November 2001 Newsletter
89th DIV ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER
November 2001 Issue
For all veterans, relatives and friends of the
89th INFANTRY DIVISION
WORLD WAR II
View of the Rhine River from above St. Goar
October 1999, Tour of Remembrance
Table of Contents: Click on the Link Below to Go To That Section:
Editor's Notes and Website Developments
Email List Update
Invitation to Friends and Relatives
Letters and Exchanges
Requests for Information
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Editor's Notes and Website Developments
As you can see, the website has undergone a significant redesign. Our original
website was first developed in late 1999 and had outlived its usefulness and its design
was getting a bit stale. The major redesign was carried out by a professional website consultant
named Michelle Martello, with assistance by your co-webmaster, Mark Kitchell. The editors
of this website would like to thank Ms. Martello on behalf of the entire 89th Division.
This website re-design had two goals. First, we wanted to create a new and dynamic website that will
be more easily navigated by both frequent users and newcomers. Secondly, we needed to create a website that was more efficient for the (sometimes) technically 'challenged' webmasters. This new format will make it much easier for your webmasters to add new stories, pictures, histories, etc.
The navigation bars at the top of the page still serve as the primary 'map' to the contents of the website. The major categories remain as before: Home, Combat, Ohrdruf, History and Memories, and Society. Simply click on any of these button to find that section. Additionally, within each button, the user can go to a particular section of the website.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email Mark Kitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our next priority is to eliminate the backlog of personal stories awaiting publication on our
website and to increase the number of links with other WWII related website.
Already this month our links page links page has grown.
Darrel Carnell and Ed Quick, Btry B, 340th FA Bn. short-term (unfortunately) tent mates of mine at Hunter-Liggett,
and who both tried so valiantly to help me in my earlier days of putting out the Newsletter
(i.e., before making it a part of our Website), have graciously agreed to assist me where possible
as Editor and, when necessary, serving as backhoes.
The process of reviewing the integration of the Society's communication tools and its budgetary
implications are under current review by the President and his advisors.
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Email List Updates
Welcome to our new users of the Society's electronic tools, including:
CALDWELL, Herman MAO G, 353rd Inf, c/oe grandson
WILSON, Charles AU Co, 355th Inf.
MARCELLED, George B Co, 353rd Inf
WOODRUM, Robert E A Btry, 341st FA Bn
The following listed have a new address:
FAY, Russ B Btry, 563rd FA
STEARNS, Gerry HA Co, 354th Inf.
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Invitation to Friends and Relatives
Non-veterans, i.e., widows and relatives, and friends of the 89th, are invited to join
The Society of the Eighty-Ninth Division WWII as Associate Members and/or subscribers.
The payment of $20 annual dues entitles members and subscribers to receive the Society magazine,
The Rolling W, published three times a year, and will also contribute to financing
essential and recurring Society activities. Lifetime memberships are also available.
For your information, additional contributions, i.e., over and above annual or
lifetime dues, to the Society are tax-deductible and are essential to the
continuation of Society activities in the difficult days to come.
Please make your check out to 89th Division Society and mail to
Larry Berg, Treasurer, at 818 San Antonio Place, Colorado Springs, C0 80906.
Include your full name and unit designation, wife's name,
telephone number, email address, and your mailing address including zip code.
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Bob Chamow (Hq. Btry, Div. Arty.) called me this morning to pass on word that
Bob Andersen's wife, Rosemary, died yesterday, the consequence of Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Her condition had deteriorated quite rapidly, having been diagnosed only last year.
She was a lovely person and she and Bob were very close. At least she has been spared
the prolonged suffering of many with that terrible condition and Bob and the rest
of their large, close family won't have to watch her helplessly waste away.
John Sherman [and our condolences]
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Letters and Exchanges
NOTE: The editor may selectively add bold highlighting for emphasis, edit portions
for space limitations or to prevent duplication, and add clarifications within brackets.
Appropriate replies and/or follow-up can be assumed. For ease of identification and reply,
I have also added the sender's email address and name to all incoming communications.
Unless specifically notified otherwise, all incoming messages and attachments may be
considered for possible publication in our next Newsletter, on our Website proper,
and/or in The Rolling W, if in the opinion of the Editor(s) they would appeal to
the general readership.
From: LAMBERT Joe Co E, 354th
Here's a photo of the NCOs of Company E, 354th Infantry taken at Hunter-Liggitt.
[Joe has been supplying us with a number of photos and other interesting items,
which can be added to our Website and for which we are grateful. Thanks Joe]
NCOs from Company E 354th Infantry
Photo courtesy of Radcliffe Peterson
Top Row: Willie Hughes, Francisco Quintana, E. Giddens, Unknown, Harold Moore*,
Unknown, 1SG Phil GrandPre*
Middle Row: Vidal Maestas, Dewey Flarity, Dale Worthy*, Albert Cheisi, Glen Harmon*,
Joe Parks, Warren Spelling, Klebert Rigot, Howard Mahoney, Woodrow Nuez, Ira Chester
Front Row: Shorty Lapointe
*Denotes NCOs killed in action
Are you preparing a unit history on the 354th? I sure would hope
that part relating to WWII can be placed on our website and the TRW magazine.
Please tell me more. Scotty
No, I'm not preparing a unit history for the 354th, but I am very interested
in the unit's history. I joined this unit in 1989, and we've been so busy with
our primary mission that we, regrettably, haven't been able to do much with our history.
