Soumas, George, CPT

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1942 - 1946



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This Military Service Page was created/owned by Navy PO3 Darwin (Mac) McKee to remember Soumas, George, CPT.

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Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Perry Iowa

Date of Passing
Apr 20, 1994
Location of Interment
Not Specified
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Honorably Discharged WW II

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BG Thomas H. Harrold, Commanding General, U.S. 9th Armored Division in Germany stands with members of the division who are holders of the Distinguished Service Cross. Left to Right -  T/SGT Michael Clincher, Rochelle Park, NJ;  SGT William Goodson, Rushville, IN;  LT John Grimball, Columbus, SC;   CPT George P. Soumas; Perry, IA;  BG Thomas H. Harrold;  LT Karl Timmerman;  West Point, NB;   SSG Eugene Dorland;  Manhatten, KS;   SGT Joseph S. Petrinosik;  Berea, OH. "Market Garden"
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to George P. Soumas, Captain (Armor), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 14th Tank Battalion, 3d Armored Division, in action against enemy forces on 7 March 1945. Captain Soumas' intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 3d Armored Division, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, First U.S. Army, General Orders No. 49 (1945)
Home Town: Perry, Iowa
Other Comments:

Captain George P. Soumas

Enemy reaction to the Ninth Armored?s seizure of the Remagen bridge was extremely violent. The Germans counterattacked savagely with tanks and infantry as soon as they could wheel into position. They hurled a storm of artillery fire and bombs at the bridgehead. Veterans compared it to the hell of Normandy. Hundreds of Luftwaffe pilots were sent on suicide missions to get the bridge. The 482nd Anti-Aircraft Battalion protected the bridge alone at the outset and shot down the first four German planes that flew over the span. The 482nd later was joined by a massive concentration of anti-aircraft weapons. The German fliers, pursuing their reckless tactics, were able to obtain hits and near hits on the bridge but they were not enough. The Germans sent mines floating down the river, hoping they would hit the railroad bridge or the pontoon structures that were being thrown across. They sent men down the river on barges loaded with explosives. They even tried especially trained swimmers who paddled down the river in rubber suits towing heavy charges of floating explosives. For ten days the Ludendorff bridge withstood all enemy action. Heavy military traffic poured across. After the bridge virtually had served its usefulness to the Allied cause, it toppled into the Rhine. In the ten days that the railroad bridge had been in our hands, several pontoon bridges across the Rhine had been completed. There was no immediate further need for the Ludendorff span. The springboard already had been built up. The bridgehead had become a powerhouse. The payoff came when the American armored juggernaut burst out of the bridgehead and raced to the east and then to the north. The Ruhr was sealed off, trapping more than 300,000 German troops. The early doom of the Wehr-macht was written in the blood of those men of the Ninth Armored who first crossed the Rhine. Their sacrifice had saved thousands of lives and had provided such an impetus to Allied confidence that it was only a matter of weeks until the German nation was thoroughly beaten. Thirteen Distinguished Service Crosses were pinned on the heroes of the Remagen bridge by General Leonard. Six crosses went to the following officers and men of the 27th: Lt. Karl H. Timmermann, commander of Company A; T/Sgt. Michael Chinchar, S/Sgt. Anthony Samele and T/Sgt. Joseph A. Delisio, among the first ten across; S/Sgt. Joseph S. Petrencsik, who, despite an injured foot, fought his way across the bridge with the first group, and Sgt. Alexander A. Drabik, first man to cross the Rhine. Four members of the 14th Tank Battalion received crosses. They were Capt. George P. Soumas, commander of Company A; First Lt. Charles W. Miller, who took the first tank platoon across; First Lt. John Grimball, whose tanks provided covering fire in the initial operation, and Sgt. William J. Goodson, commander of the first tank that crossed the bridge. The three engineers who cleared the bridge of demolitions received DSGs. They were First Lt. Hugh B. Mott, SISgt. John A. Reynolds and Sgt. Eugene Dorland. Those men had leading roles in the drama of Remagen. But all officers and men of the Ninth Armored shared in the triumph. It was, in the words of General Omar N. Bradley, a ?bold advance, char acterized by a willingness to chance great risks for great rewards.? The reward was Victory. It came two months to the day after the Ninth Armored Division established the first Allied bridgehead across the Rhine.
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