Carroll Daily Times Herald

Carroll, IA

07 May 1945




Sees Damage Wreaked By U.S. Bombs

By Frank Miles
(Daily Times Herald War Correspondent)

Air power Press camp in Germany (IDPA) -- "Surrender or Die" was in effect the ultimatum the nazi general commanding the Jerries defending Kassel received from the American 80th infantry division. The enemy chieftain decided to live.

Shortly afterward, I was in a group of war correspondents and photographers, who had come to see the damage done by American and British bombers to Kassel war plants.

Kassel was the site of three big factories, two of which produced tanks and locomotives. Aerial blasts and artillery shells had made masses of hideously twister steel, stone, brick and wood of the plants and piles of debris of much of the city of 217,000 population. About 30,000 men, women, boys and girls, seized the conquered countries had been forced to labor in the factories.

Most of the residents had gone in the direction from which we could hear heavy firing. Streaming out of roads homeward bound were captives from Russia, France, Poland and Holland. Some stared as they strode along, others held up their hands in the victory sign at passing Americans.

An American infantry company was marching in.

"Any of you lads from Iowa?" I asked.

Staff Sergeant Elmer Longoren, Sioux City, answered "Here!"

Some of his buddies then were picked up where they had died on the edge of town. I saw a number of Jerry bodies there and several on the streets of Kassel. Children gazed at one on a stretcher being carried by two civilians. Two women cried loudly.

"Tough for women and kids to see such sights but maybe it'll keep the kids when they grow up from being so eager to go to war as their parents were." remarked a GI, whose father was overseas in World War I.

Discarded nazi uniforms here and there and young Germans of military age in civilian clothes led one scribe to voice wonder where there had been some deserters and another to suggest they might be snipers.

En route to Kassel, I ran into Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Hauge, Des Moines, a staff officer and public relations chief of the Eighth corps.

A Third Army PRO headquarters, the radio officers were Lieutenant Jack Hanssen, Davenport, and his assistant was Sgt. Charles McCune, Des Moines. Lieutenant Paul Gothier of Corning, was a briefing officer.

Earlier I had met Captain Merle Potter, Minneapolis, Minn., the public relations chief of Sixth corps who had formerly lived at Corwith, Britt and Mason City.

That day I became acquainted with Pfc. Robert Gray, Iowa Falls. He has two brothers in service: Cpl. Everett in an armored division in the European theater, and Pfc. Howard Gray in the marines in the south Pacific.

Major James I. Wickens, of Chicago, Ill., of a tank outfit well up front, is the husband of the former Ingeborg Jensen, Des Moines whose father was the late L. Jensen, a contractor.

Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, May 7, 1945

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