Floyd H. Teague, Jr.
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 08/01/1944 - 06/29/1946
Machine Gunner, Company G, 376th Infantry, 94th Division

Floyd, the oldest of five siblings, was born in Jean, Texas, to Floyd H. Teague, Sr., and Mahalie Louise Castleman Teague. Soon after his birth the family moved to Archer County, just south of Wichita Falls. Floyd lived a rural boyhood. He walked a six-mile round trip to Cottonwood School, and rode a horse five miles to high school in Olney. He also helped his father, a sharecropper who farmed corn, wheat, barley, cotton, and other crops. The farm included a large prairie dog town and a significant rat population. "I became very, very accurate with a rifle, shooting prairie dogs and a pistol expert shooting rats. It helped me get through the war," he says of his marksmanship honed during his boyhood. He had been hunting for rattlesnakes on December 7, 1941, when he came home and learned about the attack on Pearl Harbor. Floyd left high school early to enter service in August of 1944. Inducted at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, he was sent to Camp Joseph T. Robinson in North Little Rock for infantry training. He sailed from New York City to Liverpool, England on the USS Wakefield (AP-21), as one of some 8,000 troops aboard. Arriving in mid-December of 1944, he was sent on to Metz, France, where he joined 4th Platoon of Company G, 376th Infantry Regiment, 94th Infantry Division as a replacement machine gunner. Replacements, Floyd recalls, were put in uncomfortable positions as outsiders. "They don't know you and you don't know them and you got to work yourself in," he says. Soon, after he arrived he crossed with the 94th at "the switch," a place he describes as "the deepest part of the German Siegfried Line," and an area that was "ten miles thick of pillboxes." Floyd was involved in the fighting around Pearl, Tettingen, and Butzdorf. In an action at Bannholz Woods, his company went up against 13 German Royal Tiger Tanks. "They cut us to pieces," he says. He believes his company sustained 70 percent casualties. During one period of several days in Germany, Floyd and a buddy were isolated several hundred yards in front of the "main line of resistance." They were dug deep in conifer needles under a spruce tree, where they remained hidden between two German-manned pillboxes. He recalls he had nothing to eat except a D bar, a bitter chocolate bar of emergency rations. Nights were cold that winter as the 94th advanced into Germany. Temperatures on some mornings fell to 30 below freezing. In the fighting for Trier, Floyd recalls Adolph Hitler sending the 11th SS Division, armed with Mark 4 Royal Tiger tanks, "to knock us out at all costs. We annihilated that division; very, very bitter fighting," he recalls. To this day, he says, he has no memory of about a week's worth of fighting in that area of the Saar-Moselle Triangle. He does remember running a high fever as the 94th was advancing on Ludwigshafen. Sent back to a hospital, Floyd was diagnosed with Hepatitis A, or infectious jaundice. His weight dropped to 93 pounds before he recovered. After Ludwigshafen, the 94th was pulled from 3rd Army and placed in the new 15th Army. By the time Floyd rejoined his regiment, it had been sent in reserve to the Germany-Holland border, and trucked through Dusseldorf and into Wuppertal where the men commandeered houses. "We give them a few minutes to get out," he recalls of the homeowners. His area served as a collection point for German prisoners, where they were searched and sent back to POW camps. Although he had a roof over his head, living conditions were still harsh. He was hurting and hungry. He had damaged his heel and could hardly walk. Throughout the war he had mainly survived on C rations; in fact, while in Wuppertal, he recalls, the GIs were subsisting on a cup of coffee and one piece of bread with peanut butter. Occasionally, if some vegetables were available, Floyd's buddy, Woo, would cook a small stew in his helmet. He was finally getting some mail from home, however. He had not received a letter during this entire campaign, he says, until he crossed the Rhine River into Dusseldorf. Near the end of the war the 94th was sent into Czechoslovakia as an occupation force. While on guard duty, Floyd fell in a train round house, and needed an operation. After he recovered he was sent to a depot in Nuremberg, where he and a buddy volunteered to help establish a motor pool in Munich. There he repaired cars for occupation officers. He also helped form the work force at the machine shop by recruiting "as many as forty" German Waffen-SS prisoners of war. "Those German prisoners I worked with were the finest overall bunch of men I ever worked with in my life," he recalls. He also toured through Dachau, the concentration camp. "You cannot believe the smell and the looks of it; mass graves, thousands of them," he says. Finally earning enough points to rotate home, Floyd left in August of 1946 and was discharged at Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas. He says he was "very badly shell-shocked" after the war. He helped his father awhile and met his wife, Wanda Hall. They married in 1948 and would have two children. Floyd was employed at machine and welding shops in Graham and Olney, Texas, before going to work in the oil fields. He became a district production superintendent for Walsh and Watts Oil Company, based in Wichita Falls and Fort Worth. Of the war, Floyd believes "it was a miracle we even won it." He believes America was ill prepared.