February-March 2003 Newsletter
For all veterans, relatives and friends of the
89th INFANTRY DIVISION
WORLD WAR II


89th Soldiers, picture courtesy of Mike Nobel

If you know who these men are, please email me at markkitchell@yahoo.com


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


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


Return to top

Announcements, Editor's Notes and Website Developments

Editor's Notes

My son and I have been busy this month bringing more order into our recording, processing and placing new stories online ASAP, necessitated by the volume and other problems, like my poor memory and his outside activities, e.g., full-time employment and planning for his June wedding in Grenoble with his entire family attending.

Those who can download an excel document can review the story status themselves by requesting a copy from me at rkitch2000@earthlink.net. I think you will find it most impressive. Please also check it out and notify me if a story you have sent to us is missing or should be added. Of course we welcome new stories, particularly of historical content.

Please note the two important Society announcements just below.

While we attempt to publish a newsletter on a monthly basis, sometimes that is not possible. We also try to minimize this scheduling problem and the need for your surfing by sending out a message, using our email list, when it is actually goes on line. Please check if you have forwarded us any changes in your email address, including dropping it. We are also in the process of trying to eliminate DEAD addresses (see next TRW issue). Please also recall, that in the unfortunate event of an 89th vets demise, a relative or friend may wish to continue receipt of our newsletters by informing us of the name of the deceased, your name, relationship, and email address.

We are particularly proud of this issue as the value of the gatekeeper and networking functions are clearly demonstrated with the more active involve of Organization Representatives.

Finally, if you have buddies, relatives or friends who do not have access to the internet, you might wish to suggest that they visit their local library. Librarians will help you pull up our website at www.89infww2.org for viewing and, upon request, print out selected items/ stories. Try it!

Express Online Notice As most of you are now aware, when a new Newsletter goes online, we notify you directly and immediately as illustrated just below which will avoid the need for your searching, since our scheduling is very lose. Of course, it's up to you to keep your email address up to date or give us a substitute (e.g., relative or neighbor) address if your is no longer valid. Recently we have started sending out email notices, e.g., "The latest version (January 2003) of the 89th Website Newsletter can be found here: http://www.89infdivww2.org/home/jan2003.htm

Polly, mdh62@bellsouth.net has kindly sent the following brief but to-the- heart message.

Thanks so much for sending these to me. I print them and send them to Jack (Wayne J.) Ross). We visit him fairly often and he loves telling stories about his experiences overseas. I keep encouraging him to write to the newsletter. Hopefully he will.

Thanks again. This means a lot to him. Polly

Return to top

Society Announcements


COMMUNICATION #1

From: John F. Sherman- VP Communications Coordinator

A Request For Each Society Member Re The future of the TRW

In order to provide a solid base of information so as to plan for the future publication of The Rolling W (TRW), we are asking that each of you take a few moments to complete the questionnaire provided below. As you are aware, the society's leadership has always assumed that this publication (the TRW magazine), supplemented by the reunions, constitutes the "glue" that binds us together as a strong and treasured organization. Further, it reaches directly all members.

But looking to the future, we need to be certain of that assumption and to gain your thoughts about TRW. You will notice that the questionnaire consists of two parts, the information sought based on two different fiscal situations. Please add comments concerning any aspects not included in the questions [and feel free to include attachments if the above space is insufficient].

PART ONE: (The Society's fiscal situation allows a projection of no significant change needed in the publication for the foreseeable future)

What features of TRW interest you the most? (Rate each of the following numerically, with a "1" as the highest and a "10" the lowest.)

STORIES ( )
STORIES LIMITED TO SERVICE WITH THE 89TH DIV ( )
PHOTOS ( )
OFFICIAL INFORMATION ( )
COMMENTS FROM SOCIETY OFFICERS ( )
OBITUARIES ( )
POETRY ( )
REUNION INFORMATION ( )
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ( )
COVER DRAWINGS ( )

Should any changes be made regardless of our finances? If so, please describe - _________________________________________

PART TWO: The Society's fiscal situation requires significant changes soon.) Which characteristics of TRW should be sacrificed? (Rate each of the following numerically, with a "1" as the first to go and a "10" as last.

FEWER ISSUES PER YEAR ( )
FEWER PAGES ( )
PHOTOS ( )
COVER DRAWINGS ( )
QUALITY OF PAPER ( )
COMMENTS FROM SOCIETY OFFICERS ( )
OBITUARIES ( )
POETRY ( )
LETTERS ( )
STORIES LONGER THAN ONE PAGE IN LENGTH ( )

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS____________________________________________

Please forward by mail or fax to

John F. Sherman
11016 Ardwick Drive
Rockville, MD 20852

Fax - 301-881-6029

not later than 15 May 2003. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE.

COMMUNICATION #2

From: Bill Scudder-WAGG Member

Requests for Views, Suggestions and/or Proposals to The Executive Board Re the Future of our Society

You may recall proposals in recent issues of TRW as to the future of our Society. This in view of our declining membership and the fact that current estimates indicate WWII veterans are leaving us at a rate of some 1,200 per month. As our rolls diminish the need to find solutions and make decisions for our future becomes most urgent. So we are asking you, our members to provide your Executive Board with your views, suggestions and/or proposals on the following possibilities so these may be considered by your Board in preparing proposals which you may be asked to vote on in the near future.

Please consider the following:

1. As membership declines and it becomes obvious that there are insufficient finances and/or members to permit continuance of the Society our Executive Board should be authorized to dissolve the Society of the 89th Division WWII in accord with Article XII of our by-laws. The Article reads, Article Xll-Dissolution- "Upon determination of the Executive Board to dissolve the Society, remaining assets after the satisfaction of all obligations of the Society, shall be given to the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado, for placement in Gift Trust Fund #318-500- 9894-7113, entitled "War Memorial", which shall be administered by that city or it's successor, for the exclusive purpose of care and repair of the 89th Division WWII Memorial Monument".

2. A dual possibility: a. Continue our Society under the leadership of members in the category of Friends of the Society of the 89th Division, WII. This proposal assumes that in the very near future there will be sufficient numbers of such members to warrant formal organization of such a group and also that among these members there will be those who evidence a willingness to assume roles as would be essential to plan, organize and lead an auxiliary society. Such "Friends" would need to promptly express their interest and willingness to assume leadership roles in such an organization.

3. In combination with Friends of the Society or as a separate group our descendent organization, the 89th RSC (89th Regional Support Command) as well as other separate organizations bearing the 89th designations might choose to perpetuate the Society as part of their historical process.

WHAT IS NEEDED IS THAT YOU, THE MEMBERSHIP, RESPOND WITH YOUR VIEWS ON THE ABOVE PROPOSALS...TO INCLUDE ANY SUGGESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE, THESE TO BE CONSIDERED BY YOUR EXECUTIVE BOARD. YOUR RESPONSE MUST BE IN WRITTEN FORM VIA U.S. MAIL FAX OR E-MAIL. THlS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO BE PART OF A MOST IMPORTANT DECISION YOUR SOCIETY WILL MAKE.

Send your response to:

Bill Scudder

9000 Belvoir Woods Pkwy.,
Ft. Belvoir, Va.

E- Mail: scudbandp@aol.com

Telephone (703-781- 3030)

Fax 703- 781-3030 (requires prior telephone notice to set mode).

THE DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF RESPONSES IS JUNE 30, 2003.

Return to top



Website Developments

As mentioned above, we've been updating doing our bookkeeping. When this is done, we will also update the data on our 89th Website per se, e.g., email addresses, announcements, etc. Currently we are giving attention to reproducing "The Combat History of 354th Inf. Regiment" and providing what assistance we can to the Representatives of the 353rd Inf in their negotiations for accelerating completion, raising additional funds if necessary, publication, and, insofar as the WWII portion is concerned, with it placement on our website and, hopefully, serialization in the TRW. A highlight of the last month is the completion of the Tour of Remembrance section of the website. Take a look by clicking here: Tour of Remembrance


Return to top



Email List Updates

It would greatly simplify our tasks if I were notified promptly of address changes, errors or when one is no longer using the Internet so we can make the necessary adjustments effectively and in a timely basis. The task of maintaining a current and growing up-to-date list is becoming increasingly complicated. We're not complaining, in fact we are overjoyed, but please remember that we are volunteers and, in my case, not as sharp as I used to be. If you are sending a message or follow-up, please identify yourself and your (or relative's) unit, as I may no longer have your original. Thank you.

