If anyone has information
94th Infantry Division Historical Society
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LIFE MEMBERS of the 94th Inf. Div. Assn., 94th Alliance and 94th Ladies Auxiliary are now
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Mail to: John Clyburn,1103 Timberbrooke Drive, Bedminster, NJ 07921 Phone 908-781-1406
|Europeans join US in search for remains of missing American soldiers|
From: Beth Reuschel <email@example.com>
I've obtained a morning report from 17 March 1945 for "I" Company of the 301st infantry, also a unit Roster.
I got this in my search for my Great Uncle Raymond E. Schmidt who was transferred from Postal, to a reinforcement depot then to the 301st in the end of Feb, 1945.. he was KIA 14 March 1945.
If this morning report can help anyone please let me know and I will share it with you.
From: "Gladstone, Mark X" <Mark.Gladstone@chron.com>
Does anyone have a memory of the concentration camp and death march survivors hospitalized there?
Specifically, does anyone recall Sam, his sergeant, George Gibian, Capt. Mundell or Lt. Hillman or know their whereabouts? If so please call me at 916-212-4946. Best
Gentlemen, I am attempting to contact the members of as many veterans organizations as possible whose service - or that of a family member - involved action in The Battle of the Bulge in 1944.
U.S. VETERANS FRIENDS, LUXEMBOURG
Wednesday, 22nd June 2016: In the morning, visit of the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch, one of the most impressive museums about the Battle of the Bulge. Free time in Diekirch. Common lunch in a good restaurant in Diekirch. In the afternoon, visit of the ChÃ¢teau de Vianden, a restored medieval castle located near the Our River. Dinner at the hotel. Optionally, you may take part in the festivities with firework on the eve of the Luxembourgish National Holiday in Luxembourg City.
From: "Feiglstok" <Feiglstok@Verizon.net>
This is the World War II experiences of Charles Feiglstok, as related by one of his four sons, Gary Feiglstok. They are a compilation of short stories told to his sons during their childhood. Charles died in 1977, at age 52, so he cannot clarify them.
Charles Feiglstok entered the Army after turning 18, in the summer of 1943. After basic training he was selected for the Army’s ASTP program. (Army Specialized Training Program) This was a program that selected highly intelligent soldiers to attend college. During this program, he studied engineering, at the University of Florida. After one semester, Charles applied to flight school, hopefully to become a fighter pilot. He was accepted, and was awaiting his orders when D-day occurred. All personnel not already assigned to units were put into infantry divisions. Charles was assigned to the 94th Infantry Division.
The 94th Division travelled to Scotland on the Queen Elizabeth ocean liner. Charles related that as they walked along the dock in New York, they saw the Queen Mary ocean liner. He said he couldn’t imagine a ship larger than the Queen Mary, until they passed it, and saw the Queen Elizabeth. He said the ship travelled across the Atlantic without escort, and without the typical zig-zag pattern to avoid U-boats. He said it was so fast that the submariners would not have time to set up for a shot. While in Scotland they did more training.
When they got to the front, the unit they replaced had an “understanding” with the Germans in that area. They didn’t shoot at each other. The 94th division soon changed that.
Charles said that during his first firefight, he used up all of his ammunition. He determined that would not happen again! To make his ammo go farther, he would pick up German submachine guns that were lying on the battlefield and use them until they were out of ammo. Then he would toss them.
Charles used to volunteer to be the point man while on patrol. He said if he didn’t spot the enemy, the Germans usually let the first guy pass, so they could concentrate on the main group. On one patrol, they saw two German soldiers in an open field, going to the bathroom. For fun, they called in a mortar attack. Although the Germans got away, it was funny to watch them try to run while pulling up their pants.
They got very experienced at doing their job. He said they got a new lieutenant one time that was going to lead them on an objective. When the lieutenant said how they were going to approach the objective, Charles and his buddies said, “If we do it your way, you will get us all killed.” Then they told him how to do it. That mission was a success. The lieutenant only lasted a week before he was killed.
On Charles’ last patrol, he was leading a squad of guys. They spent the night in a forest, at the edge of an open field. During the night, they heard some panzers come into the field. Since they had a bazooka man with them, he decided to attack at first light. There were three Tiger tanks in the field. The bazooka man fired on one of the tanks and got a solid hit, but the round did no damage. One of the tanks swung his turret around and blew the bazooka man to bits. At this point, Charles and his guys decided it was time to surrender. Fortunately, Charles’ parents were from Germany and Austria, and he spoke German like a native. He started speaking to the Germans in German. (He said he thought it would be harder for them to shoot someone speaking their language.)
On the way to a POW camp, Charles and his men spent some time with German frontline units. They ate in the same mess lines that the Germans used. He said a German cook asked him how the food compared with the American food. He said the American food was better, but he figured it would probably get better as he was moved behind the lines. The cook said “In the German Army, the frontline troops get the best food.” Charles said, “In the American Army, the frontline troops get the worst food.” A German soldier asked him how he could be over there, maybe shooting a relative, since his mother was from Germany. Charles answered “they’re shooting at me.” That satisfied the German’s question.
While with a group of POW’s moving on a road, their column came under attack by a P-51. Allied soldiers were told during training that if they were captured and under a strafing attack by an allied plane, they were to stand at attention, and not move. Pilots knew this was a way to recognize allied troops. Well, the German troops were running around, trying to get out of the way as the plane made its strafing run. The allied POWs stood at attention. Charles said the plane passed right over their heads, guns blazing. No POWs were hit. He didn’t say if any Germans were hit.
At the POW camp, food was quite scarce. Sometimes they would get one crust of black bread, to last the whole day. Charles said they used to plan what they were going to eat once the war was over. His plan was to hollow out a loaf of bread, and fill it with Boston baked beans. I asked him if he did that when he got home. He said “nope.” They could get extra rations if they chopped wood outside the camp. Charles volunteered for this duty. He said as he was chopping wood, the guard said to let him chop some, to warm up. So the guard put his rifle against a tree and chopped wood, while he watched. Since he could speak German, Charles became friends with one of the guards. When the war was almost over, there was a mass prison break. As the escapees were running around, Charles’ guard friend said to him “You know, you could leave now and I couldn’t shoot you, because you are my friend. But the war will be over soon, and it would be foolish to escape.” Charles said “you’re right, I’m staying.” The allied prisoners used to confuse the German guards during head count. They would subtlety shift their formation positions while being counted, which caused the Germens to have to re-count them several times to get the correct number.
Soon the war in Europe was over, and they were released. He had spent 3 months as a POW. They were taken to a camp in France for “fattening up.” He said they had new garbage cans filled with eggnog, and lots of good food. They were encouraged to eat and drink all they could. Charles had two canteens, which he would use to hold his eggnog. Eventually, he was flown back to the states on a C-47.
After a leave, he was assigned to a post in San Francisco, to help process troops for the invasion of Japan. Then the war ended. Among the usual World War II medals, he got 3 bronze stars for his actions and attained the rank of Sergeant.
Charles got a business degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and spent his entire career in the advertising industry. He was married, and raised 4 sons.
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 2015
If so, please contact me at
From: "Shirley (McQueen) Bowers" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I was hoping to get any information on my father's service in WWII. He would never really talk about the war.
Here is what I know: He served from 1942-1946 in the 94th Infantry Patton's 3rd Army and was in the European campaign.
His full name: James John McQueen. Could you point me towards some resources to find out more about his service?
You can email be at email@example.com.
Shirley (McQueen) Bowers
Subject: A pilgrimage to pay homage
From: "Roberts Family" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Benjamin Coons <email@example.com>
|Legion of Honor recipients Technician Fifth Grade Clyde A. Bell Jr.
Enlisting at the age of approximately 28 on December 21, 1944, Clyde A Bell was a a private in the Selectees during World War II. At the time of enlistment, Clyde A Bell was married, stood 80 inches tall, and had an education level of grammar school. Clyde A Bell was born in 1916.
