|These troops survived the infamous Malmedy Massacre. Pfc. Elmer Wald did not.|
On this Flag Day we honor Elmer Wald. Elmer never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on June 14, 1917 in Pennsylvania. His father was also born in Pennsylvania while his mother was born in Michigan. His father worked as machinist and died when Elmer was 10 years old. Elmer had two older sisters, one older brother and one younger sister. After Elmer's father died, his older brother helped support the family by working in a silk mill. By 1940 Elmer had completed two years of high school and was still living with him family and worked as a laborer.
He enlisted in the army on January 13, 1941 after serving in the National Guard. He became a private first class in the 190th Field Artillery Battalion where he served as a medic. The 190th FAB was an independent unit that landed in Normandy on either D-Day or D+1.
Pfc. Wald was captured by the 1st SS Panzer Division on December 16, 1944, the first day of the Battle of the Bulge. Rather than moving Pfc. Wald and fellow prisoners to the rear, The SS soldiers led the prisoners to a field near the Baugnez crossroads. They were machine-gunned with the survivors executed. The Germans left the bodies of the 84 dead in the snow. Pfc. Wald was one of those who was instantly killed. This atrocious action became known in history as the Malmedy Massacre. Pfc. Wald's frozen body was found a month later with his hands still raised above his head.
His grave is at Trinity Church Cemetery in Dalmatia, Pennsylvania.
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!
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
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100