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Checkerboard gets results

Checkerboard gets results

     The following exchange of letters is a result of a request for information put in a previous issue of the
Checkerboard. We receive many such requests and we're happy to report the success of the searches.

Dear Mrs. Metzger:

     My name is Patrick Morrissey and I was a soldier in C/393, 99th Infantry Division during World War II. I saw your son's (I assume it was your son) article in the Checkerboard asking for information about John Lenzen.

     You will note from my enclosures I was with C Company as it went overseas until the end of the war. I also helped occupy in Germany with the 99th until August 1945. I knew John as a fine soldier and a good comrade.

     As you also will note, I was able to visit Belgium and Germany in 1995, just about exactly 50 years after we were there. There were three busloads of 99th veterans, relatives, and friends on the tour. As you can appreciate, it was quite an emotional trip since we visited the actual areas where the Battle of the Bulge was fought 50 years before. In fact, another C Compamy comrade and I were taken to the very spot where C Company was attacked on Dec. 16, 1944.

     The very first stop we made in Belgium was at Henri Chapelle Cemetery which I discuss in my memoirs. I guess it would be appropriate for me to now explain why I have a photo of John's burial spot. We were friends, at least as much as you can have in a rifle company with different duties. I liked John and I think the feeling was mutual.

     About 10 years ago when I became aware of the 99th Division Association and their yearly reunions, I ran across some information somewhere that John was killed Dec. 16, 1944.

     That kind of haunted me because I remembered quite vividly seeing and saying hello to John — I think on the evening of Dec. 17 after we had moved back from the front lines to 1st Battalion Headquarters — although it might have been very early on Dec. 18. Therefore I made it a point to find John's grave to pay my respects and to assure myself that it was Dec. 17 as it says on the marker.

     That pretty much ends my story except that you can be assured that John died proudly in the service of his country as so many, many others did.

Patrick L. Morrissey

Dear Mr. Morrissey:

     I am at a loss for words. First to learn of someone who was with my brother just before he died and second to find someone who took the time to write to us and share his story.

     I read your story. I cried. I read it again and cried. I called Wayne and cried. How I wished I could tell my mom and dad, two older brothers, and a sister who are deceased. I do have a younger sister in Eugene OR, who shares my feelings.

     I live in a retirement home and am taking a writing class — my memories. I had thought of writing a story about my little brother, but haven't. I will now and I'll send a copy to you. I have sent copies to Wayne and my sister.

Mary Metzger

4301 N 76th St., #239

Milwaukee WI 53223