I am trying to change that. I have gone through the 89th Division history of WWII and the
Combat history of the 354th and found a soldier that I am trying to get our unit's building name
for. I have attached a copy of the report that I sent up for approval. You may post it if you like.
I hope to know shortly whether it has been approved. This is a project that I have been working
on for 2 years, and it has happily given me the opportunity to get to know a dozen or so
former members. It has also helped me to develop a deep respect for all the members of the 354th
and the 89th Division.
MSG Joe Lambert
2nd Battalion, 354th Regiment
603 Tank Destoryer Battalion
This is the result of an exchange by your Editor in his attempts to get unit
histories for our website. Anybody interested in taking this further?
I had a note from Bertrand J. Oliver ("Bert") that you might be in contact. As Bert may
have informed you, a copy of our history is in the Library of Congress. Bert wrote most of it;
I wrote some and edited the work. We purposely did not copyright the document, so it can be
Since such scant mention was made at the time of writing about our action in the
Battle of the Bulge, I produced a supplement published in our newsletter known as Panther Tracks
Volume 13, No. 2 dated August 1992. I believe I sent a copy to the Library of Congress. It was
based on copies of our morning reports and my interviews with Tank Destroyer M-18 Commanders and Platoon
leaders that are still alive, or were at the time. For eight long days we were the only intact American military unit in the area four miles southwest
of Bastogne city center along the Neufchateau/Bastogne road.
All copies of our printed newsletter can
be found at the U.S. Army Historical Institute Library at Carlisle Barracks, PA. If anyone was particularly
interested in this phase of our combat action, I could probably provide a copy. We only had 400 copies
of the book published. It had some errors in it that needed correcting and needs to he republished
to encompass our detailed actions several places including the liberation of the first death camp when part of our Battalion were attached to the 89th and part to the 4th Armored Division. I was one of the first six men through the fence and being in Company A, I was a member of the 89th Division. The M-18 that broke the hole in the fence was from C Company and was attached to the 4th Armored. I am aware that someone else from the 89th broke into the camp about the same time and probably on the opposite side.
We have never put any of our stuff on Internet. A couple of years ago the son of one of our men was
going to do that but it seems he never got around to it. You may recall we crossed the Rhine River
with the 89th. As all our guns had been pulled up to the Rhine western banks but back far enough not to
he seen by Germans from the Eastern bank, I was sent as liaison to your CP in the basement of a
structure in Oberwesel. I had to run through mortar fire to get in there. Anyway at a certain
point in the meeting I explained that our guns could knock the tops off the steeples on the east bank
where obviously there were observers. I was doubted but given permission to have a platoon of guns
move up in 20 minutes there was no more shells dropping outside--the steeples were gone.
Since you are In Alexandria, you are a hop skip and a jump from the Library of Congress--if you
can find a parking space-to access our bock there. You will see that the bulk of it consists of
two journals. One was prepared for Company A by myself and two or three other men the week the
war ended in Europe at the request of Bert Oliver, our Company Commander. It was based on copies
of morning reports, a diary I kept until the Battle of the Bulge when I believed I would never
live through it and the diary of a friend who had his head shot off and I got the diary from his
pocket before the graves detachment came along. The other journal was prepared the week the war
ended by our chief Battalion personnel officer from after action reports and records they had.
At the time we distributed copies, an officer from West Point wrote to say they were
requiring all new entrants to read the material as it was one of the best day to day accounts
of combat he had seen. (Of course we don't know how many he had seen) Also you would he glad to
know that the blood soaked diary of my friend got back to his folks.
Your division puts out one of the very best newsletters, and your long time previous Editor out
in Donnelly, Idaho, a town I know well, taught me how to process pictures for the newsletter of
which I am Editor. We were but a small Battalion, unattached to any one larger unit for any length
of time. So I guess the fact that our newsletter is small-12 to 16 pages is natural. The group is
fast getting smaller, and I don't know if in another two years we will have a reunion. Our next
is year 2002 in September. If you have any specific requests with which I can be of assistance,
please let me know.
Cheers, Raymond J.Young
President, 602nd T.D. Bn, Assn.
Historian, & Editor Newsletter
Another Veterans Day Thought
From: Budnick, Herbert L
To all of my friends may we stop for a moment and remember those who are not longer with us,
Let us all remember the good and bad days that all Vets have experienced. I miss the comradeship
that we all had in days past. I trust you and your families are well. Our country needs ALL of it's
Veterans to keep us steadfast and wish our young soldiers/sailors & marines who now protect us,
a safe journey as they march (sail) off to continue to fight for our country and others who
believe in the democratic way of life with freedom for all.
GOD BLESS AMERICA-GOD BLESS US ALL
(Thurman family member from years gone bye)
A Silver Star Story and Award by John Herbert
This letter is in response to the article that General Finley had in the Dec. 77 Rolling W
suggesting that it would be interesting to the members if some of us who had a story to tall
about our experience with the 89th Div. during WWII would write to you about it.
