|Lt. Walter W. Kreklow, 88th Infantry Division began his service as a private.|
Walter W. Kreklow never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on May 20, 1917 in Wisconsin. His parents were also both born in Wisconsin and his father's parents were both from Germany. His father was a farmer. Walter had three younger sisters and three younger brothers (the older two served in the Army Air Corp during the war). By 1940 Walter had completed 8 years of schooling and had moved away from home. He was working as a farm laborer on the farm owned by the parents of his future wife. He later worked as an upholsterer.
Records show he enlisted in the National Guard in 1937 and in the US Army on July 12, 1941 (in Florida) with the rank of sergeant. A year later, in August, he attended O.C.S. and was commissioned a second lieutenant. In November 1942 he married his wife Elaine.
He advanced to the rank of first lieutenant in Company I, 3rd Battalion, 349th Infantry Regiment, 88th Infantry Division. He left America for the North African theater in October 1943. He saw action in Africa and also Italy and was wounded three times. In mid-October 1944 the 88th ID was assigned to take Mount Grande in the cold and mud. Lt. Kreklow was killed in action on October 18, 1944. The 88th ID lost more than 6,000 men to death, wounds, and missing during the 44 days they were on the front lines for this campaign.
His remains were returned to be buried at Union Cemetery, Jefferson, Wisconsin. I don't know what happened to his widow.
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