Original U.S. WWII POW 106th Infantry Division Named Grouping

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind Set. Staff Sergeant Jero Savianeso ASN 32773409 from Cliffside Park, New Jersey served in Company L, 423rd Infantry Regiment, 106th Infantry Division during World War Two. He fought in multiple campaigns in the European Theatre of Operations and was captured by German forces during the battle of the Bulge on 19 December 1944. He was taken to the POW camp Stalag IX-B where he remained until in was liberated by American forces in later March, 1944. His name can be found on a national archives list of POW's at Stalag IX-B at this link.

According to to his obituary which can be found at this link he received 3 Bronze Stars and a Silver Star. After the war he married Frances Caminitti in New Jersey. Included in this fantastic grouping are the following items:

- Stalag IX-B January 9th, 1945 dated Kriegsgefangenenlager post card hand written and signed by Jero Savianeso addressed to his future wife Frances Caminitti and addressed to her home in Gutenberg, New Jersey. In the post card he lets her know he is alright and loves her and asks het to go to the red cross and to send him candy and tobacco.

- Prisoner of War Post Kriegsgefangenenpost letter sent by Frances in the USA to Jero at Stalag IX-B. The letter is handwritten and signed by Frances and dated March 27th, 1945. The camp was liberated just a few days later on 2 April 1945.

- Winter Service Coat in approximate size 36 features the classic four pocket design and is named on the interior Savianeso. It features sterling silver Combat Infantryman Badge, 106th Infantry Division insignia patch, and medal ribbon bar with God Conduct,  European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 Campaign Stars and WWII Victory Medal Sergeant Chevrons, ruptured duck patches, left sleeve has two overseas service bars indication 12+ months of overseas service. Coat is offered in very good condition.

- Overseas Garrison cap.

- 2 x original photos (one in combat Uniform)

- Original large studio photo of Savianeso in uniform.

- Bronze Star Medal Citation (reissue).

- Bronze Star Medal (reissue) engraved to Jero Savianeso with case.

- New York State Conspicuous Service document numbers to match his medal.

- New York State Conspicuous Service Medal numbered to match document.

- WWII Paybook named to Savianeso

- ETO Enlisted Personnel Identification Card named to Savianeso

- POW Medal

- 106th Infantry Division book signed by his buddies on the back page.

- Multiple reissue medals with boxes and case.

- Taped interview with the Veteran on cassette.

- Much More!

The 106th Infantry Division was a division of the United States Army formed for service during World War II. Two of its three regiments were overrun and surrounded in the initial days of the Battle of the Bulge, and they were forced to surrender to German forces on 19 December 1944.

The 106th Infantry Division's Headquarters and Headquarters Company was constituted on paper on 5 May 1942, five months after the United States entered World War II. It was actually activated on 15 March 1943 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, with a cadre from the 80th Infantry Division. Following Basic and Advanced Infantry Training, the Division moved on 28 March 1944 to Tennessee to participate in the Second Army No. 5 Maneuvers.

The 106th Infantry Division relieved the 2nd Infantry Division in the Schnee Eifel on 11 December 1944, with its 424th Infantry Regiment was sent to Winterspelt. Prior to the battle, according to the US Army Service Manual, one division should be responsible for no more than 5 miles (8.0 km) of front. On the eve of the battle, the 106th was covering a front of almost 26 miles (42 km).

In the Ardennes-Alsace Campaign, the Germans attacked the 106th on 16 December 1944. The division's 422nd and 423rd Infantry Regiments were encircled and cut off by a junction of enemy forces in the vicinity of Schönberg. They regrouped for a counterattack, but were blocked by the enemy. The two regiments surrendered on 19 December. The Germans gained 6,000 prisoners in one of the largest mass surrenders in American military history. Nearly 50% of the division's strength was brushed aside  in the first days of the Battle of the Bulge.

The remnants of the division were reinforced by the 112th Infantry Regiment of the 28th Infantry Division and withdrew over the Our River and joined other units at Saint Vith. Along with the city of Bastogne to the south, St. Vith was a road and rail junction city considered vital to the German goal of breaking through Allied lines to split American and British forces and reach the Belgian port city of Antwerp. A scratch force of 106th Division personnel, in particular the division's 81st Engineer Combat Battalion, was organized and led by the 81st's 28-year-old commanding officer, Lt. Col. Thomas Riggs, in a five-day holding action (17–21 December) on a thin ridge line a mile outside St. Vith, against German forces vastly superior in numbers and armament (only a few hundred green Americans versus many thousands of veteran Germans). For this action, the 81st Engineer Combat Battalion was later awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation for gallantry. The defense of St. Vith by the 106th has been credited with ruining the German timetable for reaching Antwerp, hampering the Bulge offensive for the Germans.

