"Somewhere in a distant, man-made hell,
Fighting for Humanity he fell....

God's Angels saw him and they wept....
God's finger touched him...and he slept."

S/Sgt. Bernard D. Meeker from Britton, So. Dak.  became a S/Sgt. and Platoon leader at the age of only 19.  Bernard was awarded the Silver Star for volunteering to lead the way across a mine field outside of Mariadorf, Germany.  This was the same minefield my father went through.  This brave young man who was KIA on Dec. 19th, 1944 outside of Stavelot, Belgium, very well could be the reason I am even here.  I hope in a small way I can repay his family for their ultimate sacrifice.  His brother Virgil served with the 104th ID at the same time.  The two divisions were very close to one another.  Virgil visited Bernard's company after his death and also visited Bernard's grave at Henri-Chapel Military Cemetery in Belgium before the body was returned to South Dakota.

Local newspaper article on Virgil's service, May 2006.

Letters, Awards:

Virgil's letter home to his parents explaining the circumstances of Bernard's death.  Jan. 25th, 1945

Virgil's letter home Jan. 31st, 1945.

Virgil's Chaplain letter to Bernard's parents.

Newspaper Articles of Bernard's death.

War Department letters to the Meeker's.

Various Papers of Bernard's

Map of fighting in Stavelot on Dec. 19th.

*Stavelot PHOTO Page

Here is some more informatio regarding the 19th December:
There was an early morning attack by the Germans. It was preceded by German artillery fire. The attack was stopped by US artillery fire. This was the day the 118th FA Bn had to cool their guns, firing 3 shells in a minute per gun. It is said they fired 3'000 shells this morning. A and B Co were tasked to get to the bridge. A Co was to the right, B Co to the left. They suceeded in clearing the Germans out of the part N of the Ambleve during the morning. Positions taken were 1st Plt, Lt Murray, Co A in the "Tannerie" and 1st Plt, Lt. Foster in the Hôtel de Ville (that's identical with the old Abbey), it is left and right of the bridge, N of the Amblève. C Co and D Co (mortars) were further back uphill. The HMGs of D Co were in the Hôtel de Ville and on the Place de Marché. There were numerous positions occupied by the Germans. One was the Massange House (rue du Châtelet-rue Henri Massange), the Rue Vinave (in front of the Church). There was an old Belgian bunker occupied just next to the old Abbey, which 2nd Plt Co B retook. The 3rd Plt, Co A was cleaning Rue Neuve, that's the road leading West towards Trois Ponts. This way, the rest of Co A seems to have progressed with 2nd and 3rd Plt later on. Capt Kent seems to have taken his PC in Rochettes only during the afternoon. It is thus possible that in the morning, Sgt Meeker was killed in the region of the Abbey, drawing ammo. by Hans Weber

Story of the Nov. 17th assault where Bernard earned his Silver Star and of the Dec. 19th day when he was killed.

Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) for Bernard obtained by Nyle, Aug. 2005 from the Department of the Army, U.S. Army Human Resources Command.


All photos are thumbnails...files..PDF.