Visitors to the 59th & People René Visited
Frankie Choy, MD — doctor in an airborne unit
Rudy Engle — pilot
General Robert T. Frederick
General Robert T. Frederick became a two-star rank of major general in December 1944 and was given command of the 45th Infantry Division. Just 37 years old at the time, he was one of the two youngest division commanders in the U.S. Army during World War II. The 45th, which he led until September 10, 1945, saw heavy combat in French Alsace from December 1944 through to February 1945. In mid-March, it was assigned to pursue the final drive into Germany.
The division participated in heavy fighting in Aschaffenburg from March 28 to April 3 and then drove to Nuremberg, taken in heavy fighting from April 16–20. Moving south, the division crossed the Danube on April 26, and opened up the path for the U.S. 20th Armored Division to drive on Munich. Reaching Munich on April 29, the division shifted from combat to occupation.
The British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, declared that Robert Frederick was “the greatest fighting general of all time” and “if we had had a dozen more like him we would have smashed Hitler in 1942.”
Babette Kraus — family friend, living in New York. Nickname: “Babs”
Yehudi Menuhin — a musical prodigy who became a world renowned violinist and conductor, was a childhood friend of René.
Nola Menuhin — wife of Yehudi Menuhin
Leon Michels, MD — surgeon, a family friend from San Francisco
Colonel Tom Monroe — Lois McFarland’s uncle and Commander of the 15th regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division in North Africa.
Lynn Rudee, DDS — dentist, a family friend
Lieutenant Srouffe – with René at Twin Lakes at Camp Pickett, but not a member of the 59th Evac.
Therese – a family friend living in New York, who René visited when he was stationed in New Jersey.
Bill Vinney – a classmate of René’s at Stanford. Class of 1937.
Col. William Westmoreland — nickname: “Westie”
Born 1914, William Westmoreland was just a year older than René. A graduate of West Point in 1936, Westmoreland served in the 9th Infantry Division during World War II. He commanded the 34th Field Artillery Battalion in Tunisia and Sicily and in 1944 was appointed Chief of Staff of the 9th Infantry Division when it was in France and Germany. After World War II, he continued his illustrious military career, including commands in Korea and Vietnam. He retired in 1972 as a Four Star General, and passed away in 2005 at the age of 91.
Herb White — Associated Press Photographer.
According The Cumberland News July 13, 1943, “Herbert White, 35-year-old Associated Press photographer operating for the wartime photographic pool, brought back first pictures of the Sicilian landings and the following first eye-witness story of the Allied’s lightening capture of Licata. White joined AP in Washington in 1932. He left on his latest assignment in December 1942, and arrived in Cairo Feb. 4, 1943.”
General Arthur R. Wilson – Commanding General, Services of Supply, Western Task Force during the Operation Torch, the English/American invasion of French North Africa in November 1942.
By the beginning of January 1943, Wilson was appointed Commanding General, Atlantic & Mediterranean Base Sections, U.S. North African Theater of Operations and was responsible for the administration of supplies during the combat operations in that areas and held that command during the Allied invasion of Sicily in July-August 1943.
General Wilson was appointed Chief of Staff, Seventh Army, in November 1944. Wilson distinguished himself in this capacity and received an Army Distinguished Service Medal and Bronze Star Medal. He was also decorated with the Legion of Honour, Croix de Guerre with Palm by the Government of France or Order of the British Empire.