George Erbe Jr. (1945/01/02)
George Erbe Jr. was the son of Mr. and Mrs. George Erbe of the Anzar tract near Aromas in the Pajaro Valley. He was born in San Benito County, California, on February 23, 1923, and had three brothers, Louis, Jack and Lee, along with a sister, Emma. George attended school in Hollister because of its proximity to the Erbe residence near San Juan in the Anzar district.
In March 1943, George enlisted in the US Army and after completing his basic and advanced infantry training, was sent overseas in March 1944 to join the 18th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division. That division, known as the "Big Red One," had participated in the invasion of Normandy and
“after the beachhead was secured, the Division moved through the Normandy hedgerows. The Division liberated Liege, Belgium and pushed to the German border, crossing through the fortified Siegfried line. The 1st Inf. Div. attacked the first major German city, Aachen, and after many days of bitter house-to-house fighting, the German commander surrendered the city on October 21, 1944. The Division continued its push into Germany, crossing the Rhine River. On December 16th twenty-four enemy divisions, ten of which were armored, launched a massive counterattack in the Ardennes sector, resulting in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge. The Big Red One held the critical shoulder of the bulge at Bullingen, destroying hundreds of German tanks in the process.”
On January 2, 1945, Private First Class George Erbe Jr. was killed in action in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. His remains were buried in the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium, and his awards include the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
(CBR; ABMC; WRP January 26, 1945 1:2, March 26, 1945 1:6; Society of the 1st Infantry Division, World War II, http://www.1stid. org/history/index.cfm, [16 September 2008])