August 2001 Newsletter
89th DIV ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER
August 2001 Issue
For all veterans, relatives and friends of the
89th INFANTRY DIVISION
WORLD WAR II
Memorial to the Fallen in World War II
Table of Contents: Click on the Link Below to Go To That Section:
Letters and Exchanges
History of Taps
With two listings this month we extend a hearty welcome to
Eldon Myers who listing is: MYERS, Eldon ĖB Co, 353rd Inf firstname.lastname@example.org;
and Rev. Henry G Keyser whose listing is: KEYSER, Henry Gó89th Inf
New users will automatically receive the full and latest list
of all addresses. The majority of recent new users contacted us after viewing
our Website, a good sign that it is kicking in and also that many of veterans
are beginning to use the Internet by themselves or with assistance (See Website
Developments below). The full latest listing is also available to any user upon
request. Society members are encouraged to urge other buddies, relatives and
friends to join us in the use of this new and timely electronic instrument
available for rapid and frequent communication. Where a veteran does not own a
computer or otherwise use e-mail and the Internet, perhaps a family member or
neighbor will help him visit out 89thwebsite and receive the monthly Newsletter
by using their e-mail address.
Non-veterans, i.e., widows, relatives and friends of the 89th, are also invited
to join The Society of the Eighty-Ninth Division WWll as Associate
Members and/or subscribers. The payment of $20 annual dues entitles members and
subscribers to receive the Society magazine, The Rolling W, currently
published three times a year, and will also contribute to financing essential
and recurring Society
activities. For your information, additional contributions to the Society are
tax-deductible and can be essential to the continuation of Society
activities in the days to come.
Make check out to 89th Division Society and mail to Larry
Berg, Treasurer, at 818 San Antonio Place, Colorado Springs, C0 80906. Pleas
include your full name and unit designation, wifeís first name, telephone
number, and your mailing address including zip code.
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As most of you are undoubtedly aware, I have had many
difficulties in transmitting the Newsletter and the full email
listings to all recipients which resulted in poor or no reception in some cases
(particularly those who cannot download a Word document attachment) and the
sometimes frustrating and onerous attempts by me to send multiple versions for
those needing them in order to assure receipt. The problem is complicated by the
use of: (a) of different computers with different operating systems, e.g., IBM
and Mac); and, (b) different internet service providers (ISPs), e.g., AOL,
Earthlink, etc., with varying limits on length, pictures, sending and
downloading capabilities. This can be compounded by the varying computer skills
of the sender (me) and recipients (you).
Last month, after the trauma of setting up a new computer and
peripherals at our summer beach home, I decided to make an all-out effort to
solve this problem with the help of some of my email buddies, particularly
Darrel Carnell and friends from B Btry, 340th FA Bn to whom I am
deeply indebted as well as other who provided useful advice. The results,
sometimes surprising even to me, are as follows:
Beginning with this issue, the Newsletter (and the
full email list when requested) will be transmitted as a PDF justified
document attachment resulting in much cleaner and readable copy. Just
below, Darrel provides instructions on how to use Adobe and, if you donít
already have it, how to download it without cost which I highly endorse.
For those vets who still cannot receive our newsletter in
readable form, I will send it as a direct email message and/or as a word
document attachment for the time being while we await your feedback and/or
switch to the website (see just below).
Vets are also reminded that they are welcome to use the email
address of a relative, friend or neighbor willing to serve as the receiver/downloader
of the monthly newsletter for you. In such cases, please provide me with their
Finally, if none of the above works satisfactorily, and
perhaps the best and easiest solution anyhow, by the grace of my son Mark
and co-webmaster, one can now read and/or print each issue out from our website
(see website progress below). For example, you can go directly to this
monthís issue by highlighting:
For future issues, simply change the month in the
hypertext link displayed just above. This option has the added advantage of
eliminating "bounced" transmitted emails due to incorrect addresses,
not a known user, etc., which also has also caused my hair to gray if not
disappear in many spots.
In summary, there appear to be five options for transmitting
the newsletter, viz:
- As a PDF document attached to an email for downloading.
- As a WORD document attached to an email for downloading.
- As a straight email using WORD (no attachment).
- Sending to a designated third party, e.g., relative or neighbor.
- Monthly posting on the 89th website
In effect, there is now a fusion of our two electronic tools,
the newsletter and the website and, in the process, tying them both to The
I also recently discovered a neat little trick. When going to
my AOL Address Book to send out this newsletter, instead of placing all
your addresses in the "SEND TO" box, I simply select "COPY
TO" and "BLIND COPY" and voilaí, you receive it without
the encumbrance of the multiple email addressees.
Use of Adobe PDF
This newsletter is being transmitted in Portable Document
Format, which can be opened and read with Adobe's Acrobat Reader. Many of
you probably have Acrobat Reader already installed on your hard drives because
it is the utility that enables you to read the electronic manuals that have
recently replaced printed manuals. If you don't already have Acrobat
Reader you can get it without charge at Adobe's web site:
Just follow the simple instructions, download Acrobat Reader
to your hard drive and then open the pdf (Portable Document Format) file attached
to this e-mail. To open the attached file, first highlight it and then open
it as you would any other file. After reading the Newsletter, keep or delete it
as you wish but by all means keep Acrobat Reader on your hard drive. It
will not only open future Newsletters, but also the many other items which will
certainly be coming
your way as pdf files.
Our Secretary-Treasurer, Larry Berg, has recently notified
Society members who annual dues are in arrears and I wish to urge those to take
care of this pesky matter and not lose tough with your buddies.
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The website is being redesigned. In the next months we (i.e., Mark, me and a technical consultant named Michelle when available) will made a full-court press to complete the design and, most
important, add the new stories which have been pending publication for the past
few months while we get out act together. The principal results of the redesign
will be to make access to specific subjects much easier for all of you as well
as our Internet users, and facilitating the downloading and printing of selected
items of interest.
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We the members, families and friends of the 89th
Inf Division, WWll, desire to express our heartfelt sorrow at the recent loss of
a distinguished solider and of our comrade, friend and leader, Brigadier General
James, A Wilson. He was a founder of our Society and its President for a number
of terms of office. He was unfailingly its vigorous supporter and defender. The
loss of his wise counsel is deeply felt by all of us. He now moves on to gather
among the distinguished soldiers who have precee4ded him: Generals Finley, Gill
and Brittingham and his old Chief of Staff, Colonel Norman Winn.
- Carl Peterson, President, 89th Inf Division
Society, World War ll
Invitation for Newcomers
Dear newfound veterans, widows, children and friends of the
89th Infantry Division WWll:
Please excuse this standardized statement but from our division website, the
89th Infantry Society's magazine The Rolling W (TRW), the 89th Division
email list, the 89th Electronic Newsletter, and other sources, we are
pleased to be receiving messages, comments, and questions, particularly from
vets who have lost contact with buddies; or if deceased, from their relatives
who are seeking information about a loved one's service; or for some other
reason may have a continuing interest in our Division and the Society.
The Society of the Eighty-Ninth Infantry Division WWll
recognizes the changing circumstances facing it and its members in these days of
diminishing membership and resources accompanied by changing needs and
priorities. Accordingly, and recognizing the power and reach of the Internet and
the use e-mail, we have: (a) designed and maintain a website accessible
worldwide on the Internet; (b) developed an email list of all vets, relatives
and friends who desire to communicate together via the use of email; and (c)
publish a monthly newsletter to encourage the exchange of experiences, opinions,
searches, etc. These services are provided without charge.
I take the occasion of yours and similar inquires to me as
Editor of the Newsletter and Co-Webmaster of the website, and with the
endorsement of the Society President, to: (a) call on all vets who are not
already enrolled to join the Society as full members, and/or (b) invite widows,
sons and daughters and other relatives-- to join the Society as Associate
members. For the annual dues payment of $20, one will receive The Rolling W
(TRW), our very popular magazine published three times a year, and at the same
time help contribute to Society expenses, e.g., publishing the TRW, sponsoring
reunions, maintaining our division monument in Colorado Springs, and similar
activities. Friends of the 89th are also invited to subscribe to the
TRW. I wish also to call your attention to the fact that any amount contributed above
the annual dues is tax deductible as a gift to a charitable organization and
will help in this period of diminishing membership and revenues. If you are
interested please, contact me for further details or simply mail a check for
$20.00, made payable to 89th Division Society, to Larry Berg,
San Antonio Place, Colorado Springs, CO 80906. Please include: your full name
and mailing address (for the TRW) unit designations and wifeís first name; if
you are a relative or friend of a veteran of the 89th, please so
indicate. Thank you.
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Letters and Exchanges
Unbidden Memories-A poem by Gerry Stearns H Co 354
I have never talked about these before and have seldom thought about them,
But there was this sudden sound and a recent book about Guadalcanal and the
Marines and their tanks there, amid the attacking enemy on a sand spit, and the
memories came unbidden.
This morning there was the creaking, squeaking rumble of tracks and bogeys of
a backhoe Down in the canyon below the house, Barely visible through the trees.
And the quick picture came Of a dirt road in Germany in the Spring of Ď45
Imprinted with tank tracks Embedded with lumps of field-gray uniform cloth.
Why do I jump to the image Of dead GIís laid out on litters, head-to-toe,
In full daylight, On the right side of the narrow street Leading down to the
We wait in single file to board shallow boats. To paddle
across to St Goarhausen. These are the same kind of boats That these dead
launched hours before In the stealthy dark for the same passage. But the river
lighted up and well zeroed-in 20ís and 88ís and what-all, Denied the secrecy
of their assault.
Some early teaching that it is rude to stare at the afflicted
Prompted me to tell the others not to look While I could not take my eyes off
one still body.
In water-soaked ODís Whose only visible sign of hurt Was
the missing first joint of a finger on his left hand.
There is no sense of balancing up a score To recall the
German soldier, Fully clad, lying on his back, His gray-green uniform already
too hot for the season, Empurpled, bloated face staring at the sky, Dead in a
field beside the dirt road. But there is a sense of wonder In thinking about our
(We had deployed our heavy machine guns At the edge of her
terrace high above St Goar) Frail, dressed in formal black dress, ancient, Who
felt it necessary to explain to me, OD-clad tourist, That Die Lorelei, the
mythical maidens Whose seductive songs from the heights Above St Goarshausen
(she pointed) Lured Rhine sailors to their deaths On the rocks below. Did she
not know what had happened Early this morning in the Rhine below?
We all have memories unbidden, But not forgotten.
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Do any of you former ASTPers who attended Oregon State
College remember a GI by the name of Bernie Schwartz and, if so, is he
the same Bernie Schwartz who later took the screen name Tony Curtis? Our 89th
inquirer remembers him as a very dapper New Yorker who looked sharp even in his
uniform and also as "nice looking"
Your editor would also like to locate an ex-340th
FA buddy named Joseph Hall whose hometown was Friday Harbor, Washington.
A New electronic buddy, Henry Keyser of the 89th
Band, wants very much to contact Dan Paulter, Div M.Ps. Can anyone help?
Thanks for keeping me on your e-mail list. Your last one created two contacts
for me. A week or so ago I received a phone call from a woman
whose 85-year old father was in B Co. of the 354th. She had found my
story of the Rhine crossing on the Internet at Yahoo. After telling her
what happened that night, I referred her to your website. She apparently
made contact with you since she and her father appeared in the e-mail.
The second was your mentioning a grandson whose grandfather was in E
Co. of the 354th and wanted to know anything about the March 26th
crossing. He was KIA that night. You printed his address and I will send
him a copy of my story "The Lost Night". Strangely enough his address
is "168th Avenue". I was in the 168th Combat Engineers, whose mission
that fateful night was to take the 2nd Bn. of the 354th across the Rhine.
