This site is dedicated to the memory and military service of
Cpl. Henry A. Buske
(Turn up your volume to hear "Taps" being played.)
Henry was from Gilmore City, Iowa. He grew up with his brother Fred and 14 other brothers and sisters on a farm just west of town on the shores of Lizard Lake. He entered military service with the US Army on Sept.4, 1941.
I am not quite sure where Henry took his basic training. However he did say that he drove the jeep for Gen. Patton in Arizona. For a few months in 1942 Gen. Patton trained thousands of troops in desert warfare in the Mohave Desert. Henry was one of these troops.
WWII Desert Training Center
In 1941 and early 1942 airborne units were also being formed. In an early photo of Henry, right out of basic training, he is wearing airborne wings. It took 5 jumps to qualify for wings. I believe Henry was in one of these early airborne battalions.
Later in 1942 Henry volunteered for the First Special Service Force. Also known as the "Devil's Brigade." He trained with the "Force" at Fort Harrison near Helena, Montana.
In August of 1943, Henry went to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska to fight the Japanese and then in November
1943 he went to Italy to fight the Germans. He fought the Germans for a year in Italy. In August 1944, Henry took part in "Operation Dragoon", the invasion of southern France.
First Special Service Force
FSSF Living History Group
Canadian soldiers history of the FSSF
"The sticker above was placed on dead Germans killed by the First Special Service Force. It reads, "The worst is yet to come!"
After the First Special Service Force was disbanded, Henry was sent to the 101st Airborne as a replacement. His destination was the area around Bastogne, Belgium in January of 1945. He became a member of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment. After Bastogne, the 502nd PIR traveled to the 7th Army front in trucks with the rest of the 101st Airborne in the Alsace Lorraine area of France in mid January. After holding a line along the Moder River for over a month, they were sent by boxcars to Mourmelon le Petit, France.
At the end of March, the 502nd went with the rest of the 101st AB to the Ruhr region of Germany in the vicinity of Dusseldorf, helping to close the Ruhr Pocket along the Rhine River. In May, the 502 arrived at Berchtesgaden, Germany the home of Hitlers "eagles nest".
While at Berchtesgaden, the 101st airborne division received the surrender of the German XIII SS and LXXXII Corps. The 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment captured Julius Streicher, the anti-Semitic editor of Der Sturmer, and Obergruppenfuhrer Karl Oberg, the chief of German SS in occupied France. Colonel General Heinz Guderian, a leading armor expert, was also captured.
The 502 spent the summer of 1945 on occupation duty near Mittersill, Austria.
502 PIR/101st AB
Sometime before returning to the "States" Henry was sent to the 194th Glider Infantry Reg./17th Airborne Div.
Henry sailed back to the U.S. from France aboard the U.S.S. Wakefield on Sept. 6, 1945. Arrived in Boston,MA on Sept. 14, 1945.
On Sept. 22, 1945, Henry was discharged from the army at Fort Sheridan, IL.
Less than 9 years later, Henry decided to serve his country again. This time it was Korea. He reenlisted into the army on Feb. 10, 1954. He served in the 8th Army as a parachute rigger.
Henry recieved an honorable discharge from the army on Feb. 8, 1957 at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
Henry passed away on June 6, 1996 at the age of 80.
Newspaper clipping about Henry
Early photo of Henry
Henry in Korea
Some of my other uncles who fought and served during WWII. My mom's brothers.
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WWII Stories "In their own words"
National WWII Memorial
This page was last updated: 05/06/2007