Found in Europe:
7th Armored Division Items Found in Europe
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Last updated: February 6, 2017 - What's New?
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7th Armd Div Patch

This web page presents 7AD-related items that have been found by local World War II historians and citizens in Europe.
If you have any information on any of these items or if you have found an item, please contact Wesley Johnston

Contents


M. E. Marquet Letter and Jacket (7AD Trains) found at La Roche, Belgium
Found at La Roche, Belgium by Bertrand Elias Found at La Roche, Belgium by Bertrand Elias
Click on the image for full-size image.

M. E. Marquet was apparently an officer in Division Trains, although no other information has been found for him yet.

Bertrand Elias of Belgium found the letter and the jacket, which has Marquet's name on it, at La Roche, Belgium in 2011.

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Ira Wagner's bag (7AD Div HQ - Div Surgeon)
Division Surgeon Lt. Col. Ira G. Wagner, Jr.'s bag Division Surgeon Lt. Col. Ira G. Wagner, Jr.'s bag
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Lt. Col. Ira G. Wagner, Jr. was announced as Division Surgeon in 7AD GO #42 (17 Aug 1942). He was apparently replaced by Lt. Col. Hugh B. Disharoon, whose death was announced in 7AD GO #31 (22 Aug 1943). So Col. Wagner apparently did not sail to Europe with 7AD.

Mike Sessions of Essex, England found the bag for sale in 2011 in a military antique shop in Battlesbridge, England and has no other information about where the bag was originally found.

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Theodore Erdman's Helmet (A/23 KIA)
A/23 KIA Theodore Erdman's Helmet and liner A/23 KIA Theodore Erdman's Helmet and liner
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Pvt. Theodore W. Erdman of Sheboygan, Wisconsin was killed 29 October 1944 in the vicinity of Liesel, Netherlands, during the German counter-attack through Meijel that began 27 October 1944.

Niek Hendrix discovered that a collector had Erdman's helmet and was able to purchase it from him in October 2010. Unfortunately, there is no information about where the helmet was originally found.

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Dudley Britton's Bag (B/23 CO)
B/23 CO Dudley J. Britton's Bag, found in house at Marbou&ecaute;, France
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Capt. Dudley J. Britton was the company commander of Company "B" of 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion when B/23 from September 1943 until 1 September 1944, when he was sent sick to an evacuation hospital. On 16 November 1944, at Ekkelrode, Netherlands, he returned from the 8th Convalescent Hospital to duty and to command of B/23.

On 15 August 1944, B/23 was given a mission of circling around Chartres, France from the southwest and then attacking north into the city from the south. However, their maps were not adequate, and when they reached the point where they were supposed to turn left (north), they turned right and drove many miles to the south until they were ambushed at the town of Marboué with heavy casualties and loss of vehicles.

In August 2009, area WWII historian Jean-Pierre Noeljean sent the above photograph. The bag had been found -- in excellent condition -- in an old house at Marboué.

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Rocco Di Leo's Helmet and Liner (B/23 POW)
Rocco Di Leo's Helmet, found in France
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On September 10, 1944, Rocco Di Leo was captured in the bridgehead across the Moselle River from Dornot, France. It had been found by September 2006, but it is not yet known exactly when nor precisely where his helmet was found.

Click here to see a PDF file with multiple photos of the helmet and liner.

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Maynard Katzman's Raincoat (B/23) + 2 other probable B/23 men
Click on an image to see it full-size.

Area of 23 AIB camp

Coat location
50.805962,5.776114

9-23 November 1944 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion were at Eckelrade, Netherlands, and "an intensive training schedule was carried out from 10 Nov 44 to 22 Nov 44. Infantry-tank cooperation was stressed, and all line companies participated in field problems with elements of the 31st Tank Battalion. During this period, special training was begun in the attack of a fortified line, and elementary armored infantry tactics were reviewed in order to orient and re-train replacements unacquainted with such work." (23 AIB After Action Report)

In April 2013, Dutch student Bjorn Meeuwsen of Eckelrade found the above items. One of the raincoats had the laundry marking "K-5979" which corresponds to Pfc Maynard M. Katzman (39 125 979) of B/23. The raincoats are very fragile, and Bjorn's uncle has made a frame to display them.

