February 2002 Newsletter
For all veterans, relatives and friends of the
89th INFANTRY DIVISION
WORLD WAR II
89th Veterans in France during the Tour of Remembrance
Photo by Mark Kitchell
Table of Contents: Click on the Link Below to Go To That Section:
Editor's Notes and Website Developments
Official Announcement from the President
Email List Update
Letters and Exchanges
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Editor's Notes and Website Developments
Beginning with this issue, your editor will copy the Newsletter (by
email or snail mail as required) to surviving Past Presidents of the Society
for any time-sensitive comments or notices they might wish to make
in subsequent Newsletters in keeping with the tradition established by
the TRW. These include past Presidents Phil McAuliffe and Dick Lee
and our current officers Bob Anderson, Sam Moorhead, and Larry Berg.
We also need and welcome general member-inputs concerning the
current extensive and comprehensive efforts being undertaken to deal
with the critical membership revenue and other issues now facing the Society
and which will be the major focus of our next reunion. It is important that
the membership be aware of these efforts and the decisions which may need
to be ratified at our next reunion, using the TRW, the Newsletter and our
Website, and is given an opportunity to provide their personal inputs to the
extent feasible. Inputs/comments of this nature are also welcome for inclusion
in subsequent newletters.
Website Story Guidelines
Our website is beginning to accumulate and place on the Internet an
increasing number of stories concerning our history, accompanied by pleas
for veterans to record their memories and send them in to us. Thus the
Editors of The Rolling W (TRW) and the Website, and myself as coordinator
of communications for the Society believe it might be timely to offer some
guidance in an attempt to avoid confusion.
The TRW, as you are all well aware, is our official publication and the
primary channel for official announcements and appointments as required by our
by-laws. Above all, it reaches our total veteran membership, and includes all
Official Notices, Letters to the Editor, Unit reports, Taps, Membership
Changes, personal stories and other items.
The 89th Website's coverage, purpose and audience are somewhat different,
although there is overlap, with its emphasis on history and personal stories
and reaching out worldwide. There are also no size/space limitations but,
at the same time, not all Society vets have access to it.
Both editors have been sharing stories and will continue to do so. You
can send your stories to either editor with a request, if you wish, that
it be copied to the other, or state your preference or exclusion. In
the absence of such notice, the editors will exercise their own judgment.
Ordinarily, those stories which contain considerable depth and length as to
an important events in our history will be automatically included on our website
and, as space permits, in TRW.
Finally, the attempt here is to offer helpful guidance and stimulate, in these
waning years of our lives, the recording of our memories in World War II,
for laughs or posterity.
Communications Coordinator, 89th Division Society
Stories Recently Placed Online
To view stories recently placed the website, please go to: Memories
New stories include:
Flashbacks to Camp Butner by Clyde Solmon
On and Off the Jeep with the 89th by Geary Sterns
After the War by Robert Kurlander
Cancel Attack...War is Over by Ralph N. Cole
Army Buglers by Eugene W. Berkoff
Memories of an XO by John Halleman
A Close Call by Raymond Kitchell
ASTP at Lyola University by Linden Seamons
Wake Call by Radcliffe Peterson
Rhine Revisited by Gregory E Bandlow (stepson of Darrel Carnell)
Kahla Revisited: The Liberation of a Displaced Persons Camp by Harold Matthews
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Official Announcement from the President
I am pleased to announce that the 89th Division Website on the Internet,
established by Raymond (Scotty) Kitchell and his son Mark, together with
its Electronic Newsletter, have now been merged with our Rolling W (Newsletter),
as an integral component of our Society's communication and publishing enterprise.
The Website is a valuable adjunct to The Rolling W; and it has been decided that such
a merger will provide more official status for the Internet activities of the Kitchells.
The Rolling W remains our primary publication, reaching as it does, all of our members.
The Website and E-mail activities of the Kitchells reach about 20% of our membership,
as well as interested members of the general public.
John F. Sherman, an appointed member of our Executive Board, has accepted the
responsibility to oversee and coordinate these two activities on behalf of our
Executive Board and all of our members. We hope that all members and friends
of our Society will take advantage of both the Website and The Rolling W.
