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  • Title: The 78th Infantry Lightning Division Veterans Association
    Descriptive info: .. 1917-1919 * St.. Mihiel * Lorraine * Meuse-Argonne 1942-1946 * Ardennes * Rhineland * Central Europe.. To Preserve The Contacts and Traditions of the Lightning Division.. History of the 78th Lightning Division.. The 78th Infantry Division was activated on August 23, 1917 at Camp Dix, New Jersey.. It consisted of four Infantry Regiments - the 309th, 310th, 311th and 312th and three Artillery Regiments - the 307th, 308th and 309th.. Twenty thousand soldiers made up the original division.. In France, during the summer and fall of 1918, it was the point of the wedge of the final offensive which knocked out Germany.. The 78th was in three major campaigns during World War I - Meuse-Argonne, St.. Mihiel, and Lorraine.. Demobilization at the end of World War I took place in June 1919.. In World War II, the 78th Division was reactivated at Camp Butner, North Carolina on August 15, 1942.. After two years as a Training Division, the 78th embarked for the European Theatre.. There, in combat in Belgium, France and Germany our men brought even more honor to an already proud name.. The Siegfried Line, the Roer and Rhine rivers, the Cologne plain, the Remagen bridgehead, the Ruhr pocket - all lay along the road to Berlin, where after six months of occupation duty, the Division was officially deactivated in May of  ...   Battalion, the 2nd Brigade OSUT Headquarters, and the 1st and 3rd Battalion of the 310th Regiment as well as the 1st Brigade's3rd Battalion, 309th Regiment with a composite detachment from the 78th Training Support Brigade, provided assistance in necessary Training Base Expansion at Fort Dix.. The 348th MP Detachment conducted protective service missions for key national leaders throughout the world during the mobilization period.. Coupled with the 78th's many individual fillers and volunteers for other mobilized units, the 78th Division's proud tradition of service was once again illustrated.. In 1992, the Division transformed into an Exercise Division under the Army's Bold Shift initiative.. The new mission is to conduct small unit collective training (Lanes) and computerized battle simulation exercises for client units in the First Army East area.. One of five Exercise Divisions in the United States, the 78th Division is headquartered at Edision, New Jersey with subordinate units located in New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York.. Additional History Sites.. History of the 78th Division.. - Wikipedia website.. 78th Division WW2 Occupation History.. - US Army website.. Lightning, The History Of The 78th Infantry Division in WWII.. - (Divisional Series) by Division Historical Committee.. 78th Infantry Division- WWII Living History Re-Enactment Unit - The Lightning Division.. 78th Division Reference Links.. |.. Guestbook.. Message Board.. Photos.. Stories of Interest.. Home..

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  • Title: The 78th Infantry Lightning Division Veterans Association
    Descriptive info: 78th Division Sites.. 78th Division Association Members'Sites.. My Dad Goes to War - Lynn K.. Juckett - 78th Infantry Division Headquarters.. created by Daniel Juckett as a tribute to his Dad.. Excellent site with many photos!.. The Search for Andrew E.. Lincoln.. [C-Company/309th Inf] - by Greg Farrell, webmaster, search for my uncle, who was with C-Co/309th of the 78th Division.. William Frazier Furr, a member of Company D, 309th Infantry Regiment.. who was KIA near the Schwammenauel dam - a beautifully done website.. William Block.. I was in the 78th inf division for 2 years, in 78th signal, but attached to 309th HQ throughout the war.. 310th Regiment in WW1.. Other Helpful Links.. American Battle Monuments Commission.. In-Honored-Glory.. At first the main goal of this website was to tell the stories of the men who are buried or memorialized at the American Military Cemetery at Henri-Chapelle.. But while doing research for this website and while talking to many veterans and relatives, it  ...   Division Association.. 70th Infantry Division Association.. 99th Infantry Division Association.. 100th Infantry Division.. Other Interesting websites for military research related to 78th Division and Rhineland campaign.. Arthur S.. Tozar - French World War I Museum.. The American Divisions engaged in our Region during the First World War.. The 746th Tank Battalion.. was with the 9th ID in the Remasgen Bridgehead.. The 104th Infantry Division (Timberwolves).. came like the 1st ID late into the bridgehead.. Later they found together with the 3rd Armored Division the largest underground factory during WW2 in east Germany.. The caves at the City of Nordhausen called Mittlebau Dora produced all V2 rockets.. Jewish slave workers died there in masses.. It was anhihilation through work.. The 750th Tank Battalion.. was with the 104th ID.. The D-Day Museum.. founded by Stephen Ambrose opened on June 6th 2000.. Engineering Battalions.. This is a listing of the 41 U.. S.. Army Engineer Battalions active as of 31 July, 1997.. Western Front maps.. National Archives..

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  • Title: The 78th Infantry Lightning Division Veterans Association
    Descriptive info: Nine Weeks & Eight Months In 1945.. The story of Private 1st Class Melvin Edward Abitz at the Battle of The Bulge.. Written by John Galloway.. Recognize this face?.. Helen Walker, whose Dad, Sgt Art Hagen (see photo) was in the 78th Division during WW2, is looking for anyone with information or knowledge of them.. He was then Sgt.. Arthur C Hagen, Hdq Hdq, 2nd Battalion.. Helen tells us: I know nothing about his wartime experiences, Mom always said that Dad wouldn't talk about the war.. The only story she knew was that he used to sleep at night under an ammunition truck, he always said it didn't bother him to sleep there, because if a bullet had his name on it, the bullet was going to find him no matter where he was.. Luckily none of the bullets had his name on them for all 3 of his children were born after the war! If you have any information about her father, Helen would love to hear from you.. You may  ...   fire of the 309th Infantry Regiment.. Block.. This story was als published in The Flash, January 2000, Vol.. MM, #1, pages 90-97.. The Following Four Stories are all interrelated:.. C/309th men either wounded or KIA same day March 20, 1945.. Lincoln, C-Company/309th Inf.. by Greg Farrell.. The Battle for Frankenforst.. -.. (letter to Greg Farrell).. by SSG Warren Binkley - October 1999 [Added 6 May 05].. Frankenforst today.. Rough Start for C-Company at Frankenforst.. by T/Sgt William Hanks (scribed by Greg Farrell April 27, 2005) [Added 6 May 05].. Stieldorf today.. Stieldorf.. by Harley Clare Headley January 1995 (Edited by Alison E.. Headley April 2005) [Added 5 May 05].. 78th Div After Action Report of 20 March 45 page 20.. 78th Div After Action Report of 20 March 45 page 21.. C/309 Morning Report pages 1-2, 20 March 45.. C/309 Morning Report page 3 of 20 March 45 and page 1 of 21 March 45.. C/309 Morning Report page 3 of 20 March 45 and page 1 of 21 March 45 (lower portion)..

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  • Title: The Search for Andrew E. Lincoln
    Descriptive info: The Search for Private Andrew E.. Lincoln - SN 39148637.. United States Army.. 78th Division, 309th Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion, Charlie Company (C-Co), Killed in Action March 20, 1945.. Stieldorf, Germany.. World War II.. Updated 29 Sept 1999.. This site best viewed with.. Microsoft Internet Explorer.. Click here to go to the.. The 78th Division Veterans Association.. Absolute, Most Recent Findings and Photos on Andy - Click here !.. Andrew E.. Lincoln was my uncle, an uncle I never knew.. I never got to meet him, as I was not born until May of 1950.. He was killed in action in WW2 near a little township in the western part of Germany, a placed called Stieldorf.. The date was 20 March 1945.. He was serving as a rifleman with Company C, 1st Battalion, 309th Infantry Regiment of the 78th Division.. You see, I didn't always know this.. Members of my family had always told me he was killed in the Battle of the Bulge and that he had been a clerk typist.. That is what they had been told by other members of my family.. The fact of the matter was they really didn't know they truth either.. His memory got buried in the tragedy and aftermath of the War.. My grandmother and grandfather never discussed it or about him.. I knew, however, that he had been a.. Sea Scout.. before the War, and that he loved.. sailboats.. and.. cats.. That was really about all I knew until just a few months ago.. When my grandmother passed away back in 1967, my dad acquired for safekeeping, some of her family papers.. Then about two years ago, my dad passed these papers onto me for safekeeping.. One day I had some time and started looking through them.. Amongst them, I found a.. War Department letter, addressed to my grandmother.. , Helen Lincoln, dated 23 April 1945,.. from the chaplain, Ralph L.. Cannon, concerning Andrew's death.. A copy of the letter appears below.. To my total surprise, the letter stated that Andrew had been killed in action at Stieldorf, Germany on 20 March 1945! That put his death at least 3 months after the Battle of the Bulge, and was nowhere near Belgium.. How the Battle of the Bulge story came about is complete mystery.. Rumors start and no one says to the contrary.. Grandma may have completely wiped out of her mind the letter she received from the chaplain.. The problem today is you see, there is no one living from my mom's (Andrew's sister) side of the family who would know, and the possibly still living cousins have had no contact with me for over 30 years now.. Efforts to locate the elder cousins has turned up nothing but dead-ends.. These were my mom's cousins, Julie and Sally Morton, of Martinez, California.. One day after talking with my dad, about how I might go about finding a WW2 veteran who might have known or served with Andrew, or finding someone who might be able to provide more details on his death, I decided to try a Web search using.. InferenceFind.. ,.. to try to see if I could find anything about Andrew's unit, now that I knew he had been with the 309th Infantry of the 78th Division, based on the chaplain's letter.. What I turned up was.. the 78th Divsion History homepage.. From there, I proceeded to write an e-mail letter to the.. 78th Division Commanding Officer.. , Wes Beal, seeking help.. All of the following are the results of what this initial search has provided me.. This is a true Internet success story.. One thing out of this search for answers is very clear to me - that Andrew was not a clerk typist at all, but a Diehard Combat Infantryman, serving with one of the most distinguished combat active units in the war, the 309th Infantry Regiment of the 78th Division.. The 78th Division's World War II Honor Roll lists: One Medal of Honor Winner: Nine Distinguished Services Crosses; 599 Silver Star Medals; 3,909 Bronze Star Medals and 5,454 Purple Hearts.. Andrew was one of them.. I.. f anyone out there reading this web page is a veteran, or knows a veteran who might have served with C-Company, 1st Battalion, 309th Infantry Regiment, or who might know anything about the action around Stieldorf that day, 20 March 1945, or who might have known Andrew personally, please get in contact with me.. My mailing address and email address is at the bottom of this page.. Here is the rest of the story.. Subject: Looking for Information on an Old 309th Infantry Soldier, WW2 KIA'd in Stieldorf, Germany.. Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 21:26:16 -0700.. Dear Sir:.. Ref: http://www78div.. pica.. army.. mil/78div/hist.. htm.. I am writing you because I am trying to find out more information concerning battle actions taking place during the time period in which my uncle Andrew E.. Lincoln, 39148637, was killed, while serving in the 309th Infantry, in action on 20 March 1945 in Stieldorf, Germany.. For our family, for almost 50 years, the circumstances surrounding his death have remained a total mystery.. I have only a.. copy of a letter from the unit Chaplain.. , which states:.. -----.. My Dear Mrs.. Lincoln: Recently the.. War Department had the solemn duty of informing you.. of the death of your son, Andrew E.. Lincoln, 39148637.. He was killed in action on 20 March 1945 at Stieldorf, Germany.. An Army Chaplain conducted appropriate burial services, and his remains were interred in a United States Military Cemetary located at henri Chapelle, Belgium, along with others who have fallen in battle.. I realize that this loss to you is irreparable, and my only wish at this time is that I could express my sympathy adequately.. His manifestation of strong character, manliness and courage remains a memory in this Regiment.. This memory gives us additional strength and determination to fulfill our mission.. We are proud to have had him in our Regiment.. The great things of the world have been purchased by sacrifice and suffering.. God gave His only begotten Son that men may be redeemed and inherit eternal life.. May you be comforted with the knowledge that your sacrifice was given that the good and worth while things of the world might endure.. Signed: Ralph L.. Cannon, Chaplain.. For many years, the family told the story that he was killed during the Battle of the Bulge, which is simply not true, because the letter from the Regimental Chaplain specifically describes him having been killed in action at Stieldorf, Germany.. Stieldorf is very near and just to the east of Bonn, north of Remagen, on the east side of the Rhine.. Action in this sector must have been intense, with the recent events at Remagen.. I realize that the exact details may never be know, but there may exist a daily journal in your 309th Infantry history files, which may describe the action encountered against the Germans during that time period, which only you possess.. I will gladly pay for any research costs, accept any referrals, old comrades lists, or for any reproduction work required to get at the answer.. My mailing address is:.. Greg Farrell 5509 Dupont Drive Santa Rosa, CA 95409.. Andrew was my mother's brother.. He is interred at Golden Gate  ...   