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Thread: Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

  1. #1
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    Default Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

    Greetings, everyone. First post. Looks like a great forum.

    I am looking for anyone who may have some information regarding a relative of mine, Julius A. Hene. He was a captain in the 422nd Infantry, 106th division, and he was, apparently, either murdered at Malmedy on December 17th, 1944,or killed shortly after the surrender of the 106th near Schnee Eifel on December 19th. Official records have him as dying in 12/23/44 at Stalag, Germany, but there are several different stories that I have heard.

    He was a medical officer; he was a physician who went to Cornell in the 1920's (graduated 1929).

    He is buried at the Netherlands American Cemetery. There is much information about him in books and via Google, but mainly due to his involvement in the Lincoln Brigade in Spain. I have been in contact with several Lincoln Brigade experts. Has anyone here heard of him, or know his story?

    Unfortunately, I waited too long to start this research. Manhy of the friends and comrades that I have identified have all passed away by now. Unfortunately the Army records were destroyed in an archives fire in 1973 or so. All relatives who knew him are now gone.

    It's a longshot, but if anyone here has any information about him and his last days in the war, I would be grateful to hear about it.

    thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

    Quote Originally Posted by 6104696 View Post
    Official records have him as dying in 12/23/44 at Stalag, Germany,...
    I trust you know that Stalag is short for Stammlager which basically means POW Camp. That would exclude the Malmedy option.
    Last edited by flamethrowerguy; 02-22-2012 at 08:28 PM.
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

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    Default Re: Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

    Thanks, flamethrower. Yes I did know that, and tend to agree that Malmedy is unlikely. But without any official background information, and in view of the Malmedy comment presumably from a GI on the ground, I am trying to get to the real story if anyone knows it.

    Over the years, I have heard several versions of how he may have died:

    1) Malmedy
    2) In a POW camp
    3) On a POW train that was hit my allied fire
    4) killed during the battle of the bulge as his unit retreated, but he stayed behind to take care of the wounded.

    Given the official date and place of death, and the timeline of the surrender of the 106th division, the it would appear that the POW camp story is the correct one. Then...I would like to find out why he was killed, if that is possible. Did they find out that he was a Jew? Other reason? After just a few days, disease is not likely.

    And rememember that Malmedy was not discovered until Mid-january; the bodies were frozen in the snow for a month. I think that it is unlikely that he was at Malmedy, but just trying to confirm one way or t'other.

    I wonder if there are any survivors of his unit that may know. I am checking numerous angles....found this website and thought I would ask.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

    I cannot add to your search, but you should contact the 106th Association. I will forward your question on to them. They publish a magazine, the "CUB" that answers many questions.

    This board does not allow me to post website addresses, but take a look at IndianaMilitary (dot) org for the 106th site, and the discussion board.

    I have updated the record of your relative. Please take a look and if you can add or correct any of the info, please let me know. IndianaMilitary@centurylink.net

    Jim West

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    Default Re: Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

    Many thanks Jim. I'll have a look

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    Default Re: Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

    It appears Capt Hene was killed in action during the Ardennes Offensive. See entry under 422 Infantry at http://106thinfantry.webs.com/honorrollwwii.htm

    Edit: This version attributes his death to bombing of a POW camp at Limburg after elements of his regiment had been captured: p. 46 at http://www.docstoc.com/docs/10035635...-A-NAZI-PRISON

    The camp was probably Stalag XIIA and this was probably the raid: "On the 23rd December, 63 men were killed during a British air raid one night. The intended target had been the railway station at Diez, a few miles away, but unfortunately the flares dropped by the pathfinder aircraft drifted off course in a strong wind and some strayed into Stalag XIIA. The bombs of RAF Mosquitos did not miss the highlighted target of a concrete building, housing mostly medical personnel.

    At about this time, when American prisoners from the Battle of the Bulge began to arrive, rations per man were reduced to a tenth of a loaf, followed by coffee, then a soup at lunch time, and either a potato soup or three jacket potatoes for supper." My bold http://www.pegasusarchive.org/pow/cSt_12A_History1.htm
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 02-24-2012 at 05:04 AM.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

    Well, it looks like I found the answer, on on the Indiana Military website. There I found a munuscript written shortly after the war, by a Chaplain named Paul Cavanaugh, who died in 1979 or so. He tells the story of a small group of men (medics, chaplains, and wounded) including Captain Hene and another Dr. named Diamon, who stayed at the aid station near Schnee Eifel when the rest of the 106th pushed outward (and later get captured/killed). Several soldiers returned to the aid station and warned of being surrounded and overun, so they formed a small convoy and bugged out.

    They drove right into a trap (near Schonburg, I believe). After a short battle, they surrendered.

    They were marched east into Germany, then put on boxcars and sent to various POW camps. Hene and Diamon were apparently sent to Limburg. On the night of December 23rd, a rail station right near the Limburg camp was bombed by the RAF. Unfortunately several bombs went astray and hit one of the prisoner's barracks, killing everyone inside. It appears that Hene and Diamon were among them. Sadder still, the camp was overcrowded and many "new" prisoners were still in boxcars at the railyard; the boxcars were not marked appropriately, and many of these prisoners were killed in this bombing as well.

    That may be why the information on this was so hard to find and piece together.

    Thanks Jim, for the lead to the other site.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

    Glad you found all that information, important to your family. I'm sorry I did not go into the details you discovered, but the site is just too huge for one old guy to remember what all is there. Past 50 Gigabytes of pure history hosted and supported by the US Army and AmVets of Indiana. A lot of time and effort, but when people like you find details on their loved ones, it all becomes very worth while. I suggest you join the 106th Association and get subscribed to their 3 times a year CUB magazine. Tons of info there. And the Discussion Board has answered hundreds of questions.

    My family and I are enjoying the freedoms that Heroes like Capt Hene fought and died for.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

    On 5th May, Dutch Liberation Day, we were in Margraten, Limburg, The Netherlands. Very impressive.
    I took this picture attached.
    Please contact me if you would like to have the high resolution image.

    Kind regards,
    Bas Haasnoot
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

    Quote Originally Posted by bhfoto View Post
    On 5th May, Dutch Liberation Day, we were in Margraten, Limburg, The Netherlands. Very impressive.
    I took this picture attached.
    Please contact me if you would like to have the high resolution image.

    Kind regards,
    Bas Haasnoot
    I just saw this post now. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to take the photo, and to post it. This is a great forum, and you are a true gentleman (as are many of the others here). One of these days I would like to make a similar trip, and pay my respects in person.

    Cheers.

    Doug

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

    My father Lewis Fraad was Julius Hene's best friend. I am named after him. I have 2 letters he wrote to my parents from Spain,

    Julie Fraad. contact me at jfraad@aol.com. I will share the letters with you,

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

    Dear all, I adopted the grave of Julius Hene with Honor and pride. I'm also looking for his relatives. I also have Some pictures of him and huis birthcirtificate. If you have any Information please send me an email mark.gilissen@home.nl
    Best regards, Mark
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

    Dear all, I adopted the grave of Julius A. Hene in the Netherlands and Honor him with pride. I'm looking for relatives of Capt. Hene. I have several pictures and documents available. Please contact me te mark.gilissen@home.nl best regards.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Capt Julius A Hene's grave , Memorial day 2015, Margraten, the Netherlands
    I adopted his grave and i'm looking for relatives.
    If anyone can help, please send me an email mark.gilissen@home.nl
    Last edited by MarkGilissen; 05-26-2015 at 03:18 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Captain Julius A. Hene; 422nd Infantry, 106th Division

    Little to add here, but I might as well mention it. www.ww2pow.info states that Dr. Hene was sent to Stalag 12a To 9b, Limburg an Der Lahn in Hesse, Prussia. His cause of death at that site is indicated in the category "Ship sinking or shot trying to excape" - a catch-all category. Although it is difficult to be certain, the account of Roman Catholic Chaplain, Fr. Paul Cavanaugh, SJ seems more credible - that Dr. Hene was killed in a bombing raid at Limburg some days after his capture. I think that this account is referred to above - http://www.indianamilitary.org/...B/...anaugh.DOC.doc. Well worth a look for any of us - a fascinating account of the experience of US PoWs in being captured and held as prisoners in German hands in the Battle of the Bulge.

    If I can offer one general comment. The 422nd Infantry seems to have had a particularly rough time. Relatively inexperienced in combat, it found itself cut off in the early stages of the Battle of the Bulge near St. Vith. Supplies could not be brought up, and wounded could not be evacuated. Nonetheless, the regiment appears to have performed very creditably, doing their best to carry out orders in impossible circumstances, and subsequently to break out in equally impossible, chaotic circumstances. Fr. Cavanaugh's account indicates that all medical officers involved in this situation performed with great credit, treating both US and German wounded in a very difficult situation. Later - and while there is no indication of deliberate ill-treatment on the part of their German captors - the prisoners suffered difficult circumstances arising from the chaotic situation in Germany towards the end of the war, including debilitating marches to PoW camps some of which were as far east as western Poland. At one point in his narrative, Fr. Cavanaugh describes the despair, the sense of failure of the soldiers in being captured, but also the rise in morale as the context of their capture - the extent of the great German offensive in which they were captured. Your relative, and all the men of the 422nd, deserve great credit for their performance in impossible circumstances, both before and after they became PoWs. With great respect, JR.

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