The 81st and other units, including 168th Engineer Combat Battalion, pulled back from St. Vith on 21 December, under constant enemy fire, and withdrew over the Saint River at Vielsalm on 23 December. The following day, the 424th Regiment, attached to the 7th Armored Division, fought a delaying action at Manhay until ordered to an assembly area. From 25 December to 9 January 1945, the division received reinforcements and supplies at Anthisnes, Belgium, and returned to the struggle, securing objectives along the Ennal-Logbierme line on 15 January after heavy fighting. After being pinched out by advancing divisions, the 106th assembled at Stavelot on 18 January for rehabilitation and training. It moved to the vicinity of Hunningen on 7 February for defensive patrols and training.

In March, the 424th advanced along the high ground between Berk and the Simmer River and was again pinched out[vague] at Olds on 7 March. A period of training and security patrolling along the Rhine River followed, until 15 March, when the division moved to St. Quentin for rehabilitation and the reconstruction of lost units.

The division was reconstituted on 16 March when the 3rd Infantry Regiment (the Old Guard) and the 159th Infantry Regiment were attached to replace the two lost regiments. The division then moved back to Germany on 25 April, where, for the remainder of its stay in Europe, the 106th handled POW enclosures and engaged in occupational duties.

In the meantime, the 422nd Infantry Regiment and the 423rd Infantry Regiment were reconstituted from replacements in France on 15 April, were attached to the 66th Infantry Division in training status, and were still in this status when the Germans surrendered on 8 May 1945.

Stalag IX-B (also known as Bad Orb-Wegscheide) was a German World War II prisoner-of-war camp located south-east of the town of Bad Orb in Hesse, Germany on the hill known as Wegscheideküppel. The camp originally was part of a military training area set up before World War I by the Prussian Army.

During World War II, more than 25,000 POWs at a time were housed here. An unknown number of those died. A soldiers' cemetery near the camp holds at least 1,430 dead Soviet POWs, who were treated much worse than soldiers of other nations. Stalag IX-B was also the site of a segregation and removal of Jewish-American troops who, once identified, were transferred to the labor camp at Berga, in contravention of international law. After World War II, the camp served to house ethnic Germans displaced from Poland and the Czech Republic. It eventually reverted to the use it had seen in the 1920s, as a summer camp for school children from Frankfurt. The camp, much renovated and rebuilt, still serves that purpose today.

In August 1939, the summer camp was closed and the Wehrmacht impounded the area. In November 1939, it became the POW camp "Stalag IX-B", housing prisoners from at least eight countries: France, the Soviet Union, Italy, Great Britain, Belgium, Serbia, Slovakia and the US. The inmates were used as forced labourers in agriculture, forestry and in industry at Gelnhausen, Wächtersbach, Hanau, Offenbach and Frankfurt. There are no data on the number of dead. The first figures on the number of inmates date to September 1941, when the Wehrmacht notified the IRC of 18,483 POWs. After December 1941, Soviet prisoners were first mentioned. The number of prisoners peaked in September 1944 at 25,640 (12,537 French, 11 British, 704 Serbs and Slovaks, 8,448 Soviets and 3,941 Italians). At that point there was severe overcrowding. Inmates later said that around Christmas 1941 about 20 Soviets died each day from hunger and exhaustion. From 5 December 1941 to 22 January 1942, 356 Soviet prisoners died, before the authorities stopped issuing certificates of death. Soviet prisoners were not provided any shelter, given less and worse food than other prisoners, and forced to do hard labour such as quarrying.

From early 1945, following the Battle of the Bulge, approximately 4,700 US infantrymen were held at Stalag IX-B.

In January 1945, the commandant ordered all Jewish prisoners to step forward out of the daily line-up. A US Army sergeant, Roddie Edmonds, ordered his men to disobey the order, and told the Germans: "We are all Jews here." For his actions, Edmonds was made Righteous Among the Nations, the first American soldier to be so honoured.[7] After being kept standing for several hours 130 came forward. However, the commandant had been requested to provide 350 for the transport. Thus known "troublemakers" among the prisoners, including PFC J.C.F. "Hans" Kasten, the elected camp leader, were then selected, including anyone who "looked Jewish." On February 8th the group was taken by train to the Berga labor camp.

An estimated 1,430 Soviet prisoners died here by spring 1942. The dead were buried in mass graves and later moved to the current graveyard around a kilometer from the camp. Today, this site is a memorial to the Soviet dead. A sign lists the names of those 356 dead who are known by name. After the war some of the dead - most of those members of the western Allies' armed forces - were taken home or moved to other memorial sites. Between March 1941 and February 1945, only ten deaths were recorded among the soldiers of the western Allies: 6 Americans, 3 Frenchmen and one Italian.

On 2 April 1945 an American task force broke through the German lines, and drove north over 60 km (37 mi) through enemy held territory to Bad Orb, and liberated Stalag IX-B.[11][better source needed] The camp was liberated by a task force comprising the 2nd Battalion, 114th Regiment, U.S. 44th Infantry Division, reinforced with Stuart tanks and armored cars from the 106th Cavalry Group and M-10 tank destroyers of 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion.
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