June-August 2004 Newsletter
For all veterans, relatives and friends of the
89th INFANTRY DIVISION
WORLD WAR II
Stewart Powell (left), 354th Infantry Regiment
Table of Contents: Click on the Link Below to Go To That Section:
Announcements and Editor's Notes
Letters and Exchanges
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Announcements, Editor's Notes and Website Developments
Mark and I have been busy with our usual website chores but are looking
forward to the final reunion (in our home town), seeing old friends and
making new ones. My wife and I are at our summer home in South Bethany,
Delaware, but will head home with great anticipation for the last big bang.
Chick and associates have done a great job under stressing circumstances to guarantee its success. See you all there.
Our newsletters are increasing in volume and interest. Sometimes it is a bit overwhelming and if I have omitted or slaughtered your email, please let me know so I can make any corrections/amends. We, Mark and I, plan to continue the newsletters after the Society and the TRW is disbanded, for as long as I am able. It has been satisfying and sometimes thrilling to read and facilitate the exchanges taking place. Remember, if you are doing some research, that all these newsletters are archived on our website. We are also very appreciative of the assistance given by our Organization Representatives.
It would help us very much if, when emailing us, you include the following background information if available:
1. The veterans full name and 89th unit, e.g., regiment, battalion, company.
2 Any previous exchanges with us on the subject (very important).
3. Whether the vet is still with us. If not, do you wish us to keep his name on our email list, marked "deceased", in care (c/o) of your name and email address?
4. Other relevant background.
Thank you. Co-webmasters
Our email lists are available at any time upon email request to the Editor.
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FROM YOUR 2ND VICE PRESIDENT (Programs) – “Chick” Cecchini
As you’ve probably figured out by now the “Programs” function of the 2nd VP translates to
being the one who plans and manages our reunions. Since Sam Moorhead wrapped up
his Indianapolis reunion I’ve been working on what we consider to be a big bash –
maybe our last hurrah! Dick Lee must be credited with coming up
with the concept of having a truly high quality program for this “last hurrah” of ours.
Since our Indianapolis reunion we now we are on the verge of executing
what field artillerymen know as “close station – march order!” – which in
everyday layman’s language means“ dissolve our Society!”. So, during our upcoming
reunion general business meeting on 3 September that clearly indicated “dissolution”
action will be presented by the Executive Board to the membership in
attendance for thorough discussion.
Even though – per our bylaws – the final decision as to
when to dissolve our Society still rests squarely on the Executive Board –
something this vital importance warrants full and exhaustive discussion by the assembled
members whose views are earnestly solicited by the Executive Board.
It goes without saying that many – maybe most – of our members do not
want to see our Society dissolved. The realistic situation, though, is
that for the Society to continue effectively as it has over the
years since it was reborn in 1963, we must elect officers
willing to serve if elected. And, further, those new officers must have other dedicated
workers at hand and who are physically and mentally able to carry
the continuous and heavy workload.
It should be understood that the current officers are not prepared to
serve beyond their current terms unless it is as caretakers during the
expected impending process of dissolution.
God bless you all, Chick
What follows is an exchange between Chich and Gerald Rosenbaum:
Have discussed termination of 89th Soc. with several war buddies. We are all of the opinion that it would be desirable to keep the society going on a year-to-year basis with planned annual meetings (e.g. 2005) until we due out - if possible financially. Many of us would kick in extra bucks as needed. Please put this item on the agenda of the business meeting in DC.
Gerald Rosenbaum, Ph.D.
Distinguished Prof. of Psychology
354 Inf. Medics - I&R Platoon
Gerald, We appreciate your opinion that we should keep the Society going longer. Actually, that is what our hearts have been saying right along. Our practical side though sees as a practical problem, in that those of us who have been managing this Society for many years are no longer healthy or energetic enough to continue keeping at it.
To keep the Society going as you suggest will require volunteers who are willing to take on the duties of working officers who are reasonably healthy and otherwise able to carry on with what turns out to be quite demanding work. Actually, as I personally see it, to stay in business as the Society now stands, will require a whole new slate of officers to replace the current officers whose terms expire following the reunion.
So, as you might expect, this most important subject is to be presented for intense discussion to the attending members at the general business meeting during the reunion on 3 Sep. The prevailing views of the members will constitute guidance to the Executive Board for future consideration.
It must be kept in mind, however, that in accordance with the by-laws, the Executive Board still has the sole responsibility for determining when the Society is to be dissolved. It should be interesting.
SOME BASIC INFO ON GENERAL BRYAN “DOUG” BROWN--OUR REUNION GUEST SPEAKER By “Chick” Cecchini
Our now committed guest speaker for our reunion banquet program is a very highly
placed military commander. General Bryan Brown currently heads up the U.S. Special Operations
Command headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. His command includes
all special operation forces of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, both
active duty and reserve.
So how does a Society such as ours manage to persuade such a
prestigious, extremely busy, military commander involved in vital operations in the war in
Iraq and elsewhere to take time out to come to Washington, D.C. talk
to some old WWII vets and their family members at a reunion -- the purpose
of which is to enjoy purely old fashioned camaraderie? The secret to our success? Simple.
Our strength is that he is motivated by family loyalty.
Yes, as many of you already know, “Doug” Brown is the son of a
member of the 89th of WWII days, Sergeant Major (SGM) Arnett, Retired and Mary Lou
Brown. Arnett stayed on in the Army after WWII and later retired as
a SGM. He and Mary Lou were highly productive members of Ben
Coble’s committee which put on a most enjoyable reunion for us in Raleigh, North
Carolina, back a few years ago.
Sadly, Arnett passed away too soon to see his son achieve the rank
of full general (****) in the Army. At our reunion
banquet, though, Gen. Brown’s mother, Mary Lou, will be present
with four of her grandchildren to share her pride in their son’s
achievements – a wonderful family opportunity.
General Brown is one of those rare military persons who enlisted as
a private starting at the bottom rung of the military ladder in 1967
and rising to the very top rung of the ladder. It goes without saying
that he needed to earn his Bachelor and Master degrees along the way as well
as completing the necessary courses starting with training in Field Artillery, his original branch,
and progressing later to many and various top military courses. Fundamental in developing
him for his future leadership roles the Army and he saw to it that
he underwent vigorous training at the Airborne School and became highly qualified
in Special Forces skills.
He has had combat tours in Vietnam, Grenada, and Iraq plus several unspecified others.
His decorations are many.
We attendees at the reunion anxiously look forward to hearing him. (The
only down-side to this exciting arrangement is that there is always the
possibility that there might arise an emergency at the time of our reunion
which could require his attention and presence elsewhere. While we understand the reality
of “duty calls” we surely hope strongly it does not happen to disrupt his
scheduled presentation to us.)
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As my father mentioned, we are very much looking forward to the reunion later on this month. Please introduce yourself and let me know if you have any ideas for the website going forward.
I have highlighted two special requests for those who experienced the horrors of the liberation of Ohrdruf.
Special Request about the liberation of Ohrdruf from: Lelia
If you were among those soldiers who entered
Ohrdruf or if your father was, I would greatly
appreciate your getting in touch with me. I am a
writer and professor of literature in Austin, Texas,
and I am working on a book about the G.I.s who came
upon the Nazi concentration camps at the end of WWII.
I would be honored to talk to those of you willing to
share your memories. If you have email, my address
If you don't have email, please send me your phone
number and I'll call you at a time of your
I am most grateful for your consideration. My father
was a doctor attached to the Third Armored Div. which
liberated Nordhausen at the same time the 89th was at
Ohrdruf. I understand that these memories are
difficult to bring up but the service you gave to
those prisoners and to our country's honor is of great
importance for history.
3206 Gilbert St.
Austin, TX 78703
A Belgian at Ohrdruf from Dirk Vanbesien: email@example.com
Whit this mail I wanna ask you if it is possible to help me to find more information about the orhdruf camp.
How it starts......
My grandfather Julien Sneyers was taken by the ss in late 1944 en send to Buchenwald. My mother was 9, my uncly 13.
That is what my grandmother told me when i was a kid.
Since my grandfather was taken she never had news en after a time his pasport and weddingring was send back home and they tell her that her husband died. He was 32.
At this moment after 60 years,I, Dirk Vanbesien born on 14/12/1961 and grandson of Julien Sneyers try to find out what is happened in 1944. So I surfed the inernet and send a e-mail to the "buchenwald archief".After a few days I get a mail back from miss Sabine Stein white the following news;
Sehr geehrter Herr Vanbesien,
in den bei uns vorhandenen Unterlagen konnte ich folgendn Haftweg Ihres
Großvaters *Julien Sneyers*, geboren am 06.08.1912 ermitteln:
Julien Sneyers wurde am 28.12.1944 von der Staatspolizei Dresden als
politischer Belgier in den B lock 43 des Konzentrationslagers Buchenwald
eingeliefert, gemeinsam mit anderen 36 Gefangenen. Am 9.Januar 1945 kam
er in das Außenlager Ohrdruf, in der Nähe von Gotha. Dieses Lager hatte
den Codenamen SIII oder S3. Dieses Lager war ein sehr großes Außenlager
mit über 10 000 Häftlingen. die Häftlinge mußten riesige Stollen in ein
Bergmassiv brechen. Ihr Großvater kam in diesem Lager am 10.03.1945 ums
Leben. Sein Tod wurde am 04.04.1945 im Hauptlager registirert.
Wenn Sie mir Ihre Adresse mitteilen, kann ich Ihnen die Kopien der
Mit freundlichen Grßen
As I can see died my grandfather on 10.03.45 but what we dont now whas thas he whas send to orfdruf!!
The prisoners must digging tunnels into the hils( riesige stollen in ein bergmassiv)
9943 prisoners ( 10.000 häftlinge).
What I see is also the date 04.04.1945 who is registred to the maincamp(Buchenwald??)witch exactly match white the date off liberation as I see on your site www.89infantery...
The lady of the buchenwald archief promis me to send the copys of the original documents.Maybe I get an answer to so many qestions about the past.
So,Sir, I wil be thankfull whit everything you can send me.
ps excuses for my bad english.
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John Huizenga L Co, 353rd Inf Received from Agnes Huizenga
Just to let you know John Huizenga has passed away November 21, 2003.
Harry Peterson CN Co, 355th Inf, Received from Linda S. Peterson
Dear 89th Division Society Members,
I can't remember if I wrote to tell you that my Dad, Harry, (aka Bud, Whitey, Swede and Pete,) passed away last summer on July 21, 2003. For many years my Dad and Mom enjoyed attending the reunions and I was pleased and moved by attending the 50th reunion in North Carolina.
Although my Dad has passed, I would like to stay a member and support the organization. Accordingly, enclosed is a check to pay dues. Very truly yours.
William Wise Hq Co, 353rd Inf, Received from Jack Corbett, Hq Co 353rd Inf
Bill Wise died peacefully at his home in Willows, California on Friday, April 9, 2004. Bill was 85, and proudly served his country from 1940 to 1952. In WWII he was in the 89th Inf Div, 353rd Regt. Hq Co 1st Bn, and held the rank of Sgt. Bill was a very good man.
John Sanders, Jr. 405th Q M Co, Received from Connie Beebe
My father, John Sanders, Jr., Died December 9, 1999. My step-mother Dorothy Sanders died July 27, 2003.
Major Delbert T. Hysell L Co, 353rd Inf, Received from Anna Hysell
To Whom It May Concern, This is to notify you that my husband, Major Delbert T. Hysell, passed away in October 2003, after a battle with cancer. He was in Co L, 353rd Infantry and he received a battlefield commission.
Congressman Thomas M. Rees H Co, 354th Inf, Received from Gerry Stearns
Born March 26, 1925; Died December 9, 2003 (see Letter and Exchanges for details)
George T. Sinkovic B Co, 314th Eng Combat Bn, Received from Tom Sinkovic
George T. Sinkovic, 89, of Hubbard, died April 2, 2004 at Liberty Health Care Center. He was born Oct. 16, 1914, in Youngstown, a son of George A. and Mary Lubonovic Sinkovic. Mr. Sinkovic was a millwright for the Stationary Engineer Dept. of LTV Steel Corp., retiring in 1972. He served in the U.S. Army during WW II. On Sept. 1, 1942 at Youngstown Sheet & Tube, Hubbard plant, he helped save the life of John Edwards, who fell into the top of a gas-filled blast furnace. For this act of heroism, George received the National Safety Council President's Medal and Certificate and also the Pro-of-the Month Award.
He was preceded in death by his wife, the former Katherine A. Berkovich, whom he married Aug. 9 1947, a sister, Ann Sinkovich, his parents; and a brother, Steve J. Sinkovic. He is survived by a son, Thomas G. Sinkovic.
Charles Lombardino, Sr. I Co, 353rd Inf, Received from Josephine Lombardino
Bossier City, LA, Charles Lombardino, Sr., 96, a loving devoted husband, father, and grandfather, passed away after a brief illness March 29, 2003, among those who love him. "Mr. Charlie," as he was affectionately known, was a lifetime resident of Bossier City. During WWII, he served in the Army with the 89th Division, in France and Germany. His beloved country commended him for his outstanding performance to duty while under fire for 63 continuous days. His "brothers" of the 89th continue to honor him by holding their bi-annual mini-reunion in Bossier City. For thirty years Charlie co-owned and operated the historic Amber Inn Restaurant in Bossier City.
Born August 19, 1906 to parents Pasquale and Anna Vuci Lombardino, natives of Gibilinna, Sicily. His love of horses led him to breed, raise and train for racing, quarter and thoroughbred horses and to create Amber Acre Farms at Taylortown. He was preceded in death by brothers Paul, Pete, Frank, Pasquale-Buddy Lombardino; sisters Frances, Mary, Jetta, and Anna. Survived by sister Josephine. He married Josephine Lanza Lombardino, Nov. 1950. Throughout his life he was a devoted father to their children, Judith Ann Caccioppi, Charles Ray, and Deborah Ann.
Glenn Barth Combat Medic, 354th Inf, Received from Mary Barth
Glen R. Barth, 77, Missoula, Mont., passed away March 3, 2004, at a Yuma, Ariz. medical center. He was born in Bismarck and graduated from Bismarck High School. He served in the U.S. Army during WWII, and graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1948. He was married to Mary McCurdy, of Backoo, in 1949, and entered the retail shoe business later that year in Rochester, Minn. In 1954, he moved with his family to Minneapolis and completed the MBA degree in 1955. In and out of school and work, he earned the Ph.D. in economics in 1966. The remainder of his working career was spent at the University of Montana. He is survived by his wife, Mary, three sons, Tom, Dave, and Mike, two daughters, Alice Giard and Margaret Rice; and his sister, Marjory Atkinson. He was preceded in death by his oldest son, Joe, in 1973.
