U.S. Army-405th Infantry Regiment, 102d Infantry Division WWII

U.S. Army-405th Infantry Regiment, 102d Infantry Division WWII This page is dedicated to my dad, John Cavner Jr. and the brave men and women that served during WWI

Operating as usual

January 13, 1945….

January 13, 1945….

Rest In Peace Betty White!Wow! What a life!!!

Rest In Peace Betty White!
Wow! What a life!!!

Rest In Peace Betty White!
Wow! What a life!!!

Merry Christmas everyone

Merry Christmas everyone


From "OUR DAY" Diary....



Dec. 16th Strong German Forces launched a large-scaled attack in the central part of the Western Front.

Dec. 18th The Allied Supreme Command ordered strict silence on every report issued from the Western Front.

Dec. 20th The German Supreme Command announce in the daily communiqué:
More than 10000 prisoners taken.
200 tanks captured of destroyed.
124 planes knocked out.

Dec. 21st Rapid advance of German troops across the road from Liege to Arlon.

This happened further south. Neighbouring units were hastily dispatched to the area in danger. Well, one day the Germans will be upon you. Don’t be fooled that your section of the front will always be as quiet as it is now.

It would be better for you to take your destiny in your own hands, and get out before a new slaughter is started, because you may be one of the sacrifices that will have to be made.

it is not so long ago that we told your friends just a bit farther south that something was going to happen within 72 hours.

When those 72 hours expired we kept our promise…….and attacked. We broke through your lines and within 3 hours established ourselves in an advanced position.

That was on December 16, 1944.

Do you know what happened on the 18th? Ask rueters and United Press. This will be the answer “Nothing”.

Because the Allied Supreme Command announced:


Now figure it out for yourself what will happen to you in your sector during the time to come.

We say no more- we give you the same opportunity of coming across those 500 yards as we gave your friends.

‘Twas the full moon before Christmas…

‘Twas the full moon before Christmas…

‘Twas the full moon before Christmas…


Taken form Stars and Stripes, Dec. 19, 1944


With Ninth Army, Germany, Dec. 19, 19--- the Germans, who at various times have used public address systems to fire propaganda at opposing Allied troops, are doing the same again. U. S. troops fighting in the Linnich area today heard this broadcast:

“We know you are about to launch a great offensive because you are bombing our homes. We will retaliate. You must admit that the war has not turned out to be such a breeze. Winter has not set in but trench foot has. We are ready for the troops who are men of the Ozarks”.

The speech was followed by rendition of the song, : Melancholy Baby”. Use of the word Ozarks was a reference to the 102nd Inf. Dif. which took part in the fighting for Linnich.


Taken from Stars and Stripe, Dec. 12, 1944


With the 102nd Inf. Div., Germany - - - Brig. Gen. Frank A. Keating’s 102nd Inf. Div., which interrupted preparations to embark for France to help settle the Philadelphia street-car strike last August supported the opening of the U. S. Ninth Army drive to the Roer River on Nov. 16, it was officially disclosed, according to the Associated Press Correspondent Franklin Banker.

Arriving in France Sept. 24 the Ozark Division slipped up to Germany a few weeks before the attack to get a first taste of combat against some of Hitler’s best troops guarding the gateway to the vital industries in the Ruhr Valley.

The 102nd units were sandwiched between battalions of battle-tried Second Armored and 29th and 30th Divs. while cutting their battle teeth.

The War department ordered two of the division’s regiments from Ft. Dix to Philadelphia in August to guard property of the Philadelphia Transportation Co. during the strike. The regiment returned to Ft. Dix a few days later and took up where they left off in embarkation arrangements.

Gen. Keating, 49, has commanded the division since January. He rose to General from buck private, serving in France in the 29th Div. in World War I.

Gen. Keating, a resident of Ridgewood, N. J., studied journalism in the college of the City of N. Y. After working on the Ridgewood News for a while he gave it up for a military career.

Activated in Sept. 1942 at Camp Maxey, Texas, the 102nd Inf. Div. while Keating was chief of staff of the Second.


From "OUR DAY" Diary...

Dec. 13, Wed.
Routine day. Battalion is still in rest area. More Xmas packages came in today. Rumor is going around that Capt. Mooney and

- 12 -

Dec. 13, Wed. (cont.)
his jeep driver, Kwiatkowski, are missing. No one knows where they are. They left yesterday and haven’t returned as yet 2200. Lt. Nelson and Lt. Henry both made 1st Lt. Today. Sgt. Terry today was hit by a ricochetting small arm cartridge. He was hit in the knee and was treated by our medics, but didn’t have to be evacuated. He was evidently hit by accident by someone who was trying or testing their rifle.

Dec. 14, Thur.
A Red Cross representative was here today. He collected the money and forms necessary to send flowers back to the States. The flowers cost from 4 dollars to 10 dollars. Of course he was 4 days late getting here. Capt. Mooney returned today from a two day jaunt somewhere; no one seems to know where. The kitchen gave us exceptionally good chow tonight; fried steak, French fried potatoes, fried onions, rice, spinach, corn, coffee, bread and cake for dessert. The 1st Sgts. of K and I Co., Sgts. Clark and Morrison both made 2nd Lts. Sgt. Hicks today took care of another German home. He placed several blocks of TNT wrapped in primer cord around the foundation of the house and blew it sky high. Of course the explosion broke the windows in the Battalion C. P., but nobody particular cares. The house today is practically level with the ground.

Dec. 15, Fri.
There was a very heavy frost on the ground this morning. The ground and mud is beginning to harden now. The P. X. came in today with plenty of ci**rs and candy, but no one cared much for it as everyone is stuffed from their Xmas packages. Four more men left today for Paris. Sgt. Hickman, Pfc Guiney, Pfc Choate and Pfc Douglas. The system in the past week has been greatly improved; the men now go to Service Co, and get clean clothing and showers and then go to an assembly point and then sleep there that night and then leave for Paree the following morning. Sgt. McKeehan today took a 5 gallon can of hard tack candies back to Eigelshoven to give to one of the nuns who would in turn give it out to Dutch children, but they got lost on the way and the school was closed when they arrived, so the kids will have to wait a while longer for it. Companies are now on a 6 hour training schedule. All companies were shuttled to showers today.

Dec. 16, Sat.
Today we received word that our 1st and 2nd Battalions would relive the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 407th on the line on the 17th of December. The 3rd Battalion in now on a 45 alert, but no one expects to move as the schedule calls for us to be in reserve. K and M Co’s are supposed to occupy the buildings the two leaving Battalions will vacate. They will occupy them until the Battalions again return, which is supposed to be for 7 days. Today the men in the company were given the opportunity to change their class E allotments. Quite a few of the boys are enlarging theirs. Flowers may now be sent out every Wednesday through the Red Cross. The Battalion today received enough combat badges for everyone who is entitled to it. Which amounts to just about the whole Battalion. Pfc’s Dunbar and Fischer today wrote to Sherry Britton and Gloria DeHaven for a few pin-up pictures. Lt. Chaix, the censor officer, reports they are really masterpieces.

13 –
“Get my twoops off da woad!”

Dec. 17, Sun.
The Battalion plans today were changed. The Battalion moved to Setterich today at 1300. We are now in Division reserve. Our C. P. is set up at the same place that Regiment Hqs. was set up before they moved to Beggendorf. 2nd Bn. 405th Infantry moved into our old C. P. 1st and 2nd Battalions now in Corp reserve. We signed the pay roll today. The next time we get paid we’ll receive the extra 5 dollars for the Combat Infantryman Badge. German planes were seen overhead today, but we put up plenty of AA up at them and they soon took off. M. P.’s are stopping all vehicles in the road today checking dog-tags. Enemy parachute troops are supposed to be around.

Dec. 18, Mon.
A lot of enemy aircraft overhead today. an order came down saying we shouldn’t fire at aircraft anymore unless we were being attacked. Our company has gotten a generator somewhere so we should always have electric lights. /the Col. today put out an order saying the only ones to get electric lights are Message Center, Wire Section, S-1 & S-4, S-3 & S-2 section, Company HQ and of course, the Colonel. the weather is pretty fair and warmer today. Our new Chaplain arrived today. He’s Capt. Straighten. Our Battalions now in Division reserve and under a two hour alert.

Dec. 19, Tues.
Lt. King, our medical surgeon, was today promoted to Captain, a rating he much deserves. Our guard around the C. P. has been greatly increased because of the German Parachute troop scare. Laundry went out today. Sgt. Williams obtained a large amount of new clothing, so the laundry today is rather large. Enemy aircraft very active during day.



