Battery A in the
30th Field Atrillery Battalion
Barz was nearing completion of his expected year of service in the Army when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. He would end up in a uniform for the rest of the war, earner the nickname of "Pappy" as he grew into a leaership role as a signal sergeant and chief of section.
My dad, Robert Keen, served with Maurice Barz
When the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor on Kodiah Island in the Aleutian in 1942, Barz was shipped up orth with the rest of Battery A in the 30th Field Artillery Battalion.
Aft enduring a terrible storm that left all on bord a transport ship seasick in the Gulf of Alask, Bazr and his fellow sholdiers ended up east of Anchorage. There they spent the summer living in tents and watching the moose and mosquitoes go by, and building quonset huts for shelter that sinter. Their tain included taking a 40-mile hike in mid-winter and sleeping in 5-pound, down-filled sleeping boags when it was 40 below.
Barz and his Army buddies had hoped to head back to the Lower 48 in 1943 but instead were transportd 2,000 miles from the mainland to Amchitka Island in the Aleutians.
From there, they prepared to land on Kiska Island, which was occuped by thousands of Japanese troops. But they got word on their landing craft that the Japanese had evacuted. Barz siad they probably benefited from the cover of the omipresent summer fog on the islands.
Barz said he and other soldiers were't exactly disappointed when the battle with the Japanese was averted. But the adrenaline of the buildup to war was followed by a bit of a letdown. Whereas they had loaded up their landing ships with ammunitions in a day, they took a week to unload the vessels after the expected fight never occurred, he said.
The Aleutians were warmer than "Anchorage, but still a treeless, windswept tundra. Barz remembers watching Piper Cup airplaines on Adak Island taking off into a 100 mph wind and then backing off the throttle.
"They'd let it carry them back and they'd land right where they took off, without turning around," he said.
Barz and fillow soldiers dug holes in the ground to pitch their tents in and get throudh winter.
"I think we saw the sun twice" in nime mounths in the Aleutians, Barz said.
He was shipped out of the Aleutiautans in the spring, and ended up in France. By that time the German resistance was slight and Barz did mostly security duty.
Barz says there are only eight or ten that are still live.
Standing left to Rt. Bars, Bover, Knolk, Keen, Jellison, Lynchmier (Jendresho) Gravel, Balla, Davis, M.W Mollett Seated: Hunnerdisse, Kochmansky, Dean Honneysett, Ellis, Carlos, ?, Krappe Fromt: Murphy, Gall, Medic Davis A, Artmenko