President, 89th Division Society
Washington Area Advisory Group Meeting Summary
The information that follows summarizes the discussion of the Washington
Area Advisory Group (WAAG), which meets periodically at the
President's request as advisors. The regular members were all
present: Carl Peterson, President; Phil McAuliffe, Past President;
Dick Lee, Past President; John Sherman, Member of the Executive Board;
Bill Scudder, Newly appointed member of the Executive Board; and "Chick"
Cecchini, Executive Assistant.
1. Future of the Society - It was concluded that while we should
continue our planning for eventual dissolution of our Society, the
previous tentative plan for such action around year 2004 should be
set aside. The society should continue operations as usual for the
foreseeable future. Plans also should be developed to facilitate the
passing on of the 89th Division legacy. This would require restructuring
of our membership to emphasize admission of "descendants" as well as
other types of individuals who demonstrate a definite and legitimate
interest in that legacy. It was further concluded that this revised
forward look requires seeking wider involvement of younger leadership
as soon as possible.
2. Finances - It was recognized that current expenses of
the Society are exceeding current revenue and that a near-term
remedy is needed, especially one that is reliable. Various
alternatives were discussed, such as a dues increase and vigorous
solicitation of contributions. Emphasis was placed on assuring the
retention of members who may find themselves in difficult financial
3. Decision-making Process - Recent experience and increasing
anticipation of the need to take emergency action in the event there
is a death or incapacitation of an elected official or an actual or
perceived financial crisis suggests the need for a by-laws change.
Appropriate wording will be proposed at the next business meeting.
4. Official Appointment - The President announced that Bill
Scudder had accepted appointment to the Executive Board to fill the
vacancy caused by the death of Jim Wilson.
5. Additional Officer Position - It was noted for the record that
earlier WAAG discussions had determined the pressing need for the
establishment of an officer to function as the supervisor and
coordinator of our print and electronic media, i.e., re-establishment of
a 3rd V.P. to be titled, 3rd Vice President (Communications).
John Sherman has been named on an interim basis to perform this
function until an officer is elected in August of this year to carry
out the assigned duties of this position.
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Email List Updates
Welcome to our new users (or modified addresses) of the Society's electronic tools, including:
CAPEHART, Charles Cannon Co, 354th Inf
CRALL, George 314th Eng [ASTP-UCLA]
GRIFFITH, Victor D 89th DivArty [ASTP-OSC]
KITCHELL, Raymond E (new address) Sv Btry, 563rd FA Bn
JACKSON, Charles K Co, 355th Inf
MANION, Donald T (deceased, c/o son) I Co, 354th Inf
MARCHLEWICZ, George B Co, 353rd Inf
WILSON, Milton P L Co, 354th Inf
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Richard J. McCarthy
I regret to inform you of the death of Richard J. "Mac " McCarthy of the
714 Ord Co and the 789 Ord Co. He passed away in the later part
of January 2002. Harry B. Musser
John Robert Strode C Btry, 563rd FA
I have just received word of the death of a former member of my
Battery...after 59+ years unable to get much info on him but want to
be certain notice is taken of his life...can the following be placed
in your next newsletter? Bill Scudder
John Robert Strode
A member of "C" Battery 563rd Field Artillery Battalion died on 1
January 2002 in Centerville, Iowa. He was one of many Iowa men in
his unit. John was a fine man and an excellent soldier during his
period of service during WWII. He served as an artilleryman in the
Rhine and Central European Campaigns. An irony is the fact that
while he was able to serve in combat he was too young to vote in
the 1944 election. A salute and farewell to our "Red Leg " comrade.
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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.
89th Calvary Recon
From: Cyd Adams
Came across your website for the 89th and am trying to help my father
locate information on 89th Calvary Recon Troop (Mechanized). We
would greatly appreciate anything that you could help us with.