Major Frank S. Marshall 355th Inf, Received from Frances Toon
Major Frank S. Marshall passed away April 14, 2004 in Antioch, CA, of acute kidney failure. He was instrumental in WWII European theater, 89th Division, 355th Inf, in finding and alleviating the concentration camp of Ohrdruf in Germany. His efforts were greatly rewarded by the prisoners lives being saved. He served in France and Germany. After his discharge, he returned to Altoona, PA, and was married to Sophie. He returned to work as foreman on the PA Railroad. He was later recalled to Korea to help rebuild the railroads, because of extensive training on PRR, where he was recommended as Lt. Col.. After two years in Korea, he returned to PA. In 1954 he entered the insurance and real estate brokerage business in Antioch, CA. He was an active member of various charity organizations. Frank served on the City Council, Chamber of Commerce and formed Antioch Ambassadors, welcoming new businesses to the area. He enjoyed sports and attended many major league baseball games with his family and friends. Burial was at Gustine National Cemetery, with a 21 gun salute and taps. He would have been very proud of the recognition.
Richard M. Garrick Hq Co, 355th Inf, Received from Phyllis Garrick
Richard Garrick was born on Nov. 26, 1923 in Taft, CA. He attended Durham Univ. in England and graduated with a BS degree from Stanford Univ., where he was also a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He received his DDS degree in 1956 from the College of Surgeons and Physicians in San Francisco (now UOP) where he was a clinical instructor of pediatric dentistry for six years. He served in the Army during WWII, where his battalion conducted the first liberation of a German labor camp, and in the Air Force during the Korean War. Dick was a life member of Marin County Dental Soc. and served as president in 1971, a trustee and life member of the American Dental Assoc., serving with many organizations. He was awarded a fellowship in the American College of Dentists in Dallas, TX, and was a founding member of the Dentists Ins. Co., and served as president and chairman of the board from 1984 to 1986. He is survived by his wife Phyllis, daughters Dana Wuerfel and Melissa Edwards and three grandchildren.
Charles E. Fowler Reconnaissance Troop, Received from Gloria Fowler
Charles E. Fowler died peacefully in his sleep at home March 9, 2004. Born Jan. 28, 1922, in Rockford to Chester and Ida Fowler, Chuck was a graduate of East High School and former chief lifeguard at Rockford Boys' Club and Camp Rotary. After Pearl Harbor, Chuck enlisted in the U. S . Army and served in the 89th Reconnaissance Troop as a combat platoon officer. While serving in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany, he was awarded a Bronze Star for valor and two Bronze Battle Stars. Chuck served 23 years in the regular reserves after his active duty and retired as a chief warrant officer. Chuck was married to the former Gloria Ingalls Nov. 28, 1942. He is survived by his wife of 61 years; daughters, Chris Deming, Cathy Robbins, Jennifer Weant, Heather Harris, Amy Riedel, several grandchildren and great grand children.
John H. Coleman 2nd Bn, 355th Inf, Received from Mary A. Coleman
John H. Coleman, April 4, 1919 - March 12, 2004.
John was born to Benjamin F. Coleman and Josie Belle Reed on April 4, 1919, in Broken Bow, OK. He joined the U. S. Army and served during WW II with the 89th Division, 355th Infantry from 1942 to 1945, stationed in France and Germany and remained in the 95th Army Reserve Division until 1958. After the war, John went to work for Safeway Stores Inc., where he met his wife of 43 years, Mary A. Workman. John retired from Safeway after 31 years. John was a civic leader, serving as an original member on the Spencer Auxiliary Police Dept., in many other offices, and Vice Mayor and Mayor between 1969 to 1986. He assisted the organization and building of the first Spencer, OK, Round Up Club Arena, and honored to serve as Grand Marshall. John owned and trained 'Sir K.K.' All Around Reserve Grand Champion, shown by his son Rick. He loved Golf with his sons, family and friends, and liked to display his hole in one trophy that he won in in Burlington, VT in 1973. John is preceded in death by his father and mother, sisters Mamie B. Coleman, Mary Lee Coleman, Henen Crews, brothers Benjamin and Jessie Frank Coleman. He is survived by his wire Mary A. Coleman, sister Lucy Belle Guttery; Children Jerry D. Coleman, Shirley M. Bass, Johnny L. Coleman, Sharon Eischen, Rick L. Coleman, Sheri Hogue, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. He leaves us a legacy of love for people, dedication for doing right, a pride in being on time and a passion for serving.
Guy "Tiny" Drake, Jr. 563rd Fd Art Bn, Received from Joy Drake
Guy "Tiny" Drake, Jr., 79, passed away June 23, 2003 at the VA Hospital in Des Moines. Funeral at the Christian-Union Church in Milo, burial at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Indianola. Guy Drake was born on December 8, 1923 in Milo, Iosa, to Guy V. Drake, Sr. and Francis Juanita Bales Drake. He attended schools in Milo, and joined the U.S. Army in 1943. On April 21, 1947 he married Helen L. Graham in Indianola. Guy was a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. He was a former Mayor of Indianola, was a member of the I.O.O.F. and American Legion Post #263, and Christian-Union Church in Milo. Guy enjoyed sports and traveling, and his grandchildren.
Survivors include sons, Dennis and Scott; a daughter, Joy, several grandchildren and great grandchildren; brother, Jack, one aunt, Mabel Burson, sister-in-law Mary Nolan, and extended family members. Guy was preceded in death by his parents; wife; sister, Jane; nephew, Kris; and several aunts and uncles. Memorial contributions may be made to the Milo Little League or to the Milo Rescue Unit.
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Letters and Exchanges
[If you sent a message intended for publication in our Newletters but does not appear in the next
issue, please inform me and we will check it out.]
My father-in-law was a member of the 89th during WW2. Today I
was talking to him about some of the days during the wartime. He talked
about going over on the ship and then doing some of the combat with
Patton and other things. His memory is very good and sharp on details. I
printed off the information on the Reunion in Washington, DC as we
live only 70 miles west of there in Winchester VA. His name is Kenneth
Hutton and he joined the Army when he was 18 about 1943. He
does not have a computer but I can relay information to him if you are interested.
Request for info on James Miller of the 354th Infantry from: firstname.lastname@example.org
My husband, James Miller is James A. Miller's son. He served Headqtrs
Company, First Battalion, 354th infantry. He died in 1977. Recently we found his government
issued Bible. In this he had placed his handwritten notes on "onion
skin" paper. He has labeled them, Record of Events from 23 January
1945 through 31 may 1945. We believed that he served as a
typist, clerk. We have a yearbook that he received before he
died. I have learned through this web site that there
have been more books published since that one. Are there any remaining
that my husband might purchase one? Are there any other
publications that we could obtain also? His record of events end in
1945, however we know that he was still in Austria in 1946.
We are puzzled what he did after 5/1945. Also, while reading this web site
I learned that the 89th was involved in the liberation of Ohrdruf. His record of
events mentioned nothing about that incident. He says
that he passed through Eisenach at 2400 on April 6,
1945. Thanks for any info you can offer me.
from Mark Kitchell Michelle:
I am Ray Kitchell's son and will try and help. There
are two books I know of that exist. One, which was
written years ago is the official history of the 89th
in WWII. We do not have any copies but it often shows
up on www.ebay.com (there are none there today).
Also, a history of the 353rd Infantry Regiment was
just published. It was one of three infrantry
regiments in the 89th. While your father in law was
in a different regiment, this book is EXCELLENT and
gives a great account of what the entire division did.
It can be ordered with information provided here:
Does this help?
Recognition for Bill Scudder
Dear Capt. Scudder:
I read your story in the Washington Post recently, and I wondered if you had known my father. His name was Leonard Vander Linde and he was a medic with the 89th I&R. He was wounded around April 11 and ended up losing his left arm. Reading your story about Ohrdruf I was reminded of my father's stories of the war. I distinctly remember him telling us about the concentration camp and the horrorendous cruelty that occured there. He had some pictures of the camp. Reading your story brought back many fond memories of Sunday dinners where my father would tell us about "what he did in the war". I hope all is well with you.
My name is Leonard Vander Linde III and I live in Potomac, MD.
All my best
From the editors of the webpage: Here is the link to the article in the Washington Post concerning the liberation of Ohrdruf. Please note that Capt. Scudder felt that the article made it seem that he singlehandedly discovered the camp, which is not the case.
Holocaust Survivors, Veterans Celebrate an Unbreakable Link
Service in the 89th? from Elizabeth Preston: IamENP@aol.com
I had a question that I hope you or someone else could help me answer. I am
trying to figure out as to when and where my grandfather, Russell Bevers,
served with the 89th.
I have a photo of him in uniform wearing the W patch. He has the stripes of
a staff sergeant as well.
He served in the 66th pre D-day. With the 2nd rangers on D-day and then was
transferred to the 2nd infantry on D-day +1 for (to my knowledge) the
remainder of his European experience.
I believe his time with the 89th occurred after this and back in the western
United States (Texas?). I was curious if anyone could tell me where exactly
this happened and maybe give me some pointers on where I can look for further
Thank you for your help.
PS. My grandfather is alive but his memories have faded in these areas.
Pictures from the 89th from Stew Powell: email@example.com
Dear Mr. Kitchell
I found your web site after looking for Camp Walters Texas and Camp Lucky Strike. My father served in the 354th Cannon Co. infantry artillery, his name was Stewart Aubrey Powell, Pfc. He served out the end of his duty in Austria and received his Cpl. stripes during that time.
Like your son I also took an early interest in WWII and my Dad's experiences. He is no longer with us as a matter of fact it's been seven years this month.
I would very much like to be included on the email contact list. I also have many photos that Dad brought back .
I have included some with this email. Thank you for your time,
A few of the pictures:
Searching for information on Woodrow Goessman, 353rd from Thomas Goessman: TGOESSMAN@aol.com
My Uncle was Harold Woodrow Goessman, 2d Platoon, Company K, 353rd Regiment, 89th Division(I forgot which battalion, but
there was only one K company in the regiment)
I tried to speak with my Uncle about WWII before he died, but he had trouble talking about anything. I myself am a Marine
veteran of both the invasion of Panama and Iraq, so understand his wanting to stay private in
I have photos of his platoon and a bunch of friends posing with weapons and
each other in the field, and in luxembourg or france somewhere.
