S/Sgt Louis D Patrick Name : Louis D Patrick
Rank : Staff Sergeant
Regiment : 334th Infantry Regiment
Division : 84th Infantry Division
Entered Service from : Ft. Oglethorpe, GA
Date of Birth : 23 January 1916
Awards : Bronze Star
POW Medal
Combat Inf.man badge

Louis Patrick's Story ... told by himself

I was born in Arkabutla Mississippi on January 23rd, 1916 to my parents Louis E. Patrick and my mother Zemora A Patrick. Our family consisted of three brothers, William H., Thomas May and John Richard and three sisters, Margaret (Mary), Murriel (Annie) and Melrine (Lois). At age four we were living in Tate, Ms. By the time I was 14 years of age we lived in Desoto, MS. I went to grammar school and to Horn Lake High in Mississippi. After school I had several jobs, for example at Swift Co and Packing Co.

Arkabutla Lake, Mississippi

I enlisted in the US Army in Fort Oglethorpe Georgia on November 30, 1942. After training our 84th Infantry Division (the Railsplitters) division sailed to Southampton England on board of the troopship Thomas Barry. We arrived on October 1, 1944. We trained in England and were brought to France where we landed on Omaha Beach in the first days of November 1944.

Troopship Thomas Barry

We landed in the Netherlands after a trip across France and Belgium. My company was in Gulpen (the Netherlands) near the German border. We stopped there, it was November 1944 ... We went into Germany and our (my battalion) first action was in Prümmern, Germany November 18th, 1944.

American soldiers in the dutch bordertown Kerkrade
30th Infantry Division in Rolduc, Kerkrade (Netherlands)
Kerkrade is a town close to Gulpen and Geilenkirchen

That first day we took Geilenkirchen, but at a price … in combat we lost a young man (killed). My platoon Sergeant was shot and wounded, he never returned to our company and a squad leader in my platoon was killed, but he wasn't in the section of which I was the leader - Heavy weapons Company - Heavy machine crew. After this first day we pushed on to Beeck and Lindern.


the 84th (Railsplitter) Division in Geilenkirchen, Germany 1944
photos by Maurice Miller ©

On the night of the 29th November 1944, in the early morning hours of the 30th November 1944 my lieutenant Bill Warthen and I left our platoon and went ahead of them to pick a position for our machine gun, as we were supposed to support an attack the next morning by another of our regiments. We were to contact our people that were on time but it became dark when we saw them. We thought it was our people but it actually was a German patrol. We walked right into them and we were taken prisoner. They also had near a 100 other American prisoners from the regiment there they had captured.

American machine gun crew in 1944

From where we were captured (between Lindern and Linnich) we walked to Düsseldorf. From there we were put on a train. We were taken to Stalag XI B near Hannover. There we were with the British. In about two or three weeks we were seperated and all the NCO's were sent to Stalag III-B Furstenburg near the Oder River.

the gates of Stalag III-A in 1945

As the Russians made their path we were walked out of Stalag III-B on January 31st 1945 and walked all the way to Luckenwalde Stalag III-A. I was there until we were liberated by the Russians. I got back to American lines on May 8th, 1945, then to Le Havre and arriving in Memphis on June 8th, 1945 …

Back to freedom again ... USA 1945

After the war I went back home and worked in the Swift Co as a shipping Clerk. These days I live in Memphis Tennessee …

Memphis Tennessee, Louis' hometown ...

Special thanks to Louis D Patrick and his son Louis Patrick Jr.

© www.In-Honored-Glory.info
published March 6, 2008