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Wilton Berglin


Wilton H. Berglin

  • Branch of Service: United States Army
  • Company K, 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division

Independent Submission
 Story and images were submitted by his son Dwight W. Berglin


My father Wilton H. Berglin served in WWII from November 1944-til VE Day. He was assigned to Company K, 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division. This Regiment was one of the divisions that liberated the Dachau Concentration Camp on April 29, 1945. This camp housed 300,000 prisoners between 1933 and 1945. My father rarely talked of his wartime experiences, but he told us about seeing 40 railroad cars filled with dead bodies and left on the siding by the camp. The stench of decaying bodies that permeated the area was terrible.


While my father was guarding an area in the camp, one of the emaciated prisoners motioned to him. This man was a Jewish engraver by trade, and he could speak some English. He asked my dad if he would allow him to engrave his watch for the sausage that my dad was carrying in his back pocket. The prisoner picked up a rusty nail from the ground of the compound, and he engraved three initials on the watch -WHB.


When my brothers and sister were growing up, we were told of the watch story and at times he would show the watch to us. Most of the time he kept it in a jewelry box. When my father died in 1988, we found it in his belongings. Now we are telling our children and grandchildren the story of a man who was so malnourished that he would do anything for a scrap of food. We will never know the man's name, but this gentleman will always be a part of this fascinating story about liberating the prisoners from Dachau.

Wilton Berglin

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