November 2001 Newsletter

November 2001 Issue
For all veterans, relatives and friends of the

View of the Rhine River from above St. Goar
October 1999, Tour of Remembrance

Table of Contents: Click on the Link Below to Go To That Section:

Editor's Notes and Website Developments
Email List Update
Invitation to Friends and Relatives
Letters and Exchanges
Requests for Information

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Editor's Notes and Website Developments

As you can see, the website has undergone a significant redesign. Our original website was first developed in late 1999 and had outlived its usefulness and its design was getting a bit stale. The major redesign was carried out by a professional website consultant named Michelle Martello, with assistance by your co-webmaster, Mark Kitchell. The editors of this website would like to thank Ms. Martello on behalf of the entire 89th Division.

This website re-design had two goals. First, we wanted to create a new and dynamic website that will be more easily navigated by both frequent users and newcomers. Secondly, we needed to create a website that was more efficient for the (sometimes) technically 'challenged' webmasters. This new format will make it much easier for your webmasters to add new stories, pictures, histories, etc.

The navigation bars at the top of the page still serve as the primary 'map' to the contents of the website. The major categories remain as before: Home, Combat, Ohrdruf, History and Memories, and Society. Simply click on any of these button to find that section. Additionally, within each button, the user can go to a particular section of the website.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email Mark Kitchell at

Our next priority is to eliminate the backlog of personal stories awaiting publication on our website and to increase the number of links with other WWII related website. Already this month our links page links page has grown.

Darrel Carnell and Ed Quick, Btry B, 340th FA Bn. short-term (unfortunately) tent mates of mine at Hunter-Liggett, and who both tried so valiantly to help me in my earlier days of putting out the Newsletter (i.e., before making it a part of our Website), have graciously agreed to assist me where possible as Editor and, when necessary, serving as backhoes.

The process of reviewing the integration of the Society's communication tools and its budgetary implications are under current review by the President and his advisors.

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Email List Updates

Welcome to our new users of the Society's electronic tools, including:

CALDWELL, Herman MAO G, 353rd Inf, c/oe grandson Darrell CALDWELL

WILSON, Charles AU Co, 355th Inf.

MARCELLED, George B Co, 353rd Inf

WOODRUM, Robert E A Btry, 341st FA Bn

The following listed have a new address:

FAY, Russ B Btry, 563rd FA

STEARNS, Gerry HA Co, 354th Inf.

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Invitation to Friends and Relatives

Non-veterans, i.e., widows and relatives, and friends of the 89th, are invited to join The Society of the Eighty-Ninth Division WWII as Associate Members and/or subscribers. The payment of $20 annual dues entitles members and subscribers to receive the Society magazine, The Rolling W, published three times a year, and will also contribute to financing essential and recurring Society activities. Lifetime memberships are also available.

For your information, additional contributions, i.e., over and above annual or lifetime dues, to the Society are tax-deductible and are essential to the continuation of Society activities in the difficult days to come. Please make your check out to 89th Division Society and mail to

Larry Berg, Treasurer, at 818 San Antonio Place, Colorado Springs, C0 80906.

Include your full name and unit designation, wife's name, telephone number, email address, and your mailing address including zip code.

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Bob Chamow (Hq. Btry, Div. Arty.) called me this morning to pass on word that Bob Andersen's wife, Rosemary, died yesterday, the consequence of Lou Gehrig's Disease. Her condition had deteriorated quite rapidly, having been diagnosed only last year. She was a lovely person and she and Bob were very close. At least she has been spared the prolonged suffering of many with that terrible condition and Bob and the rest of their large, close family won't have to watch her helplessly waste away.

Warm regards,

John Sherman [and our condolences]

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Letters and Exchanges

NOTE: The editor may selectively add bold highlighting for emphasis, edit portions for space limitations or to prevent duplication, and add clarifications within brackets. Appropriate replies and/or follow-up can be assumed. For ease of identification and reply, I have also added the sender's email address and name to all incoming communications.

Unless specifically notified otherwise, all incoming messages and attachments may be considered for possible publication in our next Newsletter, on our Website proper, and/or in The Rolling W, if in the opinion of the Editor(s) they would appeal to the general readership.

From: LAMBERT Joe Co E, 354th

Here's a photo of the NCOs of Company E, 354th Infantry taken at Hunter-Liggitt. [Joe has been supplying us with a number of photos and other interesting items, which can be added to our Website and for which we are grateful. Thanks Joe]

NCOs from Company E 354th Infantry
Photo courtesy of Radcliffe Peterson
Top Row: Willie Hughes, Francisco Quintana, E. Giddens, Unknown, Harold Moore*,
Unknown, 1SG Phil GrandPre*
Middle Row: Vidal Maestas, Dewey Flarity, Dale Worthy*, Albert Cheisi, Glen Harmon*,
Joe Parks, Warren Spelling, Klebert Rigot, Howard Mahoney, Woodrow Nuez, Ira Chester
Front Row: Shorty Lapointe
*Denotes NCOs killed in action

Dear Joe:

Are you preparing a unit history on the 354th? I sure would hope that part relating to WWII can be placed on our website and the TRW magazine. Please tell me more. Scotty

Hi Scotty:

No, I'm not preparing a unit history for the 354th, but I am very interested in the unit's history. I joined this unit in 1989, and we've been so busy with our primary mission that we, regrettably, haven't been able to do much with our history. I am trying to change that. I have gone through the 89th Division history of WWII and the Combat history of the 354th and found a soldier that I am trying to get our unit's building name for. I have attached a copy of the report that I sent up for approval. You may post it if you like. I hope to know shortly whether it has been approved. This is a project that I have been working on for 2 years, and it has happily given me the opportunity to get to know a dozen or so former members. It has also helped me to develop a deep respect for all the members of the 354th and the 89th Division.

MSG Joe Lambert
2nd Battalion, 354th Regiment
Operations NCO

603 Tank Destoryer Battalion This is the result of an exchange by your Editor in his attempts to get unit histories for our website. Anybody interested in taking this further?

I had a note from Bertrand J. Oliver ("Bert") that you might be in contact. As Bert may have informed you, a copy of our history is in the Library of Congress. Bert wrote most of it; I wrote some and edited the work. We purposely did not copyright the document, so it can be reproduced.

Since such scant mention was made at the time of writing about our action in the Battle of the Bulge, I produced a supplement published in our newsletter known as Panther Tracks Volume 13, No. 2 dated August 1992. I believe I sent a copy to the Library of Congress. It was based on copies of our morning reports and my interviews with Tank Destroyer M-18 Commanders and Platoon leaders that are still alive, or were at the time. For eight long days we were the only intact American military unit in the area four miles southwest of Bastogne city center along the Neufchateau/Bastogne road.

All copies of our printed newsletter can be found at the U.S. Army Historical Institute Library at Carlisle Barracks, PA. If anyone was particularly interested in this phase of our combat action, I could probably provide a copy. We only had 400 copies of the book published. It had some errors in it that needed correcting and needs to he republished to encompass our detailed actions several places including the liberation of the first death camp when part of our Battalion were attached to the 89th and part to the 4th Armored Division. I was one of the first six men through the fence and being in Company A, I was a member of the 89th Division. The M-18 that broke the hole in the fence was from C Company and was attached to the 4th Armored. I am aware that someone else from the 89th broke into the camp about the same time and probably on the opposite side.

We have never put any of our stuff on Internet. A couple of years ago the son of one of our men was going to do that but it seems he never got around to it. You may recall we crossed the Rhine River with the 89th. As all our guns had been pulled up to the Rhine western banks but back far enough not to he seen by Germans from the Eastern bank, I was sent as liaison to your CP in the basement of a structure in Oberwesel. I had to run through mortar fire to get in there. Anyway at a certain point in the meeting I explained that our guns could knock the tops off the steeples on the east bank where obviously there were observers. I was doubted but given permission to have a platoon of guns move up in 20 minutes there was no more shells dropping outside--the steeples were gone.

Since you are In Alexandria, you are a hop skip and a jump from the Library of Congress--if you can find a parking space-to access our bock there. You will see that the bulk of it consists of two journals. One was prepared for Company A by myself and two or three other men the week the war ended in Europe at the request of Bert Oliver, our Company Commander. It was based on copies of morning reports, a diary I kept until the Battle of the Bulge when I believed I would never live through it and the diary of a friend who had his head shot off and I got the diary from his pocket before the graves detachment came along. The other journal was prepared the week the war ended by our chief Battalion personnel officer from after action reports and records they had.

At the time we distributed copies, an officer from West Point wrote to say they were requiring all new entrants to read the material as it was one of the best day to day accounts of combat he had seen. (Of course we don't know how many he had seen) Also you would he glad to know that the blood soaked diary of my friend got back to his folks.

Your division puts out one of the very best newsletters, and your long time previous Editor out in Donnelly, Idaho, a town I know well, taught me how to process pictures for the newsletter of which I am Editor. We were but a small Battalion, unattached to any one larger unit for any length of time. So I guess the fact that our newsletter is small-12 to 16 pages is natural. The group is fast getting smaller, and I don't know if in another two years we will have a reunion. Our next is year 2002 in September. If you have any specific requests with which I can be of assistance, please let me know.

Cheers, Raymond J.Young
President, 602nd T.D. Bn, Assn.
Historian, & Editor Newsletter

Another Veterans Day Thought

From: Budnick, Herbert L

To all of my friends may we stop for a moment and remember those who are not longer with us, Let us all remember the good and bad days that all Vets have experienced. I miss the comradeship that we all had in days past. I trust you and your families are well. Our country needs ALL of it's Veterans to keep us steadfast and wish our young soldiers/sailors & marines who now protect us, a safe journey as they march (sail) off to continue to fight for our country and others who believe in the democratic way of life with freedom for all.

Herb Budnick
(Thurman family member from years gone bye)

A Silver Star Story and Award by John Herbert

This letter is in response to the article that General Finley had in the Dec. 77 Rolling W suggesting that it would be interesting to the members if some of us who had a story to tall about our experience with the 89th Div. during WWII would write to you about it.

