The Linkups 


The 69th Infantry Division's legacy is it was the first military division of all the Allies to meet the Russians in WWII.  This took place in, and the vicinity, of Torgau, Germany, April 25, 1945. 

                    Actually, there were three meetings in what historically became known as "East Meets West."  These meetings took place at different locations and times, by patrols that would later be identified as Patrol No. 1, Patrol No. 2 and Patrol No. 3, all led by and including brave men from the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 273rd Infantry Regiment of the 69th Infantry Division along with an attached member from Hq 1st Army and Hq V Corps. 

    Patrol No 2 came from Hq Co 1st Bn.  It was led by 2nd Lt William D. Robertson, Los Angeles, CA, accompanied by Cpl James W McDonnell, Peabody, MA; Pfc Frank P. Huff, Washington, VA and Pfc Paul Staub, Bronx, NY.  It met the Russians on a blown steel bridge in Torgau which crossed the Elbe River, at 1600 (4:00PM) and was honored universally as the "first" to meet the Russians.   

    Members of Patrol No 2 are shown in this picture, L to R, Huff, McDonnell, Robertson and Staub.  All are deceased except Paul Staub.


    Patrol No 1, led  by 1st Lt Albert L Kotzebue, Co G, Houston, TX, met the Russians at Leckwitz, Germany, 1130 (11:30AM).  Members of this Patrol included:

T/Sgt Frederick W Johnston, Co G,   Bedford, PA     

S/Sgt Alfred E Aronson,  Co G  New York, NY      

S/Sgt Wm E Weisel      Hq 2nd Bn    Norwood, OH

 Sgt John Sgt John J Peters  Co H,   Brooklyn, NY    

Sgt Jack B Tyson Co H,   Columbia, VA          

Cpl Christopher R Twardzik Co H, Shonandock, PA

Cpl Stephen A Kowalski, Med Det,  NewYork,  NY  

Tec 5 Robert D Stuart  Hq 2nd Bn,    Scranton, TX

Pfc Nicholas Supron   Hq 2nd Bn,    Scranton, TX     

Pfc James W Kane, Jr   Co G,   Overbrook Hill, PA  

Pfc J P Thomas  Co G          Blue Springs, MS  

Pfc Emmett P Thompson   Co G     Merkel, TX          

Pfc Joseph W Johnson    Co G      Excelsior, MI     

Pfc Van D Rye     Co G     Clarksville, TN    

Pfc Harold R Brummell    Co G   Lees Summit, MO  

Pfc Joseph P Polowsky   Co G   S Minneapolis,MN

 Pfc Carl L Robinson   Co H     Lancaster, SC  


 Pfc John Wheeler   Co H,    Winstead, CN 

Pfc Edwin Jeary  Co H,      Detroit, MI

Pfc Robert Haag  Co H,      Washington, IN

Pfc Wm Matousek   Co H,      Glendale, CA

Pfc Melvin Roseland Co H,  Seneca, SD

Pfc John W Best   Co H,    Champian, PA

 Pfc Harold B Pemberton Co H,  Ft Worth, TX

  Pfc Edward P Ruff   Co H,  Riverside, NJ

 Pfc Otha N Phillips   Co H,   Quitman, LA

Pfc Charles G Attara Co H  Paterson, NJ

  Pfc Charles H Schulta Co H Dubuque, LA

  Pfc Rudolph Hoyos   Co H, Los Angeles, CA

  Pfc James R Gilmore Co H  Great Bend, KS

  Pfc John B Adams, Jr Co H  Rockingham, NC

Pvt Larry Hamlin        Co G  Towaoc, CO

 Pvt Robert S Legal     Co H  Georgetown, MA

 Pvt Peter M Calasciona Co G Los Angeles, CA

          Patrol No 3, led by Major Fred W. Craig, Hq 2nd Bn, Friendship, TN, met the Russians at Clanzschwitz, Germany, at 1645 (4:45PM).  Members of this Patrol included:

Capt George J Morey  Hq 2nd Bn    Dumont, NJ  

Capt Wm J Fox  Hq V Corps   Brooklyn, NY 

2nd Lt Thomas P Howard  Co E  Lake Cormorant, MS

M/Sgt Paul H Murdoch  Hq 273rd    Los Angeles, CA  

Sgt Edward J Lang   Co E    Boston, MA    

Sgt Bennett Thompon   Co H    Athens, TX 

Sgt Robert F Bender    Co H   Des Moines, IA   

Sgt Andrew Marriock   Co H    Hudson, NJ     

Sgt Albert Harzog      Co H  Brooklyn, NY   

T/4 Howard J Auclair  Hq 273rd  Tupper Lake, NY  

T/4 Robert L Mayer    Hq 273rd   Wheaton, IL

Cpl May L Weinstein  Co H  Long Island, NY    

Pfc Jaun A Arrandondo   Co H     Laredo, TX      

Pfc Harold C McCord   Co H     Newark, NJ     

Pfc Richard L Parent     Co H     Trenton, NJ     

Pfc Lawrence J Wilson   Co H     Durham, NC   

Pfc Elijah R Sams    Co H   Pinnacle, NC   

Pfc Edward K Pollard    Co H  Needham, MA  

Pfc Murry Schulman      Co H   Brooklyn, NY 

Pfc Fred Warren, Jr       Co H    Myrtle, MO   

Pfc Arthur E Reinhardt   Co H    Leehman, NJ 

Pfc Ronald Williams      Co H        Fairport, NY 

Pfc Dewey Crause         Co H        Lincolnton, NC

Pfc John W Mowery, Jr  Co H       Sutton, WV    




Pfc Simon M Talamantee  Co H CorpusChristi, TX  

Pfc Robert H Walters   Co H   Minneapolis, MN

Pfc William H Horton   Co H    Philadelpia, PA

Pfc Vincent S Smithhisler    Co H    Cleveland, OH

Pfc Abraham L Collin, Jr   Co H     Rupert, WV

 Pfc Paul J Peters   Co H    Waterville, ME

 Pfc Stanford J Silvestri    Co E   Brooklyn, NY

 Pfc Edward J Berger  Co E   Halletsville, TX

 Pfc Edward Rasmus   Co E        Naticoke, PA

 Pfc Auston B Johnson   Co E     Fort Payne, AL

Pfc Igor N Belousevitch Co E   San Francisco, CA

  Pfc Wm Seiter  Hq 1st Army   Detroit, MI

Pfc Alex Hotes   Co E     Messmore, PA

Pfc William J Head  Co E     Knoxville, TN

 Pfc Jesse J King     Co E     Liberty, Ky

Pfc Clarence L Houseknecht   Co E  Hughsville, PA

 Pfc Charles C Forrester   Co E    Greer, SC

Pfc Donald J Champeny    Co E    Milwaukee, WI

 Pfc Richard R Chambers  Co E     Marathon,TX  

 Pfc Joseph Winnicki Co E    Buffalo, NY

 Pvt Joe F Hamay   Co E     Ellsworth, PA

 Pvt Claudie Moore Co H    Newburn, TN

 Pvt Ernest E Newman   Co H   Martinez, GA

Pvt Harold B Ellison  Co H    Williamson, WV

  Pvt Lonne Upton, Jr  Co H   Washington, NC

  Pvt Jesse A Gum  Co H    Alton, MO


                                These Are the Men of the Link-Up!