My grandfathers on both sides of my family have some interesting history from the Second World War. My Grandfather from my father’s side (Gerhard Mueller), as a German national, was conscripted into the Wehrmacht and fought on the Eastern Front front. I believe he was with an artillery unit, and one time told me of the fear they had especially in the overnight hours while on duty in forward listening posts, fearful of Russian infiltrators. He was hit by grenade shrapnel and injured in the foot, and captured by the Russians. He was able to escape and move west, crossing American lines where he was recaptured. This was a common theme as treatment was far better under the western allies. His former family home was in Prussia, an area utterly devastated and taken over by the Russians (now part of Poland). Eventually was able to emmigrate to Canada, and finally to the USA where he started a very successful ceramic business (Atlantic Mold Corp).
On my mother’s side, my Grandmother was a US Army nurse and served in North Africa and later Italy. My Grandfather (LT Melvin Wiedbusch) was a P-38 fighter pilot for the Army Air Corps. He was part of the 95th Fighter Squadron, of the 82nd Fighter Group. His unit initially deployed to North Africa, eventually shifting to Foggia, Italy later in the war where they flew bomber escort missions. He shot down three enemy fighters before he was killed during a B-24 bomber escort mission over southern France, on June 25, 1944. He was last seen diving vertically and firing on a German ME-109 over southern France before disappearing into a cloud layer. I recently found some archival information about him that’s pretty interesting. My Grandmother actually had not seen these reports until I located them on an online genealogy research site.
The first page is from the unit monthly mission report, he is referenced on the 25th.