Son-in-Service Star Flag in the window above Andrew's right shoulder.. This is the center of.. today, where five roads intersect.. All Stieldorf area photos courtesy of Ralf Klodt (sitting next to friend, Guido Gemein on right, Ralf on left - very nice hot rod!) , who lives about a mile away in Oberscheuren, just northeast of Stieldorf).. Stieldorf lies about 9 km north of Remagen, where the 78th Division crossed the only bridge left intact on the Rhine on 07 March 1945.. Andrew and the 1st Battalion crossed the bridge on the 7th of March.. Copy of Ralf's Letter of 19 February 1999.. , which describes the maps and photos he included.. He also included an empty powdered lemon juice ration packet, which he found in one of the B-Company foxholes near Vinxel.. Page 3.. Maps of the area in varying scales (courtesy of Ralf Klodt):.. Map 1 - Remagen-Stieldorf area 1:50,000 cm scale.. (same map,.. in PDF file format click here.. ).. Map 2 - 1:25,000 cm scale, of immediate Stieldorf area.. Map 3 - close-up of Stieldorf 1:25,000 cm scale map.. See Ralf's letter pages.. 1.. 2.. 3.. for descriptions of maps and photos.. Letter I received from Ralf, 04 March 1999, that he had located some C-Company Foxholes:.. And now finally: I ve found some C Company foxholes!!! At the most unthinkable (?) place I ve found some advanced positions of C Comp.. A few days ago I ve spent some more time to look for their foxholes in the area.. I ve checked some smaller woods in the near of Frankenforst for four hours.. It was really nice - with snow and mud and a hail storm.. I gave up there with no results, but shortly before dusk I ve checked a very small wood very close to Frankenforst - and there were some foxholes! Really unbelieveable, because those advanced troops (maybe two squads) spent the night only hundred yards away from the first buildings of Frankenforst.. On the map you can see Frankenforst and the road directly to the south.. Between this road and Frankenforst there s this small wood I m talking about.. A real high tactical risk to spent the night there! The main troops of C Company must have spent the night somewhere deep in the woods south of this road.. I then replied to Ralf with some lunar information concerning the early morning (00:00-03:00 hrs) of 20 March 1945:.. This is more good news! Who knows? Maybe Andrew dug one of those foxholes.. I suspect this was a forward listening post, or perhaps the farm was deserted at the time.. I agree with you, seems very close, but that night, the moon was in 1st quarter phase and set around 01:46 hrs.. Moving through the woods, two small squads could have easily moved up to set-up advanced positions around 02:00 am, in preparation for the morning assault at 05:45 on Frankenforst.. This moon phase calculator I searched for and found as I am writing this to you, and gives you this information.. It can be downloaded by you from.. http://www.. iserv.. net/~bsidell/moonrise.. and can give you moonrise, set, and phase for any date.. I used -1 hours from Greenwich Meantime and 7' 11 east longitude, 50' 40 north latitude for Konigswinter, to determine the exact time of the moonset.. Transit occured at 18:35 hours (moon at highest point in the sky) with sunset at 18:44 pm.. C-Company would have had to have waited to very late at night to move into the forested area, and then very quietly.. The AA reports of the 16th-19th will be very helpful to us to try to detail their movements, I agree.. Area to South of Stieldorf described in After Action Reports of 20 March 1945.. Click on any Stieldorf area photo to view it in full size.. Looking southeast towards Frankenforst.. View northeast from Frankenforst towards Stieldorf.. Note the Stieldorf church steeple on the middle left in photo.. Frankenforst from Vinxel.. View of Oelinghoven from Vinxel.. Rott (church) on left and Bockeroth on far right horizon.. Artillery barrage came from both Rott and Bockeroth.. View of Frankenforst (left) and Vinxel (right) from Bockeroth, just southwest of Stieldorf.. Note the valley in the middle of the photo.. Above, is a panorama of the little valley or draw, southwest of Oelinghoven and Stieldorf, where the artillery barrage hit C-Company in the open, according to the.. AA reports of 20 March.. Here is where we think Andrew may have been killed.. View is looking east from the vicinity east of Vinxel.. The countryside is beautiful.. Let's hope and pray fine men, American or German, never have to fight again here, against any enemy.. This is Andrew's headstone today, taken 07 March 1999, at.. Golden Gate National Cemetary, just south of San Francisco, California (link to article by my cousin about GGNC).. Andrew is in.. Section D-376.. Admiral Chester Nimitz is also buried here in section C (link to a 2nd article by my cousin about GGNC).. , within a few hundred feet of where Andrew is.. This is Andrew's Purple Heart, awarded posthumously, and Son-in-Service Star that belonged to my grandmother.. Reconstruction of the medals, ribbons, and unit patches Andy Lincoln would have worn.. Palo Alto High School Class of 1944, you can be very proud of this classmate's service.. Top left to right: 1st Army shoulder patch, Remagen Bridge Commemorative patch, 78th Division patch, Combat Infantry Badge (CIB).. Next row: 309th Regimental Crest, Presidential Unit Citation (.. Schwammenauel Dam.. ), Infantry Branch and US Collar Brass; Medals: Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal, WW2 Victory Medal; bottom is Markmanship Medal, with Rifle, Bayonet and Grenade bars (my best guess).. Andrew before the War and Family.. Andrew and my mom, Carol, circa 1933.. My mom (2nd from left) and Andrew, their cousin Sally Morton on right.. Andew loved sailing and was a dedicated Sea Scout My mom's headstone at GGNC today, not far from Andrew's, Section 2C-2464.. Andrew, Eldon (my grandfather) and my mom at the 1939 World's Fair in San Francisco.. Eldon's headstone today, not far from my mom's, Section 2C-1005.. My grandmother Helen (Andrew's mom) and my mom, circa 1940.. Grandma's headstone today (backside of Eldon's), buried alongside Eldon.. Helen died on my birthday, 1967, the end of a long family tragedy.. My Mother, Carol Marie Lincoln, Senior Picture, Palo Alto High School Class of 1945 - a stunningly beautiful woman, active in athletics, lover of the arts and intellect.. Additional Photos and Links:.. Palo Alto High School.. Alumni Homepage.. Julie Alger (Hill).. Memorial Website - Created by her beloved daughter, Victoria Alger White.. Julie was a classmate of Andrew's (Palo Alto High School Class of 1944).. Victoria has been a big help to me in providing Paly High School 50th Reunion information her mother had received just prior to her death in 1994.. Palo Alto High School Class of 1944 -.. 50th Reunion Photos.. More photos of Andrew Lincoln and Julie Alger.. from 1942 and 1944 Palo Alto High School Yearbooks.. For information, comments, and any information you might have, please write me:.. Greg (Lincoln) Farrell.. 5509 Dupont Drive.. Santa Rosa, CA 95409.. Email: gregf@NOSPAMMEpon.. net (for emailing me, just remove the NOSPAMME and leave the rest).. Visitors since 20 March 1999.. Thank You..

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  • Title: The 78th Infantry Lightning Division Veterans Association
    Descriptive info: The story of Private 1st Class Melvin Edward Abitz at the Battle of The Bulge Written by John Galloway.. Growing up in Dubuque Iowa, 18-year-old Melvin Abitz was certainly used to cold weather and snow on the ground.. But on this cold and snowy winter day, he was Private Mel Abitz of the United States Army.. He was lying in the snow on his belly in the Hurtgen forest in German trying to hide from withering machine gun fire.. Lying in the snow beside him was another 18-year-old whose last word had been Mother when a bullet hit him right between the eyes.. This was Private Abitz s first few moments in combat; he was terrified and thought he was about to die.. The Hurtgen forest lies south of Aachen in Germany and runs along the German-Belgian border.. It is roughly fifty square miles, densely wooded with tall fir trees that in 1944, were so thick they blocked the sun.. The forest floor was dark and damp with low hanging interlocking branches that made it difficult for anyone to stand up straight.. It was like a green cave, always dripping water, low roofed and forbidding.. It was a terrible place to try to fight against a well-entrenched enemy.. (1).. The Americans were pushing back against the German counter-offensive that came to be known as The Battle Of The Bulge.. The Germans were defending from behind what they called the Westwall or Siegfried Line, a nearly 400 mile long line of bunkers and fortifications that Hitler had ordered manned after the Allies invaded France on D-Day.. The Hurtgen Forest was part of that defensive line.. The campaign through the Hurtgen forest was ill-fated from the beginning.. That battle had started months before Private Abitz arrived there and had been very costly.. The Americans had taken tens of thousands of casualties.. It was difficult to command anything larger than a platoon there because soldiers lost sight of each other in the thick low hanging branches of the fir trees.. Noted historian Stephen Ambrose would later write that this battle was ill-conceived and was grossly, even criminally, stupid.. (1) The American generals would not realize until months after the battle started that the dams controlling the Ruer River should have been their first objective and not taking the dense and heavily defended forest.. The dams could have been taken from the more accessible south instead of through the forest where the Germans had a strong defensive line set up.. The forest was not that important, the dams were.. By the time Private Abitz arrived there in early January the American generals had realized that the dams should be the prime objective and it was on such a mission that Private Abitz found himself on this bitterly cold day, lying in the snow trying to stay alive.. Private Abitz had arrived at the Battle of The Bulge via troop ship, old railway cars used for both troops and horses, and finally a truck to the front lines near the German town of Lammersdorf.. He was assigned to second platoon, Company B, 309th regiment of the 78th Infantry Division.. That regiment had sustained severe casualties in the previous weeks and Private Abitz was sent up as a replacement.. His assignment was to carry a Browning Automatic Rifle, a light machine gun that could either fire single shots or machine-gun bursts.. It weighted 18 pounds and had a magazine that held 20 rounds of 30cal ammunition.. Being a new guy in the regiment, he was not acknowledged by the veterans as one of them yet; in fact, the new guys were treated like outsiders.. They were assigned to the most dangerous jobs and often took the point in any advances toward the enemy.. Private Abitz was assigned to an assault squad that would lead his company through the forest toward a German gun emplacement, which had blocked their advance toward the Schwannenval Dam over the Ruhr River.. (2).. On this day, January 10, 1945 it was below freezing and the Americans were outfitted with only a green army field jacket which stood out against the white snow and made them easy targets for the German guns.. The morning had started at 7am with Private Abitz s squad out ahead of the rest of the company, scouting and running a communication wire forward toward the German lines.. The battle erupted when one of the men carrying the wire stepped on a Shu mine, blowing off the bottom of his leg from the knee down.. The explosion also alerted the Germans of the American movements toward their positions.. The Germans had cleared the terrain near their emplacements in order to have a clear field of fire and their guns and artillery immediately opened up on the exposed Americans.. Explosions from munitions designed to explode in the treetops rained down on them sending both hot metal and shards of splintered trees onto the soldiers.. Both heavy and light machine guns found their easily identifiable targets.. There was no place to hide.. Ahead they could see the fortified pillbox with heavy machine guns extending from metal gun ports fixed into thick concrete bunker walls.. That machine gun fire was murderous; they knew they had to knock it out if they had any chance of survival.. Private Abitz was assigned to cover the bazooka man with his weapon but it had jammed due to the snow; he was unclear what his next move was going to be.. Then he saw his sergeant ahead giving orders to a soldier to move forward with a beehive mine, which is a shaped-charge, and attack the pillbox.. The platoon lieutenant, himself under heavy fire, provided covering fire for the soldier as he made his way forward toward the pillbox.. Private Abitz stared in disbelief as the soldier was cut down a few yards ahead and lay dead in the snow.. The sergeant then yelled to another man to move forward and