WORLD WAR II, 1943-1946

"The following experience is not what I consider the most pleasant period of my life. In the late 30s everyone knew they would eventually have to go to war. And to some extent we emotionally prepared ourselves as to what we thought lay ahead.

I had entered West Liberty College and shortly afterward was drafted. The draft board gave me a deferment until I had finished college. I literally graduated in my army uniform and was inducted into the army at Ft. Hayes, Columbus, Ohio, May 11, 1943.


Henry M. Hupp
U. S. Army

Shortly after that, Battery A of the 281st Field Artillery Battalion was activated at Camp Cook, California. I was sent out to join that battalion. Our main weapon was the 105 mm. Howitzer. We did our basic training at this location and learned why we were drafted in the first place. All through our lives, as Christians, we were taught to respect life and property. At Camp Cook we were taught just the opposite. There were training films and a great deal of propaganda to convince us into realizing that we would have to destroy life and property in order to survive.

After approximately eight months we were sent to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma to train officers in the complete use of the Howitzer. After several months at that location we were sent overseas.

We landed at Liverpool, England and were stationed at Denbigh, Wales about eight months. We were training more in the proficiency of our weapons.

Then it was time to go into Germany. We landed on the coast near Belgium. We entered Germany at Acheh and fought our way down through Germany in the Third Army. Some of the towns we went through were Cologne, Bonn, Frankfurt, Wurzburg and on the last day of the European War, which was May 8, 1945, we were shelling Meinich, Germany. It was a great relief to have that war ended but we were immediately told that we would be sent next to the Japanese Theatre of operations. Fortunately the atomic bomb changed those instructions. The next few months we traveled to Europe and then were assigned to a German S. S. Prisoner Camp. This location had previously been used by the Germans to destroy their political enemies. The furnaces were still there, but of course they were not used by us.

There were two universities established in which soldiers could attend and continue their education. I applied for, was accepted and was sent to Biarritz University in France. We stayed in the Hotel du Palais. This was pretty fancy. It was the palace Napoleon had built for his Empress Eugenia. I am grateful for this opportunity.

We were sent home on the U. S. S. General Howze, March 4, 1946, and I was discharged March 18, 1946 at Camp Dix, N. J. According to my discharge, I was a field lineman, a supply clerk and a mail orderly. None of these assignments were very distinguished. Despite a college education I did not feel that being at war was my "cup of tea." I was eager to defend our country but some of the things we had to do were not carried out in a Christian manner which we had learned growing up in our home.

I did have a number of pleasant experiences. I met General Bradley, General Eisenhower, and General Hodges at a Tunnel that we were guarding. The Germans had hidden three of the V-2 weapons and the Army Brass wanted to inspect them. I will always remember General Eisenhower's statement when he looked at them, "So these are the things that have been blowing the Hell out of England."

During my time in the military, I sent many items home to my parents. These items were saved. I have placed the momentoes into a scrapbook. There are pictures, official travel documents, maps, assignments, etc., concerning my life in the army.

Also, in 2002, my granddaughter, Chelsea Wilson, asked me to put on a video replies to various questions she had concerning my army life. This was a high school class assignment."

Web page by Linda Cunningham Fluharty.