Hellcat News, (Sheridan, Wyo.), Vol. 54, No. 6, Ed. 1, February 2001 Page: 4 of 24
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119TH AEB (continued from page 1)
Gil also sent some relevant notes that had been addressed to him.
I'm including four of them because they should be of some interest
to all of us in the 119th. Besides, I don't really have much more to
"December 7, 2000. To Gil Heine:
"I joined the 12th Armd Div. Oct. 26, 1942, and was assigned to
A Co. 119th Armd Engineer Bn and fought with them till I was
discharged Nov. 11, 1945. I was squad leader Sgt. of 3rd Squad,
2nd Platoon of A Company. Was involved in all their engagements
except Colmar, as I was hospitalized at that time. I should have
taken out lifetime membership long ago, but at 87 years of age,
how's this for optimism? Some arthritis affects my writing so ask
your forbearance. Best regards to you and the 12th.
Sincerely, William E. Confer"
"12/20/00. Dear Gil,
Enclosed is check in amount of $10 to cover cost difference for
1st class mailing of the Hellcat News. Am now in my 86th year and
look forward to each issue. Thanks for all your good work.
Sincerely, Paul Beutel"
"December 22, 00. Dear Sir,
"Enclosed is a check for my dues for 2001. Am sorry I can't join
the museum. My wife, Lucille, had a stroke May 2, 1999. Hasn't
been home as yet. We are getting in the need very soon. This check
also is for the Hellcat News. Yours truly, Norbest H. Ehlers"
"December 1, 2000. Dear Gilbert,
"I have missed the Hellcat News very much. My records show
that I sent a check for the dues Dec. 8, 1999.1 have checked and the
check must not have been cashed. I am sorry that happened but am
looking forward to getting the News again. Having nice weather
here. There is about four inches of snow but not cold. Thank you
for the letter. As ever, Vernon (Pense)"
Don't forget the Western Chapter meeting this year in Fremont,
CA (April 6-7,2001). Everyone is invited. Details are in the Hellcat
Have a great New Year.
DIVISION HEADQUARTERS UNITS
Herbert Luzader, 10661 Highland Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46280
Phone (317) 846-8789
Y2K has gone out with a white blanket left over all of the Mid-
West. It appears that the new century is starting up as cold and
snowy. We have not seen the ground since the middle of December.
All of you reading this survived the dire predictions for Y2K, which
just goes to show that man can overcome problems that throw
computers for a loop.
Don't forget our New Year's resolutions: pay our dues, help the
museum, and above all, locate a Hellcat and ask him to join our
We received a number of greeting cards and/or letters from many
of you Hellcats and Hellkittens. We appreciate the remembrance
and the news. Joe Hollerbach [Hq/Div] came through, as he has in
the past, with information about some of our Hellcats. Joe's letter,
which included a threat for more bad weather, arrived just after an
inch of snow. His letter reads in part, as follows:
"I was cleaning out a box of old records this afternoon and found
a letter from Walt Thompson [A/134] about the death of Father
Lloyd J. Fortin, age 80, on March 13, 1994. He served as Chap-
lain for the 12th Armored Division in World War II. Walt says he
and Harvey Shoemaker [C/493] (deceased) and Dorothy Shoe-
maker, Harvey's widow, the sweetheart of the North Central Chap-
ter, went to the visitation. Mass of Christian burial was celebrated
Three Hellkittens from Division Artillery enjoyed the Las Vegas
reunion, as this photo taken in the Golden Nugget indicates.
From the left, Ginny Luzader, Verda Fitzpatrick and Fran Higbie.
at the Church of St. Anne in Hamel, MN. He is buried there in the
church cemetery. Chaplain Fortin was guest of honor at our Chapter
meeting in May of 1993. He was discharged a Major. In a letter
dated 4/4/93, Fr. Fortin said he would really like to attend our
reunion but was in the hospital with acute diabetes. He also said that
he was on the cadre when the 12th was formed and he remained
with it through training, fighting, and occupation. When the 12th
was made a career unit, he was transferred to the 7th Army Head-
quarters. He said, 'I think often of the days and years with the 12th.
This will be my 1st meeting since service. I have visited Europe
several times since then.'
"Well, I picked him up at the priest's retirement home on the
campus of St. Thomas College, and he gave the invocation and
blessing at the banquet. There were 92 Hellcats and Hellkittens
present. I wonder how many men remember Chaplain Fortin. I
remember going to chapel near our billets at Co. E of the 44th
Armored Regiment, but have no idea of what the chaplain's name
"The other thing I wanted to tell you is that Dorothy Shoemaker,
widow of Harvey [C/493], of Maple Grove, MN, got the local
Hellcats and Hellkittens of Minneapolis/St. Paul together at the
Cattlemen's Restaurant on University Avenue at 1-694, for our
Christmas dinner. Present were Stephan and Ann Tratnik
[C/493], Ray and Gertrude Bursey [A/494], Ward and Miriam
McGill [B/66], Paul and Dorothy Groven [C/494], and Joe and
Reba and Jocelyn Hollerbach [Hq/Div],
"In closing, I hope that everyone has had a Merry Christmas and
a Happy New Year." Thanks for the nice letter, Joe. Letters like
yours make it much easier to keep the men informed about activities
of the Hellcats.
The attached picture, taken at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas,
shows that three Div. Arty Hellkittens - Ginny Luzader, Verda
Fitzpatrick, and Fran Higbie - were enjoying the reunion. It's
gals like this that make it great to be a Hellcat.
17TH ARMORED INFANTRY BATTALION
William "Bill" Funke, 1312 Alford Street, Ft. Collins, CO 80524
Phone (970) 482-0255
Hello to all you cupids and cupidesses. Never did know if cupid
was a female or a male, but that is OK, just so you get the deep
sentiment of the statement. Hope you have all found a way to honor
a spouse, child, friend or whatever on the day of hearts, flowers and
candy. Maybe less candy is in order. Just be sure to keep the card
companies happy on Feb. 14, Valentines (or is it Valentine's?) Day.
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Twelfth Armored Division Association (U.S.). Hellcat News, (Sheridan, Wyo.), Vol. 54, No. 6, Ed. 1, February 2001, newspaper, February 2001; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth410039/m1/4/: accessed October 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum.