Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 3, September, 1995 Page: 145
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Supreme Sacrifice: Colorado County's World War II Dead
like so many Colorado County casualties, was another young man from a large farming
family. He was survived by eight sisters: Mrs. Charles Schwegmann, Louise Baca, Clara
Hercik, and Sophie, Lillie, Georgia, Viola and Pauline Huepers; and two brothers, both
of them in the service: T-5 Pete W. Huepers, then in Italy, and Corporal Charles G.
Huepers, then in Germany. Charles Huepers learned of his brother's death when a letter
he had mailed to him was returned marked "deceased." After the war, Huepers' body
was returned to Weimar and buried in the Weimar Masonic Cemetery.81
According to Harvey Vornsand, who grew up in the same Wildwood area as
Huepers, the older folks related that they thought a farm boy like Huepers had not
ventured far enough from home before the war to have even been to La Grange. It was
certainly a strange time when someone who had never been outside his home county
would within a few months die in a faraway place like Okinawa.
PFC Daniel Paul Christen
February 26, 1921 - April 24, 1945
Daniel Paul Christen, the son of Frank and Francis Laake Christen, was born
on February 26, 1921. Christen, a member of St. Michael's Catholic Church in Weimar,
joined the army on July 1, 1944. That December, as a rifleman and machine gunner in
the 7th Infantry Division, he was sent to the Pacific. On April 19, 1945, Christen's
division, on Okinawa, was involved in the assault on the Naha line. A month later, on
May 18, 1945, his parents received word that Daniel had been wounded on April 21,
how severely, they were not told. Shortly thereafter, they were informed that he had
been removed to a hospital in Guam, where he had died on April 24.82
He was survived by his parents; six sisters: Mrs. Rudolph Thumann, Mrs.
Charlie German, Mrs. Charlie Dietrich, Esther Christen, Frances Christen, and Lucille
Christen; and one brother, Karl O. Christen, then in the Philippines. Christen also left
behind his fiancee, Dorothy Miska. His body was returned to the United States in 1948,
on the same ship that carried the remains of Robert Plagens. He was reinterred at St.
Michael Cemetery after a Mass at the church on June 27, 1948.83
The reports of the deaths of Huepers and Christen were carried in the same
issue of the Weimar newspaper and must have sent a shock wave through the
community. Not only had two men from one small town died in the same week of the
war, but they had died on the same little island, Okinawa, a place that almost certainly
no one in Weimar had even heard of before April 1945. Overnight, it became a name that
most in the city would never forget.
81 Weimar Mercury, June 15, 1945, July 20, 1945. Newspaper reports state that Huepers died on
April 20. His tombstone, however, gives the date as April 19.
82 Colorado County Birth Records, vol. 4, p. 27; Weimar Mercury, May 18, 1945; May 25, 1945.
83 Weimar Mercury, May 14, 1948; Eagle Lake Headlight, June 28, 1948. Only four World War II
dead are buried in St. Michael Cemetery in Weimar: Bernard Kubenka, Arthur Muehr, Leroy Pavlik, and Daniel
Christen. All four men are buried within a couple of dozen steps of each other.Three of the four died within
32 days of each other on Okinawa.
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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/m1/37/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed March 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.