Sgt. Floyd J. Esche
C. Company 643rd TD BN.
Born: 11 August 1923 Place: Manawa, WI
Died: 13 December 2004 Place: La Salle, IL
Burielplace: Little Wolf Cemetery, Manawa, WI
Wife: Marcia Esche (Siggelkoe) Married: 25 June 1949
Children: David, Peter, Margaret and Allison
Father: Erwin Esche Mother: Lorna Esche (Floyd)
European African Middle Eastern Service Medal
Battle Stars"Ardennes-Rhineland-Central Europe"
E-mail received from Peter Esche.
Ben... I believe that his number was 36826783. It's not a problem sending you copies of the files. I'll try and break it up so any individual email isn't too large. I think what you are doing is a wonderful tribute to these guys and families. I have already notified my siblings of your page. It's a real bonus that my dad's pictures can also be enjoyed by others like yourself and the Gerald Duncan's family. I also have a photo of Gerald Duncan's Grave that my father took at the time. I will be sure to scan it in for you as well.
I am the (self proclaimed) historian in my family, so I have my Dad's WWII scrapbook and also electronic versions of the letters he wrote home from the war. It may take some time but I can give you a fair amount of information... at least what they allowed in letters going stateside during the war.
Like many I assume, my Dad didn't talk about the war very much until he was much older. There are a few things he told us that I remember. I can pass a few of those things along now and others as I think of them.
My Dad was a Staff Sergeant by the time the war was over. He brought back a few items including a large Nazi flag, two German bayonets and a Luftwaffe ceremonial dagger. He had several medals that he kept in a box but I can't tell you what they were for. I don't think he was very concerned about them because I remember playing with them as a kid. I'm afraid they've been lost or discarded over the years... what a shame.
My father tells a story about his volunteering to check out some trenches near their position. He says that at one point he could hear Germans talking in the next trench. At some point during that time a Greman and he jumped into the same foxhole. I guess they were both very startled and didn't know what to do. My Dad told the soldier to put his hands up first, so he did. He always laughed that he might have done the same if the German spoke first. Afterwards, his commanding officer said he was going to put Dad in for a Silver Star. He never heard another mention of it. He also tells about crawling through people's "guts" in trenches.
Dad was hospitalized for a bronchial infection sometime after the Battle of the Bulge. I don't recall how long (I can determine) but he did join his company again to cross into Germany. He claims that near the end of the war the Germans were trying to surrender to the Americans rather than the Russians and that he even saw American planes strafing advancing Russians to give them time.
Okay... al for now. I'll spend some more time later this afternoon scanning some photos and getting you the files.
Info/photos received from;
Peter Esche, son of Floyd.
Jullouville, France ´44
Top Left: John Ventura, Robert Wickham, Joe Kowalski, Elden Gillan, Bill Santarsiero
Kneeling: Orville Pearce, Nick Evancha, Neff Caroll, Gilbert Kershaw, Floyd Esche
Floyd Esche and Ed Wandtke
Robert Wickham writing home
Several drawings Floyd made
Floyd and Marcia's Grave Marker on Little Wolf Cemetery