Well, as a sniper, aid a jet-Scout and later on a PFC Squad Leader of Co. 'F, 353d Inf. Regt,
I have many stories that I could tall but for now, I would like to tell you about what happened on
March 20, 1945 somewhere near Kirschroth, Germany. I was preceding my platoon as 1st Scout and noticed
a number of enemy soldiers on a hill just ahead of me. I signaled back that the enemy was in sight
and where and within a few seconds our platoon leader, 1st LT Oot and Platoon SOT Markley were al on their way up
to size up our situation but before they got to me, all hell broke loose. Although we did not
know it at that very moment, we soon found out that we had run head on into a very heavy fortified
enemy position armed with artillery, anti aircraft guns, machine guns and small arms with snipers
that had 10 power scopes. They opened up on us with everything they had and at that time, I did not
think that many of us would survive but we somehow got our fire power turned on and were laying in
some very accurate fire under the direction of LT Ott and SGT Markley.
As I recall, our artillery fire was delayed because they were on the road and had to set up when we
called for support fire but once they did get set up, their fire was very much on target. We then tried
to assault their position but their fire was so heavy that we had to hit the ground and about five, of
us were caught in the open with no means of concealment. Along with me were Kenneth Haines and
Rudy Triviso but I don't recall the others. The fire at this point was very heavy including anti
aircraft shells bursting overhead. Ken Rainea and I were almost shoulder-to-shoulder when we hit the ground
and there was a German machine gun firing at us. Haines opened up on the machine gun with his M1
rifle that had 8 rounds of tracers in the clip. I know that he knocked out that machine gun but
right, after be fired the last round, a German sniper shot him right between the eyes and killed Haines
instantly. The sniper then started to zero in on me and just missed my head and shot off a piece
of the heel from my combat boot. We then made a bee line dash for some bushes to the left of our
position and from there, I knocked out a machine gun and two snipers and it was from this position that I
saw my buddy, Fred Kirk, who was the oldest man in our company but could keep up with all of us, get
hit and I knew it was bad. The medic could not get to him so I crawled out and dragged him back
to where the medic could tend to him but he was shot up very bad with small arms and shrapnel and
died shortly afterward.
A short distance away on my left was Earl Nordin, who was the youngest man in the company. He
also was killed by enemy fire. I don't know how many of our men were killed or wounded that day but it
could have been much worse when you consider what we ran into.
I then noticed German soldiers coming toward our positions so I circled around to the left -and came up
behind them and captured six of them who were trying to feel out our positions. If my memory serves me,
we then called for air support and one or more P-47 or P-1 fighters came over and dropped a few bombs.
As time went on, our firepower was building up; and our artillery fire was very effective and soon
thereafter the Germans were waving the white flag. As 1st Scout, it was up to me to make contact with the
Germans but as I got up and started to walk toward them, one or more of our men on the far left in the
woods and over a hill continued to fire and as we later found out, they could not hear us yelling to cease
fire. The Germans went back into their holes and opened fire on us but we did not return the fire so they
must have realized what had happened. Again they waved the white flag and I went out and made contact with them.
When the rest of the company came up, we looked over the German positions and found that they were constructed
so well that even bombs could not knock them out. All things considered, we were very lucky that things turned
out the way they did. For my part in this battle and in other encounters, I was awarded the Silver Star. I feel today as
I felt then, that a lot more of our men should have been decorated for their actions that, including LT Oot and
SGT Markley, who were outstanding.
I hope that this article, along with others that will be sent to you, will be seen by the families
of the men who were killed in action or died from their wounds go that they might know how their
loved ones died while serving with the 89th Infantry Division in W.W. II.
Here is the citation for John's Silver Star:
CITATION FOR SILVER STAR
Private First, Class JOHN A. HERBERT 11058178; Infantry, United States Army,
distinguished, himself by gallantry in action as a scout of Company "F", 353d
Infantry on two occasions in Germany. When his platoon was held by severe enemy
artillery, machine gun and sniper fire near Kirschroth on 20 March 1945, Private
First Class Hebert on his own initiative daringly advanced to a vantage point and
killed two snipers. Then, seeing a wounded comrade, he crossed through heavy machine
gun fire to him, administered. first aid under fire, and. moved the man 75 yards to a
place of safety. Continuing in the attack, he captured six enemy riflemen and thereby
enabled his platoon to take its objective. On 14 April he was preceding his platoon near the
Saale River when he observed German soldiers near the buildings of a concentration carp.
By boldly rushing forward firing his rifle, Private First Class HEBERT captured 39 enemy
officers and men without a fight. His daring, bravery, determination, and devotion to duty
aided. greatly in the combat effectiveness of his platoon and were in keeping with the best
traditions of the armed forces of the United. States. Entered the military service from Massachusetts.
Veterans Day Thought-Rhine Crossing
From: DUNN, Wallace E-Cn Co, 353rd Inf
This being Veterans Day my thoughts were back to WW2 and our experiences ...if anyone wants
to use this you have my total permission to reprint or whatever.... the first big responsibility
since taking command of Company L finally struck home as to the complexity of a major action ...
initially it was confirmed when contacted by Navy personnel who wanted to coordinate use of
their boats and people for the crossing in a couple of days .........their equipment for
getting across were rubber "rafts" that would be rowed across with 4 sets of oars by our men
and not theirs as we anticipated ......with full equipment we could get 6 men in each and we
had over 200 men to transport !!!!..........We spent the prior nite on the top a very high hill
with total forest between our campsite and the west bank of the river ...the river looked
very wide as we knew the Germans were firmly entrenched on the other bank...unfortunately there
was a small isle in the center of the river and while there was no visual sign of anyone there
it was our guess which turned out to be accurate that they had weapons there with manpower to
give us H--- in the AM...we were scheduled to push off before dawn to supposedly sneak on the
opposite bank where a small village looked very peaceful !!!! there were high hills behind them and a brick angled shoreline ...we went down the slope in total
darkness as quietly as possible when you couldn't see your hand in front of your face ...climbing
into the boats with all equipment again was a real problem but the first boats took off and then
the 88'sstarted firing ...it became quickly obvious that we hadn't been as silent as we hoped
to be ...the town (Kaub) was a lot further than we hoped and their guns started to their toll with men being toppled
into the river .........some never made it and others got to shore with the help of their buddies
...by daylite we made it across but were totally stuck to the shore area with whatever cover
was available... the 88's were getting more accurate as they had the capability to shoot at
a downward angle which none of our 37's or 105' or 155' could ...we used our mortars and
machine guns but they were in good cover within the town bldgs and emplacements on the
hillside .........the fighting went on all day as darkness set we moved out and took over the
town building by building until we setup our outposts and grabbed some sleep before another day
of gradually pushing the Germans back into their homeland !!!!!!!!
Wotta wonderful world to live in (especially if you live in the USA!!!!!)
Day at the National War College
From: Kitchell, Raymond
On October 19, soon after we put the monthly newsletter to bed,
I had the pleasure of attending a three-hour seminar, sponsored
by the NWCAA, on the subject of "Cyber-War: The Future is Now".
Three experts, i.e., the Deputy National Intelligence Officer for
Science and Technology, the Director of Intelligence (J2) for the
Joint Task Force, and the Deputy Director of the National Infrastructure
Protection Center, gave introductory presentations based on their various
specialties. The seminar treated threats, examined efforts to coordinate
government agencies and private business to combat these threats,
and suggested countermeasures to insure future national security.
There was a very interesting interaction between themselves and the audience.
After I got used to the jargon and even understanding a bit what "cyber" actually
means, it proved to be very interesting and reassuring to learn of the ready
status of our government agencies. On the other hand, as the experts freely
admitted and pointed out, the unknown impact of future technological
advances on these issues give no cause for relaxing, or diminishing
current and future efforts in the continuing Cyber-War.
As interesting and timely as this was, the best part came later at
lunch to which I had invited Mark. We met at the bar in the Officer's
Club and, at the same time, I bumped into an old '70 NWC classmate, Lt.
General Julius W. Becton, who after retirement ended up with the Agency
for International Development where I had also worked. We sat together
and it was fun reminiscing. It was Mark's first visit to Fort McNair
and I was proud to introduce him. We were also pleased to see Dick Lee
two tables away. Finally, the luncheon speaker was William J. Crowe,
Admiral and former chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff and former
Ambassador to the Court of St. James, who gave an excellent and far-reaching
personal analysis of current political and military aspects of "The War
On Terrorism". See, there are some advantages in living in the greater DC area.
Sign of the Times
This is an email from a young ensign aboard USS Winston Churchill (DDG-81) to his parents.
(Churchill is an Arleigh Burke class AEGIS guided missile destroyer, commissioned March 10, 2001,
and is the only active US Navy warship named after a foreign national).
Sent Monday, October 08, 2001 6:37 PM
We are still at sea. The remainder of our port visits have all been cancelled. We have spent
every day since the attacks going back and forth within imaginary boxes drawn in the ocean,
standing high-security watches, and trying to make the best of it. We have seen the articles
and the photographs, and they are sickening. Being isolated, I don't think we appreciate the
full scope of what is happening back home, but we are definitely feeling the effects.
About two hours ago, we were hailed by a German Navy destroyer, Lutjens, requesting permission
to pass close by our port side. Strange, since we're in the middle of an empty ocean, but the
captain acquiesced and we prepared to render them honors from our bridge wing. As they were
making their approach, our conning officer used binoculars and announced that Lutjens was flying
not the German, but the American flag. As she came alongside us, we saw the American flag flying
at half-mast and her entire crew topside standing at silent, rigid attention in their dress uniforms.
They had made a sign that was displayed on her side that read "We Stand By You." There was
not a dry eye on the bridge as they stayed alongside us for a few minutes and saluted. It was
the most powerful thing I have seen in my life. The German Navy did an incredible thing for this
crew, and it has truly been the highest point in the days since the attacks. It's amazing to think
that only half-century ago things were quite different. After Lutjens pulled away, the Officer of
the Deck, who had been planning to get out later this year, turned to me and said, "I'm staying Navy."
[I sent this letter to a former friend and colleague of mine in the UN who included the following
in his reply]
I did appreciate the message you sent me. My father, ex-German U Boat Chief Engineer (deceased),
developer of the first useable Snorkel, whose submerged boat entered the New York Harbor on a
secret missions during World War II, would have much rather done so the same in the style of
the German destroyer.
By the way after the war he was invited to become an instructor and submarine researcher at the
Naval Academy and Experiment Station in Annapolis. That is why them family, including yours
truly, came to the USA in 1946 and 47. It is sad what bad political leaders and misguided
religious beliefs can do to the masses.
