T/Sgt. Lawrence A. Lubben
Aug 1942 to June 1945 – Ammunition specialist 799th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company
I spent all of my time as part of the Ordnance Company (approximately 150 men).
We issued and performed light repairs to hand weapons as well as artillery. We also issued and conducted light maintenance on vehicles. My primary responsibility was ammunition, and in that capacity, I was part of the Division Headquarters staff.
Our group was composed of 6-7 men, and we were usually positioned 1-2 miles behind the infantry. Our work involved keeping records of where ammunition was stored. As the infantry and field artillery needed ammunition, they would channel their needs through us, and we, in turn, would direct them to the location of the required ammunition.
Since the Division ammunition officer was part of the Division Planning Staff, we knew in advance what battles were being planned and what the ammunition needs would be. Our work was indeed interesting, to say the least!
Lawrence was drafted with only an 8th-grade education. He spoke only German when he started school. He was a truly creative and smart guy, but being born on the farm on 2/15/1919 in Jones County, Anamosa, children were the labor force. Both my parents came from families of eight brothers and sisters, each losing a sister to childhood illness. As mentioned, he did NOT want to farm.
The draft freed him, so Lawrence and Betty Ann (his wife) returned to Iowa, he went to school to complete his GED, then attended Cedar Rapids Business College. Eventually, Lawrence entered the life insurance business where he excelled at sales, eventually becoming an Agency Manager until he was 72 years old.
His wife Betty Ann worked and stayed in Texas after Lawrence shipped out from Camp van Dorn and Maxey.
Betty Ann worked as a nurse’s aid. They settled in Cedar Rapids, where 3 sons where born. Lawrence often spoke of what it was like to ‘herd’ quarrelsome Germans in demolition. They would show up all dressed up alike, greeting each other kindly, each with an empty satchel in hand. Not even a lunch in them. Then, they would quarrel all day. He said that when they blew up black powder trenches, the earth would shudder and blow out the windows in small towns nearby. Lawrence eventually returned to the United States on Christmas Day, 1945.