My Army 'Book of Memories'
James Frank Alban Sr
143rd AAA Gun Battalion - WWII
Response to Website
I get some really nice letters from folks that visit this site. I've started late, but I will begin to post them as they come in.
Sgt Andrew F Fronte
Received: 1 July 2015
From: Ian Malugani Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am the CO of a WWII US living history group here in the UK,I have always worn a pair of dog tags with the name Andrew F Fronte and the ASN 31279744 printed on them, these were bought from the US many years ago and the only information I could find was the place of enlistment New Haven CT.
Would these have belonged to Sgt Andrew F Fronte?
Thanks for any information you can give me.
HOME OF THE 1ST INFANTRY DIVISION UK REENACTMENT GROUP
Sgt Andrew F Fronte is listed in Battery B - NCO and Enlisted
That 's one of the most interesting responses I've ever received on this site.
Yes the tags belonged to Sgt Fronte. I ran a search on Fold3 website and here's the information it returned.
If I find anything else I'll pass it along. Got a site I can look on to see if he's still living.
Andrew F Fronte
Level of Education: Grammar school
Marital Status: Single, with dependents
Place: NewHaven County, Connecticut
World War II
13 Jan 1943
Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Army Serial Number:
Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Source of Army Personnel:
Help Research Death of Soldier
Received November 21, 2012
Dear Sir, My name is Frans Nooij from Holland and I am interested in the Battle of the Bulge. I regularly visit Hotel "Porte de la Lienne" (formerly known as "Hotel de la Gare") in the Belgian Ardennes, more precisely, next to Stoumont station. The Dutch owner asked to do some research.
After some work in his garden, near a site where once a beech stood, he found some buttons, bullets, a belt buckle and other materials, all of US military origin. The soil at that site was black and clearly scorched by fire or an explosion. The bullets look as they had exploded (not fired!). The owner thinks that an American soldier may have died there. If his assumption is right, and indeed a US soldier was killed there, the owner would like to find out his name, so that he can place a memorial plaque in his garden.
The scorched site in the garden is on the EAST side of the hotel, situated between the N33 road and the railroad track. The former train station (Stoumont Gare) is 200 meters WEST of the hotel. According to the book "Duel in the mist", page 119, Lt. Kent of Battery C of 143rd AAA Gun Bn had set up Gun 1 (90 mm) next to the station building, from where it destroyed a German Panther tank on 19 December at 10:45 a.m. During the ensuing fight, Pfc. Donald Eyanson was killed. Given the different locations, it seems not very likely that Pfc. Eyanson is the one (if any) that has died in the hotel garden.
Could you please help me out with this question, and ask the veterans of Battery C who were there if the remember an explosion on the west side of the hotel (then known as Hotel de la Gare) and if any of their comrades had been killed there. Thank you very much in advance!
Frans Nooij Email: email@example.com
Herbert J Krieger
Received February 4, 2012
My father, Herbert Krieger, was part of this Battalion; I do have a photograph of him in his uniform, and recently found his discharge papers, but he died when I was 12 years old, and although I remember a little bit of him telling about the War this is the first time I have ever known exactly what he did! Thank you so much for sharing this. I tried to find the book online, but have been unable to locate a copy. Please let me know how I can create a page for my Dad. Thank you. Joyce Connors, Parkton, Maryland.
Received September 20, 2011
Re the web page on Electricians Mate 1/C Thomas Howard Brewer. I have already been in touch with Dick Major who sent me the following email:
The Gilmore sunk the I-180 on 25 or 26 April 1944. I was the seaman who fired the "Hedgehog" that night. I will ask some of my old shipmates if they can help. Dick Major.
My connection is via the USS Gilmore to the I-180, the Wollongbar and finally XLCR. The XLCR is still afloat and is about 10 kilometres away from where I now sit in Australia. I would like to ask permission to use the story to bolster the crew numbers of Gilmor to two. Regards Rick Smallman
Stoumont/La Gleize Plaque
Received August 13, 2011
Dear Sir, Congrats on a very nice website! I enjoy it as I study the Battle of the Bulge for many years already and the exploits of Battlegroup Peiper in particular.I have had the privilige to receive the help from dozens of veterans from both sides and other time-witnesses.
I was very pleased to read that the 143rd and its men are going to be honored with a memorial plaque at Stoumont/La Gleize next month.
I will be there and hope to meet the veterans and relatives to show them my respects which they so very much deserve.
With highest regards from the Netherlands, Mike Smeets. P.S. I would be honored if any of the still living veterans would take the time to help me with an account of their experiences during the Bulge and Stoumont in particular. they can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you very much in advance!
