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(Click to enlarge)

Kent A Lee

Corporal, United States Army

Gunner, 2nd Platoon, Company A, 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion

Service Dates: January 9, 1943 to October 31, 1945

Theatre of Operations: Europe

Decorations & Citations: Two Presidential Unit Citations, Good Conduct Medal,

American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Honorable Service Award and Marksman Badge with Carbine Bar, Machine Gun Bar and Rifle Bar

 Kent reported for duty on January 16, 1943, at Fort Douglas, Utah in Salt Lake City.  He was assigned to the 2nd Platoon, Company A, 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion.  He was sent to Camp Hood Texas, where he spent three months in basic training.  On April 13th, the 823rd was moved to Camp Bowie, Texas where they received advanced training.  One evening while on maneuvers, the 823rd had just gone to sleep for the night.  A jeep full of officers, including Kent’s Captain drove right over the top of him.  They were not aware that their own men were asleep in the area.  The impact of the accident broke Kent’s back.  The Captain jumped out of his jeep and ordered Kent to stand.  He struggled to his feet and then collapsed to the ground and passed out.  He was rushed to the hospital where, for the next two months, he laid flat on his back.  During Kent’s recovery, the 823rd moved to Camp Claiborne, Louisiana.  As soon as Kent was released from the hospital, he joined his Battalion and received his last and most critical training, preparing him for his eventual combat in Europe.  On March 10, 1944, Kent traveled by train to Camp Myles Standish in the Boston area.  On April 6th, Kent’s 21st birthday, he boarded a ship named, “The USS Sea Porpoise” and set sail for England.  It took almost two weeks to reach the Newport Harbor in England.  Of that experience Kent often commented that he had never been so sick (motion sickness) in his life.  The 823rd stayed in Hertford, England for the next two months where they practiced their marksmanship, learned tactics of survival and went on maneuvers on the Salisbury Plans near Kimmerridge, England.  During the first part of the European Campaign, the 823rd was equipped with a half-track towing a “3” gun.  Later, during the Battle of the Bulge, they were equipped with M10 Tanks.  During the last part of the month of May 1944, the Battalion had water proofed their vehicles and moved to Camp Oakridge near Basingstoke, England and waited for D-Day to arrive.  On the evening of June 5th, General Leland S. Hobbs made a moving speech to all of his men wishing them “Good Luck”.  His last words to them were, “Gentleman, I will see you on the beach.”  The next morning, Kent awoke to the entire sky blackened with aircraft and the English Channel full of over 3,000 large ships and small boats carrying men and equipment towards the coast of France.  The 823rd was supposed to enter the War on D-Day pus 5, however, due to an error in the higher echelons of command they were not sent as scheduled.  Days past but their orders for deployment were not received.  Finally, on June 18th, Tom Raney from the 823rd went to headquarters and asked when the Battalion would be sent.  Headquarters replied that the 823rd was already there.  Tom said, “Like Hell we are - we are waiting for orders to depart.”  Tom was ordered to prepare the 823rd for departure.  A severe storm hit the Channel on June 19th and the men had to wait until the storm passed before they could depart.  Finally, on the evening of June 23rd, they loaded their equipment into three large ships and boarded.  The next morning when they awoke, they were on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France.  The 823rd entered the action immediately firing shots as soon as they had cleared the beach.  In addition to being involved in many smaller battles during World War II, Kent was involved in four major battles, The Battle of The Hedgerows, The Battle of St. Lo, The Battle of Mortain and The Battle of The Bulge. 

 The Battle of The Hedgerows

The Battle of The Hedgerows took place in Southwestern France.  For centuries, French farmers have protected their crops and farms from the strong winds by building ditch banks of dirt about three to four feet high around their properties.  They planted hedges or other thick shrubbery on top of the dirt banks.  In many cases the total height of the shrubbery reached 12 feet.  One aerial photo of Normandy shows over 3,900-hedged enclosures in an eight square mile area.  Due to the terrain, most of the fighting took place at close range - no more than 50 yards away from the enemy.  The Germans were well concealed and entrenched in the hedgerows and it was extremely dangerous for our men as they fought their way through.  Every step they took could be their last.  Could a German Platoon be lying-in-wait to ambush them in the next hedgerow?  Sometimes our Troops would fight for five or six days and gain only a few hundred feet of new territory.  The 823rd frequently fired their 3-inch guns directly into the hedgerows blasting a hole right through it to make sure that the Germans were not hiding in an ambush.  As our troops advanced and secured the hedgerows, the German retreat was hasty.  They often left behind large kegs of beer, weapons, ammunition and other personal effects.  Of the battle in the hedgerows, the Battalion Commander said, “I doubt if anyone who ever ducked bullets and shells in the hedgerows, waded through the mud on foot, and scrambled over the hedgerows never knowing when he might find himself looking into the muzzle of a German tank gun, will look back on those days with any remembered feeling other than of the deadly unrelenting fatigue and danger.  Except when the Germans counterattacked, there was so little result to show for so much suffering; just a few hedgerows gained, each one just like those already behind and those still to take.”

The Battle of St. Lo

Eventually, the 823rd made their way to a town called St. Lo.  St. Lo is about 25 miles inland.  It was a strategic location for the German Army.  St. Lo is a major hub for all roads leading to all areas in Normandy. The allied offensive to take St. Lo was called, “Operation Cobra.”  It began on July 2nd and ended with the taking of St. Lo on July 20th.  The weather during most of the battle was stormy, wet, humid and miserable.  The roads were muddy and difficult to traverse.  This hampered our air attacks and slowed the progress of our ground forces.  There was a great deal of hard fighting along the way as our men approached St. Lo.  One of the first deadly tasks that had to be accomplished by the Battalion was the crossing of the Vire River.  The Germans had flooded all of the lower land to make it harder for our men to maneuver.  Most of the bridges that the Germans didn’t occupy were blown out, so we had to make our own bridges or repair the damaged ones in order to cross.  The Germans tracked our movements and as our engineering platoon worked to secure the existing bridges or create new ones, the Germans kept heavy fire on them.  The 823rd was called upon to provide our own fire upon the German positions in order to give our engineers some cover while constructing the bridges and later while the infantry advanced across the newly built bridges.  On July 7th, the 823rd crossed the Vire River North of St. Jean de Daye and went into position in support of the 120th infantry.  On July 9th, in response to a report of 50 enemy tanks moving South out of St. Lo on the highway running through St. Jean de Daye, the 823rd was ordered to move to the area of crossroads one mile South of St. Jean de Daye to prevent enemy counter attacks.  The fighting was intense and continuous.  One of the problems that our men faced early on in this battle was that their Command Post had not yet been established.  As a result, the Units were not well coordinated.  This caused inefficiency and confusion.  Also, due to the lack of coordination, our air support continued to drop their bombs short and many of their bombs accidentally bombed our own troops.  In fact, of this battle our ground troops said that they were more fearful of our own air support than of the German soldiers.  The Germans attempted to take advantage of our unorganized status and mounted a major counter offensive that cause the forward infantry divisions to retreat to within 50 yards of the 823rd road block. The 823rd fired their 3-inch guns over the retreating 120th infantry and pummeled the Germans as they approached.  More than 9,000 rounds were fired by Kent’s Unit at the pressing German attack.  After two hours of intense fighting and heavy German losses, they realized that they were not going to succeed in breaking through the roadblock and they retreated.  Some officers from the 120th Infantry Division who went through those intense hours with the 823rd later stated that it was the most trying period experienced in any part of the Campaign in France.  The field notes of that day read, “The artillery (the 823rd ) gets and deserves major credit for stopping the enemy effort.  By 6:30 p.m., the dangerous area west of the highway was under control, with indications of enemy withdrawal.”  The Battle of St. Lo waged on.  Due to the complex terrain, our troops often became confused and entire platoons would get lost in combat.  It became so confusing that on one occasion a Tank Battalion from the 3rd Army took a wrong turn when they came to a crossroad.  Instead of turning North towards the enemy they turned South in the direction of the 823rd which was in position for the ensuing battle.  As soon as the Tank Battalion came upon the 823rd they began firing upon them thinking that they had come upon the enemy.  The 823rd returned fire.  Before everyone involved recognized that they were firing upon their own men, several tanks and half-tracks were lost.  Of that episode, the field notes of the 823rd read as follows, “There was lots of small arms fire, shelling and mortar fire blanketed the area, everybody fired in every direction, rumors flooded the air, and when infantry units withdrew in disorder leaving some gun positions exposed, it became necessary to withdraw to successive positions.  The exact movement of each platoon is at present obscured in the confusion of the battle.  Unit took two prisoners which were its first, suffered its first fatal causalities, was shot up by its own infantry and armored forces and in turn shot up our own infantry and armored forces, but under all circumstances came through their first critical engagement in fairly good shape.  Combat efficiency satisfactory, but mad as Hell.”

The Battle of Mortain

The taking of St. Lo was a major victory for the Allied Forces and a major blow for the Germans.  The Allied forces continued their march through Normandy.  The 1st Infantry Division had taken a town about 70 miles inland called Mortain.  Mortain was the last German stronghold in France.  Hitler knew that if he lost Mortain, his forces would have to retreat all the way back to the German Western Front.  He ordered his Field Marshal, Von Kluge to plan a counterattack.  The name of the attack was, “Operation Luttich.”  Von Kluge selected four of his best Panzer Divisions to attack the Allied Forces in Mortain.  The German Divisions included; the Second SS Panzer Division, the SS Panzer Division “Das Reich”, The SS Panzer Division “Adolph Hitler”, and the 116th Panzer Grenadiers.  On August 6th, the 30th Infantry Division, with the 823rd attached, moved into Mortain to relieve the 1st Infantry Division.  As the 823rd entered Mortain, they were greeted with hundreds of enthusiastic French citizens bearing gifts to show their appreciation for being liberated.  This caused tremendous traffic snarls and delays.  The 823rd had no time to plan their own defensive positions before the Germans attacked.  They could only take the same positions that the 1st Infantry Division had hastily established.  This put them at a great disadvantage.  Due to the traffic delays, Major General Hobbs, did not assume command of his forces until 10:00 p.m., six hours before the initial German attack.  The 823rd was the last of the forces to be placed into position and they didn’t get into position until 2:00 a.m., two hours before the onslaught of the German attack.  Kent’s unit, the 2nd Platoon was positioned on Hill 285 in support of the 1st Battalion, 120th Infantry Division.  The weather conditions during the initial German attack favored the enemy.  Darkness and heavy fog in the morning hours concealed the German advance.  The odds were overwhelmingly stacked in favor of the Germans with a troop level of 25,000 compared to the Allied troop level of 6,000.  The field notes record the following:  “Action on the barren forward slope of Hill 285 began in the mist at about 4:00 a.m.  A bazooka team led by the 1st Battalion went forward about 500 yards after a Mark IV tank was spotted moving out from behind a house.  The tank was stalked down and knocked out by the 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion.  At 9:00 a.m. two other German tanks approached, and were knocked out at 150 yards by one of the Tank Destroyer guns of the 2nd Platoon of the 823rd Company A.  Another tank moved up firing at the American positions, but was set on fire by a shot at only 50 yards from a well-concealed Tank Destroyer Gun.  It was later found abandoned.  Two self-propelled German guns and an armored car also fell victim to the Hill 285 positions.”  Kent described the fear and anxiety that he felt during this six-day battle.  At one point in the battle, the Germans used flame-throwers that advanced to within 50 yards of the 823rd.  For a period of time, Kent’s Unit had to abandon their guns and join the infantry.  They retreated, but continued to fight until they were able to force the Germans back and reacquire their guns and continue firing away.  The 823rd set a new Army record for tanks destroyed on one day and also for the number of enemy vehicles knocked out.  When the Germans withdrew from the area, the battlefield was devoid of vegetation - hardly a house or building remained standing.  German equipment, including tanks, self-propelled guns, trucks, half-tracks, motorcycles, bicycles, anti-tank guns and enemy dead cluttered the ground.  Kent said that he could look right into an apartment building and see the kitchen or living room with furniture still in it.  He also expressed the gruesome sight of seeing dead German and Allied soldiers blown to bits with body parts strewn everywhere.  A German historian by the name of Paul Carrell, in his book “Invasion, They’re Coming” acknowledged the real reason for Germany’s defeat in Mortain.  He states, “ DER FUHRER left one battalion supported by engineers to reduce the L’Abbaye Blanche roadblock (Company A, 1st Platoon, 823rd).  Since DER FUHRER originally had the mission of capturing Hill 285, they bypassed Hill 314 to the South and committed the rest of that unit against the 2nd Platoon, 823rd and the 1st Platoon, 120th Infantry.  German accounts from the field of battle imply that the Allied planes, while very effective in disrupting the German advance, did not cause them as much difficulty as the Tank Destroyer Battalions did in support of Hill 285 and the L’Abbaye road block.”  In summing up the Battle of Mortain, Paul Carrell wrote that after the humiliating, devastating loss in Mortain, the spirit of the German troops were broken.  They retreated back to the German Western Front with little will to fight.  Many men who fought in Mortain said that this battle was the most difficult battle in the entire European Campaign, including The Battle of The Bulge.  The victory in Mortain was an important victory for the Allied Forces.  Historians have said that this battle was the turning point in the war.  The 823rd received a Presidential Citation for their service in Mortain.  Major General Leland S. Hobbs had this to say about the efforts of the 823rd in Mortain:

