HISTORY IS COOL: 76 years ago

Jan. 26, 1945

Pfc. Dennin missing

The story of the 106th infantry’s baptism of fire will live long in the minds of the men who withstood that steel and flame thrown at them during the Battle of the Belgian Bulge. Pvt. Fred Dennin, son of postmaster and Mrs. Dennin of Lake Placid, was reported missing in that engagement and was a member of the 423rd Regiment, which stood side by side with the 422nd and fought “till the end” to halt Von Runstedt’s Nazi armies which crashed across the Belgium border on the night of Dec. 16, 1944.

According to reports reaching here, the two regiments had just been put up “at the front.” They were fresh and rarin’ to go, but had been instructed that it was a defensive sector, that their job was not to attack but to defend.

(Update 1: The March 30, 1945 issue of the Lake Placid News reported that Pfc. Fred Dennin Jr. was a prisoner of war in Germany. “On Saturday of last week, Mr. and Mrs. Dennin received a card from their son, written in his own handwriting. It was a paper folder, containing printed matter in French and German, and Pfc. Dennin had filled in the spaces left for him with the address of his mother and his own address. He is imprisoned at New Brandenburg-Mecki, in Germany, which is near the Baltic coast and north of Berlin. It is also near Stettin where the Russians have been pounding for the past few weeks.”)

(Update 2: The Oct. 19, 1945 issue of the Lake Placid News reported that Pfc. Fred Dennin Jr. was at Pine Camp and expected his army discharge the following month.)

Mid-year graduation

Six students will receive diplomas Monday night at Lake Placid Central School auditorium as part of the second mid-year commencement exercises.

Graduation of the students — Rene Edmond Bloch, Matthew Joseph Hurley, Frederick Ferman Kirk, Robert Thomas LaMoy, William Harrison Lawrence and Floyd William Wilson — will take place at 8:15 p.m. Frederick Kirk joined the army air corps on Jan. 2, 1945. Lt. Col. Herbert M. Bergamini, chief surgeon of the redistribution station here, will give the address. William J. Hurley, president of the board of education, will present diplomas.

LP nurse in Belgium

Lt. Katherin Dewey, an army nurse now in Belgium, writes that she finds it hard to reconcile our treatment of prisoners of war with the German brutality to our boys, of which she has learned firsthand.

Lt. Dewey was recently stationed at the 41st evacuation hospital in Holland and is now with the 67th field hospital in Belgium. In both countries, she has become “well acquainted with V-1 and V-2 buzz bombs and with shelling and strafing.”

Under the Geneva convention, it has been her duty to care for the many German prisoners since the Normandy invasion — wounded enemies of all classes, from Nazi SS Troopers to the average German soldier, many of them deliberately abandoned by their fellow Germans.

Lt. Dewey is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Godfrey Dewey.