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Son needs information

Son needs information to pass to grandchildren

Son needs information

to pass to grandchildren

     Thanks for your help in obtaining "Dauntless." It came in last week and I am almost finished with it. Could you please publish this letter as I am trying to get my father's war exploits to pass on to his grandchildren. He died in 82 without really saying much other than "those 88s," "those (German) tanks," and "the cold." He was in HQ CO 2nd BN 395th Inf. When we were teen-agers he made a point to take us to see the movie version, "The Battle of the Bulge," he said it was accurate somewhat except the portrayal of the cold weather.

     After reading "Dauntless" and other books about those grave winter months I now know the movie left out a few additional details. Namely, the blood, fatigue, and depression.

     From the front he wrote my Aunt Mary (his older sister) many, many letters. On my 40th birthday, she gave them all to me, complete in their original dated envelopes. I am in the slow process of transposing them into my computer.

     From the looks of things he did not say as much about the battles themselves. Instead, being very careful that the letters made it past the censors, he refers to the day-to-day stuff, weather, food, dead cows, farm houses, French girls, French wine, care packages, home life, dirt, etc.

     One thing that is clear from the letters is the fatigue and depression that occurs when subjected to the "fascinating conditions" that you guys faced. You can see the difference of cockiness of his letters before, during, and after Dec. 13, 1944, (I think he was involved in the Roer Dam Offensive).

     He refers to "beating up Hitler" himself before the Bulge. After the Bulge, he refers to how well "these Germans can fight."

     I would like to correspond with anyone who many have known him. He said in one letter he and his seven other "boys" were "runners." On his discharge papers it shows that he was awarded three battle stars.

     I would like to know anyone who knows how or when he got these awards. He died at age 60 of a massive heart attack on New Year's Day.

     Sad as that was, we now discover almost 20 years later, that he may have been the hero that my two brothers and I always wanted a father to be, yet we never knew because he never discussed the war with us. (Maybe he did not wish to glorify, in any way, the horrors he must have seen). Now in his honor, we would like to know more so we can pass the torch to his grandchildren.

     Anyone who can give more detail into the Roer Dam offensive, Ramagen Bridge, or the "Red Danube" and how they knew my father please write. I have read that from Dec. 22, 1944 to Jan. 5, 1945, (maybe even later), the 2nd BN 395th was attached to the 99th Inf. Thank you very much for your help, and thank you to all who served.

Michael M. Kurmlavage

326 Derwyn Road

Lansdowne PA 19050