From: NORWOOD, Bernard
[Provided at my request]
I very much appreciate meeting you at the NWC seminar and your putting me onto the
ASTP reminiscences website and interesting related website material Ion the ASTP.)
One of the particularly valuable contributions of the site is the account by the Army's
Historical Division. For me, it adds considerably to what I have read over time about
the origins of the program, including General Leslie McNair's changing attitude, and the tortured
life it had while the Army Ground Forces were searching for men in late 1943 and early 1944.
Stephen Ambrose, in his Citizen Soldier, condenses the whole matter into less than two pages.
I initially thought the site might have put up by Louis E. Keefer, who wrote Scholars in
Foxholes, but now know that Patrick Kearny is responsible for this substantial and rewarding source
My own conclusions about ASTP contrast importantly with the consensus of the people Keefer
interviewed for his book. They were largely negative - or at least too limited and unappreciative
of the opportunity they had and, in varying degrees, exploited. (I'd e-mail a copy of this message
to Keefer but do not have an address for him.)
The memories of the few people who appear presently on the web site preceding your own
submission also show a more limited appreciation of the program than I have had. Moreover,
some of them reflect either a dimming of memory or an undue carelessness in editing their
own submissions to the web pages. Darrell Thompson, whose submission appears first in the
present catalog of website recollections, came into the program after it had been in
operation for a term. He was at Fordham for the two remaining terms. I did not get to
meet him, since I was shipped, along with a couple more truckloads of ASTPers to NYU
Uptown (College of Engineering), which was elsewhere in the Bronx, for the second and third
terms. Thompson is more ambitious than warranted in characterizing the three-term basic engineering
course as providing the equivalent of three academic years oif training. Rather, the three
ASTP terms were the equivalent of three college semesters. And that certainly was the
evaluation my college gave it when I returned to school after the War.
On a minor point, I believe the ASTP had its Navy counterpart in the V-5 program, not the
V-I I program. Thompson, in his senior years, remembers more clearly the price of the tickets
at the Radio City Music Hall rather than he remembers the Rockettes. Just shows what the
passage of time does to make us mellow. Jerry Epple, whose story is the second in the
series on the website, quite evidently makes a typographical error in stating that he
started his pre-ASTP basic training in April 1945. Presumably it was 1944 - or conceivably
1943. (I could be wrong on this since I learned today by reading a U. of Maine piece
on the website that the program was revived, it is alleged, from December 1944 and
continued for several months thereafter. I have never heard of this resurrection.)
He records puzzling comments about his asking questions at the end of the war. Was he
in a Japanese language program that followed his ASTP assignment, which would have ended
in the spring of 1944 with the termination of the engineering and language programs
(the medical program continued)? He also talks about being told at that late date -
end of the program or later - that the students would get commissions. I thought that evanescent
idea was bandied around only in the days when the ASTP was getting under way. He also
intimates that the program ended for him when he declared he would not serve a
four-year stint that he reports would have been a condition for going ahead with
Japanese language training. Puzzling, to say the least.
Like many others covered by Keefer in his book, Epple says the ASTP did not advance
the country's welfare or his own.
Sol Brendell's account reminded me of the opportunity some of us had as the program
was nearing its end -which was rumored but not yet confirmed - to opt to go on
to advanced engineering or to enter the medical program. Beng in the top ten percent of
the students in the ASTP at NYU-Engineering, I was given a choice and opted for advanced
engineering. That turned out to be the unfortunate choice, since the entire engineering
program soon thereafter terminated but the medical program went forward.
I note that Brendell seemed to have been taken aback by the story of the time that second
lieutenants in the infantry lasted in combat only 6 to 9 days. Along with many others, I
remember some very short combat lives of such officers, but I do believe the average, even
in rifle companies, was quite a bit longer. I consider his remembrance a literary device - hyperbole
-in his mind either when such an appointment was a real and immediate prospect or when he today
digs back in memory.
Brendell leaves us hanging at the end of his story. Where did he go at the end of the tale he
sets down? Bob Wells, in the fourth piece in the current series, says his professors were aghast
that the Army expected the students to handle college-level subjects from scratch. Nonsense, the
basic engineering course was certainly compressed, and we certainly had to work diligently to
keep up. I felt intellectually out of breath at the end of the third term's combination of integral
and differential calculus. However, the basic program did not assume college-level preparatory course
work. While the professors I had were understanding of the effect of their racing us along the
course outline, they did not consider the syllabus to have been unduly demanding.
Your own piece, the fifth ~and last on the website, is a commendable example. As was my own reaction, you regarded
ASTP as a wonderful opportunity. Also, as in my case, you spent a bit of time learning the machinist
business. Between a freshman year in college end entering the Army, I earned a journeyman's card in
the Machinists' Union. That background turned out to be enormously rewarding over the years. In the
ASTP days, it highlighted the potential value to me of exploiting the ASTP to the fullest. I used
all of it except engineering drawing for full credits when I got back to college after the war, went
on to get a Ph.D., entered the Department of State, the Foreign Service, the White House, the
Federal Reserve Board, a prominent economic consulting firm, and on to other work. Both I and
the citizenry as a whole benefited from the program, and I was then and am now understanding of
the reasons why all of us could not have stayed with the program through its early, contemplated
course of turning Gls into engineers and linguists.
I am curious about how your program at OSC embraced speech and geopolitics. My program, at
Fordham and NYU, had some courses outside engineering - notably, history and geography, but they
always struck me as more in keeping with a course at an engineering school than the courses
you mentioned. Unfortunately, it seems, your post-ASTP assignment was not so closely related as
was mine to the engineering field. In my case, in lugging ammunition and doing that sort of
thing In a mortar platoon of a heavy weapons company in the 104th Infantry Division, I
was able to put my ASTP engineering lessons to work in excavating deep, round holes all the
way across the Netherlands and Germany.
Again, thanks for putting the ASTP before me again, as well as for introducing me to the
89th Inf. Div. website. I look forward to seeing you again at one of the NWC events if
From: Woodrum, Robert
Hello again Scotty, Glad to hear that you got the "floppy disk" okay
and that there was no problem with it when it got there. I'm looking
forward to seeing it in print. I sent a copy to Mary Brunner per your
suggestion. [Bob's story in one of about 30 which have not yet been posted on our website
but, as explained above, will be given first priority when the redesign is completed shortly.]
A copy was also sent to our son in Canada and to one of my sisters in Ohio. She, in
turn has copied it for other brothers and sisters there (four in all), a nephew in Colorado,
a niece in South Carolina, and a nephew in Kentucky. I guess they had no idea of what went
on in those days and are happy to know what we were doing with our lives. I do recall the nephew
in Kentucky asking about my WW11 experiences about a year ago when my wife Kathleen and I
were back in Ohio on vacation, but it was a very abbreviated conversation. So now the story is
spread far and wide, hope it is well received.
In the October issue of the newsletter you seemed to quite happy to hear from
Joe Hall. My wife and I met him for the first time at the Tacoma reunion.
He was with his pal Rusty Christophides, from Connecticut. We spent some very enjoyable time with
them. Also we met Bill Symonds there at the reunion, he was a special friend of my friend Ed
Ebert who is no longer with us unhappily, All these guys went to OSU in the ASTP.
It was a super reunion and we are looking forward to the next one. That's all for now. Bob and
Colorado Springs Mini-Reunion Success
From: MARCHLEWICZ, George
I would like to thank the 354th for extending an invitation to other members of
the 89th Division to join them at their mini reunion in Colorado Springs in
August. B Company of the 353rd regiment had a good turn out of 7 men.
Two of the attendees, Dave Willis and Huey Taylor I had the good fortune to
meet at other reunions, but F. S. Gibson, Arnold Berg, J. B. hail and Frank Warren I
hadn't seen in 55 years. This reunion gave all of us the chance to renew acquaintances and
reminisce the "Good Old Days" and talk about our aches and pains.
Colorado Springs sure has changed a lot since the days when I was there in 1942.
This time we spent a half a day looking for the old hangouts and got lost with
all the new streets.
On the way home we had a chance to stop off and visit Fort Carson and we came
in the back gate and it sure changed a lot also. Th. old barracks were all torn
down, but the motor pools were still in the same place. In place of our trucks they
had tanks and equipment that I had never seen before. The streets have names now instead
of numbers. The young lad (MP) at the gate was from the state of Illinois and was happy to
see somebody from his home state.
I am looking forward to seeing everyone at the next reunion in 2002 in Indianapolis.
From: DUNN, Wally
Every day it would appear that we could be getting to a war much larger
in scope than was likely in our thoughts not to long ago ...let us
hope that our boys won't have to participate as in WW2 !!!!!! However it
does bring back poignant memories to those of who served 60 yrs
ago!!!!!!! ...The picture attached was taken in France at the end of
the war when their govt awarded us their Croix Deguerre for bringing
their freedom back...this was Company L of the 3rd Bn 353rd Regiment
3rd Army (led by General Patton) 5th Corps wherein I was Company
Commander ..........pic taken on a field in the Normandy area not far
from Omaha Beach ...we had been given clean uniforms after ending
combat near Chemnitz where we met the Russians and mutually celebrated
VE Day...then proudly lined up and we were reviewed by the Brass and
dignitaries .......yours truly was fortunately the guy in front of the
unit where I was lucky to be just having returned from our General
Hospital in nearby Rouen ........it was a proud day for all involved and
I am sure those still alive join me in wishing our boys home as soon as
possible again !!!!!!! God Bless America !!!!!!!
ASTP at Loyola
From: BERKOFF, Eugene
[Gene sent me this last May and I just rediscovered in my chaotic
filing system. A thousand apologies Gene, we will also add it to out ASTP
page on the website and the TRW may wish to also pick this up in its
nest issue. I made one correction, it was the 71st not the 76th which
was at Hunter Liggett.]
I am Eugene W. Berkoff, one time member of Headquarters Company, Second Battalion, 353rd
Inf Regiment. I read your email letter to the OCS ASTPers and that made me think
back on my experience with ASTP. I was enrolled at Loyola in Los Angeles and it was not a
long stay for me before the ASTP program was terminated and I found myself with the 89th Light
Infantry Division at the Hunter Liggett Military Reservation. I don't know if my story
here is what you're looking for but here it is. It may be better suited
for inclusion with the Rolling W (especially since I was not at the Oregon State University).
I took my basic training at Camp Roberts, California, after which we were taken to Fort
Ord, California, from where we were to be shipped out to the South Pacific as replacements.
