Woodbury County

Robert George Wermes



Robert George Wermes, was born 30 July 1922, in Merrill, Iowa, to George and Ann (Thiel) Wermes. He attended school in Marcus, Remsen, and Sioux City. He attended 8th grade at Woodrow Wilson.

“I was drafted, age 20, the trained at Camp Chaffee, Fort Smith, Arkansas. I was with the 14th Armored Division; eventually joining the 3rd Army with General George Patton. We trained hard, it wasn’t unusual for us to march for hours, with a full pack, sleep an hour and get up and had more training.

The following is an itinerary for me free trip courtesy of Uncle Sam. “Camp Shanks, New York, 4 to 13 October 1944, brought shots and lots of classes. Shipped out on the James T. Parker’, a Liberty ship, 13 October 1944. Wow! What a ride! Landed in Marseilles and took an 8-mile road march with full field pack to bivouac near Septemes. (ALL UPHILL)
Delta Base, Marseilles, 29 October to 22 November 1944. First night it rained like hell, pup tents were on rocky hillside. First bath, in thirty days. Boarded a train for a free tour of France via the good 40 and 8 (40 men and 8 horses).
Zincourt, France, for six days, detrained at Nomexy, and billeted in barn and drew our relics here.

Weyershiem, 1 to 11 December, the shells were and the Krauts sent us their version of the 5:30 express.

Mutzenhause, 11 to 14 December, first Red Cross – Girls and doughnuts.

Schwabwiller, 14 to 15 December.

Aschboch, 15 to 22 December, saw our first big Allied Air raid. Target was Karlsrue.

Gundershoffen, 22 to 23 December, we hoped to spend our Christmas dinner here.

Woods near Bitch, France, 23 December 1944 to New Years Day, 1945, we had C rations for Christmas dinner in our cozy little dugout. New Years Day, the Krauts thought they wanted the woods worse than we did, so we let them have it. They had plenty of stuff. One of their tiger tanks got within fifty yards of me, but I was a little too fast for them.
Wingen, 2 to 3 January 1945, we didn’t stay long.

Kirwiller, France, 3 to 7 January, we welcomed the peace and quiet after the Bitch Forest deal.

Bouxwiller, 7 to 11 January, good deal, guarding rear echelon, got to see my first movie.

Gudnershoffen, 11 to 12 January, there was incoming again.

schboch, 12 to 15 January, plenty of ‘schnapps’ drinking.

Field outsdie Hatten, 15 to 21 January, this was hell. We now knew the horrors of war. This was the worst week we will ever see.

Wolschiem, 21 January to 11 March, our paradise in Alsace

Hohwiller, 18 to 19 March, the big drive was on.

Schleithal, 19 to 20 March, patrolled Wissembourg woods,
plenty of stuff in there. I got stuck and had a helluva time.

Alten Statt, France, 20 to 22 March, was on the border when
the ‘Screaming Meemies’ came in.

Schaudt, Germany, 22 to 23 March, battle to crack the Siegfried Line was in the final stages – this was its strongest place.

Rhine Zabern, 23 to 24 March, we broke through and dashed to the Rhine. Had a big chicken fry and celebrated in general.

Winden, 24 to 31 March, we pulled back here while the infantry made the Rhine Bridgehead.

Rossdorf, Germany, 31 March to 2 April, traveled 105 miles and crossed the mighty Rhine near Worms.

Rothenbuck, 2 to 3 April, marched 53 miles.

Rechtenboch, 3 to 4 April, marched 16 miles.

Sangenprotzelton, 4 to 5 April, marched 15 miles.

Obr. Leichtersboch, 5 to 6 April, marched 24 miles.

Stongenroth, 6 to 7 April, marched 14 miles.

Waldberg, 7 to 8 April, marched 20 miles.

Schivemmelsboch, 8 to 9 April, marched 62 miles.

Mittl. Strew., 9 to 10 April, marched 45 miles.

Stettin, 12 to 13 April, marched 48 miles.

Trumsford, 13 to 14 April, marched 46 miles.

Creussen, 14 to 17 April, March 27 miles, and released several hundred slave laborers. We were cut off from all allied troops for three days. First direct air support for our unit alone. Many Kraut tanks were destroyed plus a few of ours. Released 6,000 American prisoners, at Stalag VII.

Velden, 17 to 18 April, marched 26 miles.

Gnadenberg, 18 to 19 April, marched 34 miles.

Hersbruck, 19 to 20 April, marched 20 miles.

Roth, 20 to 21 April, marched 34 miles.

Helpostien, 21 to 25 April, marched 15 miles.

Hirnstetten, 25 to 26 April, marched 32 miles.

Kosching, 26 to 27 April, marched 18 miles.

Mehring, 27 to 28 April, marched 5 miles.

Melenhofen, 28 to 29 April, marched 8 miles.

Ergalding, 19 April to 1 May, marched 27 miles.

Geislbach, 1 to 2 May, marched 41 miles. We crossed the
Danube at Engolstadt and liberated 141 cases of good champagne at Meilenhofen. (Big time followed the next few days.)

Steeg, 2 to 4 May, marched 19 miles. We took so many prisoners we had to send them back unguarded.

Maiselsberg, 4 to 7 May, marched 17 miles. This is where we heard the first news of the end of the war.

Landshut, 7 to 10 May, marched 18 miles. Again, we heard and realized the war was over.

Ergolding, 10 to 12 May 1945. I helped guard the airport.

Saw many allied P.O.W.s being sent home on C-46’s.

Moosburg, 12 to 27 May, I help guard the winery and cheese factory.”

I drove an M-5 light tank that weighed 17 tons and was powered by two 1941 Cadillac, 110 horsepower V8 flat head engines with two hydromatic transmissions with a 37mm canon and would do 60mph at top speed. We needed that speed as we were sent to missions to draw fire to establish the main line of resistance (M.L.R.).

I was in Troop F of the 94th Cavalry Recon (reconnasiance) Squadn Mecz. of the 14th Armored Division.

I drove the first tank of the 3rd platoon of five tanks, was the platoon leader tank. I was the driver for the Tank Lieutenant and was on the front line intermediatley for 190 days.

I received two Bronze Stars, a good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory ribbon, ETO ribbon, and the AT ribbon.

I married Violet Johnson, in August 1950, in Sioux City. To this union was born two daughters, Karen Ludvigson of Holstein and Kathy Weiner of Toronto, Florida. I have one granddaughter, Morgan Ludvigson.

I arrived back in Sioux City the 16 April 1946. Went to work for Sioux Metal Products, Miller-Kidder Chevolet, and finally, Swift’s Packing House. I was the engineer in the boiler room for thirty-one years, retiring in April 1981.

I have taken several trips to Europe and London since retirement. I made some good friends over there and talk with some of them once a month.

Submitted by Robert George Wermes.


Technical Corporal Robert Wermes has returned to Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, after spending an eight-day furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Wermes, 4533 Cleveland street.  His brother, Private Donald J. Wermes, recently was transferred from Brooksfield, Tex., to the Army air corps ground crew mechanical school at Sheppard field, Texas.

Source:  The Sioux City Journal, May 12, 1943