Private Abitz watched as he was also cut down on his way forward carrying the mine.. A third man was ordered to take up the mission only to be cut down a few yards ahead of the other two men.. The mine had been moved within 30 feet of the pillbox but at the cost of three American lives.. The sergeant looked around for another man to attack the pillbox and ordered Private Abitz to be the next to move forward.. Stopping only long enough to receive instructions from the sergeant on how to set off the mine, he made his way toward where the mine now lay in the snow near his three dead buddies.. On his way forward to retrieve the mine, Private Abitz, having no working weapon to defend himself with, stopped at each dead body and took the hand grenades off the belts of his fallen comrades.. He then picked up the mine and ran into intense German fire, taking what cover he could and ran toward the wire that was surrounding the bunker.. Private Abitz came under direct fire from burp-guns and rifles from German-occupied-foxholes near the pillbox, but he silenced them with his hand grenades.. His grenades killed four Germans and gave him a momentary clear path to the perimeter of the pillbox ahead.. Private Abitz ran at full speed with the heavy mine and somehow made his way over the barbed wire that was defending the pillbox.. Suddenly he found himself dropping unexpectedly into in a trench that surrounded the pillbox.. Also in the trench with Private Abitz were several German troops who were scurrying around and who seemed to be just as terrified as he was.. What happened next probably took only about a minute but seemed like a lifetime to Private Melvin Abitz.. When Private Abitz was unable to climb up to the relatively thin roof to set off the mine as instructed by his sergeant, he noticed a 3 steel door slightly ajar and quickly realized that it lead inside the bunker packed with Germans.. Opening the door and moving inside the bunker he took the mine and laid it on it s side and aimed it down the short corridor which led into  ...   amounts of men and material into the fight including heavy concentrations of anti-aircraft guns which they used to knock down the dive bombers and the jet fighters.. As they settled down that first night, PFC Abitz s unit occupied the home of Willie Messerschmitt who designed the ME262 jet fighters that the Allies were knocking out of the skies that day.. As the 309th regrouped and headed northeast, they were forced to fight every step of the way.. The terrain was rough, hilly and heavily forested.. On March 11, PFC Abitz was once again part of a 12-man squad sent out on a scouting mission at night looking for the famous German autobahn.. It was pitch dark and as they were walking through a clearing that had a dirt road, they suddenly heard mechanized German troops coming down the road.. The squad got off the road taking what little cover there was in the clearing and hoped to keep quiet and let the Germans pass.. As the enemy got near one of the soldiers in the squad did something stupid and decided to challenge the German troops.. His fellow American soldiers were disbelieving when he stood up and yelled halt ! The reply from the Germans was an instant barrage of small arms fire and explosions from mortar or grenades.. The Germans sent up a bright parachute flare which lit up the clearing as if it were broad daylight.. Fully illuminated and with no place to hide, the Americans were, to use PFC Abitz s words, being mowed down.. He heard and then saw a nearby fellow soldier screaming in pain.. He picked him up and threw him over his shoulder and started running away from the sound of the enemy guns.. An explosion, probably from a grenade, knocked them down and PFC Abitz received a large wound in his thigh that was bled profusely.. The wounded soldier who was being carried by PFC Abitz was killed instantly, probably taking most of the blast of the explosion.. His attempt to save his buddy s life may have instead saved his own.. It was pitch dark again when the flare went out and PFC Abitz wrapped a dirty wool scarf around his leg as a tourniquet in an effort to stop the bleeding.. Losing his helmet, rifle and most of his other gear, he starting crawling away from the sounds of the enemy fire.. He crawled all night until he passed out on the crest of a hill sometime later that night.. He was awakened around dawn by the sounds of soldiers at the base of the hill and was relieved to see they were Americans.. At first it was not clear whether or not they would mistake him for a German and fire at him but thankfully they did recognized him and sent a team to bring him back to their aid station to receive medical care for his wounds.. He had been saved by a unit of the 9th Armored Division.. They later transported him back to their regimental hospital for further medical care.. He could barely comprehend what he saw upon arriving at the regimental hospital; he was not sure if it was real or a pain induced nightmare.. Like some gruesome movie there were men having limbs amputated and screaming in pain.. Off to one side was a large barrel filled with amputated body parts.. There was blood everywhere.. He tried his best to sleep and forget all that he had seen.. He was weak and throughly exhausted.. As far as he knew he was the only man to survive the firefight that night in the dark German woods.. Stabilized, he was sent back across the Rhine in a small boat as the heavily damaged Ludendorff bridge was still one-way traffic heading into Germany, carrying Allied troops into the fight.. A few days later the battle-scared bridge finally collapsed into the Rhine.. He arrived at a hospital back in Liege Belgium located in the basement of a building.. When a nurse began cutting the bandage away he got a good look at the wound for the first time.. The wound appeared to be about 3 inches deep, 5 inches wide and 7 inches long.. The flesh had grown into the bandage and without benefit of pain medication or even a bullet to bite, the nurse slowly cut the bandage out of the wound with a small pair of scissors.. The pain was intense as his flesh tore away with the bandage.. PFC Abitz is quite sure he bent the brass headboard above his head as she slowly cut away both the bandage and some of his flesh.. He could t help but notice the close location of the wound to another important body part and later told his children that had the wound been one inch higher they would never have been born.. Back home, his parents gratefully received a telegram informing them that their son was alive and in a hospital.. Two weeks earlier, they had been informed that he was missing in action.. This, of course, was a common scene during World War II.. Hundreds of thousands