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Record 478/959
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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 1945
Abstract Original V-Mail Letter (not photographed and reduced) from Captain Harry Meeleus, to his wife, Helen Meeleus, after liberation from a prisoner of war camp.

5 May 1945

Dearest Helen:
What a wonderful feeling to be out of German hands. Were liberated at Gars (on the Inn River) on 2 May. Moved by truck to Moosburg where we are now awaiting to be transported to France or England. Some have already left here by plane. They say we might move out by air. As we are the last group in, we might be here 10 days or so. Don't know how long we will be over here. Have high hopes of being in the States within a month or 6 weeks.
I am feeling fine and outside of needing a little building up, think I am in good condition. Sure have had some thrilling experiences in my walks through Germany. Up to the time of liberation I had walked some 600 miles as a prisoner of war, on short rations, and in lots of bad weather. I spent a total of 36 days in four different Oflags [prisons] and the rest of the time marching and in barns.
I hope you are feeling fine and your spirits high, news sure is good. I trust our folks are all well. Don't worry about me as I am doing fine. Will see you, I hope, don't worry.

All my Love and Kisses,

Prisoner 132 days
Event World War II
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Legal Status Oshkosh Public Museum
Object ID RG74.14.1
Object Name Letter
People Meeleus, Helen Hunter
Meeleus, Harry G.T.
Subjects World War II
European Theater of Operations
Prisoners of war
Title Letter
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009