Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by TD-Tommy776, Oct 23, 2011.
Hey, Lou. Gimme a break. Being a Walmart greeter is not exactly a piece of cake.
Another Memorial Day coming up. Hope to make a trip out to Bethel Cemetery on Monday if the weather isn't too lousy.
Stopped by the cemetery to visit Glenn & Bud. My mother and her sister were by earlier in the week and put flowers on the family graves.
You are not forgotten, Glenn. Be at peace. :S!
I recently "rediscovered" a newspaper clipping I had been given some time ago. The article was about a letter that was sent to Glenn's mother by one of his high school classmates who was serving in the Philippines.
When I re-read the letter, I found it so moving and poignant that I needed to add it to this thread. I have also included some photos which seem to naturally fit in with the letter. My thanks to kerrd5 who provided me with the War Department photos of the Santa Barbara Cemetery on Luzon.
The Corporal Wallace P. Olson Letter
29 June 1945
"I am sending this letter to my sister, Ruth, to give to you. Ruth sent me the news of Glenn's death, as well as the writeup from the Hoffman Tribune. I am sorry to learn of this, and my sympathy to you -- especially for this loss.
I am writing to tell you I have been to the cemetery where Glenn is buried. I found his grave and cross by going to the officer in charge of this cemetery. I also received permission to take pictures and though the day was not too good for pictures, I did take some. I took three close-up pictures of Glenn's cross and if I can send them home I will do so. If not allowed to do so, because of censorship, I will keep them with me until I get home, or send them with a pal who returns to the States. These pictures will be for you, and when I do get home and to Hoffman I will come and see you, and tell you personally about Glenn's resting place.
The cemetery is about two miles away from a little town, near a highway. The land is very level."
(Continued in next post)
"There are coconut trees, and other trees, giving some shade in the cemetery itself, and a chapel near the entrance, too. The roads and walks leading to the entrance will soon be paved.
The lawn is very green and all the crosses are painted white. Filipino workers keep the grass in perfect condition all of the time. The flag is flying every day at the entrance to the cemetery.
Glenn's cross has his name printed on it. It is my desire to get a good picture of his cross and one of the flag for you. I shall try to get one if at all possible.
I haven't had a chance to see Glenn since 1939. I knew where he was while in the service, and I kept track of him that way. While at his grave I could not think of war, and all this worldly trouble, but I thought of our high school basketball days and our life in Hoffman. We fellows in the service will realize more and more these losses when we return home.
Know that the cause for which Glenn died is honored over all the world by all free people, and because he has gone, many more of us will be able to fight the enemy on their own soil. I will never forget Glenn, or his grave and his cross. Will tell you more about his resting place when I get home."
Remembering you this Veterans Day, Glenn.
Seventy years ago today, the 129th Infantry Regiment was involved in the Battle of Clark Field and Fort Stotsenberg in the Philippines. Seventy years ago tomorrow, PFC Glenn W. Halvorson was killed in action during the assault on Fort Stotsenberg proper.
The following are excerpts from the 129th Infantry Regimental Journal for the period of 29-30 Jan 1945. These excerpt focus mainly on the 2nd Battalion and Company E of the 129th, but a few additional excerpts of interest have been included as well.
29 Jan 1945
0315 - Japanese staged a counterattack for about one half hour against the 2nd Battalion.
0750 - Lt. Col. Hundley, CO of 2nd Battalion reported 15 dead Japanese found in front of the battalion's sector where the firing took place at 0315. Exact front line position of 2nd Bn reported as: Left flank (28.0 – 36.3), Right flank (28.6 – 37.8).
0818 - Lt. Col. Hundley advised to have men dig in for the artillery concentration “as it will not be lifted for one or two shorts.”
0830 - Maj. Middleberg reported the coordinates of the attack as (27.9 – 37.5).
1015 - Lt. Col. Hundley reported: “Co G on right flank being held up by Japs in hangars. 3 Co's on line. Co E and Co F are moving on.”
1026 - Regimental CO Col. Frederick order to CO 2nd Bn: “You are to make a holding attack. Do not get heavily engaged. If Co E and Co F have no opposition let them go ahead and if Co G is being held up, have them stay there and put them in reserve if E & F pass thru them.”
1108 - Col. Frederick to CG 37th Div: “Are working on mine fields. Have removed over 150 mines and it looks like there is a tremendous number of them.”
1115 - Co E right flank received smallarms fire 300 to 400 yds W of light beacon. 2nd Bn line along grid line 28. 2nd Bn flanks at (27.95 – 36.3) to (28.0 – 38.0).
1400 - Rept to S-3: “Co E moving in. Left flank moving around house. Co E's right plat is stopped.”
1500 - Gen. MacArthur arrd at CP. Left for 2d Bn at 1505.
1520 - Gen. MacArthur rtd to CP fr 2d Bn. Left at 1525.
