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Lt. Linnsey L. Wheeler, DSC

Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), 351st Infantry Regiment


There was this German strong point in a little two-street village in the Appenines (sic) at the entrance to the Bologna road net, and it was giving the Doughboys a tough time. So the regimental commander told Lt. Linnsey Wheeler to take a patrol out and find out about it.

The lieutenant, an Addy, Wash., infantryman who won his commission on the battlefield only last November, picked five solid Doughfeet and took off in the deep mountain snows. This is what happened:

They crossed the Savena river, an icy stream alongside Highway 65 in this area, and then inched their way over a snow-covered trail well into the enemy lines.

When they got to within 60 yards of the group of buildings that made up the strongpoint they still hadn't been spotted. Wheeler deployed four of his men in covering position while he and Pfc. Thomas C. Wilson, a sharpshooting Tommy-gunner of Wauconia, Ill., pushed ahead.

They had reached the corner of the first house when a German sentry challenged them. Wheeler answered with a burst from his Tommygun and killed him.

Then they had to work fast. Wheeler and Wilson formed an "assault force" of two and promptly "stormed" the building. As they passed by a window Wheeler heard a machinegun being loaded inside. He pushed his gun through the window, cut loose for a moment, then quickly raced around to the door and collided with a Nazi as he came out.

The German, a giant of a man, carried the machinegun cradled in his arms like a machine pistol, firing as he came through the door. For a brief moment there was a duel right there at the doorway. It cost the enemy his life. At that moment, unnoticed by Wheeler, another German gunner appeared in the doorway. Wilson hollered "duck" and began firing. The German fell wounded and was put away for keeps by Wheeler.

Another German soldier took up a position outside the house and although he was firing at pointblank range, Wheeler rushed him because he realized the value of a live prisoner for information purposes. He gave him a going over, took his gun away and had a prisoner.

The entire patrol got together then and headed home. On the way, with machinegun slugs chasing them, they ran into a mine field and one member of the patrol had a foot blown off. Wheeler sent half the patrol on ahead with the prisoner and he and the other two men brought their wounded mate in.

The German strong point offers less trouble now.


Article: Standard Speaker, February, 02, 1945. Downloaded from

Photo: Spokesman Review, March 24. 1945. Downloaded from


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