Seeking information on 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Division

I am looking for information or other personnel that may have served with my Uncle, Leonard Charles Francoeur, from February - March 1945. He served in the 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. He was from Genoa City, Wisconsin. I have some information stating he was with antiaircraft artillery. He is buried in Henri Chapelle Cemetery, Belgium. He entered the service 2/17/1943, trained at Fort Bliss, Texas; Camp Davis, North Carolina; Camp Haan, California; Camp Livingston, Louisiana; and Fort Meade, Maryland. He went overseas on 2/10/1945. His last letter home was dated 3/11/1945 somewhere in Germany. He died of his wounds on March 18, 1945.  Thank You

Parents
  • Patricia:

    My great uncle was in the 60th Infantry Regiment (he was killed just a few weeks after your uncle died).  He was originally an ambulance driver but, from the Battle of the Bulge until his death, he was a common infantryman (1st Battalion, Company C).  He was from Mauston, WI which isn't too far from Genoa City.  It would not be inconceivable that two boys from Wisconsin would gravitate toward each other and possibly become friends. 

    I found a great website that shows the order of battle for the 9th Infantry Division (which the 60th Infantry Regiment was assigned) ( 9th INFANTRY DIVISION - Order of Battle of the United States Army - WWII - ETO | U.S. Army Center of Military History).  The reason I mention this is because it shows the dates and locations of the divisional headquarters - meaning our uncles were between 0 to 20 miles from those locations.  If we could find the locations for the regimental HQ for the 60th we could pinpoint their whereabouts even better.

    I notice that the date of your uncle's death is the day after the Remagen Bridge collapsed.  I don't know if you know anything about military history but the capture and battle of the Remagen Bridge is considered to be one of the top five battles of the European campaign.  The Germans threw everything they had at that bridge (an excellent account is at Battle of Remagen - Wikipedia).  Your uncle, being an antiaircraft gunner was probably in the 376th AAA Battalion (see Composition | 9th Infantry Division in WWII). There is almost no doubt that he would have been right at the bridge in the very bullseye of the German effort. 

    I have some some light hearted and some heartbreaking letters from my uncle.  I wouldn't mind sharing them with you so you should contact me.

Reply
  • Patricia:

    My great uncle was in the 60th Infantry Regiment (he was killed just a few weeks after your uncle died).  He was originally an ambulance driver but, from the Battle of the Bulge until his death, he was a common infantryman (1st Battalion, Company C).  He was from Mauston, WI which isn't too far from Genoa City.  It would not be inconceivable that two boys from Wisconsin would gravitate toward each other and possibly become friends. 

    I found a great website that shows the order of battle for the 9th Infantry Division (which the 60th Infantry Regiment was assigned) ( 9th INFANTRY DIVISION - Order of Battle of the United States Army - WWII - ETO | U.S. Army Center of Military History).  The reason I mention this is because it shows the dates and locations of the divisional headquarters - meaning our uncles were between 0 to 20 miles from those locations.  If we could find the locations for the regimental HQ for the 60th we could pinpoint their whereabouts even better.

    I notice that the date of your uncle's death is the day after the Remagen Bridge collapsed.  I don't know if you know anything about military history but the capture and battle of the Remagen Bridge is considered to be one of the top five battles of the European campaign.  The Germans threw everything they had at that bridge (an excellent account is at Battle of Remagen - Wikipedia).  Your uncle, being an antiaircraft gunner was probably in the 376th AAA Battalion (see Composition | 9th Infantry Division in WWII). There is almost no doubt that he would have been right at the bridge in the very bullseye of the German effort. 

    I have some some light hearted and some heartbreaking letters from my uncle.  I wouldn't mind sharing them with you so you should contact me.

Children
  • Hi John.

    I hope you don't mind me jumping in here.

    I was excited to see another person with a relative in the same unit as my grandfather. My grandfather, Pvt. Wallace Pelkey was in the 9th Infantry Division, 60th Infantry, Company C. I wonder if their paths crossed during the war. Pvt. Pelkey was injured the first time on October 12, 1944. He was in the hospital until December 1944. They sent him back to the frontlines. He was injured a second time on Feb. 1, 1944. He was from Little Falls, Minnesota. He was physically and emotionally disabled from the war. He was in the St. Cloud Veteran's Hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota for many years.

    I'll check the sources you list to see if I can learn more about him. I'm always looking for more information about his service. I have a letter my grandfather sent home the day before he was injured the first time.

    I would love to find out more about his service from the archives. I have tried to get more information on him from the St. Louis Archives. I received his Honorable Discharge, which was great, but I still have so many questions about his military service. I know they had a fire there in 1973, but some of the records were destroyed. I feel there has to be more government sources of records out there for him. I just don't know where to look.

    Some of my questions are:

    1. Since he was injured twice, was he in a different unit before his first injury? It sounds like this was possible based on your uncle's experience.

    2.He told a couple of his children the most terrifying experience he had was when he had to parachute out of a plane with very little training. I'm wondering when and where might this have happened? Were they so desperate for men that they parachuted men to the frontline instead of going through France?

    3. He was awarded a Bronze Star. I'm wondering when he received it and for what reason.

    4. Should he have been awarded a second Purple Heart?

    Thanks.

  • Hello Cindy Meyer:

    My father also was in Company C, 60th Infantry, Notorious 9th in WW2.

    He received a Bronze Star as well. One of my nephews found his original award form card dated 1/6/1960! Fifteen years after his honorable discharge!

    He never talked much about his war experience, similar to many vets, but we knew he was in North Africa, France, and Germany at the least. He also discussed non-violent interactions with the German soldiers during one of the rare times he did discuss his service. They may have been POWs.

    It's really hard to find information concerning his award and battle experience, as you alluded to in your post.

    I have no idea how large these units and company's were, but I have to wonder if he knew your granddad.

    Best of luck finding more info - if I do, I will post it here.