of American families would receive the dreaded telegram from the President telling them that their loved one would never be coming home.. He was later flown to England from Belgium on a DC-3 (C-47) where he received skin grafts on his right leg with skin taken from his left leg.. Weeks later, a hospital ship carried him back to the United States where he spent 5 months in a Topeka, Kansas hospital recovering from his woulds and having surgery to close the 4-inch gap in the flesh of his leg.. During his service to his country, PFC Abitz spent a total of 9 weeks in combat and 8 months in hospitals.. For this soldier, the fighting part of the war was over now.. The memories would be with him forever.. Epilog.. Mel Abitz was raised in the Mid-West by his mother and step-father.. He was in middle-school when WWII broke out in December of 1941.. Upon reaching his 18th birthday, Mel tried to enlist into the pilot training program of both the Navy and the Army Air Corp but was rejected because of imperfect color perception.. He was also rejected from serving in the Paratroops because of the same reason.. He waited to be drafted and was sent to Camp Roberts in the California desert for his basic training.. After being assigned to the 69th Infantry Division in Mississippi, Mel was shipped out from New York to England where he made his way across the English Channel to the front lines as a replacement in the 78th Infantry Division, nicknamed the Lighting Division.. Mel earned several medals including The Purple Heart, The Silver Star, The Bronze Star and The British Military Medal.. Like most GIs from what we now call The Greatest Generation, Mel put the war behind him and began his new life by going to school on the GI Bill; he studied industrial design at the Chicago Art Institute.. He married Ruth Emily Sargeant, an art student there and raised two successful daughters when they moved to Florida in 1956.. He worked as a design engineer and plant manager for a furniture factory in Tampa and retired at age 60.. Growing up on the Mississippi River, Mel has always had a love for boats; he has designed and built several and has won national boat design awards.. He and Ruth still live in Tampa where they both have tremendous and well-deserved pride in their family and are now enjoying the successes of their grandchildren.. Mel and Ruth are now 86 years old.. The events in this article were taken from interviews I did with Mel and Ruth during March and April 2012.. To learn more about the 78th Infantry Division s capture of the Schwammenauel Dam and battles in Germany please see:.. lonesentry.. com/gi_stories_booklets/78thinfantry/index.. html.. Footnotes:.. (1) Citizen Soldier , chapter 6, Stephan E.. Ambrose; (2) The River Ruhr is often see as Roer and it is confusing as to whether both spellings are correct.. Contact the Author, John Galloway at.. Liberty.. one@earthlink.. net.. for more information..

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  • Title:
    Descriptive info: (this letter to the editor, Bill Parsons, appeared in the July 1999 edition of The Flash ).. Whenever I read The Flash I cannot help but go back in time.. What memories I have of 55 years ago.. It seems like yesterday.. I still have nightmares.. I lost my very best friend Angello Aurelli, shot and killed while firing at the German advance units that surprised us at the outskirts of Kesternich.. We were on top of a hill and it seemed that the entire German Army was coming toward us.. Tanks and infantry as far as the eye could see.. How did they break through without any detection?.. Our squad leader called for help.. The response was the Germans are all around our division.. We will send a tank to get your squad off the hill.. It seemed like eternity, we were digging in and firing at the same time.. We had no advance warning.. A tank showed up and we jumped on.. We may get out of this mess yet I thought.. We hit hedgerows and it took three attempts to break through.. Finally we were driven into town and we joined up with the rest of G Company, 310 Infantry.. We took positions in two houses and dug in around the perimeter.. We had two heavy machine guns on the outside of the houses.. We covered our front with traversing fire.. Within a short time a direct hit from an 88 hit our porch, destroying our machine gun and killing the men operating the weapon.. The Germans sent in their infantry.. We were able to stop them but suffered heavy losses.. Then the tanks approached.. We fired our bazookas, but they kept coming.. Another hit on our house destroyed the front of the building.. I was knocked out and most of the other men in the building were also wounded or killed.. Our Captain Sperry was shot in the throat and could hardly talk.. When I finally came to, we were out of ammo.. The Germans  ...   so young.. I don't know, maybe my youthful looking face saved the day for me.. I was seperated from all American G.. I.. 's.. Just imagine I was Jewish and all alone in Germany.. I thought I was up a creek without a paddle.. I recall many stories with the Gestapo, boxcars, starvation, constant pain, no overcoat, gloves, or overshoes (coldest winter in Europe ever).. These are some of the memories.. I later found out that Captain Sperry was killed by our bombers while in a prison camp.. There were forty-two officers in a barrrack and only two survived.. The horrors of death in the prison campo still haunt me to this day.. I recently visited the grave sites in Europe where our buddies are at peace and.. I wrote to them about our feelings.. My Dedication to our Departed Comrades.. May you slumber in peace.. We will never forget your supreme sacrifice.. You gave the most.. You will always be remembered in our hearts.. We salute you in your eternal resting place.. Whereever you may be, take heed that your deeds to help mankind will always be remembered By Mankind.. As we look back and reflect that we fought and sacrificed for our principles of Freedom against tyranny and injustice, we want you to know over 50 years later, that we still preserve these ideals for ourselves and our children to honor and cherish.. You therefore.. Did not Die in Vain.. so rest in peace.. God Bless you comrades wherever you are.. Before we leave this cemetery, let us all reflect on this moment.. As we look out at all the grave markers, it's not just granite and stone, but many bodies and souls huddled to keep warm.. They formed their own comradeship amongst themselves.. These young servicemen fought and died together.. Let's never forget what they did.. They are lying cold out there but if we remember them in our hearts.. they will never be cold again.. These are my thoughts.. Irving Booksin.. G Company 310th Infantry..

