Heroes: the Army
"...Lt. Weigand was next to me, in back were the 3 runners, Souder, Ross and Dowd. Just outside of town we ran into an 88 barrage. One round landed directly under the Jeep and we piled out into the mud and the ditch. The 3 runners were all wounded. Souder the worst. Lt. Weigand ran over to Souder, then on up on the road as more 88's came in, flagged down a medical Jeep..."
- Branch of Service: Army
- Unit: Co. F., 405th Regiment,
102nd Infantry Division
- Dates: 1942-1945
- Location: European Theater
- Rank: T/5, Silver Star Medal
- Birth Year: 1925
- Entered Service: Maloneton, KY
Thurman Large Letter - dated 7 November 1988:
From: Thurman Large, Hillsboro, Ohio
I have been working for some time on these recollections -- I don't remember a lot of the towns and places or dates -- back then -- all we cared about was staying alive. I have never talked much about the war to anybody -- as you know, I was the transportation Cpl.and was not with all the company much of the time. I was always supplying the front line men -- hauling water, food, ammunition -- stuff like that. The Roer River crossing I remember clearly. As we went down to the river bank, to the assault boats the Germans -- let us get half way across when they opened up on us. There wasn't many of us got across. It was bitter cold and our clothes froze on us. I was the transportation Cpl.and brought up all the ammunition for the Company. I had 5 Jeeps shot out from under me beginning near Geilenkirchen thru the beet fields and the tank battles. I was awarded the Silver Star and we finally reached the Rhine and Krefeld. In Stendal, near Hanover, where I shot down a german plane with the 50 caliber MG and Gardelegen -- all those innocent people killed and we had to burry them. Then we met the Russians at the Elbe. By then, there weren't many of the original men left in the Company -- the rest were all replacements. I do, however, recall the time in late November, 1944, driving the Jeep out from Geilenkirchen toward Puffendorf. Lt. Weigand was next to me, in back were the 3 runners, Souder, Ross and Dowd. Just outside of town we ran into an 88 barrage. One round landed directly under the Jeep and we piled out into the mud and the ditch. The 3 runners were all wounded. Souder the worst. Lt. Weigand ran over to Souder, then on up on the road as more 88's came in, flagged down a medical Jeep and we loaded the 3 runners on it, and I rode with them back to the tanker aid station. We then went back to the Jeep and removed our equipment. We took cover in the old buildings nearby. That was a HOT spot. We stayed there until the C.O. got back there the next day. The Germans had that spot zerod in. There were several trucks and a tank knocked out there over the next 2 -- 3 days. It done a lot of raining then too. The road got really muddy. There was a dead German soldier on the road and the truck traffic was very heavy and they couldn't stop to remove the body -- so they just ran over him until he disintegrated. Capt. Evenson didn't say anything because we just couldn't get back. We sure seen some rough times over there. I was sorry to hear of Glenn McMillan -- he was Souder's replacement on the big radio and a real fine piano player. He was from No. Car.[North Carolina].
----- Thurman Large
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
Information and photographs were generously provided to World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words by Mr. Edward L. Souder of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The subjects of these essays are all members of Co. F., 405th Regiment.Our sincerest THANKS for allowing us to share their stories!
Original Story submitted on 19 September 2002.
Story added to website on 26 September 2002.
September 5, 2002.
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