143rd AAA Gun Battalion - World War II
My Army 'Book of Memories'


143rd AAA Gun Battalion - Page 29

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After our successful operation in the battle of the Bulge, the battalion was moved to Namur, Belgium, where the start of an athletic program was in its first stages. At this time the basketball season was in full swing, and the 143rd was represented with a Battalion basketballl team. This team included men from each battery. There were Jimmy Blessinger, from the medical detachment; Dick Olson, Chuck Olszeski, Ernest Stanifer, and Tommy Rehage from A Battery; Stokes from B Battery; Mel Weinberg Battery C; Ray Hendrick, Hiles, Frank Wikierak from Battery D, and the team was managed by Ed Whittaker.

The Battalion organization enjoyed a successful season and was one of the top outfits in Namur and Vincintiy. We ended up with 16 victories out of 18 games.

Due to the disarmament mission the batteries have had to organize their own teams. The Battalion has not had an opportunity to start its own Baseball team, but the batteries have made excellent records and everyone is proud of them.


To Mr. Brown, the battalion Special Service Officer, goes the credit for plugging a battalion show and arranging for the auditions which lasted two days, the 26th and 27th of July. The orchestra and cast were chosen and the intricate business of getting a stage show together was begun.

The entire cast gave their wholehearted cooperation to Sgt. James Willmas who wrote and directed the show. Sgt. Tom Bole wrote the parodies and arranged the harmony for the very able choral group. Pfc. Harry LaFountaine did the special arrangements for the orchestra.

"Was ist los?", the very apt title of the show, gave its premier performance the 8th of August, 1945, in Esslingen, Germany, playing to a packed house. As much a surprise to the cast as it was to the battalion. "Was ist los?", enjoyed a success far exceeding expectations. A tour was arranged to give the batteries and men


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