Somewhere in France and Germany
328th Regiment, 26th Inf. Div. (aka Yankee Division or the YD)
Date of Entry 15 Feb 1943, Date of Separation
08 Jan 1946 - Service Company 328th Regiment, 26th Infantry Division
(aka Yankee Division or the YD)
Daddy, like a lot of veterans, did not talk much
about his war experiences. He lost his battle with cancer on 17
Nov 1999 so he can't tell you himself, but I can relay what he told
to me, and some of the things that I have found out since.
He drove a truck in Europe during the war. Most
of the things that he would talk about were humorous things that
had happened. I remember him telling me that as a truck driver taking
supplies to the various companies, that he had the opportunity to
find out what each of the cooks were planning to serve and would
"just happen" to be at the right place at the right time
to be able to get the best of what was being served for the day.
He told me that he and another driver had gotten
lost and were at a crossroads trying to decide which way to go.
Before they could make up their minds, a pretty girl came along
riding a bicycle. They stopped her and were trying to ask directions
with the few words of French they knew mixed with sign language.
To their astonishment, she answered in perfect English, much better
than either of them spoke. Turns out that she was a French school
teacher who taught English. Mixed in with his military papers, I
found a name and address: Eve La Vallee, 6 Rue Michodiere, Bar San
Sebastien, Paris, on the back of a 1944 wallet calendar and I wonder
if it is the same woman.
He also told me that he and some of his buddies
were assigned to stay in the home of a French family when they were
in Paris. It seems that during the German occupation that some German
soldiers had also stayed with the family. The family told them about
the German's taking their piano so that the little girl could no
longer practice her lessons. Dad said that he and his buddies drove
across into Germany and "liberated" a piano and brought
it back to give to the little girl. He said that it may not have
been the same piano, but they had decided that the German's owed
it to the little girl.
He also told me about his truck being hit with
a German grenade. He said that the German grenades had a particular
whistling sound and that he heard one coming at him as he was driving
along one day. He dove out of the truck head first into a foxhole.
By the time that he got turned around so that he could look out,
all that he could see was the hood of his truck floating back down
to earth. He never told me why he won his bronze star, but my aunt
told me that he got it for carrying a wounded man out of a building
that was under fire across his shoulders. She said that a Lt. had
come to Daddy and told him about some men that were pinned down
in a building under heavy fire. He said that he couldn't order him
to go, but asked him if he would go. Daddy agreed and he and the
Lt. went a round about way to get to them. When they got there,
one of the men was wounded. The Lt. and the others climbed in the
back of the truck, and Daddy carried the wounded man out and put
him in the cab of the truck with him and then drove them all to
I wish that I had been old enough to realise that
I should pay attention to and remember the things that my Dad told
me, but I remember us watching an old war movie. It was about trucks
being driven through a burning town to get supplies to the front
lines. I remember him telling me that he had participated in something
very similar and him pointing out things that were incorrect in
the movie. I just wish that I could go back to that day and and
pay more attention to what he was saying instead of being afraind
that I would miss some of the movie, but I was only about 12 or
13 at the time and didn't know any better.
Since I have been trying to piece together his
military records, I have found out that the 328th was involved in
the "liberation" of several "death camps" in
and around Linz, Austria - some of the names are Guzen or Gusen
in Austria and another town called Ebensee. In another town called
Mauthausen I understand that part of the camp has been preserved
as a museum.
I am very proud of my Dad and all of the other
soldiers, sailors airmen and marines that sacrificed so much to
help secure peace for the world and assure our freedoms. My Dad
was, and is, my hero.
I still miss you Daddy.
Rusty Macon Weber
The Yankee Division shoulder patch.
The friends George went through training with.
George standing in front of the truck that was
hit by a German grenade.
George in basic training.