August 2001 Newsletter

August 2001 Issue
For all veterans, relatives and friends of the

Memorial to the Fallen in World War II
Rouen, France

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

Editor's Notes
Society Announcements
Letters and Exchanges
Missing Persons
History of Taps

E-mail Newcomers
With two listings this month we extend a hearty welcome to Eldon Myers who listing is: MYERS, Eldon ĖB Co, 353rd Inf; and Rev. Henry G Keyser whose listing is: KEYSER, Henry Gó89th Inf Band

New users will automatically receive the full and latest list of all addresses. The majority of recent new users contacted us after viewing our Website, a good sign that it is kicking in and also that many of veterans are beginning to use the Internet by themselves or with assistance (See Website Developments below). The full latest listing is also available to any user upon request. Society members are encouraged to urge other buddies, relatives and friends to join us in the use of this new and timely electronic instrument available for rapid and frequent communication. Where a veteran does not own a computer or otherwise use e-mail and the Internet, perhaps a family member or neighbor will help him visit out 89thwebsite and receive the monthly Newsletter by using their e-mail address.

Non-veterans, i.e., widows, relatives and friends of the 89th, are also invited to join The Society of the Eighty-Ninth Division WWll as Associate Members and/or subscribers. The payment of $20 annual dues entitles members and subscribers to receive the Society magazine, The Rolling W, currently published three times a year, and will also contribute to financing essential and recurring Society activities. For your information, additional contributions to the Society are tax-deductible and can be essential to the continuation of Society activities in the days to come.

Make check out to 89th Division Society and mail to Larry Berg, Treasurer, at 818 San Antonio Place, Colorado Springs, C0 80906. Pleas include your full name and unit designation, wifeís first name, telephone number, and your mailing address including zip code.

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Editorís Notes:

Transmission Improvements

As most of you are undoubtedly aware, I have had many difficulties in transmitting the Newsletter and the full email listings to all recipients which resulted in poor or no reception in some cases (particularly those who cannot download a Word document attachment) and the sometimes frustrating and onerous attempts by me to send multiple versions for those needing them in order to assure receipt. The problem is complicated by the use of: (a) of different computers with different operating systems, e.g., IBM and Mac); and, (b) different internet service providers (ISPs), e.g., AOL, Earthlink, etc., with varying limits on length, pictures, sending and downloading capabilities. This can be compounded by the varying computer skills of the sender (me) and recipients (you).

Last month, after the trauma of setting up a new computer and peripherals at our summer beach home, I decided to make an all-out effort to solve this problem with the help of some of my email buddies, particularly Darrel Carnell and friends from B Btry, 340th FA Bn to whom I am deeply indebted as well as other who provided useful advice. The results, sometimes surprising even to me, are as follows:

Beginning with this issue, the Newsletter (and the full email list when requested) will be transmitted as a PDF justified document attachment resulting in much cleaner and readable copy. Just below, Darrel provides instructions on how to use Adobe and, if you donít already have it, how to download it without cost which I highly endorse.

For those vets who still cannot receive our newsletter in readable form, I will send it as a direct email message and/or as a word document attachment for the time being while we await your feedback and/or switch to the website (see just below).

Vets are also reminded that they are welcome to use the email address of a relative, friend or neighbor willing to serve as the receiver/downloader of the monthly newsletter for you. In such cases, please provide me with their email address.

Finally, if none of the above works satisfactorily, and perhaps the best and easiest solution anyhow, by the grace of my son Mark and co-webmaster, one can now read and/or print each issue out from our website (see website progress below). For example, you can go directly to this monthís issue by highlighting:
August 2001

For future issues, simply change the month in the hypertext link displayed just above. This option has the added advantage of eliminating "bounced" transmitted emails due to incorrect addresses, not a known user, etc., which also has also caused my hair to gray if not disappear in many spots.

In summary, there appear to be five options for transmitting the newsletter, viz:

  • As a PDF document attached to an email for downloading.
  • As a WORD document attached to an email for downloading.
  • As a straight email using WORD (no attachment).
  • Sending to a designated third party, e.g., relative or neighbor.
  • Monthly posting on the 89th website

In effect, there is now a fusion of our two electronic tools, the newsletter and the website and, in the process, tying them both to The Rolling W.

I also recently discovered a neat little trick. When going to my AOL Address Book to send out this newsletter, instead of placing all your addresses in the "SEND TO" box, I simply select "COPY TO" and "BLIND COPY" and voilaí, you receive it without the encumbrance of the multiple email addressees.

Use of Adobe PDF

This newsletter is being transmitted in Portable Document Format, which can be opened and read with Adobe's Acrobat Reader.  Many of you probably have Acrobat Reader already installed on your hard drives because it is the utility that enables you to read the electronic manuals that have recently replaced printed manuals.  If you don't already have Acrobat Reader you can get it without charge at Adobe's web site:

Just follow the simple instructions, download Acrobat Reader to your hard drive and then open the pdf (Portable Document Format) file attached to this e-mail. To open the attached file, first highlight it and then open it as you would any other file. After reading the Newsletter, keep or delete it as you wish but by all means keep Acrobat Reader on your hard drive.  It will not only open future Newsletters, but also the many other items which will certainly be coming
your way as pdf files.