Well, as a sniper, aid a jet-Scout and later on a PFC Squad Leader of Co. 'F, 353d Inf. Regt, I have many stories that I could tall but for now, I would like to tell you about what happened on March 20, 1945 somewhere near Kirschroth, Germany. I was preceding my platoon as 1st Scout and noticed a number of enemy soldiers on a hill just ahead of me. I signaled back that the enemy was in sight and where and within a few seconds our platoon leader, 1st LT Oot and Platoon SOT Markley were al on their way up to size up our situation but before they got to me, all hell broke loose. Although we did not know it at that very moment, we soon found out that we had run head on into a very heavy fortified enemy position armed with artillery, anti aircraft guns, machine guns and small arms with snipers that had 10 power scopes. They opened up on us with everything they had and at that time, I did not think that many of us would survive but we somehow got our fire power turned on and were laying in some very accurate fire under the direction of LT Ott and SGT Markley.

As I recall, our artillery fire was delayed because they were on the road and had to set up when we called for support fire but once they did get set up, their fire was very much on target. We then tried to assault their position but their fire was so heavy that we had to hit the ground and about five, of us were caught in the open with no means of concealment. Along with me were Kenneth Haines and Rudy Triviso but I don't recall the others. The fire at this point was very heavy including anti aircraft shells bursting overhead. Ken Rainea and I were almost shoulder-to-shoulder when we hit the ground and there was a German machine gun firing at us. Haines opened up on the machine gun with his M1 rifle that had 8 rounds of tracers in the clip. I know that he knocked out that machine gun but right, after be fired the last round, a German sniper shot him right between the eyes and killed Haines instantly. The sniper then started to zero in on me and just missed my head and shot off a piece of the heel from my combat boot. We then made a bee line dash for some bushes to the left of our position and from there, I knocked out a machine gun and two snipers and it was from this position that I saw my buddy, Fred Kirk, who was the oldest man in our company but could keep up with all of us, get hit and I knew it was bad. The medic could not get to him so I crawled out and dragged him back to where the medic could tend to him but he was shot up very bad with small arms and shrapnel and died shortly afterward.

A short distance away on my left was Earl Nordin, who was the youngest man in the company. He also was killed by enemy fire. I don't know how many of our men were killed or wounded that day but it could have been much worse when you consider what we ran into.

I then noticed German soldiers coming toward our positions so I circled around to the left -and came up behind them and captured six of them who were trying to feel out our positions. If my memory serves me, we then called for air support and one or more P-47 or P-1 fighters came over and dropped a few bombs. As time went on, our firepower was building up; and our artillery fire was very effective and soon thereafter the Germans were waving the white flag. As 1st Scout, it was up to me to make contact with the Germans but as I got up and started to walk toward them, one or more of our men on the far left in the woods and over a hill continued to fire and as we later found out, they could not hear us yelling to cease fire. The Germans went back into their holes and opened fire on us but we did not return the fire so they must have realized what had happened. Again they waved the white flag and I went out and made contact with them. When the rest of the company came up, we looked over the German positions and found that they were constructed so well that even bombs could not knock them out. All things considered, we were very lucky that things turned out the way they did. For my part in this battle and in other encounters, I was awarded the Silver Star. I feel today as I felt then, that a lot more of our men should have been decorated for their actions that, including LT Oot and SGT Markley, who were outstanding.

I hope that this article, along with others that will be sent to you, will be seen by the families of the men who were killed in action or died from their wounds go that they might know how their loved ones died while serving with the 89th Infantry Division in W.W. II.

John Hebert
Hazen Road

Here is the citation for John's Silver Star:


Private First, Class JOHN A. HERBERT 11058178; Infantry, United States Army, distinguished, himself by gallantry in action as a scout of Company "F", 353d Infantry on two occasions in Germany. When his platoon was held by severe enemy artillery, machine gun and sniper fire near Kirschroth on 20 March 1945, Private First Class Hebert on his own initiative daringly advanced to a vantage point and killed two snipers. Then, seeing a wounded comrade, he crossed through heavy machine gun fire to him, administered. first aid under fire, and. moved the man 75 yards to a place of safety. Continuing in the attack, he captured six enemy riflemen and thereby enabled his platoon to take its objective. On 14 April he was preceding his platoon near the Saale River when he observed German soldiers near the buildings of a concentration carp. By boldly rushing forward firing his rifle, Private First Class HEBERT captured 39 enemy officers and men without a fight. His daring, bravery, determination, and devotion to duty aided. greatly in the combat effectiveness of his platoon and were in keeping with the best traditions of the armed forces of the United. States. Entered the military service from Massachusetts.

Veterans Day Thought-Rhine Crossing

From: DUNN, Wallace E-Cn Co, 353rd Inf

This being Veterans Day my thoughts were back to WW2 and our experiences ...if anyone wants to use this you have my total permission to reprint or whatever.... the first big responsibility since taking command of Company L finally struck home as to the complexity of a major action ... initially it was confirmed when contacted by Navy personnel who wanted to coordinate use of their boats and people for the crossing in a couple of days .........their equipment for getting across were rubber "rafts" that would be rowed across with 4 sets of oars by our men and not theirs as we anticipated ......with full equipment we could get 6 men in each and we had over 200 men to transport !!!!..........We spent the prior nite on the top a very high hill with total forest between our campsite and the west bank of the river ...the river looked very wide as we knew the Germans were firmly entrenched on the other bank...unfortunately there was a small isle in the center of the river and while there was no visual sign of anyone there it was our guess which turned out to be accurate that they had weapons there with manpower to give us H--- in the AM...we were scheduled to push off before dawn to supposedly sneak on the opposite bank where a small village looked very peaceful !!!! there were high hills behind them and a brick angled shoreline ...we went down the slope in total darkness as quietly as possible when you couldn't see your hand in front of your face ...climbing into the boats with all equipment again was a real problem but the first boats took off and then the 88'sstarted firing became quickly obvious that we hadn't been as silent as we hoped to be ...the town (Kaub) was a lot further than we hoped and their guns started to their toll with men being toppled into the river .........some never made it and others got to shore with the help of their buddies daylite we made it across but were totally stuck to the shore area with whatever cover was available... the 88's were getting more accurate as they had the capability to shoot at a downward angle which none of our 37's or 105' or 155' could ...we used our mortars and machine guns but they were in good cover within the town bldgs and emplacements on the hillside .........the fighting went on all day as darkness set we moved out and took over the town building by building until we setup our outposts and grabbed some sleep before another day of gradually pushing the Germans back into their homeland !!!!!!!!

Wotta wonderful world to live in (especially if you live in the USA!!!!!)

Day at the National War College

From: Kitchell, Raymond

On October 19, soon after we put the monthly newsletter to bed, I had the pleasure of attending a three-hour seminar, sponsored by the NWCAA, on the subject of "Cyber-War: The Future is Now". Three experts, i.e., the Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Science and Technology, the Director of Intelligence (J2) for the Joint Task Force, and the Deputy Director of the National Infrastructure Protection Center, gave introductory presentations based on their various specialties. The seminar treated threats, examined efforts to coordinate government agencies and private business to combat these threats, and suggested countermeasures to insure future national security. There was a very interesting interaction between themselves and the audience. After I got used to the jargon and even understanding a bit what "cyber" actually means, it proved to be very interesting and reassuring to learn of the ready status of our government agencies. On the other hand, as the experts freely admitted and pointed out, the unknown impact of future technological advances on these issues give no cause for relaxing, or diminishing current and future efforts in the continuing Cyber-War.

As interesting and timely as this was, the best part came later at lunch to which I had invited Mark. We met at the bar in the Officer's Club and, at the same time, I bumped into an old '70 NWC classmate, Lt. General Julius W. Becton, who after retirement ended up with the Agency for International Development where I had also worked. We sat together and it was fun reminiscing. It was Mark's first visit to Fort McNair and I was proud to introduce him. We were also pleased to see Dick Lee two tables away. Finally, the luncheon speaker was William J. Crowe, Admiral and former chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff and former Ambassador to the Court of St. James, who gave an excellent and far-reaching personal analysis of current political and military aspects of "The War On Terrorism". See, there are some advantages in living in the greater DC area.

Sign of the Times

This is an email from a young ensign aboard USS Winston Churchill (DDG-81) to his parents. (Churchill is an Arleigh Burke class AEGIS guided missile destroyer, commissioned March 10, 2001, and is the only active US Navy warship named after a foreign national).

Sent Monday, October 08, 2001 6:37 PM

Dear Dad,

We are still at sea. The remainder of our port visits have all been cancelled. We have spent every day since the attacks going back and forth within imaginary boxes drawn in the ocean, standing high-security watches, and trying to make the best of it. We have seen the articles and the photographs, and they are sickening. Being isolated, I don't think we appreciate the full scope of what is happening back home, but we are definitely feeling the effects.

About two hours ago, we were hailed by a German Navy destroyer, Lutjens, requesting permission to pass close by our port side. Strange, since we're in the middle of an empty ocean, but the captain acquiesced and we prepared to render them honors from our bridge wing. As they were making their approach, our conning officer used binoculars and announced that Lutjens was flying not the German, but the American flag. As she came alongside us, we saw the American flag flying at half-mast and her entire crew topside standing at silent, rigid attention in their dress uniforms.

They had made a sign that was displayed on her side that read "We Stand By You." There was not a dry eye on the bridge as they stayed alongside us for a few minutes and saluted. It was the most powerful thing I have seen in my life. The German Navy did an incredible thing for this crew, and it has truly been the highest point in the days since the attacks. It's amazing to think that only half-century ago things were quite different. After Lutjens pulled away, the Officer of the Deck, who had been planning to get out later this year, turned to me and said, "I'm staying Navy."

[I sent this letter to a former friend and colleague of mine in the UN who included the following in his reply]

I did appreciate the message you sent me. My father, ex-German U Boat Chief Engineer (deceased), developer of the first useable Snorkel, whose submerged boat entered the New York Harbor on a secret missions during World War II, would have much rather done so the same in the style of the German destroyer.

By the way after the war he was invited to become an instructor and submarine researcher at the Naval Academy and Experiment Station in Annapolis. That is why them family, including yours truly, came to the USA in 1946 and 47. It is sad what bad political leaders and misguided religious beliefs can do to the masses.


ASTP Comments

From: NORWOOD, Bernard

[Provided at my request]

I very much appreciate meeting you at the NWC seminar and your putting me onto the ASTP reminiscences website and interesting related website material Ion the ASTP.) One of the particularly valuable contributions of the site is the account by the Army's Historical Division. For me, it adds considerably to what I have read over time about the origins of the program, including General Leslie McNair's changing attitude, and the tortured life it had while the Army Ground Forces were searching for men in late 1943 and early 1944. Stephen Ambrose, in his Citizen Soldier, condenses the whole matter into less than two pages. I initially thought the site might have put up by Louis E. Keefer, who wrote Scholars in Foxholes, but now know that Patrick Kearny is responsible for this substantial and rewarding source of information.

My own conclusions about ASTP contrast importantly with the consensus of the people Keefer interviewed for his book. They were largely negative - or at least too limited and unappreciative of the opportunity they had and, in varying degrees, exploited. (I'd e-mail a copy of this message to Keefer but do not have an address for him.)

The memories of the few people who appear presently on the web site preceding your own submission also show a more limited appreciation of the program than I have had. Moreover, some of them reflect either a dimming of memory or an undue carelessness in editing their own submissions to the web pages. Darrell Thompson, whose submission appears first in the present catalog of website recollections, came into the program after it had been in operation for a term. He was at Fordham for the two remaining terms. I did not get to meet him, since I was shipped, along with a couple more truckloads of ASTPers to NYU Uptown (College of Engineering), which was elsewhere in the Bronx, for the second and third terms. Thompson is more ambitious than warranted in characterizing the three-term basic engineering course as providing the equivalent of three academic years oif training. Rather, the three ASTP terms were the equivalent of three college semesters. And that certainly was the evaluation my college gave it when I returned to school after the War.

On a minor point, I believe the ASTP had its Navy counterpart in the V-5 program, not the V-I I program. Thompson, in his senior years, remembers more clearly the price of the tickets at the Radio City Music Hall rather than he remembers the Rockettes. Just shows what the passage of time does to make us mellow. Jerry Epple, whose story is the second in the series on the website, quite evidently makes a typographical error in stating that he started his pre-ASTP basic training in April 1945. Presumably it was 1944 - or conceivably 1943. (I could be wrong on this since I learned today by reading a U. of Maine piece on the website that the program was revived, it is alleged, from December 1944 and continued for several months thereafter. I have never heard of this resurrection.)

He records puzzling comments about his asking questions at the end of the war. Was he in a Japanese language program that followed his ASTP assignment, which would have ended in the spring of 1944 with the termination of the engineering and language programs (the medical program continued)? He also talks about being told at that late date - end of the program or later - that the students would get commissions. I thought that evanescent idea was bandied around only in the days when the ASTP was getting under way. He also intimates that the program ended for him when he declared he would not serve a four-year stint that he reports would have been a condition for going ahead with Japanese language training. Puzzling, to say the least.

Like many others covered by Keefer in his book, Epple says the ASTP did not advance the country's welfare or his own.

Sol Brendell's account reminded me of the opportunity some of us had as the program was nearing its end -which was rumored but not yet confirmed - to opt to go on to advanced engineering or to enter the medical program. Beng in the top ten percent of the students in the ASTP at NYU-Engineering, I was given a choice and opted for advanced engineering. That turned out to be the unfortunate choice, since the entire engineering program soon thereafter terminated but the medical program went forward.

I note that Brendell seemed to have been taken aback by the story of the time that second lieutenants in the infantry lasted in combat only 6 to 9 days. Along with many others, I remember some very short combat lives of such officers, but I do believe the average, even in rifle companies, was quite a bit longer. I consider his remembrance a literary device - hyperbole -in his mind either when such an appointment was a real and immediate prospect or when he today digs back in memory.

Brendell leaves us hanging at the end of his story. Where did he go at the end of the tale he sets down? Bob Wells, in the fourth piece in the current series, says his professors were aghast that the Army expected the students to handle college-level subjects from scratch. Nonsense, the basic engineering course was certainly compressed, and we certainly had to work diligently to keep up. I felt intellectually out of breath at the end of the third term's combination of integral and differential calculus. However, the basic program did not assume college-level preparatory course work. While the professors I had were understanding of the effect of their racing us along the course outline, they did not consider the syllabus to have been unduly demanding.

Your own piece, the fifth ~and last on the website, is a commendable example. As was my own reaction, you regarded ASTP as a wonderful opportunity. Also, as in my case, you spent a bit of time learning the machinist business. Between a freshman year in college end entering the Army, I earned a journeyman's card in the Machinists' Union. That background turned out to be enormously rewarding over the years. In the ASTP days, it highlighted the potential value to me of exploiting the ASTP to the fullest. I used all of it except engineering drawing for full credits when I got back to college after the war, went on to get a Ph.D., entered the Department of State, the Foreign Service, the White House, the Federal Reserve Board, a prominent economic consulting firm, and on to other work. Both I and the citizenry as a whole benefited from the program, and I was then and am now understanding of the reasons why all of us could not have stayed with the program through its early, contemplated course of turning Gls into engineers and linguists.

I am curious about how your program at OSC embraced speech and geopolitics. My program, at Fordham and NYU, had some courses outside engineering - notably, history and geography, but they always struck me as more in keeping with a course at an engineering school than the courses you mentioned. Unfortunately, it seems, your post-ASTP assignment was not so closely related as was mine to the engineering field. In my case, in lugging ammunition and doing that sort of thing In a mortar platoon of a heavy weapons company in the 104th Infantry Division, I was able to put my ASTP engineering lessons to work in excavating deep, round holes all the way across the Netherlands and Germany.

Again, thanks for putting the ASTP before me again, as well as for introducing me to the 89th Inf. Div. website. I look forward to seeing you again at one of the NWC events if not otherwise.

Bernie Norwood


From: Woodrum, Robert

Hello again Scotty, Glad to hear that you got the "floppy disk" okay and that there was no problem with it when it got there. I'm looking forward to seeing it in print. I sent a copy to Mary Brunner per your suggestion. [Bob's story in one of about 30 which have not yet been posted on our website but, as explained above, will be given first priority when the redesign is completed shortly.]

A copy was also sent to our son in Canada and to one of my sisters in Ohio. She, in turn has copied it for other brothers and sisters there (four in all), a nephew in Colorado, a niece in South Carolina, and a nephew in Kentucky. I guess they had no idea of what went on in those days and are happy to know what we were doing with our lives. I do recall the nephew in Kentucky asking about my WW11 experiences about a year ago when my wife Kathleen and I were back in Ohio on vacation, but it was a very abbreviated conversation. So now the story is spread far and wide, hope it is well received.

In the October issue of the newsletter you seemed to quite happy to hear from Joe Hall. My wife and I met him for the first time at the Tacoma reunion. He was with his pal Rusty Christophides, from Connecticut. We spent some very enjoyable time with them. Also we met Bill Symonds there at the reunion, he was a special friend of my friend Ed Ebert who is no longer with us unhappily, All these guys went to OSU in the ASTP. It was a super reunion and we are looking forward to the next one. That's all for now. Bob and Kathleen Woodrum.

Colorado Springs Mini-Reunion Success


I would like to thank the 354th for extending an invitation to other members of the 89th Division to join them at their mini reunion in Colorado Springs in August. B Company of the 353rd regiment had a good turn out of 7 men. Two of the attendees, Dave Willis and Huey Taylor I had the good fortune to meet at other reunions, but F. S. Gibson, Arnold Berg, J. B. hail and Frank Warren I hadn't seen in 55 years. This reunion gave all of us the chance to renew acquaintances and reminisce the "Good Old Days" and talk about our aches and pains.

Colorado Springs sure has changed a lot since the days when I was there in 1942. This time we spent a half a day looking for the old hangouts and got lost with all the new streets.

On the way home we had a chance to stop off and visit Fort Carson and we came in the back gate and it sure changed a lot also. Th. old barracks were all torn down, but the motor pools were still in the same place. In place of our trucks they had tanks and equipment that I had never seen before. The streets have names now instead of numbers. The young lad (MP) at the gate was from the state of Illinois and was happy to see somebody from his home state.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone at the next reunion in 2002 in Indianapolis.

War Memories

From: DUNN, Wally

Every day it would appear that we could be getting to a war much larger in scope than was likely in our thoughts not to long ago ...let us hope that our boys won't have to participate as in WW2 !!!!!! However it does bring back poignant memories to those of who served 60 yrs ago!!!!!!! ...The picture attached was taken in France at the end of the war when their govt awarded us their Croix Deguerre for bringing their freedom back...this was Company L of the 3rd Bn 353rd Regiment 3rd Army (led by General Patton) 5th Corps wherein I was Company Commander ..........pic taken on a field in the Normandy area not far from Omaha Beach ...we had been given clean uniforms after ending combat near Chemnitz where we met the Russians and mutually celebrated VE Day...then proudly lined up and we were reviewed by the Brass and dignitaries .......yours truly was fortunately the guy in front of the unit where I was lucky to be just having returned from our General Hospital in nearby Rouen was a proud day for all involved and I am sure those still alive join me in wishing our boys home as soon as possible again !!!!!!! God Bless America !!!!!!!

ASTP at Loyola

From: BERKOFF, Eugene

[Gene sent me this last May and I just rediscovered in my chaotic filing system. A thousand apologies Gene, we will also add it to out ASTP page on the website and the TRW may wish to also pick this up in its nest issue. I made one correction, it was the 71st not the 76th which was at Hunter Liggett.]

I am Eugene W. Berkoff, one time member of Headquarters Company, Second Battalion, 353rd Inf Regiment. I read your email letter to the OCS ASTPers and that made me think back on my experience with ASTP. I was enrolled at Loyola in Los Angeles and it was not a long stay for me before the ASTP program was terminated and I found myself with the 89th Light Infantry Division at the Hunter Liggett Military Reservation. I don't know if my story here is what you're looking for but here it is. It may be better suited for inclusion with the Rolling W (especially since I was not at the Oregon State University).

I took my basic training at Camp Roberts, California, after which we were taken to Fort Ord, California, from where we were to be shipped out to the South Pacific as replacements. While waiting to be shipped out I came down with a case of meningitis and was hospitalized for several weeks. There were two other GIs that were in the hospital with me but their meningitis affected them severely enough to get them medical discharges. After discharge from the hospital I found that the men with whom I underwent basic training had been shipped out and it seemed that the Fort Ord authorities didn't quite know what to do with me and I was assigned to permanent K.P. I believe that at least two contingents of troops came through bound for the South Pacific while I served on K.P.

