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Photo Page 15

 

Not sure if 30th soldier but Jan. 12th the 30th was still in the area.


I think there is a strong possibility that the soldiers in this photo are of the 2nd Battalion, 119th Inf. Reg. that was working with the 2nd Armor Division east of Ubach at this time.
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The "Golden Rat" on the bridge over the Weser River at Hameln, Germany....of Pied Piper fame.  This rabbit was added in 2005.   As story has it....does it replace one that 'disappeared' on April 7th, 1944?

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Crossing of the Roer River, February, 1945.
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Yellow arrow on map points to crossing in photo above, I believe.  119th IR crossing site.
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Pillbox near Palenberg.

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Possibly 30th men...but great photo of terrain.
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Again most probably 30th men.
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Brown B. Lynch, 120th, Co. C. Hometown Greensboro, NC.  Wounded Aug. 7th, 1944 at Mortain.

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Please email if you can identify any of these men.  Pfc. William H. Uhl


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Names with the picture:
From left to right:
Frank Towers (120th)
Harold B. Fry (131 AAA gun Btn.)
and Richard Lacey (120th)
OH veterans in Valkenburg 2004
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Henry J. (Bud) Gilliam from Hunnewell, KY, commanded a mortar squad.  Wounded in Belgium and rejoined in time for the Battle of the Bulge.

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Donald Tucker, 120th Co. K veteran of Mortain, Ardennes and much more.
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"Belgium 8/1/45--Engineers of the 30th Infantry Division remove booby trap from snow covered, abandoned German tank, which was knocked out beyond Geromont, Belgium. Germans painted white stars on tank to make it resemble American armor. Left to right: Cpl. Peter A. Piar, Philadelphia, PA; Lt. John D. Perkins, Alliance, Ohio; and Pfc. Calvin J. Dupre, Houma, LA"

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60th Anniversary of the Liberation of Noorbeek on Sept. 11th, 2004.  Photos by John P. O'Hare of Co. E, 117th.

John P. O'Hare

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Dick Jespen with Gerry Gerard and Vincent Heggen. Dick belonged to 120th IR, Co. D.  Dick is standing near a  30 cal  water cooled machine gun like he used.  They are visiting Mr. Heggen's museum in Belgium.

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 German leaflet picked up by Ray Sturm sometime in late 44 or early 45.
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St.Giles, France on July 31st.  The 30th and 2nd AD had gone through on July 26th.
Photo back.
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Grave and Purple Heart of Pfc. John J. Flaherty, KIA Dec. 24th, 1944, 117th IR from Suffolk City, MA.
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Updated Every Thursday Evening
 

POSTED MAY 26, 2005    Print this Story 

 

“I’m One Of The Lucky Ones”
Memorial Day Brings Back Memories For WWII Veteran

By Sherrie Norris

Eighty-seven year old James Shull says Memorial Day holds a special place in his heart and he knows that he’s “one of the lucky ones” who made it back home during World War II, though not without injury. “I came back in one piece and that’s more than I can say for a lot of those boys.”

 

Mr. Shull proudly displays his box of medals that contains his Bronze Star, The Purple Heart, a Good Conduct Award and various other citations and memorabilia from WWII. Photo by Sherrie Norris


Sgt. James Shull receives the Bronze Star medal for heroism in March 1945, presented by Brigadier General W.K. Harrison.

Memories and medals help piece together Shull’s experiences in the mid-‘40’s, when as a young man, he served his country with pride, though was just 1/16 of an inch from becoming a statistic who never came home alive. “That’s how close it was when I was hit in the neck – just that much more and my main artery would have got it. The way it was, I was hospitalized for two months after I got hurt.”

James was one of three local brothers serving in the military at the same time, leaving behind their parents on the family farm in Sugar Grove to grieve for their sons on foreign soil. The trio eventually came home, but in the meantime, the Shull family received word of James’ near-fatal injury, and feared for the worst.

His story unfolds from the comfort of his living room, where his childhood sweetheart and wife of 60 years helps us better understand what he went through – as he was thousands of miles away, and she waited patiently, but fearfully, back home with his parents for his safe return.

Young “Jim” Shull, at the age of twenty-one volunteered for the Army in 1941 for what he thought would only be one year of service. However, just six weeks away from discharge, the war was heating up and all releases were “froze,” he recalls.

His journey started out as he left the family farm for a new experience to honor the country he loved as well. His parents and future bride thought little of a one-year absence and imagined the time would fly by without delay.

