FOREWORD: BY LEW PERGAMENT, SON OF 1ST. LT. HYMAN PERGAMENT, 3OTH REGIMENT, 3RD INFANTRY
Having been born right after the war to a combat decorated and promoted 1St. Lt. I heard many of the stories from a very early age. Besides my Mom, brother and later, his grandchildren Dad’s fondest subjects were Army and Third Infantry related. He always told us about the Army and the lessons good and bad he learned from that period of his life. Dad received Two Bronze Stars for his actions against the enemy and the undying loyalty and admiration of his men, who personally wrote him many times in the years after the war to tell he and us their feelings for him. Of course being his son, I was sometimes bored with the stories at a young age but as dad and I both grew older, I was more and more enraptured with them. Since Dad passed away in 1996 in order to keep a connection with him I have spent time surfing the WEB and meeting other WW II veterans and the sons and daughters of the men who were members of the Greatest Generation ever, and in particular the Third Infantry for I am a son of a Dog Face Soldier.
Norman Mohar, Sherman Pratt, Stanley R. Smith (another 3rd Infantry Veteran who has shared his story with me), Joe Fournier and sons of other veterans such as Lee Hatfield and Mike Wells have all become friends via the WEB. Some of my dad’s friends from that period of time have all gone to their final rest but one friend who is still with us Stanley Casella of Chicago never forgets to send our family a Christmas Card and I have had the pleasure of meeting him in person. What great stories he had to tell about he and my Dad in particular, especially their Missing Jeep Caper. The stories these men and my dad have to tell are the human side of the last War to end all Wars and they must be heard! Why even today, I do not allow anyone to shortstop at dinner and I always like to hurry up and NOT WAIT!
It is particularly important in light of the events of 9/11 that we remember that they fought for the freedoms that make our great country the envy of those that want to destroy us. We cannot allow the feats of bravery and persistence that won in 1945 to ever be forgotten.
Reading Norman’s story and seeing his pictures brings a perspective that makes me ever so proud to be the son of a Rock of the Marne Man. Norman, thank you for taking the time to write this story and we all more importantly thank you for the personal sacrifices you made for the Freedom we all enjoy. I am proud to call you a friend.
The photo above was days after Dad left Anzio for some R&R in Belgium we think. His eyes tells it all.
God Bless America and “ I wouldn’t give a bean, to be a fancy pants Marine, for a Dog Face Soldier’s Son is what I am!!”
Lewis N. Pergament May 23, 2002