I might have had a case of what is now called PTSD. The Vietnam veterans brought that disorder to light. The war is never forgotten. It is as if I came home yesterday. I remember having nightmares while I slept upstairs in the old farm house. I dreamed that the mountain behind our old farmhouse was being shelled. I could see in my dreams the shells bursting where I used to hunt for deer and elk and grouse. My wife can tell you more about night mares.
I located several widows of my old buddies. One widow said that her husband would wake up in a nightmare and fight with her. His name was John Yusko. I mentioned him in my story.
Brese went on to become a top sergeant in the army. He was indoctrinated. His wife wrote back to me to tell me about his army career. Brese died in about 1991. Paul I. Thome stayed in and retired as a Colonel. Paul was a teacher and taught army brats in Germany and other parts of Europe He lives in Casselberry Florida.
I didn’t write much about Sam Wotherspoon. He was a very funny comedian type who made me laugh. He had a difficult time adjusting and went back in the army with a stint in Korea and Vietnam. He retired as a Colonel.
I found George Horton and “Andy”Anderson in Virginia. Anderson worked in the mines and is still living. I know Horton still lives and we get a Xmas Card, but I don’t know what kind of work he did. I located Ed Sudell who lived last in Cos Cob Connecticut. He answered my letter telling me he was a building Super during his life, I recall that he had four sons—he said, “With the same wife”. My last letter or card was unanswered. I tried to find Corbett who lived in Maine. I got an answer from a newspaper which had in it a teeny news item about a Lawrence Corbett. I wanted to find the family of Scott (Joseph) Shank of Danville Illinois. I was the last of my platoon to see him alive.
I wrote once or twice and got an answer from Louis Abruzzi. No one will answer now. I found Gidio Ciavaglia but he doesn’t seem to want to write. Both lived in “SO.Philly”. Gidio’s wife answered me. I tried hard to find John Mullins and Hyman Cohen and also Bernard Rothman. I have been visiting with Rudolph Smith from Tacoma but he has passed on. I finally found Luther McLean who lived in Bend Oregon. I was given the sad news by his wife by telephone, that Luther couldn’t bear the pain of cancer, so he committed suicide. She asked if I wanted his souvenir 9MM Radam polish pistol. He used another gun or I wouldn’t have accepted it.
Now and then I hear about Carl Wyatt who was our platoon commander after he got a battle field promotion to Lieutenant.
I was informed by Rudolph Smith’s brother that Smitty passed away a few years ago. I tried always to keep in contact with him.
I haven’t heard much from Robert Vojtek who was attached at times to our A&P platoon when we were under strength. All the Battalion knew him at the reunions—having been a cook.
Edgar Archbold passed away a few years ago. He was very unfortunate to have had a stroke when quite young. I found him and communicated with him by sending audio tapes. He could write and would read his writing in the tape. I now get a Xmas card from his sister.
I finally found the family of Thomas Vincent Ochs. He died of a cancer in about 1991. He had a large family of boys who were very glad to hear from me. It was their only contact from those who might have known their Dad. Tom was my sponsor when I was confirmed by the Bishop Rohrbacher of Salzburg Austria after the hostilities ceased.
I have been attempting to find the families also of Tillie whose body I lifted from the rubble when our platoon was wiped out. I didn’t know Tillie but just a little bit. Maybe they’d like to hear from me while I am able to tell them how he died.
Also I have been inquiring about the family of one of my first buddies. His name was Guyer. He stepped on a mine. I was about 20 to 30 feet behind him. It still is a vivid scene in my mind.
I am happy that the brother of Doner contacted me to finally learn how his brother was killed on Anzio. I was able to give the details. Others might be able to add a bit more.
There is another family of a Cpl Harrower who was killed in the house which was shelled. And a GI named Chapman.
Joe Bacchuzs was killed when Yusko was wounded. He was a favorite of mine. A really good soldier. I’d like to find his family
There was a soldier named Mourtgis from Maine who became a French language interpreter with a line company when we were in France. A tough assignment. I’d love to write to him too.
If Sebastian Spoto ever sees this story, I would hope he would write to me. He was a Sergeant in Battalion Headquarters. He would have known every named GI in the Battalion.
Now at this writing we are retired and live a good life. I get my medications from the VA because I have a service connected disability and a Purple Heart which entitles me. It’s a big help from a financial aspect.
Mt. Peoh, (named for an Indian Chief) where beneath lies our farm where I was born.
This Certificate was awarded along with a Medal struck later after the war. It is in honor of our 3rd Division being attached to the First French Army in the battle for Colmar. Other Divisions involved were entitled to receive this medal. I couldn’t attend the special ceremony held in July of 1986. It was mailed to me.