Suerth, Herbert “Junior” John Jr.

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Suerth, Herbert ” Junior” John Jr, born 28-10-1924 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA, the only son to Herbert John Suerth Sr. (1896–1966) and Lillian Marie, born Bassett, Suerth (1901–1962). His dad was a veteran of the World War 1. Following high school, Herbert enrolled at Marquette University,   but enlisted in the U.S. Army after turning 18. Suerth was a member of “Easy Company” of the 506th Parachute Regiment under command of Colonel Robert F. Sink “Five-Oh-Sink”

 of the 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagles”,   under command of Major General William Carey Lee, known as the Band of Brothers. While serving on the front lines of the Battle of the Bulge, Herb fell one jump short of qualifying to participate in Operation Market-Garden, so his only combat was during the Battle of the Bulge.

Right around Thanksgiving, Herb was sent to France and the division was licking its wounds and resting at Camp Mourmelon near Reims after the tough fighting in Holland.Replacements were generally not treated well by the veterans, these guys had been living in death and destruction and lost some buddies in the last 102 days. They were not ready to welcome new people into their outfit. These men all trained together since early 1942, and they were not really ready to begin to take other people into their group but Suerth said he had no problems.

“I don’t remember any of that negative stuff at all. I think I was smart enough to keep a low profile.”

Herb Suerth had reported to his platoon leader, Lieutenant. Ed Shames, and he announced himself with his complete name, including the “junior” at the end. Shames immediately tagged Herb Suerth as “Junior” and the nickname stuck throughout his brief stint with Easy Company and through all the reunions since. Edward David Shames, the last surviving officer of “Easy Company,”

age 99, passed away peacefully at home on 03-12-2021.

“Everybody had nicknames like OneLung McClung, NoShoulders Mellet, Popeye Wynn. The nicknames were important when we crawled in the dark and asked: “who is that”. We used our nicknames so we were sure there were no Germans. ”Herb Suerth said the 101st needed recuperation after Holland.

“They told me it was rainy, drizzly or sleeting most of the time. And then at the end, it turned into trench warfare, and airborne units are not outfitted for trench warfare. They had been sent over in summer uniforms and that’s all they had.”

In January 1945 he was wounded by a German shell fragment near Recogne, northwest of Foy, Belgium. Both of his legs were broken and so badly injured that he spent the next nine months in bed and another nine months learning to walk again before being discharged after the war ended. Herbert studied to become an engineer, married and raised nine children. Suerth endured life-threatening injuries. For his service, he received many medals, including the Purple Heart. After being discharged in 1946, he returned to Marquette, graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Herb is survived by his wife Monna of 67 years, their four sons, John Thomas, Vincent Paul (Mary) and Stephen James (Karen), James Gregory; and four daughters, Carolyn Anne Suerth-Hudson, Lorrie Anne Oasheim (Greg), Elizabeth Vaile Suerth (Ray) and Suzanne Marie Klimek (Tom). He is also survived by 15 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Suerth was preceded in death by his parents and his eldest son, John Scott (Itziar). Herb enjoyed sailing Lake Minnetonka and Lake Superior on his boat aptly named “Airborne”. Herb served as a board member of the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) for 17 Years. He was instrumental in creating new protocols to control the invasion of foreign species to our lakes. He also received the Lifetime Stewardship Award, Watershed Heroes Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. Suerth attended E Company reunions for 60 years. He served as president of the Men of Easy Company for 10 years. Prior to retirement he was General Manager for Leef Brothers, a Minneapolis industrial laundry company from 1980 to 1990.

Casualities of the 101 Airborne Division during there European campaign: Total battle casualities 9328, killed in action 1.766, wounded in action 6.388. missing 207 and prisoner of war 967.

In this 20-12-2012 photo provided by the U.S. Army, Col.onel Val Keaveny Jr., left, commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, pins Herbert John “Junior” Suerth Jr., a World War II veteran of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, as a Distinguished Member of the Regiment during a ceremony at Fort Campbell, Ky. This week, thousands of active-duty soldiers and veterans are gathering at Fort Campbell, Ky., to honor the division that was created 70 years ago.

Death and burial ground of Suerth, Herbert “Junior” John Jr. 


Suerth, Herbert J. 92, of Wayzata passed away on Saturday, October 14 of age-related causes and is buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery Minneapolis, Hennep in County, Minnesota, Section 23 Site 990.


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