the BEACON Newspaper, Indiana beacon6-18 - Page 9

Bright American Legion Post Open
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June 2018 THE BEACON Page 9A
SEIZE , OCCUPY , ORGA- NIZE , AND DEFEND-AT ALL COST-MONTE BELVE- DERE , AND PREPARE FOR ACTION TO THE NORTH- EAST .”
Monte Belvedere was assaulted next . Belvedere was heavily manned and protected with mine fields . Again , the surprise tactic of the assault made it a success , and after a hard fight , the peak was captured . The number of lives lost and wounds sustained made the conquest of Monte Belvedere expensive . Holding the gains during the balance of the week proved almost as costly as the assault itself . During the next one hundred days of combat , the total cost would rise to 992 men killed and 4,154 wounded as men of the Tenth Mountain Division took and held every assigned objective .
In April 1945 General Hays continued the division ’ s advance northward along the east shore of Lake Garda by means of a leap-frog operation in which battalions of all three regiments participated . One of the final combats for the Tenth Mountain Division took place at the canyon lake at the foothills of the Alps in Italy . The first troops reached the south end of the lake , cutting off the German Army ’ s main escape route to the Brenner Pass . It was here , my father stated , that he celebrated his twenty-second birthday under a table in a farmhouse trying to find protection from shells that were being fired by the Germans .
Although the German Army was in full retreat the next day , the 86th ’ s advance was slowed down because the Germans had blown the first of six tunnels through which the road along Lake Garda ’ s east shore passed .
The 86th Mountain Infantry was in the hills above Lake Garda , the kind of country that was part of their training at Camp Hale . While getting to their destination of the towns of Torbole and Riva , they were attacked by the Germans . Being a member of the 605th Field Artillery , as well as a member of a pack howitzer gun crew , Private First Class Raymond Thurman , with the assistance of his comrades , was able to get the German howitzer gun back on the road . The weapon was unfamiliar to Pvt . Thurman but with his previous training , he

S

ALUTE

automatically was able to use the Howitzer gun to fire at the Germans attacking them . His actions saved the lives of his comrades . He stayed with his gun until firing had ceased . Pvt . First Class Thurman ’ s heroic actions put his own life at risk by using the enemy ’ s weapon against them . He displayed the characteristic of a true hero of the United States Army .
On April 30 the troops captured the town of Torbole and headed for Riva three miles away at the north edge of Lake Garda . The same day , an assault force consisting of 85-K and one platoon of heavy machine guns from 85-M crossed the lake in amphibious vehicles , called DUKW ’ S . They entered Mussolini ’ s villa and office in Gargnano . Another DUKW carrying twenty-five men from the 605th Field Artillery capsized with all hands lost but one- Corporal Thomas E . Hough .
The German Army in Italy surrendered on May 2 , but the Germans fought on in Northern Europe .
A total of 19,780 men served in the Tenth Mountain Division in Italy-13,365 who went overseas together , plus 6,415 replacements . Of these , our total casualties were 4,866 . 975 killed , 3,871 wounded , and twenty prisoners of war were taken .
On Nov . 30 , 1945 , the Tenth Mountain Division was disbanded . Camp Hale was
FCN-Takeover-Beacon-10x5.45 . pdf 2 3 / 27 / 18 9:10 AM

TO THE MILITARY

dismantled several years later . Major General George P . Hays told his men , “ When you go home , no one will believe you when you start telling of the spectacular things you have done . There have been more heroic deeds and experiences crammed into these days than I have ever heard of . The Lord had us by the hand .”
My father , Raymond R . Thurman , was discharged from the United States Army Jan . 22 , 1946 . Upon his discharge he had earned the following decorations and citations :
• The American Theater Ribbon
• EAME Theater Ribbon with 2 Bronze Stars
• Good Conduct Ribbon
• Bronze Star Medal
• Victory Medal World War II Raymond R . Thurman received his Bronze Star Medal , along with his Citation Letter , for his heroic actions .
He always gave of himself to his Church , family , Country , friends , and his community . The citation letter , written by Major General George P . Hays , proves that Pvt . Thurman was an extremely selfless man . He showed great heroism for his actions that day of April 29 , 1945 . He not only used a piece of German artillery , he helped save the lives of his own comrades .
My father is now deceased . He passed away April 15 , 1998 , at the age of 74 .
Vietnam Veterans Honored
Vietnam Veterans were honored at the Trinity Christian Center in Lawrenceburg for Vietnam Veterans Day . Shown are Joe Halloran , PG Gentrup ,, Jerry Bondurant , Ron Spurlock , Ed Shannon , Mike Lafollette , Pat McClanahan and Pastor Corey Potts . Judy Wesley is in the front .

Bright American Legion Post Open

We Need Listings !

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REALTY INC .

CORNERSTONE We ’ re IN YOUr COrNer .

C REALTY INC . We ’ re IN YOUr COrNer .

812.637.2220 CSTONEREALTY . COM 812.637.2220 CSTONEREALTY . COM
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The new Bright American Legion Post 132 is now up and running . All veterans are encouraged to visit . The group meets the second Monday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Bright Lions facility located on Lamplight Drive just beyond the firehouse .
The group ’ s primary purpose besides fellowship is to reach out and get involved in community projects such as visiting shut-in veterans , flag education programs for elementary school students , and many other projects .
Again , all veterans are invited to join . Contact Bob Waples for additional information . 513-226-2937
OUR ADVERTISERS ARE YOUR NEIGHBORS . SHOP LOCAL AND TELL THEM YOU SAW THEIR ADS IN THE BEACON .
June 2018 S THE BEACON Page 9A ALUTE TO THE MILITARY SEIZE, OCCUPY, ORGA- automatically was able to use NIZE, AND DEFEND-AT the Howitzer gun to fire at the ALL COST-MONTE BELVE- Germans attacking them. His DERE, AND PREPARE FOR actions saved the lives of his ACTION TO THE NORTH- comrades. He stayed with his EAST.” gun until firing had ceased. Monte Belvedere was as- Pvt. First Class Thurman’s saulted next. Belvedere was heroic actions put his own life heavily manned and protected at risk by using the enemy’s with mine fields. Again, the weapon against them. He dis- surprise tactic of the assault played the characteristic of a made it a success, and after true hero of the United States a hard fight, the peak was Army. captured. The number of lives On April 30 the troops cap- lost and wounds sustained tured the town of Torbole and made the conquest of Monte headed for Riva three miles Belvedere expensive. Holding away at the north edge of Lake the gains during the balance Garda. The same day, an as- of the week proved almost sault force consisting of 85-K as costly as the assault itself. and one platoon of heavy ma- During the next one hundred chine guns from 85-M crossed days of combat, the total cost the lake in amphibious ve- would rise to 992 men killed hicles, called DUKW’S. They and 4,154 wounded as men of entered Mussolini’s villa and the Tenth Mountain Division office in Gargnano. Another took and held every assigned DUKW carrying twenty-five objective. men from the 605th Field Ar- In April 1945 General tillery capsized with all hands Hays continued the division’s lost but one- Corporal Thomas advance northward along the E. Hough. east shore of Lake Garda by The German Army in Italy means of a leap-frog opera- surrendered on May 2, but the tion in which battalions of all Germans fought on in North- three regiments participated. ern Europe. One of the final combats for A total of 19,780 men the Tenth Mountain Division served in the Tenth Moun- took place at the canyon lake tain Division in Italy-13,365 at the foothills of the Alps in who went overseas together, Italy. The first troops reached plus 6,415 replacements. Of the south end of the lake, cut- these, our total casualties ting off the German Army’s were 4,866. 975 killed, 3,871 main escape route to the wounded, and twenty prison- Brenner Pass. It was here, my ers of war were taken. father stated, that he celebrat- On Nov. 30, 1945, the ed his twenty-second birthday Tenth Mountain Division was under a table in a farmhouse disbanded. Camp Hale was trying to find protection from shells that were being fired by the Germans. Although the German Army was in full retreat the next day, the 86th’s advance was slowed down because the Germans had blown the first of six tunnels through which the road along Lake Garda’s east shore passed. The 86th Mountain Infantry was in the hills above Lake Garda, the kind of country that was part of their training at Camp Hale. While getting to their destination of the towns of Torbole and Riva, they were attacked by the Germans. Being a member of the 605th Field Artillery, as well as a member of a pack howitzer gun crew, Private First Class Raymond Thur- man, with the assistance of his comrades, was able to get the German howitzer gun back on the road. The weapon was un- FCN-Takeover-Beacon-10x5.45.pdf 2 3/27/18 9:10 AM familiar to Pvt. Thurman but with his previous training, he dismantled several years later. Major General George P. 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