“Today I died. Yesterday I was freezing but full of life. We marched across the bitter windswept white landscape for hours. We lay on the frozen ground next to our tanks and trucks at night with only a blanket to shield us from the elements. We freeze. There is no warmth here. We went from rain and ankle deep mud for weeks to a frozen wasteland within days. Patton prayed for a break in the weather. He got it and then hell froze over.”
I’m writing the story of my cousin James Privoznik, who served in Europe first with the 90th Division, 790th Ordnance Company and then the last 14 days of his life with the 90th Division, 358th Infantry.He was killed 11 January 1945 near Bras, Belgium. He was buried in Luxembourg Cemetery, where he sleeps forever.
I’m trying to create a timeline of his service when his records burned in the fire in 1973 has been somewhat difficult, but I have Morning Reports that trace him from death backwards to February 1944. Now I’m only missing a year of his whereabouts. But……
I spent some time with the nephew of James this weekend and he sent me home with many books and artifacts of James’ service and life that were sent to his mother after his death. One such item that James must have left at home while on furlough before being sent overseas is a long photograph of his unit in January 1944. It says, 126th Ord (MM) Co, Camp Butner, NC. Now I have a way to possibly trace him from January 1944 to the Morning Report of 15 February 1944 and then backwards to his activation in the Army 10 February 1943. He was in the 126th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company at Camp Butner in January 1944. Huge clue! And found on a photograph.
Will I ever know the full story of James’ service? No. But I have a little more information to go on that will help tell his story.
My advice to you…….examine every record and photograph you have in your possession multiple times. Especially after receiving new information. You may have accidentally overlooked a vital piece of information or you may now hold the key to moving forward with more research.
James’ story will be in my book, Stories of the Lost due out at the end of the year.
© 2013, Generations, Woodridge, IL