Shull was inducted into the army at Ft. Bragg and finished thirteen weeks of basic training at Ft. Jackson, SC. He remembers “maneuvers” in Tennessee, various parts of North and South Carolina, attending Officer’s Training School, where he became a MI Rifle Instructor; he was at Camp Blanding, Fla, and trained in Indiana before being sent to a staging area in New York to prepare for over-seas service. “We left New York on boats and sailed north and across to England and that’s where we were when they declared war. We knew the invasion was coming, but just didn’t know when. On June 6th of ’44, we knew something was about to happen when planes just filled the air over us. They took us to the barbershop to get our hair cut off and the next thing I knew, we were loaded onto boats in South Hampton, England and headed for France. We left one night and got there the next morning. We landed on Omaha Beach, which was not where we were supposed to land . . . we should have gone on farther down where not so much fighting was goin’ on, but ended up in the worst place.” Omaha Beach, France was a place Mr. Shull will never forget . . . “A lot of boys from our division got killed the very first morning we were there.”

Twelve days into the battle, Jim Shull himself was seriously wounded . . . “when a sniper got me in the neck.” After he was hit, Shull got up and walked back to the field hospital, “the same trail I had walked up earlier that morning, but this time, I didn’t know if I was going to make it or not. I was losing a lot of blood as I walked, and my buddies kept trying to bandage me up as I went . . . other boys were laying dead all around me.”

Shull was sent back to the 83rd General Hospital in England for treatment and a two month recovery; afterward, he returned to his “outfit,” which by that time, had gone back to Germany.

Life as an American soldier returned to normal, be that as it was. His next combat involvement was in Belgium at The Battle of the Bulge, where he fought for three months in weather “25-30 degrees below zero.” There were no barracks, and no tents to keep the soldiers warm. “We just had to huddle up together to keep from freezing to death.”

When that battle was over, Shull’s division “came down from the mountains” and returned to Germany, where he “played a part” in The Rhyne Crossing. “We fought our way up to Berlin, but they stopped us in Magdeburg, Germany and held us while the Russians came in to take Berlin.”

“It wasn’t long,’ Mr. Shull reflects, ‘until President Truman decided he didn’t want that war to go on any longer and had bombs dropped on Japan . . . the war was practically over by then.”

In the meantime, however, Sgt. Shull received numerous commendations, including the Bronze Star with a certificate for heroism. The citation reads: “Sgt. James D. Shull, Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army – for heroic achievement in action on 25 March, 1945 in Germany. While moving his squad across an open field to attack enemy dug in positions, Sgt. Shull displayed outstanding courage by moving under a hail of enemy fire to encourage and advise his men. He did not permit the attack to hesitate, but moved on until the enemy was overrun and fifteen were taken captive along with two machine guns.” It was signed by W.K. Harrison, Brigadier General, U.S. Army Commanding, who personally presented the award to Shull. Additionally, Shull received The Purple Heart, a Good Conduct Award, American Defense Medal, The European Campaign 5-major battle stars, Combat Infantry Badge, and currently has those displayed in a special box, along with one of his dog tags, his Old Hickory Division Patch, and a WWII pin his daughter brought him from a visit to Washington, DC.

Shull returned to his homeland in October, 1945. “I was already in love with Carrie (Edmisten) and we got married.” The couple moved to Maryland where Jim worked in an airplane factory, but began missing home again, so they headed back to life on the farm. He loved farming and gardening and also worked at Trailway Laundry, “for a long time.” They had one daughter, Betty Dishman, now a retired educator, who has brought to them much joy through the years, and two “precious grandchildren,” Macie and Preston, “who have kept us young.” Mr. Shull enjoys sports, “I used to play right much baseball . . . .” and looks forward each year to gardening. His wife “puts up” what they raise, in addition to being an excellent seamstress and quilter who has taught classes offered at Caldwell Community College. The couple attends Faith Baptist Church and has enjoyed the comfort and peacefulness of their home in the Deerfield community for thirty years.

With Memorial Day just days away, Mr. Shull, who recently turned eighty-seven, says he does have a lot of memories . . . . and compares the war in which he fought with the one currently in progress. “I had a reason to go into my war . . . had it not been for the World War II boys, this country wouldn’t be what it is today. We would’ve been under someone else’s rule if we hadn’t done what we did. I lost a lot of buddies in my day, but they died for a reason. This Iraq war should never have been - it’s cost three trillion dollars, and a lot of soldiers have been killed for no reason. I didn’t see no need for it, myself. But, that’s what Memorial Day is all about - to remember those who died for their country . . . and that’s what we’ve got to do.”

 



 

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