Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 3, September, 1995 Page: 137
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Supreme Sacrifice: Colorado County's World War II Dead
had invaded France from the south, linked up with Patton's Third Army, which had
entered at Normandy. As the Allies approached Germany and the Rhine River, German
resistance stiffened. The Allies did not know it yet, but the Germans were reorganizing
and preparing for their last-gasp counteroffensive into the Ardennes, now known as the
Battle of the Bulge. They would launch their offensive on December 16, 1944. Before
then, more Colorado County men would be killed.
Ernest August "Buddie" Herndon was born on April 23, 1922, the son of
Charles William and Ida Minnie Meyer Herndon of Ramsey. He attended Eagle Lake
schools, and was a member of the First Baptist Church of Eagle Lake. By November 10,
1942, when he received his induction notice, he had married Ida Meyer. He entered the
service on November 20, 1942, receiving training in armor and later serving with a
mechanized cavalry unit. He was stationed in the Aleutians from July 1943 to January
1944, and participated in the invasion and recapture of Kiska from Japanese control in
August 1943. The following August, Herndon found himself in France. He was killed in
Luxembourg that November. Herndon was survived by a brother, William Fred Herndon,
who was then serving in the navy, and two sisters, Henrietta Hassie Herndon and Elvie
Nell Goeckler, his twin. After the war, his remains were returned to Columbus, and were
reinterred in Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery.59
July 18, 1915 - November 28, 1944
The same month that Herndon was killed in Europe, another local man died
while home on leave. As far as is known, three Colorado County men, only one of whom
is on the courthouse plaque, actually died in Colorado County during the war. Gilbert
Schobel, who was born July 18, 1915 in Colorado County, the son of John and Lillian
Kallus Schobel, was one of the three. Schobel entered the navy in December 1942. A
marine machinist first class, he was stationed in Long Beach, California when his father
died on November 4, 1944. Schobel came home on leave to attend the funeral. Still at
home a few weeks later, he entered the John F. Bell Memorial Hospital in Columbus
complaining of stomach pains after having consumed a great quantity of fried chicken
prepared by his sisters. Dr. Samuel H. Kirkham diagnosed appendicitis, and operated.
A few days later, Schobel died of abdominal peritonitis.60
He was buried December 1, 1944 with Rev. A. A. Gorek officiating. Initially,
he was buried in Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery in Columbus, but when St. Anthony
Catholic Cemetery opened, Schobel's remains, and those of his father, were reinterred
there. He was survived by his mother; two sisters, Martha Brasse and Elleanor O'Brien;
and six brothers: C. A., Otto, Gus, Emil, Robert, and Lester. His tombstone includes a
photograph of him in uniform. Inexplicably, his name is not on the courthouse plaque,
nor on the War Department's list of Colorado County casualties.61
59 Colorado County Birth Records, vol. 12, p. 343; Weimar Mercury, November 27, 1942; Eagle
Lake Headlight, November 24, 1944; Colorado County Citizen, November 23, 1944.
60 Colorado County Death Records, vol. 6, p. 176. Additional information was provided by
Schobel's niece, Kay Potter.
61 Colorado County Citizen, December 7, 1944.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 3, September, 1995, periodical, September 1995; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151395/m1/29/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.