Hellcat News, (Fullerton, Calif.), Vol. 57, No. 11, Ed. 1, July 2004 Page: 20 of 20
- Highlighting On/Off
- Adjust Image
- Rotate Left
- Rotate Right
- Brightness, Contrast, etc. (Experimental)
- Cropping Tool
- Download Sizes
- Preview all sizes/dimensions or...
- Download Thumbnail
- Download Small
- Download Medium
- Download Large
- High Resolution Files
- IIIF Image JSON
- IIIF Image URL
- View Extracted Text
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
12th Armored Div. Assn.
ROBERT VON ESCH,JR.
810 E. Commonwealth
Fullerton, CA 92831
The Hellcat News is published monthly by the
12th Armored Division Association. All items
should be sent directly to respective Unit Rep-
resentatives. "Letters to the Editor" should be
directed to the Editor of the HCN. Other official
communications should be directed to the
Executive Secretary with checks made payable
to the Association, unless otherwise stipulated.
at Seward, NE and
at additional offices
JOHN M. FINLEY
PO BOX 43
GEORGETOWN PA 1 50430043
AUTO"3-DIGIT 1 50
The Capture of Wernher Von Bruan (com from page 3)
secure mission target or determine what we were up against. This
action was coordinated with CCB and they concurred.
I do not recall the name of the A/714 platoon leader that I placed
in command of the force, but gave him very definite orders to
report his every move. After they moved out we lost contact with
them and I moved out with the balance of TF Fields.
Our objective was to move as rapidly as possible on Innsbruck,
Austria. We moved through Kochel and started climbing the Alps
heading for Weltensee when we were stopped by a blown bridge
over a deep gorge. We did not have engineer bridging with us so it
became necessary to turn the entire command around, vehicle by
vehicle, on that narrow mountain road and return to Kochel.
At Kochel I again met the Navy Captain, sitting on the veranda
of the resort hotel talking to von Braun. At this time I told him that
I wanted to see this fabulous and important wind tunnel in opera-
tion. He agreed to have it set up and operating the next morning.
(We will stop the story here.)
The balance of the article describes the wind tunnel and its opera-
tion and deals with a second meeting Col. Fields had with von
Braun in the States in 1949. There is no mention in the article of
who actually captured von Braun and the other scientists. Was it
some unknown GI from the 714th AFA or was it the Navy Captain
and his driver?
The first part of this article gives Wernher von Braun's account
of the history leading to his group's capture or rescue early in May
1945. The second part describes the 12th Armored Division's
encounter with von Braun. Now for the third story.
With the U.S. Seventh Army approaching the Austrian border,
von Braun decided to make his move. Fearing that a contingent of
over a hundred men approaching the GIs on the front line might
cause some gunfire, he decided to send on man on their only
transportation, a bicycle. He selected his younger brother, Magnus,
who understood and spoke some English.
On May 2, 1945, Magnus von Braun rode down the mountain
and ran into an American GI on guard duty. The GI was Pfc.
Frederick Schneikert of the Anti-tank Co., 324th Regiment, 44th
Infantry Division, 7th Army. Pfc. Frederick Schneikert, hometown
Sheboygan, WI, ordered Magnus to drop the bicycle and put his
hands up. Magnus von Braun tried to explain, in broken English,
that he wanted to surrender more than a hundred rocket scientists
and that they wanted asylum.
The young GI decided that higher authority should be involved
and he turned the problem over to his commanding officer, 1st
Lieutenant Charles L. Stewart. After much discussion, Magnus'
story became clear and Lt. Stewart gave Magnus passes and escort
through the lines to 44th Infantry Division Headquarters. That is the
story of the 44th ID.
I assume this information went to the top very quickly. The war
was ending and there was much confusion and this part of the war
was top secret.
The war was ending and there was much confusion and this part
of the war was top secret. It was called "Operation Paperclip."
On June 20,1945, Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, approved the
transfer of some 125 German scientists to the United States. Within
weeks they were in the U.S., first for debriefing, then sent to Fort
Bliss to put their knowledge and experience to use. The transfer was
part of a program called "Operation Paperclip." The German
scientists could not leave Fort Bliss without a military escort. They
referred to themselves and PoPs, "Prisoners of Peace."
Within days of their capture, the Army collected and sent to the
White Sands Proving Grounds, all the rockets and all the spare parts
and all the data, drawings and notes from Peenemunde and Nord-
And now you have the rest of the story.
Ref: Hellcats- 12 th Armored Division, Vol. I by Ken Bradstreet
www 12tharmoredmuseum. org/capture. asp
Keyword - Wernher von Braun
Keyword - 44th Infantry Division
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Matching Search ResultsView 20 places within this issue that match your search.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Newspaper.
Twelfth Armored Division Association (U.S.). Hellcat News, (Fullerton, Calif.), Vol. 57, No. 11, Ed. 1, July 2004, newspaper, July 2004; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth410537/m1/20/?q=12th%20Armored%20Memorial%20Museum: accessed August 10, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum.