Heroes: the Army
"...When they went across the English Channel his company landed at Utah Beach on D-day June 6, 1944. They took landing barges to land while the ship was "shelling the beach". The rest of the war was spent on land..."
Lyle C. Fillhard
- Branch of Service: Army
- Unit: C., 237th Engineers
Combat Battalion, 1106th Combat Group, 7th Corps
- Dates: Nov 1942 - Nov 1945
- Location: European Theater
- Rank: T/Sgt
- Birth Year: 4 July, 1924
- Entered Service: Alma, MI
Lyle Chester Fillhard
4 July 1924 - 28 January 1996
On January 28, 1996, Lyle Chester Fillhard passed away after living a full life and having experienced the events in history we now refer to as World War II. According to the nephew of Lyle, Larry Fillhard,
"...Just before he died he asked that we not feel sorry for him. He said, "He was supposed to die on the beach at Normandy when he was 19 years old. All after that was just gravy." I remember that he had pictures, quite large, that were very much like the ones you show on your web site. They were probably by Lt. Allen. Lyle attended many reunions thru the years..."
U. S. Navy, Retired
A Conversation with Lyle Chester Fillhard
June 17, 1995
Regarding His Military Service
by Janet Ruth [Lynch] Fillhard
Lyle entered the Army on March 16, 1943. He was assigned to Company C, 237th Engineer Combat Battalion, 1106 Combat Group, 7th Corps. He was sent to the following Army Bases for training (in this order) Battle Creek, Michigan; Fort Robinson, Arkansas (this was where he met his life-long buddy Dick Cassidy); Camp Poke, Louisiana; Camp Carson, Colorado and Fort Newport News, Virginia. From Newport News Lyle went, by a "Liberty ship" to Oran, North Africa where he went thru 2 to 3 months of extensive training and was then sent to Casablanca, Algeria. Lyle then went to England. There was a convoy of about 50 ships in single file that entered the Mediterranean. The first 3-4 ships were sunk by German U-boats. Once they reached England he underwent 3 months of training where they practiced the invasion.
When they went across the English Channel his company landed at Utah Beach on D-day June 6, 1944. They took landing barges to land while the ship was "shelling the beach". The rest of the war was spent on land. Some of Lyle's duties included: building and blowing up bridges and blowing up bunkers.
Their main objective was to "take out all barriers". As they marched they took out mine fields. Lyle played with a lot of dynamite and at times his Company went as infantry. You can see by the map the path his company took toward the Rhine River. They arrived in Paris right behind General Patten and the 3rd Army. At Aachen, Germany they went briefly into Holland where they built a lot of bridges. Lyle was involved in the "Battle of the Bulge" at Bastogne, Belgium. There were 178 men in his Company and on Christmas Eve they could only account for 37 men.
The Company's next objective was to meet the Russians at the Rhine River. When they reached the Rhine River, there were Russian Engineers, Infantry, 4 artillery and 2 tanks. Orders were to cross the river, taking out mines as they went, at 3:00 A.M.. Lyle figured it was one last big fight. At midnight orders came that they were to hold off until daylight.At daylight 10 Russian solders went across the bridge. Tanks were moved up to the river and orders were to set tight. They were camped there for several days when they got orders to pull out and they went back to a French Army camp in France.
The war was over in Europe. At that time Lyle lacked a few points of being discharged so he worked 2-3 months rebuilding the French Army Camp at Leharve, France. Lyle was shipped out of there and on his way to Japan when it was announced that the war was over. He then ended up in Boston and was home by Christmas. Lyle received the following commendations: Ribbon with 5 Bronze Stars with a Bronze Arrowhead, Good Conduct Medal, World War II, Victory Medal and a Distinguished Unit Badge. Lyle was wounded but refused the Purple Heart because he did not want his parents notified. He did not want to worry them. Lyle was discharged from the service at the Separation Center, Camp Atterbury, Indiana on December 2, 1945.
Lyle met Alberta one year later at a dance where Lyle was playing in the band. He came down off the bandstand and asked her for a date. She was 17 years old. They were married for 48 years.
-----Lyle Chester Fillhard
by Janet Ruth [Lynch] Fillhard
Interested in some background information?
Check out the related links below...
Combat Engineers Association
World War II Causality Search
Information and photographs were generously provided to World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words by Mr. Larry Fillhard. Our sincerest THANKS is extended to Mr. Fillhard and to the sister-in-law of Mr. Lyle Fillhard, Ms. Janet Ruth [Lynch] Fillhard for allowing us to share his story!
Original Story submitted on 31 January 2004.
Story added to website on 2 February 2004.
September 5, 2002.
Would YOU be interested in adding YOUR story --
or a loved-one's story? We have made it very
easy for you to do so.
By clicking on the link below, you will be sent
to our "Veterans Survey Form" page where a survey form
has been set up to conviently record your story.
It is fast -- convenient and easy to fill out --
Just fill in the blanks!
We would love to tell your story on
World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words.
WW II Stories: Veterans Survey Form
© Copyright 2001-2012
World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words
All Rights Reserved
Updated on 27 January 2012...1432:05 CST