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A Lieutenant that was ... but wasn't

We were getting ready to establish our fox holes and position our troops in reserve.  Our artillery was firing over the forest into the Germans.

Joe [SSgt Joseph G. Endress] and I were battlefield commissioned* 2nd Lts. at the same time for our joint effort in Holland clearing the DZ so our glider planes could land. 

He asked me if I had some extra pipe tobacco.  I told him yes and turned to go get it for him.

As I left his CP, having gone only 20 yards or so, one of the shells that our artillery was firing exploded and rained shrapnel down on Joe, killing him instantly. 

On January 31, 1945, I lost my best friend.

[As told by William F. Knapp]

[*Note: Bill stated that both he and Joseph Endress had been battle field commissioned as Second Lieutenants and were acting in that capacity.  Bill's paperwork to make the commission official was not filed until February 9, 1945.  The appointment was requested by Lt. Col. Shields Warren and approved by Col. Lindquist.

Knapp went directly to Col. Lindquist to inquire why Joe wasn't included on the commissions list and was told him he couldn't be commissioned posthumously which explains why there is no evidence that SSgt Endress was elevated to a commissioned rank.]

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