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  • Title: 4 Oct 1999
    Descriptive info: 4 Oct 1999.. Dear Greg,.. Received your letter last week, very glad that I have been able to confirm the after-action report of 20 March 1945 for you.. After 54 years, it is hard to find people who can do these things.. We immediately ran into the buildings and our most direct access was thruy the gate and alleywaty between the two houses.. Our lead elements froze there momentarily.. If Arthur Carey’s memory is still good and I sure hope it is, he will be able to give you the story of the rest of that day.. He was quite a soldier, believe me.. Regarding your question about the deployment for the attack on Frankenforst.. Any foxholes found there would have been for a small recon patrol at most.. The company moved up to the Line of Departure at the edge of some woods, just before the attack time.. This is roughly the general layout of the farm as nearly as I can recall it.. Needless to say, I wasn’t really that interested in the layout.. Our initial movement had to funnel through the gate between the houses.. When I got to the gate, everyone had froze up, afraid of what was on the other side of those houses.. One of the platoon sergents and I were the first ones thru the gate, then the others came in.. Fortunately, we encountered little opposition.. Our losses primarily came from the tank and artillery fire, all German 88’s.. I’m trying to help you understand what happened in those first few hours.. It may sound like I’m trying to take a little extra credit for doing a few things.. I’m not.. Most actions in combat situations occcur without thought.. They are reactions to a given situation.. When we crossed the Line of Departure we immediately ran into the buildings and alleyway between the two houses.. When the platoon Sargent and I got there, no one was going through.. I can understand why, had there been one machine gun covering that location, we would not have gotten thru.. Fortunately for us, there was no one there to stop us.. Ater getting thru the initial setback, the riflemen proceeded to clear the buildings.. Our machine gun squad headed for the dairy barn to get better fields of fire.. Enemy resistence was very light at this point.. It was at this  ...   hospital, I returned to join C-Co/309 Infantry on occupation duty in Germany.. In November ’45, I decided to go regular Army and I enlisted as such at that time.. I retired as a Master Sergeant (E8) on May 1, 1965.. During those years I served in Alaska 5 years and supervised the building of three defence perimeters around the Eielson Air Force Base 26 miles out of Fairbanks, served in Fort Lewis Washington, served one tour in Korea, 1 additional tour in Europe, at Fort Mead Maryland, at Fort Ord California as training cadre and Fort Knox, Kentucky as Senior Instructor in a 150 man instructor group.. In March 1953, I married a girl from Belgium who had taken care of a friend’s grave (placed flowers, took pictures, etc.. for them) at Henri Chappel Cemetary in Belgium.. He was 19 years old when he was killed on the Cologne Plains at a place called Engen, Germany on 3 March 1945.. This is another story.. Last night we were looking at some old pictures and I realized that Mrs.. Burnham had written the same comment on the back, that John Burnham was killed in the Battle of the Bulge.. Apparently the way the news was reported, many of our parents got confused about which battles started and ended when.. The Battle of the Bulge became a catch all for most of the fighting that took place in eastern Belgium, and western Germany.. I’ll give you the name of another book you may want to read.. It is the story of an officer who was an infantry platoon leader and company commander from D-Day thru the end of the war.. The title is.. If You Survive.. written by George Wilson.. I found it rather interesting sometimes a little confusing.. Pulbsihed by Ballantine Books in a pocket book edition copyright 1987.. Hopefully, most all of your questions have been answered.. I shall check on that block on my telephone, I was unaware of it.. By the way, my wife and I have six children.. One is a Lt.. Colonel due to retire in about two years.. All five of the boys have had some military training, be it ROTC, National Guard regular Army.. Hope this all makes sense to you.. One of these days maybe I’ll be rid of this flu bug and get my voice back.. Sincerely,.. Warren..

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  • Title:
    Descriptive info: April 27, 2005.. Sarge, Ralf and Chuck,.. I received a call today from a William Hanks.. He had just read the Flash and saw the Frankenforst map from SSG Binkley.. Said he was a squad leader with C-Co/309th wounded also at Frankenforst on March 20, 1945.. He lives alone in Decatur, Illinois and I know would love to talk with any of you.. Has a memory as sharp as a fresh razor blade.. Said his Plt.. Sargent was named Even.. He came into the 78th in early Dec.. 1944 redeployed from the 34th Division in Italy.. Stateside he was National Guard 33rd Division, part of the mobilization in 1940-41 under the Rainbow Plan , a one year activation that ended up going for 5 years.. Was training cadre at Ft Benning.. He said the map SSG Binkley had drawn of Frankenforst was pretty darned accurate.. Said the Germans started hitting them there with mortar fire through the roofs and he lost 7 of his men before he and his BAR man were hit in the hay barn..  ...   line towards the farm through the open space field.. The shit didn't hit the fan till they were inside.. Someone evidently in the dairy barn thought they saw a sniper or had received sniper fire, and returned fire with a.. 30 cal machine gun.. Then all hell broke look with mortar rounds coming in through the roof tops.. He has an extraordinary recall of the details.. He even recalled the listening post that had been setup (the foxhole you found Ralf) with the rusted wire spool next to it.. He also said he had been back there in 1985 and 1989 when the Plaques were dedicated at the Bridge Towers.. The old disappointing part was he did not know Andrew but the good news is we have more details about Frankenforst! (said they called it Franken-first ).. The amazing thing is the memory about it and that it was a clearing objective before they moved towards Stieldorf.. T/Sgt Hanks appears in the morning reports dated 20Mar45, alongside SSG Warren Binkley being transferred to evac hospital.. Regards,.. Greg..