Browning Automatic rifleman with the 94thInfantry Division under Gen. George Patton.
Served in Rhineland and Central Europe. Bronze Star, Purple Heart, EAME Campaign Medal with two battle stars, Army of Occupation Medaland World War II Victory Medal. Resides in Riverside with his wife, Joyce.
American football returns to Český Krumlov after 70 years
US soldiers played a football game right after World War II, and the same ball is back
Český Krumlov will experience the first American football game played there by the US soldiers after a 70-year hiatus.
The FK Slavoj Český Krumlov football stadium is going to host an American football game played by US soldiers.
It might possibly have been the first American football game in Czechoslovakia ever.
The idea of paying tribute to the 70th anniversary by replaying the American football game of the US Army’s 94th Infantry Division came into being from the organizers of the Český Krumlov Tourism Association during the preparations of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the town of Český Krumlov in May.
At that time, tourism association member Marek Šimon discovered that the original football used in 1945 in Český Krumlov and signed by the players still existed.
Miroslav Seifert from Brandýs nad Labem, a collector of American military history memorabilia, obtained the football directly from the family of one of the players. The historical football has become a symbol of this year’s commemorating game.
The Freedom and Sport event comes under the patronage of the US Embassy; the Chief of Staff of the Czech Army, General Bečvář; and the town of Český Krumlov.
|94th Division honors two of its WWII veterans with Bronze Star medals earned 70 years ago
September 15, 2015
When World War II ended in September of 1945, both Andrew Cella and Vincenzo Geramita had already distinguished themselves in numerous combat missions across Europe, as members of the 94th Infantry Division, now known as the 94th Training Division.
From: Mary Tucker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Does anyone know where my father, Ames Milo Harrington, fought after his exchange as a POW from Isle De Groix France November 22, 1944? His service number was 36,286,342. I would greatly appreciate any information or stories that you have about him.
From: Kaylyn <email@example.com>
I believe he did some of his early training at Camp Fannin in Texas and eventually ended up at Fort Meade in August before he left the U.S. I'm not sure if all of his training was done at Camp Fannin or not, and I'm still trying to fill in the gaps. I do know that he entered active service on March 16, 1944 at Camp Beauregard, and in April he was at Camp Fannin.
If anyone trained at Fannin or knows anything about the 48th replacement battalion, please let me know.
Thank you and God Bless!!!
From: "Farrington, Dinese D" <Dinese.Farrington@cuw.edu>
As I was traveling to Baraboo WI. In Jefferson WI this monument was at a rest stop. As we were driving towards this stop our conversation was on our fathers. I just had told my dad's story. As I walked around I came upon this. I was so touched. My father's name was Joseph Davero.
From: Gareth Evans
From: Kaylyn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Could this be my grandfather's helmet liner from the war??
It hung on one of his hat racks for as long as I can remember.
Date: Tue, 7 Jul 2015
During our time in Brittany, a patrol from K/301 was ambushed and some were made PW's.
Due to the efforts of a Red Cross person, Andrew Hodges, all of the men were exchanged for German soldiers during Nov. and Dec. 1944.
A Mary Tucker, daughter of Sgt. Ames Harrington, one of the PW's was exchanged but she never found out what happened to him as the 94th moved into Germany.
If anyone out there knows the answer to this situation, please contact the Attack and the information will be sent on to Mary Tucker.
From: sherrie1 <email@example.com>
Does anyone remember Horace “Bud” Cooper? Returned after getting frostbite to his feet, I believe.
He was my dad.
Sherrie Cooper Smith
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 2015
Raymond Love was one of 1 of 27 replacements received by Co. G from the 48th Reinforcement Battalion, 17th Reinforcement Depot on 15 Feb 1945. Before that, Ray was assigned to the 3231st QM Service Co, Westbury, Wilts until 24 Dec 1944 at which time he along with21 other enlisted men were transferred to the 12th Repl Depot for reassignment per letter AG 200 XGA subject: "Retraining as Infantry Riflemen". I have a list naming all 27.
