May 2003 Newsletter
For all veterans, relatives and friends of the

89th Veterans at the National Guard Memorial at Normany, France.

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
Letters and Exchanges

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Announcements, Editor's Notes and Website Developments

Editor's Notes

While we attempt to publish a newsletter on a monthly basis, sometimes this is not possible. We also try to minimize this scheduling problem and the need for your surfing by sending out a message, using our excel email list, when it actually goes on line. The June and July newsletters will be combined and online by early September and include all messages received during that period.

Please continue to check if you have forwarded us any changes in your email address, including dropping it for whatever reason.

Our recent effort to correct or eliminate non-operative email addresses (see April TRW issue) had considerable success which is reflected in our updated full email listings which are available upon request. Please also recall that in the unfortunate event of an 89th vet’s incapacitation or demise, a relative or friend may wish to continue receipt of our newsletters by informing us of the name and unit of the incapacitated/deceased, your name, relationship, and email address.

There will be a full Newsletter in mid-May but a hiatus of at least one or two months after that due to the necessity of your co-webmasters to attend a rather important wedding in France and do a little sightseeing and/or honeymooning afterward. We will try to have a July-August Newsletter online and I will open for instant communications by June 30th.

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 WWII Division, its veterans, relatives and friends, as well as including current items of related interest. We like to think of this task as primarily gatekeeping, i.e., facilitating networking between our vets and friends and responding to inquiries by drawing on the knowledge of those still with us, particularly those active in our Society with similar responsibilities and concerns. This is illustrated in this and recent issues. 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 relevant information/correspondence provided. Letters are not usually included in any order of receipt or importance, with editing kept to a minimum. Editor’s remarks, if any, are included in highlighted brackets [ ].

Finally, if you have buddies, relatives, neighbors 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 for viewing and, upon request, print out selected items/stories. Try it!

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Society Announcements

None at this time.

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Website Developments

We are very please to have two new unit histories, and a major memoir added to the website this month:

History of the 354th Infantry Regiment>>

Company I of the 355th Infantry Regiment: A History of Events>>

Recollections of a WWII Infantryman by Sol Brandell>>

Darrel Carnell ( and Ed Quick (, frequent contributors to our website, are in the process of identifying Government, Military and other sources of information which could be useful to relatives and friends who are seeking assistance from us. If you have any suggestions, please contact them directly.

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Email List Updates

We are happy to report that many of our “Dead Mail” addresses have been located. The list below includes 35 new listings. Please notify me (Scotty) if your address is incorrect as listed here and/or on our updated or full working list, which is available upon request.

Please note that our website email list is updated four times per year.

