Rest in Peace
January 17th 2011
After the presentation Mr. Biggs sat down John Guinn, President and Founder of The Thank You Foundation to share his memories.
Carl Biggs was born in Corwin Ohio and served with the 439th Signal Battalion Company B during World War II. He entered the service on April 22nd 1942 and by the time he left the Army in October of 1945, TSgt Biggs had earned 9 Bronze Service Stars for campaigns including North Africa, Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, Rome, Southern France, Rhineland and Central Europe.
In addition Mr. Biggs was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received from the detonation of a German land mine in near Licita Sicily.
As he poured over pictures, awards, and his DD 214, Mr. Biggs recounted many stories from the war including the time, as he put it "saved the lives of 10 German soldiers."
While in Southern France TSgt Biggs was working at the top of a telephone pole and observed some movement in the nearby brush, seconds later a German Lieutenant named Oberdorf stepped out and offered to surrender himself and nine others to Biggs's small squad of men. Oberdorf stated that they wanted to surrender to the Americans because they faced certain death at the hands of the Free French Fighters (FFE) in the area. Carl realizing that the war would soon be over and having witnessed such executions in the past ordered the Germans to stack their arms and to get into the back of his truck. He had them hide under a tarp and then they drove them back to their base camp and turned them over to his commanding officer.
He also recounted the situation that earned him a battlefield promotion from General Mark Clark. The Germans had knocked out communication lines from the General Clark's post to General Hawkins, Commander of the U.S. Air Force in the area. TSgt Biggs and two other men volunteered to run communication lines in between artillery shells to re-establish communications. The men were successful and were able to re-establish communication. At the time Mr. Biggs was a T5 Tech Sergeant and was immediately promoted to T4 at the hand of the General. "Every three to four minutes one of the shells would go off and create an enormous hole. We just ran in between the shells and jumped into the nearest one for cover." Said Biggs.
In addition to these heroics Carl witnessed the horrors of a Concentration Camp and spent some time in one of Adolph Hitler's bombed out mountain homes in the Austrian Alps.
This Sunday, Mr. Biggs wore his uniform coat with all of his medals just as proudly and fitting as it did some 60 years ago. While some of the pictures of Tiger tanks, the Austrian Alps, and of Dachau Concentration Camp were slightly faded. The memories of those days gone buy were very clear in the mind of this true American Hero.