47th Tank Battalion B Company, B-11, 14th Armored Division
Killed in Action 24 March, 1945,
near Germersheim on the Rhine, Germany
-- Walter Paul Linne and John George Linne --
The attack on Germersheim on the Rhine was to come from the south, but the bridge
leading into the town had been blown by the Germans. The attacking force of tankers
and infantry was reassembled to the woods west of the town. About three in the morning
the enemy began shelling the woods. The infantry had no where to hide and took a terrible
beating. The attack advanced across an open field towards the town under heavy fire from
antitank guns, machine guns, small arms, and the "kitchen sink". Our Dad had climbed out
of the turret to load wounded infantrymen on to the back of his tank when he was hit and
exclaimed, "Oh my God, I been hit!" The Tank Commander next to my dad reports, "Walt got hit!"
One of his friends in that tank writes, "we lost so many comrades and friends that we had no
time to grieve properly, we had to fight on...
Two months earlier our Dad was wounded at the Battle of Hatten, the greatest defensive battle
fought during the war by the 14th Armored Division. Every tank in his company was knocked out.
During his six weeks convalescence he worries of being sent to a depot rather than back to his
old outfit. He writes of building up the nerve to go back into combat because he had seen so
much killing and destruction ... our dad was killed in action six weeks before the end of the war
in Europe. He is buried at Holy Cross cemetery in his home town of Indianapolis, Indiana.
A special thanks to all the fathers who did not come home for preserving our freedom. It is
in their memory that we would like to thank all the veterans for their part in World War II.