Chapter Notes 2009

Mar 22, 2009
John Hefner (son-in-law of Gordon Geiger) – A-Co 20th AIB

Greetings from Gordon and Mary Geiger's Son-in-Law,

We have an interest in attending the 2009 reunion. Please forward the reunion details.

Mary Geiger continues to have good health. However she has pain when sitting and is unable to travel. She exercises several times a day by walking the halls of her retirement building.

– John Hefner

[10th Armored veteran Gordon Geiger died in 1986. John, we hope to see you in Phoenix. –Ed.]

Mar 16, 2009
Erwin Tup Roberts – A-Co 20th AIB

January 14th Lila went to the hospital to treat a series of problems. She has always had problems with breathing, etc. but would not confide in her doctor about several other problems. In fact none of the family knew. Well the doctors ran a few tests, and then more. She was fighting: arterial fibrillation, high blood pressure, emphysema, pneumonia, kidney failure, bladder infection, and a possible blood clot, to name just a few. We don't know how she managed to keep all this quiet and not get so much as raised eyebrows. On the evening of January 19th she passed on. We all knew about the emphysema (oxygen tank could not help to be noticed) and I knew she had an enlarged heart.

Jennifer has been a great help getting things in order and there is still much to do. In her mid 40's she is just learning how to cook and does fairly well. I plan to take Lila's ashes back to Delaware to be strewn in the Arden cemetery. It seems that my family was one of the early residents and we have a plot there. Look Arden, Delaware up on your browser. In the meantime I'll start getting all the elements together.

Best Wishes,

Mar 15, 2009
Mae Reed (wife of Chuck Reed) – A-Co 54th AIB

I will not attend the reunion as most people know. Do hear from several of the widows and others. Feeling OK. Keeping busy.

Went to visit my ailing brother again last fall. May go again this year. Hope you have a good time reunion.

– My love to all, Mae

Mar 14, 2009
William Pixton– B-Co 132nd Ord

I want to wish you all a good reunion. Sorry I don’t travel anymore at 86 years old. I made two Western reunions over the years – Boise, Idaho and Portland, Oregon. The only ones I hear from now are Hilda Price and Mae Reed. Hilda and Charles, her husband, always got together at Reunions. My memory is failing. I guess I forgot I also made the San Diego reunion.

Hope all have a great reunion. I’ll be thinking of you.

– Willie Pixton

Mar 13 2009
Jim Jones (son-in-law of Harry Whisler) – F-Trp 90th RCN

Regarding the photo of the men of the 61st AIB Medical Detachment, please find the attached copy of that photo with most of the men identified.

Imagine his surprise when we showed the photo to my father-in-law Harry N. Whisler who also served in the 61st AIB Medical detachment. We asked if he knew any of the men in the picture and he said, "Sure, I know most of them." Harry was responsible for the Rest Lodge at Lake Lautersee west of Mittenwald with Sgt Horace Reinhart which explains why neither were included in the picture. He brought out a small pocket address book which he carried in his breast pocket during the war and began to name names. His address book also had each man's home address so I have also included a separate document listing each with their home town. Using the Social Security Death Index, I have also done my best to determine who might still be living and who has passed.

[The photo that Jim is referring to is posted on the Western Chapter web site at An updated photo with the names of the identified men will be posted at a later time. –Ed.]

Harry will be 87 in June of this year and he is in very good health and resides in Texas. He entered active service from Midland, Michigan on 4 Nov 1942, trained as a Medic with the 420th and served with the 61st from its inception through the end of the war and returned home 23 Oct 1945. He was wounded in action three times in March and April 1945, receiving the Purple Heart and two Oak-Leaf Clusters. He was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery in action at Avelsbach, (Trier) Germany March 4-6th.

For your interest, I have also attached a copy of the last issue of the "Spearhead" newsletter of the 61st, which on the last two pages, chronicles their entire combat experience with the 10th Armored Division.

I would like to bring Harry to the 2009 Reunion if possible. Could you please send me information on membership and what is required to attend?

Jim Jones

Mar 8, 2009
Robert Anderson – 150th Sig Co

Phil. Here is some trivia information.

Ted Hartman was in the ASTP at the Univ. of Washington. In March of 1944, when ASTP folded, his entire unit was sent to the 11th Armored Division. (At that time the 11th was pretty new and it was loaded with ASTP'ers)

The 11th was sent to Europe sometime in November, 1944. Ted was a tank driver.

The 11th relieved Combat Command B in Bastogne some time in mid January. It is an 11th Armored tank that is on display on McAuliffe square in Bastogne. Ted, as an active member of the 11th Vets Association, did a lot to refurbish the tank and get it moved.

In 1946, Ted returned to the states, graduated and went on to Medical school. He became an orthopedic surgeon. Did very well as a physician/academic. He became Dean of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center – served 5-6 years as a Dean.

He and I became acquainted and shared war stories. He moved up and became President of the 11th Armored Vets Association the year after I served as President of the Western chapter. (Another ASTP'er rising to the top)

Last week Ted and his wife decided to move to the Carillon Senior Life Care Community where I live. Literally, he will be my next door neighbor.

Strange things happen!!

– Bob Anderson

Feb 6, 2009
Herbert Stone – C-Trp 90th RCN

Gene Patterson suggested I touch base with you re the above reunion. I joined the 10th Armd. Div. in Augusta after completing 3 semesters of ASTP at the Univ. of Georgia in Athens. I wound up in the 55 AEB with 14 other graduates after the program shut down. The Bn Commander of the Engineers and the Sqdn Commander of the Cavalry thought it would be a good idea to assign one Engineer to each platoon of Cavalry and to assist them with engineering skills if required.

After spending a month in Normandy, the 15 engineers were order to deactivate mines on Omaha Beach. The following morning all 15 of us were assigned to the 90th Cav. Rcn Sqdn. I was assigned to the 1st Platoon of C Troop under Lt. Eugene Patterson. I fought with this platoon of Cavalry the entire time we were in combat and when the war ended, I was on my way back from a 3 day combat pass to Paris and was ordered to report back to the 55 AEB immediately. That was a sad day since I did not have the opportunity to say goodbye to a terrific bunch of men I was privileged to join in combat.

Gene suggested that I forward $10 for dues. This will be in the mail to you first thing tomorrow morning. I plan to attend the convention with my wife (Jeanette).

– Herb Stone

Jan 30, 2009
Neil Garson – B-Co 80th AMB

My wife’s illness prevented us from returning to our home in Royal Palm Beach, FL for the past 2 years. However we hope that Helen has recovered sufficiently to travel to Florida on Feb. 22, 2009.

I was with B Company 80th Med. Battalion Armored. After the battle at Crailsheim, Germany I was transferred to the War Crimes Branch, 7th Army Headquarters as an investigator. Our small team of five men was attached to the Hq. Co. of the 90th Recon Bn. of the 10th Armored Div. We left the 10th Armored at Garmisch-Partenkirchen and went to Innsbruck, Austria. We were an independent detachment and carried out our mission in Innsbruck.

Helen’s first Oprah Winfrey’s biography was so successful that her publisher asked her to write a sequel. The research and writing has been keeping her very busy during her recuperation.

I am very sorry that you had to re-mail your first mailing. It was greatly appreciated.

– Sincerely, Neil

Jan 21, 2009
Lyman G. Li – A-Co 54th AIB

Thank you for this letter of a happy event, much appreciated! [refers to the upcoming 2009 Reunion.] L.L (Lyman Li) would certainly make an effort to attend, one he would look forward to every year. Unfortunately, he had passed at the end of March 2008. Have a jolly and memorable Reunion as usual. Good wishes and good luck for another success.

-Betty Ng Li (Lyman’s wife)

Jan 15, 2009
Phyllis Oskam – B-Co 132nd ORD

Thanks for the newsletter. I thought that you should know, if not before, that Bill passed away January 7th, 2005.

We always enjoyed the gathering throughout the years and kept in touch with many like Charlie Price, but so many have passed on. It has become a different life style now with maintaining my home and yard plus being the grand and great grand children, total of nine and eleven to enjoy.

I really miss the trips we made to eastern Washington, but life goes on and we all have to make adjustments. Enclosed is $10 for the 2009 dues. Do enjoy reading it.

– Sincerely, Phyllis Oskam

Jan 5, 2009
Jack Homrighausen – A-Co 54th AIB

Certainly hope that we can make it in May!! Breathing still not good!!

– Regards, JHH

Jan 3, 2009
Martin J. Siebrass – B-Co 3rd Tank

I thought 2007 was as bad as it could get. Had chemo and radiation in June and July. Had 22 inches of colon removed Aug 30 and more chemo in Oct and Nov. No cancer has been found since. On Aug 26, 2008 I had 2 by-passes and a heart valve installed. Have had no stamina since, but seem to be slowly improving lately. I had signed up for an honor flight to Washington DC on Oct 22, 2008, but my Doctors said “no”.

The Doctors okayed me Nov 25. We had a nice supper and program the day before. A band played Glen Miller songs. Then we were up at 3:00 am for breakfast. We went through security in the Hotel and loaded from the buses on the tarmac right into the plane. At Dulles in Washington DC had security on the tarmac and went right into the plane.

We saw the World War II monument. It is big and impressive. Saw the Korean and Iwo Jima monuments and changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We got back to the Hotel at midnight.

The V.A. told me I could get more compensation if I had a buddy statement. I and another tanker had been in the muzzle blast of a gun discharged by accident. Last year I discovered it was Joe Birkbeck of Langhorne PA. We both had hearing damage. I am now documented, but the V.A. said I do not get any more money. Joe Birkbeck is now documented, but he gave up on the V.A. What were the odds of finding him?

Enclosed is a check for my dues and my son Scott.

– Martin J. Siebrass

Jan 1, 2009
Gen Willis Crittenberger (ret.) – C.O. 420 AFA Bn

Hi Phil,

Hope the New Year started well. We had a good event in Stowe, Vermont with family, so much better than 1944-45!

Cheers to all.
– Crit.    420 AFA Bn

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