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  • Title:
    Descriptive info: Latest Scans.. Remagen, Foxhole, and Henri-Chapelle Cemetary Courtesy of Ralf Kladt.. Andy at home 1945 THANKSGIVING!.. Based on.. new information.. from Vito LoPiccolo (B/310th), who knew Andy in the US Army, and served with him during training, they were given a 2 week furlough at Thanksgiving 1944, and this was the last time they saw home.. In December they started preparation for deployment overseas.. Remagen Bridge Today.. Remagen Bridge - Plaque Commemorating 78th Division's Role in taking of the bridge.. C-Company Foxhole at Frankenforst, established night of 19 March or early a.. m.. of 20 March 1945, very close to the Frankenforst Farming Compound.. Note 30-06 (M1  ...   of 30-06 Garand Shell Casing Found at C-Company Foxhole.. Henri-Chapelle Cemetary - where Andy was first buried.. Henri-Chapelle Cemetary Headstones.. Palo Alto Times - Andrew Lincoln Missing in Action - article in Saturday April 7th, 1945 edition.. Palo Alto High School Today.. Old Saying over doorway to Auditorium at Palo Alto High - helped guide this generation.. Gold Star Memorial Plaque at Palo Alto High School.. - listing all WW2 related deaths of Alumni (this plaque can be found at back west end of auditorium, behind main building.. Andy's House today at 1243 Parkinson Avenue.. 1945 Photo of Andy in front of house superimposed over same scene today..

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  • Title: Letter from Greg Farrell to Stanley Polny, Bill Parsons
    Descriptive info: 29 December 1998.. Bill Parsons 224 Myers Corners Rd Wappinger Falls, NY 12590.. Stanley Polny 921 Liberty Street McKees Rock, PA 15136.. Sheppard P.. O.. Box 175 Sutter Creek, CA 95685.. Dobrenchuck 935 Las Lomas Ave.. Pacific Palisades, CA 90272.. Dear Bill, Stanley, Mervin and Stephen,.. First of all, I am going to open my letter to say thank you to Mr.. Stanley Polny for his efforts to investigate specific information concerning my uncle Andrew Lincoln, who served with the 309th.. I really appreciated the History of the 309th Infantry Regiment sent me.. I know now, that my uncle was part of a very distinguished , front-line combat infantry unit , was with C-Company, 1st Battalion, of the 309th, as stated in Stanley's letter to me of December 23rd.. It is interesting to note that Andrew has a place in history in being among the first units to cross over the Rhine on March 9th on the Ludendorf Bridge at Remagen.. At the top of page 28 of the 309th History, describes in general terms the action of the day of his death on March 20th.. Thanks also for the referrals to Mervin Sheppard and Stephen Dobrenchuck, who  ...   until advised by Stanley's letter to me.. I am trying to unravel a family mystery and seek your help.. Now that we know Andrew Lincoln was with C-Company, 1st Battalion, I wonder if any former members of C-Company out there, who might have some recollection of him or any knowledge of the circumstances surrounding his death in Stieldorf, which is a small township east of Bonn, on 20 March 1945.. Cannon's letter to my grandmother, dated 23 April 1945, which references also his service number 39148637, to Mr.. Mervin Sheppard and Mr.. Stephen Dobrencheck, as this is my first correspondence to them.. I hope covering all four of you fine gentlemen in one single letter is not too confusing.. Stanley suggested that Bill Parsons might be able to print a portion of my letter asking any former C-Company 1st Battlalion members with knowledge of Andrew Lincoln, to write me and share their memories, what knowledge they might have of him, and any details around the circumstances of his death at Stieldorf.. I believe his rank would have been Private or PFC.. I am not sure what his role would have been in C-Company, whether a rifleman or not..

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  • Title: Letter from Ralf Klodt dated Sun, 10 Jan 1999
    Descriptive info: Subject: Andrew Lincoln, KIA near Stieldorf/Germany Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 00:58:34 +0100 From: Arno Blaskowski arnob@home.. ivm.. de To: gregf@pon.. net.. Dear Mr.. Farrell,.. I ve read your letter about your uncle Anrew Lincoln in the Flash magazine which is a publication for the 78th Infantry Division Association.. I m in contact with this association for over two years now and I m living in Koenigswinter/Germany.. Stieldorf is a village that belongs to the City of Koenigswinter.. Stieldorf is just one (!) mile away from where I m living and maybe I can help you with your request.. I have several unit histories of the 78th ID and I m going to check them for you, but I think there s not much concerning to Stieldorf.. In addition to this I m going to send you some photos that show how the area is looking today and I m going to copy you some maps.. These things could give you an idea about the place your uncle was killed, if you ve no other reactions from the veterans.. But before  ...   (picture-to-picture) of some photos that were taken of your uncle during wartime, if you have some.. Of course I m going to pay for all expenses! It would be great to get something like this for my collection.. Excuse me: great sounds a little bit strange concerning to your dead uncle.. But I m very interested in everything that had happened here in this area during the war.. I appreciate very much what you re doing, because someday I have to do the same.. My grandfather is MIA in Russia.. Again: please ask everything you like via E-mail or Fax and then I m going to help you as much as I can!.. Sincerely.. Ralf Klodt.. PS: In April/May the 78th ID visits Belgium and Germany during a Battlefield Tour.. As I did in 1997, I ve invited the group to Koenigswinter.. They re going to stay in the area for 2 1/2 days.. That would be the best way for you: to see the place where your uncle was killed! Think about it and ask Bill Parsons for all tour details!..

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