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30th Infantry Division, Old Hickory

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

  1. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    I also read that some people were "seduced" to join colaborators because they were poor people. Joining these colaboration parties to survive because they got some benefits without they would not be able to feed their children. You could also call them causalties of war. First they had nothing and after war they were treated like criminals. But in fact they were poor bastards and totally not active as partmembers. They only tried to survive.
     
  2. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Ruud, unfortunately that is what war does...The collaborators may well have thought they had to do it...which one of us when NOT at war would not do our all for our kids...But there were many others with kids in same situation who did not collaborate in any way. They may have something to say on this matter...There but for the grace of God...But if you are guilty of collaboration, then that is the choice the individual has made. We in America and UK have no recent experience of occupation forces..We can therefor say things that may not ring true to those that have or had family that were occupied. We can only state on a personal level that we would hope not to be in that position. Some did, some may have thought they had to, most did not, and it is to those that justice would need to be seen to be done.Which is why many a Brit, Canadian or Yank saw..commented, but moved on.
     
  3. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I can certainly understand the hatred for officials who may have helped round up Jews and forced laborers to be exported to the Reich, or otherwise helped enforce measures against the populace. Yet, I have a lot of sympathy for young women who may have just had a German boyfriend or something like that. In my mind there are really two levels of "collaboration" and these lesser offenders probably paid a higher price than was necessary.

    Regardless; I think punishing the collaborators was probably just something that had to be done by the people to blow off 4 years of hatred and stress. A psychological release - closure.
     
  4. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    it was not my personal opinion but it was something i read somewhere when looking for information about liberation of Heerlen. Someone stated that he saw people being arrested. He just meant to say that somehow he felt sorry on the other hand for some of those people who he knew.
     
  5. Noorbeek 1944

    Noorbeek 1944 New Member

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    Maybe someone is interested in this story. On Tuesday September 12 1944 the first villages in Holland were liberated by the 30th Old Hickory Division. (Take a look at my avatar. You can see the patch of the 30th Old Hickory Division.) At 10 AM the American troops crossed the border in the border-village called Mesch in the south-west point of Limburg. The A-compagnie of the 117th regiment of Captain Kent were the first american troops fighting in Holland. The first man fighting in Holland was Lieutenant Maloney.

    The Americans went on and reached the village of Eijsden. At the pub in Eijsden they wrote in the wall: The first American troops were here at September 12 at 5.35 pm. But they liberated only a part of Eijsden. The other part was liberated the next day. At 6 pm they liberated a little village called Moerslag and the liberators became a piece of cake and pie from local people.

    At the right side of the 117th regiment was the 119th regiment. They were situated at Warsage belgium. They went on and captured the Belgium village of
    's Gravenvoeren in the early hours of September 12. They crossed the border by the village of Noorbeek and liberated it on 5.30 pm. At 10 am the first village was liberated and at 5.30 pm was the first community of the Netherlands liberated.

    They couldn't liberate Noorbeek without fighting. While walking into the village at the otherside a German truck, carrying German troops, was entering the village. A fighting stood place and the German driver was killed and his mates escaped. The Americans had plans to block a road outside the village. About 1 kilometer before that road a German trooper opened fire and killed one American trooper. (SSgt. Roy Booher.)

    When the Americans reached the road they came under heavy fire. The Americans attacked the Germans from 3 sides and finally they could block the road.

    Another village which was liberated at September 12 was the village of Mheer. There is a strong (I don't know how to say it good) hill in Mheer and the tanks had problems to reach the top. When the first tank finally reached the top a German came out behind a wall and fired a panzerfaust. But an American trooper who was walking beside the tank shot the German just at the moment he fired the panzerfaust. So the projectile missed the tank. Mheer was liberated at 8 pm and was the second community which was liberated in the Netherlands.

    I hope that this story interested you.

    Regards,
     
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  6. Noorbeek 1944

    Noorbeek 1944 New Member

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  7. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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  8. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Good story, Norbeek. Nice map as well. Thanks for sharing.
     
  9. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Very well done, Norbeek. Thank you for the informative post and the map. I like maps!
     
  10. Noorbeek 1944

    Noorbeek 1944 New Member

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    There has more to come but I have to ask for your patience. Thank you for your nice comments.
     
