U. S. 7th Armored Division-Related Past News
Bookmark this page as http://www.7thArmdDiv.org/7adnews.htm
Last updated: November 13, 2017 - What's New?
Stuck in someone's frames? Click here to break out.

7th Armd Div Patch
| Return to 7AD Main Page |

This is a web page dedicated to past news related to the 7th Armored Division and its veterans.
Recent events are first, in order from the soonest to the latest. Scroll down for older items.
Click here for a separate page of the oldest items.
See the main page for the latest information.

Recent Events

Leon Minvielle Hits 100

31st Tank Battalion veteran Leon Minvielle celebrated his 100th birthday on the 4th of July 2017.

Click here to see a short video (MOV file) of the event.

< !-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- >
2017 Memorial Ceremonies in France
  • 26 Aug 2017: Dedication of memorial to Michael Conte (A/48) who was killed 26 Aug 1944 at Rubelles. Click here for the web page with photos of the plaque and ceremony.
  • 16 Sep 2017: Dedication of memorial plaque at Vittonville to honor the memory of 13 US soldiers of the 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion who died in September 1944 during the combat for the liberation of Vittonville: Harry M. Alger, Thomas E. Anderson, Lee O. Carson, Kyle McKay Galyean, Orlan Oven Hatfield, Joseph L. Maurizio, Ernest E. Mills, Henry L. Mischler Jr, Peter M. Nebelski, Frederick R. Sayles, Charles W. Shaffer, George F. Sigsbee, Roy V. Sulser Click here for the web page with photos of the plaque and ceremony.
  • 17 Sep 2017: A sealed wooden panel, with photos and documentation on the men killed in two A/17 tanks, including Robert Dukes West (A/17), was dedicated at Sillegny, France on the site where the tanks were destroyed. The official cutting of the ribbon was by Roger Hubley son of Dale Hubley (A/38) who was wounded at Sillegny 20 sep 1944. Click here for the web page with photos of the memorial and ceremony.
  • 7-8 Oct 2017: The "Sillegny and the Lucky Seventh" local history association have big plans for Fall 2017, in Sillegny, France, where 7th Armored Division saw fierce combat and heavy casualties in 1944. They plan to mount a grand military ceremony with a parade including a large number of historic US war vehicles and flag bearers, as well as an exposition of militaria. They invite WWII veterans and their families to attend. Here are the plans:
    • Saturday 7 Oct 2017
      • 2:00pm visit Sillegny battlefield - battle of the Seille River
        • Vist Fort Verny (Aisne Fortifications)
        • Visit Fort Driant in Ars-sur-Moselle
    • Sunday 8 Oct 2017
      • morning: ceremony at Sillegny's stone memorial dedicated to World War II veterans of 7th Armored Division
      • Mid day: restaurant (Please let the "Sillegny and the Lucky Seventh" association secretary Jeremy Monginet (Renaultfregate@hotmail.fr) know how many adults and children will be there so they can prepare meals for all of you in proper way.)
      • Afternoon: visit a World War II exposition of a member of the "Sillegny and the Lucky Seventh" association
      • Large convoy of heavy & light vehicles
    Here is a website with all the restaurants and hotels all around Metz: https://www.tripadvisor.fr

    And here are two web sites for car rental from any airport.

Maquettes of 7AD Combat
at Sillegny, France

The "Sillegny and the Lucky Seventh" local history association have created an exhibition of maquettes (diorama models of the terrain, vehicles and men) of different elements of 7th Armored Division combat at Sillegny, France.

Click here to view a PDF file of 13 images.

  • Images 1-3 are the advance on 17 Sep 1944.
  • Images 4-7 are the center of town under German control, with number 7 showing the view of this entire wall of the exhibition.
  • Image 8 is a combat scene.
  • Images 9 & 13 are of more areas of the exhibition.
  • Images 10-12 are of a German cannon squad in action.

  • Congressional Hearings and News Exposés
    on Scandals and Failures of US MIA Accounting

    The accounting for (recovery and identification of) remains of troops killed in prior conflicts was severely criticized in reports made public in June-July 2013. This led to the first of a series of House and Senate hearings. About 8,500 WWII Unknowns are buried in US military cemeteries, and almost nothing is being done nor is planned to be done to identify them, despite modern DNA technology and the vow of "No Man Left Behind".

    This issue came to light in July 2013 and soon expanded far beyond the original charges against these agencies. In fact, the information on this has become so extensive that it now requires its own web page. Click here for that web page.

    March 2016
    French Caretaker of 7AD Grave Visits Soldier's Family

    Members of the French organization "Les Fleurs de la Mémoire" ("Flowers of Memory") take care of a specific soldier's grave at the U. S. military cemeteries in Normandy. Marine Hannon is the caretaker of the grave of T/5 Vivian L. Ward (Bn HQ/38 AIB) who was killed 21 August 1944 while on special duty with the 8th Armored Group. Rodney's daughter wrote a very nice 23 Jan 2016 article for the San Angelo Standard-Times about this.

    In March 2016, Marine went many extra miles to visit Vivian Ward's son Rodney and his children in San Angelo, Texas. San Angelo Standard-Times reporter Michelle Gaitan wrote an illustrated artice 15 Mar 2016 about the visit.

    (Click on the underlined links in the above text for to see more.)

    Passing of Col. (Ret.) Neil Chapin, B/434
    Neil Chapin Neil Chapin
    February 21, 1921 - April 14, 2016
    The last of the ten 7th Armored Division recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross has passed away. None gave such distinguished service to the 7th Armored Division Association as did he. As Association Historian, he compiled the two volumes of the "Lucky Seventh" history books. He continued serving on the board, providing guidance for the final decades of the Association.

    Click here for his obituary.

    Identification of later-KIA Sgt. Stephen J. Shevlin (C/23) in Photo

    Since 2002, we have sought the identification of four C/23 men in a photo taken at Chartres, France, by a French citizen. As of May 2016, the man on the right (viewer's left) in the photo has now been confirmed as Sgt. Stephen J. Shevlin, who was killed a bit over a week later on 24 August 1944 during the skirmishes between Seine-Port and St. Leur, France, north of Melun.

    Click here to see the photo.

    Photos of 2013 and 2015 Excavations at Sillegny, France

    Jean-Marc Tabard sent photographs of the excavations that the "Lucky Seventh" local WWII history group conducted at Sillegny, France, in 2013 and also those in-progress in 2015. Elements of 7th Armored Division made multiple attacks to attempt to take Sillegny back from German forces on 19 September 1944, with extremely heavy losses. Jean-Marc and his colleagues sought to recover remains of some of the 7AD men who have never been recovered and identified and are thus still missing.

    Click here for a web page with the photos.

    Moselle River Ceremonies
    November 8-17, 2014

    The association "Moselle River 1944" is organizing ceremonies to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Metz area. They invite 7th Armored Division veterans and families to attend.

    The welcome will occur on Saturday, November 8, and the ceremonies will begin on Sunday, November 9. Saturday, November 15, will mark the "Memory of the Moselle," involving all commemorative groups of the region. Several hundred French participants are expected, many wearing US war uniforms, driving US war vehicles, and bearing flags. Final ceremonies will occur on November 16. Departures from Thionville will begin on November 17. A more detailed itinerary will become available in due course.

    The 2014 commemorations will be free of charge for the 7th Armored veteran and one companion sharing his hotel room. The 7th Armored widow and one companion sharing her hotel room will likewise be hosted for free. Additional family members and spouses will be charged a supplement that will cover the cost of the hotel room. All American guests will pay for their own airfare.

    If you are interested in attending, please contact 10th Armored Division son Jeff Taylor at jeffersontaylor@sbcglobal.net for more details.

    Click here for the invitational letter and photographs of the 2010 ceremonies.

    Memorials to 7AD Men in Four French Towns
    August 26-31, 2014

    The following memorials to 7AD men will be dedicated in ceremonies 26-31 Aug 2014. Watch here for more details. If you are a family member of one of these men, please contact Wesley Johnston. All of these men were killed in the liberation of these places.

  • Nangis - Earl D. Applegarth (CCB) [Already have memorial to John L. Wood (A/23) and William P. O'Rourke (Med/23)]
  • Maison Rouge - William R. Hall (A/23), Constantine E. Wasiak (A/23)
  • Vulaines-les-Provins - Donald L. Nazworth (A/434), Richard J. Egan (A/23), James P. Bost (A/23)
  • Provins - Clifford L. Gardner (HQ Co/31), Joseph A. Hergott (HQ Co/31), George H. Hein (A/31)

    Note that John L. Mordo (HQ Co/40) had originally been thought to have been killed at Provins. However later research indicates that he must have died at Bernay-Vilbert, France.

    Click here to see the web page on the August 27-31, 2014 ceremonies.

  • 1st Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment, Honors 7AD Veterans and Historian - May 15, 2014

    Battalion Commanding Officer LTC Erik N. Anderson sent the report that on the Distinguished and Honorary Member of the Regiment Induction Ceremony. The Battalion recognized 11 veteran's from the 48th Infantry Regiment's (which includes the WWII-era 23rd, 38th, and 48th AIBs) three "eras" - WWII, Cold War, and Modern.

    Inductees from the WWII / 7th AD Era included:

    • CPL Ed Burke (C/38th AIB)
    • PFC Frank Johnson (B/48th AIB)
    • PFC Ed Kaminski (C/38th AIB)
    • SSG James Totoni (HQs/38th AIB)

    Each inductee received a certificate recognizing him as a Distinguished Member of the Regiment.

    Click here to see photos of the ceremony on the Battalion Facebook page.

    24 Feb 2014 - Unknown Hamm X-46 Probably William F. Halloran (C/23) - Click here for details

    24 Feb 2014 - DNA Test Identifies MIA 3AD Soldier Whose Buddies Cadréd to 7AD - Click here for details

    Dudley J. Britton (CO/B/23) Induction
    into Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame
    November 9, 2013

    The Oklahoma Military Heritage Foundation selects ten honorees each year for induction into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame. The 2013 ceremony will be held November 9 and will included Dudley J. Britton who was the commanding officer of Company "B", 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion. Click here for the OMHF web page.

