Letters from War – Battlefield promotion and war souvenirs, December 1944

This is part of our “Letters from War” series documenting the World War II letters of Irvin Schwartz of Pine Grove, PA. The letters were all published in the West Schuylkill Press-Herald between 1943 and 1945. 

Read the previous letter here


Schwartz 1944 (1)
A 1944 photograph of Irvin Schwartz

From the West Schuylkill Press-Herald, December 15, 1944

Former Reporter For Press-Herald Receives Promotion On Field Of Battle

Allied Headquarters in Germany – (Delayed)

An order issued today from Colonel Seitz, Commanding Officer of the 26th U.S. Infantry Regiment of the First Division, announced the promotion of Irvin R. Schwartz of Pine Grove, Pennsylvania to the rank of Corporal.

Schwartz is now First Gunner and fires one of the huge anti-tank guns in the 26th Regiment’s Anti-Tank Company.

To be appointed a non-commissioned officer on the battlefield is earning a rating in the hardest possible way and requires the highest standards of courage, leadership, and responsibility.

Editor’s Note – Irvin Schwartz is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Schwartz of Pleasant Valley and is a former Press-Herald carrier and reporter for Hallton and Pleasant Valley. He also served as sports commentators for all sports at Pine Grove High School prior to his joining the service in May 1943 and graduated at Pine Grove with the class of ’42.

He was inducted into the service at Allentown and was stationed at New Cumberland, Pa., Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. He later was transferred to Camp Shanks near New York City, and went overseas, landing in Scotland. He trained in England for the European invasion and eventually took part in the great D-Day landings on the Normandy beaches in northwestern France. He has fought through France and Belgium and was among the first Allied troops to go into Germany.

Besides wearing these various battle stars, Schwartz wears the Good Conduct Ribbon and the Expert Combat Infantryman’s Badge, in addition to a citation ribbon. Recently his unit was praised by President Roosevelt for “outstanding work against the enemy upon entering Germany.”

He has two brothers, Donald and Curtis, attending the Pleasant Valley public schools which he also attended for eight years.


From the West Schuylkill Press-Herald, January 5, 1945

Invite Friends to See War Souvenirs

Mr. and Mrs. John Schwartz, of Pleasant Valley, have received a number of war souvenirs from their son, Cpl. Irvin Schwartz, who is with the First Army in Europe. They will be pleased to show the souvenirs to anyone who wishes to call at their home.

Among the trophies are: a German flag, a German cap, a can of German coins, German magazine, German spoon and fork, American story book, three German belt buckles, and other articles. The flag measures nine and a half by ten feet.


Featured Image: Corporal Irvin Schwartz in early 1944 and headline from the West Schuylkill Press-Herald

This is part of a series titled: “Letters from War.” Read more of the letters written by Irvin Schwartz during World War II


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