TRW Dues

Our Secretary-Treasurer, Larry Berg, has recently notified Society members who annual dues are in arrears and I wish to urge those to take care of this pesky matter and not lose tough with your buddies.

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Website Developments


The website is being redesigned. In the next months we (i.e., Mark, me and a technical consultant named Michelle when available) will made a full-court press to complete the design and, most important, add the new stories which have been pending publication for the past few months while we get out act together. The principal results of the redesign will be to make access to specific subjects much easier for all of you as well as our Internet users, and facilitating the downloading and printing of selected items of interest.

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Society Announcements


We the members, families and friends of the 89th Inf Division, WWll, desire to express our heartfelt sorrow at the recent loss of a distinguished solider and of our comrade, friend and leader, Brigadier General James, A Wilson. He was a founder of our Society and its President for a number of terms of office. He was unfailingly its vigorous supporter and defender. The loss of his wise counsel is deeply felt by all of us. He now moves on to gather among the distinguished soldiers who have precee4ded him: Generals Finley, Gill and Brittingham and his old Chief of Staff, Colonel Norman Winn.
- Carl Peterson, President, 89th Inf Division Society, World War ll

Invitation for Newcomers

Dear newfound veterans, widows, children and friends of the 89th Infantry Division WWll:

Please excuse this standardized statement but from our division website, the 89th Infantry Society's magazine The Rolling W (TRW), the 89th Division email list, the 89th Electronic Newsletter, and other sources, we are pleased to be receiving messages, comments, and questions, particularly from vets who have lost contact with buddies; or if deceased, from their relatives who are seeking information about a loved one's service; or for some other reason may have a continuing interest in our Division and the Society.

The Society of the Eighty-Ninth Infantry Division WWll recognizes the changing circumstances facing it and its members in these days of diminishing membership and resources accompanied by changing needs and priorities. Accordingly, and recognizing the power and reach of the Internet and the use e-mail, we have: (a) designed and maintain a website accessible worldwide on the Internet; (b) developed an email list of all vets, relatives and friends who desire to communicate together via the use of email; and (c) publish a monthly newsletter to encourage the exchange of experiences, opinions, searches, etc. These services are provided without charge.

I take the occasion of yours and similar inquires to me as Editor of the Newsletter and Co-Webmaster of the website, and with the endorsement of the Society President, to: (a) call on all vets who are not already enrolled to join the Society as full members, and/or (b) invite widows, sons and daughters and other relatives-- to join the Society as Associate members. For the annual dues payment of $20, one will receive The Rolling W (TRW), our very popular magazine published three times a year, and at the same time help contribute to Society expenses, e.g., publishing the TRW, sponsoring reunions, maintaining our division monument in Colorado Springs, and similar activities. Friends of the 89th are also invited to subscribe to the TRW. I wish also to call your attention to the fact that any amount contributed above the annual dues is tax deductible as a gift to a charitable organization and will help in this period of diminishing membership and revenues. If you are interested please, contact me for further details or simply mail a check for $20.00, made payable to 89th Division Society, to Larry Berg, San Antonio Place, Colorado Springs, CO 80906. Please include: your full name and mailing address (for the TRW) unit designations and wifeís first name; if you are a relative or friend of a veteran of the 89th, please so indicate. Thank you.

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Letters and Exchanges

Unbidden Memories-A poem by Gerry Stearns H Co 354

I have never talked about these before and have seldom thought about them, But there was this sudden sound and a recent book about Guadalcanal and the Marines and their tanks there, amid the attacking enemy on a sand spit, and the memories came unbidden.

This morning there was the creaking, squeaking rumble of tracks and bogeys of a backhoe Down in the canyon below the house, Barely visible through the trees. And the quick picture came Of a dirt road in Germany in the Spring of Ď45 Imprinted with tank tracks Embedded with lumps of field-gray uniform cloth.

Why do I jump to the image Of dead GIís laid out on litters, head-to-toe, In full daylight, On the right side of the narrow street Leading down to the Rhine?

We wait in single file to board shallow boats. To paddle across to St Goarhausen. These are the same kind of boats That these dead launched hours before In the stealthy dark for the same passage. But the river lighted up and well zeroed-in 20ís and 88ís and what-all, Denied the secrecy of their assault.

Some early teaching that it is rude to stare at the afflicted Prompted me to tell the others not to look While I could not take my eyes off one still body.

In water-soaked ODís Whose only visible sign of hurt Was the missing first joint of a finger on his left hand.
There is no sense of balancing up a score To recall the German soldier, Fully clad, lying on his back, His gray-green uniform already too hot for the season, Empurpled, bloated face staring at the sky, Dead in a field beside the dirt road. But there is a sense of wonder In thinking about our "hostess"

(We had deployed our heavy machine guns At the edge of her terrace high above St Goar) Frail, dressed in formal black dress, ancient, Who felt it necessary to explain to me, OD-clad tourist, That Die Lorelei, the mythical maidens Whose seductive songs from the heights Above St Goarshausen (she pointed) Lured Rhine sailors to their deaths On the rocks below. Did she not know what had happened Early this morning in the Rhine below?

