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702nd Tank Battalion “Red Devils”

Rolling On



Grenade Elects Hoover Mayor


Stars and Stripes


“With the 80th infantry Division,


One Grenade Elects Doughboy Acting Fuehrer Of Kaiserslautern

By Pat Mitchell

With the Third Army, Kaiserslautern, Germany, march 20, 1945-T/Sgt Byron Hoover threw one grenade and became Mayor of Kaiserslautern with his 25-man I. & R. Platoon of the 317th regiment of the 80th Infantry Division, shortly after infantry riding on 10th Armored Division tanks rolled through the city at 10 a.m. without meeting determined resistance.


“These Germans are just bowled over by the speed of this whole advance”, Hoover said.


After detailing his men to give the town (pre-war population over 60,000) a quick frisk, Sgt. Hoover set up his CP in the town square and awaited results.


S/Sgt. John E. Dougherty of Dunmore, Pa., Hoover’s chief of staff said, “The other 80th Division doughs were coming toward the town from the west, and so we expected some resistance from the eastern, or the escape route end of town.  We got it.”


“There was a house down there loaded with Kraut officers and townspeople must have known about it because as soon as Hoover whipped down there and heaved one grenade through the window, a German colonel and his staff walked out and surrendered.  From then on, the natives knew that us intelligence and reconnaissance boys were in charge.”


In Kaiserslautern’s center square, Hoover stood in front of the Chase National Bank and surveyed his catch; one colonel, four majors, five captains, ten assorted lieutenants, 20 non-coms and 60 privates.  Hastily fashioned, white surrender flags dripped dejectedly from second floor windows and the 20 non-coms stood in ragged ranks with their backs to the 30-foot high stone statue glorifying Wehrmacht might.”



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