Heroes: the Army
"...I was captured by the Germans October 31, 1944 near Bergan, Germany while on a combat patrol. I was hit and could not get back to our Division lines. I was picked up at daylight by German soldiers..."
Marvin G. Danielson
- Branch of Service: Army
- Unit: HQ-407-A, 407th Regiment,
102nd Infantry Division
- Dates: 1942 - 1945
- Location: European Theater
- Rank: 2nd Lt.
- Birth Year: 1925
- Entered Service: Fairfield, Iowa
Ozark Officer Captured 10/31/44,
Now Hears from German Officer
by 2nd Lt. Marvin Danielson, HQ-407-A
Something has happened in the past two years I would like to tell you about. I was captured by the Germans October 31, 1944 near Bergan, Germany while on a combat patrol. I was hit and could not get back to our Division lines. I was picked up at daylight by German soldiers. We had been pinned down by heavy small-arms fire in a German mine-field. Several were killed, some wounded, and a few got back to our lines.
I then went through the process of being interrogated, etc., and finally wound up in Oflag 64 near Szwein, Poland. On January 22,1945 Oflag 64 was overrun by the Russians. Those of us who could not walk were left behind in Odessa on the Black Sea From there we went by a British ship to Cairo, Egypt, to a U.S. Army General Hospital. I wound up back in the U.S. on Easter Sunday 1945.
About two years ago Sgt. Tamarato, who was on the same patrol but not captured, sent me a letter he received through the 102nd Division Assoc. concerning a German officer who wanted to get in contact with anyone who was on this patrol on October 31st as he would like to correspond with him.
The German has written to me and I have returned a letter. He has sent aerial pictures of the area near Bergan and many details. He was in charge of laying the mine field we were caught in. He is very apologetic for the senseless war and wishes to keep contact.
It blows my mind how this could happen after 50 years. I thought you may be interested.
----- Marvin Danielson
(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.)
12 January 2005.
A photo of Co. A., 2nd Platoon, 407th Regiment, 102nd Division. This image is on a page that is dedicated to Mr. Edward Marchelitis, Sr., by his daughter Carol. Most of the men in the photo taken on December 20, 1943 are identified on the back of the image.
To view the photo of Co. A., 2nd Platoon, 407th Regiment as well as other photos of Edward Marchelitis, click on the image above.
The family of Mr. Marchelitis is seeking information on his platoon.
A special Thank You is extended to the daughter of Edward Marchelitis, Sr., Carol Marchelitis Heppner.
Interested in some background information?
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The above story, "Ozark officer captured 10/31/44, now hears from German officer", by Marvin Danielson, HQ-407th-A, was originally published in the 102d Division "Ozark Notes", Vol. 46, No. 3, April/June. 1994, pp. 10.
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 28 October 2003.
Story added to website on 24 November 2003.
September 5, 2002.
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