April 2002 Newsletter

For all veterans, relatives and friends of the

Look Familiar?

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

Announcements and Editor's Notes
Website Developments
Email List Update
Letters and Exchanges

Return to top

Announcements, Editor's Notes and Website Developments

Announcement from the President

In our previous issue, I remarked that our First Vice President, Bob Anderson had tendered his resignation as Vice President due to the devastating loss, through illness of his wife, Rosemary. But now, I am happy to report that Bob contacted me three or four weeks ago by phone, after several of us, including me, had been telling Bob we needed him. Bob gave me permissions to tear up his resignation, which I have done.

On February 5th, six of us, including myself, our two living past presidents, Dick Lee and Phil McAuliffe, and three others, all key members of our Society, met downtown in Washington, D.C., to discuss the future of our society, our finances, our decision-making process, our membership, and three other matters of administration; all of which we plan to present to your Executive Board meeting scheduled to take place August 21st in Indianapolis, for their approval. The outcome of those discussions will then be presented to the membership at our membership business meeting scheduled to take place on Friday, August 23rd, also in Indianapolis. The views of our Minnesota group, which meets periodically at Fort Snelling and contains two vice president and other key persons, were taken into account.

Suffice to say to you at this time, we recognize that many of our "younger" members do not agree to close down the Society after our 2004 Reunion as I, for one, had been thinking. Therefore, after adjusting my past thinking pertaining to the dissolution study initiated by our deceased former President, Don Johnson, we are now surging ahead with some new ideas. One of these ideas is to pass on the legacy of the 89th Division to younger people through changes in our By-Laws. To seek new (non-voting) types of "descendant" Army Reserve organizations. And last but not least we hope to expand a category of "Friends" of our society.

Dwelling on the word "Legacy" for a moment. The other day, it literally hit right between the eyes that our legacy of younger generations must include not only the history of our WWII fighting units, but perhaps of greater importance, the general response by our WWII generation to the seriousness of the need to mobilize ourselves into a 13 million member armed force, which together with the civilian work force, won the greatest war in history. This type of thinking has led us to conclude…we must seek wider involvement of younger leadership. What do we mean by younger leadership? We mean those members who are currently in their mid-seventies. Let it be know, here and now, we have some younger leadership in our current vice presidents. If someone in the mid-seventies wishes to seek the presidency of our Society at the next Indianapolis Reunion, please make you known. Otherwise, you can count on my expectation to seek two more years, carrying us to 2004.

Please note that I have filled two vacancies in the Executive Board due to the deaths of Past President, Jim Wilson, and Dave Willis. One of these replacements, Wesley Matson, is also in the mid-seventies group. Looking forward to seeing you all again in Indianapolis.

Editor's Notes

I welcome the remarks from our President included above and his obvious intent to maintain the Society’s existence for as long as meaningful and possible. While his statement makes no note of it, as a “younger” member and resident in the DC area, I was invited by former President Don Johnson to participate in the meetings of his Washington advisors which was the genesis of our website. I have, as the opportunity has presented itself, made known my own views and this continued under President Peterson for some time until serious discussions began on the Society’s future and modus operandi.

As the stated purpose of my invitation was to provide “new blood” to the Washington Group, I actively entered into all these discussions. For the first two years or so I was immersed in the website, email list and newsletter but by the end of last year began to worry seriously about the Society’s future and relevance. My view was that we could no longer rely on the status quo, e.g., past practices or traditional biannual reunions to make the important and timely decisions given the diminishment of our member base and rapidly changing conditions.

In an attempt to assist and give some coherence and background to the process of review by the President and his advisors, I did considerable research to assist the group and myself in identifying the critical issues, alternative approaches and integrated actions required and to illustrate the necessity for urgency. For reasons best explained by the President, I was not invited to the final meetings, which have led up to the material summarized in this month’s TRW.

The final material approved by the President reflects many of my own concerns and while I have some disagreement or disappointments with parts of them, this is to be expected and they are not critical. Overall. It’s a job well done! What is critical, however, and the purpose of this personal statement, revolves about two issues, i.e., (1) an adequate and fair opportunity for the general dues-paying membership to participate in or contribute to the decision making process, not just those willing and able to attend the next reunion, and (2) the absence so far of any opportunity for the general membership to express their opinion in a proxy vote or similar democratic device.

I will continue to encourage or Society leaders to seek membership inputs on important matters in a timely manner using all the communication tools at their disposal. I also urge members to make their views and suggestions known to our Society officers at any time and through any communication process, especially before our reunion convenes.


The article is completed but because of its length and many photos, it will still require some time for converting to HTML format. We will advise you when it is online.

Return to top

Website Developments

We have added a number of new items to the website. First of all, detailed information on the 2002 Reunion in Indianapolis can be found by clicking here: 2002 Reunion Information

The following new stories have also been added in April. Please double click on the title to go to that story.

Wes Brown: Approach to Zwickau (added 4/02)

Geary Stearns: Unbidden Memories (added 4/02)

Ernie Crowther: 2nd Battalion Medics - 354th Infantry (added 4/02)

Ralph W. Hotchkiss: The Infantry Replacement System (added 4/02)

Clyde Solmon: A Three Day Pass (added 4/02)

Earl Ott: A Day's Work (added 4/02)

Geary Stearns: Souvenirs and Memorabilia (added 4/02)

John Herbert--A Silver Star Story and Award (added 4/02)

Ed Quick: Hill 501 (added 4/02)

Robert Woodrum: Recollections of WWII (added 3/02)

Morgan I Doyne: ASTPR (Reserve) (added 4/02)

Phillip Leveque--ASTP: Alchemy For a Foxhole (added 3/02)

Phillip Leveque--ASTP: The Army's Waste of Manpower (added 3/02)

A. Hirsch: Ohrdruf Remembered (added 4/02)

Ralph Cole: Ohrdruf-North Stalag III (added 4/02)

Return to top

Email List Updates

Welcome to our new electronic readers listed just below and including any changes of addresses for current subscribers. The full and latest list of veterans, relatives and friends of the Division is available upon request to the Editor members. The updated addresses of veterans will be included on our website as time permits. Use of these listings is restricted to non-commercial inquiries and similar correspondence, please!

LEISERDOFF, Eric E Co, 353rd Inf

CARROLL, JIM Co, 353rd Inf

MANION, Donald T-I Co, 354th Inf

Return to top


Richard J. McCarthy, 714th Ord Co

I regret to inform you of the death of Richard J. "Mac" McCarthy of the 724 Ord Co NS THE 79 Ord Co. He passed away in the later part of January 2002.

Peter Walker Co I, 355th Inf

If the death of Peter Walker was mentioned in the pages of 'Rolling W', I missed it. He was communications sergeant in Co I, 355th Infantry, in North Carolina, France and Germany, my sergeant, and a good friend.  He died some two years ago, and I learned of it only recently. His wife may be contacted at 2907 Garfield, Washington NW, DC 20008. 

Return to top

Letters and Exchanges

These communications are repeated here roughly in order of receipt.


From: Eric Leiseroff

Came across your excellent work regarding the History of the 89th. I notice my story is included. For this I thank you very much. However please note my name is LEISEROFF, you misspelled the name. It is a long time since I left Germany (1941) was part of the US Victory fighting with the 89th against the same people I lived with only 3 and 1/2 years before. When I watch some of the History Channels Documentaries I get still chills as I see many of the Jews being persecuted and I could have been one of them. Many of my friends and families did not make it.

To have been able to go back and fight against the Nazis as a young kid just turned 19 was a great satisfaction. Thanks for keeping the 89th History alive for future generations.

81 Waldo Ave
White Plains NY 10606
[Editor's reply Dear Eric: A thousand pardons for misspelling your name—a cardinal sin. I will include your note in our next newsletter and also add you to our email listings. Hope we see you at the reunion.]

Request for Photo Identity

From: W. W. Mullen

I just discovered your 89th Infantry Division website. My father was in the 658th FA Bn which arrived in Le Harve, France in February 1945 and staged at Camp Lucky Strike. I have a photo (attached), which may have been taken there. I world be very grateful for any assistance you might provide to identify the photo.
Thanks, Bill Mullen

[Editor: [Perhaps our expert, Gregor Duerbaum duerbaum@t-online.de, or someone else can help Bill.]

Exchange with an Army Researcher about 89er Nunzi Casavola

From: Bill Carman

I recently found your website and I welcome such a well-put-together site. It makes research such a pleasure and so much more rewarding for folks like me. I am seeking information about a former member of the 89th Infantry Division, Nunzi Casavola. Mr. Casavola passed away in February 1981, but he apparently had a very full life. One of them, being awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster.

I recently acquired these two awards and am looking to find the story behind them. I would welcome any information from you or forward this mail to your membership. Please feel free to email me anytime or forward this mail to your membership. Many thanks and best regards.

[Editor :] We will be pleased to include your message in our Newsletter for this month. I am reasonably certain we can provide you with some information. Thanks you for your kind comments. If you are interested in the history of our division, besides referring to our website, you may wish to subscribe to our official magazine, The Rolling W. I can provide you more information if you wish, including a listing of all vets with email addresses.

Carmen: Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but life thrust its unexpected foot is the aisle. Anyway, as I mentioned I recently acquired the Silver band Bronze Stars for Nunzi Casavola. I am somewhat of an amateur historian and collector. Part of what I do is put the history and research together for pieces like this. Through my avocation I try to keep alive the soldiers what have passed away. It's a hobby. But my hobby has opened the eyes of some younger folks as the courage and devotion and sacrifice that all veterans have put forth. I do not know what unit Mr. Casavola was a member of, that is why I turn to you and your website. Perhaps some of the 89th will recall him and share their memories. I have not been able to find an Order of Battle/sub-unit listing for the 89th. Does someone have information regarding that? Thanks again, looking forward to seeing your newsletter. Bill Carman

[Editor: I hope some of our colleagues can help Bill with his worthy quest!]

Connecting--Sometimes it Doesn't Work

[The following message has been edited to protect the writer's privacy.]

Your message (inviting him to join the Society, be included on our email list, and attend our next reunion) was very thoughtful and I appreciated it. I have decided, however, not to proceed and further in contacting ex-89th Division personnel and request that you not post my email address. Stepping back in time is just too emotional. It is the same with my school reunions...I'm always overcome and have trouble sleeping for several days, It is sad, my wife doesn't understand it, neither do I. I did telephone…at the number you provided me and had a most pleasant conversation with him. It is interesting how similar our early careers were…Yet, we never met. While it was an enjoyable conversation, I didn't sleep for several days as I kept thinking about the 89th years. Thanks again for your courtesy and assistance.

[Editor; We were happy to be of service, respect your reasons, and still hope you might join your comrades for probably the last or next to last opportunity ever to meet again. God bless!]

Search for Friends of My Father

From: Sandra Orvananos

This is my 1st attempt to locate living veterans of World War II that served with my father, W M BANE of Texas. My father is alive. He is 81 years old and often talks to me about his service in World War II. He was in the 89th Infantry Division, 340th Field Artillery, attached to Headquarters Battery-Medical. My father was a medic in the 89th Infantry Division under Capt. Ernest (?) Harold, M.D. and has talked about Frank Salana from California and Raymond Brown form Iowa.

If you can of any help guiding me to a source where I can locate any living veterans that might have served with my father, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.

[Editor: PS. Suggest you also write to Gerry Bowers, gebowers@brinet.com, our Society Artillery Representative. Hopefully, you will also get some responses from my 340th buddies.] ASTP/OSC Exchange

From: Dick Colosimo

Dear Dick:

Just wanted to let you know that I have finished the subject article, at long last. I only need now to scan (just got a new scanner) the pictures, give them captions, and place them in the copy, with the help of Mark. OSU is cooperating and it will go on both our websites. I have made note of your contributions and am sorry it has taken so long. The final act of proofing, adding pictures, etc., really took me done memory lane again, sometimes with tears in my eyes. Hope all is well with you and the family. Will you being going to the reunion in August?

Dear Scotty:

Congratulations! It certainly wasn't easy to write a long treatise such as you have undertaken. I'm sure we can all wait a little longer. I have been trying to write an article about my experience at Ohrdruf. I'll be looking forward to reading your paper. I'm sure I'll shed a few tears as well. Thanks for including me on the website.

[Editors note: As indicated, this article will soon appear on our website. It will also be made available to the TRW Editor for publication, space permitting, and for use at our next reunion where ASTP will be on the agenda.]

Request for info on Joe Coleman 354th

From: Della Moore

My friend, Joe Coleman, served in the 89th during WWII, and has asked me if I can find out anything about the company in which he served: Company E, 354th Infantry regiment. I would appreciate any help you can give me.  Many thanks

Request for info on Sgt. Lane-353red

From: David Lane

  Dear Sir:

I hope you will be able to help me. I am trying to find out as much information as I can about my father Dow Mack Lane who was a SGT in Company I, 353rd Infantry. It was only last week that I found an old citation that provided this in formation, and thus began my search trying to find a link to his participation with the 353rd in WWII. My father never spoke much about the war, and always seemed distant when it was mentioned. He passed away in 1989. Now, many years I find myself and my family wanting to know more about his service and the path the he took across Europe in WWII. I would be most appreciative for as much information that you can provide that would give me more insights to how I can possible link up with others in Company I, or those who may have known him. I am hoping that my brothers and I can find enough information to retrace some of his steps across Europe later this year or next. I will be most thankful for any information you can provide.

My father's info:

Sgt. Dow Mack Lane
Service # 33841890 Company I, 353rd Infantry.
He was from Scott Country, VA

[Editor] Dear David:

Your message epitomizes the reason my son and I have developed our 89th Div Newsletter and Website. I assume you have located us through our website and reviewed our history. Your letter will appear in this month's Newsletter, which will be online very shortly. You may also wish to contact James Horner directly, who is the Society Organizational Representative for the 353rd. His email address is Jhorn72@aol.com, mailing address is 15746 Walkwood Dr., Houston, TX 77079, and telephone No. is 281 493-6885.