Major General Leland S. Hobbs

Company A, 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, United States Army, is cited for outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy from 6 August 1944 to 12 August 1944, during the battle of Mortain, in France.  On 6 August 1944 Company A. 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, and elements of the 30th Infantry Division, were disposed in a defensive position, occupying the town of Mortain and the adjacent terrain.  On 7 August 1944, the enemy launched the first of a series of attacks in an effort to drive us to Avranches and the sea and split American forces in France.  Hostile forces were able to penetrate the entire area and succeeded in breaking through and overrunning positions.  For six days, hostile forces continued extremely heavy pressure - in many instances completely isolating groups of our forces.  Company A, 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, with elements of the 30th Infantry Division, held in abeyance the might of a desperate foe.  Though subjected to fierce attacks by day and night, by heavy armor, and though casualties suffered were many, this brave group of men effectively blocked the enemy’s advance, inflicting crushing casualties upon his personnel and destroying much of his equipment.  Their supreme effort in the face of great odds materially contributed to the brilliant victory attained in this decisive action. Many individual acts of heroism were performed, and all duties were performed unhesitatingly and with utter disregard of personal safety.  The courage and devotion to duty displayed by the members of Company A, 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, reflected the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.”

The Battle of The Bulge

The 823rd advanced through France and on to Belgium, Holland and the Siegfried Line on the Western Front with the rest of the Allied Forces engaging in many strategic battles along the way.  Beginning in October and continuing through until December 1944, the 823rd converted from half-tracks to self-propelled M10 Tanks.  The men were trained in driving, maintenance, gunnery and tactics.  Kent was the gunner in his platoon.  On December 18th, the 823rd was attached to the 119th RCT and preceded in the direction of Stoumount.  The situation was extremely fluid.  It was bitter cold and a thick blanket of snow covered the entire area.  The 30th Infantry Division was holding down an extended front from Schaufenberg to Wurselen, Germany.  Before day light, German armor was heard maneuvering outside Stoumount.  In the darkness and fog, there was practically no visibility.  The infantry refused to grant permission for the firing of flares.  As the pressure increased, the foot soldiers were forced to withdraw and the 823rd found themselves outflanked.  Small arms and machine gun fire became intense.  One Mark VI was knocked out by the 823rd and the attack was held off for some time.  However, all of the guns were eventually neutralized with most of the personnel moving North of Stoumount.  Most of the 823rd withdrew to Ramouchamps, Belgium while the 2nd platoon (Kent’s Unit) remained in position North of town.  When the enemy tried to break through, East and West of Stravelot on the afternoon of December 18th, the 823rd destroyed three Mark V’s, two personnel carriers and eight Mark VI’s.  An enemy ½ ton truck and one half-track were also destroyed.  The 823rd set a road block East of Stoumont and also helped protect the Stoumont – La Gleize Highway from North to South.  The 823rd was instrumental in the recapturing of both towns.  One incident that occurred in Malmedy on December 17th a few miles from Kent’s position was the massacre of 90 American troops by the Germans.  Kent often expressed his sorrow that if he had known what was taking place at that time, his unit could have prevented it from happening.  Fighting in the Bulge was continuous off and on through the rest of the year.  There were times when the troops would get pinned down in their foxholes.  For one seven-day period during the Battle of the Bulge, the 823rd remained in their foxholes.  It was bitter cold with the snow levels knee deep.  Frostbite began to takes its toll on the troops.  Many of the men became discouraged and wanted to give up.  Kent was often seen crawling from foxhole to foxhole attempting to cheer the men up by telling jokes.  By the end of the year, the German surge had subsided and the Battle of The Bulge was over.  The 823rd received its second Presidential Citation for service in the Bulge.  The 823rd rolled across Germany with the Allied Forces towards Berlin.  It was still dangerous and small arms fire fights ensued.  However, it was fairly evident that the enemy was demoralized and reeling backward at a rapid pace.  On one occasion, Kent’s tank ran over a mine that blew the track off.  With no way to fix the tank, Kent’s platoon abandoned their tank and sought refuge in an old abandon farm house while the rest of the Battalion moved on.  Once inside, the men discovered an old German soldier asleep in the cellar and took him as a prisoner.  After getting their tank fixed and rejoining their Unit, they discovered that several troops had lost their lives in an ambush shortly after they had left Kent’s Platoon.  Kent knew that his life had been saved by the mine that knocked his tank out.  In April of 1945, the 823rd found themselves on the banks of the Elbe River near Magdeburg, a town about 50 miles away from Berlin.  The Russians were allowed to enter Berlin while the Allied Forces remained outside.  With the surrender of Germany on May 9, 1945, the 823rd found themselves with a new role for the remainder of their service.  They served as military police in several towns across Germany.  On October 13th, the 823rd was dismantled.  Kent boarded the ship, “Pontotoc Victory” in Marseilles, France and sailed towards home.  His journey took him past the Horn of Africa and the Rock of Gibraltar.  As he sailed into the New York Harbor and past the Statue of Liberty, his heart filled with gratitude and some sadness that he had survived the War when so many of his comrades had not.



