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99th Infantry Division

Private First Class Walter A. Keglovits

Medic

394th Infantry Regiment, 99th Infantry Division

Info

PFC Walter A. Keglovits
Serialnumber: 35764047
394th Infantry Regiment
99th Infantry Division

Home: South Bend City, St. Joseph County, Indiana
Born: 11 September 1913
Entered service on: 25 november 1942
Death: 17 December 1944

KegGrave

Story

Walter A. Keglovits

Walter A. Keglovits was born on September 11, 1913 in South Bend City, St. Joseph County in Indiana. He grew up with his 4 brothers Martin, William, Adolph and Robert. Walter was the oldest of the children from parents Martin and Cecilia.

Photo 1: From left to right: Back row father Martin and mother Cecilia, in the middle Walter and Martin, and sitting in front Adolph and William.

His father, Martin, was originally from Burgenland in Austria. He left Austria in 1905 with his Italian wife Cecilia and emigrated to the USA.
All their sons were born in the USA. Walter was their first son. About his youth is not a lot known. One of his brothers did tell his son that Walter was the peacekeeper in the family because things could get rough between the boys. There always was something going on between the brothers. His brother Adolph later told his son that you can say there never was a boring moment in their house.

When Walter was older, his mother was very busy to keep the girls away from Walter. They came by to see him, but his mother didn’t want that and chased the girls till they were out of sight. According to his brother Bill (William), Walter was very good looking and had lots of girlfriends.
On 25 November 1942 Walter joined the army on age 29. He enlisted in Camp Perry in Lacerne, Ohio.

Photo 2: Walter A. Keglovits with brother Adolph on leave.

Walter was assigned to the 3rd Battalion Medics, 394th Infantry Regiment, 99th Infantry Division and became medic. From that day he trained with the 394th Infantry Regiment in Camp Van Dorn in Mississippi for the day the 99th Division would be send oversees. From 16 November 1943 till 12 September 1944 the Division was send to Camp Maxey in Texas for training.

Photo 3: Walter A. Keglovits in training.

On 28 and 29 September 1944, all members of the 99th Division were packed on board in Boston Massachusetts on a boat to Liverpool in England. After that they were shipped to Dorsetshire and arrived on 13 October 1944. In Great Britain they trained some more. On 2 November 1944 they boarded a ship again, but this time the destination was LeHavre in France. They arrived on 6 November 1944 to be part in the battle against Nazi Germany.
On 14 November 1944 they arrived on the Weissersetin – Losheimergaben line where they took the place of the 60th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Division. That frontline was a quiet part. On 7 December 1944, Walter writes his brother Adolph in the US. He writes that everything is fine. They made a log hut on which Walter is very proud. Even the division commander came by and gave the men compliments. It was the nicest he had seen. (In 2012 local Christel Jost told me her father was missing doors from his house when he returned to town after the battle. Later they found the parts back in the forest where the 99th was. It was used to make a (log) hut by the Americans... Could it be...?)

Letter to his brother Adolph:

Somewhere in Germany, December 7 1944

Dear Irene and Adolph,

Thought I would drop a line to keep you informed. I intended writing yesterday but after writing home and to Dorothy I began to get tired and my eyes were being strained. We have a problem trying to get a light bright enough in our log hut. We have 2 small jars filled with gas and a piece of cloth for a wick. It makes a light but is very dim and makes it quite hard to see in order to write. If you notice and mistakes you will know the reason why. I wish you could see our log hut. 6 of us built it from logs and anything that we could find and scrape together. It’s really something considering what we had to work with. The men around us say its one of the best they have seen. We had the Division commander inspect it and complimented it very highly saying it’s one of the best he had seen. Irene and Adolph, if it’s not too much, would you please send me some stationary and also get stamps. OK, Best regards to all – Best wishes and regards to you. Love Walter.

But on 16 December 1944 the Germans launched the Ardennes Offensive, know as the Battle of the Bulge. The inexperienced men (later known as the Battle Babies) took some heavy casualties. On 18 December the regiment was forced to withdraw out of the Belgian town of Mürringen. When the men regroup they are missing some men. One of them is Walter A. Keglovits. On the day before, 17 December 1944, Walter killed by German fire and dies in the meadow of a local man named Barthel Jost. He is one of the few people who remained in town. He finds Walter and a Staff Sergeant of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division Carl M. Krail on April 3rd, 1945 and buries them on a local cemetery. For the Americans, Walter and Carl are Missing in Action. That changes many days later when the American Army get the dog tags from the local mayor.

On May 28th 2012 I made photos of the spots in Mürringen. From left to right it shows the woods east of the town where the 99th had their frontlines. Then a photo of the meadow where Walter died and next a photo of the Barthel Jost House. Finally a photo of the cemtery in Mürringen where Walter was temporary buried next to Carl M. Krail (that spot is at the right when you enter the cemetery. Some Germans were also buried there at the back of the row).

Forest near Mürringen Meadow of Barthel Jost House of Barthel Jostr Cemetery of Mürringen

After a month at the frontlines of which only 2 days of serious fighting, Walter A. Keglovits’ young life ended. He was just 31 years old.

Walter is buried at Ardennes American Cemetery on Plot B, Row 43, Grave 04

Carl M. Krail is also buried at Ardennes American Cemetery on Plot D, Row 01, Grave 49. He was awarded the Bronze Star With Oak Leaf Cluster and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster

Rest in Peace Certificate

Walter A. Keglovits on Fields of Honor Databse





Cemetery
Walter Keglovits

Walter A. Keglovits

Walter Keglovits

Photo 1

Walter Keglovits

Photo 2

Walter Keglovits

Photo 3

Walter Keglovits

Newspaper article 1

Walter Keglovits

Newspaper article 2

Walter Keglovits

Walter's Purple Heart

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