World War II

of the Greater Quad City Area


BARTON,  William


CLEVE, Carl R.

CORBIN, Ricard S.


HARTZ, Henry

HUGGINS, Harold H.

JENS, Wayne

JOHNSON, Pershing

LEWIS, Wilbur C.

McCORMICK, Harold E. (Pete)


RUDDY, Douglas


WELTY, Roger

WOLFE, Warren


Douglas Ruddy, Davenport, Iowa

Mr. Ruddy was with D Company, a Heavy Weapons Company of the 179th Infantry, 45th Division, assigned to liberate Dachau and secure it.  They were ordered to use only small arms as they approached the camp, to protect what was inside.  As he approached, he remembers distinctly the odor of dead flesh.  He saw the tank smash through the gates and troops pour into the opening.  The soldiers were immediately rushed by the inmates who had the strength, among them a young woman who had fashioned a U.S. flag, piece by piece from bits of red, white and blue cloth.  Later, Mr. Ruddy entered the barracks and found those who couldn't make it out of their bunks, those living skeletons who were too weak to get up and too close to death to realize there was cause for celebration.  He saw the boxcars, too, some 50 of them, each full of bodies, including babies, kids, young people, old people, most evacuated from Buchenwald a month earlier.  The cars had been raked with machine-gun fire and the prisoners had been left to suffocate, starve or die of exposure.  Mr. Ruddy, your compassionate efforts will always be remembered.




Learn more about the liberation of Dachau.