The CUB

Vol. 5, No. 5, May, 1949

 

 

 CHARLES N. ROBASSE

 

     If you are going to attend our 1949 convention, please let us know as far in advance as possible. We must have some idea of how many will attend, so that we can plan exactly how much hotel space we'll need and how many meals well have to order. If you think that you will be able to attend, tell us about it NOW by sending a postcard to:

Edward L. Luzzie

4824 So. Woodlawn

Chicago 15, Ill.

     If you are coming, we suggest that you write to the Congress Hotel, Michigan Blvd., Chicago for room reservations. We also suggest that chapter presidents write to Ed Luzzie, convention chairman, if they want meeting rooms made available for chapter parties or business meetings.

 

SEE BACK COVER FOR CONVENTION DETAILS

 

     The convention fee will be $15.00 per person, with last minute reduction for ladies possible, depending on costs. This fee does not include hotel room. You must make your own overnight arrangements.

 

     If you are coming, please send $5 advance registration fee, payable to 106th DIVISION CONVENTION, 1115 Patterson Ave., Chicago 13, Ill. Please send your reservation early-we'll need the cash for advance arrangements. If you send us an advance fee and then find that you won't be able to come, we'll refund your fee provided you give us at least two weeks' notice.

 

DAVID ZARAGOZA

     This month's cover, a Memorial Day reminder, shows the grave of Pfc. David Zaragoza, Company B, 424th Infantry. This story is based on an authentic account of his death, as told to his mother by Sgt. Marshall Streib.

     After fighting eight hours through the night of December 16, the morning of the 17th, Sun- day, found about 60 men from Co. B, 424th Inf., dug in on the slope of a hill near Brock, Germany. Several men, Pfc. Zaragoza among them, climbed to the summit to fire upon a German mortar crew from a stone house atop the hill. Being unable to reach the mortar from the protected walls of the house, five men of the detail (Zaragoza, Streib, a soldier named Parker, and two whose names are not known) left the shelter of the house to try to get nearer to their objective.

     Zaragoza was shot and killed instantly as he was lining up his sights on the mortar crew from a kneeling position. Parker was shot and killed when he raised his head to call a medic for Zaragoza.

     David was twenty years old when he made the supreme sacrifice. His body and that of Parker were not found until American troops recaptured the territory about two months later. Pfc. Zaragoza's body was recently returned to the United States for re-burial.

     Mrs. Beatrice Zaragoza, 15 Ledyard, St., San Francisco 24, California, David's mother has these consoling words which we pass on to other parents and wives who lost loved ones in the Ardennes.

     "Sgt. Streib told me a very reassuring thing also. He said that while they were in Rouen on December 8, 1944, all the boys of Roman Catholic faith had attended Mass and received Holy Communion. This may give consolation and joy to many mothers who probably wondered and worried like I did for so many months, thinking their boys did not have the Sacraments shortly before they died." Mrs. Zaragoza goes on to speak in glowing terms of the bravery, humility and modesty with which the catholic chaplains of the Division performed their duty. Again quoting from her letter, "Father Edward T. Boyle, wounded twice, didn't spare himself even when the boys were in the fox holes, going down to give them the last rites of his Church."

 

     Write your close friends now. Make sure they are making plans to attend our 1949 national convention.

 

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The Combat History

of the 590th FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION

By Richard A. Hartman, Bn. Survey Sgt.

 

 

     The combat history of the 590th Field Artillery Battalion is strange and violent and brief. It is not a tale of heroes for there were few heroics. Rather, it is the story of unseasoned soldiers and their awkward efforts to stay the overwhelming onslaught of a superior foe.

     They were not heroes to be sure, but they were not without honor. Though awkward, they were dogged, and fought an infantryman's battle. And so, that the remembrance of what they did do may be preserved from decay, and that their action may not lose their due meed of glory, I hereby set forth their story as it is known to me.

     The story of the 590th most necessarily must begin with an account of that battalion's channel crossing. To omit it would be to neglect an incident which was a foreshadowing of the disaster that was to come. This story begins, therefore, in England several weeks before the Battle of the Bulge.

     On the morning of November 30, 1944, the 590th F.A. Bn. boarded LST's at Portland Bill on the English Channel, as did other battalions of the 106th Division. The next day, December 1, the small fleet left England and sailed up and across the channel to LeHavre. There the ships waited in the outer harbor for orders to proceed up the Seine River.

     The night of December 1, a violent storm arose and the small fleet, still waiting to enter the Seine, was severely battered by the wind and waves. Two of the ships lost both their anchors during the night, and spent the next 36 hours alternately floating out into the channel and sailing back into the harbor. These two ships carried the men and equipment of Hq. and A Batteries of the 590th.

 

Left Behind

     Finally, the anchorless ships were ordered to return to Portland Bill. The remainder of the fleet sailed up the Seine to Rouen, and there waited for the missing batteries. And so it was that Nature, in a preview of what was to come, caused the 590th to be left behind for the first time. The damaged LST's returned to Portland Bill, picked up their new anchors, and were back in the harbor of LeHavre two days later. On December 7 they started up the Seine; and on the 8th at noon, nine days after boarding the ships, Hq. and A Batteries of the 590th rolled off the LST's at Rouen.

 

     The 106th Division was in the process of moving forward on the very day that the missing batteries of the 590th disembarked at Rouen. These batteries, therefore, in order to rejoin the Battalion, were forced to motor march from the docks immediately upon disembarking. The reunion was effected near the town of Rosee as the Battalion moved along the Red Ball highway toward the distant front.

 

BEFORE AND AFTER. These photos show Dick Hartman today and in December, 1944, as a POW a few days after the events he describes in his story of the 590th.

 

     For the next 30 hours, the 590th, in company with other units of the Division, pounded along over snow-covered roads, traveling northeast through France and into Belgium. Finally, at 1800 on December 9, they arrived at St. Vith, Belgium and rendezvoused in some woods on the outskirts of the town.

     This journey was uneventful for the division as a whole, but during it the 590th suffered its first casualty. High in the mountains near La Roche, Belgium, Warrant Officer Collins of Service Battery was crushed to death between two skidding vehicles.

     The 590th remained in the woods near St. Vith until the morning of December 11. At that time, they moved forward with other units as the 106th replaced the 2d Division on a 27 mile front along the Schnee Eifel inside Germany.

