Heroes: the Army
"...we went ovrseas in a sizeable convoy to Cherbourg and spent September and October in Northern France in the worst continual rainfall I ever experienced. We were finally moved to Holland as a part of the 9th Army under Gen.Omar Bradley..."
Carl H. Bez
- Branch of Service: Army
- Unit: Co. F., 405th Regiment,
102nd Infantry Division
- Dates: 1943-1945
- Location: European Theater
- Rank: PFC
- Birth Year: 1925
- Entered Service: Detroit, MI
Carl Bez: Letter - dated 13 September 1989:
From: Carl Bez, Redford Twsp, Michigan.
There is little I can tell you as I left the Co. in early Dec. 1944 because of a serious ear infection which affected my whole nervous system. I was an original member of Co. F, joining them early in 1943 at Camp Maxey. From maneuvers to Camp Swift and on thru Fort Dix. I was always in the 4th platoon, machine guns and mortars, altho the first few months I worked in Capt. Moodys office keeping his army manueals up to date. As you know we went ovrseas in a sizeable convoy to Cherbourg and spent September and October in Northern France in the worst continual rainfall I ever experienced. We were finally moved to Holland as a part of the 9th Army under Gen.Omar Bradley. I will never forget the people as we motored to our staging area standing beside the road, with their sad expressions. Our company was placed in reserve and we dug in an apple orchard from where we laid in trenches during the day watching dog -- fights. I believe the 3rd Batt.went thru our positions as the Division pushed the Germans back and took many prisoners. I particularaly remember reporting to Co. Hqtrs., with Earnie Bischoff as his runner, for orders. They were positioned in a deep covered trench which had a small opening and make -- shift steps running down into it with steps that were slippery from the rain. It was sure an eerie feeling to be so far below ground surface and I was glad to get out of there. This was just outside of Frielenberg, Germany. After this breakthru, the entire company regrouped and enjoyed a breakfast of pancakes, our first warm meal for some time.
It is difficult to recall just where we were, day by day, but I do remember an attack our company made on a german stronghold in a house in a farm area. There was considerable artillery fire coming in on us and we thought a number of our guys up front had been killed. This must have been around Thanksgiving as we finally got cold turkey sandwiches from our mess -- men. Then we saw the guys we thought had been killed and we were very happy. This was Beeck, Germany. At that particular time we were attached to a British tank unit and got a portion of wine with each meal. In a few days were in an attack again. Things get a little hard to recall at this time. I remember we were in a sugar beet patch and far off to the left was a steep cliff with soldiers walking along the edge. We were told they were Germans but posed no problem to us because they were out of range. Here was where I saw a number of my close buddies shot and killed. I also left the Company then and was taken back to a monestary for a few days. THIS WAS DURING THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE and all wounded soldiers were taken out by airplane to England. I ended up in a hospital near Birmingham and went thru a nerve treatment program with numerous others. For one whole week we all received insulin injections and allowed no food for 4 hours. This made us extremely hungary and then they gave us warm carial with all the sugar we wanted. We had a strong craving for sugar. It must have done the job as we all seemed to feel better.
Many of the men were being shipped out daily and for a while I thought I was headed home. However, they placed me on limited service and I want back to a replacement depot near Paris with few duties. After several interviews I was put in the Adjutant Generals Division and selected to attend classes at the Un. of Paris, on how to record information in soldiers and officers service records. After about 3 weeks of instruction our class was sent to the AG's Hqtrs. in Versailles. There I was grouped with a team of six other men of various ranks but every one was cordial to me. Much unlike the army I had know before.
Our job was to inspect and review records of companies in the field to make certain they were in detailed and accutately recorded. This was no easy job as you may know that some soldiers have a difficult time proving service connected disabilities because some information was ommited from their service records. This job had some good points as we only worked a 5 day week, and had special orders signed by Gen.Eisenhawer himself. We drove all over France and Germany checking many service records including Service Cos, Trucking Cos, Signal, ordinance and even hospitals. The staff Sgt. heading our group had to make out detailed reports and report all details of our findings to Hqtrs. Altho we didn't know it at the time, we were getting things ready for either shipping home or to the far east and the Asian Theatre of operations. With the end of the war in Europe, our work load really increased. By the way, I did get to visit Co. F somewhere along the road. I don't recall just where it was either. My number finally came up to go home in 1946 around Christmas and I spent a long trip on a converted Liberty ship to New York and on into Fort Dix. I was discharged from Camp Atterbary in Indiana on Jan. 16, 1946. Some of this information may be extranious but thought it might be interesting to know that some former infantryman could perform important duties in the army outside of killing.
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
Information and photographs were generously provided to World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words by Mr. Edward L. Souder of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The subjects of these essays are all members of Co. F., 405th Regiment.Our sincerest THANKS for allowing us to share their stories!
Original Story submitted on 19 September 2002.
Story added to website on 26 September 2002.
September 5, 2002.
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