BADTEN, Norbert J-A Co, 353rd Inf
suzannb@wyoming.com

KEMP, Lyle E-B Co, 353rd Inf (deceased) c/o grandson, David
kempd@ohsu.edu

LITTLE, George S-941st FA (deceased)c/o son Douglas
kthomas02@earthlink.net

LITTLE, Ray D. -M Co, 355th Inf
ray.david.1@worldnet.att.net

NICHOLSON, Harold E.-405th Qm Co (deceased) c/o Grandson
zepheadpat@aol.com

PALMER, Robert Emerson -M Co, 353rd Inf (Deceased) c/o Vanessa Gradall (great niece)
gradall@mindspring.com

PETERSON, Carl L Son of Carl
ppeterson3@yahoo.com

PLUMBY, Phil - A Co, 354th Inf
philp@locaint.com

SCHUETZ, William-Co C, 353rd Inf c/o Son Billy
billyschuetz@msn.com

STUEWE, Co F-353rd Inf
Conlyn1046@aol.com

WALDNER, Leonard F --Cannon Co, 353rd Inf
ltwaldner@hotmail.com

WEISS, Murray-Co F., 353rd Inf
ethmur@earthlink.net

YOUNG, Charles-Cn Co, 3 rd Bn, 355th Inf (Air Cadet)
Cylu77@aol.com

YOUNG, Charles-Cn Co, 3rd Bn, 355th Inf (Air Cadet)
Cylu77@aol.com

YOUNG, Paul C.-Cn Co, 353rd Inf
pcyinaz@juno.com

ZELLE, Lester-Cn Co, 355th Inf
lzelle@forbin.net

Return to top



Taps

Bertrand J. Oliver

Co Cmdr, 602 Tank Destroyer Bn. Attached to the 89th in Germany Died of cancer, 14 August 2002, in Phoenix, AZ.

Harry H. Blue, Co L, 355th Inf

This is to inform you to inform you that my Grandpa Harry H. Blue of the 355th, L Company passed away on August the 18, 2002. Grandpa suffered from ALS, but remained strong throughout is illness. My Grandpa was very proud to have served in the United States Army and being a part of the 89th. His hobby was wood working, and he used his talents to make a frame picture box to showcase his awards and medals that he had earned in the European theater. He had a big stack of Rolling W magazines next to his chair that he enjoyed to the end. I am sure that he read them inside and out. He was a great man and will be missed by all that knew him, most especially by his loving family.

He was buried with full Military Honors, and with his Rolling W pin on his suit. If possible I would like to receive his last copy of the Rolling W that this [obituary] will be printed in. Thank you. Sincerely yours, Bryan Blue, 085 Road 19a Continental, Ohio 45831 Deb Blue bluedeb5@q1.net [Deb has already joined us]

Willie, Joe and Bill

[With the kind permission of the Washington Post, we include their salute to Sgt. Bill Maudlin who belonged to all combat soldiers of WWII.]

CITIZENS OF THE dictatorships in World War II were fed a steady diet of heroism, images of jut-jawed soldiers at the front, helmeted heroes of socialism or National Socialism, conquerors on the march or noble defenders of the motherland -- resolute, handsome and ruthless. Here in America, we got Willie and Joe. Thanks, Bill Mauldin. [and from the 89th vets too, particularly its infantry GIs]

Mr. Mauldin, who died this week at 81, kept before us the true face of war -- stupid, cruel, confusing, frightening -- mostly as seen by two unshaven, bleary-eyed infantrymen who seemed to see no end to the slogging, and yet who kept on going. Sgt. Bill Mauldin, along with the great war correspondent Ernie Pyle, presented the enlisted man's view: the living with constant fear for weeks and months on end, the frustrations, and the petty tyrannies of some newly minted lieutenants. But there was no hatred in Bill Mauldin's work -- his German soldiers, most POWs, are as disheveled and haggard as Willie and Joe. His honest portrayal of reluctant but dutiful citizen soldiers was beloved in the ranks, and it had the support of one supremely important officer: Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bill Mauldin's war works were compiled in a book that was once enormously popular: "Up Front." This wouldn't be a bad time for Americans to have another look at it.

Return to top



Letters and Exchanges

The purpose of this core section of the newsletter is to provide an electronic mechanism for the rapid exchange of information and requests regarding our Division, its veterans and friends as well as including current items of related interest. I like to think of this task as gate keeping facilitating networking between our vets and friends and responding to inquiries by drawing on the knowledge of those still with us, and particularly those active in our Society with similar responsibilities and concerns. Because of the many messages and follow-ups received, and my difficulty at times to keep them straight, it is requested that each message include any previous information provided.

Letters are included roughly in the order of receipt with editing at a minimum. Editor's remarks, if any, are included in brackets. Thank you.

REIMAHG Research From Patrick Brion PatrickBrion@hotmail.com

Another message from our good friend, Sgt. Brion

Dear Mark,

Bonjour ŗ toi !

Thank you for putting the last news on the website of the 89th !

I just received G5 and G2 reports of the 89th and I am now for 200 % sure that it was the 89th who liberated the REIMAHG camps on Mid-April 1945 !!!

I have a question though. Through NARA, I received two pictures that were taken just after the 89th occupied the REIMAHG.

I know have the name of the military photographer that was taking the pictures for the 89th ID. His name is LT. ADRIEN J. SALVAS of the 166th Signal Photographic Co.

So my question is quite simple. Who had contact with him ? Does he still live ?

Furthermore, I just received a letter from the Military Attachť of the United States in Brussels. He was quite positive about my request, but I guess I will have to take contact directly again with the 89th RSC.

I am adding a picture of Lt SALVAS. Maybe someone will recognise it ?

Best greetings,

Patrick



Remember, you can reach the Reimahg website at:

http://www.reimahg-kahla.de

We are working very hard to put in English and other languages.




Stanly Essner KIA 353rd -- Ess888@aol.com

I got your email address from your website on the 89th division. I am interested in getting more information about my brother-in-law. I am the widow of his older brother and the only living member of the family. He was in the 89th Infantry Div. 3rd Battalion, 353 Infantry Regiment, Co. L. He was a lead scout and was killed in Germany. I would like to get more information on the circumstances of his death and if there is a member of his company still living, so I can leave this for his nieces and nephews and their offspring after I die. Can you PLEASE tell me how to obtain that information or whether or not it is available? I really would appreciate any help you can give me. Thank you.

Charlotte Essner [Also forwarded to Norban Badten, suzannb@wyoming.com, Org Rep, for possible assistance. His response below was immediate and complete. Thank you Norb]

Dear Charlotte Essner,

First, let me extend my sympathy. Stanley was killed in action April 6, 1945, which for all practical purposes was the end of the war. I went through some of the files I have and identified individuals who were in L Company with Stanley and who have been active in the 89th Division Society within the last 10 years. However, I have no information as to their current status.

I have a number of other names of people who were in L Company, but no addresses or phone numbers. Those listed below will give you a start, I would be interested in knowing if you have any luck in contacting any of these people. If you do not already have a copy of Stanley's military and medical files, if you send me your address and phone number I will send you a form which you can use to request them.

Sincerely,

Norbert J Badten
353rd Asst Regt Rep

Avery, Carl L
3832 Dallas Cherryville Hwy
Bessemer City NC 27514
(704) 922-4695

Davidson, Thomas D
Box 401 221 W 2nd
Moline KS 67353-0401
(316) 647-8107

Dunn, Wallace E
5861 Tamarisk Way
San Luis Obispo CA 93401-8927
(805) 544-7854

Emerson, Horace F
1974 Villa Way South
Reno NV 89509
(702) 825-8089

Getzie, James S
304 South Beaucoup St
Pinckneville IL 62274
(618) 357-8394

Hargis, Anthony B
701 Evelina Street
New Orleans LA 70114-1129
(504) 368-2491

Heater, Russell C
6707 Edsall Road
Springfield VA 22151
(703) 642-5190

Horvath, Barney A
21884 Highway 169 NW
Elk River MN 55330-9231
(612) 441-7144

Howard, James E "Jim"
613 Forest Ave
Canon City CO 81212-5030
(719) 275-5410

Huizenga JR, John
3091 Beechridge Dr
Hudsonville MI 49426-1716
(616) 669-1699

Hysell, Delbert T
P O Box 485 6 S 6th Ave
Washington IA 52353-0485
(319) 653-6419

Jacobs, Dr James W
1 Central Ave
Gaithersburg MD 20877-1207
(301) 926-2673

Lawson, William R
2217 2nd Ave
Koppel PA 16136
(412) 846-2745

Lichtler, Lester
Colden Hill Rd MD2
Newburgh NY 12550
(914) 564-0425

McFatridge, Joe R
1623 Terrace Dr
Duncan OK 73533
(405) 255-1792

Mills, Charles Wilson
2912 Burton Ave NW
Roanoke VA 24012-4011
(540) 362-8124

Newman, Samuel
129 Morristown Place
Paramus NJ 07652
(200) 445-0171

Odom, James H
P O Box 276
Elizabeth LA 70638-0276
(318) 634-5393

Pranger, Bernard J
5024 Tennessee Ave
St Louis MO 63111-1622
(314) 353-0129

Rohr, Raymond
222 Brackett
Swansea IL 62226
(618) 233-7647

Scourkes, Gus N
911 St Andrew Ct
Salinas CA 93901-1526
(408) 758-1721

Stawicki, Marry
P O Box 352
Delevan WI 53115-0352
(414) 728-2864

Stubbs, Clifford
1200 2nd St SE
Minot ND 58701-5910
(701) 838-0164

Zimmer, Ivan
Route 3 HC 53
Stanford MT 59479
(no phone given)


A Request for Assistance William Randolph Co A, 354th Inf Reg randzipp@dc.rr.com

I recently became aware of the 89th Division website you and your son have created. Thanks so much for making it available to us all. It is most interesting.

I joined Company A, 354th Infantry in June 1944, immediately following my graduation from Ft.Benning OCS. This was at a time when the bulk of the EM and many of the company grade officers were being sent to Europe as replacements. There were only two officers in Company A when I arrived, and both were gone within the month. I went through the training of the new arrives from August to December and went over with our unit in January, as exec officer of Company A.

I am most interested in determining, if possible, the precise route taken by Company A from the time it arrived in Luxembourg, until its return to Lucky Strike following the German surrender. If my health, and that of my wife, hold out, and if there is no major war raging that might impede American travel in Europe, we would like to rent a car and follow Company A's movements, city by city, or dorf by dorf. I have a number of letters written throughout the period of our engagement and saved by my folks and by my wife. While these give some suggestion of the general local and activity, censorship prevented me from being more precise. Now, even with good maps of the area, I can't really do much better than follow the grand sweep of the 89th, which covered a fairly broad area much of the time.

Can you suggest a source from which I could learn to villages Company A passed through and stayed in? I should think the Company Morning Reports would have some of this information, if they are available, or perhaps some daily reports of Battalion or Regiment. I just haven't been able to locate these sources or learned how to make them available to me. Any information you have in this regard would be most appreciated.

William D. Randolph, formerly of Company A, 354th Infantry. Most recently of Rancho Mirage, CA.

[We have forwarded this request to Elmer Herbaly, Org Rep for the 354th requesting their assistance].


602nd TD Bn-ĖTheir history with the 89th Raymond Young, President and Historian, 602 T.D. Bn Assn PPO Box 4573, East Lansing, MI

[As an ex-tank destroyer gunner myself, before ASTP and the 89th, I have been trying to get a story about them, at least about their time with us, for quite awhile. Herein are portions of a recent letter sent in connection with the recent death of B. Oliver, included in our 89th TAPS. We are hoping soon to have a story for the internet and TRW on its exploits, especially with us. Excerpts from his recent letter are repeated here. This also illustrate the research and behind the scene activities that sometimes goes on]

Dear Ray

I am in the process of writing and publishing, on a serial basis, the history of our Battalion based upon copies of morning reports I got from the National Personnel Office in St. Louis, old payroll documents, and daily journals (which did appear in our book) written from battalion after-action reports at the Battalion level and kept on a regular basis in A Co. Very soon one the series will relate to our attachment to the 89th Infantry Division and our Rhine River crossing and beyond with them. I will see that you get a copy. I donít recall ever suggestion that you or anyone else do any research [my error] Öa copy of Our history book was sent to the 89th Infantry Division Association.

I am the Battalion historian and have all the Battalion records in my basement, however I have no way at present to put anything on the internet. So if we are to help you in any way, I need to know what kind of help is needed. We stand ready to assist in any way possible. [Ray: Just received your welcomed letter of January 27. A lot has happened in the past two years since we last corresponded. I sincerely regret Mr. Oliverís passing away, an event too frequent these days for us old vets. We have included his name, date of death, etc, in the TAPs section of our (February) Newsletter which will also be picked up by the Editor of The Rolling W.]

Finally, when we receive a copy of that portion of your history now under development, you need not worry about the internet. Just send it to me, preferably as a WORD document or CD but if thatís not possible, in a clean typed version capable of being scanned, and my son and I will get in on the internet though our website at no cost. OK? Iíll send you a printout copy of this newsletter by snail mail and look forward to further correspondence. Thank you.

Sincerely, Ray (Scotty) Kitchell Co-webmaster (for content)


Request for info on Tour of Remembrance Pat Stumlar ZEPHEADPAT@aol.com

[Forwarded to Chick Cecchini]

Subject: Re: Your Planned Trip Re WW2 405 QM Co. Path in 1945.

Dear Pat. After looking over the volumes of files I have on our 1999 Tour of Remembrance, I've decided that our wrap-up report (a day by day diary of our travels) would be the most beneficial reference you could get from us. It is a nine page report to the Society of the 89th Div WWII membership published in our magazine titled, "The Rolling W" (taken from the nickname of our division). It is a narrative on the places and occurrences of our tour. You should know that we tried to the best of practicality to follow the general path of the 89th. However, since various combat teams and special task forces did things separate from each other on different occasions we couldn't zig zag back and forth to get it all in (would have made our tour last at least a week longer than the eleven days we were traveling on the two buses -- not counting the several days of assembly and sightseeing time spent in London and Paris before we got underway as a single group on the buses).

Iíve already printed the nine pages for you and am prepared to snail mail them to you if you want it that way and provided you send me your postal address. However, on the assumption that you may prefer to receive it as an attachment to this email, I'm attaching the nine pages herewith. Let me know if it opened okay for you or if you'd prefer I forward it via the alternative snail mail method. Of course, we're interested in knowing what your eventual actual trip turns out to be and if our report proves useful to you.

Best of luck to you. Chick Cecchini who, along with John Sherman, assisted Bill Scudder the Chairman of our Tour of Remembrance Planning Committee.


Request for Information on My Grandfather From Nora Graves nora_graves@hotmail.com

My name is Nora Graves. My grandfather (actually he was my great uncle--but he raised my father as his son) was attached (I believe) to the 354th Infantry Regiment during WWII. I am attempting to reconstruct his time in the military. His name is Frederick Hoffman and I believe he was a LT. (I could be wrong) I do remember him talking (he rarely did this!) about his discovery of the Ohrdruf Concentration Camp. I believe he was with the first group of men that stumbled upon the camp. I have a number of letters he wrote home to his mother during his entire time away. These letters are amazingly well written. His mother was very ill so his letters are upbeat and purposely non-dramatized. I am writing a major "paper" for my MA in English. I am using his letters as a focus to what was really happening. I have always wanted to create a "memorial" posthumously to this wonderful man. His letters are better written than anything I have done.

I am looking for any guidance or info you may have. I know he received a couple of medals. I know that at some point he had an Amy book detailing his "deployment". My husband is a Commander in the US Navy at present and he has a number of "cruise books" detailing deployments... Do you know where I might find something like this? Any info or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I will be happy to share these letters with your organization if you would like. Many letters are hilarious (including one discussing the "great Cracker Jack scandal"). Thank you for your time!

[From Mark: Please call me Mark first of all. As far as sites or books, I guess it depends on what you are looking for. I was a history major in college but have not done much research in a while. You will find many sites with WWII letters on the net. As for the 89th Division's relation to Ohrdruf, the website for the US Holocaust Museum is helpful (see our links section). Let me know further. We will put you on the email list. Mark

Nora Graves wrote: Thank you Mr. Kitchell! I put a bid in on this item on eBay! This should help me to chronicle his time in the service. If you know of any other sites/books etc., please let me know. I have very little to go on except his letters which were purposely non specific! I am in the process of installing a new computer/printer. I will then scan these letters and I will be happy to forward what I have. I wrote to my cousin in Chicago who says that there are indeed pictures of Fred in uniform. Again, I'll be happy to share! I will keep you posted on my project and will probably write with some more specific questions as I go! Thank you.

[This message is also being forwarded to Elmer Herbaly, L Co, the Organizational Representative of the 354th Inf, herbaly@aol.com who may also be of assistance and to the Editor of TRW. Keep in touch.