Sincerely, Cyd Adams
Request for Bronze Star information from an 89th grandson
My grandfather served with the 89th and about two years ago, with
the help of a US Senator, was awarded the Bronze Star for his service
during the war. He insists that the award was given to all those who
served in combat during WWII, and is nothing special. I have asked those
I know in the military if this is true and not one of them has agreed
with him. It has always been my understanding that the CIB was the award
given for combat action, and that the Bronze Star was given for performance
of duties beyond that. My grandfather has never talked much about his experiences,
and I know that there is something to the story he doesn't want to talk
about, and since he and I are quite close I don't want to risk upsetting
him by asking him to recall something he does not want to.
Could you please pass along any information that could help me in this
quest for knowledge?
Request About Vernon Etzler, 355th by His Nephew Raymond
From: Ray Etzler
Hi. My name is Raymond Etzler. My uncle Vernon Etzler was in the
355th Infantry Regiment, 89th Infantry Division. I never met
him because my Dad was only about 15 at that time. I was wondering
if you or anybody else knew him? He was killed on April 8. 1945.
He was from Frederick MD. I got your email address from website 89th
Inf Div of WWll. I would appreciate any information. Thanks.
Inquiry about Roy Noland 355th Inf
From: Phil Leonoudakis
My uncle served with the 1st battalion 355th infantry Company A.
His name was Roy Noland any information on his wartime experiences would
be helpful, since he did not speak much about his time in combat.
Thank you, I enjoyed your site. Phil Leonoudakis
From: Harald Faeth
I am researching the area Ohrdruf since more then 11 Years. I have cooperated
with Yad Vashem in Israel and the USHMM in Washington. I agree with you
that it is blamable, that no one can see any memorial or anything else.
No one can visit "normally" the memorial on the military training
area because it is non-public. I tried to help as well as I try to
So an Ohrdruf liberator, I don't remember the name asked me for making
a contact to the officials because he wanted to visit this memorial
on the military area.
What I am trying is to get evidences for an existing underground
facility, producing V Weapons. All we know until now is a tunnel
system about 8 miles from the camp in the so called Jonastal at
the road between Krawinkel and the town of Arnstadt, and a small
underground communication center on the mil. Area near the C. camp.
Many years ago I wrote to the 89. which had a magazine out, but
Internet was new and no people had been online, who had seen Ohrdruf
The tunnels in the Jonastal look like 25 straight in the hill duf
tunnels, longest about 170 meters. Hich is about 4-5 meters, wide
5 meters.Please; could you help me in any way to locate this "missing"
systems, your comrades as well as prisoners are sometimes speaking about?
What did they see, rockets, machines, large caves, and WHERE? If I could
locate these systems, I could make publicity as newspapers and set the
officials here under pressure to make anything to show WHAT HAPPENDE
HERE. At the moment the officials do all to let it forget specially
because Thuringia is politically a "slightly" right-sided country,
and I often got problems in the past years. Please forgive my bad
English, it was some time ago I learned it. Best regards Harald Faeth
I have forwarded your very interesting inquiry to the President of
our Society, Carl Peterson, who previously has taken a personal interest
in the subject you have raised and am sure you will hear from him soon.
We will also include your request in our official magazine, The Rolling W,
and in our 89th Newsletter.
A group of us visited the area two years ago on a "Tour of
Remembrance", which you may already have noted from our website.
Your English is fine. Besser dann mein Deutsche.
Auf weidersehn. Raymond Kitchell
Thanks a lot! I have written 2 books about Ohrdruf. I have the idea
that there was done VERY secret research by German SS and scientists
in direction of V Weapons. And as I am a pain in the neck for the
officials (if US soldiers want to visit the area, or in remembering the
CC there). I often have trouble with these people, and so I have
problems in accessing files and documents in archives. As I say,
many people do all to let the history forget, and to cover it. A
well and good thing would be a cooperation between us, to show and
make evidence that there have been more then 1 Horror camp (actually
there were at least 6 as I discovered) and that existed MUCH more underground
facilities in which prisoners had to dig and work. Again thank you! Harry
Letter to Harry from Carl Peterson
Dear Harry. Ray Kitchell tried unsuccessfully to forward your query
to me. Since in the process I got your E-mail address, perhaps it is
better that I contact you directly and ask you to send me your questions.
I would be delighted to pass on to you what I found out about Ohrdruf,
and to respond to any questions - most of my information comes from the
US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. As president of the 89th
Division Society, WWII for three years now, I have responded to about
three different queries from Europeans, and a year or so ago I wrote
an article about Ohrdruf, which was published, in our Society magazine.
It is an interesting 'can of worms'.
From: Ronny Beuckmann
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 people died and suffered. Hence, I'm trying to
obtain as much as information possible concerning the liberation of
Joe Raymond McFatridge
From: Guy Farmer
My name is Guy Farmer. My father-in-law's name is Joe Raymond (Mac to
the men) McFatridge. He was a Staff Sergeant in the 89th in the
153rd or 154th. I am sorry that I don't know all the definitive terms.
He is talking more about his time and experiences as he ages.
He was wounded in France saving another soldier. He hasn't told us
a lot about his experiences in the war but always talks about the
89th or as he says "the Rollin' W '." He is now 82
(will be 83 in March). He is in good health. I have handcrafted a
United States Flag from wood and I even attached a plague thanking
him for fighting for us. The only thing he wants on it now is an emblem
made of 'The Rollin' W ' to attach to it. Is there any chance you
could send me (email, maybe) a picture or Color description of that
emblem. I have a black and white picture of it but am lost as to the
actual color of the background. Any help would be appreciated. He
is so proud to have served with the 89th and I want to honor them
for him. Thank you sincerely, Guy Farmer 907 W. Choctaw, Marlow, Oklahoma 73055
By a slip of the key, I just sent you a downloaded copy of
the 89th flag. I can also send you the round patch picture but the
colors are the same. I will include your letter in our February
Newsletter which I assume you know is available on our website.
Your father is an old-time member of the Society and reader of The
Rolling W and I am sure he would also enjoy the newsletter. I invite
you, as we have other children and relatives, to use your own email
address with his name for listing on our email list. It also faculties
rapid communication and networking between vets and other interested parties.
Just let me know. Raymond (Scotty) Kitchell]
Correction and thank you- Guy and Janice email@example.com
I want to thank you so much for your help. I showed my father-in-law our
correspondence and he did correct me on some things. I was so glad that
he did, too. I could see all the pride he had in him about his time
serving with the 89th, the rolling 'W'. Thank you for the flag and the
Joe Raymond (Mac) McFatridge served with the 353rd infantry L Company.
He was wounded in Germany, not France. It really didn't hurt my feelings
that I got it wrong because it brought out his pride so much. I have
printed off all that I can find on the Internet and am giving it to him
tomorrow. He looked at some of the names on your email listings and started
telling me about some of them. It was nice to hear him talk about the
men. I would be proud to let you put my e-mail address on your site with
my father-in-law's name on it. Put it in your contact list as: McFatridge,
Joe Raymond (Mac) do son-in-law Guy Farmer 353rd Inf, L Company.
I will gladly pass all thru to him. As I told you before he will be
83 in March and I swear he is like a man of 60. He walks (long and hard)
daily. I think his only deficiency is that he is hard of hearing.
His wife, Velma Lee, says that she is the only one he can't hear, though!
They are both wonderful people. Needless to say, I am proud to be
associated with such a fine man and his family. He has a wonderful daughter
that I was lucky enough to marry. Keep up the good work and thank you
so very much for your help.
