Testimonies from the Midwest


T/Sgt. Ernest L. Carlson, 378 Infantry, 95th Division

  T/Sgt. Ernest L. Carlson      Division patch   Current photo of  Ernest L. Carlson

Ernest L. Carlson was born on December 31, 1919, at Beresford, South Dakota. Ernest grew up on a farm in the Beresford area; he entered the service in July of 1942. The following is his story, told in his own words.

Service Record: I started my military training at Camp Swift, Texas. I trained in various camps in the USA before departing from Boston to South Hampton, England.  Landed on Omaha Beachhead in September of 1944; the water amd beachhead were littered with military equipment destroyed on D-Day. I was a squad leader of an anti-tank team and was fortunate not to be in the foxhole shared by three squad members, who became casualties from German 88 artillery.

Camp Encounter: As we got closer to Hamm and Dortmund there were homeless and hungry people everywhere and no place to go. Russian and Polish war prisoners were so hungry and worn out clothes. We tried to help them with food. The horrors of war you remember all your life.

Awards: Our division was awarded Battle Stars for Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, Alsace, and Central Europe.


After the War: I married Harriet in 1947, worked in hardware store for 3 years, moved to the farm in 1949. I have two children: Doug in Oregon and Diane in Virginia and 3 grandchildren. I retired from the farm in 1989. Now I do lawn work, play golf, work in the church, and visit our children and grandchildren. I've been a member of the American Legion for 55 years.


Advice from a WW II Veteran to Today's Youth:

I would say study, be involved, make friends, learn to work with others, and prepare yourself so that you have the ability to make good decisions from the knowledge you gained from your school.

The 95th Infantry Division's Road to Victory Through the ETO; map courtesy of Ernest Carlson

The 95th Infantry Division's Road to Victory Through the ETO; map courtesy of Ernest Carlson