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Fred W (S) Obermayer

War: World War II
Parent/Wife: Mrs Marie
City: Marshfield
Birth Date:
Death Date: 5 Nov 1944
How Died: Kia
Where Died: France
Where Buried:
Rank: Pvt
Branch: Army

Kia=Killed in Action
Dow=Died of Wounds
Dod=Died of Disease
Mia=Missing in Action

Stories

Frederick W. Obermayer

“I have returned many times to honour the valiant men who died…every man who set foot on Omaha Beach was a hero.” This was a very noble and kind quote given by Lieutenant General Omar Bradley, Commander of the US First Army. One of the unfortunate privates that did not return from this terrible time was Frederick W. Obermayer, a man born and raised in Marshfield, Wisconsin. While Frederick Obermayer may not have perished on Omaha Beach, the Allies did prevail and move through France to ultimately overthrow the Germans. This wonderful man died fighting for his country on November 5, 1944 somewhere in France.

Frederick Obermayer was a private in the army. A typical day for him in France might have been something like the following. He would wake to the sound of bullets firing all around him. Obermayer most likely only got a few hours of sleep because the battle had been raging on all through the night. He would see other men and some woman fighting and waiting for orders from the commanding officer. He would quickly grab the supplies needed for battle. The typical gun could have been something such as the Thompson Eleven millimeter (11 mm) caliber sub-machine gun. To Americans, this is usually known as the ‘Tommy’ gun. With his gun in hand, Frederick might have now reported to his commanding officer. After receiving an order like ‘Head to the east side, do all you can to hold them back, bring ammo with you,’ he would hastily do just that. He would also relay the message to the rest of the troop as well. After only a few hours, Frederick may have seen somewhere between 500 and 1200 dead soldiers scattered across the battlefield. Some may have been enemies but many were probably friends. Frederick most likely had to see many people he loved die during WWII. Then when he was done fighting for that day, he would have another chance for a short sleep, with all of the traumatic sounds and visions stuck in his head and the horror of having to wake to just the same things. The experience must have been terrifying for every person there.

In France, there were many different events going on during the war. The French were one of the first countries to declare war on Germany in 1939. After surrendering to Germany after the Battle of France on June 25, 1940, Charles de Gaulle, a French general at the time, gave a touching and memorable speech. Within this speech de Gaulle stated that even though France had lost the battle, they had not lost the war. With this statement, along with Allied success in North Africa, Italy, and the invasions of France in 1944, the Free French Army began to grow. When this long and truculent war finally came to an end, France had around 1,200,000 troops, of which ten divisions were fighting in Germany. France definitely played a key role in WWII.

Frederick Obermayer gave his life to protect his wife Marie, the rest of his family, and his country. He may not have been the highest rank, but his role as a private should still be honored. Frederick never saw the end of the war, but he most definitely contributed to the Allies’ success. So to Frederick W. Obermayer, private in the army during WWII, we salute and give him our greatest thanks.

Mary Wolff, Student
Marshfield Junior High

 


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