Franz Bertele MIA (Vermisst) September 13, 1943 Salerno
German 29th Panzer Grenadier Division

While interviewing German soldiers about Salerno, Hermann Graf of the same division, showed me this picture of his friend, Franz, that was MIA during their baptism of fire. Graf stated that it was their first battle. Another company had already retaken the village of Alte Ville. They lined up in broad daylight with their Battalion C.O. Meizel. Then they ran down the hill shouting "HURRAH" while firing their weapons. He said the Texans, who had already been pushed out of the village had set up a defensive position down the hill. He stated that none of the Texans retreated. The Germans broke into the American positions where hand to hand fighting broke out. None of the Texans surrendered, they fought until the last man. "They were very brave." His friend Franz was never seen nor heard from again. Hence MIA.


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