     The 590th relieved the 38th F.A. Bn. and took over the same gun positions previously occupied by that battalion. These positions were near the town of Radscheid and several hundred yards east of a highway which connected Auw to the north

 

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and Bleialf to the south, both towns held by the Americans. Battalion Headquarters was located in two buildings along this road, almost directly behind C Battery, the center battery. B Battery was to their right, and A Battery to the left front. The Battalion was directly supporting the 423d Infantry Regiment.

     To the north the 589th F.A. Bn. supported the 422d Inf. Regiment. Behind the 589th was the 592d, the Division's medium battalion. The 591st, supporting the 424th Inf., was some 15 miles to the south of the 590th.

     Three miles behind the 590th, near Schonberg, was the 333d F.A. Bn., a negro “155” battalion. Farther back, in St. Vith, were Service Battery of the 590th, and Divarty.

     There was but one road from St. Vith to Schonberg. At Schonberg this road split, one fork running roughly northeast to Auw, and the other southeast to Bleialf. As has been stated, Auw and Bleialf were themselves connected by a highway. The 590th, then, was located near the center of the base of a rough triangle formed by the roads connecting the towns of Auw, Bleialf, and Schonberg.

     This entire sector was relatively quiet for several days. The guns of the 590th fired only a few rounds every hour or so. During this time there was no return fire on our positions.

     The Battalion was below T/O as respects officers when it went into combat. Rather than requisition new officers from a replacement pool it was decided that an effort should be made to have several of the Battalion's non-coms commissioned. There was then to be a series of promotions right down the line to fill the gaps created. It would be necessary, it was hoped, to requisition only privates as replacements.

     In line with this scheme, three sergeants of the Battalion were made acting lieutenants. They were put on trial as forward observers for what was to have been a thirty day period. If, at the end of this time they were deemed satisfactory, commissions were to be requested for them. None of the three, S/Sgt. Halsey Smith, B Btry., T/Sgt. Michael Fox and Sgt. Richard Ferguson, Hq. Btry., completed the period. All three were captured by the Germans a few days later. None of them ever was commissioned, and of the three T/Sgt. Fox alone was raised in rank upon return to the States.

     The night of December 15 unusual noises were heard coming from the German lines. Near midnight, Major Irving Tietze, Bn. S-3, who was operating from a forward OP, reported to Divarty that he heard railroad cars in Prum. He was informed by Divarty that they were aware of the sounds, and that they were coming from loudspeakers which the Germans had set up along the front. No fire was ordered on the town.

 

The First Attack

     Early the next morning, this quiet sector erupted. At 0530 the German attack began, and the Battle of the Bulge was born.

     Shortly before 0700, one lone 88 shell struck just outside of C Battery's mess hall. Two men, Pvt. Pikula and a cook, Joseph Novatny, were wounded. This was the first shell fired on the 590th.

 

4TH SECTION, BATTERY A, with Sergeant Adams

 

     It was twenty minutes before we were fired on again. At this time what appeared to be battalion fire or its equivalent opened up on Radscheid. Several buildings were hit, but no one was injured. The attack then shifted to the intersection of the Radscheid road and the Auw-Bleialf road, and then to the gun positions.

     General McMahon appeared at Bn. Hq. about this time and ordered alternate gun positions located behind Schonberg. The Battalion survey section proceeded immediately toward Schonberg to carry out this command.

     Because Bleialf was under direct observation of the Germans, the engineers had connected the Auw-Bleialf road to the Schonberg-Bleialf road by building a cut-off through the woods some distance from the intersection of the two roads. This cut-off permitted unobserved travel from our positions to Schonberg and vice versa. The Battalion survey section used this route in proceeding toward Schonberg.

     At approximately 0830 the three vehicles of the survey section emerged from the wooden cut-off and began the winding descent to Schonberg. Almost simultaneously the Germans began a general bombardment of the rear areas. Shells of all sizes came screaming over the mountains. Some crashed on the crest of the mountain to our right, others, clearing it, slammed down into the valley on the left. Our range of vision being limited by the numerous curves, we thought at first the attack was local. But as we raced on and on and found no

 

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respite we realized the entire area was under fire. We were soon to find that Schonberg and even St. Vith were being shelled.

     We sped on through the barrage and finally reaching Schonberg raced through it and out the other side. The shelling increased in intensity, however, and we were forced to seek shelter in a house just on the outskirts of the town.

     When the shelling showed no signs of subsiding after more than half an hour, Lt. Fred Gardner, Bn. Survey Officer, decided to go on to St. Vith to telephone for instructions. Pvt. Jay Simmons drove him there while the rest of the section waited in the house. While we waited a woman with four children, one in arms, came running down the road and sought shelter with us. They were Belgians as were the owners of the house. None of them was visibly frightened. The old owner opined, however, that the Germans were "nicht gut."

     The shelling slackened within another hour and Lt. Gardner returned. He reported that St. Vith had been hit heavily by shells of large caliber (some were found to be 35.5 cm. fired from railroad guns) and that wire communications were out between St. Vith and Bn. Hq. He had reluctantly resorted to radio and had been ordered by Col. Lackey, the Bn. CO, to return to the Battalion. The time was then approximately 1130.

     We attempted to return to the Battalion by way of the Auw-Schonberg road. It was clogged, however, with armored vehicles moving toward the front, and we were forced to return the same may we had come. We found out later that German tanks and infantry entered Auw at 1150.

 

Successful Missions

     While we were in Schonberg the guns of the 590th began firing mission after mission. These consisted of prearranged concentrations in front of our lines fired on call of the forward observers, and many observed fires. The latter were chiefly in the Bleialf area. The Battalion fired almost continually for the next 24 hours, and prevented the Germans from leaking through in our sector.

     The Germans did, however, attack and capture Bleialf. The 423d's Cannon and Service Companies were committed to recapture it, and with our artillery support managed to do so, but only after heavy losses on both sides.

     Lt. Zane P. Donaldson and Lt. Charles N. Schenck, III, radio operators T/4 Eugene Womack and T/5 Akey, and driver Pfc. Donald Sheehy, all of B Battery, directed fire for this mission. After its recapture they returned to Bleialf with the Infantry and continued to observe for the Battalion.

     Lt. Donaldson, T/4 Womack and Pfc. Sheehy, remained in Bleialf directing fire all the rest of that day and night. It was largely through their efforts that the German timetable, which called for the capture of Bleialf on the 16th, was thrown off.

