|Pfc. Ney Wagner served in the 35th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge.|
Ney Cecil "Buddie" Wagner never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on May 23, 1917 in Texas. His mother was born in Arkansas. His father was born in Texas and worked as a farmer. Buddie had two older sisters and a younger sister. By 1940 he had completed two years of high school and was still living with his parents while working as a laborer. His parents probably planned on pass their farm on to him.
Buddie was married to his wife Gracie by the time he enlisted in the US Army on March 17, 1944.
He became a private first class in Company L, 3rd Battalion, 320th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division (Santa Fe Division). The 35th Division suffered 15,822 casualties during the war so it was in constant need of replacements and Pfc. Wagner was one of them.
Pfc. Wagner participated in the Battle of the Bulge when the 35th Infantry Division was part of the American effort to relieve Bastogne. It got there the day after Christmas 1944. Specifically, the 35th Infantry Division was tasked with pushing the Germans out of nearby Villers-la-Bonne-Eue. It took 13 days, but the Germans were forced out by January 10, 1945. Throughout the battle Pfc. Wagner and the rest of Company L had to deal with zero degree temperatures, waist deep snow, and fanatic SS panzer troops in excellent defensive positions. Every house, hill, and wood had to be taken separately. Captured SS troops were found with vials of acid they were suppose to throw on the faces of the Americans if captured. The brutal nature of the fighting resulted in many killed G.I.s. Pfc. Wagner was one of them. He was killed on January 7, 1945.
His remains were returned to be buried at Blanco Cemetery in Blanco, Texas. His widow never remarried and died in 1999. She is buried next to her husband. They had one son who is probably still living.
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT
Also born on May 23, 1917 was Edward Norton Lorenz. He was a gifted student of mathematics at Dartmouth College and Harvard University before the war who enlisted in the army in 1942. He put his math genius to work by serving as an army meteorologist.
After the war he earned two degrees from MIT. He became a pioneer in chaos theory and coined the term butterfly effect to describe how small causes can have large effects. He died in 2008.
The accomplishments of Lorenz serve as a reminder of the missed accomplishments of all the fallen who never came home.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
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To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY