"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.
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
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.