U. S. 7th Armored Division Association
Old Temporary Items
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Last updated: May 30, 2016 - What's New?
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These are items that were on the main 7AD web page for a long enough time as temporary items and are now moved here.

Here is what is on this page:

Calvin Lee Hester (B/48) in Newspaper Interview

Click here to see the Waco Tribune-Herald article from an interview with B/48 veteran Calvin Lee Hester.

In the interest of accuracy, readers should be warned that the article's account of him being part of an assault on Omaha Beach on August 6, 1944 is highly inaccurate. As those of you who came ashore with him will know, B/48 did not come ashore until August 10-11, and when they did the beach had been in American hands for two months, so that if he had shot anyone within 20 miles or more of the beach, he would have hit another GI and not a German. For those who were not there, we need to take great care that we separate facts from fantasies. Nevertheless the rest of the article is well worth reading.

7AD Granddaughter Seeks to Tell 7th Armored Wives' Stories

Mary McMurray's grandfather served in 7th Armored Division's 147th Signal Company. She sent the following request:

"I am currently pursuing a masters degree in Contemporary American History from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. I would very much like to utilize the oral histories of the wives of the 7th Armored Division for my masters thesis, "Herstory: Women and the Homefront in the Second World War." I met many of the wives as well as the members in 2002 for the Reunion in San Antonio where my interest was peaked. Currently, I am being trained on the craft of oral history by an archivist with the National Archives at the Truman Presidential Library, so that I will be able to use oral history for my thesis. I would like to make contact to see if there is interest to do this project with me. If interest exists, I would like to go to the reunion this upcoming September to begin hearing the stories."

Contact Mary at:

Mary McMurray
(816) 294-5677

Special Temporary Items

President Bush and USA Today Honor Robert Lee Rutledge (48 AIB)

Pvt. Robert Lee Rutldedge of 7th Armored Division's 48th Armored Infantry Battalion was killed between Asten and Meijel, Holland on October 29, 1944, though at the time he was listed as MIA for several months. His remains were recovered in February 1945, and his family was notified of his fate. He was finally interred at the permanent US Military Netherlands Cemetery at Margraten, Holland. His daughter, Ginger Gregory, has a web site about her Dad (who is also listed on this 7AD web site's page of 48 AIB Overseas Deaths).

On May 8, 2005, President Bush chose to commemorate the 60th anniversary of VE-Day at the Netherlands U. S. Military Cemetery at Margraten, Holland. In his speech, President Bush chose Robert Lee Rutledge as the one man to represent all of the nearly 300,000 American soldiers who died in WWII, devoting two paragraphs of his speech to talking about Rutledge and his family. The complete text of the speech is now on the White House web site; click here to go to the speech.

Ahead of President Bush's May 8, 2005 visit to the cemetery at Margraten, USA Today reporter Oren Dorrell wrote a very fine article (May 6, 2005 page A4) about Robert Lee Rutledge and his family and the Dutch family that now cares for his grave. The text of the article, without the five photos in the printed version, is now on the USA Today web site; click here to go to the article.

Dan Jennings (CO A/38) Inducted into OCS Hall of Fame

Retired Col. (then Capt.) Dan D. Jennings, Jr. served as CO of Company "A" of 38th Armored Infantry Battalion in 1944. In a rare event, both he and his son, active duty Col. Dan D. Jennings III, were inducted together into the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame. The OCS Hall of Fame database web page is under repair until Summer 2005. So click here for an article in "The Bayonet" about this April 8, 2005 event.

One Man's War: The World War II Sketches of Jack Keenan
Exhibit of Jack Keenan's WWII Sketches: February 28-May 6, 2005 1-4:30 PM
Meet the Artist Reception, April 27, 4:00-6:00 pm

William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
(734) 764-2347

Jack Keenan (HQ/CCB) made wonderful colored drawings from desert training on. These are now on exhibit in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Click on the title above to see more details, including one of his sketches.

New Books and Web Pages by or about 7th Armored Division Veterans
NOTE: Due to space limitations, photos are included only if they cannot be linked to elsewhere.

Ken Neher's (A & Bn HQ/38) Bulge Experiences: Click here for this CRIBA (Center of Research and Information on the Battle of the Ardennes) web site page.

Citations in books and records of John Wemple's (CO 17th Tank Bn) experiences: Click here for this page, which is a reference page on a genealogical web site.

