My father was born in New York, New York on June 20, 1907. He married my mother, Margaret Hilgendorf, on September 9, 1939. They lived in Hamilton Beach, New York. He had one sister, Betty, and my mother had two brothers, Charlie and Fred. Everyone lived fairly close. I was born on May 4, 1943, and was their only child. He was inducted into the Army on September 28, 1943, at the age of 36. He left from New York on April 5, 1944, for the war in Europe. His unit entered the war in Europe through Utah Beach.
He was wounded on June 14, 1944, near Amfreville on the Normandy peninsular and returned to action on June 26, 1944. On November 29, 1944, he was killed by artillery fire, close to the border between France and Germany, near Mondorf, Germany. He was a Private in the 90th Division, 359th Regiment, Company L when he met his untimely death.
He was first buried in a temporary cemetery near Limey, France and moved in 1949 to a permanent grave in the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial at St. Avold, France. It is a beautiful resting place for more than 10,000 American soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. I am happy for my father that he is in such a beautiful place, but unhappy that his life ended so early.
My mother never talked about the war or my father. I believe she had a very difficult time with his entry into the war at 36, leaving her with a young child. She never remarried and did a wonderful job raising me. She was a loving, caring mother.
The letters my father wrote in the last month before he was killed were filled with love for my mother and me. He expressed how miserable it was and how he longed to come home to be with his family. His last letter was written on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 1944. A quote from his final letter tells it all: "How is that darling son, Paul, of mine? I sure do miss you and him a great deal and hope that next year we will all be together again."
I am proud that my father served his country and sad that he had to give his life. May he rest in peace knowing that what he gave his life for made our world a much better place.
His Loving Son,
– Paul C. Bremer –
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© 2019 • by Paul C. Bremer and the sons and daughters of AWON • All rights reserved.