Archive for May, 2010

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May 31, 2010

Announcements of updates and additions to the Cizewski, Lovetere, Musbach, & Robinson Families History Pages along with occasional commentary will be posted on this blog.

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Memorial Day 65 years ago: Felix Cizewski & Ralph Robinson

May 29, 2010
45th Infantry Division Memorial Day Services, May 30, 1945 Konigsplatz, Munich, Germany

45th Infantry Division observing Memorial Day, May 30, 1945 in the Konigsplatz, Munich, Germany. PFC Felix A. Cizewski is somewhere in this scene with other members of the 45th Signal Company. (Public Domain Image.)

On May 30, 1945, the 45th Infantry Division held Memorial Day services in the Konigsplatz in Munich, Germany.

Felix A. Cizewski, my late father, may have participated as a member of the 45th Signal Company.

The 45th had captured Munich a few weeks earlier after the 45th’s Task Force Sparks had liberated Dachau outside of Munich.

Munich was the birthplace of the Nazi Party and Germany had surrendered three weeks earlier. Both may have added poignancy to the service.

By this time, some of the men realized that they had not served long enough to be eligible for discharge and instead were to be transferred to the Pacific.

The division may not yet have been informed that not only eligible individuals but the entire 45th was to be redeployed to the war with Japan.

A copy of the program is posted on my family history site. I purchased it on Ebay. After posting it, I donated it to the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.

Ralph E. Robinson with Landing Ship Medium 34 and Gizmo somewhere in the Philippines, 1944 or 1945

Ralph E. Robinson with Landing Ship Medium 34 and Gizmo somewhere in the Philippines, 1944 or 1945. (Image © 2010 The Family of Ralph E. Robinson. May not be reproduced, displayed, modified or distributed without the express prior written permission.)

On the other side of the world,  my late father-in-law, Ralph E. Robinson, on Landing Ship Medium 34 continued delivering supplies to troops in the Philippines.

According to Samuel Eliot Morrison in the History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Vol. XIII:The Liberation of the Philippines, life may have become a bit easier for Ralph. While they still needed to be on the alert for mines, shore batteries, small boats and submarines., the Japanese air force in the Philippines had been mostly destroyed and the Japanese had stopped sending new planes.  The air attacks, including by kamikazes, had almost ceased.

The Japanese were using their remaining planes against the U.S. forces who had landed on Okinawa and were saving more for the expected landings on their home islands.

Ralph and his shipmates were aware of that as they trained with the Army for the invasion of Japan scheduled for about September, 1945, in about three months.

65th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe

May 9, 2010
45th Division News Extra: War Ends

Felix A. Cizewski's copy of the 45th Division News Extra edition, May 13, 1945, announcing the end of the war in Europe. The full edition and larger images are on my family history web site: 45th Division News (The original has been donated to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center which hold the copyright on reproductions of this copy.)

65 years ago, my father, Felix A. Cizewski, got the news that Germany surrendered. The Germans had been defeated in the 45th Infantry Division’s area of operations and the 45th had halted in and around Munich and Dachau a few days earlier.

As positive as this was, Felix did not yet know his fate. At this point, nothing indicated that he was going home. Was he to remain in Germany on occupation duty or be transferred to the Pacific for the war with Japan.

For the first time, foreign troops were in the annual Moscow victory parade The U.S. unit was  C Company, 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. This unit’s history includes landing on Omaha Beach in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Allied Troops to Join 10,500 Russian Soldiers in Victory Parade by Alexander Bratersky,The Moscow Times, May 7, 2010.

Link: Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

65th anniversary of the liberation of Dachau

May 9, 2010
SS Camp Gate at Dachau

Entrance to the SS training camp and garrison west of the Dachau prison compound. Felix A. Cizewski penciled on the back : "Dachau Germany Prison Camp." The original has been donated to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center (Copyright: Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center)

65 years ago on April 29, 1945, “Task Force Sparks” of the 45th Infantry Division was fighting its way into Dachau. My father, PFC Felix A. Cizewski, was in the 45th Signal Company which was moving from Schrobenhausen, Germany, about 39 miles (63 kilometers) by road north of Dachau to Haimhausen, about 8 miles (13 kilometers) by road northeast of Dachau.

The Signal Company provided support for other units of the 45th such as “Task Force Sparks”.

Felix and the Signal Company arrived at Dachau a few days later. Details of his experience and a copy of the 45th Division News with the story of the liberation of Dachau are at my family history web site:

Dachau 1945

The liberation of Dachau may have been one of the most powerful and traumatic experiences of my father’s life.

A Disabled Veteran?


Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

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