Send Bud back to his battlefields
BUD RETURNS ::: Documentary of a 42nd 'Rainbow' Infantryman and His Platoon
I have spent much time in conversation with my friend Lockered 'Bud' Gahs about his memories of frontline combat with the 42nd Infantry Division / 222nd Anti Tank Company. My mission has been to understand Bud's personal role and honor his service, and to compile first hand stories to add to my growing research about these unsung heroes.
Bud shared with me that he’d like to go back, one last time, to see some of the most memorable places of his war service.
Together, we will make a documentary about his memories and this experience of returning to the battlefields to remember and preserve the story of the men of his platoon and their contribution to our freedom.
We need your help to make this possible.
As a liberator, Bud will be a guest of honor at the commemorations for the 75th anniversary of Dachau on May 3, which will be the centerpoint of our journey together.
We are asking for your support to help us raise $12,500 in order to ensure our crew can travel with him to document his time there, and so that we can widen his journey to include the locations mentioned below.
Thank you so much for joining with us through your belief in our exciting project of remembrance.
Bud and Erin
Our itinerary includes:
- The village of Schweighausen, France: here the platoon engaged in a major battle of Operation Nordwind and contributed to the German retreat. January 25, 1945.
- Epinal Cemetary, France: we will visit and honor Bud's friends who were killed in the Schweighausen battle.
- Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany: the 42nd Division (with the 45th Division) liberated the prisoners on April 29, 1945.
- Munich, Germany: the men of the 42nd were the first to enter and take the fallen city.
- Berchtesgaden, Germany: Bud's unit entered the Eagle's Nest immediately after it fell into Allied hands.
In addition to granting Bud’s wish to return, your donation covers:
- Accommodation and travel expenses for Bud and his wife, Angela.
- Accommodation and travel expenses for our crew of videographers, co-directors, and presenter.
- Post-production (editing) of documentary.
- Research costs
With the exception of editing the footage that will become our documentary, the whole crew is donating their time, skillset, and knowledge to what we believe is a remarkably important project in preserving the memories of the men who gave their all for each and every one of us.
All funds raised will go toward travel expenses, research, and production costs.
When we reach our bottom line budget of $12,500, the next $2000 in donations will go toward traveling with Bud to the home of his former platoon officer, Lieutenant Russel Fielding - who was decorated with a Silver Star for his actions in Schweighausen.
Erin will interview the men, and film their conversations about their memories of their war.
Erin Faith Allen: historian, artist, author, presenter, co-director and co-producer. www.erinfaithallen.com
Ben Mayne: battlefield guide, historian, co-director and co-producer.
(As of March 2020, WW2 Nation is no longer attached to this project, which is now produced by Pathfinder Research and Productions.)
Bud’s Bronze Star Citation:
The BRONZE STAR MEDAL is awarded to LOCKERED S. GAHS, JR., 33 717 046, Private First Class, Infantry, Anti-Tank Company, 222nd Infantry Regiment, for heroic achievement in action on 25 January 1945, at Schweighausen, France. When elements of a German parachute bicycle battalion launched a strong attack against Schweighausen, Private Gahs and his squad discovered their house was surrounded by the enemy and that they were facing intense fire from hostile small arms, machine guns, mortars, grenades and Panzerfausts. Stationing himself at the head of the stairs,
Private Gahs remained at his post for more than two hours, firing his M-3 machine gun with deadly accuracy and blasting all enemy attempts to enter the house. His courageous act was largely responsible for the repulse of the enemy and for the death of ten Germans, the wounding of eight, and
the capture of eight prisoners of war. Entered military service from Towson, Maryland.
Presidential Unit Citation:
The 222 Infantry Regiment is cited for extraordinary and outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy on 24 and 25 January 1945, in the Bois D’Ohlungen, and the vicinity of Schweighausen and Neuborg, France. On the night of 24 January 1945, the 222nd Infantry Regiment, under strength by half a Battalion of riflemen, yet necessarily extended over a 7500-yard front, was attacked by five regiments from the 7th Parachute, 25th Panzer and 47th German VG Divisions which were supported by heavy artillery. Ordered to hold at all costs, the Regiment withstood the enemy’s desperate bid to break the Seventh Army Moder River Line. Fighting back from ice-filled foxholes, the outnumbered defenders fought off wave after wave of enemy attacking all along the Regiment’s front and infiltration into friendly positions, well behind the Main Line of Resistance. Wild fighting raged throughout the night and well into the next day as the fanatical attackers sought to break out into open country, but every measure was met by determined counterattacks. On the night of the 25th, the frustrated enemy fell back to his original line, leaving the ground littered with enemy dead. Despite the loss of 237 officers and men, the 222nd Infantry Regiment held its position, exacting a heavy toll of men and equipment from the enemy. The courage and devotion to duty shown by the members of the 222nd Infantry Regiment in smashing one of the enemy’s principal strategic efforts to reconquer Alsace, are worthy of emulation and exemplify the highest traditions of the Army of the United States.
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Erin Faith Allen