On 26 Feb 1945, the Co. G Morning Report recorded the company's station/location as WL 1715 Nord de Guerre Zone (Sta Cont'd) Ockfen Germany duty as defending bridge head across Saar River in vicinity of Ockfen Germany.
Raymond was reported as killed 26 Feb 1945 along with Perry E Cunningham S/Sgt, Gilbert Robb Sgt, Harold L Crossley Sgt, Victor Pertile Pvt, and William E Thibe PFC in the 1 Mar 1945 Morning Report from Wiltingen, Germany.
Were these solders duties related in any way such that there deaths might be related?
Anyone have any information on Co. G at this time or about any events at the time?
Robert A. Love
|History Of The 376th Infantry Regiment Between The Years of 1921-1945|
From: Jim Kennedy
I am looking for Ray O'Neill, who served in the 94th, 301st, A with me. Ray was 6'4", with dark hair and was married with 2 children.
He was at the Battle of the Bulge and in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia with me. We returned to the States on the same ship, arriving in NYC on January 9, 1946. I was called up on deck because of an emergency and wasn't allowed to return below deck to get my duffel bag where I had everyone's addresses. I was mustered out at Camp Kilmer but didn't see Ray there. Ray O'Neill saved my life twice and I have searched for him for years. If anyone knows anything about him or how I can contact him or his family, it would mean a great deal to me. Jim Kennedy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous in 2012 inquiry
From: Michael Kennedy <email@example.com>
Does anyone happen to know if anyone in your organization has information regarding Ray O'Neil (O'NEALL, O'Neill) I am not sure of spelling.
He was 94th 301st A company.
He was my Grandfathers closest friend, and never saw or spoke to each other after the end of the war. Unfortunately that was fairly common as you know.
I have not been able to find anything whatsoever on this gentleman, and it has been a bit of a crusade to find out anything about him.
My Grandfather also has pictures he would very much like to forward onto O'Neals family.
Any help you can offer on this?
From: Halvor Midtvik <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The next text I found was 'Kleehammer' on one side of the steering wheel, and what looks to be 'Gene' on the other. Kind of facing the driver, and near the 'spokes' of the steering wheel.
|Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2015
From: researchone1 <email@example.com>
Subject: Harry A Marx 301 INF REG. Pvt died 6 Apr 1945, at Duisburg, Germany
I am researching Montgomery County, PA men Killed In Action during WW II. One of these men MARX, Harry A. 33952016 PVT was assigned to the 94 INF DIV, 301 INF REG. Pvt Marx died 6 Apr 1945, at Duisburg, Germany.
Would you have the Company etc he was assigned to at the time of his death?
Any additional information that would be useful in my research will be appreciated.
From: Raymond Sweeney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: wardsx2 <email@example.com>
We are planning a surprise 90th Birthday for my dad, Bob Provine, in Northern California at the end of June. Dad's squad leader was Charley Ross, who sadly passed away in 1996, Other members of his squad included 'Rooster' (he had red hair), Frenchy (French Accent), Tom and Dogpatch. Unfortunately, Dad can't remember the last names of these Gents. Does anyone have any information on them or there whereabouts? Attached are some photo's from the unit. I believe the pic of the gents swimming is from Nepomuk in Czechoslovakia. Dad is they guy with the glasses.
From: Jay Smith
Dad died Jan 14, 961 at the age of 47, I was only five years old and thus never found out anything about his army experiences, battles, etc.
Any info anyone can give me would be much appreciated, especially if you knew Dad or were in his unit. Thanks in advance, Jay Smith email - firstname.lastname@example.org
I was watching the documentary 'The Last Hero's' and was absolutely shocked to hear Mr. Byrd tell the same story that my Father told me when I came home on leave after becoming a helicopter pilot and being assigned to the 101st Airborne Division.
He never mentioned it until after I was in the Army.