An editorial taken from the Stars and Stripes, Dec.1, 1944

A letter from Luxembourg,

Dear Editor:

At a small dinner given in the city of Luxembourg, the hostess gave a short speech in English on the feeling of the people of Luxembourg at the liberation of their city and the coming of American troops. Since her tribute is an expression of gratitude to all American soldiers in whatever way they serve, and since we would like the American soldier to know of another instance where his duty and service have the heartfelt appreciation and thankfulness of the populace, I am enclosing her speech with the hope that you will consider it worthy of publication.

C. B. Stack
Captain, CAC

To our friends and liberators! Four years of bitter sorrow and restless daily fight have vanished in that one moment we saw the first of you smiling boys. Our hearts stood still and then leaped up with our flags, our flags and your flags, in one grand symphony of red, white and blue. Here you are! We have given you the sunshine from our hills, the flowers from our gardens. We have given you the smiles of our men, the happy tears of our women, the hearts and hands of our children, the blessing of our martyrs and our mad songs of joy. Why can’t we tell you our gratitude just as we feel it? Why is the human tongue such a wretched, helpless thing to a heart drunken with happiness? Here you are! Let us tell you how proud we are to be your ally, be it the smallest one. We have fought with you the same enemy. To have contributed our feeble part to make life worth living again. And now, let’s set deeply into our hearts the remembrance of those who died for the world’s freedom… Let our lives be worthy of their death, the thousand never-to-be-forgotten deaths of those who gave us these glorious days.

Annie Michel.


Another editorial from the Stars and Stripes, Dec. 11, 1944

The Joe in the Snow

This is about snow.

The Northern boys remember it well. As kids we loved it. Took out our Flexible Flyers and went bellywhopping down the hills. Made snow men with it. Packed it into hard. Round balls that caught other kids in the head and melted down the backs of their necks. When our hands got red and our feet got cold we’d call it a day. We’d go indoors. To a hot fire and a good scolding for getting our feet wet. We’d put on dry socks and shoes and eat hot chow to take off the chill. When we were kids snow sure was fun.

There’s lots of snow on the Western Front these days. The Ardennes for instance. What’s left of Bastogne is like a Christmas card. The trees are like old queens stooping under the weight of their ermine robes. The wires loop from pole to pole like tinsel on a Christmas tree-except where the weight of ice and snow has pulled them down and the signal repairmen are patching them. Snow lies smooth on the hillsides, with only here and there a lump that, come spring, will stink to high heaven. It’s beautiful.

But the Flexible Flyers have turned into tanks. The snow men are Schutzstaffel. The snowballs are grenades. The wet stuff trickling the back of necks is often blood. And when you’re wet and numb with cold there’s no place to go. Nothing to look forward to. Nothing but snow.

Cold, wet, beautiful snow.


From the William S. Harper Memoirs
Cpl. William S. Harper, 405th, H Co.


In the middle of December, the Germans began a major thrust through our lines, heading for Liege, Belgium. After they were pushed back, this became known as the “Battle of the Bulge”.
The situation was very serious, and we were sent back to the “front” in the north. We were attached to the British and Canadian Armies to assist in holding that sector. The winter freezes and snows had begun, and we spent a number of weeks digging gun emplacements and fox-holes in alternated positions, in case we had to strategically withdraw in the face of German counterattacks.
About Christmas time (1944), some of our mortar platoon was in a large cellar, with three of the mortars set up in a courtyard. The riflemen were in positions about 1100 yards away at the edge of the village. Some of our buddies set up a Christmas tree in the cellar to try to improve a bleak situation. Someone got a package from home and shared the cake with everyone. I remember having a sore throat for a day or so; the only illness in eight months of combat!

In addition to firing missions and regular guard duty, we had a special guard post to watch a road intersection about four to eight a.m. every morning. During the “Bulge”, there was danger from German soldiers in American uniforms trying to infiltrate our lines. Fortunately, they did not try it in our sector. I had received promotion to Corporal after some weeks in combat. Non-coms do not pull K.P., but at the request of our T/5 cook assigned to combat duty, I got up early several mornings to help him fix breakfast. That was one way to get plenty of “chow” in cold weather.

Up to this point, I have not said much about living conditions in the front lines. We knew, in advance, that they would not be very good. Sometimes, we had only K-rations to eat. We usually had enough drinking water, but not much for baths, We shaved fairly regularly, perhaps, more than we really wanted to. Orders, you know!

Back in France, we had washed some of our clothes with G.I. soap in a cold stream that ran in a pasture close to the hedgerows. In Germany, the supply people tried to bring us clean woolen uniforms once a week. We traded our dirty ones, except for the items of clothing that could not be replaced. Most of us wore our dirty sweaters for months! From the accounts I have read of trench warfare in World War I, I think we had it better in our cellars and fox-holes during World War II.

