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30th Infantry Division, Old Hickory

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by Ruud, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Cas

    Cas Member

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    Feel free to share your collected stories ! As Old Hickory liberated my hometown and the city I live in, and I have adopted two graves of Old Hickory's I was wondering what info you have ? After Action Reports ?
     
  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Welcome on this fine thread Kodiakbeer, the more the merrier, as Slipdigit said, feel free to start your own story.
     
  3. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    The same goes for me , please post as much as you can !
     
  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I can certainly tell you that my Dad was very fond of the Dutch! He said that everywhere they went, men with orange armbands would appear to guide them and fight with them. The Dutch resistance was well organized and in many cases showed up already armed (the French were less helpful and seemed more interested in rounding up collaborators behind the lines). I recall him saying that in Holland, they rarely had to sleep outside. The Dutch would seek out the company and platoon commanders and offer their homes for shelter. The Dutch were very kind to the GI's.
     
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  5. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    An anecdote: Dad was a runner (a PFC) and often tasked with escorting German prisoners back to the Battalion or Regiment. On one occasion he was taking a dozen or so prisoners back when they got caught in a German artillery barrage. Dad dived in a hole and the prisoners ran ahead towards the American positions - he lost the prisoners. When the shells stopped, he picked himself up and ran ahead and found the Germans had mustered themselves waiting for him. A German Feldwebel dressed him down in the best Sergeant fashion for not staying with the "unit" while he stood there grinning at the situation. A few minutes later they arrived at the CP and an American sergeant that had witnessed the affair also chewed him out while the German prisoners stood there grinning.

    He was very amused to be chewed out by both a German and an American sergeant for the same screw-up.
     
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  6. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    Cas likes this.
  7. Cas

    Cas Member

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  8. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    @ Cas: As i already posted i have these original 1984 newspapers about Liberation of South Limburg, but i didnt succeed in scanning them. Yesterday i bougth in a little bookshop 2 versions of the book 'D-Day in Zuid-Limburg' with same content. I am going to try to scan these and put them on Skydrive. i will post link here so everyone can see them. (hope the copyright-police wont arrest me..)
     
  9. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    And they still are, as Cas alluded to in his question. Many Dutch have adopted not just one, but several graves of US soldiers buried in the Netherlands.
     
  10. Cas

    Cas Member

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    So, since everyone is so enthusiast about me adopting US Graves, here's something back out of my own collection:

    Photo's are taken september 1944 at Valkenburg aan de Geul Netherlands (6km from Maastricht) Soldiers are most likely to be 119th Inf Regiment.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Is there a way to know who looks after a certain grave? I would like to contact the caretakers of a friend of Mr. Marion and thank them.
     
  12. Cas

    Cas Member

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    Where is he burried, Margraten ? If you PM the details (name and ASN number) I'll contact the foundation who handels all the adopting. If burried on Henri Chapelle, i'll try to contact the foundation who does the adopting there, if not adopted I'll see if I can adopt the grave.
     
  13. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Cas,

    I can't thank you enough for taking care of the graves of those young GI's. My own father died in 1972, but I think he left a part of himself in Europe with his friends who died there.
     
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  14. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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  15. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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  16. Cas

    Cas Member

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  17. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I posted this elsewhere, in a thread about the 2nd Armored Division. The 2nd Armored and the 30th Division fought together through most of the war as the XIX Corps. On April 1st a company of the 2nd Armored with Infantry of the 30th Division (120 IR, methinks...) was near Kaunitz, Germany, and found 830 starving Jewish women from Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia.

    Below is an excerpt from statements of liberated Jewish slaves from Buchenwald sub-camp Lippstadt recorded after the war.