Alvine H. Tecklenburg
Received May 13, 2011
Hi. It brings tears to my eyes to see what you have done here. My grandfather, Alvine H. Tecklenburg was CWO in D Battery and is listed on page 51. He died at the age of 83, Dec. 19, 1995.
He was one of the most honorable men I have ever known and he lived for his family. In his belongings he had the 143rd Gun Battalian book you have scanned.
My sister and I have been talking for some time about taking a trip overseas to follow in the footsteps of these wonderful and brave men, beginning with Normandy. It may be something that has to wait for a bit longer than we hoped due to the fact that we both are working our way through college (we're in our 40's now), but it is something we will definitely do within the next few years.
I have a number of pictures never identified by my grandfather. Would be be interested in having me scan them and put them up for others to identify. They are, of course, men who served with him, either in Riverside, Camp Haan, or overseas with him. I would imagine they would all be part of the 143rd. I would be glad to do it. I would also be glad to scan the ones that are identified as well. Thanks again for doing this. We miss him so much!...Cheri Smith..Pictures
Received: January 19, 2011
Hello, once again. My father, Morton Spitz, served with Battery A. Like so many others who have contacted you, Dad died suddenly in 1965 at age 48, I was only 13 at the time and my brother and I rarely were able to get Dad to speak about his experiences. I do know that after his return he never again wore a hat or a winter coat. He was a very quiet and modest man and his few stories were all funny anecdotes. Over the years I have done research on the 143rd, obtained its official records from the National Archives, attended a few of the final reunions held in Ohio, and met or communicated with some of his comrades, including his two best friends, Leon Feifer and the late Nate Soltoff! I have also gathered a nice collection of photos! Thank you for linking the story I put together about the 143rd's Battle of the Bulge experience! There is book called, "Duel In The Mist" written about the fight at Stoumont and Battery C's participation, excellent book! Thanks again for great site! Sincerely, Dave Spitz
George Thomas Mariner
Received: December 12, 2010
My Dad, George Thomas Mariner, Sr., died on 15 December 1972 when I was a senior in college. We spent our last evening together watching the Apollo 17's final hours and lift off from the moon.
He stayed active in the National Guard into the mid-1950s in Oak Ridge where he took me on occasion to his unit which still had 90 mm AAA guns. In his memorabilia, he had two copies of the 143rd AAA book - one he looked at on occasion and one he kept in reserve - which my daughter enjoys reading.
Although he seldom talked about his war experience, he was most proud of his unit, his service, their role in the Battle of the Bulge - he was in Battery D, his baseball playing, and those times he got to meet fellow soldiers.
My Dad did not live to see me as a Navy carrier jet pilot - interesting that a AAA gunner would spawn a son particularly good at ground attack from his Navy A-7 Corsair. Thank you for the web site at its memories of a unit that helped stop the German advance 66 years ago this month. Tommy Mariner
Pvt Seamon - Stoumont
Received: September 7, 2010
I was doing research for a local WW2 Veteran on Hogan's Four Hundred when I came across a 'Pvt Seamon' who at Stoumont, during the Battle of the Bulge, destroyed a german tank with an AA gun; he was assigned to the 143rd. Any info you might have on this would be greatly appreciated. This was written up in an article I found when "Hogan's Four Hundred" was googled, the 143rd is mentioned on page 333(??). I will read the whole article and get back to you Respectfully-Tex Seamon Otsego County Veterans, email@example.com
Battle for Stoumont, December 1944
Received: September 3, 2010
Just wanted to say what a nice site you've made. A credit to both yourself and the memory of veterans of the 143rd. I'm interested in hearing from any veterans from Battery B who recall the battle for Stoumont, December 1944. Kind regards, Simon Lerenfort - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed Christy Christopherson - Battery B
Received: July 15, 2010
I just finished reading my father-in-law's copy of the book and found your site while looking for more info on the web. My father-in-law, Ed Christy (Christopherson), First Sgt Battery B, celebrated his 91st birthday in 2010.Dave
Clyde D. Culmer - Battery D
Hi... My father was Clyde D. Culmer who was in Battery D. I noticed in the book that someone had written his death date and that he was 81. Did your Dad ever mention my Dad. He must have known him to write in the book. I also have this book. I recently copied it for my sister and my nephew who is interested in World War II. That is neat that you put it on line. My book made it in very good shape. Nancy Culmer Whitaker
Wilbur H Borges - Battery D
I am happy to have found your site Mr Alban. My grandfather was Wilbur H Borges, the CO of Battery D. I have only a few stories about the war related by my grandmother as my grandfather died when I was young in 1981.
I may have some documentation from the war, I will have to check my archives to see what I have. I will look for this book as well, although I don't remember it specifically.
Thank you for your scanning efforts. Best Regards, Jeremy Allen
Laverne O. Muehleip - Battery D
My dad, Laverne O. Muehleip, was a member of D battery as well. I first happened upon your Web site on the eve of the 60th and final reunion of the 143rd in July 2008 at Chester, WV. It's a shame there was not enough time to let you know about the reunion.
Dad immediately remembered your father as the Company Clerk. Guess that job made your father pretty popular with the men!
As loader, Dad was on the third gun crew(90mm)with gunner Cpl. Ciolieri . Sgt. Anthony was first gun crew leader, and later Sgt. Wojtas was in charge. Dad said he never saw Ciolieri again after he left the 143rd.
In 2004 I drove my parents to Washington, D.C. for the official dedication of the World War II monument on the mall. When dad learned that veterans of WWII were being asked to march in the Memorial Day parade that year, he immediately contacted all members of the 143rd for which the reunion committee had addresses. Marching in the parade became the new goal. Ultimately, my dad and I represented the 143rd that year and the next, carrying a large banner that dad had made by students at our area vocational school. It was a great honor to participate!
By the way, B battery has a very nice book, also, with lots of pictures. Dave Bailey, son of Thomas Bailey, provided a copy for my father.
At one of the reunions at Black Lick Golf Course near Columbus, OH, someone brought copies of the 143rd's complete records. There was one copy for each battery. Does anyone know who has the copies? My dad would love to have a copy made. If you can provide a copy, let us know what the charge would be.
Thanks for providing this great forum. Vern would love to hear from any veterans or family members of the 143rd. His e-mail address is: ourVine907@att.net
Ralph Niro - Battery C
Received 12-16-2009 Sir, my name is William Dailey and my grandfather is Ralph Niro of C Btry. I would love to get a copy of this book. My grandfather is still alive and doing very well, he still lives in the Youngstown oh area. I am a Major in the Army and he and I often talk about our Army experiences. Again if there is anyway for me to get a copy I would love to do that for him. Please feel free to contact me at the email provided above. ( William.email@example.com )
Charles Dietrich - Battery C
Thank you for creating this site so everyone can read this important historical document. I also own a copy of this book. My father, Charles Dietrich, was in Battery C, and I am one of his six children.
We went to the 143rd AAA Gun Battalion army reunion in Ohio every summer, and I have such good memories of seeing my dad and all of his buddies having a good time together. Of course, I only heard them laughing and joking from afar, because all of the kids ran off and played while our moms prepared a huge spread of delicious food. The Ciprianos would always bring great Italian food, and my dad told us that Guido Cipriano owned a pizza place near Kent, OH. (I just looked it up, and Guido's Pizza & Catering Service is still operating today in Ravenna, OH near Kent.) My beloved dad died in 1981 at the age of 56 of a heart attack, and unfortunately, he never told us much about the war except that he was in the Battle of the Bulge. He always hated to get cold feet, and he did say that was because he was so cold during that December battle! My mom continued to go to the army reunions every summer even after my dad died, and sadly, the very last reunion was held in 2008.
My copy of this book is in good condition, and I would be happy to type up any sections or entire pages that you are unsure of and send them to you. Thanks again for doing this for our great fathers -- they all deserve to live on forever, even if it's just through the memories of their great deeds and tremendous sacrifices so we can all live as free Americans. I am so proud of my dad and all of the men and women who currently serve or have served their country. Sincerely, Rosemary Dietrich
Robert A. Fox
I have not yet delved into the site, but I too have a copy of the Book you show a picture of here. My father was Robert A. Fox, known to all who loved him simply as Bob. Unfortunately for my brother and I, Dad never talked about his experiences during the war, but we heard many of the time spent training in California and his exploits in Germany after the war. This was just Dad's nature, a man who could always see the positive in life. When cancer took him in 1981 I was overwhelmed with two emotions. The first was being cheated having my father torn away from me when he was only 56 and I only 18. The second was a sense of gladness for 18 years that I wouldn't trade for a hundred with many fathers. I'm sharing this with you because your site has reminded of probably the strongest emotion about dad which is a sense of pride. Our fathers and there brothers in olive drab were truly heroes as I wrote to my brother. These men gave of themselves that the world might be better for all mankind. I thank you for taking the time to put this together so that these real life heroes will never be forgotten. JOSEPH W. A. FOX, Lt Col, USAF Proud Son of an Army Private