Greetings and Happy New Year, SSGT Lawrance Nelson !
I am very pleased to have the opportunity to field this inquiry.
I didn't know Ross E. Rader, but I can provide some insight into the unit's military history from my reference files.
The 44th Division was activated 14 Sep 40, at Trenton, NJ, which was well in advance of his enlistment date of 25 Feb 43.
He may well have joined the unit subsequent to the completion of basic training. And he may have gone across as a replacement, joining the division in Europe. He will recall which.
The division staged at Camp Miles Standish, Mass., until:
departed Boston, Mass. PE, 5 Sep 43; arrived France, 15 Sep 44; entered Germany, 25 Mar 45, which was much later than his capture date, around 26 Nov 44.
The division was in these campaigns:
Northern France, 25 Jul 44 / 14 Sep 44; Rhineland, 15 Sep 44 / 11 May 45; Central Europe, 22 Mar 45 / 11 May 45.
Obviously, he could have participated in the two first named campaigns.
The record indicates that the division went to releave the 79th ID 18 Oct 44, at Foret de Parry,, near Lunneville, France, 18 Oct 44; it went on the line 23 Oct 44; it met strong German counterattacks, 25-26 Oct44; it continued on the defensive in that area; two elements of the division (71st Infantry Regiment and 324th IR) attacked from Leintray, to force a way through the Vosges Mountain, 13 Nov 44; the 71st and 324th took Avricourt, 17 Nov 44, following very heavy engagement with the Germans; it tookSarrebourg, 21 Nov 44.
The division was on the west side of the Saverne Gap, when forced into a minor withdrawal by the Germans; it checked the German effort at Schalbach, 25 Nov 45; it was relieved in the Sarrebourg sector, 27 Nov 44; regrouped, it captured Tieffenbach, 29 Nov 44.
This is beyond the point of his capture, so I will end the narrative here.
Please convey my warmest regards to my fellow veteran of WW II,and my wishes that he continues to be well.
Louie Franklin Turner.
Feel free to contact me with any questions he may bring up.