     Early the next morning the Germans redoubled their efforts and finally did break through to capture the town. The three artillerymen were trapped in the budding from which they had been directing fire. T/4 Womack volunteered to go for aid. He escaped on foot and ran all the way to Radscheid. It was decided, however, that nothing could be done to save the other two.

     About 1000 the .me morning Lt. Donaldson and Pfc. Sheehy escaped, breaking through the ring of Germans in their jeep. Although two tires were punctured and the jeep itself riddled with bullets, the two were unharmed.

     Lt. Donaldson, T/4 Womack and Pfc. Sheehy subsequently were recommended for the Silver Star, and Lt. Schenck and T/S Akey for the Bronze Star. To my knowledge, Lt. Schenck alone was decorated.

     About the time the 423d was recapturing Bleialf on our right flank the Germans were capturing Auw on our left. They sent tanks and infantry into the town shortly before noon. Some of these tanks then headed south toward our positions. The Battalion was alerted for the attack, and so it was that the survey section returned from Schonberg to find every able-bodied man in the Battalion crouching behind a tree, in a ditch or a fox-hole apprehensively awaiting his first glimpse of German armor. Cooks were on outposts with bazookas, and clerks peeped around doorways awkwardly hefting grenades.

     The expected attack never came, however, thanks to the 589th. They courageously stood their ground and halted the drive by knocking out five of the tanks.

     Artillery, fire fell intermittently on the gun positions all afternoon. Battery A was hit the hardest. Captain John Pitts, the Battery Commander, was killed and several others wounded. One shell fell directly into a gun pit, but fortunately it was a dud. Lt. Rex A. Rodin succeeded Captain Pitts.

     Captain John Pitts was in one sense a fortunate man— not because he died in battle, but because of the circumstances which preceded his death.

     Several days before he left Boston for England, John Pitts met his brother. Neither knew the other was in Boston. They met only by chance.

     Two days before he died, John Pitts met his sister. She worked for the Red Cross and was stationed in Liege. Upon spotting one of the Division's vehicles in the town she set out to find her brother. It took several days, but on December 14 she arrived at Bn. Hq. The two were able to spend several hours together. Fate allowed few men such last minute farewells with their loved ones.

     Early the evening of the 16th the ammunition train which had been sent to St. Vith for a full load that morning returned with but one day's allowance.

 

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     This was the last supply the Battalion received. It was learned that the larger supply had been refused. It was also learned that Service Battery's positions had been hit during the shelling of St. Vith and that S/Sgt. Stone, the mess sergeant, had been killed. Cook, oddly enough, was proving to be the most dangerous job in the 590th.

     The shelling of our immediate area ceased as darkness fell, and it seemed to slacken considerably along the entire front. The Germans by this time, however, had driven well past Auw, and were rapidly moving on Schonberg via the Auw-Schonberg road.

 

Left Behind Again

     About 2000 that evening the Battalion was informed by Divarty that the 589th and the 592d were being withdrawn. The 590th was to remain in 'position and cover their withdrawal. When it had been completed, the 590th would then be ordered to pull back also. March order was given the Battalion with the exception of the guns. They, of course, continued to fire. The trucks were moved into the gun positions, however, so the entire outfit was ready to move within ten minutes.

     The withdrawal began. The 589th moved first. Battery by battery through the pitch black night it rolled slowly down the Auw-Bleialf road past our positions to the engineer's cut-off. From there it supposedly marched to its new positions behind Schonberg.

     The 592d, using the same route, filed past us a short time later. Little did we know that we were never to see either one of them again.

     The withdrawal, unfortunately, was not accomplished without incident. In the darkness of the night, A Battery of the 592d missed the cut-off. It blundered on toward Bleialf and was quickly blasted off the road by the Germans. Every vehicle in the convoy with the exception of one jeep was destroyed.

     The 1st Sgt. and his driver were in the lucky jeep. They returned immediately to Hq. of the 590th and told of the disaster. Volunteers were asked for to go out and pick up the wounded who were reported to be lying all over the road. Many bravely volunteered, but the plan was abruptly abandoned.

     The 590th was now the only artillery battalion still in position inside Germany in that general area. For the second time, the Battalion had been left behind. This time, however, there was to be no reunion. What had been foreshadowed on the channel had been fulfilled on the field.

     In vain, the Battalion waited for the command to pull back. Shortly before midnight, Captain Irving Chapnick, the Bn. Communications Officer, reported that he no longer could contact Divarty by wire. This left us completely isolated as we had had no radio contact with them since early morning when the set had gone haywire. The remainder of the night dragged slowly by. The guns continued firing their missions. The rest of the Battalion, still alerted, just watched and listened and waited.

 

(To be concluded next month)

 

CAPT. S. P. CARIANO AND LT. SAM WALTON, Shown eating spaghetti in Rendai, Pacific Theater. They are at Hq IX Corp, APO 309, Set Francisco.

 

DIVISION HISTORY

     We quote from a letter of April 14, 1949, to the Association from Col. Joseph I. Greene, General Manager, Infantry Journal, Inc.

     "I want to say that I am heartily sorry for any inconvenience we have caused the Association. However, I think you will agree, when you see the book, that the delay has been at least bearable.

     The book is entirely complete, printed and bound, except for the jacket, which is now running on the press. I am reasonably sure, therefore, that we will be able to ship the books to advance subscriber customers by the end of next week."

 

DON'T MISS OUR 1949 CONVENTION

 

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The Reviewing Stand

CAPT. E. C. ROBERTS, JR.

CO. D, 422d INF.

CRUSADE IN EUROPE

By Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Doubleday Co.. .48

     Crusade in Europe is one of the truly great histories to come out of World War II. “General Ike” writes in a free and easy style. He states what he did in various situations, leaving it to the reader to decide whether it was right or wrong. It is refreshing to read a book of this importance which neither makes excuses nor levels criticism in all directions. The author retains throughout the courage of his convictions.

     The book is so long and so full of significant happenings that it is difficult to condense in a brief review, so we’ll skim over the opening parts; Ike's service in the Philippines under MacArthur; a brief tour of duty at Ft. Sam Houston; staff duty in Washington at the start of the war, where he helped to plan the grand strategy in the Pacific Theater; and Ike's glowing picture of General Marshall.

