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Memoirs of a WWII Combat Infantryman
in Patton's Third Army


By: Oscar B. Ladner
ISBN No. 0-9711286-7-7


I dedicate this book to my beloved parents,Oscar Lawrence Ladner and Irene Baker Ladner through whose love, care and teachings I learned so much. I learned such things as courage, determination, responsibility, and faith in my Almighty God, and our Savior Jesus Christ, whose teachings and inspirations gave me much courage .
      My dear Mother lived to be over 100 years of age. It was her prayers, as well as my Father's, for my safety in that war, which I credit to bringing me through the many dangers that I encountered.

Below are some of Patton's Raiders attached to the 6th Armored Division as I was, in a battle in the town of Oberdora,  Germany, near Mulhausen, clearing out enemy resistance. The man on the ground was killed and the Raider running across the street was also killed soon after this photo was taken. The photographer ran out of film.  Please note the battle worn condition of these Raiders. This photograph was taken by the 6th Armored Div. Combat Photographer, Charles Summers for the 3rd Army.

Lead Dog Communications
Ft. Collins, Colorado

"A Test of Faith and Courage: Patton's Raiders in WWII"
By Oscar B. Ladner

By Sue Collier

   Only once in a while do you find a book that so poignantly offers the painful, yet important reminder of the incredible sacrafices our fighting men made during WW II to secure the freedoms we take for granted. A Test of Faith and Courage: Patton's Raider's in WWII  is such a book. When Mississippi farm boy Oscar B. Ladner set out to enlist in the infantry during WWII, he was denied entry because of a newly  detected hernia. But this was not to deter this fourth-generation  American Freedom Fighter.  To the amazement of many, he had the hernia surgically repaired and in the autumn of 1944, waved goodbye to his parents and headed for the raging battle grounds of Europe. He was 19 years old, solid as a rock, and full of enegery. The young soldier was quickly immersed in the conflict, spending day after day in the dark, dank and fetid cellars of the bombed out buildings of Saarlautern,Germany pursuing the often unseen enemy as the 3rd Army's 65th Division readied to cross the Saar River and the formidable Siegfried Line and into Germany. As he lay shivering in a bomb crater in the blood of his dead partner, he was reminded of his vow to God that if he were allowed to survive he would spend the rest of his life fighting tyranny and oppression. Ladner continues to make good that promise with the writing of this account, which chronicles his experiences as a decorated foot soldier and tank rifleman during that infamous era. Following the breaching and crossing the previously impenetrable Siegfried Line, “…a great event, never to be adequately described.”  Ladner was handpicked to ride shotgun on Patton's beloved Pershing Tanks and spearheaded to the east.  Because of his daring, ethics and common sense, he promptly found himself as part of the elite fighting force known as “Patton's Raiders,” a great honor, (that earned him distinctions, including the Combat Infantry Badge and the Bronze Star Medal) as Patton's Raiders were forced to go above and beyond the call of duty.  Many times they found themselves seemingly deserted, under siege or heading into apparently hopeless battle situations. Yet the Raiders plunged ahead into Germany, facing endless Panzer fire and aircraft strafing, as well as enemies of hunger, trench foot, lack of sleep, exhaustion, and mental turmoil.  They did not keep track of what time of day it was, what day of the month, or even the day of the week; they were “too busy for such trivialities.”

Along the way, Ladner found incredible leadership, comradery, and compassionate civilians in the most surprising places. “I never knew of even one American soldier who was willing to give up one square inch of hard earned ground we had taken.”  Ladner writes of the crucial turning point of the war.

          Even with the ending of the war, this hero's service was not complete.  Following a Memorial Service for the Honored Dead, at Linz, Austria, which nourished his aching soul, Ladner encountered continuing trauma. Before he headed home he helped expedite the clean up of Mauthausen, Camp Gussen and Dachau Concentration Camps and assisted in the evacuation and repatriation of the concentration camp victims, prisoners of war, and displaced slave laborers to their places of origins—and suffered the horrors involved therein. (including atrocities our government failed to share with the American citizens)

          This compelling and detailed personal account graphically explains the costliness of World War II in suffering and privation.  Through the author's eyes, feelings and hardships you will witness the incredible gift those involved in World War II extended to the rest of us in helping rid the world of tyranny and oppression.

          “A Test of Faith and Courage: Patton's Raiders in WWII” will have you saluting the American flag and wiping away the tears.

(All or part of this review may be used without further permission.)

"A Test of Faith and Courage: Patton's Raiders in WWII"

By Oscar B. Ladner

Published by Liberty & Freedom Productions, Inc. 

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Thursday, March 22, 2018