WORLD WAR II
Letter

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Record 477/959
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Admin/Biog History Harry G. T. Meeleus was born in Oshkosh, WI on September 4, 1908, the son of Edward E. and Olga Ziegenhagen Meeleus. He was drafted into the 32nd Division, Wisconsin National Guard in March 1941 and served in Louisiana. He was released to inactive reserves due to his age in July 1941. Harry was then called back to active duty after Pearl Harbor and attended Officer Training School at Fort Benning, GA and graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant. He returned to Oshkosh on leave and married Helen Hunter on November 21, 1942. He first commanded a company of the 974th Air Base Security Group in North Carolina, composed of African-Americans, but the unit was disbanded. He was then assigned to the 106th Division in Indiana. Prior to service in Europe, 75% of the unit was shipped over as replacements for other units. Harry was then assigned command of the Headquarters Company of the 2nd Battalion of the 422nd Infantry. They landed in Belgium in November 1944 and were soon sent into the front lines. The Division was over run at the Battle of the Bulge on December 16, 1944 and Harry was captured and sent to a German prisoner of war camp. He was finally liberated on May 2, 1945. He returned to Oshkosh on furlough on June 8, 1945. Following the war he worked for T & J Manufacturing Company. He died in Oshkosh, WI on January 12, 2003.
Classification Archives
Collection Harry & Helen Meeleus
Dates of Accumulation 1944
Abstract Letter from Captain Harry Meeleus, to his wife, Helen Meeleus, from a prisoner of war camp. Written on January 2, 1945, but not received until April 10, 1945

Dearest Helen: Am now a prisoner in Germany. Was captured Dec. 16. Walked all day Christmas. Weather was bad. Walked over [censored] Everybody must have prayed a lot or I surely wouldn't be alive now, keep it up. I am well and safe now. Food is not plentiful & we can use all the food we can get. My waist line is down 4 inches, don't know how much I lost in weight. Feel pretty good though. Weather here is about the same as home. Money means nothing here. We can get all the mail we can get, but limited to writing. You will get most of my letters. You advise folks and others. Tell everybody to write me. Wish my mother a happy birthday please. I lost every bit of equipment and clothing I had. Send me two small bowl pipes. Send all the cigarette and pipe tobacco you can. If I don't use it (don't think I will), I can trade it. Send tobacco pouch, matches, and pipe cleaners. Here are other things I need: light weight wool socks; handkerchiefs; toothbrush & container; tooth paste; towel; wash cloth; soap dish with cover; razor with blades; shave brush; comb; steel mirror; finger nail file and clippers or shears; plenty staple food; chocolate; boy scout knife; ever sharp leads & eraser (same type as yours); knife, fork, and table spoon. Contact American Red Cross for advise. Send whatever you can and when you can. Nothing too much we can write about from here. Might be transferred to officer's camp later. Don't worry. Accommodations not too good, very crowded. Best of everything to you and everybody else. Hope you are well and happy. Send regards to all. Never got Xmas package. All my love & kisses, Harry. 2 Jan. 1945.
Event World War II
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Legal Status Oshkosh Public Museum
Object ID RG74.12
Object Name Letter
People Meeleus, Helen Hunter
Meeleus, Harry G.T.
Subjects World War II
Letters
European Theater of Operations
Infantry
Officers
Prisoners of war
Title Letter
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009