is David A. Armstrong and my Grandfather was Captain George Edgar,
2nd Platoon Commander of the 989th. I wanted
to honor my grandfather and all the men who served in the 989th
so I created this website.
I am a
film maker residing in
Angeles California and I have been writing a book on my
grandfather’s life since 2006, but have been doing the research for
my book since 1999. In the course to cover my grandfather’s life I
have traveled many places and met many people. When I started to
look into my grandfather’s war years, I was amazed to find many
things including thousands of army reports and accounts of their
actions and the units they severed with.
reports of bravery and frontline combat conditions I discovered in
my research of the 989th showed me that they were
literally part of the allies “spearhead” towards
The 989th and the other Combat Engineers, who fought and
built side by side, did so under the most horrific combat
job was to support combat engineer units with equipment and
technical support for building Ponton bridges. These bridges were
how the Army crossed their tanks, trucks and personnel in the
But because there was so few Treadway Bridge Companies, there was
only a handful of personnel qualified to build these bridges and do
so quickly, especially under intense enemy fire. The Army Corp of
Engineer’s plan was for the combat engineer battalions to build the
bridges with support from such units as the 989th , but
because of the 989th’s unique abilities and knowledge of
building Treadway Bridges, they ended up personally building over
50% of all the 55 bridges that they were assigned to from Normandy
France to the Elbe River in Germany.
The German Army threw everything they had at the engineers to keep
them from building their bridges. The Germans knew as well as the
allies that the only way to get to
was across the major rivers that separated the allies from their
foe, and bridges were the only way to victory. The Germans sent
artillery, airplanes (even jets towards the end of the war) infantry
and tanks to try to stop the 989th and their fellow
engineers from completing their tasks.
attended the last official reunion of the 989th in the
summer of 2002 in
Kansas. I found the reunion was still being organized by Dorothy
Okeson, the wife of Technician 5th Grade, Arnold L.
Okeson (who died Sept. 6, 2001). Dorothy was my connection to a
large number of the surviving members of the 989th.
Dorothy and other member of the 989th, I was able to
interview 16 other members over the course of several years. The
interviews ranged from the Commander of the 989th
(Captain Arnold Maeker) on down to the ‘buc’ Private.
been creating a 10 part miniseries based on the 989th and
the other Combat Engineers that served with them on the road and
bridges to Victory. My goal is for the legacy of the 989th
to live on.
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