MA 01532

508-393-9495

Gill, I apologize for not getting back to you sooner, but my daughter and I were trying to find the old CUB in which my picture appeared ( Issue #2, 1947). This is no small feat since we have moved in together and don't have everything organized, yet.

I appreciate you sending the copies of The CUB, both of us have enjoyed reading them. They are a very well done publication.

I spent most of my life living in Central New Hampshire working for the New England Telephone Company. 1 have four daughters and one son. I now live in Massachusetts with my first-born, a Bulge Baby born January 17, 1945. Signed Leighton

P.S. A note form the Bulge Baby. Four years ago, after 46 years of separation, my Dad and I were reunited. He and my Mom divorced shortly after the war.

We feel blessed to have had this opportunity to know each other and this winter I had the great joy of attending the 50th Commemoration of the Bulge in St. Louis with him. I wouldn't have missed it for anything - What a wonderful experience!

Incidentally, he made me wear a big button that said, "Bulge Baby." signed Lina Gerber

 

39

 


 

New Members

(Editor's Note - If you should, by chance, have CUB No. 2, 1947 look on page 39 and view Leighton's picture. The caption says, "Leighton A. Washburn, of Bartlett, NH was a Pfc with the 106th MP Platoon. Before joining the 106th he served in Italy and in Northern France. ...." Sorry Leighton, but the picture would not reproduce to my satisfaction... J. Kline)

Robert L. Woods 423/A

1717 No. Page Ave Oklahoma City, OK 7311

Submitted by Rev. Robert Clark, 423/A....

(Editor's Note - Robert Clark wrote that he had learned that 423/A veterans Pfc Wm J. Lewandoski 423/A had died in 1978 and that Lt. Wm K Burgess 423/A had died in June of 1969. He notes that Lewandoski allegedly had some connection with the kitchen incident at Stalag 4-B and that Burgess was designated to direct 423rd 's First Battalion retreat from the positions on the Schneifel.

Thiel, Leon 423/G

101 Ilickor, Hollow Lane Brenham, TX 77833

409-836-2731

Taken prisoner 19 Dec 1944, interned in Stalag 4-B briefly, held in an old barn like structure. Worked as a carpenter after the war, attended Blinn College. Married Nancy Curtis in 1950, Graduated from Blinn and started a Custom Home business in the mid50's. Worked as a General Contractor until the late 80's, raised registered Brahman cattle. We had one son, Troy, born 1966. Semi-retired now, raise cattle, and still do some construction work. Will be 70 in September 1995. Hobbies: includes gardening, deer hunting and deep sea fishing...

0^^0^000

See below - Pic Leon Thiel, 423/G on tar left- while in Basic Training, submitted by his son, Troy

40      The CUB Qfthe Golden Lion

In Memory of...

Earl E. Coppock 423/1      106 North E Street. Marion, IN 46952

Earl passed away May 24, 1995. He was a life long resident of Marion, Indiana. Born August 13, 1925, he is survived by his widow, Margot E. (Hays), three sons, three daughters, three sisters, 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

A man of many accomplishments. The family records show that he earned three Purple Hearts, a Combat Infantry Badge, Presidential Citation, French Cross with one start, Belgium Cross, Good Conduct medal, European Ribbon with four stars, Victory Ribbon, American Campaign Ribbon, POW Ribbon - He was a POW in Stalag 4-B. He was a member of several Service Organizations.

A Golden Gloves boxer during 1943 while in rifle twining at Camp Blanding, Florida. A semi-professional wrestler who was known as "Masked Marvel" in the 1960's. He was a Boy Scout Leader from 1952-54. His vocation ran in the automotive body shop trade. He managed and owned several shops.

Billy E. Fletcher 424/AT     2656 Prink Street, Scranton, PA 18504

Died April 21, 1995. No further details.

Robert P. Fitzgerald 81st ENG/A  521 So. Linden Ave, Waynesboro, VA 22980

Robert passed away on June 22, 1995. His daughter said he died of complications of sugar diabetes. She notified John Collins, who notified Gus Agostini.

Rev. Isham Harris, Jr. 423/11      PO Box 205, White Creek, TN 37189

Eleanor, Isham's wife informed Dr. John Robb that Isham died on April 19, 1995 at St Thomas Hospital of a brain tumor. he recovered nicely from a hip replacement in October. What he thought to be nervousness, as he addressed Christmas Cards, turned out to be a malignancy.

Eleanor says, "He was so proud of his service to his country. He was a member of the American Legion, as well as to the 106th Association. He died on our 5Ist Wedding Anniversary.

