Clinton County

Pvt. Clarence Hulton




Pillbox Had a Number, But Yanks Came and It Was Up

WITH FIRST ARMY COMBAT ENGINEERS – Fifteen minutes and 500 yards behind infiltrating infantrymen, 12 First Army combat engineers stumbled over the frozen mud of the Hurtgen Forest southeast of Aachen as they approached the Nazi-held pillbox#32-241-08.

Armed only with hand grenades and captured pistols, the engineers, led by 1/Lt. Ted Blobordian of Chicago, lugged 50-pound sacks of TNT and coils of primacord toward the pillbox, a two-roomed, reinforced concrete fort with an access in the rear.

Sgt. Paul Balesky, of Philadelphia, studied the foot-thick door. His men piled 250 pounds of explosive against its weak spot.

Go To Work Again

The men felt the concrete building shudder when the charge detonated, blowing open the access door. No Germans of remains of Germans were in the first room.

The “safe crackers” went to work again – on the steel door separating the two rooms. The men worked fast, scurried out of the fort as the five-second fuse spluttered, caught hold, detonated another 250 pounds of hell.

Pillbox#32-241-08 had taken 20 minutes.

The combat crew included Cpl. Stan Mikowsky of New York; Cpl. Icel Modisitt of Eaton, W. Va.; Pvt. Joseph Radockovitz of Chicago; Pvt. Frank P. Brown of St. Johns, KY; Pvt. Warren Jemison of San Francisco; Pfc. Walter Sadiowaski of South Chicago, Ill; Pfc. Mike Fitzgerald and Pvt. Charles S. Nuttal of Philadelphia; Pvt. Joseph Miller of Geneva, Ohio; and Pvt. Clarence Hulton of Clinton, Iowa.

Source: Stars and Stripes, Tuesday, December 12, 1944