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187th Engineer Combat Battalion -Charles Willoughby

187th Engineer Combat Battalion -Charles Willoughby
Rhine crossing

One of the soldiers wounded on the crossing of the Rhine River was Charles H. Willoughby. He was wounded from shrapnel in his right arm. Some of his Comrades while crossing the Rhine river were hit by large cannon fire, which overturned the boat.

One of the soldiers carried around a German Lugar, which they reminded him he should get rid of it because if he was captured by the Germans, he would be killed.

While trying to get to shore, the Germans captured him, and of course, after finding the Lugar, he was shot in the head.

Charles, resting in an army hospital, was released in 1946. After coming back to the United States, he started his own construction service building homes for the local people. Charles and his wife had three sons, who still live in Kentucky. Before the war, Charles (nickname Sie) worked on the railroad, and while in Colorado, he fell into the river and didn't get back to shore until he traveled about a mile down the river where the local railroad men chased after him. Charles in his earlier life was a Semi pro baseball player. Rumor is that he struck out Babe Ruth twice. While in the 187th, a couple of Captains came over to the unit and asked for someone to help operate a Dozer. Charles raised his hand, jumped up, drove the dozer to the concentration camp, dug a couple of trenches 8 feet wide, six feet deep, and proceeded to bury the dead prisoners. His son informed me there was a video by the army that showed his father operating the Dozer. One thing my dad said to me was that everywhere they went, there was destruction, and the smell of death.

If you have a photo of Charles Willoughby please forward it so we can add it to his story.

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