BADTEN, Norbert J-A Co, 353rd Inf

AHO, Jeff--A Co, 354th Inf

ALLISON, William E—C Co, 563rd Inf c/o grandson, Douglas

ATKINS, Carthell B—I Co, 354th Inf

BADTEN, Norbert J—A Co, 355th Inf

BASO, Elido—C Co, 2nd Bn, 314th Eng c/o daughter

BELL, Lindel –353rd Inf (deceased) c/o grandson

BENESCH, Charles—Co C, 1st Bn, 354th Inf c/o son, Bryan

BERG, Larry—Hq, 354th (deceased) c/o son, Patrick

BLUE, HARRY H—L Co, 355th Inf (deceased) c/o granddaughter Deb Blue

BLOSS, Robert F—Co B, 354th Inf c/o son Bob

BOYD, Cecil—I Co, 354th Inf

BRANDELL, Sol—Hq Co, 2nd Bn, 355th Inf

BREAZEALE. Jack—B Btry, 340th FA

BRUNNER, Vance N—I Co, 353rd Inf (deceased) c/o son Gary

CROWE, Rojer J—Med, 354th Inf

DREVDAHL, R. Wayne—Hq Co, 1st Bn, 354th Inf c/o son John

DUNLAP, Laurel (Larry)—F Co, 353rd Inf

DUNN, Wallace E—L Co, 353rd Inf

EXEL, John E—Co E, 2nd Bn, 353rd Inf (deceased) c/o son

FOWLER, Charles E—89th Cav Recon Troop

FUSON, Donald—Sv Btry, 563rd FA c/o daughter Donna Deege

GAULT, Fred –Hq, 914th FA

GESIN, Jack—Cn Co, 353rd Inf

GOODBOUT, Edward A—3rd Bn, 353rd (deceased) c/o daughter Kathy

GRIFFITH Jr, Albert R—M Co, 353rd (deceased) c/o son in-law, Rob Ziegler

HALL Jr, Harmon C—Co C, 354th Inf c/o son Clinton

HALLOCHAK, Andrew—314th Eng Bn c/o son, Drew

HAMPTON, James W—H Co, 354th (deceased) c/o daughter Cheryl Rose

HANCOCK, David P—Co G, 355th Inf

HEBERT, John A—F Co, 353rd c/o daughter-in-law, Laura

HEMMINGER, William—354th Inf c/o grandson, John Beal

HOFFMAN, Frederick—354th Inf (deceased) c/o granddaughter, Nora Graves

KEMP, Lyle E.—B Co, 353rd Inf (deceased) c/o grandson, David

KEYSER, Henry G—89th Inf Band, MP, MilGovt

LEISEROFF, Eric—E Co, 353rd Inf

LITTLE, George S—941st FA (deceased) c/o son, Douglas

LITTLE, Ray D—M Co, 355th Inf

MILLER, William H—I co, 353rd Inf (deceased) c/o son, Phil

NEIL, J. W—AT, 355th Inf

NICHOLSON, Harold E—405th Qm Co (deceased) c/o grandson

PALMER, Robert Emerson—M Co, 353rd Inf (deceased) c/o great niece, Vanessa Gradall

PAUMIER, Gerald B—C Btry, 341 FA Bn

PETERS Jr, Orban W –B Btry, 914th FA Bn

PETERSON, Carl l–F Co, 353rd Inf

PETERSON, Carl L—Son of Society President

PHILLIPS, Clinton L—K Co, 355th (deceased) c/o son

PLUMBY, Phil—A Co, 354th Inf

POLZ, Hank—Cn Co, 353rd Inf

RANDOLPH, Willaim D—A Co, 354th Inf

SARGENT, Shirley Ray—Btry B, 340th FA (deceased) c/o daughter Bethany Rae

SCHUETZ, William—Co C, 353rd Inf c/o son Billy

SENKAR, Robert—1st Platoon, A Co, 355th Inf

SHAFFER, Francis R—Cn Co, 353rd Inf (deceased) c/o Sgt Kugarcias

SHOREY, Clifford N—C Co, 314th Eng Bn (deceased) c/o son, John

SITZLER, John—354th Inf

STOREZ, Ernst—M Co, 353rd Inf

STUEWE, ???—Co F, 353rd Inf

SULTAN, David –Hq, 1st Bn, 355th Inf

WALDNER, Leonard F—Cannon Co, 353rd Inf

WANSBROUGH, Robert—Hq Co, 3rd Bn, 353rd Inf (deceased) c/o son, Greg

WELLS, Richard N—Co F, 2nd Bn, 353rd Inf

YOUNG, Charles P—Hq Co, 3rd Bn, 353rd Inf

YOUNG, Paul C—Cn Co, 353rd Inf

ZANG, Robert—Cn Co, 354th Inf

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Sam Moorhead

It is with great sorrow and deep regret that I inform you of the death of my father, Col Sam Moorhead. Dad died of complications of a heart attack. Any questions may be sent to me at

Ian M Moorhead MD FACEPLTC, MC, FS, USAR April 14, 2003

Samuel L. Moorhead, 78 of St. Louis Park, passed away suddenly April 24th 2003. Sam is survived by his beloved wife of 50 years Jean; children, Ian (Beth), Kevin, and Leslie (Mark Haney); grandchildren, Katie, Laura, Trevor, Samuel and Colin, many loving relatives and special friends the NoNames. Born in Campbells Bay Quebec, he graduated from Mpls West HS and the Univ of MN. Called into military service in 1944, he served with the 89th Division and during his tenure with the Army earned the rank of Colonel. He was the West Point Recruiting Coordinator for the state of MN. He was employed with United Electric and served as President of the Purchasing Management Assoc. A member of the Civil War Round Table, he loved to share his great knowledge of history and volunteered as a visiting scholar at local schools. An active lifelong member of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, the memorial service will be held there on Thurs, May 8th, 2003 at 11:00 a.m. Memorials can be made to the church.

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Letters and Exchanges

Sent to all Organizational Representatives without access to email

[So far, there has been little or no reply to last month’s request to Organization Representatives, which is repeated below.]

Gentlemen: The common denominator here is that you are all listed in the TRW as Organization Representatives and that none of you apparently use email or have access to it. Unfortunately this is the case for five of the ten Org Reps listed in the TRW, i.e., 50% of the total. As our membership diminishes and we reach out more to relatives, friends and others who use email and the internet, this provides a problem for the gatekeeping and networking function we are trying to encourage and sustain.

I am snail-mailing this joint message to each of you so you can address this problem with your associates. Here are some suggestions put forward for your consideration. 

1. With the help of family member and/or friend/neighbor, use their email address for this purpose.
2. Appoint an additional Asst Org Rep with internet capability.
3. Visit your local library and ask them to pull up our 89th website at Look at what we are doing in general but, in particular, please read the exchanges taking place in our monthly newsletters. I can assure you, the personal rewards can be extremely gratifying and I would appreciate a reply to this request at your earliest convenience.

Unfortunately, there were no replies except form the one Org Rep I telephoned personally, and which was not encouraging. Given the age of most of our members it is understandable why. If the 89th Society leadership deems this function as essential and /or useful, perhaps a former enlisted man of less age (e.g., an ASTPer) would accept the reponsability to act as a coordinator of all 89th units with the help of present Org Reps from various units and our assistance.

A family in France reaches out to Roland O Baker from Andree Royer Strobel:

Dear Mr, Our family should like to get some news concerning:the sergeant Roland O BAKER, stationed on 1945 around ROUEN Normandy, in MONT SAINT AIGNAN or BOIGUILLAME, his address was: HQ. CO 89 th Div APO 89 c/o PM  NEW YORK  N.Y. Our parents received him at home and every one keep a very good remember. Is he in good health or ??? can you do something to tell us (with his consentement) what is bicome of him?

royer strobel families with their friendship, we never forget you.

[This is from Mark Kitchell, co-webmaster.] I responded (in French) to this family, and hopefully we will obtain a story about Roland Baker from them. I hope this letter illustrates that the French people are still extremely grateful for their liberation. I have personally been quite disturbed by the virulence of anti-French sentiment in the United States.

As someone who is about to marry into a wonderful French family (my future wife’s grandfather's was imprisoned for 3 years in Buchenwald, due to Resistance activities), I have been deeply saddened by the level of anger and bigotry aimed at not only the French government but at the French people as well. I find this especially disturbing considering the wonderful treatment that we received on our Tour of Remembrance. I can also assure you that Americans continue to be welcomed in France. I am afraid that cannot be said about French people in the United States.

Mark Kitchell

REIMAHG Annual Memorial Day From Captain Chris Wouters, Belgian Army

Yesterday morning, 4 of my men and 2 trucks, towing generators, left for the REIMAHG site in Kahla, Thüringen, Germany, to assist Patrick Brion to prepare this year's Memorial day at the former ME 262 plant. For the first time, ex-prisoners, veterans of the 16th (BE) Fus Bataillon and, hopefully, veterans of the Rolling W, will be allowed to enter the mountain after it was closed some fifty years ago.

When Patrick contacted me to ask for assistance, I was glad to help him out. Furthermore, my unit will (very) probably "adopt" Patrick's project and give logistic support to further explore the site and installing the necessary means to be able to visit an even larger part of the tunnel system.

And to close, I would like to thank all members of the Rolling W (and all other US servicemen) for what they did to help restore democracy in Europe. Your sacrifices are not forgotten!

Best regards,

Chris Wouters

Tf Mil : 9-2320-5242
Tf Civ : XX32/(0)2-255.52.42
Fax Mil : 9-2320-5996
Fax Civ : XX32/(0)2-255.52.42
e-mail :

PS. I really enjoyed visiting the 89th Infantry Division’s website!

Search results re Sgt Francis R Shaffer, Cannon Co. 353rd Reg't, 89th Div by Org Rep Norb Baden

Dear Sgt Garcia, 

There were five people who attended the 89th Div. Reunion in Indianapolis in 2002, who served in Cannon Co. I am sending their names and addresses so you can contact them to see if any of them remember Sgt Shaffer, or can help you find someone who may remember him.

David Dunn
708 Clover Drive
Frankfort KY 40601-4342
(502) 227-7035

  Fritz Coleman
8870 Susan Dr
Centerville OH 45458
(513) 433-7447

  James Horner
15746 Walkwood Drive
Houston TX 77079-5070
(282) 493-6885

  Edward Kolasinski
1633 Webster Street
Coal Township PA 17866-3917
(717) 644-1542

Leonard Waldner
708 Clover Drive
Frankfort, KY 40601-4342
(502) 277-7035

If you provide me with your mailing address I will mail you a form you can use to request Sgt Shaffer’s military and medical files. 

Norb Badten
Asst Reg't Rep
353rd Reg't 89th Div

[Thanks Norm from Scotty]

An OSC Fan from Kevin

Dear Scotty

You are coming thru in good form! With the vagaries of these machines, I would prefer “overkill" to not enough information, so all of your transmissions have been received with pleasure! As time permits, I will do some stuff about our time at Oregon State. I still remember

"I’m a Beaver born and a Beaver bred,
And when I die, I'll be a Beaver dead,
So, rah, rah, for OSC,
Rah, rah for OSC.
R a h R a h for O S C!!!

My son went to OSC for a year to study to be a ferrier (a blacksmith that shoes horses). They have a great school there and he had a great time learning the craft. He was there in 1974 and I visited him there on my way back from Alaska, tha summer. He is now in Hollywood as the construction foreman for the crew that builds the sets for the TV show, "Boston Public". [One my favorites]

Great to hear from you! We'll be in touch. Cordial regards, Ben

Request for genealogical assistance Polly

I was hoping you could help me fill in some gaps in my genealogy. My great-grandfather fought in World War I as a Cpl. with the 353rd Infantry. In World War II, my grandfather was Pfc. as an ambulance driver, but I am not sure what division or battalion he was part of. My great-grand father's name was William E. Beasley and my grandfather's name was Everett L. Beasley. Both were from Southeast Kansas. Any information you might have on either of these two or a list of those who served in the 89th would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your help, Kevin Beasley Okay, here's the scoop.  I just called him.  His name is Wayne J. Ross and he was with the 89th, 353rd Infantry, Company H.  The squad leader was Mike Peal or Peel from NY.  His family owned the Peal or Peel Brewery.  Mr. Ross is interested in finding out any information as to his whereabouts.  Thanks!  You can use my email address

[I don’t know where to start but because of the stated relationship to the 353rd Inf, I am forwarding these messages to Norbert Badten, the Org Rep of the 353rd a very savy and helpful man re requests like yours. Good luck and hopefully someone reading our newsletter will also get back to you. Raymond Kitchell]

Request for info about Bernard L. Coordes, Staff Sargent, 914th FA from William R Woods

Dear Sir,

Just looked over your Website, and am suitably impressed. I've been looking for information about my Uncle Ben and have been frustrated for years. My Mother's information consisted of: he was in the army. He was a Sargent. Not helpful. I tried accessing his military records but met the usual roadblocks. I contacted Uncle Ben's widow but before we could work a plan she passed away. I sent the paper work to her daughter but she seems uninterested. However her son is wild to see anything connected to his grandfather and was grateful for the old family photos I could supply for him.

Seems Uncle Ben was placed well in the background once my Aunt entered a new phase in her life. I suppose that is to be expected as that period of time held some horror for her. I would like some further information to pass on to the grandson of my Uncle and would appreciate any help you could give me. Vitals are as follows:

Coordes, Bernard L.
s/n 37 286 673
Staff Sargent
914th FA Battalion
89th Division

Entered AUS, Ft. Snelling, Mn. 13 July, 1942
Died in service, 20 February 1945
Buried Plot B, Row 1, Grave 34 Normandy, France.

We have no history of Uncle Ben's training and/or movements while stateside and my only information on foreign service is stated above. I do know that Uncle Ben died in the barracks due to an accidental shooting. I don't know if that has anything to do with our lack of information. I would appreciate any help you could give me in obtaining these records.

Thanking you in advance, I am


Wm R Woods

[Response from Ray Kitchell]

Dear William:

Thank for your inquiry which, unfortunately comes at poor time for us because my son and are both leaving for Europe in less than two weeks and wont be back home and online until the 1st of July. Also bad luck, this month’s newsletter just went out.

I suggest you might wish to read our history and stories before you do your research in earnest. Don’t also forget to look at the archived stories and exchanges. I am also forwarding your letter to Gerald Bowers, Organization Representative for Division Artillery with a requests that he also he forward a copy via snail mail To the Asst. Org Rep Frank Powers, B Btry 914th FA which will put you in contact withy the major players. A copy of the official 89th history is also still available for $45.

You may also wish to join our Society which is now extending limited membership to family/friends. Membership, dues of which are $30 annually, includes subscription to our official magazine, The Rolling W, published three times a year and participation in Society events such as the forthcoming reunion next year in Washington, DC.

Please let me know if we can be of by of and service

Raymond (Scotty) Kitchell

Request for info about Sgt. John Barnhart from John Barnhart

I appreciate your website being available. My Grandfather was TSgt. John Harrison Barnhart from the State of Kansas. Mr Grandfather served with the Rolling W's in WWII and was KIA due to a gunshot wound from what we have been told was a German sniper. We know where he is buried, we have what is left of his service records, and we have the official the circumstances surrounding his death and we have spoken to his half brother who is now in his 90's.

Yet both myself and my father lack more information be it good, bad or indifferent about his father. If you have any information at all that you can pass on or if there are other archives available please let us know. I have added my fathers email address on here and hope that perhaps you and he can converse and possibly he can find out more about his father and what he was like since his father was killed when he was still a small boy.

Best Regards,

John Barnhart

Re Sgt Barnhart From Ed Quick []

Rhine Crossing on the night of March 26, 1945 (from the 89th Division History) 

".....Downstream at Wellmich, the 1st Battalion, 354th also was meeting determined resistance.......Shortly after Company A had started across, Co. C began its assault.  The 1st Platoon led the way in an overloaded boat.  When the boat capsized, Staff Sgt. Robert B. Johnson swam around trying to pull his men to safety..(the account goes on describing the stiff resistance C Company met with enemy guns firing at anything - with many casualties)......Co. C bypassed Wellmich on the right and advanced to take the first objective - a castle overlooking the river.  Pushing after the withdrawing Germans, the company smashed inland and reached Nochern in the late afternoon......" 

Although Sgt. Barnhart's name is not mentioned in this account, he was in Co. C and very well may have lost his life in the assault across the Rhine, where his company and the 354th sustained heavy casualties.   His grandson says he has the details of his death, so he would probably know whether it occurred in the Rhine crossing.  In any case, the History provides facts about the crossing that might be of interest to young John.  

Why don't you suggest to the grandson that he purchase a copy of the Division History? [I did]

Request for info on Sgt James William Hampton from Cheryl Rose:

My name is Cheryl Rose, daughter of Staff Sergeant James William Hampton, (everyone called him "tiny" he was 6'3" and close to 300 lbs) apparently he was in Co. H-354 inf. Reg., 89th Infantry Division. I am doing some research helping my 10 year old son with a school project he decided to do on "Grandpa in WWII". My dad passed away in 1998, and even when he was alive did not want to talk about the war, so I assumed his experiences were not something he wanted to discuss. I wish now that I had pried the information out of him! We have many, many photos, his Eisenhower jacket with the Rolling W patch on the arm, and even an NCO club card "club Copacabana" from camp Philip Morris!

I know that he was a supply sergeant, I have pictures of him in the supply "huts" among other things, including photos of captured Nazi flags. I know he was in LeHarve, traveled through Germany almost to the Czech border, and returned to Paris after the war ended. We are going through all this and wondering where to look next to patch all of the bits and pieces of information together. I have his Army Serial No. and wondered if this would help me to obtain any ship sailings or troop movement through the Army? I read your memoirs and thoroughly enjoyed it!  The experiences you described and places you went sound very much like what I am uncovering from photos, my Mom's memory (she met my dad at camp Butner…she was one of those southern belles from Henderson NC, and she worked at the camp).

I want to track my dad's war journey from Ft. Lewis where he joined, to "across the pond" and back for my kids, and wondered if you could give me some advice on where to start. I also have a picture of my Dad in front of a sign that says HQ Co, 17 GP, this looks like one of the cigarette camps and now I am confused as to whether he was in Co. H or Co. HQ (are they one in the same)….? In my searches on the internet I can't locate any info on a company H. His notice of change of address that was sent from New York NY, posted in Durham NC on Dec. 30th 1944, has a red stamped address change for him of "Co, H-354 INF, Reg, 89 Inf, DIV APO no. 89."

Any information or suggestions on where I should continue my research would be very much appreciated! Thanks for listening


Cheryl Rose
Port Orchard, WA

[The following response was sent to Cheryl

I was pleased to receive your well-written and informative email and you are exactly the type my son and I are trying to reach out to. You present us with a tall but welcome order. Here are our first steps.

  1. I have added your Dad’s name and unit and your address to our latest email list which is attached to this message as a WORDDoc. This will help you with networking.

2. I am also forwarding your inquires to the Organization Representative of the 354th Inf., Elmer Herbaly, for his assistance.

3. We will include your April 22 email in our next Newsletter (May).

4. You may also wish to peruse past Newsletters which are archived on our website.

5. You may also wish to purchase a copy of the official history of the 89th WWII copies of which are still available at a cost of $40 and I am sure you would find very interesting. I can give you the details if you wish.

If you are interested, you are welcome to join our Society as a “friend/relative” of the 89th and I can also provide you with information on that. In view of your interest and research, you would find this most interesting.

We have an official history of WWII which includes an appendix of soldiers who served in the 89th but it is incomplete, e.g. most of my Battery mates are not listed. When we get this straightened out, you may wish to become a member of our Society. In any case, I can add his name and your address to our email listing. I am attaching the latest updated list for your information. Best wishes,

Ray Kitchell

[Responses to Cheryl's requests]


In response to Cheryl Rose's inquiry I can only supply the fact that the 354th. sailed to Europe on the Edmund B. Alexander, a converted passenger Ship.

I would suggest that a good source of information about the 354th Inf. would be Herb Budnick. Perhaps you have his e-mail address. Fred

[A Response from the Rose family]

Research commences - Richard Rose []

Glad the photos came through ok. I'm sending for the book on the 89th today. Who knows, a story may result!  My Mom had a copy of the e-mail that I had forwarded to her from the gentleman that e-mailed us a few years ago. He remembered my dad from the war. (my husband located him when he was searching the net for info on the 89th, as I mentioned in an earlier e-mail). Gerry Stearns is his name. I see that he is listed on your website…I will try to contact him again.

