2011 — ISSUE 2
2nd issue, 2011
Site donated by Hoch Publishing
Final convention is July 20-23
The 62nd and final 99th Infantry Division Association convention will be July 20-24, 2011, at the Doubletree Hotel, Overland Park KS. Regular convention activities are planned, including a hospitality room with complimentary soft drinks, coffee and tea and the War Room.
World War II sniper's dream shot featured on national television program
“A bold and dashing adventure is in your future.” That was the message Ted Gundy received from his fortune cookie after finishing off one of his favorite meals, Chinese food. Little did he know, the prophetic message was soon to ring true, courtesy of one chance e-mail.
Boardwalk and Park Place go to war
In September 1944, a hungry, cold, terrified airman hunched over what remained of a recently arrived Red Cross package. He had been a POW since his Lancaster was shot down over the Ruhr valley in 1943. His excitement grew as he saw the tiny red spot. He had been briefed about it just before his first mission. To identify a “special” Monopoly set, a tiny red dot, designed to look like a simple printing glitch, was in the corner of the “Free Parking” square. His hands trembled as he split the box cardboard in the dim light from the tiny barred window above his head. He had already ravenously eaten the food that was left in the Red Cross package and now found the strength to consider another escape attempt. A previous attempt had led to failure and severe punishment. Getting through the barbed wire had been relatively easy but finding his way through the snow and forests of Eastern Germany was not, nor was finding help or purchasing food or train tickets. He simply got lost until the patrols with dogs ran him down.
Tim Nugent recognized by University of Illinois
The University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved a proposal in March 2010, to name a newly-constructed residence hall in honor of the 99th’s Tim Nugent. The hall, named Timothy J. Nugent Hall, houses students with disabilities and provides full accessibility beyond Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. Founded in 1948, by Dr. Tim Nugent, the Division of Disability Resources and Educational services (DRES) was the first post-secondary disability support program in the world. DRES began as a result of Dr. Nugent’s belief that veterans injured in World War II should nevertheless be able to take advantage of the GI Bill and attend college. But their success was contingent upon removal of physical barriers that prevented entrances into buildings. To that end, Dr. Nugent built ramps in his garage and proved that these students, if given an opportunity to have access to classrooms, could succeed academically.
99th left an imprint in history
A few days ago I received the second issue of the Checkerboard. It is with sad regret to learn of the “final” convention in July. All things must come to an end, I know, but to be a part of the end brings remorse. I have been an associate member for 10 years. My wife, Donna and I had the unique opportunity to accompany the 99th to the Bulge area at the time.
History of the 99th Infantry Division
99th Infantry Division is remembered by Camp Van Dorn, people of Centreville
The staff and volunteers of the Camp Van Dorn World War II Museum always look forward to reading my copy of the Checkerboard. I am the chief financial officer for the museum and an associate member of the 99th Infantry Division Association, and my dues are enclosed. We at the museum understand that many veterans do not have happy memories of conditions at Camp Van Dorn. However, we would like you to know that there are numerous good people of Centreville who remember and honor the 99th Infantry Division by supporting this museum with their private funds. All members of the 99th Infantry Division are honored here and your division is well-represented. We have presented programs to many organizations and schools in southwest Mississippi. Most recently we presented a program at the annual conference of Mississippi Teachers of History, Economics and Geography. We are visited by Mississippi and Louisiana church groups, clubs and schools and we have had visitors from most states and some foreign countries. We never fail to explain and illustrate the sacrifices and the amazing accomplishments of the 99th, as well as those of other units who trained here.
Doherty interviewed for National WWII Museum exhibit
Tommy Lofton, a historian-curator with the National WWII Museum in New Orleans LA, filmed an interview May 2 with Joe Doherty at his home in Chestertown MD. Doherty, H/393, is the author of “The Shock of War: Unknown Battles that Ruined Hitler’s Plans for a Second Blitzkrieg in the West.”
Woods sends member updates
I noticed in the first issue 2011 of the Checkerboard that my membership ran out at the close of 2010. I enclosed a check for $100 to cover whatever number of years it will credit me with. Hopefully, I can outlive those years. In reading through the list of names, I saw the name of Haskell Wolff of Dumas AR. He died shortly before last Christmas, but apparently had paid his dues before he died. “Hack” had been bedridden for several years. I last visited him the year I attended the reunion in Little Rock AR, driving to Dumas on one of those days.
Request leads to information, friendships
You may remember that I wrote to you in January 2008, requesting that you place a photo and a letter in the Checkerboard. I cannot thank you enough for doing just that. As a result of that publication some amazing and significant events have occurred in my life. I did hear from two veterans who served in the 99th who had connections to my father. My father, James S. Faller, was a Pfc. in the 99th Division, 395th Regiment, 3rd Battalion, I Company. I owe many thanks to Jackson Goss, who served as my father’s lieutenant in the 99th. Jack and his wife, Ann welcomed me into their home last spring for a wonderfully informative afternoon. Jack filled in details of my father’s service that I had not known. He has been a gracious and generous provider of information to me as well as to many others. Before my visit, we spent time on the phone discussing my father and his visit.
Legion of Honor: 23 WWII veterans receive the French Medal of Honor
More than 45 years after helping drive Nazi Germany’s forces out of France, Herbert Knapp, 86, of Baltimore MD, was honored March 10, 2010, at the French Consul in Washington, D.C., for his service during World War II. He was among 23 other World War II veterans from other units and divisions fighting in France, to receive the medal. Knapp was named a Chevalier, or knight of the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur – Legion of Honor, which is France’s highest civilian award and similar to the U.S. Medal of Honor. It is the highest honor France can bestow upon a civilian. It represents the French republic’s high esteem, the letter accompanying his medal said, adding it is “a sign of France’s true and unforgettable gratitude and appreciation for your personal, precious contribution to the United States’ decisive role in the liberation of our country during World War II.”
