Chick’s War Years

Enlistment took place February 22, 1944. By mid-May, the ASTP volunteers had completed basic training and were headed for Camp Shelby at Hattiesburg, Mississippi to join the 69th Infantry Division. The Allies were suffering setbacks in Europe. The volunteers were quick to learn that they were not going to Officer Candidate School, but rather being organized to be an infantry replacement division. Chick was assigned to the Intelligence Reconnaissance Platoon, Headquarters Command, 1st Battalion, 273rd Regiment. That platoon’s responsibility was to go on patrols to locate enemy lines and make radio reports back to headquarters on estimates of the size of their forces, gun emplacements and kind of equipment they had at their disposal. They received their excellent infantry training under battlefield conditions at Camp Shelby for five months by having maneuvers through the DeSoto National Forest. Chick recalls “One night, we took a Jeep and slipped into Wiggins, a small town the size of Boelus, Nebr. for a case of beer and fried chicken, only to run into a group of officers doing the same thing.” All fun aside, they knew this was serious business, as they would be leaving the States for combat very soon. They learned their individual responsibilities well, trusted each other to do their jobs and became a well-disciplined and cohesive fighting unit. “The discipline and responsibility I learned at Shelby has served me well throughout my business career.”

Chick’s Army years from February 1944 to May 1946 saw the many horrors of war. The Battle of the Bulge where many were lost. Embarking for France across the English Channel to land at badly damaged LeHavre. Arriving on the Siegfried Line to live in hand-dug foxholes covered with tree limbs for protection from incoming shells bursting in the tall pine trees overhead. Witnessing, from a mile away in the dark of the night, an accidental explosion that claimed the lives of 51 men in Mieschied. Germans were positioned 500 yards away, while Chick and many others crawled down the hill with stretchers to remove the dead and injured. Pursuing the enemy in March of 1945 as they retreated toward the Rhine River. Moving onto Leipzig for their last major battle. Then linking up with the Russians at Torgau on the Elbe River. Chick recalled that the parties began shortly as the Russians came across the river en masse to celebrate the historic link-up. The Russians had good supplies of food and vodka to contribute to the parties. “We became fast friends, although neither army could speak the other’s language. We just became one group of soldiers grateful to be alive and knowing VE Day was close.”

After VE Day, May 8, 1945, he was transferred to the 29th Infantry Division headquartered in Bremen Germany. His company’s assignment was to restore road markers and distance markers between the various villages that the Germans had destroyed out of fear of invasion. From the 29th, he was assigned to 7th Army Headquarters in Heidelberg, where he was promoted to sergeant and given the responsibility of managing the gas dump depot, the best duty he ever had in the Army. By the spring of ’46, Chick had accumulated sufficient points to be eligible to return to the States for discharge at Camp Dix, New Jersey. His decorations included the Blue Combat Infantry Badge, two combat battle ribbons for the Battle of the Bulge and Rhineland campaign, the Good Conduct Medal and three overseas bars – one for each six months . “World War II was a great learning experience in my young life and I was most grateful for surviving, and secondly, not being wounded or disabled. At age 21, I was ready to return to college and civilian life.”

The Heritage Story
Then and Now
Chick Moyer: The Early Years
Chick’s War Years
Chick Moyer: College & First Career
Wood River: The Value of Friendship
From Steel Country to Corn Country
Building the Team in Wood River
The Stromsburg Opportunity
Opportunity in Aurora
Heading North to Neligh
Growing into Grand Island
Three Became One
City National Bank in Hastings
Kearney Completes Tri-City Operations
Acquisition of Sherman County and Howard County Bank
Heading northwest into the Sandhills
Leading the Company Forward
$100 Million Reasons to Invest with Heritage Bank
Technology’s Influence on the Industry
More Than Just a Bank
“The Best is Yet to Come”