Sergeant John H. Wurtzbach served in Company H, 3rd Battalion, 508th
Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne
Henry Wurtzebach was born on 18 March 1926 in Denver, Colorado.
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. .
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.