Saar River Crossing – Dillingen, Germany.

This week, we received a comment from Theresa, daughter of retired Army sergeant, Cecil E. Toole. Her welcome question was in response to a 90th Infantry Division Pic of the Week posting on the Saar River crossing at Dillingen, Germany.

She wrote, “I would like to know if there are any picture books of this particular part of the War, possibly some journalists pictures showing the crossing of the Saar or the Battle of the Bulge. Thank you. Sgt. Toole’s daughter, Theresa.”

Thank you, Theresa. I’m quite certain there are picture books or collections regarding the Battle of the Bulge, being such a key point of the war. The crossing of the Saar River, however, is a bit more obscure. I did scour my basement to come up with “Memorable Photos: Veteran’s Diary of World War II – France & Germany, 1944-45.” The booklet contains a collection of shots taken by Third Army photographer, Millard McKee. Though the inside contents are quite varied, the cover photo does show a memorable pic of the crossing of the Saar. Hope this helps Theresa, and thank you again for your interest in our war veterans and their stories.

General George Patton looks over the advance of tanks at the Saar River crossing at Dillingen, Germany. (Photo by Millard McKee)

7 Responses to “Saar River Crossing – Dillingen, Germany”

  1. Henry Andres says:

    Just wanted to post that my uncle & namesake Henry R. Andres was a member of the 90th Division, 359th Regiment, & was Killed in Action in Dillingen Germany 13 Dec. 1944.

    • Carrie Bloomer says:

      Hi Henry,
      I just wanted to connect with you as I saw your post about your Uncle being a member of the 359th. My grandfather Harley Glassford from Iowa was also a member of the 359th. Harley was KIA on Nov. 29th, 1944. I have started a huge project regarding my grandfather and his journey in the war.
      I will be visting Lorraine Cemetery in France this year to visit my grandfather.
      Carrie Bloomer

  2. Hi there!
    A really interesting picture, which I haven’t seen yet. It was obviously taken from the west bank of the Saar River right at the vehicular ferry site opposite Pachten, where tanks, tank destroyers and other vehicles had been ferried across the river.
    I researched the WW II history of my home town Dillingen/Saar and published a book in 2002 about that matter which is mainly based upon US and German After Action Reports.
    Are there additional photos by McKee taken at or around Dillingen, Pachten and Wallerfangen? Is there an accessible collection of McKee’s pictures?
    Thanks for any input.
    Regards, Stefan

  3. Jo Teal says:

    My uncle, PVT 1st Class Charles R DeGraw was 3rd CO, 90th with the 357th. He was laying cable across the Saar just north of Dillingen, in an effort to establish a crossing when his boat swamped in the flooded, fast river. He would have been wearing a heavy pack, and could not swim. He and one other GI were swept away and their bodies were never recovered. His company did not realize they were missing until day break when the rest of the group were able to find their way back.

    In May my husband and I went in search of the area he died. We have photos from the area we think he was in, but are not sure if it would have been at the first attempted crossing or the later established second crossing about a mile south. We have done extensive research, but because I am not “next of kin” many records are sealed.
    Thank you for some very interesting information!

  4. Weldon J Hickey was in C. Company 357th combat infantry regiment.

  5. My uncle Tech5 Weldon J. Hickey, he was in C Company 357th Infantry Regiment, was KIA 6th December 1944, near Pachten. The only thing we know is his body was never recovered. We do not know how he died. His mom was told by a chaplain that he was buried but the Army said that the chaplain was wrong and no body was ever recovered. My grandparents never received any of his personal effects.
    God Bless our men and women in uniform.

  6. Kenneth Dalecki says:

    My brother, Robert G. Dalecki, was a 19-year-old staff sergeant and unit foreman in the 179th Engineer Combat Battalion supervising 44 men when he won the Bronze Star for bravery under fire during construction of the first bridge across the Saar River in support of the Third Army’s thrust into Germany. He led a crew of engineers on 21 trips across the river under intense enemy fire. The 179th was not permanently assigned to the Third Army but instead was assigned to action wherever needed. It was in Lintz, Austria, on VE Day. Bob was born in Bremen, Germany, and at age two he and my mother joined my father who had immigrated to the U.S. in 1926.

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