Sergeant D. A. Foerster
Donald A. Foerster attended
St. Andrew's College, Aurora, Ontario from 1934 to 1937 at the prep,
before moving to the U.S. where he attended high school in St.
Petersburg, Florida. He continued his education at Phoenix College and Northern
Don retired in 1983 after 33 years with the Arizona Department
of Revenue as a field audit supervisor. He was a decorated World War II veteran,
serving in Germany with the 14th Infantry Regiment.
After the war, he was married to Nadine in Paris, France. They
were married for 59 years. He was a kind and generous man who enjoyed playing
ice hockey, working on antique cars and in his flower garden. He was a long-time
member of The American Legion, The Route 66 Car Club, and the Arizona MG Club.
He is survived by his wife Nadine and daughter Gayle Szot.
In the summer of 2002, Sergeant
Foerster shared the following description of his military experience:
"In 1942, at age
18, I was living in the United States. When I attempted to enlist
my first choice was the Air Force, but not being a US citizen was told
I could not be in any branch of the US services except the army.
I was not too keen on this so waited until I was drafted in May 1943.
I was assigned to the Medical
Corps and took basic training at Camp Barkley, Texas (Abilene). After basic
training in October 1943 I was assigned as a Medic to the newly formed
71st Light Infantry Mountain Division, 14th Infantry Regiment at Camp Carson,
Colorado. After training under winter conditions in the foothills
of the Rockies, the division moved to Hunter Liggett Military Reservation
in Calif. the early spring of 1944. After manoeuvres ended in early
May 1944, most of the infantry personnel were transferred out as replacements
to other units, mostly as I understand to the the Pacific Theatre of Operations
and some to Europe. The rest of the division then entrained to Fort Benning,
Georgia, where it was reformed as a regular motorized triangular infantry
division in June 1944 under the command of Major General Willard
A late comer to the war in
Europe, we arrived in France early February 1945. We were assigned to the
US 7th Army and committed to action in the clean up in the Saar Moselle
triangle. At the crossing of The Rhine River the division was then
assigned to General Patton's 3rd Army. After a short drive east the 3rd
Army was rerouted south to Hitler's supposed National Redoubt area in the
Tyrol, via Bayreuth, Regensburg, Lambach, Austria and finally at wars end
in Steyer Austria where we met the Russians on the Enns River. We liberated
the Gunskirchen Lager concentration camp which was a traumatic experience.
The 71st had penetrated further east than any other US division. During
this time I was assigned to the 2nd Battalion 14th Infantry aid station
and later attached to a combined Regimental, Battalion reconnaissance team.
After a short occupation
stay in Austria the Division Headquarters' moved back to Augsburg Germany
. Other division units were stationed in the vicinity doing various occupational
duties. The 2nd Battalion 14th Infantry was stationed in Neu Ulm, Germany,
processing and interrogating prisoners of war eligible for discharge back
to civilian life.
attained the rank of a T/3 Sgt, awarded the Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster,
the combat medic badge, two campaign ribbons, Rhineland, Central
Europe and occupation medal. I was honourably discharged from the service
in March 1946.
Although always disappointed
in not being able to join the air force, I do look back with much pride
in having served in a close combat support role with the infantry especially
with an old line Regiment such as the 14th."