    New Monument at Rencheux, Belgium
    September 7, 2013

    When the St. Vith salient was evacuated across the Salm River on 23 December 1944, most of 7AD (and attached units) crossed the bridge at Rencheux-Vielsalm. The bridge and a safe corridor were kept from German control by elements of the 82nd Airborne Division. On September 7, 2013, a monument to the units who held the bridge and those who crossed was dedicated.

    Historic DNA Test of Remains in France
    September 13, 2013

    7AD was cadred from 3AD. Thus many 7AD men had 3AD buddies. One 3AD man, Pfc Lawrence Gordon, was killed when his armored car was hit in France in Aug 1944. But his remains have never been identified. After years of research by a 4-member team led by 3AD grandson Jed Henry and including 7AD Historian Wesley Johnston, it appears an error may have been made so that he may be buried now in a Germany WWII cemetery in France.

    On September 13, 2013, the remains at the cemetery in France were DNA-tested by the French counterpart of the US FBI. The results may not be known until January 2014. But the match of the jawbone to the dental records of Lawrence Gordon was perfect. Click here for a web page that has links to the coverage of this historic situation. The sad thing is that if he had been buried in a US military cemetery, then the US military would never have found sufficient grounds to DNA-test the remains and would have done all they could to obstruct and prevent DNA testing of the remains. (See the House and Senate hearings box on the main 7AD web page for more on the Congressional investigations into the sad state of our US agencies tasked with accounting for the MIAs from prior conflicts.)

    Online Memorial to 7AD Netherlands Dead - May 26, 2013

    There are many memorials across France, Belgium and the Netherlands honoring the men of 7th Armored Division. A new online memorial was unveiled May 26, 2013 by its creator and webmaster, Werner van Osch. The memorial honors all the many 7AD men who made the supreme sacrifice in the Netherlands. Click here to see the memorial.

    1st Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment, Honors 7AD Veterans and Historian - May 17, 2013

    Battalion Commanding Officer LTC Erik N. Anderson sent the following report:

    We had an AMAZING Distinguished and Honorary Member of the Regiment Induction Ceremony this morning, recognizing 22 veteran's from the 48th Infantry Regiment's (to include the 23rd, 38th, and 48th AIBs) three "eras" - WWII, Cold War, and Modern.

    Inductees from the WWII / 7th AD Era included:

    • John Althuizen (B/23 AIB)
    • Billy Boles (A/23 AIB)
    • Donald Boyer, Jr (HQ, 38 AIB)
    • Neil Chapin (C/23 AIB)
    • John Cornell (B & C, 38 AIB)
    • Robert Dietz (A/38 AIB)
    • Mario Fortuna (C/38 AIB)
    • Robert Harrison (C/38 AIB)
    • Wesley Johnston (7th AD Assoc)
    • Thomas Kelly (Med, 48 AIB)
    • Robert Kinoshita (Med, 38 AIB)
    • Ernest Lucadamo (C/38 AIB)
    • Carl Mattocks (C/38 AIB)
    • Sam Sharp (HHC/48 AIB)

    Each inductee received a certificate recognizing him as a Distinguished or Honorary Member of the Regiment. John Althuizen and Wes received HMOR recognition because they were not officially assigned to the Regiment. The certificates are all signed by Brigadier General Haight, the current Chief of Infantry. Because none of the recipients were able to be present we had current Soldiers and Cadre Members receive the certificates on their behalf. My intention is to present them in person during the September 7th ADA reunion.

    In the mean time, you can check out pictures from the ceremony on our battalion Facebook page.

    Echarcon, France Plaque Dedication - May 8, 2013

    The town of Echarcon, France, had erected a plaque that showed two unknown GI's being killed there 22 Aug 1944. In 2010, Wesley Johnston did the research to find who the unidentified GI's were and determined that only Delbert Longworth Rcn/HQ Co/40 had been killed; the other soldier was seriously wounded but the medics and doctors pulled him through okay. The town council then decided to honor Delbert Longworth with a plaque and invited his family members to attend the dedication ceremonies.

    Click here to read more about the action in which Delbert Longworth was killed and the others who were involved.

    Click here to read about and see pictures of the ceremony.

    December 18, 2012 - Sgt. John E. Scully (B/23 KIA) Grave Caretaking Ceremony

    Sgt. John E. Scully was killed in action 27 March 1945 at Oberbiel, Germany. He was laid to his final rest at the US Military Cemetery at Margraten, Netherlands.

    In ceremonies held 18 December 2012, his grave was taken under the continuing care of 2nd Platoon, C Company, 42nd Armored Infantry Battalion, Limburgse Jagers of the Dutch Army.

    Click here for a PDF file of photos of the ceremony and articles (in Dutch) about it.

    November 19, 2012 - Frank Aldrich (A/40 KIA) Medals Presented to Son Frank

    The award ceremony was held at Congressman James Langevin's office. Click here to see ABC news coverage. (The MP4 file takes a bit of extra time to load. It requires Quicktime or another compatible viewer.)

    Frank Aldrich and the rest of his A/40 tank crew were killed 22 December 1944 when their tank was hit near Rodt, Belgium. Click here for 7th Armored Division Association Historian Wesley Johnston's research into this action.

    Frank Jr. would like to hear from any veterans familiar with this action or the family members of any of the other crew members of the tank.