After War Memories
From: Wally Dunn
Thanx again for the new instructions on sending info in for publication
use...The following is for whatever publication you select and will also
send pics if desired, e.g. the pic of our homeward bound ship as it
entered New York Harbor...at the end of the war our unit L Comp of
3rd Bn and 353rd Reg 3rd Army was close to Chemnitz in Checkslovakia
where we came upon the Russian Infantry with only a scattering of
German soldiers left and they were mostly Wermacht (young kids with little training) In a few days our men and the Ruskies were quite friendly and played cards together etc even tho the language
barrier was some of the story exchanges became very laughable ........VE
Day was verified and we received orders to travel back thru Belgium and
Luxemburg on the 'ol 40 and 8 boxcars plus trucks with stopovers in towns wherein we took over the houses for sleeping and eating which was quite a treat after the months of snow and dirt etc for bedding...we eventually got to the cigarette camps and we got Lucky Strike to stay until further orders came which were based on the number of points each individual had ........the higher the number the earlier you would ship out .......we used most of our time sludging in the mud in daytime but at after chow we would start our poker games that lasted 'till dawn or whenever breakfast chow was called .......game pots were very large with both normal franc and the GI issue of smaller size francs used ...the last hand before breakfast was HUGE with everyone putting in all their small denomination francs in as nobody wanted to handle the accumulation...games all were very loud and spirited with plenty of booze available as we were all officers and receive half dozen bottles regularly...my favorite was cognac by the glassful not snifter shots !!!! this period did not last long for me as I was sent to a General Hospital in Rouen France for a couple of months ...was lucky to have no wounds but had trench feet and crotch infections and all my gums pulled away from my teeth and eating was difficult and painful so I was fed thru straws to recover ...also had stomach problems so every morning they put a tube thru the nose to my innards and tested different chemicals to clear up the problem and then switched to the tube thru the mouth as the nose got infected .......not pleasant but the good part was they released me each day for a couple months and took a truck to Paris for the day but had to check back in before 10pm so no nite life !!! Saw every part of Paris before they sent me on a leave Cannes on the Mediterranean with hotel on the beach for 2 weeks leave that cured a lot of my problems!!!!!! Later sent on to England where I was in London on VJ DAY and that I will never forget being in front of Buckingham Palace when the King and Queen came out with Churchill on the balcony and the noise stayed a high pitch the rest of the nite as the crowd moved next to Trafalgar Square to watch the nude girls jump in the fountain pool ...can't remember after that for the next couple days as was so drunk.... but got conscious 3 days later and was on a train to South Hampton with a Rear Admiral of the English Navy going to his summer home on the Isle of Wight.........Whatta celebration that was !!!!!! Was then transferred to Tidworth Barracks south of London waiting for a ship home.... initially it was to be the Queen Mary but the 101st took the whole ship as they were to march down in parade at NYC so we were put on the air carrier Wasp (#2 as the original was sunk at Midway) Received my promotions to Captain as I had been given command of Co L between the Moselle and the Rhine crossings and paperworks don't move very fast in the field...we were told we would be home in 4+ days but we came into NYC 11+ days later!!!! Reason for the
delay was the worst storm the Captain of the ship said he had ever seen
and the 7000+ infantry men on board agreed ...my cabin in the bow
was leaking and my roommates and I were moved back amid ship ...all
the men in hangar deck were sleeping in hammocks five high and as the
top man got sick and threw up on the man below who in turn did the same
to man below etc, etc ...you didn't get to stay in the hammock during
the day as you were in long lines for chow ...the lines went all
over the ship thru narrow gangways and when you got to the chow line it
was hilarious (if you weren't there to be a part of it !!!!!) eating in
mess kits meant that when the ship lurched you would flip the lid into
the face of the man behind you and he would probably to the same to the
man behind him ......most of the food was mashed potatoes etc all with
black gravy etc .......the floors got so slippery that men were falling
to the floor and sliding aft as the ship hit another wave (many of 30-40
ft high) nobody was allowed on flight deck and the entire trip was below
with heads all clogged up and lower decks slippery with regurgitations
.......the ship kept changing course which didn't help any........was
OD one nite and stopped a lower hammock soldier who was using a knife to
cut his throat .......its tough to imagine but I definitely was glad that I was infantry rather than seaman !!!!! The storm constantly got worse and tore a 5 inch gun loose from a turret and the 18inch I beams holding up the flight deck were bent down to almost touch the bow ...my family in Chicago cut the picture of the ship with all damage showing and had it framed and hung in my bedroom to remind me how thankful I am to have returned home safely from the ocean trip and the
trip thru France to meet the Russians .........all of the above is to the best of my memory which at times is not always as good as it was 60 yrs ago so would be happy to hear from anyone who went thru some of the same experiences God Bless!!!!