After the “Battle of the Bulge” somewhat south of our winter defensive positions, we felt safer from German counterattacks. The German Army had pulled back across the Roer River, except for the Brachelen salient. There remained 97 pillboxes to be taken in that area. We prepared for an assault on these fortifications sometime in January of 1945. Our mortar group was moved to another town a short distance from the site where to dig gun emplacements. Each morning we rode our jeeps to work all day, and each evening we came back to eat and sleep in a house on the ground floor. Someone had rigged a coal heater in the middle of a large room, and it felt good after filling sand bags all day! The front was strangely quiet, and we were getting some sound sleep after weeks of artillery and mortar barrages.


Bob Chase. I'm so happy he got to sign "The Rifle"!!
Also, he's wearing the shirt I made for him: 102nd Division, 405th, Company L (but I put the Ozark insignia on the wrong sleeve)


The events of December 7, 1944 fanned a spark into fire. Young Americans across the nation enlisted after hearing the ne...

The events of December 7, 1944 fanned a spark into fire. Young Americans across the nation enlisted after hearing the news of Pearl Harbor. The draft was doubled. The war machine, which had begun to support our friends and allies, would now focus on our personal efforts. Great things, and terrible things came from this.
Here are a few clippings from one of the newspapers in my collection, Daily News, Los Angeles, California...December 8, 1944...


6770 Corrales Rd.
Corrales, NM




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My great uncle Oliver Quintero part of the 405th killed in Holland 1945 . Returned home to Graytown Texas three years lady. Thank you to this sight for answering some questions ❤️
Folks, I am working repatriate the memories of our fallen service members from WW2, and one of them is giving me all kinds of trouble. Andrew Jackson Watkins Jr. Tech SGT of the 102nd died 2 Dec 1944 SN 6250908 If anyone can help me that would be great. The subject of my research is geared towards photos, but any documentation would be great. I have tried all the usual site ABMC, Ancestry, Family Search, Fold3. storiesbehindthestars.org
My maternal grandfather, SSgt Willis "Hickman" Brown, Jr., C Co, 407th Infantry Regiment, 102nd Infantry Division. The telegram was sent to his parents in Dallas, Texas, after C Co was captured 29 Apr on the east bank of the Elbe River attempting to link up with the Russians.
Something my grandfather had signed by his buddies. Recognize any names?
A friend of my adopted the the grave of Hollis F. Croslyn, cpl, on the American Cemetery in Margraten. Hollis was KIA on March 2, 1945 in Krefeld, Germany. He's is looking for some information and photo's. Can anyone in this group help.
AND THEY WHO FOR THEIR COUNTRY DIE SHALL FILL AN HONORED GRAVE, FOR GLORY LIGHTS THE SOLDIER’S TOMB, AND BEAUTY WEEPS THE BRAVE. On February 25, 1945, my grandfather, 2nd Lt Thomas J Ernsdorff, was killed in action. He was a member of the 405th Infantry of the U.S. Army. When I reflect on the loss of his life, I think about what it truly meant. It meant my Grandmother had to endure the agony of losing her husband. It meant those two little children, my father and his sister Kaye, had to grow up without a father. It meant holes were left in their hearts and in their home where my Grandfather belonged. And as the time passed, those holes multiplied because his grandchildren never got to be surrounded by his love or sit on his lap and learn the lessons only a Grandpa could teach. I am sure many of you in this group have felt this loss too, and I am really sorry. Though our hearts weep for all that was lost 76 years ago, in our hearts our hero lives. Our land is free because he was so brave. 🇺🇸❤️
My dad, Benny Wiseman, Co. C of the 102nd, was wounded on this date in 1945. This is the General Order awarding him the Purple Heart. He is listed on the second page, sixth from the top. Along with the medal itself (and several others including a bronze star), this is one of my most treasured possessions. Fortunately he recovered fully and received a disability pension for the rest of his life!
I assume you are all aware that the town of Krefeld is have a commemoration event again this year in memory of the Ozarks coming there in 1945? Mar. 2 or 3 I believe? Markus Scholten is involved and he indicates the City Council is writing a news article about it now... I will be getting it from him. Maybe some of you were there for the 75th Anniversary last year??? (My Dad was in 406C and was involved in '45)
Came across a letter from Lt Albert Schwabacher, 405th, to General Anderson’s, CG of the 102nd in March 1943, daughter - my mother. Here’s the envelope and letter
From my Great Uncle Mike Koepf. He was in Easy Company of the 506th. The typed sheet is their log of days in contact. The paragraph about the training concluding at Camp Swift is relevant, as I am the Security Supervisor for Camp Swift.
I wanted to post this on Veterans Day but I was in Facebook jail😇 here’s my puppa, his story and a autograph book with names of all his brothers in arms that helped save his life. I’m not sure if you recognize any family members but if so, your family are hero’s and are the reason I am here today❤️ thank you for their service and sacrifice. All my love, Amanda "In January, 1945, Richard M Cooley of Milford sent a letter to his family describing one of the most unusual incidents ever experienced by a G.I during World War II. By that time, Cooley had risen to the non-commission officer rank of Sargent in Company "B," 405th Infantry Regiment which was fighting in the European segment of the war. Late in 1944, the American Ninth Army and the British second Army had been teamed to attack a German stronghold at Geilenkirchen. It's defenders were the Twelfth Corps of General Gunther Blementritt who had become a seasoned leader of N**i troops while fighting the Russians on the Eastern Front. Major-General Frank Keating, who was Cooley's ultimate commander, knew that he could not count on the British to accomplish as much as the Americans because, by that time in the war, the British were experiencing difficulty with the transport vehicles, and lacked the necessary equipment to build bridges. However, Keating also knew that if their flame-throwing tanks, called Crocodiles were deployed correctly, the British could play an important role against Blementritt's forces. The first day of fighting against the N**is went surprisingly smoothly. But on the second day, the enemy resistance increased dramatically. American intelligence discovered the cause of this new determination by the N**is. The German Army's 15th Panzer Grenadier Division had arrived at Geilenkirchen to help Blementritt. The rain which had begun to fall on the second day, increased in intensity during the third day of fighting. By the fourth day of combat, the rain became a deluge which turned the ground into a quagmire. As a result, the British had more than normal difficulties operating their Crocodiles. Meantime, the 405th Infantry Regiment, which included Cooley, was called up to oppose and defeat the N**i Grenadiers. In preparation for an attack on the Germans, Cooley had ordered his men to find some solid ground so that they could dig foxholes. Practicing what he preached, Cooley built his own and settled into it to wait for for a signal for him and his men to charge against the N**is. As he waited for the imminent confrontation, he heard a whistling sound, then the rush of air indicating that something was passing through the air near him, and finally a deafening explosion. Before Cooley could make any sense of what was happening, he felt himself sinking into the ground. An enemy artillery shell had landed so close to his foxhole that it had caused the entire structure to cave in. The same set of circumstances occurred with amazing regularity during World War I. A significant number of French, British and American men simply disappeared in the ever-present mud during battles, never to be heard from again. When this first began to happen their officers suspected that the men had deserted. But when men with proven records as extraordinary soldiers began to disappear, it became apparent that the land had become like quicksand and it was absorbing these hapless men like a sponge. After World War I, French farmers who had been able to reclaim their land, started furrowing the ground. Soon they began to find the decomposed bodies of the men who had disappeared. This grim set of circumstances prevailed well into the 1930's. But no one fighting in World War II had ever experienced this phenomenon until the day Sgt. Cooley disappeared. Although to Cooley, it probably seemed that an eternity has passed before anyone tried to help him, in fact, his squad members almost immediately ran over to his foxhole and began to dig furiously, using any implement they could find; some resorted to using their hands to rescue Cooley, just as Cooley was slowly being smothered by the dirt which engulfed him, his men uncovered him and lifted him to the ground. At that precise moment, the signal was given to attack. At this point Cooley had no helmet nor a weapon, for both were still resting beneath the ground. He rushed to the head of his squad and led them into battle. After having made a significant advance against the enemy, Cooley organized his men into a defensive position which they maintained throughout the remainder of that day. When he made certain that his men were properly deployed, Cooley began to fully realize that he was weaponless and that his head was unprotected. And he also began to fully comprehend that he was well and able to do his job despite the fact that he had been buried alive." James Buckley - Writer, historian from Milford A special thanks to these men, if they didn't save my Puppa I would not be here today❤️ #WWII #Germany #Veteransday #Americanhero #puppa #bazookacooley #richardcooley #cooley #USA #veteran
I thought I'd alert y'all about a WWII Eisenhauer jacket with a 102d patch that is currently for auction at shopgoodwill.com. https://www.shopgoodwill.com/Item/104204638