T/Sgt Harold F. Schaefer
Company G, 394th Infantry
Third of five children raised by David and Augusta Schaefer, Harold’s promising life began on December 31, 1924 in Flat Rock, Michigan. The little rural community was nestled along the last meadows of the Huron River, just before it flows into Lake Erie. The place became known for hosting the Ford Motor Company Lamp factory. In the early 1920’s, the plant produced the lamps for all Ford vehicles.Harry received his draft notice in 1943
Clever young man, he qualified for the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), unique military organization created to meet the Army needs for college educated specialists. Early 1944, the program was disbanded and PFC Harold F Schaefer joined the 99th Infantry Division at Camp Maxey, Texas, as basic infantryman. He was attached to the 2nd platoon, company G of the 394th Infantry Regiment. The first days of the Battle of the Bulge saw Harry’s company involved in combat actions (see Withrawal through Mürringen). Rigor and natural leadership quickly rose Harry in the ranks. In January 1945, he was S/Sgt and at the lead of his platoon. On January 30, he was engaged with his men in a boldness attack against enemy hold positions. With outstanding leadership and complete disregard for his own security, he reduced the enemy position and relieved his company from devastating MG fire (see Reserve Platoon). For this action, he was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Nation’s second highest award (see citation ). After the Battle of the Bulge, Harry was promoted to T/Sgt. On April 25, 1945, he was wounded during the crossing of the Danube and was in hospital in France when the war ended. After his discharge, Harry used the « GI bill » to finish his studies and became an engineer. Active member in the 99th Division Association, Harry often attended conventions and made several trips back to Belgium. He passed away on July 21, 2015 at age ninety-one in Green Valley, Arizona. Long time friend and ardent supporter of the MIA Project, Harry had a sharp sense of humor, a factual analysis of military actions and humility often seen among highly decorated soldiers. He will be missed by all.