Alan Shaver
424th Regiment, Company D
106th Infantry Division
mm dd yy     (Notes from History
      Alan Alan records the following names on Italian currency: Clyde T. Holloway, Ernest E. Sanderson, Ohildon (sp? Sheldon?) Okin, Edward Baldwin, Gunther E. Hines, Wm. H. York  
        Alan records the following names on French currency: Robert Mayer, George (?) Warner, J.M. Surratt, Carl F. Lundquist, George Kaufman, Nat Patterson, Harold Willams, E.J. Hodge, Tony Barredo, Eric Engdahl, K. Austin, Roy E. Sharp (?)  
        Alan records the members of 2nd squad: Cpl Shaver, Diaz, Barredo, Collins, Davidson, Geraci  
        Alan notes a name: Harold J/Goslin  
        Alan notes a name: Elfrida Hoffmann "Vor der Kaserme von dem gropen Jeu"  
9 28 1951   Alan, Selective Service number 11 173 25 84, is classed as 5-A  
        Alan records the names of fellow soldiers: Shaver, Diaz, Davidson, Geraci, Collins, Elmer, Scironie, Smith T, Swafford, White, Petrarca, Rist, Ozorowski, Murrey (scratched out), Worthman  
9 8 1943   Alan arrives in ROTC in Madison WI  
12 5 1943   Alan returns to North Henderson on leave  
12 16 1943   Alan reports to Fort Sheridan in Chicago  
12 28 1943   Alan is transferred to Fort Benning in Columbus, GA  
3 30 1944   Alan is transferred to Camp Atterbury in Edenburg, IN  
10 11 1944   Alan is transferred to Camp Myles Standish in Boston MA  
10 20 1944   Alan's unit prepares to ship out from Aquitania, Port of NY  
10 21 1944   Alan ships out at 1000  
10 28 1944   Port call at Glasgow, Clyde of Perth  
10 30 1944   Alan's unit is stationed at Banbury England  
12 1 1944   Alan leaves England; Ship South Hampton  
12 6 1944   Alan lands at LeHarve France  
12 6 1944   Alan is bivoaced at Ayaville, France  
12 9 1944   Alan is 12 miles west of St. Vith, Belgium  
12 12 1944   Alan is in Steinbrauk, Germany  
12 16 1944   Alan is at Bulge Winterspelt Hark  helenfild Battle of the bulge began 12/16. Dad survived by playing dead. The Germans were going to each foxhole to shoot the wounded. They stopped just before reaching dad.
12 18 1944   Alan is at Beraub Belgium Later that day (12/16), another survivor attempted to escape. Leaving the fox hole, that person crossed a ridge. Dad heard gunfire, and never knew whether or not the person survived.
12 23 1944   Alan is at bivoaced west of Wielsahm Dad and 1 other survivor left their foxhole under cover of darkness. He reported hearing the Malmedy massacre on 12/17.
12 25 1944   Alan is at Champ de Hare Belgium  
12 26 1944   Alan is at Manhay Belgium  
12 31 1944   Alan is at Klevis Belgium  
1 2 1945 Alan Chateau-Hody, Belgium  
1 4 1945 Alan Stavelot & Malmedy; Hotel Bal Moral, Joa Belgium  
1 5 1945 Alan Winamplanche Belgium  
1 9 1945 Alan Aisemont Belgium  
1 10 1945 Alan Spineau & Wanee Belgium  
1 13 1945 Alan Heunemont Belgium  
1 19 1945 Alan Ebestang & Deidenburg Belgium  
1 29 1945 Alan Strivaux (Plainsviey) Belgium Probably wounded about this time
2 6 1945 Alan Paris France Most likely for medical treatment
2 9 1945 Alan Mortorville (Losheim) Germany  
3 6 1945 Alan woods  
3 8 1945 Alan Burk-Basson (Pillbox) Germany The picture!!!
3 16 1945 Alan St. Quentein France  
4 3 1945 Alan Bivoaced at Range (Neon Renney) France  
4 8 1945 Alan Rennes France  
4 25 1945 Alan Heideshein Germany  
5 12 1945 Alan Sprendlingen Germany  
7 1 1945 Alan Camp Allan Jones 21kl Mayen Germany  
7 7 1945 Alan Sprendlinger Germany  
7 11 1945 Alan Schollbronn Germany  
7 22 1945 Alan Camp Lucky Strike, LeHarve France  
8 22 1945 Alan Tiddworth Bks England  
8 28 1945 Alan London England  
8 29 1945 Alan Tiddworth Bks England  
9 4 1945 Alan South Hampton England  
9 5 1945 Alan Depart South Hampton England on the Queen Mary at 1100  
9 10 1945 Alan Arrived Port of NY at 0830  
9 10 1945 Alan Camp Kilmer Brunswick, NJ  
9 13 1945 Alan Camp Grant, Rockford, IL  
9 14 1945 Alan Home on leave  
11 2 1945 Alan Camp Grant, Rockford, IL  
11 11 1945 Alan Mayo Gen Hosp  
12 16 1945 Alan Home  
5 13 1946 Alan Discharged from the Army at Fort Sheridan IL; Co M, 320th Inf; Wounded in Belgium in 1945  
      Alan Dogtags: 16102222 T44-44 B     P  
      Alan 106 Golden Lion Division, Co D, 424th Inf Regiment  
 

Whimsical Fate in a Foxhole -- AIan E. Shaver: Some parts of this account were told to Robert Shaver by Alan (November 1945) and by his wife, Bonnie (February 1990).
Alan Shaver was six months out of high school and in a college military program when he was inducted into the regular U.S. Army in December 1943. One year later, he was serving as a front-line infantryman in the brand-new, totally untested 106th Infantry Division in Belgium. This division was assigned to a central position in the Western Allies line of deployment. The Allies by then had had some success along the second front in Europe by breaking out of their Normandy strongholds, liberating France, and by even advancing into some German territory. But the final rout of the German Wehrmacht had not yet begun.


