New member rejoins ranks of I/393 years ago
I was pleased to receive a letter informing me of the existence of the 99th Infantry Division Association. I am enclosing $10 annual dues and will look forward to receiving the next edition of the Checkerboard.
I was one of the ASTP students who was transferred to the 99th from Louisiana State University in January 1944. I was assigned to I/393.
At the end of our training we went on maneuvers for several weeks and on the final day, May 13, 1944, everything was with "live" ammunition. Unfortunately an 81 mortar was mistakenly lobbed, landing in our squad and wounding all of us. One member was killed and the rest of us were taken to the hospital.
Some were returned to duty but my wounds were too severe, so after a number of months I was put on "limited duty" and assigned to a Military Police unit in San Antonio TX, until the end of World War II.
The 99th had shipped out before I was out of the hospital so I lost contact with most of the men in my unit. I did meet our company commander, Capt. Coke, at Fort Sam Houston and he told me what the 393rd had experienced and how honorably they all had served and the large number of casualties at the Bulge. I also met one of our squad who returned to duty, "Corny" Van Gorp, from Pella IA, and he also told me of his experiences at the Bulge and going on into Germany.
So many years have gone by that I can only remember a few names but I am glad you found my address and contacted me.
Merle E. Wernick I/393
5965 E. Calle Principia
Anaheim CA 92807