From: Darrel Carnell
Believe it or not Ed; I NEVER memorized those general orders, nor do
I think I was ever quizzed about them. All I knew that was that I had
to stay awake and to salute every passing officer. Which I did most of the
Enfields? I never saw one. My first unit (and the one in which I took
basic training) was a 40 m/m anti aircraft outfit stationed at Camp
Haahn near Riverside, California. When we convoyed to the Mojave desert for
further training one or two of the guys riding the back of those six by
six trucks were issued "rifles" consisting of a length of aluminum tubing
screwed to a wooden "stock" for use in fending off enemy aircraft. I
think the first honest to goodness firearm I was ever issued was that
dumb carbine which I got, I believe, at Camp Butner. It was manufactured by
a typewriter company (whether it was Underwood, Smith-Corona or Singer
I can't remember. But it was the lousiest piece of junk I ever saw and
didn't shoot worth a damn. But maybe I was expecting too much from something
that was nothing more than a stocked pistol with a long barrel.
I do remember rolling my pack, though. Tent pole, tent pins, extra socks
and underwear, toilet articles, cigarettes, blanket and shelter half,
all held together with the tent rope. We never did get proper packs, though.
Just those musette bags that we had to convert to packs.
Soldier's Handbook? I don't think I ever saw one. Come to think about
it I never even heard of one until your e-mail. I also remember scrubbing
those canvas leggings until they were almost white. Gl soap, Gl scrub
brush, a bucket of water and lots of elbow grease. Were we still
wearing leggings when we left Camp Butner? I know for sure that we had
combat boots when we landed at Le Havre because I can still hear the
jingle of those loose buckles as the guys went to the latrine in the
middle of the night. But when did we first get those combat boots?
Speaking of Camp Haahn and those 40 rn/m Bofors anti aircraft guns has
renewed my interest in learning whether their semi-automated aiming system
was ever utilized in combat. The gun, itself, was a platform-mounted affair
with seats (or saddles) for a soldier who tracked horizontal movement
with cross hairs mounted in an iron circle and another soldier who
tracked vertical movement with his cross hairs. As I remember it,
the crew chief fired the gun by stepping on a floor-mounted treadle.
There were a couple of other guys in the crew who fed the ammo into
the gun. I think (but am not sure) that the ammo came in four or
five round clips.
Separate and apart from the gun were a gasoline operated electric
generator and what I guess was a primitive analog computer. The
"computer" was a tripod-mounted box like affair with aiming periscopes
on either end. Three men served the "computer" (one man was responsible
for keeping the target aircraft aligned vertically in his cross hairs,
the second man was responsible for the horizontal alignment while the third
man entered the estimated range to the target. The "computer" was
connected to the gun via an electrical cable which transmitted signals
that were picked up by the gun's servo motors. If the number three man
correctly estimated the range and the number one and number two men had
the target centered in their cross hairs a hit on the target was
I didn't stay on a gun crew very long because I was reassigned to
instruct battalion bugle school. In recognition of my outstanding ability
as a bugle instructor (just kidding, Scotty) I was promoted to Tech
5 and carried on the roster as a power plant operator. As I remember
it, that power plant and generator was a pretty big piece of equipment.
It was probably the size of a six by six truck engine and I think it was
water-cooled. I remember taking my turn at the "computer' to track the
P38's that were stationed across the road at March Field and when
the 38's got close in the barrel of the gun swung with alarming
(and obviously out of control) speed.
Scotty, If it is not inappropriate I wish you'd run my query about
combat use of the "computerized" aiming system in our web page.
I didn't stay on a gun crew long enough to learn whether the wild
gyrations induced by attempting to track a nearby target was ever
overcome. At the time it was my guess that the "computer" would
be useful only in tracking lumbering bombers flying a straight
and level path. It was also my guess that the "computer' would
be disengaged if the targets were low flying, strafing fighter
aircraft. I'm wondering whether the "computer" and power plant
even accompanied the guns during our time in combat or whether
they were just abandoned as a bad idea. Perhaps one of our AA guys
can give us an answer.[Ed: If you can, please email Darrel at the address above]
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