     Leaving the States in the spring of '42, Eisenhower spent the next few months with Gen. Mark Clark, getting the lay of the land for operations in Europe. He launched the planning for Operation Torch, the North African landings, and describes the details of planning this action. The story of the North African campaign follows. He explains his relief of General Fredendall because of reverses, including Kasserine Pass— a Battle of the Bulge in miniature. He named General George S. Patton to succeed Fredendall, because he felt that the Corps needed a shot in the arm, but he makes clear that sending Fredendall back to the States was not a reprimand, as many thought at the time. His closing statement on the fighting in Africa is that it showed the importance of training which had had to be done quickly and therefore was not as thorough as it might have been.

     Operation Husky, the capture of Sicily, is discussed next. Eisenhower explains the incident where General Patton was accused of slapping a soldier, gives the facts, and leaves the decision to his readers. Ike knew Patton's value as an army commander. While he took stern action after the slapping incident, he also made sure of keeping Patton to lead the army. He shows that the impulsive General Patton regretted the incident very highly. In this part of Crusade, General Omar Bradley takes his rightful place as one of the truly great soldiers of all time. Bradley's leadership and ability are constantly stressed by Eisenhower.

     Shortly after the landings in Italy, when the Fifth Army reached the Volturno, Ike received word that his next command would be the landings in Normandy, Operation Overlord. The details of planning are recounted, also the famous incident of the Air Corps officer who was reduced and sent home for revealing the approximate landing date. The actual landings are told vividly, and in great detail. He describes the breakout at St. Lo, explains why the Americans were not permitted to close the Falaise Gap, and continues through the increasing battle for supply as the armies raced across France. He explains his reasons for the paratroop operation at Arnhem where the participating British troops were seriously mauled— he felt it imperative that Antwerp be taken immediately to reduce the seriousness of the supply bottleneck. He states that a thrust could have been made against the Siegfried Line at that time, but the Germans could have repelled it with their available reserves.

     Next comes the Ardennes, the campaign of greatest interest to CUB readers. Ike discussed several times with Bradley the "calculated risk" being taken by spreading thin in the Ardennes, but because of large forces available to the north and south, they felt that any attack there could be stopped. Bradley estimated how far such a penetration might go, and he very nearly guessed it right. There were few large supply dumps there for that very reason. Quoting from the last paragraph before the description of the Bulge: "This plan gave the German opportunity to launch his attack against a weak portion of our lines. If giving him that chance is to be condemned by historians, their condemnation should be directed at me alone."

     He covers the battle in detail, bringing in the importance of the St. Vith battle. However, the 7th Armored is given all the credit for that, with very little mention of the 106th except to mention that we suffered the most casualties of any division engaged. His idea was and is throughout that the attack by the Germans caused them to shorten their total resistance. He does mention that the enemy was stalled for a short period by cleaning up isolated groups of Americans, adding to the delay which permitted the shifting of defenses — this mention refers, I think, to the 106th.

     The last portions of the book deal with the Rhine offensive, the Ruhr pocket, and the final defeat and collapse of Germany. Very interesting are the accounts of Ike's activities after the surrender, especially his friendship with Marshall

(continued on page 72)

Book Review, cont’d

Zhukov— an insight into the thinking of the Russians. His concluding chapter is about Russia, and gives food for thought on communism and its evils, together with ways to combat it. Your reviewer believes that Crusade in Europe is a must for all Americans.

 

     "War As I Knew It", by General George S. Patton, Jr., will be reviewed by Ed Roberts in the next issue of the CUB.

 

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BATTERY A, 590th FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION, AT CAMP ATTERBURY, JUNE 1944

 

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BATTERY A, 590th FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION, AT CAMP ATTERBURY, JUNE 1944

 

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CHAPTER NEWS

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

     The Southern California Chapter's recent elections resulted in the following slate: Roy Wentzel, president; Arthur Schodt, vice president; Edward Nelson, recording secretary; Harold C. Knox, 1131 E. 144th St., Compton, Calif., corresponding secretary. Communications to the chapter should be addressed to Mr. Knox.

     Others who have been extremely active in the formation of our “most distant chapter” are Claude Webb, retiring president; Marshall Lipkin, outgoing vice president; and William Perlman, first president of the national association and now a Los Angeles resident.

 

CENTRAL ILLINOIS

     Elections in the new Central Illinois Chapter, by unanimous vote at the December reunion, were: Russell Kelly, president; Robert Fryhoff, vice president; and William D. Conwill, 610 So. Douglas Ave., Springfield, Ill., secretary-treasurer. Communications to the chapter should be sent to Mr. Conwill. Dr. John Ketterer has also been active in chapter work.

     This chapter has an enviable record thus far. They built up a large December reunion from a small mailing list, and then they signed up all the fellows who attended as national and chapter members. They have sent copies of their minutes and by-laws to national headquarters punctually, and they supply us with CUB items.

 

HARRISBURG CHAPTER

     Greetings to the Association's newest chapter, in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area. Following several months of promotional work, the chapter has scheduled a meeting for April 29-just a few days after this issue goes to press, so we can't report the details until next time. Active workers in the formation of this chapter include Mr. & Mrs. John L. Hall, General Leo T. McMahon, and Paul F. Fulk. Persons interested in the Harrisburg Chapter are invited to write to John Hall at Locust Lane, R. D. #1, Harrisburg, Pa.

 

CHICAGO CHAPTER

     The Chapter is buzzing with plans for its role as host to the 1949 national convention on July 29-30-31 at the Congress Hotel. With Frank Anderson and Arvo Paananen as editors, the Chicago group publishes an attractive mimeographed bulletin for its members. The first two issues to cross the CUB editor's desk show that the Chicago gang is holding committee and general meetings, forming an auxiliary, and really working hard on convention arrangements.

 

MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

     Jack Gillespie, president, reports that the December 16 memorial reunion in Detroit was a huge success, with 75 persons present. He writes that attendance has held up well at chapter meetings, and that the Michigan Wolverines will be very well represented at the 1949 national convention.

 

BALTIMORE CHAPTER

     The Baltimore Chapter, now firmly established in the city with a membership of about 30, is expanding its promotional activities to cover the whole state of Maryland. John Loveless, president, reports that a February meeting was held to follow up on interest aroused at the December 16 dinner.

 

COMPANY F. 423d INF.