In addition, Bjorn found - in the same area and thus probably a member of 23 AIB -- the mess kit below, with the fork with the laundry mark I-3398. Thus far, the identity of I-3398 has not been established.

In August 2013, Bjorn found the name plate from a silver bracelet, engraved with "Anthony D'Orlando" and "42061178". I cannot find a record of Anthony D'Orlando in my incomplete files of 7AD men, but he is listed in the National Archives Enlistment Database as being from New York City but born 1907 in Massachusetts, with his civilian profession being a jeweler, watchmaker, goldsmith or silversmith, so that the silver bracelet may have been of his own making. I am keeping all these items together since they were all found in the same place.

All elements of 23 AIB were quartered in Ecklerade from 9 to 23 November 1944, in reserve. So even though I only know the unit of one of the three, I am keeping all these items together since they were all found in the same place and may all from 23 AIB men.

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Joseph J. Butler's Helmet (C/23 KIA)
C/23 KIA Joseph Butler's Helmet, found in the Netherlands
Click on the image for full-size image.
Click here for PDF of 11 images of helmet and liner.

Joseph J. Butler was killed in action 3 October 1944, during the attack from St. Anthonis to Overloon, Netherlands, by Company "C" of 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion. In 2014, Jeremy Severn purchased Joseph Butler's helmet (which included the liner) from a collector in the Netherlands and sold it to a collector named Bubba Havens.

Clearly, it appears that a bullet to the left front of his head penetrated Joseph Butler's helmet and liner and was probably the cause of his death. Records thus far obtained do not contain information about how he was killed nor the precise location.

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Kyle McKay Galyean's Helmet (C/23 KIA)
C/23 KIA Kyle Galyean's Helmet, found at Vittonville, France C/23 KIA Kyle Galyean's Helmet, found at Vittonville, France
Click on the image for full-size image.

On 15 September 1944, at Vittonville, France, three men of Company "C" of 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion went Missing in Action, though that was not officially recognized until 18 September. One of those men was Pfc. Kyle Galyean. C/23 had experienced heavy artillery the entire day, with some small arms opposition. C/23 had a mission to cross the Moselle River that day and move on. There is no record of who recovered his remains, but he was apparently not recovered until 22 or 23 September - a week after he had been killed. He was buried at the temporary US Military Cemetery at Andilly, France. His sister Blanche Jennings was his next of kin, and she decided that his final resting place should be in France. Thus in July 1947, he was exhumed and reburied in the permanent Lorraine US Military Cemetery at St. Avold, France.

In October 2008, area WWII historian Jean Laurent found a US soldier's helmet near Vittonville and contacted 7th Armored Division Association Historian & Web Master Wesley Johnston, sending the above two photographs. The key to identifying the helmet is on the strap at the back of the helmet, where G-4483 can still be seen faintly. Soldiers would identify their belongings by using the first letter of their last name and the last four digits of their Army Serial Number. Kyle Galyean's serial number was 34 254 483. So Wesley Johnston's search of his files for the G-4483 combination very quickly revealed that it was Kyle Galyean's helmet. Once Jean Laurent learned that Kyle Galyean was buried at St. Avold, he adopted his grave to become the caretaker to honor the memory and sacrifice of Kyle Galyean.

Clearly the hole in the back of the helmet is ominous. The exact cause of Kyle Galyean's death was never determined. However, the condition of his remains was recorded when he was exhumed for transfer to his final burial. And they bear testimony to a sudden violent death: "Crushed skull. All major bones fractured and/or missing, except left humerus, right radius and left radius, left ulna and right ulna, and left clavicle."

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Luther B. Wilmer's bag (C/23)
C/23 Luther B. Wilmer's bar, found at Chateua-Gontier, France C/23 Luther B. Wilmer's bar, found at Chateua-Gontier, France C/23 Luther B. Wilmer's bar, found at Chateua-Gontier, France
Click on the image for full-size image.

