|Edgar Benjamin "Boots" Tiemann
1st Army, 16th Infantry, 3rd Battalion, Company L
The Big Red One
KIA 17 April, 1945
|My first memory relating to my dad is of his funeral. My mother had his body brought home after the war. It was January 1948, and I was four years old. I remember that my favorite uncle and cousin were carrying me around in a room full of people. The only other memory is of a table at home with a lot of colorful ribbons on it; they must have come from the flowers.
My dad, Edgar Benjamin "Boots" Tiemann, was born on July 4, 1913, in Hollow, Missouri. He attended school in Pacific, MO and graduated valedictorian of his high school class. As a young man, he worked for the Coca-Cola Company in St. Louis, MO. After he married my mother and they began a family, they bought a small ice cream and sandwich shop in Alton, Illinois. Wanting a better life for his family, he began attending seminars on the hotel business but that was interrupted by his draft notice. On March 29, 1944, he entered the Army and was sent to Fort Sheridan. Boot camp was at Camp Fannin in Texas. He was able to make a visit home to visit my mom, sister Vivian age 5, brother Edgar age 4, and me, 9 months, for a last photo before being shipped to Europe in September of 44. Our lives would never be the same.
|Dad was with the 1st Army, 16th Infantry, 3rd Battalion, Company L (known as the Big Red One) with service in England, France, Belgium and Germany. On November 23, 1944, he was wounded in the Battle of the Hurtegen Forest and sent to 110th General Hospital in London for surgery and rehabilitation. On March 13, 1945, he was sent back to his unit at the front lines during the drive into the heart of Germany. On April 17, 1945, they moved into the town of Tanne, Germany, in the Hartz Mountains. According to his commanding officer, Lt. Klink, the town had been taken and all was quiet. They had a hot meal and were waiting around a jeep for the platoon leader to return from reconnaissance when the only mortar shell the Germans shot landed and killed my dad and another soldier and wounded three others. My dad received a Purple Heart and Oak Leaf Cluster, a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and a Distinguished Unit Citation.
I attended a No Greater Love ceremony at Arlington, VA, in 1991. It was the first time in almost 50 years that I had met other orphans. There was an overwhelming feeling of belonging and being able to share a lifetime of suppressed emotions and questions. Soon afterwards, Ann Mix founded AWON and we will all be forever grateful.
-- Patricia "Pat" Fabri --