We visited the Luxembourg American Cemetery to pay our respects to the graves of Dad’s 11th Armored Division 55th Armored Infantry Battalion and all of those buried there including General George S. Patton. We brought photos of some of the men taken earlier in 1944 during Army training at Camp Cooke California before the 11th made the cross country trip by train and boarded ships for the trans-Atlantic voyage to England and then on to France where they prepared to enter the war. But upon the German attack at the Ardennes Forest on December 16 General Patton ordered a mobilization of his 3rd Army forces in a rapid response to relieve Bastogne and then push out the German forces from Belgium in last major battle of World War II known as The Battle of the Bulge. Many of Dad’s Battalion, Company, Platoon, and Squad members died on the first day of combat when they attacked from their position at Margarotte through the Bois des Haies de Magery and to the village of Acul. We placed their photos and American Flags at the graves of these men in the Luxembourg American Cemetery.
We looked for the grave of First Sergeant Melvin L Dorsey first and found it in Plot A Row 3 Grave 24. Dad talked about Sergeant Dorsey and we had photos of him with Lt. Michaels taken at Camp Cooke during baseball games and in group photos such as their Half-track photo. Dad wrote on the back of one of the photos, “A hell of a good guy.” Melvin L.Dorsey was from Ohio and was killed in action on the first round of incoming mortar fire on their first day of combat on December 31, 1944.
We walked past row after row of graves looking for the names on our list and found many of the men we hoped to find taking photos and stopping to rest on a very hot and humid day in Luxembourg.