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Lt. Timmermann was born Hans Karl Heinrich Timmermann in the Niederrad district of Frankfurt am Main, Province of Hesse-Nassau, Germany, the son of an American WWI soldier and a German mother. His family moved to the States in January 1924, and he grew up in Snyder and West Point, Nebraska.
He enlisted 6 July 1940, in Fort Crook, Omaha, Nebraska. He was first stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, then attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, receiving his lieutenancy 16 February 1943. He was sent on to Fort Riley, Kansas, in the summer of 1943. He left for Europe 20 August 1944 on the HMS Queen Mary and on 28 October he was in France. December 1944, he engaged in the Battle of the Bulge near St. Vith. He was wounded. He continued to serve with the 9th in its drive to the Rhine, and was the first officer across the Rhine, capturing the Ludendorff Bridge at the small city of Remagen. (Detailed account at the sources.)
He left the service 12 December 1945, reenlisting as a Technical Sergeant on 28 October 1947. He received his second commission on 26 December 1948, and was attached to the 7th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop of the 7th Infantry Division.
He participated in the Inchon Landing in Korea and subsequent battle for Suwon in 1950. During this time, he develop severe pain and shortly discovered that he had a cancerous tumor. He was sent to Fitzsimmons Hospital, Denver where he had surgery. He subsequently died of cancer in 1951.
He was interred at Fort Logan National Cemetery, Colorado, Section H Site 195.
Born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany on 19 June 1922, to German bride Marie Franciska (Weisbecker) and John Henry Timmermann. Karl and his parents came to the U.S. in 1924. The summer of 1939, with one more year left in high school, Karl joined the Citizens Military Training Corps at Fort Crook for thirty days of intense military training. He graduated from Guardian Angel High School, West Point, Nebraska, in 1940. Timmermann enlisted in Regular Army 6 July 1940, received basic training with Company "D", 17th Infantry at Fort Crook, Nebraska then on to Fort Ord, California. He was assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington, with Company D, 30th Infantry on 25 March 1941, and later to the Presidio of San Francisco. On 7 December 1941, Karl was serving in the Northwest Defense Command at Fort Lewis, Washington. On 26 April 1942, his entire unit was reassigned to the 81st (Wildcat) Division at Camp Rucker, Alabama. On 21 May 1942, Karl was stationed with the 323rd Infantry Regiment, Company D, at Camp Rucker. On 10 November 1942, Karl's application was accepted for Officer Candidate School. He attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia from 18 November 1942 to 16 February 1943, and appointed 2nd Lt, Infantry, AUS on 16 February 1943. Assigned as a Platoon Leader in Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 52nd Armored Infantry Regiment of the 9th Armored Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, late February 1943.
Promoted to 1st lieutenant, AUS, on 16 April 1945, and relieved from extended active duty on 12 December 1945. On 28 October 1947, Karl reenlisted in the regular army as a Tech/Sergeant, officer billets were full. Recruiting in Nebraska and Iowa until December 1947, Promoted to Sergeant First Class August 1948, on which date he was assigned to the 5258 ASU, Nebraska State Senior Instructor, OR serving until December 1948. On 26 December 1948, he was sworn in as a 1st Lieutenant.
Timmermann had 14 months overseas service with 8 months in combat zone.
Fluent in German
ENLISTED Regular Army 6 July 1940, at Fort Crook, Nebraska
Private- July 1940 - January 1941 Gunner, 30 Cal HMG Squad
PFC- January 1941 - September 1941 Gunner 30 Cal HMG Squad
PFC- Sept 1941 - Oct 1941 Squad Leader 30 Cal HMG Squad
CPL- Oct 1941 - April 1941 Squad Leader 30 Cal HMG Squad
SGT- April 1942 - Sept 1942 Section Leader 30 Cal HMG Section
SGT- Sept 1942 - Nov 1942 Platoon Sergeant 30 Cal HMG Platoon
SGT- Nov 1942 - Feb 1943 Infantry O.C.S. Ft Benning, Georgia
2nd LT- Feb 1943 - April 1945 Platoon Leader & Company Commander
1st LT- April 1945 - May 1945 Platoon Leader
1st LT- May 1945 - August 1945 Military Government Bayreuth, Germany
1st LT- August 1945 - December 1945 Platoon Leader
T/SGT- October 1947 - December 1947 Recruiting Service
SFC- August 1948 - Senior Instructor
1st Lt- December 1948
Member of Company A (Able), 27 Armored Infantry Battalion, Combat Command B, 9th Armored Division from February 1943 to October 1945.
7th Infantry Division in Japan & Korea 1949 - 1951
Karl H. Timmermann Obituary
19 June 1922 - 21 October 1951
Clipped from Fremont Tribune, 23 Oct 1951, Tue, Page 1 and 15
'Hero of Rhine,' West Point Man, Dies in Hospital
Lt. Karl Timmermann of West Point, "Hero of the Rhine" and former army recruiter in Fremont, is dead.
Timmermann earned his title of "Hero of the Rhine" when he was the first officer to cross the Remagen bridge over the Rhine during the final World War II drive into Nazi Germany. He was among 13 decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross for capturing and crossing the bridge.
The lieutenant, also a veteran of the Korean war, died at Fitzsimons army hospital at Denver after a year's illness. He will be buried in the Fort Logan national cemetery here at his request.
Lieutenant Timmermann led a patrol across the Remagen bridge to save it from destruction by the Nazis.
He enlisted in the regular army July 6, 1940, and was serving at Fort Lewis, Wash., at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack. He received his commission as second lieutenant at Fort Benning, Ga., on Feb. 16, 1943, and went overseas in August, 1944. Timmermann was wounded Belgium later that year.
On VE day he was on the border of Czechoslovakia and until 1945, he served with the military government in northern Bavaria. He returned to the United States Oct. 13, 1945. He was discharged as a first lieutenant Dec. 13, 1945.
Served in Fremont
Timmermann reenlisted as a technical sergeant in the regular army on Oct. 28, 1947. He was on recruiting duty in Fremont until August, 1948, when he became an instructor with the officers reserve corps. He was discharged on Christmas day, 1948, and enlisted for active duty as an officer the following day.
Timmermann was assigned to the far East command on Jan. 5, 1949, and was attached to the Seventh mechanized cavalry reconnaissance troop in the Seventh infantry division. He took part in the Inchon landing in Korea.
When on duty in Fremont, Timmermann wore the Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart, Bronze Star medal, distinguished unit badge, American defense service medal, European-African-Middle East service medal with battle stars for Ardennes, Rhineland and Central European campaigns, Combat infantry badge, good conduct medal, occupation medal, World War II victory medal, American defense and American theater ribbons.
He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John H. Timmermann of West Point; widow, La Vera of West Point; daughter, Gay, 6; two brothers and a sister.