My contact information is:
Thomas H. Goessman
2280 State Pond Road
Jonesboro, Illinois 62952
Update about Frank Johnson From Dave Johnson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greetings to the Kitchells!
I hope you are both well!
I have an update and a question. First, the update. In the 89th Division email and
contact list, the record for my father is:
JOHNSON, Frank E- HQ Co, 2nd Bn, 353rd Inf c/o son email@example.com
Please make two changes. First, my father passed away last October, so please
list him as deceased. Second, my current email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The one listed above is no longer active. THANKS!
My question: After my father's death, I wanted to document his service
activities so I obtained his service record from the National Archives
in St. Louis. In combination with the 89th yearbook and the new 353rd RGT history, I
have a fair idea of his activities up to the time the 89th was
Unfortunately, after that time until his discharge in April of '46 I
have no idea which unit(s) he was attached to or where they were active. His
discharge document states that he was honorably discharged from Headquarters
Company, United States Forces in Austria. That's about it. Are you
aware of any way to pin down more specific information? Thanks for any help you can
From Ray Kitchell
After VJ day and the wait for going home, many of us were assigned to different
divisions in Europe which were scheduled to go home with troops with similar
points (length of service). For example, after going to school in England
for a few months I was transferred to the 87th (?) division stationed in Austria before going home with GIs with similar
point totals. From your email, it seems your father stayed in Europe on
his own for awhile, as many did. I was discharged, as most of us were,
when we arrived in the US at an Army post nearest our homes. Sorry I
can't be of more help.
Thanks! I have a vague recollection that he talked about
guarding POWs in Austria, but that's about it.
A New Friend: Norman Hood and his travels to Susice, Czech Republic From Norman Hood: email@example.com
I am visiting Susice next March, the birth place of
my Grandfather and the place you brave Americans liberated in 1945.
Is there anything I can do for you or your Regiment, while I'm there?
My Grandfathers parents perished under suspicious circumstances. My Father was a Halifax Bomber Navigator, many Uncles fought in the War: One landed at Arromanches and ended the War at Bremen. Another Uncle landed near Pegasus Bridge and ended at Osnabruck.
I guess you were with General Patton's Army. I am ex-RAF and now teaching. My brother and I were born in the War and known as "War Babies" as we were fed on pretty basic food and not the likes of today - McDonalds etc!
Response from Mark Kitchell
I am responding to the kind email you sent my father. I found from a previous newsletter
(/home/august2002.htm) that a memeber of the 89th Division was involved in
liberating that town.
So, if while you are there you can find any details about the liberation of the town and take any
interesting pictures, we would love to have it.
I am including the portion of our newsletter related to Susice.
I first visited Susice in 1967, the year before the East German puppet
army marched in on behalf of the Soviets. We were on our way back to Germany
from a ski-ing holiday in Austria and had secured special permission to cut
across what was then Czechoslovakia. All over town there were numerous
references to the liberation by the glorious Soviet Army. (damn liars)
At first, I believed it but during a party of welcome by my relatives on
the first night, many people wanted to show be Zippo Lighters, Hershey Bar
Chocolate Wrappers etc. One Uncle who was a child at wars end opened up
this old tobacco tin and showed me American badges and patches. He is now
the headmaster of Susice Grammar School and it is with him I shall start my
investigation. My second last visit was in 2001 and how it had changed.
Relatives now much fewer and all the phoney Soviet plaques gone. I was
told by the Town Museum that a suitable truthful plaque was about to be
erected on the Town Hall Wall and I will get a photo of this for you. My
connection with Susice started when my Austrian Great Great Grandfather Karl
Weber came to Schuttenhoeffen to open the largest match stick factory in the
Austro-Hungarian-empire. In 1916 my Grandad, now conscripted into the
Austrian Army, was captured and brought to England. He remained in
England and married a Lloyns Corner House Waitress. In 1918, Czechoslovakia was
formed and the German Schuttenhoeffen was renamed the Czech "Susice"
The family continued to own the Match Factory until 1943 when for reasons
not known my Greatgrandparents were spirited away to a KZ and never seen
again, their ashes were returned and rest in the family mausoleum. They had 11
children one of whom was Josef Weber my Grandfather. Two of his
brothers were in the Czech resistance and their decedents still live in Susice.
My Grandad went on his last visit to CZ in 1938 and was in Prague when
Hitler visited, he sent a card home describing the scene which we still have.
I'll get back in touch with you after my return on the 12th March. I leave
next Monday, the 1st March.
(my Mother, Enid Weber, was Josef Webers daughter)
Ray and Mark Kitchell with some of the books kindly sent by Norman Hood
Thanks For Your Website
Mr. Raymond Kitchell and Mark Kitchell,
I am so impressed with your web site. I wrote about 2 months ago about my father-in-law Mr. George C. Peterson, Mess Sgt, who had just passed away on May 8th. You suggested that I contact a couple of people. I actually took several e-mail addresses from your web site and sent a single e-mail to about 25 guys. BINGO…. I came across Mr. James O Hahs who remembers my father-in-law. He has sent our family some fabulous stories about the 354th and some personal stories about my father-in-law whom he said everyone would remember as "Pete." I had always called him Mr. Clint as his middle name was Clinton but all his military and work buddies called him "Pete."
Mr. Hahs is truly a blessing and a great writer. He obviously kept some notes from the war and he has turned these notes into memoirs which have really impressed our family. I only wish I had know about your web site before my father-in-law passed away. If you would be interested in any of these stories that Mr. Hahs has sent to me please let me know and I will forward on to you. God Bless your effort and hard work. Not only have your both created a great web site you have created a memory for my family and many many others.
Greetings from Thüringen From Henning Tikwe
Hello in Amerika!
Im a People from Eisenach in Thüringen, near the airfield Wenigenlupnitz. The alternative name of this airfield is:
Airfield Eisenach, Airfield Eisenach-Kindel, Kuenkel, Kuenkelhof or Airfield Haina.
In the year 1945 this airfield was taken by American troops and transport gliders landing
on the airfield.
More is unfortunately not well-known me. I do not know also, which unit
or group of the U.S.Airforce on this airfield engaged.
With investigations in the InterNet I am encountered your InterNet side,
since as operational base the airfield Wenigenlupnitz is indicated.
I operate a small private Website about airfield Eisenach/Wenigenlupnitz. Much-calibrated you
for me information about Wenigenlupnitz and also
Eisenach regarding on the activities U.S.Airforce.
Many greetings out Eisenach in Germany, Henning Tikwe
Congressman Thomas M. Rees
Born March 26, 1925; Died December 9, 2003
from Gerry Stearns H Co 354th Inf
Thomas M. Rees
It was over eight years ago, some time before I left the San Francisco Bay Area to return to Oregon, that I had last seen Tom Rees. A week ago or so I phoned his home in Santa Cruz, California, to see whether he could write to a daughter of a fellow H Company GI to expand on what I could tell her about her dad's service. To my dismay I learned from his wife Dixie that he had died late last year following the onset of esophageal cancer.
During the 89th's drive eastward with Patton's 3rd Army Pfc Tom and I had shared the back seat of the headquarters jeep of the second platoon. The platoon leader's runner, he had the least rank of the four of us including driver Transportation Cpl Rex Carey, Lieutenant John Marshall, and Instrument Cpl Gerry Stearns. And yet I'd bet he had a more illustrious post-service career than most of the rest of the Division's personnel, let alone the other guys in the jeep.
Reading a small portion of the citations in google.com I discovered articles in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, San Jose Mercury, and the Los Angeles Times. He was BIG in California Democratic politics: Assemblyman from LA '54 to '62; State Senator from '62 to '66; US Congressman from 1966 to 1976. Following his retirement from Congress he moved to Northern California in the late 1980's, where he built a home in Santa Cruz, at the top of a slope covered with the vineyard a son reported he had always wanted to own. He was active in community affairs, including board membership of the UC Santa Cruz Foundation, and the well-known Cabrillo Music Festival, etc and so on. He also continued to be involved in politics. The opening line of the Sentinel's story said "He was a liberal before being a liberal was cool." His readily-voiced views were not always popular with the party, but his constituents seemed to like him.
I don't know whether I could have predicted any of this. The Tom Rees I knew was a tall skinny kid. I'm pretty sure he was one of a lot of us who bunked in the gym while attending ASTP at LA City College. I remember him best in our Lucky Strike winter when so many of us in the second battalion suffered from the Achilles tendinitis brought on by the mud and the cobblestone roads we were required to march down to maintain our physical vigor. (The brand-new combat boots we'd been issued didn't help any.) I had one bad heel; Tom had two, and hobbled around in the mud in galoshes. Despite this, he managed to get out to local villages, and without much French, get bread to supplement what I recall were only two meals a day. In Germany following one hectic day--were we strafed? had we been staged into town to avoid being shelled on the road into town? were we fired on in the darkness by automatic weapons on our flank?--I think they all happened that day--we slept on the ground by the jeep and awakened to the sunshine. Tom was field stripping his carbine, and had laid it out on the jeep's hood, when the door to the shed next to us opened, and a couple of grey-clad Wehrmacht lads moved out, arms upraised. Before I could bring my M-1 to bear, Tom grabbed the mechanism and barrel of his weapon and pointed it at them. I don't know how well it would have fired without a stock, or a magazine but as a statement of intent it didn't matter. (Inside the shed we found their rifles, potato masher grenades and a couple of Panzerfausts. Oops.)
After VE Day and our return to Lucky Strike Tom and I had our own tent where we were responsible for Information and Education activities, which consisted mainly of distibution of Stars and Stripes and maintaining a newsy bulletin board. Since our major clientele were the high-point guys and the ex-POW's going home, we were not overburdened with work. I managed to get to England to Shrivenham Army University, and I don't remember what happened to Tom. Someplace I have a picture of him and ol' Bob Zang of Cannon Company leaning on the sign which declared our tent office was the official I and E Headquarters of the 2nd Battalion. I think I cut off the top of Tom's head. He didn't go to Austria with me. When I stopped in Santa Cruz years later he was still the very tall guy I'd known, but he'd filled out in the intervening years. He was very much the vineyard pro as he demonstrated pruning the vines with his leather gloves and clippers.
