Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by Ruud, Mar 12, 2012.
this is excellent , the Liberation of Maastricht story is very moving too
Yes SKipper, and the more i read the more i want to know too.
Another amazing story about resistance and the Liberation of Valkenburg:
In the morning of the 14th of September 1944 Valkenburg is very quiet. The approaching troops make the few, that haven’t sought safety in the caves, remain indoors.
Since several days all sorts of rumours go the round. The greater part of the German troops have been retired. Only a handful of Germans remain in Hotel Oda, to watch over the only bridge that’s not yet blown, near Den Halder Castle. Early in the morning two men in civilian clothes go up the Daelhemerweg street (→picture above). The day before they searched contact with the Americans, who invaded until De Planck at the Belgian-Dutch frontier. One of them informed the Americans on the the state of affairs in Valkenburg. Today a US patrol will come to Valkenburg. At the bench, a little bit further up than the coal-mine imitation, they will meet. The agreed password is „Steeplechase".
On their way up they spy along the road. There is an American sitting on the bench indeed. „You want a cigarette?", he asks.
„I like steeplechase", Pierre Schunck (38) from Valkenburg answers. In the resistance he is only known as „Paul Simons".
„I’m captain Sixberry", the man on the bench says. He clearly wants to know, how many Germans remain in the little town and where they are. He has got an ordnance map upon his knees. Schunck indicates: „At this side of the Geul no one is left. This bridge is the only one, that is still intact, but it is undermined and guarded from Hotel Oda, over there. Possibly there are still some Germans left in the Casino dance-hall too, at this place. Moreover there’s still German traffic from Meerssen via Houthem to Valkenburg and then via Heerlen to Germany."
The American is accompanied by some soldiers. They are hidden in the vegetation on the banks. Most likely their number is bigger, than the man from Valkenburg guesses now. They have the disposal of a walkie-talkie, the first one, that Pierre Schunck sees in his life. The soldiers pass on the gathered information. There-upon from the other side the briefing follows: try to gain that bridge over the Geul without damage. This should happen by surprise by means of a pincer movement.
Schunck beckons his companion l’Istelle (23), a young man from The Hague, who is in hiding at his’, to come nearer. They deliberate for a moment. The Americans retire and come back in a queue of open jeeps, with fixed machineguns. The engines are switched off, they make use of the incline of the Daelhemerweg Street to approach completely silent.
In the first one there is only a driver. The captain and his men take place, but they put Pierre Schunck in front, on the hood. Because they still don’t trust him? Later you wonder things like this….
Years later, during a wake at the Margraten cemetery, a US soldier started asking around for someone named Paul Simons, but almost everyone had forgotten that name. When he finally found him it turned out he was the soldier who sat behind him with a rifle pointed at his head. He had had sleepless nights because of this and was happy to find Pierre Schunck in good health. This soldier was Bob Hilleque from Chicago, the only member of the A platoon of the 119th regiment who was still alive at the time. Pierre and Bob subsequently became good friends.
According to the text in the newspaper it looks like it was some kind of a long distance recon unit which rushed out in advance.
Great story, Ruud. Thanks for posting it. Glad they got to shake hands on that so Bob can rest easy.
It was probably Task Force Harrison, led by the Assistant Divsional CO, MGen William Harrison.
See the first link in this saved search: TF Harrison It is a Word document embedded in a webpage. You will have to d/l it to see it.
The task force was dissolved in October, then another TF called by the same name was formed after the Rhine River was crossed in March, 1945
Thank you very much !
If someone is interested, I will post some (rare) pictures about the liberation of Maastricht after i scanned my newspapers from 1984, all about the 40th aniversairy of the liberation. That will take some time of course. Papers still look alright though slightly "yellowish" after 28 years if you know what i mean.
So if i dont post next two weeks you know i am busy...
Yes, I'd like to see them.
test 1, it's somewhat complicated, newspapers from 1984 are 4 times larger than my scanner
On the left side a soldier resting while smoking a well earned sigar. Right side street: Elisabeth Strouverlaan Maastricht were people start celebrating liberation.
View attachment 16299
Try this piece of software, it is free.
Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor (ICE)
If you have to scan large photos, you can do each section, the drag and drop the parts of the whole into this app and it will put the photo back together for you.
I used it to piece together some 11" x 14" photos that were too big for my 8" x 10" scanner. I had to scan the bottom and top halves separately. It put them back together and I cannot tell where the seams are.
With my camera, I took 7 photos in an arc across my yard of my daughter and her dog, then put them together in one large panarama photo with them in it 7 times.
Give it a try, it is very easy to use.
I think you also have to install .Net Framework if you don't have it already.
Did I mention it was free?
Jeff, some advise please, what is the best method to place them here in relation to size of the pictures ? I assume the total picture will be too large to post here?
Can you post the pics at Flickr, Photobucket or a similar photo sharing site and then link the pics back to here?
I'm strongly considering moving a good many of these latest posts to a seperate thread about the US 30th, since originally the thread was about a single person who was in the division. I will probably change the name of this current thread to better reflect its focus and name the new thread what this one is named.
I am sure i am a part of the reason why you consider to split up these threads with my unguide-projectile-posts but you are very right to do so. It will make things clear.
But on the other hand the subject changed in a very gentle and natural way from a person to the greater scale of the rest of Old Hickory in my opinion. Because people know what this thread is about by now. Its all connected together.
Please do not think that I'm not grousing at you, by any stretch of the imagination. I'm glad you have posted what you did and do not think that you have done anything wrong. It is not uncommon for us to do this as threads develop.
Maastricht Aktueel | Tag Archive | old hickory
Liberation 14 september 1944 village "Berg en Terblijt" by 30sth division.
Jeff, feel free to move this to another part of the forum, also my post before this one. I post here untill threath is moved by you, okay ?
Hell on Wheels and Old Hickory in Heerlen
At bottom of page information about soldiers who stayed with Dutch families.
Wow! I'm so delighted to find this forum and this thread.
My father was in Old Hickory: 117th IR, 1st Battalion, Company D. D was the was the heavy weapons company (mortars and heavy machine guns) and Dad ended up as the runner for the company as well as an artillery and mortar observer. He had a lot of great stories and I'll be happy to share those if anyone is interested.
I'm also collecting information for a book on the 30th, though I just seem to bury myself deeper and deeper as I collect more books and stories for my research. Currently, I'm collecting info from German units that faced the 30th in various battles.
Kodiak Beer, welcome to the Forum. I hope that you will go to the New Member section and formally introduce yourself. I know that there are many here who would very much appreciate hearing more about your father's service. I encourage you to start your own thread over in the What Granddad did in the War section. It's not limited to just Granddads.