56 years later, and the night still resonates for those who were there
and the others they touched.
- Oscar & Adele Friedensohn
A thought occurs: Steven Ambrose classified us GIís
as a "Band of Brothers." I think for us a more appropriate title
would be a band of buddies, for that is what we all were and that is what we are
still - buddies. I never remember ever calling my friends by that name
prior to WWII - and anyway, I think the word implies a relationship much
more than just friendship. Its meaning expresses the bond forged among us
in those stressful days of physical challenge and fear of death itself. It
is why we have often said that no one who wasnít there can ever really
understand what it was like. And that thought is valid even though we
"buddies" were fortunate enough to experience far less that
those in the "band of brothers."
[Editor. I extracted above from a communication from Ed Quick, B Btry, 340th
FA, because I heartily share his sentiments.]
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My dad, Dale Galyean is the one on the right. I think
this was taken in Paris during the occupation. Not sure. It's
terrible, but I don't know the name of the person on the left, although I know
it was one of his good 'buddies.' There's nothing written on the back.
Best Regards, Reggie Galyean
Taken in Paris
Ohrdruf April 5, 195
Dadís the person standing to the left with his hands in his
pockets. Until this computer technology, where you can enlarge these photos, I
would never have known it was him. Reg Galyean
My dear friend (Sgt) Alexander L. Becker Jr. passed away on
July 11th. He was predeceased by his wife Eunice who passed away on
June 12, 2001. They would have celebrated their sixtieth anniversary of June 27th.
On that date I had a phone call from Beckner and he appeared to be in good
spirits. Knowing of his devotion to his wife, I am sure a "broken
heart" brought an end to his life.
Bob Elsner, C Co, 314th Med Bn
Roy Larson-914thFA Bn
Roy was diagnosed in April of 2000 with an inoperable brain
tumor. He underwent 33 treatments of radiation, but then suffered a hemorrhage
in the tumor in latter part of October 2000. He was hospitalized, and then
came home November lst, and immediately put on Hospice care. I paid for
24-hour care here at home, and Hospice provided a Nurse twice a week, a
bath-aide 3 times a week and also I had the opportunity to meet with a Social
Worker. I had early on promised Roy that I would never put him in a
Nursing Home. I am so thankful I could keep him here in his own
surroundings. He was such a modest man and a wonderful husband and father
and grandfather. We will miss him dearly, but he is not suffering anymore.
Sincerely, Mrs. Ada Larson
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History of Taps
We have all heard the haunting song, "Taps." It's
the song that gives us that lump in our throats and usually creates tears in our
eyes. But, do you know the story behind the song? If not, I think you will be
pleased to find out about it's humble beginnings. Reportedly, it all began in
1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his
men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other
side of the narrow strip of land. During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the
moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was
a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring
the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the
gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward
his encampment. When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it
was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead. The Captain lit a
lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim
light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been
studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father,
the boy enlisted in he Confederate Army. The following morning, heartbroken, the
father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial
despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted. The Captain
had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for
his son at the funeral. The request was turned down since the soldier was a
Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give
him only one musician. The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a
series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the
dead youth's uniform. This wish was granted. The haunting melody, we now know as
"Taps" used at military funerals, was born.
Day is done-Gone the sun-From the Lakes-From the hills-From
the sky. All is well, safely rest. God is nigh.
Fading light-Dims the sight-And a star-Gems the sky-Gleaming
bright. From afar-Drawing nigh-Falls the night. Thanks and praise-For the days-Neath
the sun-Neath the starts-Neath the sky. As we go-This we know, God is nigh.
I too, have felt the chills while listening to "Taps" but I have never
seen all the words to the song until now. I didn't even know there was more than
one verse. I also never knew the story behind the song and I didn't know if you
had either so I thought I'd pass it along. I now have an even deeper respect for
the song than I did before.
Carthell Atkins I Co, 354th Inf
Editorís Note: For perhaps a more realistic but less moving version, refer
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