    [FONT=&quot]Buchenwald sub-camp Lippstadt
    The Buchenwald sub-camp Lippstadt held women, predominantly Hungarian Jews, who had been deported from Auschwitz when the sub-camp opened in the summer of 1944. The women were forced to work in the armaments industry as part of the SS Kommando Lippstadt I.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    ·[FONT=&quot] Anna Kaletska: 1945. They drove us out from [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Lippstadt[/FONT][FONT=&quot]—at night we were evacuated. We were to go to [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Bergen-Belsen[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [ this with irony in her voice]. They couldn't take us any more to [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Bergen-Belsen[/FONT][FONT=&quot], but they didn't know. Driven at night and during the day locked up in shops. [In the midst of her German she uses the English word "shops". That is one of those new words that was adopted into the German language during the war]. They had everything ready to finish us off. But there was no more time. [/FONT]
    ·[FONT=&quot] David Boder: What do you mean, finish you off? [/FONT]
    ·[FONT=&quot] Anna Kaletska: They had orders not to release us alive. On the third day at dawn we remained standing in a little lane, deep in mud, and the top division leader was frothing at his mouth. We heard already the rumbling American tanks, and we were led into the woods. I don't know how they happened not to hit us. So he says (he still yelled then), "You band of Jew-pigs." And he left us alone with all the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]SS[/FONT][FONT=&quot] men, and he himself ran away. So I said then to one of the girls, "You know, I don't know whether we shall survive, but he will not come back any more." So she says: "I have a half a bread and I give you this half a bread if that should happen the way you say." And I still thought that I would have a chance to eat that half a bread in case he should not return. But it has become very late. And it happened the first of April, 1945, a quarter of nine. Shooting! [/FONT]
    ·[FONT=&quot] David Boder: In the evening or in the morning? [/FONT]
    ·[FONT=&quot] Anna Kaletska: In the morning. Shooting, [with joy in her voice] Americans! They are shooting at us, and here we are, together with the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]SS[/FONT][FONT=&quot] men, lying under the trees. The bullets whistled. [She uses the expression—bullets burned]. And we laughed—crazy of us. The [/FONT][FONT=&quot]SS[/FONT][FONT=&quot] men stood around. They were no heroes any more. They don't know where to run. Only five minutes before, they wouldn't run away. They could not leave us alone. They still believed in the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Fuehrer[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. And now they were standing with their arms down. They were still ordering to go to the "shops", but nobody went. We remained lying down right there. The Americans fired three times, and then a silence came over us. An aeroplane came down at low altitude, and a white flag [here she sobs again], and it was spread out. [/FONT]
    ·[FONT=&quot] David Boder: What do you mean, a white flag? [/FONT]
    ·[FONT=&quot] Anna Kaletska: The Germans raised a white flag. The name of the town is [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Kaunitz[/FONT][FONT=&quot], in Westphalia near [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Lippstadt[/FONT][FONT=&quot], twenty-seven kilometers from [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Lippstadt[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. And here we were, almost crazy. We haven't a strip of a white thing. Somebody had a bandage around a wounded leg, and that bandage was raised at an approaching American tank, and the women prostrated themselves on the ground, kissing the wheels. The Americans thought it was a house of the insane. They looked at us. [I am not sure of the correct translation of the next few sentences.] And how we looked! All in tatters. [Her words are barely audible.] And speaking—nobody could. We were all speechless. And then he understood, and two tears rolled down his face. [Again the text is not clear, she is very upset.] And until the others arrived, he wept with us. Not a Jew—a Christian. And then they began to arrive, the tanks. It was Passover. The last day of it. And matzos [Unleavened bread, eaten by Jews at Easter] fell from the tanks. And chocolate and cigarettes. And they would jump off the tanks and they were kissing us. Us dirty and lousy ones. "Do not weep," they would say. But we wept more and again. And incessantly the tears ran. The Ninth Army had not seen any Jews in Germany, and we thought that we were the only Jewish survivors, and we did not want to live. But they consoled us. They were telling us that there were many other armies that have reached other [/FONT][FONT=&quot]lagers[/FONT][FONT=&quot] which were liberated. That was liberation. We were all dead sick. I was half swollen. Immediately the American army led us into homes. They burned everything we had on us, although we wanted to save the clothing. But it was all infected, and we were afraid to keep it. Dirty. And we changed our clothes, putting on whatever we could. We could take things, good things, from the Germans. We took it from the Germans [with irony in her voice], they gave it to us themselves. They were afraid now. We dressed [here her voice again breaks into sobs]. We washed ourselves, with soap, warm water, a clean towel, pure underwear. [She uses the English word "pure"]. Oh! The Americans themselves were crazy with joy. They now understood—"You are going to liberate human beings." And that army hadn't seen before those who were liberated. We were the first ones, and they were rejoicing like little children. And in the evening one American put on his head a hat, a German hat, a womans hat, and another one played some kind of instrument, and he danced with a little girl from our [/FONT][FONT=&quot]lager[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. I shall not forget it, ever. [She weeps again and speaks in exhaustion.] For the first time we got into the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]lager[/FONT][FONT=&quot] a radio, and we heard the news. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Bergen-Belsen[/FONT][FONT=&quot] liberated. Thirty thousand hopelessly sick. Thousands and thousands dead. Who knows whether my people were there? Everybody thought so, and their eyes would run out [in tears].

    Below, photos of the women liberated at Kaunitz:


    [/FONT] View attachment 17755
     

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  18. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    An interesting photo taken at La Glieze, Belgium. Can you see what this Old Hickory soldier is carrying? Sorry for the duplicate images!
     

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  19. Cas

    Cas Member

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    Ow yeag, that's and STG 44 (also known as MP44)
     
  20. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Cas,

    Did you get my Email about events around Heer on 13 and 14 September? If so, was it useful information?

    Yes, that's an STG44! My dad had told me that in the Ardennes many men in the 30th picked up that "German Buck Rogers" rifle and used it. Many US army vets have told me that Americans never use captured rifles, but I came across this photo showing that they did indeed use German weapons at times. The STG44 was the most advanced rifle of the war and many GI's did pick them up and use then until, I'm sure, some authority ordered them to stop.

    Oh, and that tank in the picture is a King Tiger (Tiger II) of Kampfgruppe Peiper.
     

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