The bag was found by a citizen of Château-Gontier (20 miles south of Laval, France) who found the bag shortly after the August 7, 1944 libertaion of Château-Gontier by the 5th Infantry Division. 7th Armored Division did not come ashore in France until August 10-11. The Division passed rapidly through Laval on August 13, enroute to Evron and Ste. Suzanne, northeast of Laval. There is no record of any element of 7th Armored Division being south of Laval at all and definitely not by 20 miles. So it is almost certainly the case that the bag was not lost at Château-Gontier but more likely at Laval. It could, of course, have been brought from Laval to Château-Gontier after it was found, then discarded, and then found again. We will probably never know.

A French citizen now has the bag, and asked Alexis Boban to find out about it. So we can thank Alexis Boban for the photographs and the information that he has provided about the bag.

Luther Wilmer survived the war but was lucky to do so. Within a month and a half after going through Laval, he had survived not just one but two tragic actions that took the lives of his buddies.

On September 1, 1944 -- just 19 days after passing through Laval, just before they reached Verdun, France, an 88mm German shell hit the trees, causing a tree burst, while the men were dismounted from their half-track. They were chased back to the half-track by German machine gun fire. Luther Wilmer, the half-track driver, drove the half-track 40 mph (very fast for a half-track), and another German tree burst hit in front of them. Then just as they reached the spot where it had hit, another tree burst hit the same location. Pfc. George McClure and Pvt. Joseph Pozolante were killed, and Platoon Leader, Lt. Sweeney who was in the machine gun turret atop the half-track, was wounded. Leroy Selhorst, who told the story of this action in 2006, was also wounded.

On September 30, 1944 Luther Wilmer survived the second action. C/23 woke up at Deurne, Netherlands. During the morning, they moved about 15 miles to St. Anthonis. In the afternoon, they were part of the 7th Armored Division attack southward toward Overloon into completely unfamiliar terrain, defended by a well-entrenched enemy who had had the luxury of several days to build their position. Squad Leader S/Sgt. Raymond Hill did not survive the day, and Pvt. Ludwig and Pvt. Johnson were wounded.

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Max E. Birnell (31 Tank) Dogtags found on farm near St. Vith, Belgium
Found near St. Vith, Belgium by Bertrand Elias
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Max E. Birnell is believed to have been in 31st Tank Battalion, although no other information has been found for him yet.

Bertrand Elias of Belgium found the dogtags on a farm near St. Vith, Belgium in 2011.

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Benjamin P. Borkowski (C/33 Engr) Dogtag (KIA at Sillegny, France)
Benjamin Borkwoski Dogtag
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Benjamin Borkowski was in either 2nd or 3rd Platoon, Company C, 33rd Armored Engineer Battalion. He was killed 19 Sep 1944, during a day of multiple attacks to attempt to seize the town of Sillegny, France.

Florien Ostrowski obtained Benjamin Borkowski's dogtag from a collector in France in 2016. The dogtag was found at Andilly, France, which was the location of the temporary U. S. Military Cemetery in which Benjamin Borkowski was first interred. (Thanks to Jean-Marc Tabard for sending the photo and information.)

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Walter Johnston, Sam Shortt & James Bateman (AT/B/38) Signed Dollar Bill at Lambermont, Belgium
Found near St. Vith, Belgium by Bertrand Elias
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In January 1945, the first squad of the Anti-tank Platoon of Company B, 38th Armored Infantry Battalion, quartered in the home of the Schreiber family in Lambermont, Belgium. Walter Johnston, Sam Shortt and Jim Bateman each signed the same dollar bill, which they gave to 7-year-old Roger Schreiber. In 1998, Walter Johnston's son Wesley visited in Lambermont, and Roger Schreiber presented him with the dollar.

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Louis Slanina's Bracelet (B/48) at Overloon, Netherlands
Click here to see the Newsday Youtube video about the bracelet.

On 4 November 2010, Robbie Kerver found the bracelet of S/Sgt. Louis M. Slanina at Overloon, Netherlands. He tried to locate him, but he had died in 2009. But Robbie was able to find Louis Slanina's daughter to let her know about the bracelet.