     THE COMPANY F GUIDON, now in its third year of publication, announces plans for a company reunion on Saturday, June 11, 1949, probably to be held in New York City. Details can be obtained from the GUIDON editor, Art Kuespert, 816 E. Jefferson Blvd., South Bend 17, Ind. The latest issue of "the only company publication in the United States" was a very attractive 10-page mimeograph job.

 

81st ENGINEERS

     Our Combat Engineer Battalion held its fourth annual reunion on March 12, 1949, at Dwyer's Elbow Room, Broad St., Newark, N. J. 39 persons from five states attended. We understand that George Labes took some photos at the gathering, and we'll try to get one for publication in the next CUB. Oakley Utter of Mine Hill, Dover, N. J. promoted the reunion.

 

WESTERN NEW YORK CHAPTER

     Our Buffalo gang has been working to get a chapter started, but has had bad luck all along the line. Very severe weather caused cancellation of the December 16 reunion, and then on March 28, the chapter organizer, G. Roy Troidl, suffered a broken ankle which will keep him in a cast for three or four months. The accident occurred in a fall in an old house which Roy was razing. Joseph A. Kersten, 128 Kenefick Ave., Buffalo 20, is continuing to work on local chapter promotion while Troidl is laid up. Troidl reports a change of address to Town Line Rd., RFD 1, West Valley, N. Y.

 

Notify the CUB immediately if you change your address.

 

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THE LIMBURG BOMBING

CAPT. H. HALL ROBERTS

     Captain H. Hall Roberts, Company C, 424th Infantry, was taken prisoner on Dec. 16, 1944 at Winterspelt, Germany, after a day of fighting against terrific odds. Co. C was very badly mauled, Captain Miller was killed, and, around midnight, the C. P. fell. Capt. Roberts, along with Sgt. Ford and Sgt. Silver of Hq. Co., 1st Bn., was sent to prison camp at Limburg, Germany, via a long march and a trip by boxcar, arriving on Dec. 21.

     On the night of Dec. 23, flares were dropped over the prison compound and the men knew they were about to be bombed. A survivor said the bombing actually lasted about 15 minutes but "it seemed like a lifetime". When it was over, the prisoner-officers' barracks was a shambles, with 68 American officers killed and only four or five survivors. This bombing, said to have been by the R.A.F., is one of the terrible needless tragedies of the war.

     Capt. Roberts was among those killed at Limburg. Born on Sept. 24, 1914, he was graduated from the Univ. of New Hampshire in 1937. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. H. Hall Roberts, R.F.D. 1, Dover, New Hampshire.

 

Mrs. Roberts has written us a long letter which we produce in part:

     “I have been fortunate in contacting many who were at the scene of the Limburg bombing. Every time I uncovered more information I wished I could share it with other families who lost their loved ones on that night. I have a list of those killed and identified, as issued by the Germans. I know that many were members of the 106th, but I have no way of positively checking the list.”

     “One factor which has made it difficult to get details is that these men who made the trip together into Germany as prisoners were almost all wiped out, leaving no one to relate the story of their capture and the subsequent bombing, by error, of the barracks by the R.A.F.

     “I am positive the following officers were members of the 106th: Captain Cashron, Captain Chateauneuf and Captain Roberts; 1st Lieutenant Herwelling, 1st Lieutenant Michaud and 1st Lieutenant Tracy; 2nd Lieutenant Kilkenny and 2nd Lieutenant Rafferty.

     “I enclose the funeral oration which was delivered at the burial of the Limburg victims by Lt. Thomas Johnson, a doctor with the Medical Corps, also a prisoner. He wrote” “There was a common service for the victims. The French and Italian chaplains conducted the Roman Catholic service, and inasmuch as I was the only American officer on the staff of the American compound at the camp at the time, I was asked to conduct the Protestant service and make an address on behalf of all the Americans. The ceremony was brief, and simply handled in a military manner, but I can assure you that no men were ever laid away with more dignity, more tenderness, than were these boys by their comrades in arms. True, it was on foreign land (though a very pretty, tranquil forest clearing in that country), but until the last boy is brought back, that cemetery will be a part of America and respected as such.’

     “Please feel free to ask for any of the information I have gathered. Time has not dimmed the memories of the love we bore those who did not return.”

 

Funeral Oration

     "Man is ever awed and stunned in the presence of death though he cannot but realize that it is the inevitable destiny of all that is flesh. Though we appreciate, likewise, that it is the transition to immortality, the rebirth of the spirit in a better world than this we know, still it is but human to grieve at the passing of comrades, even as any separation is fraught with sorrow. Sometimes it is the mode of death that seems so tragic to us, sometimes the thought that the departed ones have passed on in the very prime of life, with so much left undone, so much of life's work unfinished and incomplete. And so we cannot help but feel thusly of our comrades whose mortal remains we today commit to the earth, but whose spirits we commend to the Valhalla of departed heroes, where memories will remain fresh and green in the chronicles of our nation as long as men cherish liberty and revere freedom. And let it not be forgotten that these men died for their country, yielding that 'last full measure of devotion' quite as gallantly, quite as unselfishly as ever any soldier.

 

(continued on next page)

 

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Limburg Funeral Oration, cont'd

     That they were destined to depart this life ere consummating man's allotted span is but yet another potent reason for us, the living, to take increased devotion in the cause for which they laid down their lives, and to rededicate ourselves to those principles of 'government of the people, for the people, and by the people' for which so many of our countrymen have made and are making, the noblest of sacrifices. As we stand in the presence of these honored dead, it is likewise for us, the living, to reaffirm our determination that the curse of war may be banished from this earth, and that as a fruit of their sacrifices, their sons and daughters may enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in a world at peace."

 

 

MISSING PERSONS

     We are anxious to learn the names of two medical corpsmen who attended Lt. Jarrett M. Huddleston from the time of his injury until his death on 13 January 1945. If you can help us to locate these men, please write to the CUB immediately.

 

QUARTERMASTER REUNION

     The second annual reunion of the 106th Quartermaster Company will be held in Boston, Mass., at the Ritz Plaza Hall, 218 Huntington Ave. Last spring's Q.M. Reunion, in Hartford, was attended by 65 men.

     George M. Cohen, 580 Beach St., Revere, Mass., is in charge of arrangements for the reunion.

 

IF YOU ARE COMING TO THE CONVENTION SEND FIVE DOLLARS ADVANCE FEE TO 106TH DIVISION CONVENTION, 1115 PATTERSON, CHICAGO 13, ILL.

