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US Army

Prisoner of War ?

Prisoner of War?

 

 January 2, 1945
 
When the German attack started, they attempted to disrupt the allied defense by parachuting English-speaking, highly-trained German soldiers dressed in American uniforms, carrying U.S. weapons, and wearing dog-tags.  These spies attempted to cause chaos by changing road signs, misleading troops and many acts of sabotage.  These Nazi spies were dropped behind American front lines and caused real problems in some areas. 
 
To counteract this, Allied Forces set up road blocks and checked all soldiers.  At the check points they would question everyone with questions referring to American slang — baseball talk, such as line drive, Texas leaguer, etc.  Things that only true Americans would know. 
 
On January 2, 1945, my survey crew and I were making a reconnaissance for new battery positions in case we had to displace to support our unit. 
 
We were stopped at one of these check points.  Evidently, my answers to questioning were not conclusive that I was not a spy.  I was disarmed and separated from my crew who were also under interrogation. 
 
Probably part of the problem was my characteristics.  I am of German descent, 6 foot tall, blond, fair skinned, blue eyes, butch haircut, and name on my dog tag — Obermeier.  No wonder they were hard to convince!  I finally persuaded them to contact my division through corps headquarters.  A couple of radio calls and I was released and my weapon returned.  I rejoined my survey crew.  We continued on, finished our mission, and returned to our unit. 
 
When anyone ask me, “Were you a prisoner of War?”  I have to say, “Yes,” and then explain I was a prisoner of war of our own forces for a short time. 
 
This was my most unusual incident in my two years overseas 
 
Source: Bulge Bugle February 2002
 
 
 
 
 
 
By Wendell C OBERMEIER

HQ 899th Field Artillery Bn

75th Infantry Division

Campaign

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium