Heroes: the Army
"...After leaving France we entered Germany and we halped to remove obstacles of the Siegfried Line that the Germans had built to keep troops from coming further into Germany..."
Robert F. Geesaman
- Branch of Service: Army
- Unit: 290th Combat Engineers
- Dates: March 1944 - June 1946
- Location: European Theater
- Rank: T4, Bronze Star Medal
- Birth Year: 1924
- Entered Service: Newark, DE
Here is My Story
I am Robert F. Geesaman of Newark De. and here is my story...
I was nineteen years old, and was drafted into the U.S. Army. I was raised on a farm outside of Newark, DE. With the exception of visiting maternal grandparents in Waynesboro, PA. I had never been far from Went to Fort Dix for Induction.
Shipped to Chelby, Mississippi for basic training.
Trained in infantry and engineering. We made up a new battalion called the 290th Engineering Combat.
After we were at full strentgth and had completed all of our training we were shipped to Europe by convoy.
We arrived in Tiverton, England and we took addtional training on German explosives and so forth.
Then sent to LaHarve, France...we moved south into the French mountains where we joined with the Third Infantry Division and replaced one of their battalions on the front lines. We were there for 20 some days. and we were part of a group to liberate Colmar, a Franch town in the mountain area.
Were then attached to the 28th Infantry Div. and started toward the Rhine River in the Spring Offensive.
At one time we were attached to the French free Army and when we were in the mountains had to get our supplies from the Morroccans.
After leaving France we entered Germany and we halped to remove obstacles of the Siegfried Line that the Germans had built to keep troops from coming further into Germanyh. We came to the Danube River where we captured a bridge intach and removed the explosives the Germans had placed there to blow the bridge.
Next stop Austria to liberate prisoners from one of the death camps. We took this opportunity to talk with them and hear of their experiences...some were scheduled to die the very next day. We fed them for several days and knocked doors open on several businesses and let them go into stores to take what they needed to be clothed and fed. Some weer in such condition that they died after being liberated.
We moved on down and were gien orders to cease advancing when we reached Hitler's vacation place called Berchtesgardens.
At that point the war was about over and again we were attached to the Free French Army. We waited for the German S.S. Troops to surrender out of the mountains.
We were then sent to Manheim, Germany to remain there as an Occupation Unit under the direction of the 7th Army. doing road work, bridges, building warehouses, and tent cities to house misplaced people until they could return to their home country.
This was quite an experience for a 19 year old farm boy from DE. I am now 83 years old and will never forget this time in my life.....
Interested in some background information?
Check out the related links below...
American Battle Monuments Commission: WWII Honor Roll
National World War II Memorial
The story is re-printed here on World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words with the kind permission of Mr. Robert Geesaman. Our sincerest THANKS to Mr. Geesaman for allowing us to share some of these personal memories of the war.
Original Story submitted on 5 October 2007.
Story added to website on 14 October 2007.
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 18 October 2012...0843:05 CST
Please Sign Our Guestbook...