Everett Haegele's (AT/A/48) Book: "My log book of World War II : through the eyes of a soldier"
Everett Haegele joined the anti-tank platoon of Company "A" of 48th Armored Infantry Battalion during training in the States. He sailed with the Division on the Queen Mary and saw combat across France and at both Overloon and Meijel in Holland, where he was captured 29 October 1944. Order the book or a downloadable restricted-use PDF version from Amazon.com.

Dr. Robert Kinoshita's (38 AIB Battalion Surgeon) WWII Experiences were gathered by his son Richard and the University of California at Fullerton's Center for Oral and Public History and included in the book "Silent Scars of Healing Hands: Oral Histories of Japanese American Doctors in World War II Detention Camps". Dr. Kinoshita is also the doctor in the photo on the front cover of the book -- a photo taken in 1942 by a Life Magazine photographer at the Heart Mountain internment camp. Richard Kinoshita writes: "The book tells how and why he became a doctor; his service with the C.C.C. and Selective Service prior to WWII; Internment; 442nd RCT; and the epilogue mentions his decorations and service with the 7th AD and the 102nd ID. They printed his "Proud To Serve" speech and included several photos of my family in our barrack room at Heart Mountain. Dad's story is woven and mingled with all the other subjects and the authors did a pretty good job!"
Click here for a picture of the cover and for information about the book, including ordering a copy. Click here for a book review.

Edward J. Mustatia's (B/814) "Heartache and Glory": This is his story from the Battle of the Bulge through the duration. The price is $14.95, plus $2.50 for shipping and handling. Order copies from Edward Mustatia via e-mail at ejmustatia@yahoo.com or contact him by telephone at (928) 453-9574 or by postal mail at 771 Pueblo Drive; Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406

August 1944: The Liberation of Rambouillet, France
by Françoise Winieska
[Rambouillet, France: Société Historique et Archéologique de Rambouillet et de l'Yveline (SHARY), 1999.]

Published in identical sections of French and English, Françoise Winieska's extraordinarily well-done book has photos, detailed maps, and very detailed accounts. For 7th Armored Division readers, this book is especially relevant to 7th Armored Division's 17th Tank Battalion and 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion. 2nd Lt. Charles Fairweather of 17th Tank Battalion was killed at Rambouillet on 18 August 1944. 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion's Calvin Boykin and Marvin Moser and 17th Tank Battalion's Thomas Dailey, Vernon Files, and John Temple are among the 7th Armored Division men whose accounts were used in the writing of the book.

Order copies ($35) from the author via e-mail at twogoldencats@hotmail.com.

Three New Books on 7th Armored Division in December 1944: After a multi-year hiatus, Wesley Johnston has published three new books of post-combat interviews of 7th Armored Division men after the battles of December 1944. He has obtained these interviews from the National Archives and transcribed, indexed and annotated them and added an introduction with a map of the area. Click on each one to see more details.

Dale Carlson's (B/38) World War II Experiences: Click here for Dale's 2003 letter to the Indianapolis Star, recounting some of his experiences.(Thanks to Niek Hendrix of Ospel, Holland for finding this web page.)

Frank Van Zant's (C/129) Thunder Mountain Monument: Click here for his son Dan Van Zant's web page about this Imlay, NV state historic site, created by this 7th Armored Division veteran. (Thanks to Niek Hendrix of Ospel, Holland for finding this web page.) Dan would like to hear from any 7AD men who knew his Dad (click here to send Dan an e-mail. And if you are ever driving on Interstate 80 west of Winnemucca, NV, be sure to stop and see what Frank created.

Gerald A'hearn's (C/17, KIA Rcn/814) Life and Death in World War II : Click here for a May 26, 2004 article in the Waukon (IA) Standard.(Thanks to Niek Hendrix of Ospel, Holland for finding this web page.) Note this article also covers the deaths of 1st Sgt. Russell J. Fratus and Pvt. Harold A. Peterson, who were in the same C/17 tank as Gerald A'hearn: all three are buried in the same grave.

Gen. Bruce Clarke (GC/CCB) 1970 Interview : Click here for a January 14, 1970 interview of Gen. Bruce Clarke, who commanded CCB at St. Vith, Belgium in December 1944. (Thanks to Niek Hendrix of Ospel, Holland for finding this web page.)

