Julius Kerekes, WWII Veteran

Julius Kerekes was one of eleven million drafted during the duration of World War two.

Once drafted, he boarded a train to Cleveland along with many of his friends and neighbors. Although the concept of war is often seen as horrific and dangerous, Mr. Kerekes as well as his friends were all eager to join in the fight due to what happened in Pearl Harbor. Even though he is of Hungarian descent, Mr. Kerekes as well as his parents were all loyal to the United States. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mr. Kerekes was 19, still the magnitude of the attack affected him and his family and friends on a personal level, and felt that U.S. involvement in the war was necessary.Mr. Kerekes describes the feeling of the need to retaliate as very similar to the feelings of U.S. citizens following 9/11, in the sense that we had to become involved.

Although communication was difficult, soldiers were able to send letters to loved ones back home through a system called V-Mail. Even though it was hard to communicate with those back in the United States, Mr. Kerekes had other friends in the war. He and his friends would communicate through the V-Mail when they were stationed in separate areas. Also, there was a bulletin published at the church to inform those at home where their friends and family were currently serving. Due to his experience in stenographic typing, Mr Kerekes was transferred to Fort San Houston Texas, directly to the Third Army headquarters.

In February of 1944, Mr. Kerekes and his friends boarded Pullman Cars going to New York. Once they arrived in New York they waited several weeks before boarding a ship. It took nine days to go across the ocean, and even though there was the threat of U-boats, they traveled without an escort. They landed in Scotland and took a train to a town called Knutsford, England. The Third Army Headquarters were set up in an English mansion called Peaver Hall. While in Peaver Hall, Mr. Kerekes was very fortunate to be the number one in General Patton’s headquarters. Mr. Kerekes saw Patton frequently around Peaver Hall. In one instance, in what Mr. Kerekes describes as being one of the greatest things to happen to him, was given orders from General Patton to type an alternate invasion plan, straight from General Patton and several other colonels. Mr. Kerekes remembers Patton saying to him “I want you to type this, double spaced, and don’t worry about any typographical errors, I want it done as fast as possible.” Mr. Kerekes remembers how nervous he was that he was going to make a mistake once he knew the magnitude of what he was typing. While he was typing, Mr. Kerekes had a man looking over his shoulder to make sure that he spelled several of the French cities in the plan correctly.

Images

Mr Kerekes' commander, General Patton

Mr Kerekes' commander, General Patton

Mr. Kerekes saw Patton as one of the best commanders of his time. During the war, General Patton was a bit of a hothead commander. People only thought that he was an abusive leader to his soldiers but that was just not true. At first, Julius Kerekes thought this was true when he was first assigned to Patton's Third Army but grew to liking and respecting him throughout the war. "Image Courtesy of Mr. Julius Kerekes." View File Details Page

Reservists Assemble for WWII

Reservists Assemble for WWII

Julius was one of the 170 reservists that assembled and took a train ride to Cleveland. They were all young adults from the ages of 18 to around 20 years old. All of them were eager to see battle during the war without really knowing the dangers and craziness of it. As they were getting on a ship to be sent to Europe, they all were starting to split up to be put into their units. Most of them found each other and where they were stationed during the war. "Image Courtesy of Mr. Julius Kerekes." View File Details Page

Recognition for service and bravery

Recognition for service and bravery

Julius was granted a few medals for his service in World War Two. One was for his service in the Battle of the Bulge. The battle was the final attempt by the Germans to break through the advancing American Army, but General Patton and his officers and sergeants like Julius Kerekes was not going to allow this to happen and broke through the defenses after getting pushed by for awhile. His Second medal, the Bronze Star Medal, showed his heroic efforts and services during the whole war. "Image Courtesy of Mr. Julius Kerekes." View File Details Page

Opposing views on safe conduct

Opposing views on safe conduct

Throughout the war, both sides of the allies and axis, more specifically the United States and Germany sent each other safe conduct papers which tried to show the soldiers of the other side are fighting on the wrong side of the war. Mr. Kerekes found a few of them from germany telling the Americans that they are only in this war for Great Britain. "Image Courtesy of Mr. Julius Kerekes." View File Details Page

Death of General Patton

Death of General Patton

Patton was one of the main generals of world war two but died not long after the war ended. Sixty-seven years ago, on December 9th, 1945 in Germany, General George Patton was injured in a strange auto accident on a road outside Mannheim, near the Rhine River. Cause of the crash was unknown, but millions mourned the death of the one of the greatest generals in U.S History. "Image Courtesy of Mr. Julius Kerekes." View File Details Page

Audio

Mr. Kerekes Interview

M/Sgt. Julius S. Kerekes, retired recalls what he describes as being one of the greatest experiences of his life. Working with the legendary General Patton, as well as the magnitude of the task he was assigned, typing an alternate invasion plan for General Patton himself. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Brad Gargiulo, Matt Haberkorn, , “Julius Kerekes, WWII Veteran,” Discover Medina, accessed July 24, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/278.

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