Albert Davis recalls his memories of the Battle of the Bulge, Remagen
I was born and raised in Brooklyn NY, a second-generation American of the Jewish faith. Shortly after completion of high school I joined the Army and was sent to Fort Dix in New Jersey. At the base I met an old Polish corporal who introduced me into the military designation of “G-man” garbage collector, “fireman” coal bucket, and K.C., “kitchen police.” By the way, every non-com was older. I was just 18.
Nephew researches uncle
I am looking for information concerning my uncle, Edwin Boles, who was reportedly in the 99th Infantry Division at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, survived the battle, and was killed in the vicinity of the Remagen Bridge in early March 1945. He was 19 years old. He was a native of San Diego and would have been a 22-year-old Pfc. at the time of his death. We recently read the story of the “Battle Babies” in an article from the 1945 San Diego Union that mentioned him, and are hoping to visit the Remagen area this summer. He seems to have been buried at the Henri-Chapelle cemetery and then re-interred in San Diego after the war.
Veterans Day profile: Two Rivers' Jerome Nelson
Shell-shocked from shrapnel wounds to his left leg, neck and right shoulder, U.S. Army Pfc. Jerome Nelson somehow mustered the strength to stand up and start walking. It was either that or be gunned down by advancing German troops.
Bartlett veteran meets wife while serving country
Margarette King of Bartlett (TN) still knows exactly how long she had to wait before her husband returned from fighting in World War II. To the minute.
Lombardo asks: who was the sergeant on patrol?
Thank you for the great and detailed article by Ernest McDaniel (now deceased) titled “Joe Kagan’s Patrol.” I hope you can print the following in the hope that I can locate the sergeant from either E or F Company 393rd, whose patrol got shot up and came to my platoon at midnight for help. In early January 1945, around midnight to 1 a.m., I was awakened by Sgt. Isadore Rosen, my platoon sergeant, who told me that a sergeant from E or F Company, 393rd was here for help.
Bulge was a violent and cold battle
It all began at 0500 hours. I recall being on watch 65 years ago, on Dec. 16, 1944, in the Ardennes. One of 70,000 men in four and a half divisions, covering a 70-mile front, I looked out across the Siegfried Line from my log-fortified snow-covered foxhole. The quiet was shattered by German artillery and mortars, as the enemy opened up on the 99th Division. The Battle of the Bulge had begun.
Waldrep recognized at Veterans Day parade
Nov. 6, 2010, dawned bright and beautiful. My wife, Ruth said the sky was as blue as Paul Newman’s eyes (I wouldn’t know!). We were in Denver CO, to ride in their Veterans Day parade, the largest ever put on in that city. The Rockies’ tallest peaks had plenty of snow but in downtown Denver, it was a balmy 70 degrees. I wore my WWII uniform with my 99th Checkerboard patch. When my son and I arrived at the parade area, there were about a dozen guys – re-enactors – with the Checkerboard patch on their sleeves. Our son had bought them and passed them out to members of his Military Vehicle Club of Colorado, who were driving their various military vehicles in the parade.
McNish recounts 'the rest of the story'
I was platoon leader of the third platoon, G/395. The article in the third issue, 2010, “George Company Captures a Village,” does not tell the whole story. My platoon was in reserve for the attack and we got on the scene after things had quieted down a bit. Captain Hill called me and said, “Mac take a squad and check out those buildings.”
99th hosts first convention at Pittsburgh
With the final 99th Infantry Division Association convention looming on the horizon, we did some research to see what the first 99th convention was like back in 1950. The first convention was June 22-24, 1950, at the William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh PA. The following excerpts were taken from the May 1950 and October 1950 issues of The Checkerboard. Tom Griffin was editor. May 1950
Signed copies of Humphrey's book available
Signed copies of Robert E. Humphrey’s book, “Once Upon a Time in War: The 99th Division in WWII,” are available from Humphrey at a special price of $22. To order, send a check directly to him: Robert E. Humphrey, 2244 Swarthmore Dr., Sacramento CA 95825. Phone 916-920-8878. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I recently discovered my father was a member of the 99th Infantry Division. His name was Kinsey F. Dulaney. He died in 1986. He never talked about the war. I am looking for a record of what unit he was assigned to. Danny Dulaney
I’m trying to find information about Emerson Kailey, who served in the 99th during WWII. He was active in the band and other musical activities. I believe he played the tuba. If anyone has next-of-kin information, I would like to contact his family. Nathaniel Mayfield
I would like to have information or citations for Tec 4 Nick Yankovic, a medic with the 99th Recon Troop. Any descriptions of his service and/or awards would be appreciated. Andy Watson
Seth Furnas, 88, E/394, Centerville OH, died April 25, 2011. He proudly served with the 99th from 1944 until September 1946. After the war, he was a guard at the Nuremberg Trials. He was a farmer and involved in many community organizations. He was preceded in death by his wife. Survivors include four children; 10 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. Samuel Turner Hart, 90, Salisbury NC, died Dec. 7, 2010. He served in the 395th Regiment Dental Office. He was awarded a Purple Heart. After World War II, he practiced dentistry for 38 years. Survivors include his wife, Mary; two daughters; and five grandchildren.
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