Marvin Moser's (Rcn/814) World War II Experiences: Click here for a May 27, 2004 article in the Hickman, NE Voice.(Thanks to Niek Hendrix of Ospel, Holland for finding this web page.)

World War II Web Page of George William Kidwiler (B/17): Click here for the Brunswick (MD) High School web page on this alumni's World War II experiences.

Michael Duby (AT/C/38) in the Battle of the Bulge: Click here for this CRIBA (Center of Research and Information on the Battle of the Ardennes) web site page.

S/Sgt. Truman L. van Tine (C/40) by George Winter - Click here to see this CRIBA-site web page about S/Sgt. van Tine, who died of wounds suffered 18 Dec 1944 at Poteau, Belgium.

Cletus W. McGinnis (Bn HQ/40) at Manhay, Belgium, 24 Dec 1944 - Click here to see this CRIBA-site web page.

New Books and Web Pages Highly Relevant to 7th Armored Division
Photos included only if they cannot be linked to elsewhere.

The Battle of St. Vith,
Defense and Withdrawal by Encircled Forces.
German 5th & 6th Panzer Armies versus
U.S. 7th Armored Division and Attachments,
17-23 December 1944.
[CSI Battlebook 4-A]

This is a 115-page study written in 1984 by the Combat Studies Institute of the U. S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Click anywhere on the title above to bring up the PDF file (4MB) containing the document. (You will need Adobe Reader to read the PDF file. If you do not have Adobe Reader, click here for a web site where you can download Adobe Reader for free.) You can also click here for more information about the study.

331st Medical Battalion After Action Reports at St. Vith
December 1944 and January 1945

The web site of the Office of Medical History of the Office of the Surgeon General has many WWII books and documents. There is a special page that contains After Action Reports of many medical units in the Battle of the Bulge.

This page includes a very relevant link to pages of the After Action Reports of elements of the 331st Medical Battalion of the 106th Infantry Division. These reports contain a lot of valuable information about the battles in December and January for St. Vith, Belgium. So here are links to those pages, with some information that is not given on the main link page:

The Desert Training Center in World War II by Rod Crossley - Click here to see this detailed 12-page article, with map and photos, about the California Desert Training Center, where 7th Armored Division trained for possible combat in Africa. The article is a reprint of the original, which was published in the postal history magazine La Posta, Vol. 28, No. 5 (Nov. 1997). (Thanks to Niek Hendrix of Ospel, Holland for finding this article.)

The Capture of Poteau (Belgium, 18 Dec 1944) by George Winter - Click here to see this CRIBA web page of an article originally published in the April-June 1998 issue of the C.R.I.B.A. Bulletin.

Manhay, Belgium 24-25 Dec 1944: the experiences of a 238th Engineer Combat Battalion man, supporting 7th Armored Division - Click here to see this CRIBA-site web page.

A Walk Through the Woods (St. Vith 16-21 Dec 1944): The Intelligence & Reconnaisance Platoon of the Headquarters Company of the 423rd Infantry Regiment of 106th Infantry Division were among the thousands of 106th Infantry Division cut off east of St. Vith, Belgium, in the first attacks of the Battle of the Bulge. This is an account of how the I&R Platoon refused to surrender and made their way back to 7th Armored Division's lines at St. Vith. Click here to see this CRIBA-site web page.

Photos to Identify

814th Tank Destroyers in Late December 1944

Calvin Boykin of 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion is pictured in a photo taken somewhere near Manhay, Belgium in late December 1944. Click here to go to a web site with the photo and with more information about trying to determine precisely when and where the photo was taken.

Photo from Chartres, France (August, 1944) - Who were the C/23 men killed in this half-track?

This half-track was destroyed the evening of August 15 in the center of Chartres, at rue Maunroy at the angle of the Place des Epars. A German 37mm shell went through the motor under the mud guard mud before killing two men in the cab. Do you know who the two men were who were killed? The man with the glasses at the right is Mr. Dours of Chartres, who recalled the two dead soldiers killed in the cab -- and that a local person took the papers of the two dead soldiers.

If you know anything about this half-track or the men who died in it, please contact Wesley Johnston at 1865 Herndon Avenue, Suite K-187; Clovis, CA 93611-6163 or via e-mail.