 

     Copies of the Division History may be ordered for $5.00 from Infantry Journal, 1115 17th St. N.W., Washington, D. C.

 

COMBAT MOVIE AVAILABLE

     Maj. Gen. Donald A. Stroh, 3614 Ingomar Pl., Washington 15, D.C., reports that he can produce an authentic 16mm combat film from the Army Pictorial Service, for showing at the convention, at chapter gatherings, etc. The film runs about 40 minutes, and all action takes place within the territory so well known to the 106th. General Stroh says, in a recent letter “I will be happy to make the film available to any local chapter which can use it. All that is necessary is for some responsible person to drop me a line, and I will send it express collect to a designated address. Since the film remains the property of the Dept. of the Army, and I have responsibility, I must ask that it be returned to me each time it is shown so that I can keep track of its whereabouts."

MR. & MRS. FRED CHASE, RD No. 1, Rexford, N. Y., shown at the Albany December reunion. Fred is in the construction business, built himself a house last summer, was with 422/D.

 

KING COMPANY 424TH

     We request that all members of King Company, 424th Infantry, send us recent photographs of themselves, for possible use in connection with a feature story to appear in one of the coming Issues of the CUB. Please comply immediately by sending a photo of yourself to David Price, Editor, 237 So. Manning Blvd., Albany 3, N. Y. From time to time in the future, we'll work this same deal with other companies. But right now, we want photos from men of 424/K.

 

SURVIVORS OF BERGA

     Last month's CUB promised you readers an exclusive story, with photos, about the prison camp at Berga. Your editor is sorry to report that although the article is on the fire, it hasn't quite cooked yet— maybe next month.

 

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WHAT THEY ARE DOING NOW

 

     W. G. ALBERS, 424/I, writes from 119 Second Ave., Brainerd, Minn., that he is a driver for parcel post and has two young sons.

     DR. MADISON H. BUCKLEY, 422d, 206 Oxford St., Tenn., reports that he is practicing medicine as a civilian again, and would like to have any of his old outfit drop in if they pass through his area. MAJOR McKEE, S-2 of the 422d, visited him in 1946, and is believed to be in Japan now.

      GENE W. CARSTENS, 590th, RR No. 1, Davenport, Iowa, writes to ask if anyone knows the address of WM. J. KIRKHAM who was with Divarty Hq. and with the personnel section of the 590th.

     COL. CHARLES C. CAVENDER reports a change of address to Hq. 24th Inf. Div., APO 24, San Francisco. He writes that his foreign tour will end in 1950, and that he hopes to be with us at our 1950 convention. He was on duty at Camp Hakata on the southernmost tip of Kyushu Island, but we expect to hear soon that he is at the 24th's Hq as C. of S. In December, he saw LT. COL. EARL F. KLINCK, CO, 3d Bn., 423 Inf., and in February he met WILLIAM T. CALL, JR., formerly of the 106th, and now aide to Gen. Halsey, C. o S., Eighth Army.

        CAPT. M. N. CRANK, 422/Hq, is now stationed at Camp Breckenridge, Ky., as CO. Co. Q, 506th Abn. Inf., 101st Abn. Div. Also at Breckenridge are CAPT. H. I. JONES, 422/D; LT. R. BOYER, 424; M/SGT. RAY SWITZER, 422/Hq.

     JOSEPH DE MARZO, 422d, is an oiler on a power shovel. He lives at 15 Normandy Rd., Yonkers, N. Y.

     EDWIN P. FIFIELSKI, Recon Troop, is a lawyer, commander of Legion Black Horse Post No. 972, and past commander of Norwood Post No. 36 of the Amvets. He lives at 6307 No. Melvina Ave., Chicago 30, Ill.

     EDWARD J. HOY, 424/D, Rt. 2, Silver Springs, Md., is an economics student at the Univ. of Maryland.

     JOSEPH C. MARK, 422/3d Bn. possessor of a master's degree from Columbia, is working as a clinical psychologist. Joe was a POW at Bad Orb and Berga, and now lives at 1097 Third Ave., New York 21, N. Y.

     CHET MURPHY, 422/I&R Plat., lives at 68 Centre St., Nutley 10, N. J., reports that he has two young children. He is working on Wall St. with F. I. DuPont & Co.

       CHARLES H. PETERSON, 589/B, Tec 4, lives at 53 Friedland Rd., Nutley, N. J., and when last heard from was working as a postal clerk.

     COL. ALEXANDER D. REID reports a new address at College Station, Box 178, Pullman, Wash. He is professor of military science and tactics at the State College of Washington.

     LT. COL. MAX ROADRUCK writes from Hq., US Army Forces Antilles, APO 851, Miami, that he expects to be back in the States in time for the 1949 convention.

     DWIGHT T. STOKES, 424/A, 202 Sherman Ave., Macomb, Ill., will graduate from Western Illinois State College this spring. He would like to hear from his army friends.

     WALTER S. YOUNG, 422/E, is an engineer with the Kansas City, Kans. plant of Owens-Corning Fibreglass Co. He was graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N. Y. in June, 1948. Mail addressed to him at 142 Henley Rd., Overbrook Hills, Philadelphia 31, Pa. will be forwarded.

     NEWTON JOHNSON, 423/MD, is in x-ray work with the Veterans Administration. His address is Illini Trailer Camp, 1601 So. Neil St., Champaign, Ill.

 

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     CARLO MOLLY, [left]Sgt. 422/2d Bn, is a delivery truck driver for Schooley' Printing and Stationery Co. He lives at 615 E. 5th St., Kansas City, Mo..

      JAMES MARZANO, JR., [middle] 106th Sig. Co., is shown here with his wife, Dolores. They live at 1839 No. Springfield, Chicago 47. Jim owns his own coal and cartage business

     CHURCH, ST. VITH, JULY 1948.[right] Alan Walker reports to us on a visit through our sector of the Ardennes— see item below.