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2015
Was wondering if there were any contacts in the 319th Med Bn, specifically "D" Company? I recently acquired a uniform and other items belonging to a dentist named Bernard Helitzer. I saw him listed on your website as being part of "D" company. I know he passed in 1977. He took a lot of photos, and was hoping maybe someone in those photos is still alive.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
From: Kaylyn <email@example.com>
Can anyone identify these patches? I know one of them is Private First Class.
And if anyone can identify the man that would be great as well!! Thanks!!
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2015 03:27:17 -0700
Since my grandmothers passing in August of 14.
I took posession of their personal effects. In doing so, I was going through their boxes and stumbled upon photos from the 94's camp in Kansas, as well as photos from England, France and Germany.
The photos are clear as day, and look like they had just been developed. I noticed that there are reunions from time to time with the 94th, and I was wondering when, or if, another reunion was in the works or coming up.
I know that time is short for many of the remaining members of the 301st, and would love the chance to share these photos of these brave men, in their younger days...
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2015
Donald M. Brill, 301st Company A 93 years old this September, Don is now a resident at the new Chippewa Valley Veterans' Home in Chippewa Falls WI, also the area where he grew up. The Veterans home is 'magnificent', and he is enjoying life around many fellow WWII vets, as well as vets from later wars.
This past Saturday April 11, 2015, "Commandant Mark Wilson of the Wisconsin Veterans Home-Chippewa Valley presented the Legion of Honor to Mr. Brill on behalf of the French Ambassador to the United States. Brigadier General Mark Anderson, Deputy Adjutant General for the Wisconsin Army National Guard, presented Don Brill's bronze star.
'Don Brill's award was presented in front of a large crowd of guests including his wife of 59 years, Meredith Joy Brill, native of Eau Claire, WI . Thanks to General Anderson, WDVA, and the Wisconsin Veterans Home-Chippewa Valley for an amazing, unforgettable day!.
Don accepted the award for those who didn't come back, a legion of ASTP and 94th buddies lost who live on in his memory.
Don was a private and PFC in the 301st regiment, mostly Company A, through the entire 94th combat tour and some occupation duty. He was sent to the 94th in early 1944 after the ASTP graduate student program was disbanded to increase combat company manpower. During combat he earned 4 battle stars, and was in the 94th thru late 1945 including occupation duty. He was briefly transferred to another division before discharge and his records were thus overlooked due to being filed with another division. Eventually, officials discovered a bronze star and several medals which had been approved yet never awarded. (might be worth checking for your WWII vet as well)
After the war, he worked in trades, continued college to gain an MS then PhD. He worked in Wisconsin for the Vocational Education system many years, retiring in 1982, but has always kept in memory his buddies from the war that did not return. Don welcomes any letters or emails from his 94th colleagues and their relatives. He plans to be around a while, Lord willing - no reason to stop at 94! He has an email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can write to
see also www.leadertelegram.com/News/front-page/2015/04/12/France-honors-local-WWII-veteran.html for news story
From: Barbara Vaughan
Looking for photos and/or information concerning William A. Walo, Pvt. who was with the 94th Infantry, 302d Battalion and died the first day of the push for Saar-Moselle Triangle.
William A Walo from Maine
Subject: Arthur Kuehmichel
My dad doesn’t have a computer or email, but he would love to hear from families and fellows about his army / WWII experiences. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
· Arthur Kuehmichel, originally from Marshfield, Wisconsin [say: Key Mickel]
· 94th Infantry Division, 3rd Army, 376 Regiment, 2nd Battalion, HQ Company, S2 driver.
Arthur Kuehmichel, WWII Vet
Brenda Michel, Art’s daughter
My name is Bob Michalski and I am the proud son of Robert J. Michalski (Milwaukee, WI). Dad served in the 94th Infantry Division from induction in November, 1942 through his separation in December, 1945. Like most WWII vets he never spoke much of his service, although he was proud in a quiet way.
Dad passed on 1/1/2007. I do know that he served in an anti-tank unit but unfortunately no more than that.
I would be MOST grateful for any additional information that anyone might know and would be willing to share.
My email address is: email@example.com
Thank you all for your service and for any help you might provide....