Robert " Bob" Flener,  30th Signal Corp...please click link.




526th Armored Infantry, Co. A at Stavelot December, 1944:

From Greg Walden...many thanks!!!:

Hi Warren,....A great update!  It’s always interesting to read about the units of the 30th fighting Kampfgruppe Peiper.   I think I can tie down the location of “S.S. Corner” for you.  I believe it’s taken from the Place Wibald (intersection of Rue Gustave Dewalque and Rue des Moulins), looking southeast down Rue Gustave Dewalque toward the river and the hills beyond.  In other words, looking toward the direction the Germans were advancing from once they crossed the bridge.  I think this because I found a photo in a book that shows a very similar view.  The large building on the right of the street sure looks like the same one to me: same little “notch” damage at the peak of the roof, same window, same markings, same chimney to the right.  The white sided building father down the street in the “S.S. Corner” photo doesn’t show in this one, but I think the “S.S. Corner” photo must have been taken later after some damaged buildings were pulled down, and I think the damaged wall must be hiding the white sided building. The caption says (roughly) – “Place Wibald and Rue Gustave Dewalque, with at the bottom, toward the right, the sections of walls of the Old Marquis, as well as in the background a view of the road of the Old Chateau.” Here also is an Expedia map with a blue dot where I think the photo was taken.    Best, Greg  PS – the knocked out Tiger in the other photo in the 526th book is of course # 222, knocked out just short of the bridge (here’s a modern photo).

  Map with location of where photo of SS Corner was taken.

HERE IT IS....SS Corner...2009!!  Many thanks to Johan Edelhausen and the Stavelot town clerk!!

 Great news:
I was in the Ardennes yesterday and made these photos of the SS corner at Stavelot;
Information obtained from official clerk of the town hall of Stavelot who was warned by phone and arrived 4 minutes later with his car on the spot! Went with us to the exact location where nothing  looks like 44.
 Johan E

Modern photo of where tank in article was located.


Tremendous article relating to Maynard Jerome, Co. I, 119th and the devastating American artillery bombardment in La Gleize, Belgium..Dec. '44:

Maynard M.Jerome was my uncle, and was ten years older than I.  He'd been a Christian since he was very young, and knew from the time he was in grade school that God had called him into the ministry. He was in his freshman year in college when WW II started. After being drafted into the Army and completing basic training, they wanted to promote him to Sgt, but he refused the promotion. He went into combat on D-6 with the 30th Division, was wounded in France around St Lo and was sent to a hospital in England. Upon returning to combat he was re-assigned to his old outfit, which is unusual. Their division then continued into Belgium.
The following letter appeared in the Van Wert Times-Bulletin on March 3, 1945:  (Van Wert, Ohio)


January 2 the Times-Bulletin carried a story stating that S/Sgt Maynard Jerome was missing in Belgium since December 19, and seven days later a story reported he was back with his outfit on December 24.

In a letter written in Belgium February 1 to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. D R Jerome, Bonnewitz Avenue, he dramatically describes how he was captured by the Germans and later rescued by the Americans, who in turn took the Nazis captives. His letter follows:

"Our particular outfit was thrown into the very middle of the breakthrough to attempt to bring it to a halt. The best outfit the Germans have was pitted against us, or I should say us against them. This was the outfit that captured us, but that’s ahead of the story.

"I can’t give you any names of towns or villages or even describe how it happened that I was captured. This is the first time we have had to withdraw our division. I mean, since we hit the beaches. Part of us didn’t get to leave because it was necessary for the movement to be controlled. All couldn’t go at once.

Slept on a Coal Pile

"As it was, the Germans came in, dressed in our clothes, before all of us could move, so seven of us went into hiding intending to slip through the lines when the time presented itself. It was impossible to leave and expect to make it out alive. For two days and nights we slept on a coal pile, taking turns staying awake in order to keep the tired GI’s from snoring too loudly or making too much noise coughing.

"There were two German guards above us day and night. As soon as they rolled into town in their tanks, they pulled up by our particular hideout and fired two shots from their 8 mm guns into our hiding place. Then came the guards. Lucky, or unlucky for us, they never searched the house very thoroughly or they would have found us sure. It wasn’t too long until our artillery began laying on the town.

Then Came the Capture

"After all that time there hiding, some German tankers left their tank to get out of the artillery barrage laid on the town and came tearing right into us. Were they surprised! The customary disarming took place and we were moved from there. While waiting to be taken back to their rear we were forced to carry wounded men through our own artillery and then to carry German tank ammunition through the same.

"A constant prayer was on our lips, or at least I was praying, I know. Then we ran about a mile through the fight to the rear of their outfit. By this time they were getting pretty rough. Ask me, as it was here I caught the flying end of one of their boots, and are they hard-toed! Our spirits rose when we heard firing all around us, as it was then we realized they were cut off. We also realized that we would be subject to the same artillery which would be fired at them.

Believe Prayer Saved Them

"All of us knew how wicked these big guns are and had to rely entirely upon something which would protect us and still make them say ‘Uncle.’ You know as well as I that God alone offers the solution to that type of problem.

"We were finally placed in a cellar under guard until something would happen one way or another. After what seemed like years of constant shelling around our particular house—others as well—it did happen. We had prayed, read our testaments, prayed again and again all day long each day while we were there. Some of the men had to go out, under guard, dig foxholes for them, dig graves, carry wounded, carry gasoline dropped by plane at night for their tanks, carry hot ammunition off burning tanks, plunder civilian homes for bread and butter and just anything they wanted one to do.

Forced to Move into Church

"Still our artillery was banging the entire town, tearing it down part by part. You can’t imagine how we felt with all those shells dropping around us. Finally our particular house was set afire and we had to move. There was only one place into which we could move and the roof was battered off on it. That was the church!

"That night the artillery was terrific. Oh how we prayed then, because we knew the church would be a good target, on a road junction, and that it had already been beaten beyond any good as a safe place to stay. I don’t know how many shells made direct hits on the church that night. Ordinarily that would have really fixed the church, but our prayers were being answered right now. God’s promises seemed to stare us in the face all the time. When the dust settled from a shell hitting the church, a still small voice would say, ‘Be still and know that I am God; though ten thousand shall fall on thy right---, Lo I am with you always,’ and all those precious promises would seem to be almost ‘handwriting on the wall.’

Nazis Finally Give Up

"Of course I was anxious at times, but that peace was always present. What a comfort it was to know that He was watching and caring for us. No one else could have done it.

"Before the night had passed, the guard had laid aside his machine gun and asked for a handkerchief. He proceeded to make a white flag to surrender when our troops would come in. The next morning a tank fired three shots into the church, knocking out a corner of the room in which we were lying.

"Not long after, we heard Americans talking outside, so we knew our troops had entered the town. God had completely answered our prayers even above our expectations. By that I mean that He went much further than we had asked him. All of us who went into the church captive walked out free men.

"If you never saw tears of joy you should have seen the meeting between liberators and liberated. All, even officers cried and threw their arms around their men. Once again God had answered when we needed him most. How happy God must be when He is allowed to liberate us from the bonds of Satan.

"We walked through the town after being freed and found it razed by artillery and tank fire, yet God had seen fit to bring us through it all, tired but unharmed."

