Noel L. Brotherton

"We stayed in this little town called Warrick.  We were shelled day and night, just practically every day... And that was my first experience of combat."

Video Interview

Name: Noel L. Brotherton
Date of Birth: January 12, 1922
Branch of Service: Army
Dates of Service: September 1942 to January 1946
Location of Military Service: France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany

Mr. Brotherton was drafted into the service when he was 20 years old.  He fought in the Ozarks division in the Ruhr Valley.  This division is known for its clever strategic deceptions.  During the "Battle of the Bulge" the Ozarks Division fooled the Germans into thinking that the 102nd was a much lager unit since they were spread so thin.  Moving their tanks constantly to and fro in the forest, the Americans led the Germans to fear they faced a huge armored force.  They even used some "fake" rubber tanks.  The Germans retreated, hastening the Ozark Division's crossing of the Roer River.  A horrific war crime was uncovered by the Ozark Division when it took control of the German town of Gardelegen.  There they found that political prisoners and slave laborers had been locked into a barn by the retreating German army and the barn was then set afire.  The Americans found 1,016 bodies in the ruins.  general Keating ordered the townspeople to bury the corpses and to establish a permanent memorial at the gravesite.  Mr. Brotherton received a Presidential Unit Citation for his part in the fighting at the Roer River Crossing.