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015
From: Philip Sutter <firstname.lastname@example.org>
My father, Martin Sutter was in 376th 3rd Battalion K Company. He was involved in the taking of Scharfenberg Ridge above Ockfen.
In 2012, I took my son there to see where his grandfather had fought. Together, we scaled the hill. On the side of the hill near the top, we found an unexploded US grenade. The next day we took a German bomb recovery expert back to the site. He recovered the grenade. His profession, 70 years after the war is to safely recover munitions still being found.
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2015
My wife and I were visiting her Uncle Jim in the nursing home in Donaldsonville GA yesterday for Valentines Day. Her Uncle Jim is 89 years old, bedridden and can't hear very well but still has a pretty sound mind. My wife mentioned that he was a WW II vet but really did not know much more than that because Uncle Jim never really spoke much about the war to her. She asked me to ask him about his war time experiences just to carry on a conversation with him.
Uncle Jim told me that he served with the 3rd Battalion, 376th Infantry Regiment, 94th Infantry Division and remembers driving across a bridge and seeing General Patton standing in his jeep one time.
Just to carry on conversation, I pulled up a 94th Division insignia on my smartphone and showed it to Uncle Jim and he lit up and just got really excited about how I was able to pull up his old Division patch on my phone and just kept on talking about some of the things he remembered.
My wife said she had not seen him that excited about anything in a while. Later in the day, we went to his granddaughters house and had her open his old trunk and we found a well worn 94th Division patch and his rifle qualification badge.
We don' t think Uncle Jim will be with us next year nor his wife Aunt Jimmi who also is in the same home. When I checked online I found your website and just wanted to post something. Not asking for any info. Just wanted to let everyone know of a old warrior's pride at seeing his WW II Division insignia.
From: Jeff Eckland <email@example.com>
My uncle, Russell Hirsch, was KIA by machine gun fire on the banks of the Saar River during the crossing of the Saar River on February 22, 1945. I believe he was in the 301st.
I would like to find out information regarding what squad/platoon he was in, who he served with, and who his commanding officers were.
Can you direct me to the various records from which I could glean this information?
I would be most appreciative and will gladly pay any expense to defray the costs of my search.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
From: Jack Ruddy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
My Father was a Sergeant in the 94th infantry during WW II and served in the Engineers.
His name was John (Jack) Ruddy from Cleveland, Ohio.
Just wondering if anyone remembers him.
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2015
Attached are some pictures of my Grandfather, Philip M Reed, D Company, 301st Infantry. The names on the pictures were from what was written on the back. There are other pictures in the album that I can share as well. If anyone recognizes names or faces, please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from anyone with any information.
The obituary was brief. The rest of the story?
Timely. And inspirational.
Dale Reynolds died last week at the age of 93. His obituary was understated. It did not mention George Patton's Ghost Corps, nor anything else about the Second World War.
The Department of the Army, United States of America, issued the following report of Reynolds’ activity during WWII. --- Infantry officer, 94th division, 301st infantry, wounded in action on February 10, 1945 during the Battle of Campholz Woods, near Sienz, Germany, served with distinction as E Company Unit Commander, received medals Bronze Star with Valor, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge and other citations and medals. Partially disabled by the wound, but overcame the difficulties with hard and determined work. Served with Distinction (as detailed in the 94th Infantry Division Record.) Evacuated to the U. S. for recovery in May 1945. Discharged as a Wounded Retiree in April 1, 1947. “
It did not pull out the Legion d'Honneur, France's most celebrated award.
Reynolds rarely pulled it out, either, I suspect. That wasn't his style, or his generation's. Fortunately, however, The Oregonian's Julie Sullivan was on hand when Reynolds was awarded the Legion d'Honneur in 2009.
With the Army's 94th Infantry Division, he fought in Lorient, Nantes and Saint-Nazaire with the responsibility for capturing the better armed and fortified Germans, about 56,000 of them along a line 200 miles long. He was wounded at Ardennes, returned to the front, and was wounded a second time in February, 1945. His right arm was shattered, a disability that was obvious as he grasped the French Consul General's hand.
And Reynolds spoke to me about the war in France in 2004, when he was one of several veterans who reviewed the Flag Day parade at the Wilsonville Senior Living Community.
Some veterans are wounded that they didn't see enough action; others that they saw too much. Reynolds spent 38 years as a teacher, coach and principal in Lake Oswego. "If I hadn't been doing those things," he said, pausing to stab the pages of a book about the 94th Infantry, "I would have been stuck in this stuff."
Several other Oregonians -- William Tankersley, George R. Insley and Robert Weiss -- have also been honored in recent years by the French for their courage during that war.
And in the wake the terrorist attacks in Paris, it's essential to remember veterans like Dale Reynolds, and the sacrifices in war and peace that bind the two countries together.
Read, then, Julie's piece on the 2009 Legion d'Honneur ceremony.
And because it predates Oregonlive, here is my June 2004 column, "The Veterans in the Shadow of the Flag":
If you wore the uniform in the Ardennes or the Philippines, you didn't fly the flag. "You didn't advertise," says Dale Reynolds, an 83-year-old veteran who fought with George Patton's Ghost Corps, the 94th Infantry Division. "We even took off our ranks so you weren't the biggest shooting duck out there. In wartime, our uniforms all looked alike."
When they fly the flag now -- and they flew the flag Monday -- you pull out the uniform. You hang your officer drabs on the bathroom door in the morning and, if you're lucky, you admire its cut. "I'm still proud of the uniform," Reynolds said. "I'm still proud I can put it on."
And Monday afternoon, he did. Then he marched out to review the Flag Day parade at The Wilsonville Senior Living Community.
The Wilsonville staff scheduled the Flag Day ceremony to honor the veterans living at the gentler end of Vlahos Road. "Everything we have was preserved by the folks sitting here," said Alexander Ben-Israel, who oversees the Senior Living Community. "In the 1940s, 13 million Americans endured hardships no one could imagine to save the world. If it weren't for them, and the 300,000 who lost their lives, we wouldn't have a Flag Day."
The impact of the day and its colors varied from room to room and veteran to veteran. None of the senior citizens was as outspoken as Bob Ray, the center's 59-year-old maintenance supervisor who spent more than 11 months with the Army in Vietnam.
"I fly a flag at home, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Ray said. "I'm pretty much a patriot. I believe in this country." And he believes this country needs to pursue the war on terrorism, even when it detours through Iraq. "If we don't stand up and fight for our basic freedom, we're not going to have it anymore."
The senior citizens I met Monday were of a different generation and a more restless mind. If the flag means just as much, they don't display it with the same bravado. By and large, they measure their lives by what happened after they came home from the war. By the women they married, the companies they started, the human beings they touched.
Vic Friesen and Walt Freeman both remember the evangelical power of Pearl Harbor. "I was one of those kids who graduated from high school on a Friday and was in the Navy on Monday," Friesen said.
There were a lot of those kids. Freeman served on a tug-and-rescue boat in the Pacific. Friesen's younger brother was at Bikini for the atom-bomb test. Although he was warned to keep his head down, Friesen said, "He stood up. He wanted to see it." The force of the blast sent him flying and into a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Friesen? He spent the war as a medic in Idaho, then went home to Dallas, Ore., and made adding-machine spools, drove the local ambulance and served as a city councilman. He thinks Iraq is "the biggest mistake we've ever made. We have enough problems here to go take on the world's."
Lew Brainerd, 85, flew planes in the South Pacific. "I don't remember too much about it," he said. "When you're in something like that, you're not afraid. It's only when you get back on the ground that you're afraid."
Reynolds went ashore at Normandy three weeks after D-Day. He left most of his right arm in Sinz, Germany; doctors used bone from his leg and his hip to rebuild it. He earned a heap of medals, but he didn't bother to ask his country for them until earlier this year. "They weren't that important, outside the Purple Heart," he said. "And I carry the wounds for that just as well."
