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Sgt Wendell F. "Bud" Hamman

Company C

Sgt Wendell F "Bud" Hamman

Wendell F. "Bud" Hamman enlisted in the Army on November 17, 1943.  A resident of Coffey County, Kansas, he was 20 years old and married at the time of his enlistment.  He joined Company C, 134th Infantry Regiment on July 21, 1944 at St. Lo, France.

The morning of January 4, 1945, Company C led an attack from the town of Marvie, Belgium toward Lutrebois.  The weather was extremely cold and snowy with poor visibility.  Company C overran its objective, was cut off from the rest of the Regiment and surrounded by German troops.  Sgt. Hamman was taken prisoner on January 5, 1945.  He was first held at Stalag 12A in Limburg, Germany before being sent to Stalag 9B near Bad Orb where he remained a POW until the camp was liberated in April 1945.

Sgt. Wendell F. "Bud" Hamman passed way May 22, 1990 and is buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Emporia, Kansas.

"These thoughts shared to me by my father when I was a child, have always remained there." - Kerry Hamman

The night of my uncle's capture must have been horribly cold and very frightening. Having overrun their objective, not knowing exactly where they were in relation to the other companies, and not realizing they had been surrounded, they paused. A short time later, he heard a click behind his head and turned to see a German soldier pointing a rifle at his head. His weapon either misfired or was frozen, instead of being killed that night, he was captured instead.

On the march to the German Stalag, my uncle witnessed one of the captured American soldiers fall out due to dysentery, and the German soldier that he described as SS to my father, simply shot him dead along the road while trying to relieve himself. Sgt Hamman had by now developed severe frostbite and the Germans had very little medical supplies. They amputated the end of his toes and applied axle grease as a medication.

That he survived the major battles across France from St Lo to Company C crossing the Blies River into Habkirchen, Germany with very heavy casualties after repulsing several enemy counter attacks, then being pulled from battle to march 100 miles North to help in the relief of the Battle of the Bulge and managing to ultimately survive capture is nothing short of a miracle.

Thanks to Kerry Hamman for this information and photo of his uncle.

Video - The Liberation of Stalag 9B, Bad Orb Germany, April 5, 1945

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