Pfc. William O. Chadwick, Jr. was born in Alabama in 1925. He lived in Winnebago County, Illinois. William completed 3 years of High School and was a student. On June 12, 1944, at age 19, William O. Chadwick, Jr. enlisted in Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. He entered the service from Kentucky.
Pfc. Chadwick probably joined the 121st Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division as a replacement in about October 1944. At that time the 8th Infantry Division was moving through France and Luxembourg on it’s way to the Hurtgen Forest in Germany, which they reached on November 20, 1944. On November 28 they cleared Hurtgen and on December 3 Brandenburg. Then they pushed on to the Roer. That river was crossed on February 23, 1945, with Duren taken on the February 25 and the Erft Canal crossed on the 28th. The 8th Infantry Division reached the Rhine near Rodenkirchen, March 7, 1945, and maintained positions along the river near Koln.
On April 6, 1945 the Second and Third Battalions began to move against Germans that gave ground for the first time since the opening of the attack. Company F Cleared Eschenbach to relieve the pressure on Netphen, Companies E and G moved against tank resistance in the western portion of the town. Companies K and L hit Lutzel from both flanks with marching fire and penetrated the town at 08.30 Hours. The First Battalion moved back prepared to take over Regimental reserve.
Nepthen was cleared late in the day and the Second Battalion pushed Company F through Frohnhausen. It was only a momentary reprieve for the First Battalion. The Companies jumped off for Musen and Dahlbruch. In the center of the Division front, elements of the 3rd Battalion, 121st Infantry, were able to make only slight progress against strong enemy small arms and artillery fire. The 2nd Battalion of the 121st advanced approximately 4,000 yards. Company E took the town of Eckmanhausen. Company F attacked Herzhausen, while Company G moved against Unglinghausen. Four other small towns were ordered cleared by Division units during the day. Huge stores of enemy supplies and equipment were seized. Among them were four warehouses of French, American and German weapons and ammunition, 200 boxcars, and six 350 mm. railroad guns fully mounted. Prisoners of war for the first two days of the attack numbered approximately 1,000.
It was a move that was to mark the breakthrough for the 121st Infantry Regiment in the Ruhr. A lot of towns fell and the Regiment was on it’s way. During these actions Pfc. William O. Chadwick, Jr. was Killed in Action, at age 20, on April 7, 1945.
Awards: Purple Heart
Buried at: Plot B Row 8 Grave 17
Netherlands American Cemetery
The adoptant of Private First Class William O. J. Chadwick’s grave, Petra Possen, is searching for more information about Pfc. William O. J. Chadwick. Every kind of information is more than welcome. You can contact Petra at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For another storie of a soldier adopted by Mrs. Petra Possen:
1st/Lt. Alfred P. Lettera