About one month prior to that December, Alan's brother, Bob, then in England on active duty with the U.S. Eighth Air Force, had visited Alan in his division' s bivouac in southern England. The day of visitation was dark and gloomy. Endless rows of the 106th's tents marched up and down hill beneath a heavy canopy of browning oaks. Alan was taciturn and resigned, and Bob was filled with foreboding of the extreme unpleasantness that undoubtedly was in Alan's near future. He also had a strangely unreasoned guilty feeling because he much preferred his flying lot, although odds for his survival were probably less than those of Alan.


In Belgium it was the position of the U.S. 106th Division and one or two others that the Germans singled out on December 16, 1944, to bear the brunt of their thrust to begin one of the most famous battles in all the annals of warfare. If successful, the Germans hoped to delay the Allied advance by at least a year, and in their fondest hopes they would stay forever the further Western advance into German territory or throw the Western Alliance out of Europe altogether.


As 38 German divisions rushed headlong to begin the Battle of the Bulge, Alan's division and a few others were decimated, never to be reconstituted. The German losses, exacerbated by their offensive stance, were even greater, some 200,000 casualties and prisoners (World Book Encyclopedia, 1966, v. 20, p. 397), but for two weeks the outcome for the Allies was extremely tenuous. On line in Belgium, Alan was in a third foxhole down from the summit of a hill and on the side sheltered from the Germans. Came the German-chosen time to commence battle, and hordes of them swarmed over the hill and killed all the Americans in the three foxholes except Alan.


He dared not move and played dead. Other Germans appeared and shot the already slain American soldiers to assure that they need not be burdened by wounded prisoners. Before Alan's turn came for the coup de grace, the German leader said something like, "Oh, come on, let's go, " and go they did.


[Alan recounted this story directly to his son (Dennis). Alan noted there were 2 other soldiers with him in his foxhole. During the afternoon, one soldier left the fox and crossed a ridge behind them. Alan reported hearing some gunfire later, but he never learned the fate of that soldier. That night, under the cover of darkness, Alan and the other soldier left the foxhole in search of the American lines, which they found a couple days later.]
Alan departed the foxhole, and during days of bitterly cold, snowy weather and isolation in the somber Ardennes Forest, he eventually found the security of the far withdrawn American lines. On one of these days he was startled to come face to face with two Germans. He killed one of them, who, Alan said, seemed to be younger and less well trained than was he. Alan had been quicker, but he remembered this second irony of wartime fate to befall him. He was affected in later years by recollection of such whimsy and the impartiality of the tragedy of war.


Alan was wounded and received the Purple Heart, but whether it was during engagement in the Battle of the Bulge or in another is not known here.


[Alan recounted this to Dennis as well. He was wounded by shrapnel while marching in formation near Stavelot, Belgium on 29 JAN 1945. A grenade was tossed into the ranks. The man nearest the grenade was killed. The man behind him was cover head to toe with shrapnel, which shielded Alan, who was behind him. Alan picked a piece of stray shrapnel in his ankle.]


During that critical pre-Christmas 1944 time in the Ardennes, the entire Eighth Air Force, stationed in England, temporarily abandoned its high—altitude strategic bombing of Germany and flew tactical support missions for the beleaguered U.S. troops focused at Bastogne, Belgium. But not at the beginning of that great battle, for the Germans had chosen their optimum time, one of bad weather, which kept the Eighth Air Force and other Allied air power grounded.


At last the weather cleared by December 24. Thousands of heavy bombers, Flying Fortresses and Liberators were sent aloft from scores of East Anglia airfields. Bob's B-24 Liberator crew, which knew of the 106th Division's plight and that of others, flew lead ship for the 389th Bomb group on one of the tactical support missions, this one to Bitburg, Germany. Bitburg, just over the border from Belgium, was a principal staging and supply center for the German push.


Bob's crew and he as one of the lead navigators received a special “Lead Crew Commendation" for its meritorious achievement of the destruction of the target at Bitburg. This was the same Bitburg that received the world's attention when in 1985 President Ronald Reagan made his controversial memorial visit to the military cemetery at Bitburg. Here were emotional and nostalgic experiences and memories, for both Alan and Bob, of December 24, 1944, and the preceding days, recollections that, for Bob, surged powerfully forward again in his mind in 1985.


Not for Alan and Bob alone, however, for Alan's second son, Donald, was serving in about 1970 as a Russian interpreter in the U.S. Army in Europe. He visited the monument that America raised in honor of Alan' s 106th and other divisions that absorbed the full force of onslaught and in honor of other units that saved the day at Bastogne. Those men and others went on to victory in that battle by early January 1945 and thence, months later, to victory that ended the European war. We may think that more than whimsical fate entered Donald's mind.

Source: “To Plant a Tree”, A Glass-Edgar-Shaver-Koons Genealogy, by Robert H. Shaver, and dedicated to Alan E. Shaver, 1990.

Source: Dennis Shaver, son of Alan Shaver
Page last revised 02/24/2019
James D. West
www.IndianaMilitary.org