Schiltz, Nicholas Corbin “Nick”.

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Schiltz, Nicholas Corbin “Nick”, born 20-03-1919, in  Guilford County, North Carolina, to Michael M. Schiltz (1863–1926) and his wife Katherine D. born Daniel Schiltz (1882–1956). He had two brothers and one sister, Douglas Daniel Schiltz (1904–1974), William Michael Schiltz (1906–1945), Catherine Schiltz Murphey Mulford Thomason (1908–1997).

Nick attended Senior high school in Greensboro, North Carolina. and  enlisted in the United States Army. Served during World War II. Schiltz had the rank of First Lieutenant. His military occupation or specialty was Platoon Leader. Service number assignment was O-1283320. Attached to 101st Airborne Division, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, Company F., under command of Colonel George Van Horn Moseley Jr. George Moseley survived the war and died in Montague, Massachusetts on 06-12-1976, age 71 and was buried at Old South Cemetery in Montague.

Death and burial ground of Schiltz, Nicholas Corbin “Nick”.

Nick participated in the invasion of Normandy and later returned to England and then on to Holland for Operation Market Garden.  He landed with his paratroop division in my hometown Eindhoven on 17-09-1944. He was killed in action, a day later, by German mortar and small arms fire near Best, Holland.

Joe Eugene Mann (Reardan, Washington, USA, 08-07–09-Best,/ 19-09-1944)

 was an American soldier in World War II. He served as a Private First Class (Pfc.) in Company H, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army during Operation Market-Garden in September 1944.Joe Mann died in the Dutch municipality of also Best by sacrificing himself for his fellow soldiers. He is buried on Greenwood Memorial Terrace in Spokane, Washington State (USA). Joe Eugen Mann was in a foxhole with six others. A fight ensued in which hand grenades were used, including by Sergeant Betras. A grenade exploded in Vincent Laino’s face, rendering him unable to see. Moments later he felt another grenade fall and threw it back. Lawrence Koller was hit in the temple by a bullet; he survived. Another grenade landed near Mann. He couldn’t throw it back because of the injuries to his arms. He shouted: Grenade! and threw himself backwards onto the grenade. He died shortly after the explosion. Vincent Laino survived the war and returned to the United States. For his actions during the battle of the bridge at Best, Vincent Laino received a Silver Star, for his wounds a Purple Heart. Lawrence Koller was killed on 20-09-1944.

Nicholas was married to Margaret Morris Schiltz Park (1919–2010) they were married in 1942 and they had a 14 month old son, Nicholas Jr.

His friend E.O. “Jess” Parmley of Company F, 502PIR (502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment remembers: Time has not made me forget the wonderful soldiers I served with over sixty years ago. Time has only deepened the feelings of respect and gratitude I have for them. Our platoon leader 1st Lieutenant Nick Schilz assigned me to accompany Lieutenant Robert Wolfe (a replacement and 2nd in command), to bring-up the rear of the platoon. This is a much safer position than platoon runner, which is what I was when assigned to him. He knew it was going to be a rough day (18-09-1944, at Best, Holland). I feel he was protecting me, possibly saving my life. Lieutenant Schlitz was one of our finest officers. Tall, with a boxer’s nose, he was state boxing champion in his weight division, from Charlotte, N.C. He was the image of a soldier’s soldier. We called him ‘The Scar’, so he must have had a scar on his face. I do not remember a scar. It could be we do not remember imperfections on people we like. Always optimistic, his favorite saying was ‘We are going to Berlin.’ We heard it when in formation or on breaks. He would say it to a picture of his son, which he carried inside his helmet. His son looked to me to be only 2 or 3, but he would look at him whenever the helmet came off and usually it was ‘son, we are on our way’, or ‘Berlin, we are coming.’ When he said nothing, I often wondered what he was thinking. Nick was killed that day and buried close to where he fell in the courtyard of a house on the outskirts of Best, with a wall about 4 feet high enclosing the yard about 40 feet square. I found his grave about the center of the yard. His helmet was on a rifle butt with a bayonet stuck into the ground.  It was not his, as he carried a carbine. I saw no other graves in the courtyard. I looked into his helmet to see if the picture was still there …and it was. I thought of taking the picture with me. It then came to me: This picture is all this soldier has. He has nothing else. It should stay here. His happiest moments seemed to be when he was looking at the picture and talking to his son. I put the helmet back on the rifle butt. Looking up with smiling welcome were fresh flowers, put there by the Dutch people. It was so peaceful and quiet I was reluctant to leave. I could still hear him saying we are going to Berlin, but now it will only be his words that go, they are not buried here. They are buried in the hearts of all who heard them. He has shown us what it will take to get to Berlin. The road is rough and dirty, with many holes that await us, but it is the only road. Few will have flowers on their graves. Some will have no one to mourn them. But all who knew him will have his words and his order, which is ‘on to Berlin’.”

Nicholas Corbin Schiltz is buried or memorialized at Plot B Row 7 Grave 16, Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. This is an American Battle Monuments Commission location. In the USA is a Centach in, Elmwood Cemetery Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, VS  Cenotaph Section D.


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