Gerald F. Wipfli comes home

| September 20, 2017 | 7 Comments

Stars & Stripes reports that PFC Gerald F. Wipfli is coming home after he was declared missing in action from his unit, I Company, 3rd Battalion, 112th Infantry, at Schmidt, Germany, during the battle of Hurtgen Forest in November 1944. More than 30 American soldiers were declared missing from the same battle on November 9th – five days after the fighting.

His remains were classified as “unrecoverable” until power company workers uncovered him in 2010.

Hondo told us that DPAA had identified him in July.

S&S says that he will be buried in Nekoosa, Wisconsin on Saturday.

Category: We Remember

Comments (7)

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  1. UpNorth says:

    Welcome home, brother. Rest In Peace.

  2. FuzeVT says:

    God bless then men and women still looking for and identifying our missing troops.

    Welcome home, sir.

  3. Hondo says:

    Welcome home, elder brother-in-arms.

    Rest easy.

  4. Sparks says:

    Welcome home Brother. Rest in peace in your home soil now.

  5. Green Thumb says:

    Welcome home, PFC.

    Rest well.

  6. Mick says:

    I Company, 3rd Battalion, 112th Infantry:

    ‘The Hürtgen Forest, 1944: The Worst Place of Any’


    Three isolated American rifle companies and a machine-gun platoon from the 112th Infantry defended Schmidt, unaware of the Wehrmacht high command’s keen interest but unnerved by snipers and haystacks on a hillside that seemed to move in the moonlight. Exhausted after Friday’s trudge through the Kall gorge in heavy overcoats with full field packs, the 3rd Battalion sent out no patrols and scattered 60 antitank mines—delivered during the night by tracked M29 Weasel cargo carriers—on three approach roads without attempting to implant or camouflage them. No panzer counterattack was considered likely given Allied air superiority and the destruction of German armor in the past two months. Oblivious to his men’s vulnerability, Cota remained in Rott; not for three more days would he visit the front. Having already committed his only division reserve to help the hard-pressed 110th Infantry in the south, the little Napoleon had lost control of the battle before it really began.

    Just before sunrise on Saturday, November 4, German artillery fire crashed and heaved from three directions around Schmidt. A magnesium flare drifted across the pearl-gray dawn, and wide-eyed GIs spied a long column of Panthers and Mk IVs snaking toward them from the northeast, easily swerving around the pointless mines. German machine-gun bullets ripped through foxholes; scarlet tank fire blew the town apart, house by house. Mortar pits were overrun, bazooka rounds bounced off panzer hulls like marbles, and yowling enemy infantrymen raced toward Schmidt from the south, west, and east, some banging on their mess kits in a lunatic tintinnabulation.

    At 8:30 an American platoon on the southern perimeter broke in panic, unhinging the defense. Soon the entire battalion took to its heels, Companies I, K, and L scrabbling through gardens and over fences, “ragged, scattered, disorganized infantrymen,” in one lieutenant’s account. Barking officers grabbed at their soldiers’ herringbone collars in an attempt to turn them, but hundreds leaked down the road toward Kommerscheidt, forsaking their dead and wounded. Two hundred others stampeded in the wrong direction—southwest, into German lines—and of those only three would elude capture or worse. By 10 a.m., Schmidt once again belonged to the Reich.


  7. Ex-PH2 says:

    Sometimes, it gets a little dusty in here.

    Rest in Peace, PFC Shipfli.

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