Hershel Kiedel Sholar
In North Africa
Hershel Kiedel Sholar b. September 04, 1921Cadiz, Trigg County, KY. He died in Warren, MI July 21, 1987. He was the 3rd and youngest son of James Edward Sholar and Christie Ethel Chewning of Trigg County. Kiedell as he was called in Trigg County, was also known as "Tommy". He said he acquired the name during the war because he carried a "Thompson" machine gun. The name stayed with him for the rest of his life.
Branch of service: US Army
Rank at discharge: T5, Corporal - Specialist in laying mines,demolitions, the blowing up of "pill boxes"., and automatic weapons.
Hershel went into the army in September of 1942. He received his basic training at Ft Belvoir, Maryland and was sent to Tunisia where he saw action in North Africa. While in Africa he spent a day and a night with Hulett Carr just before he died (Hulett Carr's name is on the Memorial Marker in front of the Trigg County Court House)and he saw John Howel, Charles Futrell and Guy Cunningham. He was also in the American landings for the invasion of Sicily. He was wounded in the chest by an artillery round during a German heavy counter attack just 8 days before the battle ended. He was sent back to an African hospital for 2 months.
After recovering from wounds, he was sent to England where he re-joined his outfit as they trained for the invasion of Europe. On June 06, 1944 Hershel participated in the largest invasion force in history. His division went ashore on the Normandy beach, D-Day as it was to be called. His unit was instrumental in breaching the German defenses and allowing the American army to break out of the beachhead and inward to the deadly hedgerows of France. For their actions, General Marshal, Army Chief of Staff, wrote the following Unit Citation: General Orders No. 67
BATTLE HONORS ----- Citations of units......... Section VIII
VIII BATTLE HONORS.---2. As authorized by Executive Order No.9396( sec.1,Bull. 22 WD 1943), superseding Executive Order No.9075( sec.III, Bull. 11 WD 1942, citation of the following unit in General Orders, No49, Headquarters 1st United States Infantry Division, 26 July,1944, as approved by the Commanding General, First Army, is confirmed under the provisions of section IV, Circular No 333, War Department, 1943, in the name of the President of the United States as public evidence of deserved honor and distinction. The citation reads as follows:
The 1st Engineers Combat Battalion took part in the Assault on the coast of France on 6 June 1944 with the mission of performing engineer work necessary to allow assault forces to breach coastal defenses and exploit the bridgehead. Burdened with heavy loads of explosives and engineer equipment, the unit came ashore under heavy artillery, antitank, mortar, rifle grenade, machine gun, and small arms fire. Despite heavy casualties and continuous enemy fire the 1st Engineer Combat Battalion, with courageous determination, cleared gaps in barbed wire and mine fields to gain the beach. Working at times ahead of the infantry the engineers cleared a beach exit through antitank ditches, road blocks, and minefields and opened a vehicle transit road inland. Until the morning of 7 June 1944 this beach exit was the only one in operation. For 24 hours all task force tanks, supporting weapons, and vehicles that were landed passed through this one exit. Mine detector teams and road repair parties cleared inland roads aggressively, at times engaging enemy infantry, capturing prisoners, and obtaining valuable information concerning enemy installations. Minefields and barbed wire were installed under fire in front of our infantry defensive positions inland. While the enemy was still on the outskirts of Caumont, the engineers entered the city under enemy artillery shelling, extinguished great fires, demolished tottering buildings, and cleared streets of debris. The extraordinary heroism of the officers and men of the 1st Engineer Combat Battalion and their foresight and technical skill under difficult and hazardous conditions were a material contribution to the establishment of the bridgehead and exemplify the highest standards of the United States Armed Forces.
By order of the Secretary of War:
Chief of Staff
The Adjutant General
His division made their way through France, Holland and then into Belgium. They were heavily involved in the Hurtgen Forest and the Battle of the Bulge. In Aachen, Germany he was slightly wounded by shrapnel, but not serious. In February 1945, near Dern, Germany, he was seriously wounded in the right foot. This would take him out of the war and into a long rehabilitation period. He was sent by plane to Paris and then on to England where he remained until Germany fell. On June 1st he left England for the States and landed in New York June 11th and was sent to the Holoran General Hospital in New York. After a medical examination there he was assigned to the Thayer General Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. He was discharged from the Army at Fort Atterbury, Indiana August 11,1945 At the time he was discharged he had accumulated 114 points. A total of 2 years and 10 months spent in the service of his country.
For Hershel's actions and bravery under fire he was awarded the Purple Heart with oak cluster(for being wounded twice), the Good Conduct Medal, the WWII Victory Medal,Meritorious Unit Emblem, European-African-Middle Eastern-Campaign Medal, several Unit Citations, Honorable Service Lapel Pin and 4 bronze stars and the French Croix DeGuerre. His Honorable Discharge is recorded in Veterans Discharge Book No.2 at page 81 in Trigg County Clerk's Office, in Cadiz, KY. 10th day September 1945. R.A.Macgraw, clerk T.C.C.
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