While waiting to be shipped out I came down with a case of meningitis and was hospitalized
for several weeks. There were two other GIs that were in the hospital with me but their
meningitis affected them severely enough to get them medical discharges. After discharge
from the hospital I found that the men with whom I underwent basic training had been
shipped out and it seemed that the Fort Ord authorities didn't quite know what
to do with me and I was assigned to permanent K.P. I believe that at least two
contingents of troops came through bound for the South Pacific while I served on K.P.
I learned about the ASTP and having just finished high school before being drafted
I thought I would be a good candidate for the program. It seemed a great way to continue
my education and get an officers commission. I applied for enrollment in the ASTP but I believe it
was at that time that things changed and ASTPers were assured of only staff non-coms rating not a
commission upon graduation. While waiting for results of my application I continued my permanent K.P.
duties. After a short time I was called to report to the CO of the temporary company to which
I was assigned. I reported to the Captain and he informed me I was not eligible for ASTP. I asked
why I was not eligible. "Because to be eligible you must have an I.Q. of at least
120" he told me, "and the tests you took at Fort MacArthur (this was where I was inducted into
the army) shows you have an I.Q. of 86".
"Sir', I said, "Isn't a person with an 86 I.Q. classed as a high grade moron?"
I asked. "I believe so," replied the Captain." I then related the circumstances under which
I took the so-called lQ test. I told him how after physical exams I and other draftees were
transported to Fort MacArthur where we were introduced to army life. I remember getting
passes to San Pedro for one night where others and I went to have a good time. My first time
really away from my parents, really on my own! Great! We went from bar to bar all night long.
In those days if a person was wearing a military uniform there was no age check. I don't remember
how many bars we visited or what we did. I never did remember getting back to Fort MacArthur but I remember
the morning after. Oh what a hangover! What a headache! I was afraid I was not going to die and
I wanted to! I felt absolutely terrible. We were marched to a building where we were given
various tests, IQ tests I imagine. I didn't care. I could hardly read what was in front of me.
I really don't remember the tests.
All this I explained to the C.O. and asked if I could take those tests again. He took pity on
me and arranged for me to repeat the tests. This time I passed with flying colors and soon I was
on my way to Loyola in Los Angeles.
It was not too long after that the ASTP program was terminated and I found myself back in Camp
Roberts on the way to the adjoining Hunter Liggitt Military Reservation to join an Army outfit
called the 89th Light Infantry Division, which was on maneuvers against the 71st Light Division.
354th Reunion Impressions
From: SAMUELS, Bob
This is being composed as a letter to the various editors to describe my
impressions of the 354th sponsored reunion at Colorado Springs. Perhaps the editors
will wish to compost it for use as organic mulch. I was very favorably impressed with
Colorado Springs, which has great scenery and many points of interest nearby.
There was a special interest in the area since the division was activated there.
I joined the division at Hunter Liggett and was interested to see the places that
the old timers talked about, such as "Camp Carson" and "going to Walsenburg". Of
course the heart of any reunion is the discussion of old times. I was lucky enough
to discover a fellow who was my boss in the AG section of the 83rd Division HQ in Linz,
Austria. And also a fellow student at Loyola University in ASTP.
An especial surprise and treat was the presentation at the banquet by General
Wayne Downing. He provided a comprehensive review of the challenges to
the national security landscape where our 21th century world is: "dynamic, uncertain,
unstable, complex, and very dangerous". He also outlined the threats, where they might
come from ("radical Islam" led the list), our vulnerabilities, and the implications. He also
had recommendations on how we can cope with these problems, as a nation, in the organization
of the armed forces, and as individuals. In terms of the happenings of September 11th, his
talk had a definitely prophetic ring. Since then General Downing has been interviewed by
the New York Times and on ABC Television. Herb Budnick deserves our thanks for recruiting such
a great performer for the banquet.
The hospitality room, meals and excursions were all well organized and run. Larry and
Marge Berg, Herb, Lorna, and Alan Herbaly, and Glenn Krieg provided excellent service
on this front.
In summary I am a satisfied customer of the reunion and look forward to Indianapolis being
that much fun.
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Request for Information
Request From the Belgian Army
From: BRION, Patrick, Belgian Army
I am a senior NCO currently working at General Staff level in Brussels, Belgium. I am working on
a major project concerning the REIMAHG underground Me 262 factory near the East German town of
KAHLA, inside the Walpersberg. The 89th ID was the unit, which liberated the camp, where also
a lot of Belgium people died and suffered.
Hence, I'm trying to obtain as much as information possible concerning the liberation of the camp. Would it be
possible to send a major request concerning this to all veterans of the 89th ID? It would matter and
I hope you can help me! Thank you in advance!
My Grampa in WWII
From: FRASHER, Ashley
I was just writing you to see if you had known my grandpa...Charles A. Frasher.
He was also in Co A. 354th Inf. I know there is a small chance but I was just
looking through some of his things and was interested if you had known anything about him.
Thanks so much! *Ashley Frasher [Don't know who this was addressed to]
Daughter of a Fellow Veteran
From: THOMPSON, Terry (Iria)
I assume you located me through our website, right? If so, you will also note
that we publish a monthly 89th Newsletter. I will place your letter in the next issue,
approximately Nov 15 and hope we get a response.
