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Recognizing the military service of men and women from Arenzville, Illinois.


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Howard Anderson
Gerald Beard
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William Charlesworth
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Harold Huppers
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Lorenz Kleinschmidt
Walter Kleinschmidt
Louis Kloker
Glen Lovekamp
Floyd E. Musch
Albert Nicol
Leland Nicol
Wilbur Nicol
William Niemann
Earl Niestradt
Eldore Nobis
Melvin Nobis
Richard Peck
John Roegge
William Saylor
Floyd Schone
Wayne Schone
Francis Staake

Robert Stock
Warren Stock
Clifford Thomas
Wendell Wessler
Marlin Winkelman
Charles Witte
Robert Witte
Butch Zulauf
Malcolm Zulauf
Marvin Zulauf

  Eldore (Bud) Nobis

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Eldore "Bud" Nobis served in the U.S. Army in the Headquarters Company of the 707th Tank Batallion, a unit which departed the U.S. on the 12th of February 1944 and traveled to England. On September 1, 1944, they arrived on the Normandy coast and moved toward St. Lô. and across France. They crossed the Siegfried Line on November 2nd and fought in the Hurtgen Forest Battle. Regrouping in Luxembourg, they were caught in the throes of the German advance which became the Battle of the Bulge during one of the coldest and snowiest German winters on record. Forced to abandon their tanks somewhere near Wilz, Bud and several men of his unit attempted to escape through the woods. They were spotted and taken prisoner on December 19, 1944.

He was moved from one Stalag to another, "walking all the way across Germany to Poland." Sometimes the prisoners were kept in installations where concentration camps were closeby, and Bud witnessed the cruelties of the Nazi regime. He was injured during his imprisonment when he refused to carry the pack of one of the German guards. Bud told me, "I thought to myself, 'I'm from German stock, too, and I can be just as stubborn as you are.'" It was not unlike Bud to be unmindful that his own stubbornness could be his final undoing, but his fellow American prisoners saved him when they intervened in the attack, and the guard ceased his beating.

In April 1945, Bud was imprisoned near the city of Braunschweig. He and a fellow prisoner were in a long line of men being marched away from the city, in an attempt by the Germans to move all the prisoners before the arrival of the Allies. They were starving and wearing nothing but rags. As they looked at the line of people moving down the road, they realized that there was nothing about their appearance that was any different from civilians marching along the same road, so when they came to a bus stop shelter, they slipped out of the line, sat in the shelter and waited. After the guards walked by, they slipped away unnoticed and joined a line of refugees.

On foot and on their own in German-held territory, they subsisted for several days at the mercy of German people they encountered. Weak and unable to walk very far, they tried to stay in the woods and out of sight, but they were desperately hungry and were forced to approach houses to forage for food. A relative recalls Bud retelling the story of a time when they came upon a small farmstead and saw a woman feeding the pigs. They climbed into the pigstyle and fell upon the food in the trough, scooping it up with their hands. The woman watched and wept. Another time, a group of children found them and shared some bread and a piece of meat. A farmer took them into his house and gave them a meal, wordlessly serving a generous plate of food to them.

Ultimately, they came upon an American tank unit, heading north toward Braunschweig. At first, the troops did not believe Bud and his companion were US servicemen, but they were quickly convinced. Shocked by their gaunt appearance, the tank commander apologized they they could not take them along but he radioed for an ambulance to come retrieve them. "From that day, and for several weeks afterward," said Bud, "they wouldn't let me stand upright or walk. Said it would be too hard on my heart. If I wanted anything or needed to go somewhere, they had someone retrieve it or carry me." Bud noted what a lucky day it was on the day of his liberation -- and something else about that date -- it was Friday the 13th.

Bud was sent back to the U.S. for recovery and spent many years dealing with the physical and emotional traumas of his military service. He was stationed at Camp Ellis near Galesburg for many months, and many of his Arenzville friends and family traveled there to see him.

Sgt. Eldore G. Nobis died on May 14, 2004 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery (section 69, plot # 3608).

 

 


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Copyright 2005, Molly Daniel. This page last updated 09/07/2011.
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