John R. Stenger

"We knew it was going to be a tough battle [Hurtgen Forest] and we didn't know if we were prepared for it or not."


 



Video Interview

Name:  John R. Stenger
Date Of Birth:  11/22/23
Branch of Service:  Army
Dates of Service:  September 1942 to September 1945

Mr. Stenger enlisted in the service and was sent to Gamp Grant, Louisiana and then to Camp Livingston, Louisiana for basic training.  He was assigned to a training cadre of the 110th Infantry Regiment of the 28th Infantry Division.  He was then sent to Camp Gordon, Florida, for amphibious training.  In September of 1943, he traveled overseas on the Santa Paula and landed in Swansea, Wales in October, 1943.  Eventually, he was sent to France and landed on Omaha Beach just after the Normandy Invasion.  He fought in hand-to-hand combat in several battles in the push towards Germany.  In the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest while attempting to capture the city of Schmidt, he was wounded by shrapnel and captured by the Germans.  He spent 6 months as a POW and suffered the hardships of severely cold weather and very little food.  In April, 1945, the Germans took the prisoners from Neubrandenburg and headed west to avoid the Russians who were then very near.  In May, they were liberated by American forces.  Mr. Stenger achieved the rank of Private First Class. He received a Bronze Star, Purple Heart,
POW Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and Bronze Star Attachment (triple), World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantry Badge 1st Award, and Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII.



Circled areas of the map are the two stalags Mr. Stenger was in after being captured by the Germans in 1944.  The one at the top is Neubrandenburg, Stalag 11A and th one to the left is Limburg, Stalag X11A