In checking the last membership listing of The Society of the 89th Division, I
note that your father is listed as a member IRLA, Walter C 340th FA Bn - Widower
301 Milliken Blvd. Fall River, MA 02721.
I suggest, as you intimated, and assuming your Dad doesn't have his own computer, that you
sign him on using your email address as a proxy. I'll be glad to do that for you and
could facilitate the type of communication you are looking for. I'll be in touch.
Raymond (Scotty) Kitchell (Formerly with Btry B myself, but only for a short time.)
All I have is Scotty Kitchell's letter to you; he did not include the
one you sent to him. I remember your dad very well. He was chief of the wire
section in Battery B, 340 Field Artillery, to which section I was sometimes
assigned. There are fifteen surviving members of Battery B (your dad will
increase it to sixteen) for whom I have post office addresses. If you're interested,
I'll send them along to you. I'm sending copies of this note to the nine
members of Battery B who have e-mail addresses. Maybe some of them
will want to write to you.
Please tell your father that I have written to you. If he doesn't remember
my name, just tell him I was the Captain's jeep driver and bugler
for Battery B.
A Plea for Help
From: LITTLE, Douglas
My late father George S. Little was a Tech/5 in the 1st army 89th Division
member. His "Eisenhower" jacket he left to me has a big square "A" on the left
shoulder and a "Rolling W" on the right shoulder. It also has a gold button on the
left lapel of crossed cannons. He said he was in the 941st Field Artillery Battalion.
Your website makes no mention of his unit being in the 89th Division. I don't know anything
about how the Army decides what battalion is in which Division of whose army. Where
does the 941st come into it? Was there more than one 89th division? Please help.
Thanks, Douglas Little
St. Louis, MO
Assuming it might be the 914th FA, I contacted Chick Cecchini
but neither of could find and record or mention of his dad. Nevertheless, Doug's
mention of the 89th patch on this Dad's uniform in perplexing. Can anyone help?
A Request Via the Website
From: CALDWELL, Darrell
First, thank you men so much for having put up this site. My grandfather served in the 89th and
I have only recently become interested in his history. I would like to include his name and
my e-mail on your site. The information is as follows:
Herman M Caldwell, S/Sgt 89th Infantry, 353rd regiment, 2nd Battalion, Company G
Second, fortunately I have gained interest in this subject while my grandfather is still
alive. He is in his 80's now and is almost blind. However, his memory is completely
intact. I became interested in WWII after having read Stephen Ambrose's books about WWII. I had
read all of those plus several more when I happened upon the website for the National
D-day Museum started by Stephen Ambrose. On that site is an explanation of the Oral History
Project started and conducted by the University of New Orleans to help capture the
living histories of the veterans of WWII. With my experience of the types of stories
and content that Ambrose gathered, I formulated approximately 80 questions for my
grandfather to answer on audiotape. He is currently working on those for me.
Once he completes the tapes I will send them to the Oral History Project where they
will transcribe the tapes for me.
I realize that the 89th was not in ETO on D-day, but the project has been expanded to cover
all of the men during WWII. The reason I write to you about this is the hope that you might
include a link and information to the project on your site in hope that other vets will
take part in the oral history. I have included the website link to the D-Day site and a
copy of my questions as an example. You are free to use the questions as you see fit.
I would appreciate a response of some sort to let me know you have received this.
Oral History Project
6th Grade Team Explorer, World Cultures
3805 Timberline Drive
Plano, Texas 75093
Welcome aboard. Your Dad's name and unit and your address has been
added to our email list and will also be added shortly to our website listings. Your project is most interesting
and we are willing and eager to cooperate to the fullest. I hope it will possible
for us to include your father's oral history, in it's fullest or abbreviated form, in our
89th website which is intended for a worldwide audience. Certainly, we would
welcome any appropriate links. Through the mechanism of our Society's official
organ, The Rolling W, and our electronic tools, i.e., the 89th Website and
Newsletter, we are encouraging our veterans to record their personal stories for posterity. If
there is any type of announcement or request you would like to include in our
next Newsletter, place let me know before November 15th. Your questions may also
prove useful to us.
Thank you. Webmaster, 89th Div Website.
From: Woodrum, Robert
Hello fellow 89er,
My name is Robert Woodrum; I was in A Btry, 341St Artillery Bn. from Hunter Liggett
to the fall of 1945. I am working on my recollections of WW11, and I think it will be
rather lengthy. So far, I have about three pages (single space) and it looks as though it
will be several more. I do get the "Rolling W' and I enjoy it very much. I first heard that
there was a Society of the 89th Div. WW11 last May (2000) and immediately contacted Larry Berg,
joined the society, and made plans to join you all in Tacoma at the reunion, which my wife and
I enjoyed very much. I certainly do wish I had known about the group at least a year earlier so
we could have gone along on the trip to Europe. Larry Berg sent three back issues of the "Rolling W'
to me last year and I have received all issues up to now.
In the current issue I was surprised to see so many E-mail addresses. I thought all
guys my age would have resisted getting into the computer world (like I did) forever.
My wife and I just started computer activity the last three months and we are quite "green"
and not too knowledgeable about all the capabilities, which we have at our fingertips.
What I would like to know is what format I should put my recollections of WWII in? Do you want
just letterform, E-mail, floppy disk, or what?
We are expecting to be at the Indianapolis reunion next year if God is willing and our health
holds up. So long for now.
Robert Woodrum (Bob)
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