70th anniv – My great-grandfather’s war

Tonice’s war was over. He was wounded on Jan. 9. His unit, the 137th, where he was a combat medic, had come off the line just outside of Bastogne on the 11th. The fighting continued for others, but the Germans were done.

So, to some up, after Villers-la-Bonne-Eau:

As a medic, Tonice was awarded the purple heart, Europe-Africa-Middle East Medal with bronze star device, the good conduct medal, the American campaign medal and the WWII victory medal.

The 137th came into Normandy a few weeks after D-Day, fought their way through the old Maginot Line, faced down the 1st SS Panzer Division at Villers. They’d fight in Holland and then patrol Yalta opposite the Russians. They would form the honor guard for President Harry Truman as he stopped over in Brussels on his trip to Potsdam.

They returned to the U.S.on Aug. 31, 1945. The fabled 137th “Sante Fe” was deactivated on Dec. 7, 1945 having earned a reputation for stolidity and tenacity.

Just like Tonice.

Please scroll around and click on the pins to catch up or read ahead.

This information is derived from the unit history, found here and here and from this unit overview. These markers are rough estimates, meant only to be illustrative. Any errors are mine alone.

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