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Howard Powell's Cap (A/48) in Belgium & Unknown 33 AEB Officer Items

For a week in January 1945, 7th Armored Division troops were quartered in Belgian citizens' homes in the vicinity of Verviers, Belgium. One of those homes was that of Thierry Picquot's father, Emile Picquot, on Rue des Wallons in Verviers, where members of 33rd Armored Engineer Battalion (possibly Company A) were quartered. Howard Powell gave his cap to the family as a souvenir, although Powell's A/48 quartered 1.5 miles west of Spa at Marteau.

A/48 Howard Powell Cap in Belgium A/48 Howard Powell Cap in Belgium A/48 Howard Powell Cap in Belgium
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The Picquot family also received a number of books and an officer's shirt with an engineer collar pin, but at this time I do not know who this officer was. So even though these are 33 AEB items, I am including them here until we know who the officer was. The elements of 33 AEB quartered in diverse places near Verviers, but the only one close to Verviers was Company C, which quartered at Ensival, about 2 miles from Rue des Wallons. There is a photo of an Engineer officer, taken at a neighbor's house at 41 Rue des Wallons. It was probably this officer who gave the items to the Picquot family. The young man in the photo is Emile Picquot, age 17, who was a member of the Belgian Resistance since August 1943.

Unknown 33 AEB Officer 33 AEB Officer Items 33 AEB Officer Items 33 AEB Officer Items 33 AEB Officer Items 33 AEB Officer Items 33 AEB Officer Items 33 AEB Officer Items
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Philip D. Sunseri's Box (Dentist/Bn HQ/203) at Stavelot, Belgium

Captain Philip D. SUNSERI was the dental officer of the 203rd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion. 203 AAA men fought against German Kampfgruppe Peiper at Stavelot on 18 Dec 1944. Capt. Sunseri was wounded there that day, for which he was awared a Purple Heart. In 1987, Bernard Maquet of Wanne, Belgium, found the box of Capt. Sunseri in the house of a family home at 24 route de Malmedy, on the eastern outskirts of Stavelot.


Click on an image to see it full-size.

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R. M. Beach Dog Tag - Found near Marieulles, France
R. M. Beach dogtag, found Nov 2011 near Marieulles, France
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Jean-Marc Tabard, president of the organization Sillegny and the Lucky Seventh found the dogtag by a bunker in the woods just east of Marieulles, France in November 2011. The approximate coordinates are not yet established, but it was in the vicinity of 4859'58.76"N, 6 7'3.11"E (click on the link and then scroll the map so that you can see the green arrow at the next road north of the red A). Thus far, the unit of R. M. Beach has not yet been established, but it was probably 7th Armored Division, and the dogtag was probably lost in mid-September 1944.

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Henry B Crampton Dog Tag - Found at Meijel, Netherlands
Henry B. Crampton dogtag, found 2014 at Meijel, Netherlands
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Sjoerd Stemkens of Meijel found the dog tag near a small box of morphine syringes. So Henry Crampton may have been a medic, but so far a search of the records of 77th Armored Medical Battalion and the medical detachments of 48th Armored Infantry Battalion and 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron have not included him. Thanks to Niek Hendrix of Ospel, Netherlands, for sending the photo and information; he is trying to learn the precise location where the dog tag was found.

The National Archives enlistment database shows that Henry B. Crompton, residing in Essex County, New Jersey, entered service 13 Aug 1943 with service number 42009414. He was single with no dependents and had 2 years of high school. His civilian occupation had been in a cluster of occupations labeled by the Army as "Semiskilled machine shop and related occupations, n.e.c."

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1941 Army Song Book - Owner and Unit Unknown - Found near St. Vith, Belgium
1941 Army Song Book, found May 1985 near St. Vith, Belgium
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This partially burned 1941 U. S. Army Song Book was found in the area of St. Vith in May 1985. The owner is not known, so that it may or may not have been owned by a 7AD man. Obtained May 2011 by Niek Hendrix of Ospel, Netherlands

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