Family Military History

Growing up I had heard a few stories from my father about my mother’s brothers and their military service during World War II. The family with 17 children struggled as my grandfather Konrad had a difficult time keeping everyone fed and a couple of the boys out of jail. The military became the most feasible road out of Nebraska for many of the sons. With the onset of WWII many joined and served with seven of the brothers serving simultaneously during the war (three others would serve in combat during the Korean War).  In all, the 11 brothers amassed a total of 68 years of service with 11 being combat years and were entitled to wear 26 battle ribbons. Uncle Harold was a three time winner of the Bronze Star for combat valor in southern France and Germany. Uncle LeRoy fought in North Africa with the 1st Armd. Div. and was wounded at Anzio beach, Italy. Uncle Benjamin fought as a tank crewman with the 3rd Armd Div in Europe and was wounded in Germany. Uncle Henry fought as an infantryman and spent his service in North Africa and was wounded in Tunisia. Uncle John served in the Navy on the USS Askari in the Atlantic. Uncle Edward served in Europe as an MP. Uncle Willard served with the Marines and fought in the Pacific. The remaining brothers, Albert, Daniel, Howard and Thomas all served with three of them in the Korean conflict. The family had a long history of military service with their great grandfather fighting in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. A great uncle served in the Russian Army and fought the Chinese in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95. My great grandfather served in the Russian Army along with his two brothers. One of the brothers was killed in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 while the other died in the Revolution of 1905. I recalled some of my uncles stories, most were few on details. Service history information was from the National Guardsman, February, 1959 publication article.