We all have memories unbidden, But not forgotten.

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Missing persons

Do any of you former ASTPers who attended Oregon State College remember a GI by the name of Bernie Schwartz and, if so, is he the same Bernie Schwartz who later took the screen name Tony Curtis? Our 89th inquirer remembers him as a very dapper New Yorker who looked sharp even in his uniform and also as "nice looking"

Your editor would also like to locate an ex-340th FA buddy named Joseph Hall whose hometown was Friday Harbor, Washington.
A New electronic buddy, Henry Keyser of the 89th Band, wants very much to contact Dan Paulter, Div M.Ps. Can anyone help?

Thanks for keeping me on your e-mail list. Your last one created two contacts for me. A week or so ago I received a phone call from a woman whose 85-year old father was in B Co. of the 354th. She had found my story of the Rhine crossing on the Internet at Yahoo. After telling her what happened that night, I referred her to your website. She apparently made contact with you since she and her father appeared in the e-mail. The second was your mentioning a grandson whose grandfather was in E Co. of the 354th and wanted to know anything about the March 26th crossing. He was KIA that night. You printed his address and I will send him a copy of my story "The Lost Night". Strangely enough his address is "168th Avenue". I was in the 168th Combat Engineers, whose mission that fateful night was to take the 2nd Bn. of the 354th across the Rhine. 56 years later, and the night still resonates for those who were there and the others they touched.

- Oscar & Adele Friedensohn


A thought occurs: Steven Ambrose classified us GIís as a "Band of Brothers." I think for us a more appropriate title would be a band of buddies, for that is what we all were and that is what we are still - buddies. I never remember ever calling my friends by that name prior to WWII - and anyway, I think the word implies a relationship much more than just friendship. Its meaning expresses the bond forged among us in those stressful days of physical challenge and fear of death itself. It is why we have often said that no one who wasnít there can ever really understand what it was like. And that thought is valid even though we "buddies" were fortunate enough to experience far less that those in the "band of brothers."

[Editor. I extracted above from a communication from Ed Quick, B Btry, 340th FA, because I heartily share his sentiments.]

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My dad, Dale Galyean is the one on the right. I think this was taken in Paris during the occupation. Not sure. It's terrible, but I don't know the name of the person on the left, although I know it was one of his good 'buddies.' There's nothing written on the back. Best Regards, Reggie Galyean

Taken in Paris

Ohrdruf April 5, 195
Dadís the person standing to the left with his hands in his pockets. Until this computer technology, where you can enlarge these photos, I would never have known it was him. Reg Galyean

Lloyd Photo

Alexander Beckner
My dear friend (Sgt) Alexander L. Becker Jr. passed away on July 11th. He was predeceased by his wife Eunice who passed away on June 12, 2001. They would have celebrated their sixtieth anniversary of June 27th. On that date I had a phone call from Beckner and he appeared to be in good spirits. Knowing of his devotion to his wife, I am sure a "broken heart" brought an end to his life.
Bob Elsner, C Co, 314th Med Bn

Roy Larson-914thFA Bn

Roy was diagnosed in April of 2000 with an inoperable brain tumor. He underwent 33 treatments of radiation, but then suffered a hemorrhage in the tumor in latter part of October 2000.  He was hospitalized, and then came home November lst, and immediately put on Hospice care.  I paid for 24-hour care here at home, and Hospice provided a Nurse twice a week, a bath-aide 3 times a week and also I had the opportunity to meet with a Social Worker.  I had early on promised Roy that I would never put him in a Nursing Home. I am so thankful I could keep him here in his own surroundings.  He was such a modest man and a wonderful husband and father and grandfather.  We will miss him dearly, but he is not suffering anymore.
Sincerely, Mrs. Ada Larson

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History of Taps

We have all heard the haunting song, "Taps." It's the song that gives us that lump in our throats and usually creates tears in our eyes. But, do you know the story behind the song? If not, I think you will be pleased to find out about it's humble beginnings. Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment. When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead. The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in he Confederate Army. The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted. The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral. The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician. The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform. This wish was granted. The haunting melody, we now know as "Taps" used at military funerals, was born.

Day is done-Gone the sun-From the Lakes-From the hills-From the sky. All is well, safely rest. God is nigh.

Fading light-Dims the sight-And a star-Gems the sky-Gleaming bright. From afar-Drawing nigh-Falls the night. Thanks and praise-For the days-Neath the sun-Neath the starts-Neath the sky. As we go-This we know, God is nigh.

I too, have felt the chills while listening to "Taps" but I have never seen all the words to the song until now. I didn't even know there was more than one verse. I also never knew the story behind the song and I didn't know if you had either so I thought I'd pass it along. I now have an even deeper respect for the song than I did before.
Carthell Atkins I Co, 354th Inf

Editorís Note: For perhaps a more realistic but less moving version, refer to:

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