E Pluribus Unum - Out of Many, One

David J Hindlemann was 26 when he enlisted in the army at Ft. Logan, Colorado on November 14, 1942. He was sent to Camp Adair, Oregon for his basic training. From there he went to Ft Sill, Oklahoma for Officer Candidate School.  He became a 2nd Lieutenant September 2, 1943. At Ft. Sill, he became a field artillery instructor. He was assigned to the 80th Blue Ridge Division. It was there that he became acquainted with General Searby who asked him to  become his aide-de-camp.

In late June 1944 the 80th Division boarded the Queen Mary for Scotland. In August they landed in Normandy, and fought their way across France. The 80th became part of the 3rd Army under Patton. During a major offensive on the Moselle River, General Searby and 2nd Lt. Hindlemann joined the infantry to take the strategic high ground of Mousson Hill. Dave was beside General Searby when he was killed on Mousson Hill. Dave took over the FA duties. He was awarded a battlefield promotion and became a 1st Lieutenant. General MacKelvie replaced General Searby and Dave became his aide-de-camp. Dave was awarded two Bronze Stars

The 80th Division defended the city of Luxembourg, broke through the Maginot and Siegfried lines, and continued across Germany. Late in the spring of 1945 the 80th entered Austria and met the Russian army when the 6th German army surrendered in May 1945. Dave was promoted to Captain.

After VE Day he was released as General MacKelvie’s aide and assigned to 80th Division Headquarters. He was directed to take over a German uniform factory to manufacture clothing for the thousands of displaced persons living in the DP camps. In December 1945 he returned to the United States on the USS Mt. Vernon and was discharged in January 1946. Dave was born in 1916 and died in 2006 at the age of 90.

This blog is lovingly created by his son-in-law Edward Berger and his daughter Jo Hindlemann Berger to document his story and share his numerous photos. Dave was an avid photographer and fortunately many of his photographs were labeled with locations and dates.  Others are not.  We have posted a number of photos we cannot specifically identify on the ‘Help Identify Photos’ page. If you can identify any of these people, places, and a date that would be GREAT! Thank you to the many veterans who have given their service. Ed and Jo Berger

7 Responses to “Welcome!”

  1. Ann Mullaney says:

    Very valuable portrait of a thoughtful US soldier taking photos as he experieinced the last year of the war.

  2. Ned Searby says:

    Interesting to read another account of my Grandfather’s death on the hill above the town. Other accounts — including a letter written days after the battle — describe my Grandfather as having intentionally drawn fire to himself to offer a moment to escape for a group of Americans trapped in the open during the counterattack. Reportedly, he had done this several times in WWI and lived to fight another day.

  3. Ed Berger says:

    Ned, thank you for you comments. How do we contact you? Get to us at joed@cableone.net. As we work to gather history these questions need to be answered. Can you help?
    1. Who was General Searby’s 1st Lt. aide when he left NY? Dave recalls that he cracked-up on the way from England to France. Did the General replace him or was Dave his only aide in France?
    2. Dave was with the General when they joined infantry and went up Mousson Hill. Were there other Field Artillery men with them?
    3. Are there any accounts of others from the General’s command on the hill? (Dave was promoted to 1st Lt. when he was relieved on the hill. He became General MacKelvie’s aide.)
    4. Are there any records – diary, field records – kept by the General?
    5. The account of the General standing to attract fire is powerful. How do we access it?
    The General and Dave became friends through volleyball before Dave was asked to be his aide . They were both tall and teamed up. Dave was older and more experienced than most of the Blue Ridge boys. Yes, the General was always out in front scouting and getting the lay of the land. The captured tank and crew story is one Dave told with glee. He was close to the General and his death changed Dave forever.

  4. Amy says:

    Very valuable portrait of a thoughtful US soldier taking photos as he experieinced the last year of the war.

  5. Tom MacKelvie says:

    Brig. Gen. J.W. MacKelvie was my grandfather.
    I’ve sent a link to this to my father. Possibly he had met or heard of David.
    Thank you for researching and publishing this as I’ve not been able to come across much information that I’d like to know too.


  6. Claude Staudt says:

    I would like to communicate with you for some details concerning the photos of Merzig (Pane and Long Tom). I’ve some interesting details for you and some questions.

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