Ile is survived his wife Ruth Eleanor (Poole), daughter, a son, a sister and several grandchildren. He had the honor to address the 106th Infantry Division Association at two of the Annual Reunions

Joseph A. Kahley, Jr. 424/L         26 So. Lee St, York PA

Joseph's brother, Gerald informed us of his death on April 28, 1995

Oscar Paw.arat 331 MED/A         1912 So. 25 St, Sheboygan, WI 53081

His wife Margaret informed us that Oscar passed away on March 19, 1995. His membership in the Association was short, he joined in 1994, but he did enjoy the Rapid City, South Dakota reunion. He met new friends and enjoyed them. He was Past Commander of the VFW Post 1230 Sheboygan. He is survived by his wife Marge, four children, John, Mark, Jim and Jane and four grandchildren.

May They Rest in Peace

Vive la Belgique!

The C UB

A quarterly publication of the

106th Infantry Division Association, Inc

5401 U. 147th St. West, Apple Valley, MN 55124

Membership fees include CUB susbscription.

Association membership 07/23/95 1,689 members.

President       Thomas J. Riggs, Jr.

Past-Pres. .    .         Edward A. Prewett

1st Vice—Pres         Richard L. Rigatti

2nd Vice-Pres          Major Hill

Treasurer      Sherod Collins

Adjutant       Pete House

Historian       Sherod Collins

CUB Editor   John Kline

Chaplain       Rev. Ewell C. Black, Jr.

Memorials Chairman .... Dr. John G. Robb Atterbury Memorial Rep  O. Paul Merz St. Vith Mem. Rep ..... Dr. Richard Peterson Membership Chairrnan  Gilbert Helwig Scholarship Chairman ... Jerome Eisenman 50th Anniv. WW-11 Rep Jack A. Sulser

Send editorial matter and photos to:

John P. Kline — CUB Editor

5401 U. 147. St.      ‘4,13e.4a3117ey, MN 55124-6637

Business matters, deaths, address changes to:

Pete House — Adjutant

5662 Clifton Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32211

.4-7244316

Memorial matters and inquiries to:

Dr John G. Robb — Memorial Chairman

238 Devore Dr., Meadville, PA 16355

814-333-6364

Membership dues, Memorial Fund

contributions and Historical items to:

Sherod Collins — Treasurer

448 Monroe T.srao.ce,„912Czn2eolw, GA 301.

The Life Membemhlp fee is payable one Ume

only, with no annual dues thereafter.

Life Membership      $ 75.00

Life Auxiliary           $ 15.00

Life Associate $ 75.00

For those choosing to pay Annual dues, pay

by July 1 each yea, (July 1 to July 1 term)

Annual Membership $10.00

Annual Auxiliary      $ 2.00

Annual Associate     $10.00

Malce checks payable to 106th Infantry Division Association..

Board of Directors 1994 -1995

Alphabetical by year term expires.

Edward A. Pmvett 424/B Ex-011ido        (.95) 7831 Lone Tree Way, Brentwood, CA 94513-2109 510-634-3082

Joseph Gross 59I/C 9 (.95) 7782 Topa. Lakgitz,,Smpiego, CA 9211

Joseph Massey 422/C        (.95) RTE.1 - Box 780, Remlap, AL 35133 205-681-1701

Herbert FerOer 422/M       ('95) 2 Wntana O., Orland Park, IL 60642 708-470-2553

O. Paul Men 422/SV          (.95) 1344 Norfolk Cir, Indianapolis, IN .224 317-243-0249

12 tintarT6Rd.185. Niles, KG 49120        c96)

Jerome Eisenman 423/1“) 3BN     C96) 227 Bu.a Vist=eals3y3ety, CA 94015

Richard L Rigatti 423/B     C%) iI3 Woodshtra.rAtZtrigh, PA 15215

William K. Rowan 424/K    (.%) 213 Country Ci1=1177)19by. NC 281.

Mai" H. MO4N. Ken. Dri

L'Inan c m:18k,svIllins St, Dal-ton, GA 30720 706-278-2533

Dr. Richard W. Peterson, 423/I    C97) 1285 Rubenstein, Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007 619-632-1213

Edwin C. Huminski, 424/F          ('98) RR 2 Box 258, Rock wood, PA 15557-9223 814-926-2161

Alan W. Jones, Jr, 423/HQ I Bn   ('98) 9100 Belvoir Waxb Plovy #233, Ft. Belvoir„ VA 22060 703-781-3629

William E. Malone, 42.3/B (.98) 3911 Mackay Drive, Nashville.. 37207 615-865-1271

'Thomas J. Rigts48Ist Eng/NQ     (.98) 401P-471-4. 110        °2"6

John N. Sweft, 423/H        ('98) 10691 E. Wain:rest Dr, Tucson, AZ 85748

602-722-6016

Levene Weigd, 422/11        ('98) 13130 Democracy Ave., Melbourne, FL 32940 407-255-6671