    September 29- October 7, 2012 - "7th on the Move" - Reenactors' tour of 7AD sites in Holland

    Many photos from this multi-day multi-location tour.
  • tour home page
  • tour lays wreath at Ospel monument - link to Flickr
  • tour visits Meijel - link to Flickr
  • Video at Ospel - link to Vimeo
  • Video at Ospel - link to Vimeo

  • September 8, 2012 - Dedication of Courville Bridge to James Gomer (Rcn/HQ Co/23)

    The village of Courville, France dedicated a bridge to 1st Lt. James O. Gomer, who was killed there 14 Aug 1944. Click here to see the web page about the ceremony and the plaque.

    June 23, 2012 - Return of Toulman Freeman (AT/A/38) Purple Heart

    Toulman Y. Freeman was wounded 3 Nov 1944 near Ospel, Netherlands, and died the next day. When an Alabama senior care home staff member found his Purple Heart in a clothes dryer a couple of years ago, the Order of the Purple Heart was contacted, and Capt. Zachariah Fike researched the family. On June 23, 2012, Capt. Fike returned the medal to Toulman Freeman's only surviving sibling in a ceremony in Crane Hill, Alabama, where Toulman Freeman is buried. The following links all cover this story.

    Memorial Day Weekend - May 27, 2012 - Newsday Article
    Son traces father's wartime experience - Patrick O'Donnell (33 Engr)

    Patrick O'Donnell, Jr. retraced some of his father's steps, and Newsday wrote the story of the trip. Patrick O'Donnell, Sr., was with the 33rd Engineers at Metz, at St. Vith and at the Rhine. He was apparently one of the few who trained with 7AD in the States who made it all the way through 'til VE-Day with 7AD.

    Click here to see the article.

    Patrick sent a couple of his Dad's photos, one at Camp Polk and one late in the war.

    Camp Polk - Patrick O'Donnell and Buddies Patrick O'Donnell

    Ray Duke A/77 (1922-2012)

    Probably our best known member to anyone who has attended a reunion is our Reunion Chairman, Ray Duke. Ray passed away May 14, 2012.

    Click here to see his online obituary.

    Tony Tumminello A/77 (1919-2012)

    While Tony was not known as well as Ray, he was very well known to Ray since they were buddies in A/77. Tony passed away one month to the day before Ray, on April 14, 2012.

    Click here to see his online obituary.

    April 19, 2012 - 7AD Ospel Monument Photograph Presentation at The Hague, Netherlands

    Niek Hendrix presented a framed photograph of the 7AD Ospel Momunment to US Deputy Chief of Mission, Edwin R. Nolan, during the April 19 Dutch American Friendship Day commemoration in The Hague.

    Ospel Monument Photograph Presentation - April 19, 2012
    Click on photo for full-size image.

    Past Events
    Scroll down for details

    Overloon Tank-Before Restoration
    Before Restoration
    Overloon, Netherlands Tank Dedication October 8, 2011
    See the ceremony: photos video video
    Click here to see video of placing restored tank at permanent site.
    Click here for PowerPoint slide show of sponsors and the incredible restoration.
    Click here for the web site about the tank.
    Overloon Tank-After Restoration
    After Restoration

    Memorial Day - May 30, 2011
    Atlanta Braves Honor HQ Co/48 Veteran Clarence Crawford

    As part of their Braveheart recognition of soldiers and veterans, the Atlanta Braves honored Headquarters Company, 48th Armored Infantry Battalion, veteran Clarence Crawford.

    Click here to see a web article and video by Atlanta channel 11 television about the event.

    January & April 2011
    Morphis Jamiel (B/38) Inducted into
    Army OCS Hall of Fame
    & Univ of Rhode Island ROTC Hall of Fame


    In 1944, then-2/B/38 Platoon Leader, 2nd Lt. Morphis Jamiel, was one of the few 38 AIB line officers to not become a casualty in the Battle of the Bulge. He went on to have a career in the Army and the National Guard, retiring as a Maj. Gen. from the Rhode Island National guard. In 2011, he was inducted into both the U. S. Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame and the University of Rhode Island ROTC Hall of Fame. Click on the following links for more information.

    August 26, 2010
    New Plaque on Monument at Nangis, France

    The existing monument at Nangis, France honors two unknown Americans who fell there on August 26, 1944. The men have now been identified: S/Sgt. John L. Wood (A/23) and Pvt. William P. O'Rourke (Med/23).

    On August 26, 2010, on the 66th anniversary of their sacrifice, the Souvenir Français Committee will hold ceremonies to dedicate the new plaque with the names of these men.

    For those 7th Armored Division veterans and family members who are interested in attending, please contact Wesley Johnston (559-299-3406 or wwjohnston@aol.com).

    Past President Jack Sanford

    Passed Away August 18, 2010

    Jack Sanford served 3 consecutive years as our Association President. He was a veteran of both the 147th Signal Company and of 31st Tank Battalion Headquarters.

