Nov 8, 2016
I was born November 23, 1920 in Wausau, Wisconsin. Raised on a farm, I was there until my first year of High School. My family moved to Portland where I went to Roosevelt High.
In ’38, I joined the Army National Guard and was ordered to Camp Swamp Murray across the Highway from Fort Lewis in Washington. We were billeted in 6 man prams with a roll up tent siding and a center stove.
After initial training, there was a draw down on troops followed by new recruits. We were trained in camps in Tennessee, Georgia, and Louisiana.
Early 1941, our unit was ordered to the Philippines, departing from San Francisco via ship and I made Staff Sergeant. Our ship arrived off of Hawaii on Dec 7th (the day of the attack) and was rerouted to San Francisco where we reported to Presidio.
On Jan of ’42, we returned to Fort Lewis. I married Charlotte in November of 1942. My unit was brought up to strength and sent to Tennessee for Training. The weather was colder there than my time in Europe.
Our unit was sent to Manchester England where we resided in Pup tents for 6 months until the D-Day invasion. I was a gunner with the 65th field artillery using 105mm (6”) artillery shells.
We landed in Normandy the day after D-Day under siege of German 88’s. We moved across France to LeHarve where the action endured for a month.
We spent 3 month on Siegred Line. The Germans broke through and they pulled back through France. We discovered a German mine field the hard way losing 20 men from our unit.
We were involved in the Battle of the Bulge. With a driver injured, I took over as driver of the 7-ton Diamond T which moved our artillery piece during the battle. We used up all our ammunition and our gun was hit and knocked out of the fight and we had to take it to Brussels Belgium for repair.
In May of 1944, the Germans surrendered. We took huge numbers of German prisoners and escorted them to Internment areas. At one time, we escorted prisoners into Russia.
My unit returned to LeHarve and embarked on ships and transported back to England.
While there, my points were added up and I was one of the few who were allowed to return to the US. I landed in New York passing by the Statue of Liberty.
On June 15, 1945, he was discharged with 8 years of service as a Staff Sergeant. He had three other brothers who also served during the war. My wife, Charlotte had 7 brothers who served.
I am Ambrose Denfeld, the founder of Denfeld Paints here in Bend.