Heroes: the Army
"...since I was only a sergeant and she would be a 2nd lieutenant &emdash; I would have to salute her! I planned to give her a kiss too. Have you ever seen a sergeant kiss a 2nd lieutenant?..."
Bradford M. Beeler
- Branch of Service: Army
- Unit: Co. G., 406th Regiment, 102nd Infantry Division
- Dates: 1942-1944
- Location: European Theater
- Rank: Sgt., Bronze Star Medal
- Birth Year: 1925
- Entered Service: Des Moines, IA
A Treasure Hunt
by Brad Beeler,406-G
Recently I had reason to go on a Treasure Hunt to try to find a WWII Army uniform that I could wear for a very special occasion. Mine was long gone. I looked far and wide, phoned or sent an email to most every name listed in our Ozark Notes. I did find two -- right here in Colorado. However, if you are 80 it's difficult to get into anything that you wore when you were 19!
The special occasion was the commissioning of our granddaughter as a 2nd lieutenant in the Air Force. I was honored when she asked me to pin on her bars. Also would I "please wear your uniform?" After finding that nothing authentic fit me, I checked with the Army Surplus Store and found khaki pants and shirt (not G.I.). I put my stripes and ribbons on the shirt. Hope Emerich, our Historian, sent me the Ozark patch. Then I wanted to find an authentic khaki campaign hat -- with the light blue cord on it. Bill Kamsler (405 HQ) called from Denver with one I could borrow. Then Jim Greorich, who was in my squad in 406-G, offered to loan me his cap. The outfit looked presentable. I felt good about it. Thanks to all who tried to help me.
Then I got to thinking about the occasion -- since I was only a sergeant and she would be a 2nd lieutenant &emdash; I would have to salute her! I planned to give her a kiss too. Have you ever seen a sergeant kiss a 2nd lieutenant?
----- Brad Beeler
(Editor's note: Attempts were made throughout the text of the following story to place full names to the men listed in the story. For the most part, this is an educated guess and some names may very well be mistaken in their identy. The names were all taken from the division history book: With The 102d Infantry Division Through Germany, edited by Major Allen H. Mick. Using the text as a guide, associations with specific units were the basis for the name identifications. We are not attempting in any to rewrite the story. Any corrections are gladly welcomed.)
Interested in some background information?
Check out the related links below...
United States Army, 102nd Infantry Division
102 Infantry Division
History of the 102nd Infantry Division
Attack on Linnich, Flossdorf, Rurdorf - 29 Nov -- 4 Dec 1944
Gardelegen War Crime
Gardelegen: April 13, 1945:
Massacre at the Isenschnibbe Barn
American Battle Monuments Commission: WWII Honor Roll
National World War II Memorial
The above story, "A Treasure Hunt", by Brad Beeler, 406-G, was originally published in the 102d Division "Ozark Notes", Vol. 57, No. 3, April/June 2005, pp. 19.
The story is re-printed here on World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words with the kind permission of the 102d Infantry Division Association, Ms. Hope Emerich, Historian. Our sincerest THANKS for the 102d Infantry Division Association allowing us to share some of their stories.
We would also like to extend our sincere THANKS to Mr. Edward L. Souder, former historian of Co. F., 405th Regiment. His collection of stories of the "Kitchen Histories Project" series entitled, Those Damn Doggies in F, were responsible for bringing the stories of the men of the 102nd Division to the forefront.
Original Story submitted on 27 June 2005.
Story added to website on 28 June 2005.
September 5, 2002.
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