Pfc Roy E. House, 99th Infantry Division, B Co., 393rd Infantry Regiment
Many years ago while searching the 99th Infantry Division area for traces from the fierce battle that took place during the last big offensive of the German army, a shoe was found in a small dugout. The shoe still very much complete with even the lace still attached did not show any damage from the battle, after having read many accounts from veterans the thought crossed my mind that the soldier to which the show once belonged might have had to change socks and was overrun by the German attack not being able to put his shoe back on.
There were no further items found near this particular dugout and once home I cleaned the shoe with water and the first thing I noticed was a white painted number on the inside of the shoe.
I learned that the white paint on items was something that the 99th soldiers often did. I could clearly read H4671, which was the laundry number from the soldier. After countless hours behind my computer I was not able to determine the name of the soldier so I placed a comment in my files stating that the shoe might have belonged to a 393rd Infantry Regiment soldier. This was my only lead and it seemed that my research came to a quick end.
Two years later I came in contact with Jean-Louis Seel, from the MIA Project, who have been responsible for recovering several missing 99th ID soldiers. He kindly helped me with the canteen I had found earlier (The Canteen Connection) and he offered his help in identifying other laundry numbers on other items I uncovered.
H4671, from the 393rd area? JL asked me, “Yes” I replied, within 20 minutes JL came back with a name, Pfc Roy E House 17084671.
I was so excited to have another item identified, this means I can try to find relatives and get to know more about Pfc Roy E House, maybe even get a photograph from him.
I ordered the morning reports for the 16th to the 18th of December and found an entry for Roy E House:
Below: Entry in the morning reports for the 393rd IR, December 16 1944, shows that Pfc Roy E house got wounded in his upper left arm in Germany.
After having found the obituary from Roy Eldon House I discovered he was a silver star winner. My next objective was to locate the General order which list him receiving the award, and provide more detail on his actions. (General Order 106)