|Pvt. Maurice Nies served as medic in the Hurtgen Forest.|
Maurice J. Nies never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on May 3, 1918 in Michigan. His parents John and Cornelia were also both born in Michigan. All four grandparents were from the Netherlands. His father worked as a machine hand. He died in 1933. Maurice had two older brothers and one older sister. By 1940 Maurice had completed four years of high school. He lived with his sister and widowed mother while working as a "touchup man" for General Motors.
He was drafted into the army on September 8, 1942. He received medical training and became a medic and private attached to the 109th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. The 28th ID arrived in Normandy in late July 1944. It participated in Operation Cobra and advanced to the Hurtgen Forest where it was part of a frustrating and costly battle with the well defended Germans.
On November 18, 1944 the company Pvt. Nies was attached to had been fighting in the Battle for Vossenack in the Hurtgen Forest. It was relieved and ordered off the front lines. While pulling back, the company came under heavy German artillery fire, causing heavy casualties. Despite the hazardous conditions, Pvt. Nies attended to wounded and was able to stabilize seven men enough that they could be evacuated. While others continued to withdrawal, Pvt. Nies stayed behind to look for more wounded in the dark of night. He was killed by an enemy shell burst.
He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.
His grave is at Fairplains Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Last year on this date I profiled Cruz Marquez, 83rd Infantry Division. You can read about Cruz 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!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
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