Heroes: the Army
"...I looked up to see something and saw men lying in the fields get up and make a dash for cover. It came to me too late that they were under an artillery barrage. Just then everything went boom, the Jeep jumped to the right and stopped. Sarge and Hairless jumped out as did Ross and Dowd. I saw Ross holding his left arm with blood coming thru his fingers..."
Edward L. "Ed" Souder
- Branch of Service: Army
- Unit: Co. F., 405th Regiment,
102nd Infantry Division
- Dates: 1942-1945
- Location: European Theater
- Rank: PFC., Purple Heart
- Birth Year: 1922
- SN: 17114499
- Entered Service: Minneapolis, MN
Chaplan Dahm and men of 405-F taken 1/1/45 at Geronsweiler, Germany. Photo is on 98 of the Division History. More writeup on p. 23 inside. (From: Ozark Notes: Vol 54, No. 4., July/Sept. 2002
Unknown in the History Book
by Ed Souder
On page 98 of the original division history is a picture of a bunch of mighty fighting soldiers in battle uniforms standing below a chaplain in Geronsweiler, Germany on New Year's Day - 1945. In the history they are not identified.
These men, all members of the 405th Regiment, Co. F., are in a rather quiet manner, befitting a church service and listening to the kind words of the Division Chaplain. They are rather obviously in battle uniform and "under arms." They have been out of the front lines long enough to attend services, and this opportunity was welcomed by many, as the picture shows.
These are the soldiers who will go out and hold the line during the "Battle of the Bulge". And soon fight into Ruhrdorf and across the flooded Roer River, to take Tetz and Boslar. These are the men who will, God willing, cross the Rhine and go on to victory in Germany and meet the Russians at the Elbe.
As of January 2002, Ed Souder knows of only two who are still living.
----- Ed Souder
Group picture - Taken on Jan. 1, 1945 with Chaplain Damn holding services for Men of Co. F - 405th Reg 102 Div. In Geronsweiler, Germany
Here it is interesting to note that the chaplain has not been in any foxholes and is in a spotless uniform and with neatly trimmed hair. Contrast this with the men he is talking to -- in battle gear and freshly out of the mud and grime of the fox holes.
This picture first appeared in the Division history book published in 1946. There was NO caption as to what unit these men came from and it took 40 years for the identification to be made public. These men were in thecrossing of the Roer River after the Battle of the Bulge in January 1945 and at the present time (2002)-- there are only 2 still alive. (in this picture). (Click on Image to see larger version...)
Additional Pages Devoted to Mr. Edward L. Souder's Military Career:
Edward L. Souder: the Return
Edward L. Souder: Letters Home
Edward L. Souder: Story Before Combat & Diary
Edward L. Souder: Ed's Story (Co. F., 405th Reg.)
Edward L. Souder: Additional Exerpts from Ed's Career
Edward L. Souder: Photo Album & Scrapbook
Ed's entire story, in his own (unabashed) words can be read on the website,World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words: Army Heroes, along with 28 other stories written by members of his infantry company. I highly recommend visiting the site and reading Ed Souder's story. I found it riveting. For those of you who wish to contact Ed, he can be emailed by clicking on the image below:
A special THANK YOU is extended to Mr. Bob Marckini, "Featured Member - Ed Souder", for allowing us to use his account of Ed Souder as used on his web site -- Brotherhood of the Balloon.
Interested in some background
Check out the related links below...
The above story, "Unknown - In The History Book", by Ed Souder, 405th, Co. F., was originally published in the 102d Division "Ozark Notes", Vol. 54, No. 4, July/Sept., 2002, pp. 18.
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 30 March
Story added to website on 30 March 2005.
September 5, 2002.
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