Sunday, April 15, 2018

WW2 Battle of Bulge Fallen - Silver Star hero Stanley Dec, 28th Infantry Division

Cap. Stanley Dec was a company commander with the 28th Infantry during the Battle of the Bulge
Normally, I profile one of the fallen each day on his 100th birthday. That means twenty or more fallen, born on the same day and year are not profiled. It can be a tough choice to honor one and ignore the others who also earned this attention.

Today, there were two stories that especially struck me of worth. I could not decide which to leave out, so in an exception to my normal practice, today I am sharing two profiles. You can read the other one here.

Stanley Dec never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on April 15, 1918 in Indiana. His parents Paul and Maggie were both born in Austria. Stanley had two older brothers and two older sisters. Stanley attended Indiana University where he majored in accounting and participated in ROTC. Later he married Mary Gardner. They had one daughter.

He enlisted in the army in June 1940 and was first an officer in the 5th Infantry Division when it was stationed in Iceland until August 1943. At some point he was transferred to the 28th Infantry Division where he was a captain and the company commander of Company B, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment.

The 28th ID landed in Normandy in late July 1944. It took part in Operation Cobra and marched through Paris. It took heavy casualties during the Battle of Hurtgen Forest so it was sent to the Ardennes to rest. This put Captain Dec's company in the path of the German surprise attack during the Battle of the Bulge. Completely overmatched by nine enemy divisions, the veteran 28th ID fought a delaying action that threw the Germans off of their timetables to advance.

Captain Dec was reported as killed on December 20, 1944 while the 112th IR was defending the high ground west of the Our River. The book Not Me! The World War II Memoir of a Reluctant Rifleman by Alexander H. Hadden places Cap. Dec's death on December 16 during the initial German attack where Company B lost 95 men, killed, captured or missing. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star. Unfortunately, I was unable to find out any additional information about this award.

His grave is at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Sturgis, Michigan. His widow never remarried and died in 2007.

Thank you Stanley for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Stanley.

Last year on this date I profiled Armando Garden, 29th Infantry Division. You can read about Arrmando here.

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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“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”

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