What's New
Search Engine
Photo Gallery
Unit History
Unit Honors
Voices Of Past
F&F Association
How To Submit

John H. Wurtzbach
Staff Sergeant John H. Wurtzbach served in Company H, 3rd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

John Henry Wurtzebach was born on 18 March 1926 in Denver, Colorado.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army and was inducted on 1 June 1944 at Fort Sheridan, IL.  While at Fort Sheridan he was assigned to Company B, RRC, 1632 S.U., Barracks #264.  At that time his home had been 2100 North Hudson, Chicago, IL. .

On 8 June 1944, he arrived at Camp Blanding, FL. He was assigned to Company E, 212th Battalion, 65th Regiment, Infantry Replacement Training Center for training. While at Camp Blanding, he satisfactorily completed 17 weeks of training from 12 June 1944 to 7 October 1944 in the Infantry Replacement Training Center. His special training was in heavy weapons.

He was assigned to the Parachute School at Fort Benning, GA. On 17 November 1944, he satisfactorily completed the prescribed course in parachute. packing, ground training, and jumping, and was rated as a qualified parachutist. He was also qualified as a sharpshooter with an M-1 Rifle..

He departed for the European Theater of Operations on 31 January 1945 and landed in the Theater of Operations on 6 February 1945.  He was assigned to Company H, 3rd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.  The Airborne Division attacked the West Wall on 2 February 1945, where it was relieved 4 February 1945, and then drove to the Roer River near Bergstein in an attack 7-10 February 1945.  The Division crossed the Roer River on 17 February 1945 and then moved to Reims, France for rehabilitation.  The 508th PIR's long attachment to the 82nd Airborne Division ended on 4 April 1945.  The regiment was placed under direct control of the 1st Allied Airborne Army.  The regiment's CP was moved to Chartres, France.  The mission of the regiment was standby for possible Airborne liberation of Prisoner of War camps if the Germans resorted to atrocities.  The regiment was moved to Sissonne, France at the end of the May 1945.

On 8 June 1945, the 508th PIR moved to Frankfurt-Am-Main, Germany and arrived on 10 June 1945. General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower's Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force was located at the I. G. Farben Building in Frankfurt. The primary mission of the regiment was to provide security for the Headquarters. Staff Sergeant Wurtzebach's platoon was used for guard duty there.  President Harry S. Truman reviewed the 508th PIR on 7 August 1945.

SSGT Wurtzebach was awarded the WWII Victory Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with 2 campaign stars, Good Conduct Medal, Army of Occupation Medal (Germany), and two Overseas Service Bars. On 21 May 1946 he departed Europe for the United States on the USS Wilson Victory. The ship landed in New York Harbor on 30 May 1946. SSGT Wurtzebach was separated from the US Army on 4 June 1946 at the Separation Center, Fort Sheridan, IL.

Source: The National Infantry Museum

Copyright and all other rights reserved by the Family and Friends of The 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment Association or by those who are otherwise cited,
For problems or questions regarding this web site, please contact