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Bill Whitaker, Abilene Reporter-News; Tuesday, July 6, 1999
for instance, 79-year-old Lowell Hughes of Roswell, N.M., one of 20 veterans from
the 45th Infantry who traveled to Abilene just for the monument dedication at
the old Taylor County Courthouse. Like most soldiers, he well understood why Abilene
was so excited to have a full-blown army camp near town in 1941.
9, 1941 - Camp Barkeley's 45th Division lost its first member due to gunfire.
Soldier Mike, the Saint Bernard mascot of the 120th Medical Regiment, was killed
by five shots from a rancher who said the dog killed five of his sheep. Soldier
Mike was buried with full military honors the next day with Capt Robert G. Hedrick
reading the final rites. Attending the ceremony were soldiers, a few wives, one
child and one dog. The dog, a police dog named Shep, was reported to be Mike's
worst enemy, who nevertheless respected Mike. A front-page story was accompanied
by a photo of Mike on his second birthday and reported Mike was to have been promoted
to sergeant and given a blanket the day of his funeral.
Abilene Reporter-News files
was an infantryman with the 45th,"
Heard can say proudly of "Pop" when she starts going to school some
day, after the great war ends. And the other youngsters will know what she means
and understand why Jeannie is proud.
Jeannie smiled with her mamma at that picture of a handsome stranger and wondered
why a story should come in such awfully big words. Here is how the war department
"reveals" that Captain Heard, as "member of a patrol on reconnaissance
of a route over which his battalion was to move," won the army's third highest
The citation reads:
"He accompanied the patrol leader when he went forward to view the terrain
to the front while the patrol halted under cover. Captain Heard and the patrol
leader saw two enemy approaching who soon were joined by three others. The two
officers, acting with great boldness, advanced, killing two and wounding a third.
They proceeded and came;
upon an enemy machine gun and mortar position. Again they advanced and in the
fight, that ensued killed three more enemy. The remainder of the combat patrol
coming up joined in the action, and following the example set by Captain Heard
and the patrol leader, captured the .position, killing four and taking 11 prisoners
with, a considerable number of weapons.
prompt and gallant action by Captain Heard in support of the patrol leader resulted
in clearing the routs of an ambush laid for the battalion."
Jeannie, who lives with her mother at 921 NE 8, has two uncles as well as a father
in the service. They are Pvt. William L. Heard, also "somewhere in Italy,"
and Cpl. Walter P. Heard, In New Guinea. Captain, Corporal and Private Hard are
the sons of William C. Heard, Bokchito.
Division News October 4, 1943 Vol V, No 12
mainland has proved a dietary boon for many a Thunderbird, but two in particular
have benefitted greatly.
Division News October 4, 1943 Vol V, No 12
My father John B. Foster served as a rifle platoon lieutenant in the 45th division, being wounded twice. He was evacuated from Lagone, Italy suffering from both shrapnel wounds and hepatitis from a blood transfusion. He had a good winter story... ... Winter camouflage uniforms are all similar and so occasionally German and Allied troops got mixed up. This happened to my father during a quiet time in the war. Returning from a HDQ meeting one night, he walked into a barn that looked like the one where he left his men. Sure enough, a group of soldiers in winter camouflage were sitting around chatting. When my father entered, they all fell silent. Something was wrong, a little different.... Then he saw one of the soldiers slowly reaching for a weapon, and that was it. They were Germans! He shot one reaching for a weapon and two other guys going for their rifles. And then he ran for his life - - across a frozen field plowed in rows, he remembers. The Germans were yelling and shooting everywhere in panic. A half-track rolled into position on a road next to the field and started sweeping.... ... My father leaped into an irrigation ditch just in time as the half-track's 50 caliber bullets ripped through the bushes along the ditch. In one of those "like it was yesterday" memories, my father remembers seeing those bushes ripped into molecules just inches above his head. Since it was night, and none of the German boys felt like getting shot in the dark that night, my father was able to crawl away through ditches and find his way back to his men. ... ... The next morning, my father's platoon and others moved onto that farm and found a lot of blood stains and bandage wrappers in that barn, confirming several hits. I sort of wish I could find out where this event happened, but my father is not around anymore to inform me more closely. Also, it would be interesting to find the Germans involved in this memorable event.
The place was the Anzio beachhead. The time was middle March. And Worley was with the 45th division when he passed the ammunition that not only brought him the medal, but, in the words of the citation, "enabled the company to maintain its defensive p o s i tions and prevented serious breakthrough by the enemy."
citation, with usual dignity, tell; how the 22-year-old sergeant "'during
sustained German attacks" led a group of men across -600 yards of open ground
under heavy enemy tank and small arms fire to deliver critically-needed ammunition
to a beleaguered infantry company. Worley, himself, tells it too, in a letter
scribbled late one April night:
threw in elements of four divisions during the attack, but only succeeded in gaining
about 1,000 yards, which we have already taken back.
Worley joined the 179th infantry of the old national guard back in Ardmore high
school days. That was in June 1940, and he took stout football training along
when he became an "Army man" in September. From Fort Sill through Sicily,
through Anzio, to France, he has trained and fought with the men of the 179th.
parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert L. Worley, live in Ardmore.-- Beatrice Stahl