Some veterans are wounded that they didn't see enough action, others that they saw too much. Reynolds spent 38 years as a teacher, coach and principal in Lake Oswego. "If I hadn't been doing those things," he said, pausing to stab the pages of a book about the 94th Infantry, "I would have been stuck in this stuff." Even so, the flag -- a fixture in classrooms and on caskets -- haunts and inspires him to this day.
-- Steve Duin
email@example.com; 503-221-8597; @SteveDuin
(Thanks to Bud Garrison, an old tennis partner of Reynolds', for directing me to Dale's obituary.)
19-year-old Private Clayton R. Byrd, Jr., a member of L Company, 302nd Regiment
It is 2015, a time to remember and a time to be proud
Written by John Grimaldi
Washington, DC - President Obama has declared that what has been called the longest war in U.S. history, the conflict in Afghanistan, is over. More than 2,200 American service men and women were killed there in 13 years of conflict. Their sacrifice should never be forgotten, according to the Association of Mature American Citizens.
Nor should we forget any of those brave soldiers who risked and gave their lives to keep us safe, says AMAC. For example, 70 years ago perhaps the most definitive battle of World War II, the Battle of the Bulge, was fought. It began on December 16, 1944 and continued until January 28, 1945. During those six weeks, more than 10,276 American soldiers were killed, 47,493 were wounded and 23,218 were missing in action.
It was a startling loss of life but it lead directly to the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of World War II in Europe.
It is inconceivable what life would be like for us had the Nazi horde succeeded in that desperate counteroffensive, says Dan Weber, president of AMAC. But soldiers like 19-year-old Private Clayton R. Byrd, Jr., a member of L Company, 302nd Regiment, 94th Infantry Division, were not about to let that happen. Byrd was in the thick of things in January 1945. He and his companions in L Company were lost behind enemy lines, hungry, outnumbered and running low on ammunition.
In an interview for a documentary focused on World War II, Byrd recalled: "We realized that we were cut off from any friendly forces with no way of communicating with our commanders." In fact, Byrd's family and those of each of the survivors in what was left of L Company "received telegrams from the War Department that we would either have been captured, annihilated or, in any event, no longer there. We were missing in action."
Soon, a German platoon attacked and Byrd and his band of brothers forced them back. The enemy tried again and again to overrun the Americans but Byrd and his men held their position for seven days until advancing Allied troops found them.
"We got credit for so upsetting the Germans. They didn't know where the front lines really were. We had trusted each other, and we knew that if we were going to go down, we'd go down together. And, I'm proud of that group of people."
As Weber put it: "We, too, are proud. We're proud of Private Byrd. We're proud of each and every member of L Company. And we're proud of all the service men and women who have served in the middle east, in Viet Nam and Korea and all of those who continue to volunteer in order to keep watch over their families and ours."
see also his Video Testimony at
Subject: George L Cannon 94th ID 301st Regiment K Company
I recently obtained some of my grandfather's military papers (George L Cannon 94th ID 301st Regiment K Company), and included with these papers was an address book with a few names and addresses. His handwriting isn't the clearest, but I'm trying to get some background information on these guys to see how he knew and/or met them. They are as follows:
Ssgt Alton G Edwards with an address for Orlando, Florida and one for Foster General Hospital in Jackson, MS
Glenn Higgins of Parkersburg, W.Va
Willie J Cannon FPO 847-89-45 San Francisco
Edward D Moffett of Schenectady, NY
Percele Apair or Apain? Finistere, France (Brittany region of France)
There is one that I'm having a really difficult time deciphering, so I'll put what I think it may be. Not sure if it can be done or not, but I'm going to attach a screen shot of it so maybe ya'll can help me out. It appears to maybe be :
Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Happy New Year and God Bless.
From: Esther Allberry
My name is Esther, I am looking for information on men who would have been stationed in The Barracks, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England. In the early part of 1944
Any information, pictures etc would be much appreciated.
My email address is estherallberry@Hotmail.co.uk
please contact person direct by Email or Phone