1615 - Lt. Col. Scheppach fr Maj. Woods: “Col. Hundley wants you to put up some red smoke on the right flank of Co I so he can tell where you are.” Col. Scheppach rpts that Co L is still pinned down. Poor field of fire for tanks and M-7's.
1620 - Maj. Woods from Gen. Beightler (Relayed to Lt. Col. Scheppach): “Get TD's in Co's I & L and get direct fire on ridge even if we have to lose one.”
30 Jan 1945
0845 - Arty preparation began.
0848 - CO 82d Cml Bn rptd to CP. Is to send Co C to 2d Bn, Co D to 3d Bn and Co A to Regt.
0910 - CO 2d Bn fr Lt. Col. Firebaugh: “Tank comdr rptd to CP, moved on to 2d Bn. Did 2d Bn move off on time?” Ans: Yes.
0925 - Lt. Col. Firebaugh fr Col. Frederick: “3d Bn 145 Inf and Co E 129 have contact with enemy and are moving fwd.”
1055 - Maj. Woods fr 2d Bn: “Left flank (27.1 – 36.3), right flank at (27.1 – 37.0) Co F. Co E – right flank (27.4 – 37.9), left flank (27.4 – 37.9).”
1150 - Coordinates of 2d Bn (Intercepted by radio): Left flank Co E (26.5 – 37.0), Right flank (26.5 – 37.7) ; Left flank Co F (26.3 – 36.3), Right flank (26.3 – 37.0) ; Co G (26.9 – 37.0).
1207 - Col. Frederick fr Lt. Col. Hundley: “2d Bn is on a North-South line thru 26.1.” Ordered by Col. Frederick to push fwd rapidly to objective before dark.
1255 - CO 2d Bn fr Col. Frederick: “Send patrol fwd to seize objective if possible. Go as fast as you can.”
1410 - Maj. Naudts, Ex O 2d Bn fr Maj. Woods: “Where are your front line elements, also where did the firing come from?” Ans: Co E claims leading elements at (24.7 – 37.4). Another unit rptd that the firing was coming from same position. Am going to fwd OP and will call back.
1445 - Maj. Woods fr Ex O 2d Bn: “CP located at (25.4 – 36.7). Front lines 500 yds ahead of CP. Co K on left of Co F. Heavy fire fight, no rpt of casualties.”
1530 - Col. Frederick going to old CP to meet 4 TD's and take them to 2d Bn CP.
1535 - Lt. Col. Firebaugh, Ex O fr 2d Bn: “Request 37 ammo, AT taking their load.”
1550 - G-2 fr Maj. Jones: “Relayed info about mortar fire on S-4” G-2 rpts that front line extends approx on 25 grid clear across Div sector. 2nd Bn 129 Inf has run into stiff enemy opposition at center of line and rpts resistance 2000 yds N & W of center. Arty being laid in on enemy to be followed by tank attack.
1625 - Lt. Col. Hundley, CO 2d Bn fr Gen. Beightler: “About mine fields, all you need to do is clear lane and tape it. Not necessary to take out all mines. If you get mines cleared, you should be able to get going. When you take some ground, you have to hold it. Don't pull back tonight.”
1640 - Maj. Woods fr Ex O 3d Bn 145 Inf: “Coords of 2d Bn 129 (24.0 – 36.0) running along ridge line to (24.6 – 37.4). 3d Bn 145 Inf (23.9 – 37.6) and (24.3 – 37.6) (23.9 – 38.4) and (24.7 – 38.4).”
1645 - Maj. Woods fr Col. Frederick: “Can see enemy fire coming from 'Top of the World' ridge. Arty to be placed there.”
1745 - Col. Frederick rtd to CP. Rptd 6 KIA and 20 WIA. KIA's may be some of yesterdays.
1805 - Col. Frederick left for 3d Bn to locate Lt. Pizulli's body.
The following excerpts are from the regimental history book, The 129th Infantry in WWII, and the chapter titled, "The Battle for Fort Stotsenburg". They cover the period of 28-30 Jan 1945 and, as with the previous posts, emphasize Company E and the 2nd Battalion.
The Battle for Fort Stotsenburg
On January 28, 1945, after a 65-mile advance in twenty days from the Lingayen Gulf beachhead, the 2d and 3d Battalions of the 129th Infantry crossed the line of departure (a north-south railroad track parallel to Highway No. 3) at 7:12 AM on the regimental frontage of 3,000 yards. The 2d Battalion was on the right and the 3d Battalion on the left. The 1st Battalion, until January 30, 1945, was engaged in the mission of guarding the XIV Corps' east flank.
By 8:15 AM the leading elements of the 2d Battalion were 2,000 yards beyond the line of departure...
The 2d Battalion continued the advance over flat terrain, and by 12:30 PM, was approaching the hangars along the right flank of the regimental zone. Company G and Company E, on the right flank, became engaged in a fire fight at this time in the hangar area. The enemy, hidden in rubble and emplacements, and supported by 20mm guns from the foothills, allowed most of Company G to go through the hangar area and then opened fire on Company E following. This engagement lasted the remainder of the day and was not entirely terminated until the following day. An American tank-infantry attack in the hangar area of the 2d Battalion was frustrated when two of the tanks were knocked out by enemy mines. The infantry came under a heavy volume of machine-gun and 20mm gun crossfire.
By 4:40 PM, the 2d Battalion was sustaining numerous casualties from the battle at the hangars and from sporadic artillery fire. It was necessary for medical personnel to use halftrack vehicles to recover the wounded from the open areas that were continually swept by intense enemy fire.
The enemy bitterly defended the hangar area of the 2d Battalion zone. A counter attack at 3:15 in the morning of January 29, lasting for half an hour, failed to penetrate the battalion's lines, despite the use of extensive 20mm, machine-gun, knee-mortar, and rifle fire. Twenty dead Japanese were found at daylight and the Americans had suffered no casualties.
Resuming the attack on January 29, the 2d and 3d Battalions jumped off at 9:15 AM following a twenty-minute artillery preparation and using tanks that were preceded by elements of Antitank Company's Mine Platoon. The mines, including primed aircraft bombs, were sown in extensive fields, making progress slow. The enemy maintained a determined defense, featured by rifle and automatic-weapons fire from skillfully concealed positions andby a considerable volume of mortar and large- and small-caliber antiaircraft gun fire from the Zambeles foothills. Also, 75mm mountain artillery was used.
Unrelenting pressure by the Americans pushed the lines of the 3d Battalion to the eastern edge of Tacondo and those of the 2d Battalion through the heavily defended hangar area to a point in front of Fort Stotsenburg proper. The troops had moved forward 500 yards in an hour and one-half of fighting...
Hangars and other buildings harboring enemy in concealed emplacements or rubble hampered the advance of 2d Battalion. By-passed Japanese were using destroyed aircraft as sniper points. Tank destroyers were employed in the full destruction of these aircraft.
A large scale attack was planned for all units for January 30 as the 1st Battalion was relieved from its mission of guarding the east flank of XIV Corps. The 1st Battalion was to take Delores, a town 4,000 yards northeast of Fort Stotsenburg and the Regiement's right flank. The 2d Battalion was to capture Fort Stotsenburg proper and the 3d Battalion was to secure the high ground to its front and flank.
At 8:55 AM, January 30, 1945, the attack was launched and by 10:00 AM the 3d Battalion had advanced 1,000 yards, while after fifty-five minutes the 2d Battalion had pushed 600 yards ahead.
... by evening the front lines had advanced 3,000 yards and included all of Sapangbato and the main portion of Fort Stotsenburg with all regimental units holding commanding terrain.
From HyperWar: The Capture of Clark Field Map
NVM could not find delete button.
On 25 Jan 1945, the 129th Infantry was rapidly approaching the Japanese-held Clark Field.
At 1605 (4:05 PM), the Regimental Journal of the 129th Infantry contains a matter-of-fact entry: “New cemetery estab at SANTIAGO in vicinity of civilian cemetery (849.4 - 1854.8) per Capt. Craver, S-1.”
Five days later at 1300 (1:00 PM), PFC Glenn W. Halvorson would be buried in the Santiago Cemetery in Plot 1, Row 4, Grave #35. To his right would be Pvt. John Petajnik of the 129th Infantry’s Cannon Company. To his left, Pvt. Charles Grosspietsch, also of Company E, 129th Infantry.
Pvt. Grosspietsch was one of several men who were listed as KIA on the 30 Jun 1945 Morning Report for Company E along with PFC Halvorson. The others were:
T/Sgt. Arthur E. Brown
Sgt. Edward L. Travelbee
PFC Clarence Grimestad
PFC Herbert O. Hobbs
PFC William L. Lennon
Pvt. Salvatore E. Santuccio (DOW he received at Fort Stotsenburg on 28 Jan 1945.)
You will never be forgotten, uncle Glenn.
Seventy-one years ago, PFC Glenn W. Halvorson and Company E, 129th Infantry Regiment awoke New Year's Day on the USS Sarasota which was enroute from Manus Island, Admiralty Islands to Lingayen Gulf, Philippine Islands. Her approximate position that day was about 300 miles NNE of Aitape, New Guinea. The highlights to their day seem to have been "emergency drills for the troops" from 0820 to 0903, and later in the day an "Excellent New Year's Day Dinner enjoyed by all."
Meanwhile, his brother Norman would have a very different memory of New Year's 1945.
Remembering your service and sacrifice this Memorial Day weekend, Glenn.
Just got back from paying our respects to Glenn. My mother picked out a nice arrangement.
We made our annual Memorial Day visit to Glenn's grave yesterday. It was a little cooler since it rained in the morning, but very windy.