post by Rich Weatherly from a Cleburne Times-Review special article by Pete Kendall.
Rich Weatherly with Herbert Lubke – Winner of 2 Purple Heart and 2 Bronze Star Medals taken March 23, 2013 in Grandview, Texas.
In the late 1950s and early ’60s, I had the privilege of studying agriculture (AG) under Herb Lubke. After receiving a link to this article I felt compelled to share his amazing story with my readers, many of whom are combat veterans. While teaching us ag, he shared stories about his service in Europe during WWII, much of which is included here. He is one of those iconic figures that students learn to respect instantly and grow to admire while he molds their lives.
I urge you to read the full article.
Here’s an excerpt from the interview by Pete Kendall.
“I learned to sleep with one eye open,” the Army sniper said with a grin.
From an interview and report By Pete Kendall/Special to the Cleburne Times-Review
Lubke was a member of the 99th Infantry Division and served as head scout for a platoon behind enemy lines. He was liberated by Gen. George S. Patton on April 1, 1945.
“He exited hostilities a bona fide hero with two purple hearts, two bronze stars, a 100 percent physical disability rating and frostbite. He went from 160 pounds to 100 as a prisoner of war. Today, he walks with the aid of a cane and Oleta, his wife of more than 65 years.”
Herb Lubke has an amazing story to tell. Please click this link to read the entire article by Pete Kendall.
By Richard L. Weatherly
Sunday morning, December 7th, 1941 began like so many others on the beautiful island of Oahu. After a busy week of patrols and training exercises, U.S.S. Raleigh docked on the northwest side of Ford Island. Officers and crew not on duty had gone ashore or were planning rest and relaxation on the beach. At 0755, my Dad, A.C. Weatherly, stared at himself in the mirror while shaving, a final step before going ashore himself. His expression changed from calm to alarm when a torpedo dropped from a Japanese plane slammed amidships on the port side.
A.C. (Ace) Weatherly Jr at Pearl Harbor
The ships klaxon sounded announcing General Quarters, “General quarters, general quarters. All hands man your battle stations.” This wasn’t a drill. Within five minutes, Raleigh anti-aircraft batteries opened fire with three-inch, 1-inch, and .50 caliber guns. Raleigh gunners recorded several downed enemy aircraft. All crewmen not on damage control parties or manning the guns were ordered to assist the gunners by passing ammunition.
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6 June 1944
A LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) from the U.S. Coast Guard-manned USS Samuel Chase disembarks troops of the U.S. Army’s First Division on the morning of June 6, 1944 (D-Day) at Omaha Beach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There’s an old anonymous expression that says, “Freedom isn’t free.” The Normandy Invasion signaled the beginning
of the end of Nazi tyranny. Allied forces consisting of American, British and Canadian troops made up the main invasion force of over 160,000 ground combatants. Allied Navy and merchants ships numbered more than 5,000. Ships provided transportation and gunfire support during the invasion. At midnight before the amphibious assault, Allied Aircraft and gliders inserted almost 8,000 paratroopers behind enemy lines. This represented the largest armada and invasion force in history. Weather and timing were critical to the success of the mission, so was deception. It had taken nearly five years to reach this point in a war that began in September, 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Nazi forces. This truly was the start of the liberation of Europe. Total Allied casualties were approximately 12,000; again, freedom isn’t free. At Pointe du Hoc German 155mm guns threatened assaults on Utah and Omaha beaches.
There’s a Texas connection to the Normandy invasion that can’t be ignored. I am quoting an article from the Texas State Historical Association about the Second Ranger Battalion commander, James Earl Rudder. This battalion played a pivotal role in success at Omaha and Utah Beaches:
June 06, 1944
On this day in 1944, D-day, James Earl Rudder commanded the Second Ranger Battalion as it achieved one of the
Modern day view of Pointe du Hoc, Normandy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
great feats of arms of the Normandy invasion. Rudder, a native of Eden, Texas, had served in the army in the 1930s and was recalled to duty during World War II. He became commander and trainer of the elite Second Ranger Battalion in 1943. On D-day Rudder’s Rangers stormed the beach at Pointe du Hoc and, under constant enemy fire, scaled 100-foot cliffs to reach and destroy German gun batteries. The battalion suffered higher than 50 percent casualties, and Rudder himself was wounded twice. In spite of this, he and his men helped establish a beachhead for the Allied forces. In later life Rudder became president of Texas A&M. In 1967 he received the Distinguished Service Medal from President Lyndon Johnson.
Ronald Reagan’s Speech on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day
Delivered at Pointe du Hoc Youtube Video, Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day 6/6/84
Related Handbook Articles:
Allied invasion plans and german positions in the Normandy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Preinvasion bombing of Pointe du Hoc by 9th Air Force bombers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Convoy on its way to support the Normandy invasion. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)