I learned about the ASTP and having just finished high school before being drafted I thought I would be a good candidate for the program. It seemed a great way to continue my education and get an officers commission. I applied for enrollment in the ASTP but I believe it was at that time that things changed and ASTPers were assured of only staff non-coms rating not a commission upon graduation. While waiting for results of my application I continued my permanent K.P. duties. After a short time I was called to report to the CO of the temporary company to which I was assigned. I reported to the Captain and he informed me I was not eligible for ASTP. I asked why I was not eligible. "Because to be eligible you must have an I.Q. of at least 120" he told me, "and the tests you took at Fort MacArthur (this was where I was inducted into the army) shows you have an I.Q. of 86".

"Sir', I said, "Isn't a person with an 86 I.Q. classed as a high grade moron?" I asked. "I believe so," replied the Captain." I then related the circumstances under which I took the so-called lQ test. I told him how after physical exams I and other draftees were transported to Fort MacArthur where we were introduced to army life. I remember getting passes to San Pedro for one night where others and I went to have a good time. My first time really away from my parents, really on my own! Great! We went from bar to bar all night long. In those days if a person was wearing a military uniform there was no age check. I don't remember how many bars we visited or what we did. I never did remember getting back to Fort MacArthur but I remember the morning after. Oh what a hangover! What a headache! I was afraid I was not going to die and I wanted to! I felt absolutely terrible. We were marched to a building where we were given various tests, IQ tests I imagine. I didn't care. I could hardly read what was in front of me.
I really don't remember the tests.

All this I explained to the C.O. and asked if I could take those tests again. He took pity on me and arranged for me to repeat the tests. This time I passed with flying colors and soon I was on my way to Loyola in Los Angeles.

It was not too long after that the ASTP program was terminated and I found myself back in Camp Roberts on the way to the adjoining Hunter Liggitt Military Reservation to join an Army outfit called the 89th Light Infantry Division, which was on maneuvers against the 71st Light Division. 354th Reunion Impressions

From: SAMUELS, Bob

This is being composed as a letter to the various editors to describe my impressions of the 354th sponsored reunion at Colorado Springs. Perhaps the editors will wish to compost it for use as organic mulch. I was very favorably impressed with Colorado Springs, which has great scenery and many points of interest nearby. There was a special interest in the area since the division was activated there.

I joined the division at Hunter Liggett and was interested to see the places that the old timers talked about, such as "Camp Carson" and "going to Walsenburg". Of course the heart of any reunion is the discussion of old times. I was lucky enough to discover a fellow who was my boss in the AG section of the 83rd Division HQ in Linz, Austria. And also a fellow student at Loyola University in ASTP.

An especial surprise and treat was the presentation at the banquet by General Wayne Downing. He provided a comprehensive review of the challenges to the national security landscape where our 21th century world is: "dynamic, uncertain, unstable, complex, and very dangerous". He also outlined the threats, where they might come from ("radical Islam" led the list), our vulnerabilities, and the implications. He also had recommendations on how we can cope with these problems, as a nation, in the organization of the armed forces, and as individuals. In terms of the happenings of September 11th, his talk had a definitely prophetic ring. Since then General Downing has been interviewed by the New York Times and on ABC Television. Herb Budnick deserves our thanks for recruiting such a great performer for the banquet.

The hospitality room, meals and excursions were all well organized and run. Larry and Marge Berg, Herb, Lorna, and Alan Herbaly, and Glenn Krieg provided excellent service on this front.

In summary I am a satisfied customer of the reunion and look forward to Indianapolis being that much fun.

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Request for Information

Request From the Belgian Army

From: BRION, Patrick, Belgian Army

Dear Sir,

I am a senior NCO currently working at General Staff level in Brussels, Belgium. I am working on a major project concerning the REIMAHG underground Me 262 factory near the East German town of KAHLA, inside the Walpersberg. The 89th ID was the unit, which liberated the camp, where also a lot of Belgium people died and suffered.

Hence, I'm trying to obtain as much as information possible concerning the liberation of the camp. Would it be possible to send a major request concerning this to all veterans of the 89th ID? It would matter and I hope you can help me! Thank you in advance!

Patrick Brion
Belgian Army
General Staff

My Grampa in WWII

From: FRASHER, Ashley

Dear Charles,

I was just writing you to see if you had known my grandpa...Charles A. Frasher. He was also in Co A. 354th Inf. I know there is a small chance but I was just looking through some of his things and was interested if you had known anything about him.

Thanks so much! *Ashley Frasher [Don't know who this was addressed to]

Daughter of a Fellow Veteran

From: THOMPSON, Terry (Iria)

Dear Terry:

I assume you located me through our website, right? If so, you will also note that we publish a monthly 89th Newsletter. I will place your letter in the next issue, approximately Nov 15 and hope we get a response.

In checking the last membership listing of The Society of the 89th Division, I note that your father is listed as a member IRLA, Walter C 340th FA Bn - Widower 301 Milliken Blvd. Fall River, MA 02721.

I suggest, as you intimated, and assuming your Dad doesn't have his own computer, that you sign him on using your email address as a proxy. I'll be glad to do that for you and could facilitate the type of communication you are looking for. I'll be in touch.

Raymond (Scotty) Kitchell (Formerly with Btry B myself, but only for a short time.)

Hello, Terry:

All I have is Scotty Kitchell's letter to you; he did not include the one you sent to him. I remember your dad very well. He was chief of the wire section in Battery B, 340 Field Artillery, to which section I was sometimes assigned. There are fifteen surviving members of Battery B (your dad will increase it to sixteen) for whom I have post office addresses. If you're interested, I'll send them along to you. I'm sending copies of this note to the nine members of Battery B who have e-mail addresses. Maybe some of them will want to write to you.

Please tell your father that I have written to you. If he doesn't remember my name, just tell him I was the Captain's jeep driver and bugler for Battery B.

Darrel Carnell

A Plea for Help

From: LITTLE, Douglas

Dear Sir:

My late father George S. Little was a Tech/5 in the 1st army 89th Division member. His "Eisenhower" jacket he left to me has a big square "A" on the left shoulder and a "Rolling W" on the right shoulder. It also has a gold button on the left lapel of crossed cannons. He said he was in the 941st Field Artillery Battalion.

Your website makes no mention of his unit being in the 89th Division. I don't know anything about how the Army decides what battalion is in which Division of whose army. Where does the 941st come into it? Was there more than one 89th division? Please help.

Thanks, Douglas Little

St. Louis, MO

Assuming it might be the 914th FA, I contacted Chick Cecchini but neither of could find and record or mention of his dad. Nevertheless, Doug's mention of the 89th patch on this Dad's uniform in perplexing. Can anyone help?

A Request Via the Website

From: CALDWELL, Darrell


First, thank you men so much for having put up this site. My grandfather served in the 89th and I have only recently become interested in his history. I would like to include his name and my e-mail on your site. The information is as follows:

Herman M Caldwell, S/Sgt 89th Infantry, 353rd regiment, 2nd Battalion, Company G

Second, fortunately I have gained interest in this subject while my grandfather is still alive. He is in his 80's now and is almost blind. However, his memory is completely intact. I became interested in WWII after having read Stephen Ambrose's books about WWII. I had read all of those plus several more when I happened upon the website for the National D-day Museum started by Stephen Ambrose. On that site is an explanation of the Oral History Project started and conducted by the University of New Orleans to help capture the living histories of the veterans of WWII. With my experience of the types of stories and content that Ambrose gathered, I formulated approximately 80 questions for my grandfather to answer on audiotape. He is currently working on those for me. Once he completes the tapes I will send them to the Oral History Project where they will transcribe the tapes for me.

I realize that the 89th was not in ETO on D-day, but the project has been expanded to cover all of the men during WWII. The reason I write to you about this is the hope that you might include a link and information to the project on your site in hope that other vets will take part in the oral history. I have included the website link to the D-Day site and a copy of my questions as an example. You are free to use the questions as you see fit.

I would appreciate a response of some sort to let me know you have received this.

D-Day Museum
Oral History Project

Darrell Caldwell
6th Grade Team Explorer, World Cultures
3805 Timberline Drive
Plano, Texas 75093

Our reply Welcome aboard. Your Dad's name and unit and your address has been added to our email list and will also be added shortly to our website listings. Your project is most interesting and we are willing and eager to cooperate to the fullest. I hope it will possible for us to include your father's oral history, in it's fullest or abbreviated form, in our 89th website which is intended for a worldwide audience. Certainly, we would welcome any appropriate links. Through the mechanism of our Society's official organ, The Rolling W, and our electronic tools, i.e., the 89th Website and Newsletter, we are encouraging our veterans to record their personal stories for posterity. If there is any type of announcement or request you would like to include in our next Newsletter, place let me know before November 15th. Your questions may also prove useful to us.

Thank you. Webmaster, 89th Div Website.


From: Woodrum, Robert

Hello fellow 89er,

My name is Robert Woodrum; I was in A Btry, 341St Artillery Bn. from Hunter Liggett to the fall of 1945. I am working on my recollections of WW11, and I think it will be rather lengthy. So far, I have about three pages (single space) and it looks as though it will be several more. I do get the "Rolling W' and I enjoy it very much. I first heard that there was a Society of the 89th Div. WW11 last May (2000) and immediately contacted Larry Berg, joined the society, and made plans to join you all in Tacoma at the reunion, which my wife and I enjoyed very much. I certainly do wish I had known about the group at least a year earlier so we could have gone along on the trip to Europe. Larry Berg sent three back issues of the "Rolling W' to me last year and I have received all issues up to now.

In the current issue I was surprised to see so many E-mail addresses. I thought all guys my age would have resisted getting into the computer world (like I did) forever. My wife and I just started computer activity the last three months and we are quite "green" and not too knowledgeable about all the capabilities, which we have at our fingertips.

What I would like to know is what format I should put my recollections of WWII in? Do you want just letterform, E-mail, floppy disk, or what?

We are expecting to be at the Indianapolis reunion next year if God is willing and our health holds up. So long for now.

Robert Woodrum (Bob)

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