Photo from Chartres, France (August, 1944) - Do you know these 7AD men?
This photo of four 7th Armored Division men, one of whom is holding a German officer's cap, was taken by a French citizen when Chartres was liberated. Who are the men? What unit of 7AD were they from?
Posted August 2002, updated May 2016 - The man on the right (viewer's left) is Sgt. Stephen J. Shevlin of Company "C" of 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion (who died only a week later near Melun). This identification has now been confirmed. But who were the other men?

Do you recognize these men?
If so please contact Wesley Johnston at 1865 Herndon Avenue, Suite K-187; Clovis, CA 93611-6163 or via e-mail.

129th Ordnance Vehicle Marking Questions
French World War II historian and vehicle rebuilder Pascal Bulois has several questions on the markings used by the 129th Armored Ordnance Maintenance Battalion on their vehicles, during the debarkation on the beaches in Normandy in August 1944. The photograph below shows Major Gruen in front of a "Pacific" of the 129th. The markings about which Pascal Bulois has questions are indicated in the boxes

The following is a sample of the markings on the front (Pascal Bulois' boxes #2 and 3). He knows that this sample is NOT the 129th Ord markings.

So his questions in 2002, related to the three boxes were (with some answers in 2016):

  1. What was the 4-digit number (or was it a 5-digit number as in some cases that he knows of) and the letter after the number on the vehicles of the 129th?

    Answer: The marking that is on the front of the vehicle with the numbers above a color code is a temporary marking called a POM (Preparation for Overseas Movement) mark. This was used only before and during and immediately after shipping vehicles and equipment overseas. The numbers were painted over once the voyage was completed and the vehicle or equipment arrived at its destination.

  2. What was the color code for the vehicles of 7th Armored Division?

    Answer: The POM marks of 7th Armored Divsion existed only for the voyage to Europe. Thus far none of the POM marks for 7AD vehicles and equipment are known. So if anyone knows any 7AD POM marks, please let me know.

  3. What was the insignia of the 129th? He thinks it may have been a hat with a magician's baton on a blue or yellow background. Do you know what it was? Do you have a picture of it?

If you can answer any of these questions, please contact Wesley Johnston at 1865 Herndon Avenue, Suite K-187; Clovis, CA 93611-6163 or via e-mail.

Other World War II Items
Museum at Fleville, France (Between Verdun and Metz)
On September 6, 1944, 7th Armored Division moved east from Verdun toward the Moselle River in four forces. Force "D", on the northern route, liberated (among others along their route) the town of Fleville. In 2002, the town will open a museum dedicated to their World War I liberators (1st Infantry Division) and their World War II liberators (Force "D" of 7th Armored Division consisted of Battalion HQ, HQ Company, Company "B" and Service Company of 38 AIB; Troops "C" and "F" of 87th Rcn; one company (which one??) of 33rd Engrs; Battery "A" of the 274th Field Artillery Battalion (not a 7AD organic unit); and a company (which one??) of 814th TD Bn.)

Fredric Castier is conducting the research for the Mayor of Fleville. He can be contacted via e-mail at a.s.tozar-museum@wanadoo.fr or via postal mail at Projet de Centre Hisotrique Americain; 99 Rue Aristide Briand; 62100 Calais, France.

As well as seeking information about the men who were there, they invite any 7th Armored Division men or family members who visit the area to contact them in advance (via Fredric Castier) for the Mayor and Fredric Castier to serve as guides on the battlefield.

Do you have Werner Sydow's Soldbuch?
Werner Sydow was captured by the 7th Armored Division near Brilon, Germany in the Ruhr Pocket in April 1945. When he was captured, the 7th Armored Division soldier took his Soldbuch (the Soldier's Book that each German soldier carried). Combat Command "A" was in combat in this area on April 5 and 6, 1945. Task Force Dailey (at Elleringhausen and Olsberg) and B/87 were the closest elements to Brilon. Task Force Rhea was also very near to Brilon, when it was at Olsberg. Thus it is likely that the man who captured Werner Sydow was from B/87, 23 AIB, or 17th Tank Battalion.

Werner's grandson Michael is now trying to learn the World War II history of his grandfather. The information that was in his grandfather's Soldbuch would be very helpful to Michael's research.

If you have Werner Sydow's Soldbuch, please contact Michael (who does understand English fairly well) at EinRebell@aol.com or if you do not have e-mail, please contact Wesley Johnston at 1865 Herndon Avenue, Suite K-187; Clovis, CA 93611-6163.

Click here for information about contacting me.
Copyright © 2016 by Wesley Johnston
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