A Rhine River Amazon by Louis Stark: PStark2088@aol.com
Dog Co. 355th, after crossing at Boppard and climbing the world famous
vineyards of the Rhine River and pushing into central Germany, was
going on vacation in the world renowned wine center of Rudesheim. Length of vacation
welcome if unknown.
Rumors had reached higher ranks that I could muster a few words of bad
German and I was sent on a mission to locate a suitable residence for
regimental recreation and administration. I believe someone suggested I
understand one requirement was a good cellar. Rudesheim was and still is a place of
good quarters, great wine and champagne cellars. A place you can visit and
get very adjusted to.
My instructions were to disregard costs. My search did not take long
to find very acceptable quarters and after the owner swept me off my feet by
introducing himself as a supplier of the Brown Derby and noted New York
establishments. He insisted I look at his Bills of Lading. On behalf
of the regiment, I accepted his invitation and felt good about my assignment until this
Amazon stormed into the room.
She was a large woman -- one who rarely shed either clothes or tears.
She was in a German Army version of a nurse or medic. I thought I was in
for it but the man of the house intervened physically so all that I received was
verbal and memorable. She used good English and was quite clear: When were
we going to intervene with Germany against the Russian Hordes? Did I know the
terrible costs on the Eastern Front? The suffering? She had just returned from the
Eastern Front. Angry desperation confronted me. A true believer and I felt a
great sorrow for the waste. I would have given her a patronizing pat on the
shoulder embellished with some stupid platitude but didn't dare to get
that close to her.
The outfit, including our medic Doc Spencer, had a great time. Doc spent
most of his time in a bathtub drinking the great white wines of the
region and then hurling the bottles out the window overlooking the main street
running aside the Rhine. I kept telling him if he hit a passerby he was in no
condition to practice medicine.
Rumor has it that when Regimental left their mansion, they had no
communication gear but a moving wine cellar. An army does not travel
on its stomach alone!
Some years ago, Pearl (my spouse) and I visited the very same hotel. I
asked if anyone remembered those events. One elderly gentleman talked about
the only lasting memory of our forces was one crazy guy who kept throwing
bottles out a window until they had to put up a sign. I didn't
tell them that guy had been a friend of mine.
89th Painting from WWI from Willis Cole: firstname.lastname@example.org
I thought, the Division Society might like to know, that I have
located several painting in a cellar at Hattonville, Department of the Meuse.
It would appear that they were painted between October 1st and October 7th, 1918, when
the Division was moved the west in the St-Mihiel area to relieve the 42nd Division.
The painting consist of two flags, the Division number and Arizona, along with
four crests that are basically unreadable.
The painting are located in one casement of the cave (cellar) of the village
Presbytery and I am still waiting for my photographs to come back.
If you are interested, I will scan them in and send you .jpg copies.
The cellar is most interesting, because in one casement is the 89th painting and
the rest is decorated with German items and over one door is the word Rathskeller,
meaning tavern in a basement and/or a restaurant.
I think, the road from Hattonville through the forest to the
east was used to supply the units that had shifted to the west to take the 42nd's
area. It is most interesting to me, as I have been researching a B-17 crash
in the Woods of Hattonville for several years. We have installed a
Memorial at the entrance to the road that I am talking about
and perhaps, the 89th Society would be interested in adding a small plaque concerning
their time in the Battle of St-Mihiel.
In Remembrance and Souvenir,
Willis S. Cole, Jr. "Sam"
Battery Corporal Willis S. Cole Military Museum
13444 124th Ave NE
Kirkland, WA 98034-5403
(425)823-4445 Telephone & Fax
www.ww1.org www.miakia.org www.kiamia.org
Sam kinkly sent us these photos:
I have included and attached the pictures. I hope they are useable for you.
They were probably placed there when the village was used as a support depot for the
89th Division after the Battle of St-Mihiel was over and until they were moved to the
From Sept 12-16 89th Division (Less Arty) participates in the St-Mihiel Operation
From Sept 17-Oct7 89th Div occupies the Euvezin-Sector (Lorraine) which is the area to the east
and a bit south of the Woods of Hattonville through which the field and forest road from
Hattonville leads. The French 39th Division was on their left and that is probably a
good reason for the two flags painting.
From Oct7-12 Div moves to Meuse-Argonne. From Oct 12-Nov 11, Div (Less Arty) participates in the Meuse-Argonne Battle.
89th Division - Regimental Patch?
89th Division Regimental Patch 2
Sign above door from first basement casement to second - German for Tavern in Basement...
Sign on wall in second casement-Looks like a coffin end, perhaps in memory of Ronic Lud??? III
Decoration on wall in first basement casement. Notice, wood along wall to protect against chairs and tables.
Sign above door leaving 3rd basement casement where the 89th Division painting are at. Notice the Arizona 89th Div just below beer stein and the double S 11
The French and American Flags with written word under it unreadable. I hope to have time in future to find out exactly whatthey are.
Decoration going from 2nd basement casement to 3rd basement casement where the 89th Div. signs are.
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