Sioux County

Pfc. Theodore Hamann




Word has been received that Pvt. Ted Hamman has received the Expert Infantry Badge. He took his training at Camp Roberts, Calif., and has been overseas since October. Ted sends the following clipping which tells about the courageous capture of Marcouray against the weather and the Germans.

“Stars and Stripes” for Jan. 12—“Krauts Yield Stronghold in Belgium to Yanks with legs encased in ice” – With the 87th Division, north of Laroche, Jan. 11 (UP)—Men with their legs incased in ice have taken the village of Marcouray—men who rose up from the attack from the snow-banked foxholes in a freezing hell where the Germans were only half the enemy. The battle ended yesterday afternoon and it took only 40 minutes to get it over with. But that only tells the start of what the men went through to fight it. The night before the attack on Marcouray, the battalion which was assigned to the job had no sleep but had to fight from foxholes as the snow continued to drift down on them. They successfully defended their territory. They had won it the hard way for eleven hours through mines, through woods, and through ice they fought till 4 a.m. At 4 o’clock the order came up for Marcouray and up they came, shaking snow from their backs and pulling equipment with frost-numbed fingers. And just before they reached the jump-off line, they waded knee-deep through a stream. Half an hour later, their pant legs and shoes were solid blocks of ice.

The battalion commander, Major Roland J. Koth, sent them in led by companies under Capt. Dam. J. Adams of Columbus, Ga., and Capt. Earl L. Jackson, of Carbondale, Ill. Before them were 150 Germans, plus tanks, plus machine guns, and the Nazi version of the bazooka. The Jerries got a rain of fire from the American artillery for five minutes with every divisional gun, plus the corps batteries zeroed in on the village. The barrage ended, the companies went in through the pine forests and cut into the windswept, open ground around the village itself and reports came back that the Germans were losing heavily from the gunfire and were ready to get out. Most of them didn’t. The village was taken all right and this afternoon with the night ahead and lowering sky—with mortars and German artillery laying them in—the men of this battalion from the old “Railsplitter” Division dug in as the snow fell to hold on to what they had taken yesterday.

Source: Rock Valley Bee, March 23, 1945 (photo included)

Theodore Hamann was recently promoted to Pfc. He has been overseas for some time, and has gone through some harrowing experiences.

Source: Sioux County Capital, April 5, 1945