Category Archives: Historical information etc.
One of America’s greatest WWII generals is interred in the Luxembourg American Cemetery.
He commanded the Third Army during its sweep across France, its push north to liberate besieged Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge – when it created this cemetery – and the advance through southern Germany, and into Austria and Czechoslovakia. He broke his neck in a car accident in Germany in December 1945, died 12 days later in a Heidelberg hospital and was buried here on Christmas Eve of that year.
Private First Class Philip W. Weis (of Minnesota) was killed on 6 January 1945 in the woods at Schumann’s Eck near the town of Wiltz/Luxembourg. He was a member of the 328th Infantry Regiment of the 26th “Yankee” Division, which was fighting its way north towards besieged Bastogne as part of Gen. Patton’s Third Army. Weis died only 6 miles from the former home of his grandfather, who had emigrated to Minnesota in 1871.
2nd Lt. Fredric T. Neel (front row, right) was killed in action on 24 May 1944. He was navigator on a no-name B-17, 401st Bomb Squadron, 91 Bomb Group (Heavy) that crashed just off the coast of Sweden. The 91st was flying as part of an armada of 616 heavy bombers who flew a mission to bomb aircraft plants in Berlin that day. The pilot of the B-17 was William Nee.
The 91st Bomb Group was attacked by German fighters while in the vicinity of Berlin. William Nee’s B-17 received direct hits by 20-mm canon shells, which started a fire in the electircal wiring that controlled the intercom and also affected the alarm bell, which was used to tell the crew members to bail out.
The fire appeard to be uncontrollable and Nee alerted the crew to bail out by intercom and turned on the alarm bell. He then bailed out with the copilot and flight engineer. The other six members of the crew evidently didn’t hear the bailout order or the alarm bell. The Navigator, Neel, put the fire out and climbed into the pilot’s seat. Tail gunner Spaulding climbed into the copilot’s seat and the navigator flew the B-17 on a course that would take them to Sweden. After making several passes at landing the aircraft on land, Neel had the others bail out over land and then apparently bailed out himself prior to setting the aircraft down just off the coast. Neel was drowned in this attempt. Of the six men who flew with the B-17 to Sweden, only three men survived.
PFC Ewald E. Schroeder, TX, 112 Infantry 28 Division, grave B-5-55. Fell under German machine-gun fire on Wallendorf bridge at German-Lux. border 20 Sep. 1944. — Pictures below: Location of PFC Schroeder’s grave in the cemetery; the bunker from where German soldiers fired at his unit crossing the Sauer (Sûre) River; and the bridge where he fell; also, a message to the 28th Division from their enemies on the German side in the Battle of the Bulge, mentioning the fate of Schroeder’s 112th Infantry Regiment.