Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Uncle Felix Herrman – World War II Hero

Frances and Felix Herrman
From A Folder
Felix Put Together
    Uncle Felix Herrman was the younger brother to by mother Frances Herrman. Growing up I often heard the family talking about the troubles Felix was having with health issues, but never really understand what they were saying. They never came out and discussed it directly. At that time, no one talked about the affect war had on young men, it was considered taboo.
    It wasn't until several months after his death, when my sister shared a manuscript of his involvement in World War II, South Pacific, that I actually learned the events that shaped this quiet gentle man. Once I started reading, I was hooked and spent the night going through it. He was a combat harden war hero, at a very young age and not a word was every spoken about what he did for his country. 
    This is his story, just as he wrote it!

His Mother
Katie Weber / Herman
Born 1888 
    Uncle Felix and my mother were part of a large family that grew up on a farm in Western Kansas. They were 2 miles east and 3 miles north of the small town of Liebenthal, Kansas. Felix was the 2cd youngest in the family with; Harry, Louise, Hilda, Lorene, Isbella, Joann, Frances and Jerome. 
    I doubt that Felix was able to travel much further than Lacrosse (County Seat) to the south or Hayes to the north. Especially, up to the time he went off to war. It's safe to say, this would have been a journey beyond anything he could have dreamed. Imagine what this farm boy from Rush County Kansas was thinking, as he went off to war, at the young age of 19?
Family Farm
Western Kansas

    I think he was called to the war by draft but haven’t been able to verify that. How wide would his eyes have been as he went through this horrifying experience? How scared must he have been with men young and old dying all around him? This is his account of the battles he experienced as a rifleman in the 32 Division Ground Infantry.  Experiences that would come back to haunt him for the remainder of his life. 
    Over the next few weeks I will be working hard to share his story, just as he wrote it. We also have letters he sent back to his mother and a few photographs of his war days we will add on at the end.
    It is with great honor and respect that I share with you Felix’s account of; “The Villa Verde Trail” on the Philippine Island of Luzon in 1945.


Anonymous said...


My father, Tsgt Salvatore Calvagna from New York also fought on the Villa Verde trail. I remember stories he told about fighting the Japanese. He passed away in 1984. I look forward to reading your Uncle's exploits.
Cheers, Sal

Gary Noller said...

Uncle Felix was drafted and entered the Army in July 1944 at the age of 18 1/2. He probably spent about six months in training in the United States before heading to the South Pacific. I had two or three very short conversations with him about the war but most of what I know is from his writings in the book. It is an excellent war memoir.