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Lt. Don Wesson

319th Communications Officer

80th Infantry Division

By Terry D. Janes

 

I was recently contacted by the daughter of Lt. Don Wesson, Communications Officer, 319th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division.  Don was killed in action on September 18, 1944 near the Moselle.  He evidently had gone out to the front in his jeep to check communications lines personally, and his jeep hit a mine and he was killed.  His daughter is seeking information from anyone who may have knew him.  She has been kind enough to share his photo, and excerpts from the last two letters he wrote home before he was killed.  In one, he mentions his intention to get one of his men awarded the Bronze Star Medal for bravery.  I would bet that the soldier in question never got his medal, because Lt. Don Wesson was killed a few days later.  This happened very often.  War has a way of changing one's plans.  If the soldier in question did not get his medal, and can prove that he was whom Lt. Wesson was referring to, then this letter should be all the proof he needs to finally get his medal.  If anyone knew of Lt. Wesson, please help this loving daughter learn about her dad.  If anyone knows about the incident in question regarding the act of bravery, please come forward.  For the sake of her privacy, I will not list her contact information here, but instead, direct all emails to me, and I will pass it on to her.  Thanks!

 

Lt. Don Wesson

 

"Sept. 3, France

..."I am writing in the jeep, writing off a box and trying to watch for planes all at the same time.  We were strafed by Jerries day before yesterday, and nobody in the Company was hurt.  Am getting some news now.  The first we've had for several days.  We rigged us up a German set and can get one English station.  The prize that we have though is a brand new German motorcycle with sidecar and everything.  Bet it would cost at least a thousand dollars in civilian life.  Found me a German Ford sedan but couldn't get it started and gave it to a Sgt.  We can pick up anything we desire.  Just look for it long enough and you'll get it.  The boys and me wouldn't take for the cycle.  They are painting it now and putting the U. S. star on it.  It only has 500 miles on it."

 

Tues., Sept. 12, Somewhere in France

..."Looks like the 80th finally made the news in Stars and Stripes, our local servicemen's paper.  Just as soon as I get one, I'll send it to you.  We have made some news since arriving in France.  By the way --  The letter I received from you yesterday, dated the 26th, you still didn't know I was in France.  Looks like you surely should know it by now.  ...Am getting a Bronze Star for one of my lineman.  The other day they went out to lay some wire, got on the wrong road and ran right into enemy territory.  As they passed a German gun position, the Jerries opened fire on them and threw a grenade right in the jeep with them.  This kid reached down, picked the darn thing up and threw it out.  Just saved four men's lives and a jeep.  So, that's why I'm getting him a Bronze Star.  They came back yesterday with 3 shrapnel holes in the windshield.  I told him somebody back home must surely be praying for him...."

 

 

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