The Wartime Memories Project - US Army - 180th Infantry Regiment



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Information.

180th Infantry Regiment was part of the 45th Division



Journal of Pvt. Frank A. Kobilis

Company C 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Division

Inducted Into the Army June 3, 1943 - Discharged November 19, 1945

"Part of my life history" Written April 27, 1945

I was a prisoner of war for 205 days. That's about 10 years off my life.

March 13, 1944 I got on the boat for Europe.

April 4, 1944 I landed in Palermo Sicily.

April 8, 1944 I went from Palermo Sicily to Messina Sicily.

April 10, 1944 I left Messina and went to Italy.

April 15, 1944 I got off at Caserta Italy at a replacement Depot.

May 1, 1944 I left Caserta Italy and went to Anzio beach head.

May 10, 1944 I had my first experience in combat.

May 23, 1944 The great drive for Rome was on.

May 26, 1944 My Company got in the great drive for Rome.

June 5, 1944 We were pulled off the line after Rome was taken.

June 5, 1944 Until August 12, 1944 we took amphibious training for the invasion of France.

August 13, 1944 We got on the boat headed for France.

August 15, 1944 We made the invasion of Southern France.

September 28, 1944 I was captured by Germans in St. Helena France. That was the worst day of my life.

October 5, 1944 I went to Strasburg Germany, to a prison camp. It was a horrible camp. This was the first of my prison career. What a life.

October 15, 1944 I left Strasburg and went to Limburg Stalag 12A, it was almost unbearable on the train and when we went to Limburg, I just about died from the sight of the camp.

November 2, 1944 We left Limburg and went to Stalag II B in Hammerstein. The trip was also unbearable. I just about went nuts on the train. I also got my right foot froze so I couldn't walk on it. We didn't have a thing to eat or drink for 7 days and 6 nights. I also only had a little field jacket to wear. It was way below zero.

November 9, 1944 We arrived at Hammerstein. This place was a little better. We at least got some clean cloths and Red Cross packages.

November 16, 1944 I was put on a work Kommando in Stalag.

November 23, 1944 Thanks Giving. We had a big bowl of soup and worked like hell. It snowed about 15" deep.

December 2, 1944 I knew your birthday was somewhere in December but I didn't know when, but I thought of you all day dad.

December 19, 1944 I knew your birthday was then Johnnie (his brother). I wondered if you were in the Army or Navy. I prayed so you wouldn't have to go. I don't want you to go through what I did.

December 25, 1944 Christmas Day. How homesick I was this day and I just about cried all day but we got a Red Cross package and Christmas package. God bless the Red Cross.

February 19, 1945 We started out on the "Black Hunger March".

March 8, 1944 My birthday. 20 years old, still marching. We got 1 slice of bread and 25 men on a pound of butter, what a birthday. This was one of the better days we had.

April 12, 1945 "The Day of My Liberation" The happiest day of my life!

April 17, 1945 I left Germany and came to France. How glad I was to get out of that "God Forsaken Land"!

April 27, 1945 I am hoping to get on the boat headed for the "U.S.A". I am hoping and praying to see you all soon.

April 29, 1945 I moved from the processing area to the shipping area. I expect to get on the boat tonight some time, headed for the good old U.S.A. I'm hoping anyway.

April 30, 1945 Got up at 2:00. Loaded on a ship and went to South Hampton England.

May 1, 1945 Started out for the good old U.S.A. Hope I arrive safely. Hope to see everyone at home soon.

May 3, 1945 On my way we came in contact with German subs about 4 times.

May 9, 1945 Still going but its pretty rough sailing.

May 15, 1945 Arrived in Sunbury awaiting family to come and take me home.

Pvt. Frank A. Kobilis

My Father, Frank A. Kobilis, was in Company C 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Division during WWII. On September 28, 1944 he was captured by German forces in St. Helena France. He was held as a POW at Stalag XIIA in Limburg and at Stalag IIB in Hammerstein (as well as others). After he was liberated on April 12, 1945 he wrote a this log of his experiences.

My father was originally from Pennsylvania in the U.S. He was awarded the Bronze Star, three battle ribbons (with one spear head for making an amphibious landing), the POW medal, the Combat Infantry Badge and others. He passed away in 1988. I'm sure that he was tormented by his experiences as a POW for the rest of his life. Thank you for putting this on your web site.

Frank Kobilis



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