W. E. (Bill) Warde Memoir
This collection contains W. E. (Bill) Warde's updated version of his memoir My Military Service dedicated to "those valiant and courageous comrades of the Task Force Lindenwhich covers the time of his military service, 1944-1946 on the Front lines in the European Theater. He recounts his experiences in various battles and gives details about the movements of his unit and what he describes as the "worst night of his life," when some of his fellow soldiers were captured and killed in Germany. The manuscript includes copies of newspaper clippings, maps, photographs, and a timeline of the "Rainbow" Division. There are also several statements of personal experiences from other members of the "Rainbow" Division listed in the appendices of the manuscript.
- 1999 July 19
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0.1 Linear Feet
This collection contains W. E. (Bill) Warde's updated version of his memoir My Military Service which covers the time on the front lines in the European Theater (1944-1946). He recounts his experiences in various battles and gives details about the movements of his unit and what he describes as the "worst night of his life," when some of his fellow soldiers were captured and killed in Germany.
William E. (Bill) Warde joined the Army Reserve program when he turned 18, the day he graduated from high school in January 1944. He was sent into infantry training at Camp Gruber, OK, where he was assigned to the 42nd Rainbow Infantry Division as they were preparing to go overseas. By December of 1944, Warde’s division was at the front in the European Theater. The three infantry regiments of the 42nd Rainbow Division were ordered to relieve the 36th Infantry Division and given the title Task Force Linden. Thrown into battle on the front lines of the European Theater, Warde describes his experiences in the various battles across Germany, including a battle in Sessenheim, which he describes as the “worst night of his life.”
Warde belonged to the 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, Company A, 232nd Infantry Regiment, 42nd Infantry Rainbow Division. The 42nd Infantry Division was activated for World War II, a unique unit formed as a reconstitution of the Rainbow Division from World War I. There are multiple explanations as to how the Division received its nickname, but one of the most well-known comes from General Douglas MacArthur, who stated the “The 42nd Infantry Division stretches like a Rainbow from one end of America to another,” because it was made up of National Guard members from across the states. Following training at Camp Gruber, OK, the three divisions that made up the Rainbow Division deployed to Europe and a detachment of the 42ID Headquarters arrived in France at Marseille, 8–9 December 1944, and were formed into Task Force Linden, under Henning Linden, the Assistant Division Commander. It was during the 42nd Division's rapid advance through Germany in April 1945 that they, along with the Guard's 45th Infantry Division, liberated the Dachau concentration camp.
This collection consists of a single folder.
This collection was originally cited as MS.2596. It was then listed as CSWS.WWII.2.0002 until receiving its current number. All material from the previous collection is contained within this collection.
This collection was donated to Special Collections by W. E. (Bill) Warde on November 5, 2000.
Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA