A report of West’s exploits also appeared in the London edition of The Stars and Stripes.. .  Id.  Vermillion, supra note 40. It quickly advanced through western France, reaching the German border by the end of the year. Only three hours earlier, Sergeant Horace T. West, also serving in same division, committed a similar war crime when he murdered 37 Italian and German POWs by shooting them.  Id. He received a promotion directly from private to sergeant within three weeks of joining L Company, and was featured on the front page of the 100th Infantry Division newspaper, the Century Sentinel.  Id. 1, 1945), https://www.newspapers.com/clip/39339365/the-record-democrat/. The 45th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the British Army, formed just prior to the start of the Second World War.In March 1939, after the re-emergence of Germany as a significant military power and its occupation of Czechoslovakia, the British Army increased the number of divisions in the Territorial Army (TA) by duplicating existing units. A graduate of Drexel University (B.S. D; CENTURY SENTINEL,supra note 6, at 1. Officers 5 (26 Aug. The legend is fact,” repeating West’s likely embellishment and giving it additional authority. The retired officer, who lived in Washington, was 93 years old. West’s claims are disturbing and dubious.  There is no indication that he received any official reprimand, or otherwise ran afoul of the military justice system, after his parole in November 1944. 45th infantry division: Outside the kitchen in which he served as mess sergeant, Staff Sergeant Marion Compassi, left, Muskogee, heard bees buzzing. On 24 January 1945, Private West—along with twenty-nine other replacement Soldiers—was assigned to the depleted L Company, 399th Infantry Regiment, 100th Infantry Division.  Id. He grew to his full adult height of 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) tall while serving in the Army during World War II. His family was of mixed Irish- and Swedish-American descent. JOHN M. KHOURY, LOVE COMPANY (2003).  Id. Who we are Want to volunteer Schedule of events Venturing Crew. The first mention of West’s earlier service appears in the Century Sentinel, which merely states that West had “been through the mill” with A Company, 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division.  Id. This is an oral history interview with Holocaust concentration camp liberator Fred Abraham. History main page Organization Campaigns and battles Medal of Honor Citations. The 45th Infantry was one of the first units into Dachau, where they helped liberate tens of thousands of prisoners. According to Tyson, West was already with L Company and actively engaged in sniping when the replacement arrived in late January 1945, and in Tyson’s opinion, the replacement’s death was likely attributable to it. Since all the many bodies were in various stages of decomposition, the stench of death was overpowering. 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW 4PREVENTIVE MEDICINE IN WORLD WAR II: COMMUNICABLE DISEASES TRANSMITTED CHIEFLY THROUGH RESPIRATORY AND ALIMENTARY TRACTS 35 (John Boyd Coates & Ebbe Curtis Hoff, eds., 1958); U.S. DEP’T OF ARMY, MONTHLY SANITARY REPORT FOR THE 325TH MEDICAL BATTALION 4 (24 Jan. 1945) (NARA RG 407, Entry 427); U.S. DEP’T OF ARMY, MONTHLY SANITARY REPORT FOR THE 325TH MEDICAL BATTALION 4 (1 Apr. , While it is unclear whether West—a pre-war member of the 45th Infantry Division—maintained any connection to that unit, he was a paying member of the 100th Infantry Division veterans’ association as late as 1985; he wrote in its newsletter that he would not be able to make the division’s annual reunion, but that he “would like to be there and meet all the good men [he] served with.” Horace Theodore West died in Mayer, Arizona on 24 September 1994..  Id.  Id. From there, he was assigned to the 18th Infantry Regiment of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division.  United Press Int’l, Wagoner Fighter Has 130 Notches On Garand Rifle, RECORD-DEMOCRAT (Mar. The local townspeople were brought in to give the dead prisoners a proper burial. He wanted to fight in Germany, so African authorities gave him a Springfield sniper rifle and shipped him off to the [European Theater of Operations].”, The UPI story describes how West had “been shooting Germans, running, sitting, and standing since his old division, the 45th, landed in Sicily [on] July 10, 1943,” but missed combat in Italy because “he was assigned to the 100th division as a rifle company headquarters handyman.” But, the 100th Infantry Division had not even arrived in the European Theater of Operations until 20 October 1944; and, West’s assignment to the division did not occur until late January 1945. Despite its verdict, West’s case is not simple.  HORACE T. WEST IN THE U.S., SOCIAL SECURITY DEATH INDEX, 1935-2014, ANCESTRY.COM, https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=try&db=ssdi&h=66536236 (search results available after signing in). Those same men, the Army’s 157th Infantry Regiment, part of the 45th Infantry Division, had borne the war on their backs from Sicily to the heart … Here are some instances of US war crimes.  Id. A row of small cement structures near the prison entrance contained a coal-fired crematorium, a gas chamber, and rooms piled high with naked and emaciated human corpses. In Sicily, on July,14th,1943, in what came to be known as the Biscari massacre, troops from this division murdered 73, mostly Italian, POWs on two occasions. work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. Joel Ward led the unit through one of the 45th IBCT's most dangerous and difficult deployments. at 3–5. The delegations of journalists and congressmen who had been viewing the Buchenwald concentration camp were quickly diverted to Dachau to see the camp. In the first, Sergeant Horace West was in charge of a detail escorting prisoners of war back to a collection point. Eagles, a decorated infantry commander who led the 45th Infantry Division in the battle for the Anzio beachhead in Italy, died Friday on 22-2-1988 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md. at 2.  L COMPANY, 399TH INFANTRY REGIMENT, MORNING REPORT (Jan. 24, 1945) (on file with author). Growing up in A Foxhole (New Edition): A Foot Soldier Looks Back.Memoirs of a World War II Vet of the 45th Infantry Division by Stan Richardson and George Garin | Nov 21, 2014 4.7 out of 5 stars 6 commander serving in the 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, ordered his men to execute thirty-six prisoners of war (POWs). In addition to burying the dead, the Allied forces attempted to help and comfort the survivors with food, clothing and medical assistance. In Bradley's 45th Infantry Division, a National Guard formation which Patton had encouraged before the invasion to make itself known as the 'killer division', a sergeant and a captain massacred more than seventy unarmed prisoners. US soldiers killed German prisoners of war and surrendering SS soldiers at the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945 during World War II.This is known as the Dachau Massacre. As the 45th Infantry Division completed its drive on Munich, the unit was ordered to liberate the Dachau concentration camp.  Borch, supra note 7, at 5.  CENTURY SENTINEL, supra note 6. This new chapter of the Biscari Massacre reveals innominate dimensions of the case and unknown applications of military justice during World War II. And, in the process, West was elevated from murderer to cause célèbre.  In this case, the new scholarship is based on the author’s personal research. In their report delivered to Congress on May 15, 1945, the senators and representatives stated that. 2 Jan- The Division fought defensively along the German border, withdrawing to the Moder River. U.S. troops of the 45th Infantry Division killed about 75 unarmed prisoners, mostly Italian.  Id. He then borrowed a Thompson sub-machine gun from his company’s first sergeant, and told him he was going to kill the “sons of bitches.” He instructed his comrades to “turn around if you don’t want to see it.” West murdered the disarmed POWs at close range, then reloaded and began firing single shots into the hearts of the POWs still moving. Robert Vermillion, Missus Never Misses, Mabel Takes Care of the Sergeant, STARS & STRIPES (London), Mar. Main telephone: 202.488.0400 During World War II, the 45th Division fought in 511 days of combat awarding eight Medals of Honor. Eagles, a decorated infantry commander who led the 45th Infantry Division in the battle for the Anzio beachhead in Italy, died Friday on 22-2-1988 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md.  Id. According to West, his sniping exploits were motivated by a desire to avenge the death of “The Kid”—a young Soldier he had met in a replacement depot on the way to the front and who was assigned to L Company the day before West arrived. , West’s reputation grew apace with his body count. It had left Buchenwald four weeks earlier on April 7 filled with more than 5,000 prisoners. History of the 45th Infantry Division: Home page Table of contents.  Captain Compton, whose trial took place after West, was acquitted of the charges against him. Only three hours earlier, Sergeant (SGT) Horace T. West, also serving in the 180th, committed a similar war crime when he murdered thirty-seven Italian and German POWs by shooting them with a Thompson Abraham was a member of the 45th Infantry Division when it liberated Dachau on April 29, 1945. The 45th Infantry Division was reassigned to VI Corps on New Year's day. . Born in Germany, he and his family came to the United States in 1940; his father was in Buchenwald in 1938, but was released after four weeks. Immediately after Dachau's liberation, US Army authorities and other Allied representatives began treating the sick prisoners, implementing health and sanitary measures to curb the typhus epidemic, and bringing in tons of food to feed the starving prisoners.  Borch, supra note 7, at 5.  “He was always bragging about killing Germans, whether he killed any or not was kind of a joke around the company because there was no way of proving whether he shot anybody, because there was nobody there but him….He was by himself, alone.”, On 1 April 1945, West was evacuated to a rear hospital due to an illness—possibly hepatitis—which prevented his return to his company before the end of the war in Europe. This is a great way to honor veterans, family members, friends, units, or military organizations. On April 28, the day before liberation, a train bearing about 40 or so railway cars arrived at the camp.  Id. The 325th Medical Battalion’s March unit journal (the 325th was the 100th Infantry Division’s organic medical unit) states that it was a major problem in the division, and the report of the following month notes that while the number of hepatitis cases had decreased considerably, it still warranted mention. 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