ALAN W. WALKER, Div. Band, 827 E. Calhoun St., Macomb, Ill. is working for the Doane Agricultural Service of St. Louis as an agricultural real estate appraiser. Al went on a tour of Europe last summer, visited Anthisnes, St. Vith, Vielsalm, St. Quentin, Paris, Eupen, and other spots well-remembered by the 106th. He reports that there are still many ruins, many reminders of the war, but that reconstruction is under way. He says "St. Vith as we knew it in 1944 just doesn't exist, and I had a little difficulty getting my bearings until I saw the ruins of the church. There is a lot of emergency housing down by the railroad tracks. Some new buildings are going up among the ruins. Most old walls have been razed, but the hospital (the Div. C. P.) remains as a grim reminder.”

     THOMAS DOROSKY , 592d, F.A. Bn., announces a change of address to Mt. Airy Rd., Shavertown, Penna. He is a mechanic and bulldozer operator with a construction concern, and has two small children.

     WALTER F. PETERS, RFD No. 1, Old Lyme, Conn., Co. B, 331st Medics, writes that he'd like to hear from his buddies.

     KENNETH J. O'BRIEN, 424/C, 619 French St.. Wilmington, Dd., recently heard about the Association and would like to get back in touch with his army acquaintances.

     JOSEPH NAIMAN, 422/C, POW at IV-B, lives at 510 No. Shasta, Stockton, Calif., and it a guard at the Lathrop Army Depot

     MICHAEL R. RENDER, [left] 423/C, a member of the Chicago police force, lives at 1419 W. Byron St., Chicago 13.

     MR. & MRS. LINCOLN A. BROWN [right] came a long way from Canajoharie, N. Y. to attend the December reunion in Albany. Brownie was with Antitank Co. of the 423d, is now working for Beechnut Packing Co.

     RUSSELL D. MELTON, 589th, Berwind St., St. Marys, Penna., is a new member of the Association.

 

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TRANSPORTATION COSTS TO CHICAGO CONVENTION

The table below shows the mileage, bus fare, and railroad coach fare, round trip tax included, to the Chicago convention from various centers of population throughout the country. Sigfred J. Johnson, 7156 So. Aberdeen Sr., Chicago 21, Ill. is convention transportation chairman.

 

Miami. Fla.   1387

46

 

Milwaukee. Wisc.     89

.    419

3

14

 

Omaha.         Webr.  :11:

     Philadelphia.      Pa.      768

25

 

Pittsburg.      ,         4114

Cal.    2:4:

16

76

21

94

Washington,  D.       C.       $113

 

 

 

IF YOU ARE COMING TO THE CONVENTION SEND FIVE DOLLARS ADVANCE FEE TO 106TH DIVISION CONVENTION, 1115 PATTERSON, CHICAGO 13, ILL.

 

Copies of the Division History may be ordered for $5.00 from Infantry Journal, 1115 17th St. N.W., Washington, D. C.

 

 

     We have secured a line of merchandise bearing the division emblem. Any item described below can be ordered through Association Headquarters, 1115 Patterson, Chicago 13, Ill.

 

Military Frat Pin, $2.50

     Same as lapel button, but with a “guard", attached by a thin chain, to show what unit you were in. Built like a college fraternity pin with guard. Available for all regiments, artillery battalions, and for ordnance, signal, quarter- master, chemical warfare, finance and medical.

 

Back Issues of the CUB, 25c each

     Available only as long as the supply lasts. We have a large supply of the February 1948 issue, fairly good stocks of the June-July 1948, August-September 1948, and August 1946 issues. Our supply of all other issues is either gone or nearly gone.

 

Stars & Stripes Booklet, "The 106th", 10c

 

Wristwatch Strap, $5.00

     Handsome gold-plated expansion-type watch hand, with division insignia, will fit any man's wristwatch.

 

Stormliter, $3.00

     Cigarette lighter, with patented wind-proof action, division insignia on front. Good for pipes.

 

Lapel Pin, $1.00

     The emblem of the Association, all members should have at least one. Rustproof three-color enamel, will last indefinitely without tarnishing.

 

Auto Emblem, $1.75

     A true-color replica of the shoulder-patch, metal, built to attach to your automobile license plate.

Tie Pin, $3.00

Fastest-selling item at the '48 convention. Clasps on your shirt, with a strong but thin chain to hold your tie. In the center of the chain, mounted on a colonel's eagle, is the shoulder patch in color.

 

DON'T MISS OUR 1049 CONVENTION

SEE BACK COVER FOR CONVENTION DETAILS

 

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2nd Annual National Convention

106th Infantry Division Association

July 29, 30, 31

 

CONGRESS HOTEL, CHICAGO, ILL.

 

Friday, July 29, 1949

     Afternoon:               Meeting of Directors and Chapter Officers

     Evening:                 Informal parties

Saturday, July 30, 1949

     Morning:                 Registration

     Noon:                     Opening luncheon

     Afternoon :              Business meeting, separate meeting and entertainment

                                        for ladies and guests

     Evening:                 Banquet and dance, group photographs

 

Sunday, July 31, 1949

     Morning:                 Memorial service

     Noon :                    Dinner, guest speakers

     Afternoon :              Business session, election of officers

 

                                   We will have many added program attractions, including

                                   authentic War Department movies of the Battle of the Bulge.

 

Convention Fee $15.04

 

(possibly we may be able to offer a slightly reduced rate for guests, but we're not sure yet.)

The fee includes program events and the Saturday luncheon, banquet, and dance, and the Sunday dinner. It does not include overnight accommodations.

 

IF YOU ARE COMING, SEND A FIVE DOLLAR ADVANCE FEE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

 

Address all correspondence and make checks payable to

106th DIVISION CONVENTION

Edward Luzzie, Chairman

1115 Patterson St.

Chicago 13, Ill.

