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Mr. Samuel Varonak




Capt. Frank J. Verderber

1st Lt. John Hart

Having an IPW Team, and an S-5 were something new and novel for the Regiment in the ETO.  But when the Nazi prisoners started surrendering in droves, and fifteen towns were taken in a day, both became more than handy gadgets to have around.  They became absolute necessities. No one who saw him in action will ever quite forget Lt. Hart putting the German civilians through their paces and in their places.  Not could the great numbers of PW's possibly have been handled were it not for the IPW.

The Team, which worked for both the 385th and the 304th, had a busy time of it with more than 35,000 prisoners taken before VE Day, and some 45,000 taken in the last round up after the cessation of hostilities.  And it was IPW men who did the screening of all prisoners to weed out the SS and the former members of the Nazi Party.  No small job.  In the faster moving situations PW's were processed at Battalion level, left in charge of guards while the team went on to the next collecting point.  And Battalions sometimes established as many as three collecting points during the course of a day.  All of which meant a 24 hour day for the Team.

As for the S-5 group in their AMG office, wherever it happened to be, their tasks were no less difficult.  Especially in the days following VE, when thousands of Displaced Persons had to be sorted, billeted, fed, and transportation arranged to collecting or transfer points.  At one control point alone, more than 5,000 DP's were checked daily.

And when the Regiment spent any appreciable length of time in any one locality there were all the public utilities to get back into operation, and thousands of questions to be answered, and people to be interviewed.  Creating a semblance of order and government from the chaos left by the fall of Nazidom was no easy task.  It will be no easy task, and perhaps the experiences of such men as Lt. Hart and his crew will be handy in the days to come.  But getting in on the ground floor of occupation work, they had all the roughest obstacles to hurdle.

Certainly without the IPW Team and the S-5, the Regiment could not have advanced so rapidly.  As it was, all went smoothly and the problems of prisoners and civilians and Displaced Persons never became an obstacle to impede military progress.



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