• Last modified 6678 days ago (March 8, 2006)
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Son shares photos

My father, Edward Zmuda, who died in 1991, was a BAR gunner with Company I, 395th Infantry. About a year ago, I wrote a letter that was published in the Checkerboard, asking for assistance in finding out about my father's participation in the 99th Division.

Unfortunately, I only have his separation papers to use as a reference tool, which lists his entry into service on Oct. 9, 1943, at Camp Upton NY, and his separation at Camp Atterbury IN, on Feb. 13, 1946. Although his separation papers note that he was a Pfc., he had mentioned that he had a field promotion that never was recognized.

I would like to thank all the Checkerboard readers who responded to my queries. Although other 395th members did not recognize Ed from his description and photos, many mentioned that he might have been one of the replacements who joined I Company about March-April 1945.

I am enclosing several recently discovered photos of my dad and other 99th members that were taken in May 1945, during occupational duty in Bruckenau, Germany. I'm hoping readers might find these interesting. I remember my dad mentioning that during this time his division was stationed at a vacant castle near Fussen, Bavaria, Schloss Neuschwanstein, which once was owned by the mad King Ludwig II. The castle was used during the war to warehouse treasures that the Nazis had looted from France.

The soldiers, not aware of the origins of the priceless treasures and art, pocketed many souvenirs — prying gems off works of art in the process and rolling up oil paintings. Ed had placed a few items in his duffel bag, including a crystal goblet.

As he moved through Germany he kept a careful eye on these acquired possessions. One night as he slept, someone stole his bag full of treasures. This was all for the better as it probably would have been confiscated before he arrived back in the U.S. and he might have been court-martialed.

Michael Zmuda

48 Dean Road

Carmel NY 10512