  11. Noorbeek 1944

    Noorbeek 1944 New Member

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    In 2008 we had some e-mail contacts with Ken Thayer who served in Company K of the 119th Infantry Regiment. Unfortunately he passed away but this is what we received from him:

    I was personally involved in the attack on Norbeek and remember it clearly.
    The 12 September 1944 was the official date of our crossing of the Dutch border.
    However, I was a member of a patrol which crossed the frontier on 11 September.

    My company- Company "K" of the 3rd Battalion, 119th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division crossed an open field under enemy artillery fire and descended a short hillside to a flat field.
    We proceeded across the open field to, what we later learned was Norbeek.

    I personally passed through a family backyard where there were beautiful birds, which I later was told were golden pheasants.
    We all pressed on to the main street to te town and turned to the right.
    I noticed that store fronts and other signs contained names with two vowels.
    I knew this to be of the Dutch language and shouted to my buddies, "Hey we must be in Holland."

    Source: Email conversation on 13/06/2008 with Mr. Kenneth. C. Thayer

    I have had some additional thoughts concerning our liberation of Norbeek.
    Our third battalion 119th infantry regiment 30th infantry division, drew up near the Netherlands border on 11/9/44, late afternoon.

    After setting up the perimeter of defense, my company K company commander Captain Harry Hopcraft obtained permission from our battalion commander to send out a small patrol after dark.
    This would be a "listening patrol". He selected my platoon sergeant T/Sgt (later second Lt.) Clyde B. Proby, another GI and myself.

    The purpose of a listening patrol is to advance a few hundred yards to the front and stop and listen for any enemy activity or voices, and then advance another hundred yards or so, and repeat the process.
    The lead person Sgt. Proby, would watch for signs of a German minefield. What we didn't know at the time the night of the 11th, was that we had actually crossed into Holland.

    After about an hours patrol we returned to our company position. As you know, the following day, the entire battalion crossed the Dutch border and were the first Allied troops to do so.
    So, on reflection, the night of the 11th, our three man patrol was actually the first Allied troops to enter Holland.

    If there is anyone who remembers our entrance into Norbeek on the 12th, ask if they remember the damaged street caused by a Sherman Tank making a right hand pivot and therefore tearing up the paved surface.
    This would be near the stores in the photograph you sent.

    Source: Email conversation on 14/11/2008 with Mr. Kenneth. C. Thayer

    Regards,
    Frank
     
  12. Noorbeek 1944

    Noorbeek 1944 New Member

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    By the way, Ken Thayer wrote this book:

    The Young Liberators, Volume One From Civilian to Soldier, by Kenneth C. Thayer with Allen D. Foote, Steffen Publishing and Oneida County Historical Society, copyright 2002, ISBN: 0-9668178-4-2
     
  13. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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  14. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    From the Combat History of 119th Infantry Regiment (September, 1944):

    We fraternized with the Belgians, and at this time most of the Americans got along with them better than with the French.

    The Belgians were never ironic and they seemed to have direct, comprehensible feelings. Later, however, their small mercantile class began charging prices that would soon restore the national economy, so relations between us grew strained. By then we began to grow fond of the Dutch, who to the end returned our mutual respect and admiration.
     
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  15. Cas

    Cas Member

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    [​IMG]

    Plaque in the city hall of Valkenburg aan de Geul (Netherlands)
     
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  16. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Mr. Marion was there on that day. I will be sure to show him the photo.
     
  17. Cas

    Cas Member

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    What a coincedence, let me know how he reacted !
     
  18. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I am probably going over there in the next couple of days to go over a Powerpoint he going to use for a talk he is going to give a local Rotary Club meeting.
     
  19. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    We finally were able to talk with Frank (Noorbeek1944) yesterday via Skype. I had been trying to set up a day we all could get together and yesterday, after church, was the day.

    Mr. Marion had a large time talking to Frank, even with the occasional garbled connection. They talked for about an hour and half.

    Thanks Frank, Mr. Marion enjoyed greatly talking with you.
     
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  20. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    That is truly exciting. The opportunity for Mr. Marion to talk directly to Frank is great. Technology is a wonderful thing. Tell Mr. Marion I said "hello". He sounds like he is embracing the new age.
     

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