Nolan L Ashburn, 424/H    C99) 5935 W. Mansfield Ave 11255 Denver CO 80235 303-987-07i5

Lloyd J. Diehl, 423/H        C99) R3        212, 365 aug,H41.70131. Sewell NJ 08080

John A. Grzgory, ,4.24kE   C99) . CA 95864

Art Van Moorlehem, 423/B          C99) 206 W. Birch St., Arlington, SD 57212

605.983-5827

HONORARY Board Member

Col. Joseph Mafthews 422/HQ     (Life) 4706 Wesiern Blvd. Raleigh, NC 27606 919451-4851

e97)

(.97)

 


 

Index for: Vol. 51, No. 1, Oct , 1994


106th Div., 13, 22, 26

106th Div. HQ, 26

106th Inf. Div., 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 19, 36, 41, 43, 45, 50, 51

106th Infantry Division Association, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15, 19, 36, 43, 50, 51

106th MP Platoon, 49

14th Cav., 21, 23

14th Cav. Gp., 21, 23

168th Engr. Cbt. BN, 21, 24, 25

168th Engr.s, 26

23rd Armd. Inf., 26

275th Armd. FA BN, 21

28th Inf. Div., 21

2nd Engr. Cbt. BN, 21

2nd Inf. Div., 21

38th Armd., 25, 26, 27

38th Armd. Inf., 25, 26

422nd Inf., 34

422nd Inf. Regt., 22

422nd Regt. Cbt. Team, 22

423rd Inf., 21

423rd Inf. Regt., 21

423rd Regt., 22, 23

423rd Regt. Cbt. Team, 22

424/A, 49

424/D, 10, 45

424/L, 50

424th Inf, 21

424th Inf., 37

424th Inf. Regt., 21

424th Inf. Regt.s, 21

424th Regt., 45

4th Inf. Div., 21

590th FA BN, 39

634th AAA BN, 21

7th Armd. Div., 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 33

81st Cbt. Engr., 2, 5, 19, 20, 29, 34

81st Cbt. Engr. BN, 29

81st Engr., 13, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 39

81st Engr. Cbt. BN, 19, 21

820th TD, 21

820th TD BN, 21

8th Air Force, 43

99th Inf. Div., 21

9th Armd. Div., 23, 26, 27

'A Time For Trumpets', 47

Africa, 16

Agostini, Gus, 23, 49

Annual Reunions, 50

Ardennes, 12, 37, 41, 47

Ardennes Offensive, 37

Aspinwall, Francis, 17

Auberge Du Carrefour, 12

Austria, 43, 45

Auw, 22, 39, 41

B Trp., 87th Rcn. Sqdn., 25, 26

Bad Ems, 33

Bad Ems, Germany, 33

Bad Orb, 39

Baker, Col. William C., 19

Baraque De Fraiture, 12

Baraque De Fraiture, Belgium, 12

Battle Of The Bulge, 16, 21, 34, 36, 47

Belgium, 10, 11, 12, 21, 37, 38, 39, 41, 49

Benelux, 11, 41

Bied, Dan, 16, 17

Black, Rev. Ewell C., 50

Bleialf, 22

Bonn, 11

Books, 16

Born, 47, 49

Boyer, Maj., 25

Bradfield, Ken, 13

Bradfield, Kenneth, 14

Brussels, 41

Brussels, Belgium, 41

C.R.I.B.A., 11, 12

Camp Atterbury, 1, 13, 14, 15, 20, 22, 31, 34, 35, 36, 47

Camp Atterbury, Indiana, 20, 34

Camp Blanding, Florida, 49

Carmichael, CWO, 22

CBT CMD B, 23

CCB, 7th Armd. Div., 23, 25

CCB, 9th Armd. Div., 26

Clark, Dr. James, 39

Clark, Gen., 26

Clarke, Gen., 26

Co. A, 81St, 26

Co. B, 38th Armd. Inf., 26

Col. Thomas J. Riggs, 20

Collins, Sherod, 1, 13, 14, 15, 17, 39, 41, 47, 50

CRIBA, 10, 39, 41

Dahlen, William, 13

Datte, Charles, 13

Davis, Sam, 3, 8

DeHeer, Richard, 36

Div. Artillery, 25

Div. Engr., 20, 32

Div. HQ, 26

Dresden, 16

Eisenman, Jerome, 50, 51

Elbe, 3

First Reunion, 35

Fort Jackson, 3, 43, 45

Fort Jackson, South Carolina, 43, 45

Fort Leonard Wood, 36

Fort Sheridan, Illinois, 45

Fraiture, 12

Fraiture, Belgium, 12

Frampton, Pete, 17

