Photos From the Schulze Family History

Included here are a number of photos from the History of the Randal R. Schulze Family. Since some of these photos are quite large in terms of kilobytes or megabytes, they are difficult to email; thus this repository was created for download.

While public access to the page is allowed, there is no public link to this page. i.e. It is not linked to from the Purple Sage Home Page.

Unless otherwise stated, all images are Copyright © 2017 - 2018 to Randal R. Schulze, and may only be used by permission.

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My Step-Father, William C. Johnson, Known as Bill, (1923 - 1995) served in the US Army during the Second World War. He served as a Corporal, Forward Observer, 158th Field Artillery, 45th Infantry Division, also known as the Thunderbird Division.

Click on any image below, at left to view the full size photo.


This is Bill's formal, US Army Photo. This was taken at the end of World War II.

As a part of the 45th Division, Bill participated in the Liberation of the infamous concentration camp at Dachau, in Germany. He told me he was the fourth US soldier into the camp. This photo was extracted from a motion picture taken by a US Army Intelligence I&R Unit, which also participated in the advance on the camp. I first observed the film on a television documentary, The Third Reich, which reportedly contained "recently de-classified film footage." I've since seen the film included in other documentaries including The Last Days of the Second World War. Note, that Bill is wearing his poncho hood under his helmet. Sometime, in the week or two before this day, in his role as a Forward Artillery Observer, Bill and his outfit were moving through a small town, when a German 88, (rifled artillery.) opened up on them, striking a building just above their heads, spraying plaster and debris down upon them. This caused injuries to the skin on the back of Bill's neck, which he is shielding from the sun with his poncho hood.

This is another photo extracted from the same film, described above. At this point in the advance, the soldiers don't yet know what lies ahead, but the look on his face indicates that they know it is something serious.

Click Here to link to a You Tube Recording of The Last Days of World War II, Volume 11. The part regarding the liberation of Dachau starts at :58 seconds into the video. Bill is clearly seen at 1:24 into the video.

A Narative by Brigadier General Felix L Sparks, US Army Retired, presented to the 157th Infantry Regiment Association on June 15, 1989. General Sparks, at the time a Lt Colonel, commanded the advance on Dauchau on April 29, 1945. In the paragraph regarding the Order of Battle, I have highlighted the mention of Bill's outfit.

Bill's Memorial Registry at the National World War II Memorial Website.

Bill's grave at Omaha, Nebraska ( link)


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