John M. Lopez (1945/01/03)
He followed orders and held at Malmedy, but at a very high cost.
John M. Lopez was born in Santa Cruz, on May 28, 1920, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lopez. He and his brother Albert lived with their parents on Myrtle Street and were educated in local schools. About 1935, after completing one year of high school, John left school to begin a career in commercial fishing. By the early 1940s he had married and a son was born to the couple.
John M. Lopez was inducted into the US Army at San Francisco on November 3, 1943, and sent to a Texas facility for basic training. After his departure, his wife and son moved to Oakland. Upon completion of his advanced Infantry training program in 1943 he returned home for Christmas prior to being shipped overseas.
When Lopez arrived in Europe, he was assigned to Company B of the 526th Armored Infantry Battalion serving with the First US Army. The 1st Army had participated in the invasion of Normandy and in the Allied drive to Germany. In late December 1944 the retreating Germans stopped and counterattacked, driving US forces back into Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. The 526th was rushed to the embattled area and was the first American force to reach the Belgium town of Malmedy, which they were ordered to hold at all costs. In the final two weeks of December 1944, the Germans relentlessly attacked Malmedy; however, the 526th held. By December 31, the German advance had stalled and the offensive stopped.
On January 3, 1945, Private John M. Logan was listed as having been killed in action. His remains were later returned to the United States and on May 3, 1948, were reburied in the Golden Gate National Cemetery at San Bruno.
(NARA2; USDVA; SCSn January 30, 1945; Battle of the Bulge, edited by Ray Merriam, Published by Merriam Press, 1999, Pg. 37, http://books.google.com/books?id=47UGHTrBKPUC&pg, [16 September 2008])