Private First Class
Russell W. Wester

1913 - April 11, 1945

Nutley, New Jersey -
Wullersleben, Germany

 

 

Russell W. Wester was born in 1913 and from Nutley, New Jersey. He attended Lincoln School and graduated from Nutley High school in 1931. His father died and he had one sister.

He enlisted in the army on 5 November 1942 and after basic training joined the 93rd Chemical Mortar Battalion, B Company.

The unit was activated on 24 March 1944 as 93rd Chemical Battalion Motorized at Camp Rucker, Alabama. It was redesignated as 93rd Chemical Mortar Battalion on 17 November 1944. The arrived in France on 29 January 1945. During its 22 days in action, it fired 1148 round and lost two men.




 

93rd Chemical Mortar Battalion

Pfc Russell Wester and Lt. William Glass were killed when shelled by German artillery in Wullersleben, Germany. The unit diary reads:

"Company B departed Muhlberg at 0015 on 11 April 1945 and arrived at Wullersleben, Germany (J345515), at 1400 on 11 April 1945. Weather was cloudy. Roads were good. Morale was high. Engaged in the battle at Hill 518, near Gossel, Germany (J209498). No casualties. Engaged in battle near Wullersleben, Germany (J345515), at approximately 1400, on 11 April 1945. Encountered fire from German 88. Enemy gun silenced by mortar fire from Company B mortars. One officer and one enlisted man killed, and three more enlisted men wounded."

The Nutley Sun reported on April 27, 1945:

"Pfc. Russell W. Wester, of 112 Prospect street, was killed in action April 11 in Germany.

Pfc. Wester is the son of Mrs. Martha Wester of Prospect street, and the late Mr. Wester, and he is the brother of Mrs. Charles J. Fruehan of Chestnut street. He had lived in Nutley since he was five years old, attending Lincoln School and graduating from Nutley High school in 1931.

In May 1941, Wester received his degree of associate engineer in chemical engineering from the Newark Technical School.
 
An Eagle Scout, Wester was for a time assistant scoutmaster of Troop 7 until his work took him out of the country.
 
At the time of his induction in November 1942, he was employed at Hoffman-La Roche, going there from the Malinkrodt Chemical Works of Jersey City.
 
He was enrolled in the Army Specialized Training Program, or ASTP, at Carnegie Institute of Technology but within a few months of the completion of his training, the unit was dissolved by Act of Congress and he was transferred into a chemical mortar battalion.
 
Seriously interested in ornithology, he was a member of the Montclair Bird club. He would always find time to attend the club’s meetings and when home on furlough go off on seasonal bird counts.
 
A memorial service was held in Franklin Reformed Church, Rev. Arthur Roosen-Raad, minister officiated."

Pfc Russell W. Wester  is buried at Margraten American Military Cemetery, Plot B Row 8 Grave 9.


Margraten, The Netherlands

See Also:
1Lt William Glass

93rd Chemical Mortar Battalion

Acknowledgements:
Mr. Anthony Buccino
Picture of Russell Wester is courtesy of
American Legion Post 70, Ed Stecewicz, Nutley Sons Honor Roll
Unit Patch is courtesy of Chemical Mortar Battalions

Sources:
Mr. Anthony Buccino's Nutley's Sons Honor Roll website
Chemical Mortar Battalions
American Battlefield Monuments Commission
National Archives AAD website

Directions to Margraten American Military Cemetery

Posted 19 August 2005


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This website is dedicated to the men and women who died and/or are buried in The Netherlands during World War II.

 

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