 

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Index for: Vol. 5, No. 5, May, 1949

 


101st Abn. Div., 21

106th Div., 3, 19, 25

106th Infantry Division Association, 27

106th QM Co., 19

106th Sig. Co., 23

2nd Inf. Div., 4

38th FA BN, 4

422nd Inf., 5

423rd Inf. Regt., 5

424/A, 22

424/C, 23

424/D, 21

424/I, 21

424th Inf. Regt., 1, 5, 20

589th FA BN, 5

590th FA BN, 3

7th Armd. Div., 12

Adams, Sgt., 6

Africa, 11

Akey, T/5, 7

Akey, T/S, 7

Albers, W. G., 21

Anderson, Frank, 15

Anthisnes, 23

Antwerp, 11

Ardennes, 2, 12, 23

Arnhem, 11

Auw, 4, 5, 8, 9

Auw-Bleialf Road, 6, 9

Auw-Schonberg Road, 7, 9

Bad Orb, 21

Battle Of The Bulge, 3, 5, 11, 27

Belgium, 3

Berga, 20, 21

Bleialf, 5, 6, 7, 9

Boyer, Lt. R., 21

Boyle, Edward T., 2

Bradley, Gen. Omar, 11

Brock, 1

Brown, Mr. & Mrs. Lincoln A., 23

Buckley, Dr. Madison H., 21

Calhoun, 23

Call, William T., Jr., 21

Camp Atterbury, 13, 14

Camp Hakata, 21

Cariano, Capt. S. P., 10

Carstens, Gene W., 21

Cashron, Capt., 17

Cavender, Col. Charles C., 21

Chapnick, Capt. Irving, 9

Chase, Mr. & Mrs. Fred, 19

Chateauneuf, Capt., 17

Clark, Gen. Mark, 11

Co. C, 424th Inf., 17

Cohen, George M., 19

Collins, WO, 4

Conwill, William D., 15

Crank, Capt. M. N., 21

Crusade In Europe, 11, 12

De Marzo, Joseph, 21

Div. Band, 23

Division History, 10, 19, 25

Donaldson, Lt., 7

Donaldson, Lt. Zane P., 7

Dorosky, Thomas, 23

Dover, 16, 17

Eisenhower, Gen. Dwight D., 11

Eupen, 23

Falaise Gap, 11

Ferguson, Richard, 5

Fifielski, Edwin P., 21

Fifth Army, 11

Ford, Sgt., 17

Fox, T/Sgt., 5

Fox, T/Sgt. Michael, 5

Fredendall, Gen., 11

Fryhoff, Robert, 15

Fulk, Paul F., 15

Gardner, Lt., 7

Gardner, Lt. Fred, 7

Germany, 1, 4, 9, 12, 17

Gillespie, Jack, 15

Greene, Col. Joseph I., 10

Hall, John, 15

Hall, Mrs. John L., 15

Halsey, Gen., 21

Hartman, Dick, 3

Hartman, Richard A., 3

Herwelling, 1st Lt., 17

Houston, Sam, 11

Hoy, Edward J., 21

Hq. & A Btry., 590th, 3

Huddleston, Lt. Jarrett M., 19

Italy, 11

Johnson, Lt. Thomas, 17

Johnson, Newton, 22

Johnson, Sigfred J., 25

Jones, Capt. H. I., 21

Kelly, Russell, 15

Kersten, Joseph A., 16

Ketterer, Dr. John, 15

Kilkenny, 2nd Lt., 17

Kirkham, Wm. J., 21

Klinck, Lt. Col. Earl F., 21

Knox, Harold C., 15

Kuespert, Art, 16

Kyushu Island, 21

La Roche, Belgium, 4

Labes, George, 16

Lackey, Col., 7

LeHavre, 3

Liege, 8

Limburg, 17, 19

Limburg Bombing, 17

Limburg, Germany, 17

Lipkin, Marshall, 15

Loveless, John, 15

Luzzie, Ed, 1

Luzzie, Edward, 27

Luzzie, Edward L., 1

Mark, Joseph C., 21

Marshall, Gen., 11

Marzano, James, Jr., 23

McKee, Maj., 21

McMahon, Gen., 6

McMahon, Gen. Leo T., 15

Melton, Russell D., 23

Michaud, 1st Lt., 17

Miller, Capt., 17

Molly, Carlo, 23

Murphy, Chet, 21

Naiman, Joseph, 23

Nelson, Edward, 15

Normandy, 11, 21

Novatny, Joseph, 5

O'Brien, Kenneth J., 23

Operation Husky, 11

Operation Overlord, 11

Oxford, 21

Paananen, Arvo, 15

Paris, 23

Patton, Gen., 11

Patton, Gen. George S., 11

Patton, Gen. George S., Jr., 12

Perlman, William, 15

Peters, Walter F., 23

Peterson, Charles H., 21

Pikula, Pvt., 5

Pitts, Capt., 8

Pitts, Capt. John, 8

Pitts, John, 8

Portland Bill, 3

Price, David, 20

Prum, 5

Radscheid, 4, 6, 7

Rafferty, 2nd Lt., 17

Red Ball, 3

Reid, Col. Alexander D., 21

Render, Michael R., 23

Rhine, 12

Roadruck, Lt. Col. Max, 22

Robasse, Charles N., 1

Roberts, Capt., 17

Roberts, Capt. E. C., Jr., 11

Roberts, Capt. H. Hall, 17

Roberts, Ed, 12

Roberts, Mrs., 17

Roberts, Mrs. H. Hall, 17

Rodin, Lt. Rex A., 8

Rosee, 3

Rouen, 2, 3

Ruhr, 12

Russia, 12

Schenck, Lt., 7

Schenck, Lt. Charles N., III, 7

Schnee Eifel, 4

Schodt, Arthur, 15

Schonberg, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Schonberg-Bleialf Road, 6

Seine, 3

Seine River, 3

Sheehy, Pfc., 7

Sheehy, Pfc. Donald, 7

Sicily, 11

Siegfried Line, 12

Silver, Sgt., 17

Simmons, Pvt. Jay, 7

Smith, S/Sgt. Halsey, 5

St. Quentin, 23

St. Vith, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 23

St. Vith, Belgium, 3

Stokes, Dwight T., 22

Stone, S/Sgt., 9

Streib, Sgt., 2

Streib, Sgt. Marshall, 1

Stroh, Gen., 19

Stroh, Maj. Gen. Donald A., 19

Switzer, Ray, 21

Tietze, Maj. Irving, 5

Torch, Operation, 11

Tracy, 1st Lt., 17

Troidl, G. Roy, 16

Utter, Oakley, 16

Vielsalm, 23

Volturno, 11

Walker, Alan, 23

Walker, Alan W., 23

Walton, Lt. Sam, 10

War As I Knew It, 12

Webb, Claude, 15

Wentzel, Roy, 15

Winterspelt, Germany, 17

Womack, T/4, 7

Womack, T/4 Eugene, 7

Wooden Cut-Off, 6

Young, Walter S., 22

Zaragoza, David, 1

Zaragoza, Mrs., 2

Zaragoza, Mrs. Beatrice, 2

Zaragoza, Pfc., 1, 2

Zaragoza, Pfc. David, 1

Zhukov, 12