The Society is in the process of revising its bylaws to encourage special memberships for relatives and friends of 89th veterans. In the interim, you may it find it useful and interesting to subscribe to our official magazine, The Rolling W, for an annual subscription rate of $20. I can give you more information regarding this if you are interested plus listing you, with your father's name, on our email listings. Just let me know.

Raymond Kitchell, Editor

Another Relative Seeker

From: Doug Allison

  My name is Doug Allison and I have recently found out that my great uncle was in the 89th division, 353rd regiment, Company C. He was a machine gunner with the rank of Seargent. I was wondering if you had any specific information on his unit or company or if you could put me in touch with someone who might have been in the 353rd C-company.

Thank you very much, and nice work on the website. Missent Communication

From: Jim Carroll, 353rd Inf

  Hi Mark-I have been trying to contact your Dad. Hope you can help out. Jim. Hi Scotty-This is my third try at sending this message. Obviously, the operation of a computer is over my head and beyond sending and receiving e-mails on my standard format. Anyway, my name is Jim Carroll and I was is in M Co, 353rd Inf Reg.

The IPA refers to the International Police Association, which is the largest friendship organization in the world for active and retired peace officers. All in the best of friendship.

[Editor] Hi Jim -Mark did contact me but I've been having Internet connection troubles of my own for the past few weeks. As soon as I finish here, I'll add your name to our email list and send you the latest version. Let me know if you have any problems downloading it. Scotty More Glimpses of the Past

From: Ed Quick. Btry B, 340th FA Bn


What a fantastic memory! It is absolutely clear to me now that B-7 was NOT the awkward vehicle you grew to hate. I don't remember that particular command car you drove at Butner, but I do recall what one looked like, since my memory was jogged by your excellent description.

Yes, B-7 was a weapons carrier, as you say, and during our days in combat I rode on one of those wooden benches you described that faced each other in the rear of the vehicle. Again as you say, access to those seats was through the rear tailgate. After the war, when I drove B-7, my big (96 pound) German Shepherd, Fritz, could clear that tailgate in one bound when he accompanied me on a trip.

And yes, Marty was the machine gunner on that same B-7, his .50 cal. machine gun pedestal mounted. The front seats were buckets. It had four-wheel drive but no low transmission like a Jeep. And also like a Jeep, but unlike a 6 x 6, it did not have to be double clutched.

The Jeep had a reputation for being able to go anywhere, but those who made that comment never tried to drive one in soft sand or foot deep mud, where it would sink to its axles and expire. The weapons carrier's big balloon tires did far better under those circumstances.

The other weapons carrier, which was manned by the wire crew I only vaguely remember. Probably Linden Seamons rode in that one. I recall you telling me about Lazy always lying in the same spot on trips with you. Was it somewhere near the engine where she could enjoy the warmth? I've forgotten. And was it the wire crew's weapons carrier you drove at 20 Grand?

Now you've got ME going on this memory kick.

QUICK, Edward C. Pfc., Very Emeritus 13184633

[Editor to Darrell: Perhaps you would be so kind as to resend me your letter which precipitated Ed's interesting reply. I lost it.]

Complaint from Darrel Carnell-Btry B. 340th FA

[Editor: In view of my above gaff, I will try to mollify my buddy by including his oft-repeated lament to me and promising to correct my ways.]

His name was Lightbown, dammit! NOT Lightbaum. He was an upperclassman when I was a freshman at the University of Florida. He was a SAE while I was a PKPhi and our fraternity houses were next to each other. I passed him two or three times a day as he was going to, and I was returning from, class. We invariably greeted each other, although I never knew his name until we met at HLMR. I was saddened to read of his passing a couple of years ago in TRW. I always liked him.

I replied what caused this?

The cause, Scotty, is that you have persistently spelled his name Lightbaum in three or four different places, which immediately come to mind. The most recent of which was in the Response to Tonya that you sent to me a couple of days ago. And again in your ASTP story on the 89th website. Another was the story you sent to me about your transition from a student to a soldier. I think perhaps the latter was published in TRW but I can't cite the chapter and verse.

It was, and shall remain, LIGHTBOWN! [Not until I change it Darrel!--Mark Kitchell]


Austrian memories Cecil Boyd-I Co, 354th

Hi Kitch:

We in the 83rd Division were stationed in Hotel Austria. The Hotel has been completely renovated and is currently being used to train hotel industry students. The R&R center was located in Schloss Orth. The Austrians currently have a very popular TV Soap Opera called Schloss Orth which is filmed in the castle.

In the spring of 1946 we turned our vehicles in at an ordinance dump in a large field at Ulm in Bavaria. Some of the Jeeps from that dump were later reconditioned and sold through the PX. I have returned to Austria many times to enjoy the beer and Gemütlichkeit with friends in Gmunden, Mond See and Salzburg.

[Editor: Hi Cec--see my "Memoirs". The wife and I go back often but the next time will probably be the last.]

Return to top