    John C. Cornell - C/38 & B/38
    5 Jan 1923 - 13 May 2010
    Distinguished Service Cross (one of only 8 awarded in 7AD)

    John Cornell, outside Chartres, Aug 1944
    Outside Chartres, August 1944
    John Cornell 2005

    John Cornell began the war as the Platoon Leader of the Anti-Tank Platoon of Company C of 38th Armored Infantry Battalion. He led AT/C/38 at Chartres, Melun and across France to Gravelotte, atop the steep west bank of the Moselle River. As I have documented in an earlier issue of "Workshop News", at Gravelotte C/38 ran into the most significant part of the German defensive line along the Moselle - a section of anti-aircraft guns used against ground targets, intentionally placed there by the German commander who knew that would otherwise be the weakest part of his line. So C/38 ran into an ambush that was far more than a normal ambush. John Cornell was seriously wounded (i.e. wounds considered life-threatening) there 6 Sep 1944 and was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions.

    After recovering from his wounds, he returned to duty 8 Feb 1945, taking command of the Anti-tank Platoon of B/38 -- my Dad's platoon. He was promoted to 1st Lt. 16 Mar 1945 and on 30 Mar 1945 assumed command of the entire company B/38 after Capt. Claude Emmons was wounded, during the encirclement of the Ruhr Pocket. John Cornell remained B/38 CO for the duration of the war.

    John Cornell's awards were significant. The DSC itself would have been enough for most men, but here are all of his awards (other than his Purple Heart). I am sorry to say that I cannot locate the detailed citation for his first award.

    For his actions 18 Aug 1944 at Chartres, France - Bronze Star Medal (7AD GO #46, 14 Sep 1944)
    for distinguishing himself by heroic achievement in connection with military operations against an enemy of the United States in France on 18 August 1944. Entered the military service from Ohio. [

    For his actions 6 Sep 1944 at Gravelotte, France - Distinguished Service Cross (9th Army GO #49, 24 Nov 1944)
    for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against the enemy. On 6 September 1944, during an attack near Gravelotte, France, Lieutenant Cornell displayed outstanding courage and bravery when his platoon was subjected to enemy anti-tank fire, artillery, mortar, machine gun and rifle fire. With utter disregard for his own personal safety and in the face of enemy fire, Lieutenant Cornell dismounted from his vehicle and personally directed return fire that silenced an enemy gun. When several of his men were wounded, he gave orders to fight through to a friendly aid station. Although he was seriously wounded, Lieutenant Cornell courageously continued to direct the operation. Inspired by his devotion to duty and determination, his men breached the enemy lines and reached the aid station. The extraordinary heroism and courageous actions of Lieutenant Cornell reflect great credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service. Entered military service from Ohio.

    For his actions 30 Mar 1945 at the Eder See Dam, Germany - Oak Leaf Cluster to Bronze Star Medal (7AD GO #110, 5 Jul 1945)
    for distinguishing himself by heroic service in connection with military operations against an enemy of the United States from 1 March 1945 to 8 May 1945, in Germany. In the sweep across Germany, Lieutenant Cornell led his Company, part of a small task force, in capturing its objectives quickly and with great loss to the enemy. On 30 March 1945 this task force attacked the Eder See Dam. As the lead tanks approached, they were fired upon by small arms and anti-tank guns. While the tanks returned this fire, Lieutenant Cornell dismounted his men and led them in a charge that overran the enemy positions and secured the dam. His rapid attack caught the enemy unprepared and prevented them from manning many of the heavy weapons. The personal courage, initiative, and devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant Cornell reflect great credit upon himself and the military service.

    In addition, he was awarded the Expert Infantryman Badge (7AD GO #33, 6 Aug 1944) and the Combat Infantryman Badge (7AD GO#80, 13 Nov 1944).

    John Cornell truly was one of the most very special of the men of 7th Armored Division.
    ----- Wesley Johnston


    CORNELL, John C. died May 13, 2010. He was born January 5, 1923 in Akron, Ohio, preceded in death by his wife, Georgia, of 54 years. He was a graduate of Ohio University and a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. During WWII he was an Armored Infantry Commander with the 7th Armored Division and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, three Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart. He was a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans. Prior to retirement, he was employed by Procter & Gamble and worked for the company for 37 years. At retirement in 1984 he moved to Sarasota Florida returning to Cincinnati in 2009 to be closer to family. Survivors include two daughters, Cynthia Zimmerman of Morrow, Ohio and Karen Anderson of Charlotte, NC, two grandsons, Daniel and Steven and two granddaughters, Dorothy and Johanna. Should friends desire, memorials can be made to the Cincinnati Zoo, 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH, 45220. Visitation at the Hodapp Funeral Home, 8815 Cincinnati-Columbus Rd.(Rt. 42), West Chester, on Monday, May 17, from 12 noon until time of funeral service at 1 pm.

    Messages to his family can be left in his guest book by clicking here.

    December 25, 2009
    C/23 S/Sgt. Walter P. Keely, Sr, Passes Away

    The Philadelphia, PA "Inquirer" / "Daily News" newspaper website has the announcement of his passing and a guest book where friends can leave condolences. Click here to go that memorial web page.

    Walter Keely was a Staff Sergeant in Company C of 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion, one of the originals who trained in the States. He fought at Chartres and was wounded at Melun, France. And in more recent years, he contributed what he knew to help tell the story of what happened to his unit and its men in the war. We will commemorate him at the memorial service at the Reunion in September.

    December 25, 2009
    D/87 Mess Sgt. Louis Vargo - Newspaper Article & Video Interview

    The "Allentown, PA "Morning Call" newspaper website now has the lengthy article and a video interview of Louis Vargo, about his experiences as the D/87 Mess Sergeant during the Bulge. It is well worth seeing and reading.

    Click here to see the article and the video interview.

    This was one of the collection of stories in the newspaper's series "WAR STORIES: In their own words". To see other WWII interviews from this series, click here.

    November 7, 2009
    7ADA Historian Wesley Johnston - Radio Interview

    The Veterans' Day 2009 "Hometown Heroes" show on KMJ Radio (Frenso, CA) was a 45 minute interview with 7th Armored Division Association Historian Wesley Johnston, about finding the records of a veteran in World War II.

    Click here to listen to the commercial-free version of the program.

    To hear other WWII interviews from the "Hometown Heroes" show, click here for the most recent shows or here for the archive of prior shows.

    October 24, 2009 at 1400
    Monument at Meijel, Netherlands
    Initiative taken by Niek Hendrix from Ospel
    In close collaboration with the special
    Work Group Allied Liberators of the Local Historian Club Meijel (Medelo)
    and the full support of the Mayor of Meijel and the municipality of Meijel

    The municipality of Meijel will dedicate a new granite monument to the American (7th Armored Division and attached units) and British troops who drove the Germans from the area in October and November 1944. Please contact Niek Hendrix (niek.hendrix@xs4all.nl) if you plan to attend.

    These are the units that will be mentioned:

    U.S. 7th Armored Division
    British 3rd Infantry Division
    British 11th Armoured Division
    6th Guards Brigade
    15th Schottish Division

    September 19, 2009
    Dedication of Monument to 7AD at Sillégny, France
    Monument to 7AD to be Dedicated
    September 19, 2009
    at Sillégny, France

    All 7th Armored Division veterans and family members are invited.
    Please contact Wesley Johnston (559-299-3406 or wwjohnston@aol.com) if you are thinking of attending the ceremonies in France.
    Sillegny Invitation
    Sillegny Flier
    Click on an image to see it full size.

    Saturday, September 19
  • 4:00 pm: Ceremony and Monument Dedication
    in the presence of civil and military personnalities, flag bearers (including the flag of the 7th Armored that Billy Boles of A/23 gave to the French citizens) and many people.
  • 4:45 pm: Vin d'honneur (reception with champagne and snacks)
    An exhibition of photos of Sillégny before and after the war, with dummies clothed with Gi's equipment will take place there.
  • After the reception, dinner in honor of the liberators of the 7th Armored

    Days Before or After September 19
    The days after (or the days before) are fexible, according to the accomodations of the American guests:
  • a visit of the church of Sillégny is planned (this church is exceptional, one of the only churches in France to have authentic Italian frescoes, which cover all of the interior walls)
  • also a visit of the fort of Verny
  • a visit of the battlefield of Dornot-Corny, where the men of the 23 AIB fought
  • and a visit of the town of Metz.
  • Traveling There

    The following is from Elisabeth Gozzo of the French organization Thanks GI's.

    There are two possibilities to join Metz without too much stress:

    1. The first one is to fly to Paris, and then to take the TGV (high speed train) to the station of Cheminot, a village very close to Sillégny or Corny. We'll pick them up there. The TGV station in Paris is located in the Charles de Gaulle/Roissy airport.
    2. The second one is to fly to Luxembourg via Paris. They will land in Paris and take a connecting flight to Luxembourg. Their luggage will follow them and th,ey will claim their luggage in Luxembourg airport. We will pick up them in Luxembourg airport.

    In both cases, they must inform the airline of their difficulties to move, and they will be taken in charge by the employees of the airport in Paris until they are at the station of the TGV or at the terminal of their flight to Luxembourg. (Elisabeth has already used these methods for prior returning veterans.)

    Fall 2009
    Gavin Wells' European Bicycle Trip tracing his Grandfather's Route
    Grandson of Lt. Robert Wells of A/48

    Lt. Robert Wells joined B/48 in Holland in 1944. He was soon transferred to A/48, where he remained for the duration.

    His grandson Gavin Wells is one of our volunteer 7AD historians, now transcribing the Morning Reports of A/48. In September 2009, Gavin will begin a bicycle tour across Europe, tracing the route of his grandfather and A/48. You can follow his plans and his trip on his blog.

    Glenn R. Fackler
    (January 17, 1917 - August 21, 2009)
    Glenn Fackler
    Glenn Fackler (A/38)
    passed away August 21, 2009.

    Glenn Fackler served the Association as President and also as Chaplain. But we know him most for his decades as our dedicated Association Secretary. The photograph is from our 2001 Reunion in Charleston, SC.

    Click here for his online obituary, where you may leave a message.

    Bob Montgomery (July 1, 1925 - July 13, 2009)
    Bob Montgomery
    Immediate Past President Dr. Robert H. Montgomery (A/38)
    passed away in his sleep on Monday, July 13, 2009.
    Click here for his online obituary, where you may leave a message.

    November 27, 2008
    Dedication of Memorial at Ransdaal, Netherlands
    in memory of Richard Knott (AT/B/38)
    Committee Members
    • Niek Hendrix from Ospel
    • Lando Mulleneers from Cadier en Keer
    • Jurgen Mingels from Cadier en Keer

    November 21, 2008
    Burial of Gen. William Knowlton (87 Rcn) at Arlington National Cemetery
    Gen. William A. Knowlton (June 19, 1920 - August 10, 2008)
    Honorary President of the Seventh Armored Division Association

    7AD Division After Action Report - May 1945 - p 29

    Photo on page 29 of the 7th Armored Division's Division After Action Report for May 1945, when 1st Lt. Knowlton, then commanding Troop "B" 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, led a task force to make the second link-up of U. S. forces with Soviet forces.
    1st Lt. Knowlton entered WWII combat in command of 2nd Platoon of "E" Troop. In either October or November 1944, he became Squadron S-1 (Personnel) Officer. On 31 December 1944, he was given command of "B" Troop.

    Click here for a 1993 four-page Armor magazine article about Gen. Knowlton.
    The managing editor of Armor gave Wesley Johnston verbal permission to post this article for the purpose of this memorial. The article is in PDF format.

    Click here for the West Point eulogy page for Gen. Knowlton.
    Click here for his obituary in the Washington Post.

    Newspaper Article about Ramon Valle (A/38)

    Ramon Valle joined Company A of 38th Armored Infantry Battalion as a replacement January 5, 1945 for the duration, as A/38 saw combat in the re-taking of St. Vith later that month and then the encirclement and the bitter combat in the reduction of the Ruhr Pocket in March and April 1945.

    When Ramon Valle passed away in 2007, his step-daughter's husband, Michael O'Rourke, wrote a touching column about him in the San Antonio Express News. Click here to read the article.

    October 26-27, 2008
    Vigil and Funeral for Calvin Boykin (Rcn/814 TD)

    Calvin Boykin (Reconnaissance Company, 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion) passed away October 23, 1944, only a month after attending the Reunion in Nashville. A vigil will be held for him on Sunday, October 26, 2008. His funeral will be the following day, October 27, 2008.

    Cal was the Association's incumbent First Vice President. And he was the author of the book Gare la Bête of the history of the 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion. He also assisted Françoise Winieska in her work in the creation of the monument at Rambouillet, France and her history of the liberation of Rambouillet.

    But military history was just one facet of Cal's keen intellect and diverse interests. Click here to read his online obituary, or click here to read the PDF file of the fuller obituary created by his children.

    September 27, 2008
    Dedication of Monument to 7AD at Overloon, Netherlands
    Committee Members
    • Niek Hendrix from Ospel
    • Peter van de Pasch from Overloon
    • Hans van Toer from Deurne
    • Herman Dinnissen from Overloon
    • Piet Peters from Overloon
    • Harry Beckers from Overloon
    • Henk Alders from Overloon

    Click here for web page about the monument.

    B/23 Men in the News:
    John Althuizen's visit to Leroy Dawson

    In April 2008, John Althuizen and his wife Jeanne traveled from California to Maryland to visit Leroy Dawson, one of John's buddies from their days in Company "B" of 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion. The local news media covered the visit, and the Associated Press picked up the story in May, so that many newspapers carried the story. Here are links to the two versions of the story:

    For those wanting to learn more about B/23, see the 7th Armored Division Document Repository, where you will find Gene Jones' memoir and Felix Neff's memoir.

    Buried 7th Armored Division Tank Dug Up at Chartres, France

    Just in time for the anniversary of D-Day, an M5 Stuart light tank of Company D, 31st Tank Battalion was dug up from under the rue des Perriers in the southern part of Chartres, France. This led me to do a lot of research on this tank and how it had come to be where it was. The results of this research have changed my perception of the first day of the battle at Chartres: it is clear that the northern 7AD force attacking into Chartres penetrated far more deeply into the city than I had previously realized. I have created a web page where I am going to put together what I have found about this tank and its implications for the understanding of that first night of battle at Chartres.

    Click here for the web page on the tank that was buried at Chartres.

    7th Armored Division Association Awards for 2007

    At the 2007 Reunion in Virginia Beach, awards were presented to the following: Gen. David A. Petraeus, Charles Helbig, Jack G. Sanford, William Bell, James E. Hopkins, Niek Hendrix, Hans Wijers, Wilco Krul, Raymond C. Benoy, Robert Montgomery.

    Honorable mentions were given to Ruth Montgomery, Gert and Don Ketchum, Neil and Nancy Chapin, George Weidman, Wesley Johnston, Charles Barry, Cheryl Higley, June and Tom Hopkins, Berna Sharp, General Bill Knowlton and Peggy, Ray Duke, the directors of the Association, and the Color Guard from the 11th Transportation Battalion, Ft.Story, VA.

    Click here for details.

    Netherlands Postage Stamp Honors 7th Armored Division

    Netherlands 7th Armd Div Stamp

    Hans Jansen was a Dutch volunteer who joined 23 AIB in the Netherlands. His grand-daughter, Laura Zwartele, has designed a beautiful Dutch 44-Euro-cents stamp honoring the 7th Armored Division. The stamp is legal for sending mail in the Netherlands. However, it is a designer stamp, issued under a program that allows people to design their own stamps.