Fuller, Lt. Col., 26, 27

Gallagher, John I., 36

Gerlach, Shirley, 10

Germany, 16, 27, 33, 37, 41

Gouvy, 10

Greene, John, 10, 11, 41

Gross, Joseph, 51

Hall, John, 17

Hamburg, 37

Hammelburg, 39, 41

Harding, Al, 17

Harmon, Capt., 21, 22

Hatch, Jim, 17

Heckhalenfeld, 22, 36

Heckhalenfeld, Germany, 36

Helwig, Gil, 1

Helwig, Gilbert, 50

Henri Chapelle, 11

Henri Chapelle Military Cemetery, 11

Henumont, 37, 38

Herndon, Don, 37

Heuem, 21, 22, 23, 24, 31, 32

Himes, Lt. Col., 19

Himes, William J., 19

Honsfeld, 33

Hopebell, John, 17

House, Pete, 1, 17, 18, 50

Howell, Bob, 17

HQ and Svc. Co., 81st Engr.s, 25

Istanbul, 29

Italy, 45, 49

Jones, Alan, 24

Jones, Alan W., 51

Kahley, Joseph A., 50

Kelly, Bob, 17

Kline, J., 11, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 47, 49

Kline, John, 1, 7, 10, 50

Kline, John P., 50

Kommando, 3

Lehaire, Marie, 12

Lion In The Way, 39, 41, 47

Lipkin, Marshall, 17

Lorient, 39

Luzzi, Ed, 17

Luzzie, Ed, 17

MacDonald, Charles B., 47

MacElwee, Paul, 16

Malone, William E., 51

Marche, 33

Marshall, Maj., 20

Massey, Joseph, 51

Mathews, Joe, 17

Matthews, Joe, 17

Mauldin, Bill, 16

McCollum, Vollie, 17

Memorials, 1, 50

Merz, O. Paul, 14, 15, 50

Merz, Paul, 13, 15

Messina, Carl, 5

Meyerode, 11

Middleton, Jack, 17

Montgomery, Gen., 5

Moosburg, 41

Muhlberg, 47

Naples, 29

Nice, France, 45

Northern France, 49

Nuremburg, 41

Odessa, 29

Order Of The Golden Lion, 1, 13, 15

Paris, 10, 33

Peters, David J., 43

Peterson, Dr. Richard, 1, 50

Peterson, Richard W., 51

Photos, 14

Poland, 29

Polish Underground, 29

Port Said, 29

Prewett, Edward A., 50

Price, David, 17

Reunions, 50

Rhineland, 33

Rigatti, Richard L., 1, 3, 50

Riggs, Col., 13, 29, 32, 34, 35

Riggs, Col. Thomas J., 13, 14, 20

Riggs, Col. Tom, 13

Riggs, Thomas, 14

Riggs, Thomas J., 2, 3, 19, 29, 50

Riggs, Tom, 14, 17, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36

Rikken, Adda, 11

River, Elbe, 3

Robb, Dr. John G., 50

Robb, John, 1, 13, 41, 49

Robb, John G., 50

Rodt, 23

Rouen, 41

Rusch, Marvin, 17

Russell, Alden F., 45

Rutledge, Lt., 26

Saucerman, Gene, 13

Schnee Eifel, 21, 31

Schneifel, 49

Schoenberg, 16, 22, 24

Schonberg, 21, 23, 24, 27, 31, 32

Schonberg-St. Vith Road, 27

Scranton, Bob, 13, 14

Second Inf. Div., 16

Shaw, Robert, 45

Shaw, Robert M., 45

Siegfried Line, 21

Slaby, Ted, 3, 8, 43

Slaughterhouse Five, 16

Smith, Ken, 13

Souers, Capt., 34

Souers, Loren, 39

Sparks, Dick, 3, 6, 7, 8

St. Nazaire, 39

St. Vith, 1, 10, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 29, 32, 33, 38, 39, 41, 47, 50

St. Vith, Belgium, 21

Stalag 4-B, 41, 47, 49

Stavelot, 38

Sulser, Jack, 1, 3

Sulser, Jack A., 50

Swett, John, 1

Tacker, Frank, 47

Task Force, 26

Tennessee Maneuvers, 23, 35

Tower, Bill, 3

Tower, William O., 3

Van Moorlehem, Art, 51

Vielsalm, 32, 33

Vielsam, 26, 27

VIII Corps, 21

Villwock, Russ, 17

Volksgrenadier, 22

Volksgrenadier Div., 22

Vonnegut, Kurt, 16

Wanne, 38

Ward, Capt., 25

Warsaw, 29

Washburn, Leighton A., 47

Wells, Jim, 17, 36

Winterspelt, 22

Wood, Eric, 10, 11, 41

Zicker, Gordon, 3, 8