Ralph W. Breede
American Legion Post 480 Charter Member
- Military Transportation NCO, Company D, 409th Infantry Regiment, 103 Division (Cactus)
- Served: December 17, 1942 – December 31, 1945
- World War II, Southern France, Rhineland, Central Europe
- Awarded 3 Overseas Service Bars, 1 Service Stripe, American Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon w/4 Bronze Battle Stars, Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal
Mr. Breede was the driver for a Captain Sullivan.
The 409th was formed and began training in December 1942 and the 103rd Division was reorganized in August 1943. Initial training at Camp Claiborne, LA and after maneuvers, the 409th was transferred to Camp Howze, TX.
The 409th went overseas from Camp Shanks, NY in October, 1944 and landed at Marseille, France.
The 1st Battalion was commanded by Lt. Co. Teal Therrell, from Bennettsville, SC and a graduate of the Citadel.
“D” Company went into combat in November 1944 at Lubine & Steige, France in the Vosges Mountains. On 11/27/44 the town of Selestat was attacked via Dumbach-la-Ville which was taken on 11/30/44. At Selestat on 12/2/44 a Platoon of “D” Company was caught by German tanks and only 4 “D” Co. men made it back across the Giesen River, the rest being captured along with elements of “B” Company. Selestat was secured on 12/5/44.
Entered Germany at Weller on the Rhine on 12/16/44, combat until 12/22/44 and relieved.
A “holding action” lasted from 12/22/44 to 3/12/45, facing the German lines a few hundred yards away.
Major General Anthony McAuliffe, Commander at Bastogne, assumed command of the 103rd Company in January 1945.
The attack to the end of the war began on March 17, 1945 (St. Patrick’s Day) and went through the Siegfried Line on March 22, 1945 and crossed the Rhine on April 7, 1945 at Aschaffenburg, Germany and continued on through Stuttgart, Ulm, Garmisch and into Austria on May 1, 1945 and entered Innsbruck, Austria on May 2, 1 945 and remained until May 6, 1945, moved to Schwaibash-Hall, Austria and the War was over on May 8, 1945.
Account attributed to W.J. Danielson & Associates, Security and Investigative Consultants, Columbia, South Carolina (date unknown)