    Dedication of New 7AD Monument
    at Baraque de Fraiture, Belgium

    On Saturday, September 29, 2007 at 11:00 AM at the Baraque de Fraiture, Belgium crossroads there will be a dedication ceremony unveiling a new Memorial Monument honoring the men and their units who helped defend this critical crossroads during the first week of the Battle of Bulge in December 1944. The new Memorial Monument honors the efforts of Troop D/87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron Mechanized and Battery D/203rd AAA of the 7th Armored Division, and Company F/325th Glider Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division.

    The order was to hold this crossroads “at all costs.” Each man knew that this order was a suicide mission and an “Alamo” defense. So, from December 19-23, 1944, this crossroad garrison, comprised of several small units, put up a valiant blocking defense of the crossroads before being eventually overrun by both German armored and infantry divisions, respectively. The battle became known in the military history books as “Parker’s Crossroads.”

    Some 63 years after the fact, this new Memorial Monument recognizes and honors the memory of these brave men and their units who fought against overwhelming odds to defend this critical crossroads. The dedication ceremony itinerary will include a Color Guard, playing of National Anthems, Laying of Wreaths, speeches from both American and Belgian dignitaries, and presentations. All veterans, family, friends, and interested parties are welcome to attend the dedication ceremony. For further information or details, please feel free to contact Pete Schreiber at (909) 798-6745 or via email at pschreiber@ his virtualaw.com address.

    Click here for the web page on 7th Armored Division men at the crossroads in December 1944.
    Click here for the text on the monument.

    Dedication of 7AD Monument at Ospel, Netherlands

    On May 26, 2007, a new monument was dedicated at Ospel, Holland to those men of 7th Armored Division who lost their lives in combat in 1944 in the immediate vicinity of this small town. The dedication was attended by 7 veterans of 7AD and by their families and the families of 4 of the 48 men whose names are on the monument, as well as a large number of Dutch citizens, the US military attaché to the Netherlands, and other dignitaries. Flowers and notes of gratitude to the men of 7AD continued to be added to the monument for several days after the dedication.

    Click here for more about the monument.
    Click here for more about the dedication ceremonies.

    Henry Lemke (HQ Co/40) Honored
    by citizens of Dormans, France

    On June 16, 2007, citizens of Dormans, France honored Henry Lemke, of the Reconnaissance Platoon of Headquarters Company, 40th Tank Battalion. He was one of those killed August 28, 1944, when his halftrack was hit as it moved in a column heading from Dormans to the bridge over the Marne River. His family knew little of what had happened to him, other than that he had been killed somewhere in France. But his nephew John Lemke researched what had happened, so that his Uncle's story can now be told. In June, John followed his Uncle's route through this area of France and was welcomed with ceremonies honoring his Uncle. John is now doing the research that will lead to a permanent plaque at Dormans honoring the 7AD men who died there.

    Here are four French web pages (two of them in English) about these important events:

  • Main page, with many photos, both from the ceremonies and from WWII
  • Details about August 28, 1944: Liberation Day for Dormans (in English)
  • Speech at the Ceremonies by Auguste Héry (in English) - Secretary of the Association of the Battles of the Marne Memorial
  • L'Union Newspaper Article about John Lemke's Research on his Uncle

  • Edward W. Wood, Jr. C/48 AIB

    Experience as a soldier in World War II was an important part of the path of a number of writers and artists. These writers examined World War II in personal ways that military history generally ignores. The 106th Infantry Division's late fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut is probably the best known among them. His book "Slaughterhouse Five" is very much about his experiences being captured in the Bulge and held as a POW. In non-fiction literature, Paul Fussell is the best known, with many books about the experience of war. While on the trip for the May 26, 2007 dedication of the new monument at Ospel, Netherlands, I took along Paul Fussell's book "The Boys Crusade" in which I was surprised to read of an author who Fussell regarded highly, Edward W. Wood, Jr., who was a veteran of the 7th Armored Division. Ed Wood was very seriously wounded in action, which led to his first book "On Being Wounded", from which Fussell quoted a very well written passage. Back home, I sought out information about Ed Wood. The C/48 AIB Morning Reports for September 1944 show him wounded (SWA, with his name as Woods) north of Metz on 7 September 1944. I also learned that he has written two other significant books, and I found several articles from the Air Force Academy's journal "War, Literature and the Arts" by and about Ed Wood. (He lives in Denver, close to the Air Force Academy.) So here are links to his three books and to these articles. --- Wesley Johnston

    Screenplay The Stand at St. Vith
    A historically accurate look at military strife, sacrifice and courage.
    Dedicated: "To 'Workshop,' a long-overdue tribute."

    Jeff Hawkins created a full-length screenplay "paying long over-due homage to the 7th Armored Division and the ordinary soldiers who overcame extreme conditions at St. Vith, Belgium, Dec. 1944-Jan. 1945. These men saved the real 'Band of Brothers' from certain annihilation. This stop-action storyline also offers a glimpse of the soldiers' post-war lives through reunion camaraderie."

    Here's hoping a producer or agent discovers this script here.

    The complete text is 131 pages in a 586K Microsoft Word file. Click here to open that file and download the screenplay.

    Copyright © 2017 by 7th Armored Division Association
    All rights reserved
    Click here for information about contacting webmaster Wesley Johnston