An Army History of MY Dad from Phil Exel p_exel@yahoo.com

First let me say that I found your website commemorating the 89th Infantry Division very interesting. I believe that my father was a member of Co E, 2nd Bn, 353rd Inf. I am trying to piece together his Army History. His name is John (Jack) E. Exel and he recently passed away so I was unable to get the information directly from him. He was in the Army during WWII and Korea obtaining the rank of Captain when he retired from the reserves in 1963. I am most interested in finding out what he participated in during World War II. Do you or your son have a compete list of the members of the 89th and, in particular, my fatherís division during WWII? Is there some place I could look to find his military history. Any help you can give me I would greatly appreciated. Thank you very much. Phil Exel

[Mark: Let me take a shot at answering your questions. First, your question is the most common one we get (what did my Dad, granddad, etc. do?) Obviously, we generally cannot specifically answer that. However hereís what Iíd do.

1. Look at our email list to see men from his unit, write them and ask. also check with the 353rd Organization Representative. This list is at http://www.89infdivww2.org/society/ contact.htm

2. Write up a paragraph or two about him for us to include in our monthly newsletter and official magazine, The Rolling W (TRW). Copy this to Norbert Badten (Org Rep) at suzannb@wyoming.com . We can then ask if anyone remembers him and refer your inquiry to the appropriate party.

3. To really learn about the 89th, try to buy the 89th Division 1942-1945 history book, although unfortunately it does not include all the names and units of everyone who served with it. It is often found on eBay, in fact I found you a copy of one on Ebay. They are also available from the Society at a cost of $40.

That would be a good start but I would also encourage you to join The Society of the 89th Inf Div as a ďFriendĒ and/or relative. The dues are $30 annually which includes a subscription to the quarterly magazine called THE ROLLING W. It will also help fund the Society and the website. For obvious reasons, membership is dwindling so we need new members (widows, sons and daughter, etc.) to remain viable and meaningful.

Also, let us know if you want to be on our email list which we use to send out updates and the newsletters encourage networking.

Finally, we would be honored to receive and obit on your fatherís passing away from you to be placed under TAPS in our next edition. You may also wish to browse through some of our past newsletters which are archived on our website.


Dads Service John Shorey jshorey@earthlink.net

I have been doing some research on my Dads service with the 89th Rolling W, my dad has passed away , I wish I could have started this before he did. His name was Clifford N. Shorey, from Maine. He was in demolition, used a mine detector. He did not talk a lot about his service for many years. His Sister told me he came back a differentt man. I have a number of stories he did pass on to me, and I have a few nice momentoes he brought back for his time there. A story I have about them being in a house for a few days, toward the end of the war, in fact it house was hit with shell fire and the bombing blew out his hearing in one ear, it was toward the end of the war, and was not properly noted for his being able to get disability. But a story that came out of there staying there, was a safe that him and 2 buddies found that they blew open, finding a coin collection and a bottle of 4 roses whiskey. They drank the whiskey and divided up the collection. I have most of my Dad share still in a round hard paper Grenades canister marked TNT.

My dadís service and travels does not match up with what Iím finding on the sites. I know he arrived late on the European war theater, but it sounds like he saw plenty of action for the time he was there. I have over a couple hundred pictures from his service. He liked taking pics. Many of these pics are from the places he was sent before they went to Europe. He spent time in Peru, and a lot of time in the Galapagos Islands. I have many pics from his stay there. He had told me they wanted to be involved and it was not till Eleanor Roosevelt visited the troops on the island that, my dad said they complained to her that they wanted a part of the real War and shortly after they were shipped out. I have pics of my dad playing pool with Eleanor Roosevelt. In fact I have a lot of photos of the men my dad was in service with.

Do you know of any sites that have more photos of the 89th and its men, and where I can go to hear more detail of there service in WW2, I have looked at your story with pics it was very good. and i have looked at www.89infdivww2.org I wish I could have started this search a long time ago as my dad spoke of friends he had from OR and PA but he never kept up with them. Thanks for any help you can give.

[John, it would help immensely if you can find out his unit and regiment or battalion and let us know. Can anyone else help?]


Letter from Mathews Ed Quick edqandmj@bellsouth.net

Darrel,

What a nice letter from Matthews! A shame we didn't make contact sooner. Do you think it possible for him to supply us with a copy of that book? I would be more than willing to pay for the cost of reproduction. I would not need a bound copy of course - just the text would be wonderful! My thinking is that you too might want a copy. I know it might be an imposition on Matthews' time but I hope he would be amenable to it.

Jimmy Midkiff! Like you, I haven't heard that name in years! He is listed, like me, as a "Basic" on our organizational chart - but as you know, I spent about half of my combat time on Lodding's Number 2 Gun Section and the other half as Recorder for Lt. Wolbert. I'm sure Jimmy Midkiff was a Number 1 Man on a gun section (not Lodding's.) I have a photo of him wearily sitting down on the side of ditch. The regular gun section Number 1's were Roepke, Sidabras, Covillo and Correia. Their responsibility was setting the elevation and the SI on the gun sight and I think they also pulled the lanyard and fired the gun. It was the highest level of responsibility, just below that of the Gunner Corporals, who set the deflection. Could you ask Matthews in your letter if he knows where Midkiff lives (if he is alive) and how we could get in touch with him?

Excuse the rambling thought in the last paragraph - the name Midkiff just triggered a lot of memories. Ed

[Hey, BBBs and sometime networkers. Keep us advised],


Request for info on DC Reunion from Bryan Benesch bhbenesch@starpoweer.net

I have just discovered your website due to an email my uncle sent me. My father Charles Benesch was a member of the 89th Infantry, 1st Battalion, Company C., 354th. He is still alive but not online. I would like to have his name added to the contact list and any notices sent care of me. [Done]

My father lives outside of Washington, DC and is very excited about the prospect of attending the 2004 reunion. Can you tell me the dates? Is it going to coincide with the dedication of the WWII memorial on May 29, 2004? [I donít think so Bryan but we will soon have a continuous update on the Society section of our website.]


BRIGHAM CRANE a sonís request stevec@ogden-cpas.com

MY DAD IS DEAD. HIS ARMY SERIAL # WAS 39 923 817 SOC SEC #529-14-9875. ENTRY DATE 27 DEC 1943 SEPARATION DATE 1 JAN 1946 BIRTH DATE 7 APR 1910. HE WAS A PFC SUPPLY CLERK THEN CLERK, GENERAL. I DO NOT KNOW HIS UNIT. THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP. I THINK MY FATHER SERVED IN THE ROLLING W'S. CAN YOU LET ME KNOW IF THAT I TRUE AND ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU MAY HAVE ABOUT HIM. HE LIVED IN PAYSON UTAH BEFORE AND AFTER THE WAR.

Dear Steve:

You give me very little information to go on. In the latest 89th Society Roster of living vet members, only a John T. Crane is listed. Is you father alive and/or can you give me any information on his unit? I will include your request in our February Newsletter but unless you can come up with some more information, it will be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Good luck

Ray Kitchell

[Sometimes we strike out]


First Days Up Front A Story by Radcliffe "Pete" Peterson, E Co, 354th Inf

This is about the shortest story I have ever written. I wrote it several months ago, but on March 12, it was 55 years since it happened.

The convoy of our second battalion had just dropped off the men near sunset close to Dahlin in Germany. I remember all of the men talking about having to get shot at, starting now. We were all pretty uneasy. Easy company had set up all the platoon perimeters and our Company CP had been set up. A few of us were sitting around in a heavily wooded area.

It was March 12, 1945. A few of the officers dropped their packs along a pathway along with the packs of some of the sergeants. They had moved off a ways to stretch their legs and talk amongst themselves. I remember sitting against a tree and in front of me and my pack a carbine was neatly leaned against a tree. I could hear some of the men as they were returning to get their packs. At that moment for some reason, I stood and stepped to one side. Just one step. I heard the sound of a rifle discharging. My eyes focused on the place in front of where I had just been sitting. The rifle had fallen, hit the ground and discharged a round directly into the tree where I had been sitting. I ascertained that if I hadn't gotten up just then, the slug would have entered my chest.

Why did I get up? I'll never know. I was quite comfortable sitting there. Was I shook up? Yes I was. And to think that I was almost the first casualty of our battalion. A sergeant came over to look at the hole in the tree and before he moved on said, "You were lucky there, soldier."

Do I think of that little moment from 55 years ago? Yes, once in a while. It was my lucky day.

Return to top