Chaplains of the
36th Infantry Division


Chaplain (Colonel) Herbert E. MacCombie
Division Chaplain

Germany Surrenders

On May 3rd we moved to Bad Tolz.  Nearby some German SS troops had fired upon some refugees, who were fleeing from Dachau.  The refugees were helpless and unarmed, but the Nazis fired upon them, killing some and wounding others.

The Military Government asked me to see what could be done for the wounded.  I located a hospital occupied by German SS casualties.  They assured me that they had no room for refugees from Dachau.  I told them they must find room for them.  If necessary, I would go through the hospital and locate cases that could be ambulatory and make room for the refugees.  One of my men slapped the butt of his rifle.  They found room for the wounded.

It was at Bad Tolz that Lt. Burke of the 141st received the surrender of Field Marshall Gerd von Rundstedt.

On May 5th we moved to Kufstein, Austria.  On May 8th we moved to Kitsbuhel, Austria.  Here we received the news that Germany had surrendered.  On May 9th, accompanied by a group of officers and men from Division Headquarters, I attended a service of Thanksgiving held by the Bishop of Servia, who had been recently liberated from a German Concentration Camp.  The Patriarch of Serbia was also present at the service.  That same day Chaplain Roemer conducted a Solemn High Mass of thanks for the Allied victory.  The mass was held in the local church.  We also held a Protestant Thanksgiving Service in a local church.  On May 11th a Jewish service of Thanksgiving was held at the Division C.P.

While we were at Kitzbuhel we received the surrender of Hermann Goering. I saw his great armored car.  The windows were supposed to be bullet-proof.  I estimated that they could probably get about one mile to the gallon, but even with a shortage of gasoline in Germany, Goering could still ride in state.


Copyright 2001 by Mary MacCombie Fietsam
Printed by Permission

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