Carroll Daily Times Herald

Carroll, IA

27 Jun 1945




Miles Visits Iowa Boys at Berchtesgade

Captured Nazi Soldiers Cleaning Up Rubble of Hitler's Home

By Frank Miles
(Daily Tines Herald War Correspondent)

Germany (IDPA) -- Adolf Hitler lived in grandiose military splendor in a huge, rectangular-shaped concrete and brick, California bungalow type of house on the northern slope of Mt. Obersalzberg, near Berchtesgade, a picturesque summer resort city in the Bavarian Alps. The scenery was so beautiful that only a mad man could live in a virtual heaven on earth and concoct hell for humanity.

Hitler's house was blasted to rubble by the R.A.F. bombers. Many out buildings and residences of his chief henchmen around it suffered a like fate.

Hundreds of captured nazi soldiers were cleaning up debris when I was there. I wondered what they thought of their "superman" as they sweat with their picks and shovels under the eyes of American doughboys.

More than 2,000 feet higher, atop neighboring Mt. Kehlstein was Alderhorst or Eagle's Nest were Hitler was said to go and look out the broad front window with a feeling he was above the whole earth. Three thousand workmen spent three years building a road leading to a spot, from which an elevator ascended 400 feet to reach the stone retreat. It consisted mostly of a circular room with walls largely of glass and in which there was a large round conference table. In a long room back of it was a table with three chairs at each end and 13 on each side. There were small sitting rooms, sleeping quarters for 18 persons, an electric kitchen and a bomb cellar.

Pvt. Clarence L. McCann, New Gloucester, Maine, one of the two GI guards on duty when I climbed up to the nest, said his mother was the former Eliz Butler, Fenton, Iowa.

Pfc. Floyd Anderson, Ottawa, Ill., one of the three yanks in charge of 50 German PWs working there, informed me that he and his wife, formerly Mary Wasik of Peru, Ill. were married in Clinton, Iowa.

Anderson, at my request called over a childish looking captive, who said his name was Herman Miller. He had been promoted from Hitler Youth in to the army a month before and was captured two weeks later. On a belt buckle of the boys' organization he wore were the words:

"Blood and Honor"

Privates Anderson and McCann were 101st airborne division comrades of 16 Iowans who were on duty in and near Berchtesgaden. S/Sgt. Louis S. Hirschy, Ames and Homer E. Tarr, Oskaloosa; Sgts. John T. Blanchard, Eldon, Darwin D. Clippinger and George W. Naisbett, Colfax; Cpl. Clifford L. Olson, Winfield; Pfcs. Robert J. Glaser, LeMars; Richard W. Espeset, Estherville; Jacob Hill, Mt. Union; Donald Rich, Wayland; and Charles R. Bixler, Corning; Pvt. David G. Barry, Belmond.

In the signal company: Sgt. Daniel D. Campbell, Mt. Zion; Pfc. Winfield S. Scott, jr., and Pvts. Donald R. Cuffey, Davenport, and Neil Johns, Cedar Rapids.

Sgt. Tarr entered Normandy by boat, made Bastogne by truck and landed in Holland from a glider. Near Fischbacbau he led a 10-man patrol on SS men in mountains. In a house were seven nazi men and two women, who greeted the Americans with rifle fire and hand grenades but were quickly taken prisoner. The sergeant crossed the Rhine in a paddle boat on a reconnaissance mission one night.

Private Bixler feels himself lucky to have gone through three campaigns as a rifleman. His closest brush was in Holland where he and 14 buddies were caught in a house to which the Germans turned a furious fire. There was a dugout 20 yards away but they didn't dare risk trying to reach it. Miraculously they escaped unhurt when the structure was demolished and jerris ceased shooting.

When the 45th "Thunderbird" division entered Munich it promptly seized a German radio station which they named "Radio Thunderbird."

S/Sgt. Harold Smith, Des Moines, is an announcer and S/Sgt. Robert Gienapp, of Waterloo, an engineer.

Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, June 27, 1945

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