2018 Around the Shoreline of the Great Lakes travel blog

Walter J. Kranz, Pvt., US Army

16 November 1944 Company L Morning Report

The annual family portrait, but someone (Jared) is missing

Jared showed up later in an altered image

The boys looking at the rhododendrons

Rhododendrons and spray on the pond

"Cheese" says Finn

The shanty at Big Spring Farm

Colorful dinner on Sunday - taco fixin's

Ozzie got the marshmallows before the s'more could be made

Ozzie contemplating his eggs

Finn captured in a fish net

Big Spring farmhouse

Near full moon rising over the mountain


Hopefully everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend and spent a few minutes thinking about the reason for the holiday. Most of those in my generation had a parent, uncle, or other relative directly involved in WWII and the Korean War fortunately for our family we only lost one relative, my father's cousin Walter. He was in the Army, Company L, 135 Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division, and killed in France on November 13, 1944. I included Walter in our family tree, but never knew anything about him other than he died in WWII so I decided to do some research about him and the 134th Infantry. The only information I had was from his tombstone in St. Peter Cemetery in Riverside, our home town. The 134th Infantry Regiment has a pretty detailed web site that includes many of the records kept by the unit during WWII. The 134th was a Nebraska unit activated in 1940, but by 1944 there were men from all over the US in the unit. I was able to locate the "Daily Report" for November 16, 1944 that listed Walter as KIA on that date. Each unit, in this case the 134th Infantry Regiment, prepares an "After Action Report" the covers an entire month. In November for the period that covered Walter's listed date of death the following was recorded "Nov 9 to 15 incl - - Jumping off from the NE edge of the Foret de Gremercy, with the 2d and 3d Battalions in the lead, the Regiment launched an attack that carried it successively thru (illegible), Foret de Chateau-Salins, Amelecourt, Lubecourt, Gerbecourt, Vaxy, Puttigny, Vannecourt, Dalhain , Bellange, Haboudange, Achain, Rode, Pavange, Bellevue, Racrange and finally into the key town of Morhange. 241 PWs were evacuated during this operation in addition to heavy losses inflicted on the enemy in dead and wounded. Many tanks and SP guns that had been stubbornly resisting the advance were destroyed and several concrete pillboxes were overrun. It was for action at Achain that Staff Sgt Junior J. Spurrier of Company G was recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Nov 15 to 21 incl - The regiment reorganized and reverted to Division Reserve, occupying positions vicinity of Morhange and (illegible). The 1st Battalion, operated patrols in the (illegible), protecting the right flank of the Regimental area. On Nov 19th an alert order was received to prepare for movement within one hour. On the 20th the order for displacement to the vicinity of Linstroff, beginning at 1000, was received. The Regiment closed in the new area at 1530 on the 21st.
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On the 16th the 134th was in reserve and not directly involved in combat. Between 9 Nov. and 15 Nov. they were in combat. My guess he was wounded in the combat between 9 Nov. and 15 Nov. and probably died from his wounds a few day later and was listed as KIA on the 16 November "Morning Report". His actual date of death listed on his tombstone is November 13, 1944. In the official history of the 35th Division, it was recorded that the 134th was in heavy combat north of Nancy, France on 12 - 14 November around the towns of Haboudange, Achain, and Rode. Thanks to the keepers of the 134th web site for making this history available for relatives that are interested. Our 87th Infantry Division Legacy Association web site has a similar amount of history, but is head and shoulders above that of the 134th. Thanks to Preston, Barb and the others who maintain the web site and provide content.

Enough history, we said our good byes to Shane, Jess, and Ryleigh on Sunday when they left for home and today to Kyle, Annie, Finn, and Oscar when we left Big Spring Farm. Many thanks to Cindy for hosting the get together. It's definitely the highpoint for the family every year and Sue and I certainly look forward to next year. We're on to the Cleveland area to have Winnie's steering and suspension rebuilt. Hopefully it will improve the ride and make it a little more relaxing to drive. Stay tuned.

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