My Mom has been digging in her treasures, (she saves everything thank goodness). She is coming up with many pictures and notes from my dad with more info and clues for us…Including some notes and photos on the crossing of the Rhine. Its triggering her memory about long forgotten details which I am writing down. This is getting interesting…..! Cheryl Rose

[From Ray Kitchell]

Dear Cheryl: 

Photos came through fine. I am also forwarding them to Mary Brunner, Editor of the TRW. You may purchase a copy of the “89th Division History WWII (1942-1945) from the Society by mailing a check for $45, made out to the “89th Division Society”, to Marge Berg, 818 San Antonio Place, Colorado Springs, CO80906.

Do I smell a story coming out of this all? Hope so.

Ray Kitchell (known as Scotty to 89ers).

Some Pictures of Joe Hampton

Sgt. Joe Hampton

Sgt. Joe Hampton

Fill in gaps From: Kevin Beasley

Dear Sir,
I was hoping you could help me fill in some gaps in my genealogy. My great-grandfather fought in World War I as a Cpl. with the 353rd Infantry. In World War II, my grandfather was Pfc. as an ambulance driver, but I am not sure what division or battalion he was part of. My great-grand father's name was William E. Beasley and my grandfather's name was Everett L. Beasley. Both were from Southeast Kansas. Any information you might have on either of these two or a list of those who served in the 89th would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your help,

Kevin Beasley

[A history of the 353rd Inf in both World Wars is expected to be published by this fall.]

Welcome Aboard: From Robert Senkar

Since I just discovered your web site I am writing for information about joining the society. I am particularly interested in the reunion of 2004. Also would like to be added to the e-mail contact list.  

My name is Robert Senkar. I served with A Company, 1st Platoon, 355th infantry as 1st scout.  After the war ended, I ended up in Lambach, Austria in charge of a German prison camp for 6 months. I met a German family in Lambach and still keep in contact with them.  My wife and I visited them in 1990. My address is 1407 Diana Dr.,  Brunswick, Ohio  44212

Better late than never (Our response to Robert.)

Dear Bob:

Where have you been—but welcome aboard!!!. The reply to your request follows:

1. Attached is out latest email listings with your name, unit and email address added.
2. We are you happy that you picked up the news on our next reunion through our website. It should be a great finale.
3. Included just below is our invitation to join our Society and how to do it.
4. I will also include your letter in our next newsletter (late May). You may get some responses.

{Another email from Robert Senkar]

Subject: Re: Yr letter of April 23

Dear Scotty,

Yes you did answer my initial letter, and I appreciate your promptness. I will be sending my check shortly. I've been reading the news and letters on the web site and found them to be most interesting especially the letter from Kim Spinsby. His father, Harry and I managed the prison camp in Lambach for 6 months after the   war was over. I will contact him soon again.

Thanks, Bob

89TH Infantry Division Band

Did you know that there was an 89th Division Band? Do you know what Bands do?

Well, they are generally assigned duties where the need is the greatest at the particular time. This could range anywhere from being litter bearers attached to the 314th Medics or given the onerous task of grave registration. You know, going out to find out who had been killed, collecting their dog tags and bringing them back so there could be an accurate body count. This was to help verify who had not made their last mission. This way families and next of kin were notified of the loss of one of their family. You might even bring back the bodies in body bags for shipment to a military cemetery for burial.
Sound like as “crappy” job. You bet. I can only remember one instance where they hinted that we were going to be litter bearers. Not being a hero, I asked for a transfer back to my old rifle company.

Fortunately, the band was assigned to the MP Platoon because they were under their required T.O. strength and we were able to bring the M.P. Platoon up to the required strength while waiting for replacements. When they got their replacements the issue of litter bearing came up.

I am sure that you all remember the DP’s (Displaced Persons) who plugged the roads with their carts full of personal possessions as they were fleeing the invading Russian Armies.

Here are a few high lights of the participation of your Band. During the war, the Band trained as Military Police. The commanding general had assigned us to G-5 to perform Military government duties. This released other soldiers to carry out their functions in their assigned units and relieved them of setting up the functions of Government in the various towns and villages. Captured by the Rolling W.

When a combat team would go into a town, one of our teams would accompany them during the “fire fight” and begin to establish government that would enable the rest of the Division to fulfill their assigned missions. We were shot at many times and shelled more times than I want to remember.

This past summer I attended another Band Reunion. We have generally been able to get together every two years.

To “toot our own horns”, so to speak. There was not a more capable, flexible unit ready and able to carry out any assigned tasks in the Division. Sitting around the pool listening to the “old timers” there was a great sense that there was never any recognition for the band.

Seeking to rectify this using the basis of the history that Sgt. Alfonso R.T. Esposito compiled I decided submit this to the President of our Association for inclusion in the next Rolling W. Here some pertinent excerpts:

15, 16 Feb. CWO Steg and 13 Band Enlisted men who had attended a 2-day Mine School conducted by the 1151st Engineers in practical mine work. This course consisted of probing uncharted mine fields for neutralization of mines. I never knew it was possible to sweat so much in the middle of winter.

6 March 45 The Band displayed its worth in combat. CWO Steg, Tec 4 Peterson, Wimberly, and Tec 5 Hewetson killed a German Officer and captured three German Soldiers.

8 April 45 The Band suffered it’s first combat casualty. Tech 4 Julian B. Aubuchon was ambushed by a German machine gun Squad suffering aggravated wounds in the legs and chest. Tec 4 Aubuchon was enroute to the Division water point at Tabarz to provide water for the kitchen. He was awarded the Purple Heart Ribbon on 15 April 45. On the same date Peterson, Wimberly and Hewetson were awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service rendered against the enemy.


Two Band members served as M.P.’s directing traffic over the Moselle River Bridgehead directing traffic for the 4th Armored Division.

Discovery and capture of the first German Jetfighter (intact) at Friedrichroda, Germany. This is a little known fact to the rest of the Division. However, being present I can remember very clearly the delight and thrilling presence of Eighth Air Force Intelligence Officers.

Military Government Team 3 took over the government of the City of Zwickau. They maintained a stable government until a full company from Military Government replaced them. I have often wondered how twelve of us did the work of 180 men.

My most humorous moment of the entire war was going to capture this German General. I think he went out the back door as I came in the front. When I checked around his desk for anything that might prove of value. I found this coin. This was encrypted on both sides with various symbols. Thinking I had perhaps found something which would “crack” a secret German Code I took it and ran as fast as I could to the “CP” that had been set up. I gave this to CWO Stegg who was fluent in German and read and wrote the same.

Mr. Stegg held it up and turned it repeatedly looking at it intently. This coin was held by something shaped like a slingshot. He began to turn the coin slowly repeatedly in the slingshot. Then he picked it up and blew on the coin causing it to rotate. All of a sudden, he let out a huge burst of laughter. He said Keyser; do you know what this says? I said, “No Sir.” Mr. Steg said this says in German.

“Leck Mich Am Arsch!” Again a big laugh as he said this translates into English meaning, “Kiss My..... (You figure it out!) Well there went my medal and promotion or whatever. Therefore, my contribution during WWII (The Big One as Archie would say) was keeping us the moral of my fellow soldiers by breaking the tension and giving everyone a good laugh.

We all have selective memories and tend to forget the horrors that we encountered and remember the humorous. I saved many of those humorous memories and they are the ones I like to keep the best.

We played a Parade in Rouen, France for Bastille Day. One of the bandsmen tossed a cigarette on the ground. Only to have it Pounced on by a full Colonel from the French Army. Good Lord he had more medals than Eisenhower did and MacArthur combined. All sorts of cords wrapped around his shoulders. I swear enough to tie up a small ship at dock.

Do not forget those guys in the band. No we preferred not to have been litter bearers but if it were necessary, it would have been done!

Musically submitted,

Tec. 5 Henry G. Keyser now The Rev. Henry Keyser
89th Inf. Division Band

P.S. That blinking war and what I was exposed to as a “kid” (I was the youngest one in the outfit) made me realize that what I’d seen and done had me headed for the ministry where I now hold the position of a Hospital Chaplain. I still have the opportunity to see suffering, but this time I hope I am also helping.


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