Segment 12


[Annotators Note: Robert Walter was a platoon sergeant in Company L, 3rd Battalion, 393rd Infantry Regiment, 99th Infantry Division.] Walter was to take out a patrol from Elsenborn Ridge. Much of his experiences on Elsenborn Ridge took place between 19 and 25 December [Annotators Note: 1944]. When it was about time for them to go out he could not find some of the guys he was taking with him. Right before they went out a jeep drove up carrying the guys he had been looking for. When they jumped out of the jeep he saw that they were all wearing white long john underwear. They had gone back to the regimental area and stole every pair of white long underwear they could and brought them back to the platoon area. From that point on every time they went out on patrol they wore the long underwear over their uniforms as camouflage. Even though the Battle of the Bulge and the fight for Elsenborn Ridge were enormous events Walter still met several people he knew. One was a friend he had gone to high school with. His friend from school was a spotter for an artillery unit who was set up an outpost right by Walters position. He also ran into a friend named Art Molder and another named Bob Graham [Annotators Note: unsure of spelling]. Walters brother was killed while serving with the 3rd Armored Division all the way across France to the Siegfried Line. When they attempted to go through Aachen to breach the Siegfried Line that way, which was accomplished, his brother was killed. His brother was a jeep driver for a colonel. Walter is close to Bob Grahams brother. When Walter met Graham during the Battle of the Bulge Graham told Walter how his brother had been killed. A soldier from his brothers unit had gone into a copper mine and stepped on a mine. When Walters brother went into the mine to help the man he stepped on a mine that killed him. Walter also ran into a friend named Dick Schweitzer [Annotators Note: unsure of spelling]. There were 13 guys from Fostoria who served during the war. One of Walters best buddies who he worked with at the police department after the war had been in an artillery unit. Walter had been notified of his brothers death in a letter from his mother. He had been killed on 5 December and somehow Walter got the news before Christmas. In addition to the brother who was killed Walter had an older brother serving in the Marines over in the Pacific. After World War 2 ended some of Walters younger brothers went into the service. One was shot during the Korean War and captured on Pork Chop Hill by Chinese troops but was liberated by American troops who recaptured the hill. There were seven boys in his family who served in the military. Since Walters older brother died he is the oldest one still living. Walters brother who had been in the Marines during the war became a fireman after the war. He ended up committing suicide.


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