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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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Clyde Ginder
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Nathan Grant
Charles Ham
Herman Hendricker
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Shirley Hierman
Harold Huppers
Gerald Jones
Lorenz Kleinschmidt
Walter Kleinschmidt
Louis Kloker
Glen Lovekamp
Floyd E. Musch
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Leland Nicol
Wilbur Nicol
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Francis Staake

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

Photos of others are welcome! Click here for more information.

  Lorenz Kleinschmidt

Lorenz "Skeezix" Kleinschmidt was a Tank Commander of Company C, 43rd Tank Battalion, 12th Armored Division (the Hellcats) of the 7th U.S. Army in Europe. He landed in France in early February 1945 and was one of several replacements to rebuild a company that had been devastated at Herrlisheim (see this link for more information: https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/2019/01/20/herrlisheim-what-became-of-the-12th-armored-divisions-lost-battalion/).

When Skeez joined his company, it was attached to the First French Army for the drive on the Colmar Pocket. On his second day in combat, his tank was destroyed, and Skeez narrowly escaped. In short order, he went from being a private to a sergeant and tank commander. After the collapse of the Colmar Pocket, his company was assigned to the Third Army under General Patton for the drive across the Rhine. They were ordered to remove their insignia and unit identification, disguising the fact that Patton had an extra tank division. Thus, they picked up the nickname "the Mystery Division" as they sped across the Rhine and into Germany.

Once in Germany, the 12th Armored Division, now under the Seventh Army, headed south into Bavaria, capturing important bridges and liberating a concentration camp at Landsberg (one of the Dachau subcamps) on April 27, 1945, where the men were witness to the atrocities carried out under the Nazi regime.

For more information about the 12th Armored Division, see this link:
https://goophandcleaner.com/12th-armored-division-museum

Also: https://www.12tharmoreddivisionmuseum.com/, which includes links to some after-action reports and written experiences (look under the link for "Resources.")

 


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Copyright 2005, Molly Daniel. This page last updated 04/29/2022.
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