His mother remarried but passed away when Grand-Paw was 13 during the Great Depression. Grand-Paw, his six brudders and two sisters were then sent to an orphanage. He went to school and played on the baseball team. He was pretty good player too.
The 5th Armored landed in Europe several days after D-Day. Grand-Paw saw some of the most bitter fighting on the Western Front in a place called the Hurtgen Forest. This action took place between 14 September 1944 to 10 February 1945. The American Army suffered over 33,000 casualties, while the Germans were at least 28,000. Ernest Hemingway compared the fighting there to the British Offensive in Paschendale during World War I. The weather was bad, shells burst in the tree tops sending splinters and shrapnel down on the soldiers. It was better to hug a tree than huddle in a fox hole. Dad's unit, CCR, saw action during the Battle of Hurtgen Forrest from 20 November to 8 December. CCR was awarded the "Distinguished Unit Citation" for this action and French Croix de Guerre for 14-20 September 1944 action at Wallendorf and Our River. The 5th Armored was the first to cross the Siegfried Line and the closest American unit to Berlin at the end of the war.
Grand-Paw came back to the states after the war and went to work at the Ford Motor Company. He fell in love and married Grand-Maw in May 1948. They raised a family of three girls and two boys. It was a good family. He was grief stricken when Grand-Maw passed away in January 2008. Then in November 2008 he was admitted to a hospital to never return home. Unfortunately he never fully recovered and he was destined to spend the rest of his life in a nursing home saddening both us and Dog Dad.
Grand-Maw, Grand-Paw and Chaplain from the War
Reading Sunday Funnies to Young Dog Dad
After Grand-Maw Crossed the Bridge
Grand-Paw was a good kind loving man. A man with a twinkle in his green eyes and quick to smile at strangers. What he went through would have destroyed many a man but he became stronger. He loved God, his family and baseball. We are sure Grand-Maw and Pudgy were among those to meet him. We will always be proud of him, and given his beginnings, we do not see how you could have asked for a better man.
Dog Speed Grand-Paw,
Essex, Deacon & Dog Dad