Ray Herbst




Inducted December 1942. Shipped to U. of Nebraska in April 1943 for preliminary training for ASTP. Shipped to U. of Iowa for beginning of nine month schooling at U. of Iowa. Have nothing, but the best of memories of time spent there. When nine month schedule was complete, I was shipped to
the 69th Infantry Division at Camp Shelby, Miss., along with about fifty or sixty other ASTP's. Arrived at Camp Shelby and was told division was out on maneuvers in the wilds of Mississippi. I was handed a complete outfit of clothing and other equipment, including an M-1 rifle which I had never had in my hands before. Trained at Camp Shelby along with the 65th Division. We also trained against the famed 332nd Battalion of American Japanese that later earned so many awards in Italy.

Both divisions were sent overseas in October/ November 1944. Arrived in England after 22 days at sea in October 1944. Many of our troops were sent to participate in the later stages of the Battle of the Bulge. Some of the fellows were back at the nearby hospital within days.

The remainder of us in the 69th were sent to join the First Army. The 69th saw considerable action from then on, going all the way to Leipzig Germany where we met up with the Russians at Torgau. Was shipped back to the states through Camp Lucky Strike. Was discharged Dec. 1945.

After some R& R went back to work for the S. S.Kresge Co., later to become K-Mart. Spent 45 years, retiring in July 1986. Was married in June 1947 to Audrey Fish of St. Louis. Our marriage was blessed with three children and eventually seven grandchildren. Lost my wife in October 1994 to cancer, which attacked her liver and took her quickly .

Remarried in late November 1995 to Ruth whom I had gone with before I entered service. Ruth has two children and three grandchildren. We're both doing fine, active in our church, and are quite active
otherwise. I have been a Rotarian for years, and a Mason for 50 years.