S/Sgt Maynard M. Jerome 35550279  (Was known as "Jerry" Jerome)

Company I, 119th IR,  30th Division 

was KIA in action Feb. 25, 1944 

was awarded the DSC and 2nd Purple Heart posthumously

I was along with my Grandparents and Parents in Columbus, Ohio when my Grandparents accepted

the DSC and his 2nd Purple Heart.

Duane Jerome

  (Click to enlarge)

The following is a picture of S/Sgt. Maynard M. Jerome taken in France after the
hedgerow fighting but before he was wounded the first time in the fight for St. Lo. 

Duane Jerome

The following information, taken from the 119th Regimental History. gives the final details of S/Sgt. Maynard M. Jerome's WW II combat prior to being killed at Rodingen, GR. This is the battle where he earned his 2nd Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross.
 Duane Jerome

(Click to enlarge)

  See new information about photo on page above:

The photo on the page is photographed on the Ehrenstrasse before Roedingen !
I will send you a photo then and now.
Many greetings from Germany ( Rhineland ),


Honoring Pvt. Joseph Scodella, HQ Company 1st Battalion, 119th Infantry Regiment  Click to Open  MS Word Doc.



The Battle for Thirimont, Belgium...Jan 13-15, 1945.

Please find below a series of maps created by Peter Vandersmissen depicting the troop movements and actions of the Jan. 13th to 15th battle
for the village of Thirimont, Belgium.  This was an extremely complex battle against well dug-in German forces.  Mr. Vandersmissen would
truly appreciate any and all feedback from any one that was there or has knowledge of this time frame. 
You may contact this website:   hoops@metc.net  
We thank Mr. Vandersmissen for sharing his exhaustive study with this website. 

Map A Map B Map C Map D Map E

2009 photo of house in Thirimont where 42 paratroops held up 30th troops.  View looking south from Thirimont.  Thanks to Frank Gubbels for photos.


30th treasures from Thomas W. Barr of the 120th's Anti-Tank Company provided by his son Jerry Barr.

Tribute to Albert Mitchell, 119th, Cos. F and K.

Capture of Ubach, Germany...Oct. 3rd to 6th, 1944 by 117th, 3rd Battalion...Lt.Col. S.T. McDowell...PDF file.

Capture of Aachen, Germany...Oct. 10th to 21st by 1st Division with 30th helping the final surrounding of city.


120th, 3rd Battalion, July 11th, 1944....stopping the German counter-attack near Le Rocher, France

PDF file Reports...click to open.



Article with names of 119th Roer River crossing!


XIX Corps Newspaper:


Some great photos I came across.  Including Maastricht Bridges and a windmill at Valkenburg that I know I've heard a story about but just can't remember it.
These are not 30th photos but the 30th liberated Maastricht and Valkenburg.


History of the 99th Infantry Battalion (Separate) which fought with the 30th at various times:

Click this link for great detailed action at Malmedy.



Obituary of Paul Blitz of the 117th Inf. Regiment with details of his action in the Ardennes!  PDF file.


Dedication of Memorial to Sgt. Roy Booher:

Eye witness to the event in 1944.

Hello Friends,

 Yesterday it was almost 65 years ago that the first American soldiers started to liberate the South-Netherlands…  In honour of that, there was a freedom celebration organized in The City of Noorbeek. Naturally I was there J …. was only 10 miles from my hometown …There where more the 100 WWII vehicles and several veterans from 2nd Armoured Division and 30th Infantry Division where present.    

I made several photos, Click on link for photos,


Later that day there was an monument dedicated for the first American Soldier that was killed on Dutch soil, It was SSgt. Roy L. Booher member of the 30th Inf Division, Old Hickory.


Photos of the recent dedication of a new 30th Division Liberation monument in Stoumont, Belgium.  Thanks to Vincent Heggen!

Frank Deegan...twice wounded in front of King Tiger in La Gleize.


In front of Aywaille Council building.

Note from battle: Ed Saunders says he'll never forgot having to crawl across the floor a the Stoumont RR Station because if they rose more than 3 feet the Germans had direct fire on them. 

Honoring the same group of 30th vets at Kerkrade:

  Thanks to Mike Smeets, Landgraaf, The Netherlands


Very interested article about drug use by Nazi soldiers.  http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,druck-354606,00.html


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