Heroes: the Army
"...We were traveling once down a road and we were strafed by a German plane. The driver and I dove under the vehicle. I didn't see how close it came, and I didn't want to know..."
- Branch of Service: Army
- Unit: SIG, 102nd Infantry Division
- Dates: 1942-1945
- Location: European Theater
- Rank: PFC
- Birth Year: 1925
- Entered Service: Canton, OH
World War II Service
James Lockshin, 102nd SIG
James Lockshin talks about his service during WWII. In the foreground is his hat with many of the pins from his travels
Jim spent almost a year delivering messages for the Army in Germany near the end of WWII. During his trips of up to 10 miles from Army headquarters to the German area, Lockshin said he never needed to know the contents of the messages.
"They were classified," Jim said. "I just wanted to get them to the front."
It wasn't just messages. A variety of supplies were given to the GI who had to navigate dangerous territory "armed" only with a driver and a weapon. "I was nervous, but we were able to remain safe," he said, adding he once narrowly escaped a strafing by a German plane.
The close call he remembers: "We were traveling once down a road and we were strafed by a German plane. The driver and I dove under the vehicle. I didn't see how close it came, and I didn't want to know. I learned early on in my service to identify planes. That helped save my life."
Jim did not escape the war unscathed however, In early 1945 he was involved in a truck accident. "I was out looking for a friend of mine and was hit at 35 mph. I thought 'What a dummy' I could have avoided it. I wasn't looking at the time."
He was sent to France and England for recovery, where he found that a nurse was his dad's cousin. "That really made my recovery so much easier to take. She was nice."
Lockshin was reunited with his Ozark friends in Heerlen, Netherlands in 1989. He served as vide-president of the Association in 1997 and was president in 1998. "I liked my military service and appreciated what I could do for my country," he said.
----- James Lockshin
(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, "World War II Experiences", by James Lockshin, SIG, 102nd Division, was originally published in the 102d Division "Ozark Notes", Vol. 57, No. 3, April/June 2005, pp. 13-14.
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 27 June 2005.
September 5, 2002.
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Updated on 17 February 2012...1351:05 CST