Timeline - Wallace Carden
Wallace Frederick Carden was born in Briceville, Tennessee.
May 9: Wallace joined the US Army.
After extensive training, Wallace, along with other soldiers, sailed across the Atlantic to Europe. During the seven-day sail, almost everyone got seasick. The ship landed at Portsmouth, England, and they were put on a train. After six months of training in Felindre, Wales, the soldiers went to Cheltenham, England for three months.
July 27: Wallace and the other soldiers landed on Omaha Beach in France, the day after D-Day. Their first combat was just outside of Saint-Lo. Wallace worked with the telephone wires and switch boards during combat.
September: As a member of the 28th Infantry Division, Wallace participated in the liberations of Paris, Luxembourg, Brussels, and other towns. He and the other soldiers in his troop eventually reached the Hurtgen Forest in Germany.
December 17: Wallace and two other soldiers were captured by German soldiers, after awaiting instructions from their captain. The Germans forced them to walk to the next town and to sleep in a lime pit. They then took Wallace and the others to a train and placed them onto cattle cars.
December 24: Wallace arrived at a prisoner of war camp, Bad Orb (Stalag IX-B), in Germany.
February: The German soldiers looked over the dog tags of the captured American soldiers to see if any of them were Jewish. Despite the Protestant designation on Wallace’s dog tags, he was sent with other prisoners to Berga, where he was forced to dig tunnels for the Germans. Although the prisoners were not permitted to interact with civilian workers while there, one German civilian shared radio news with the prisoners and also gave Wallace and his friend a spoon and small knife to help them survive.
Circa April 2: Orders were given to evacuate the camp. The prisoners were forced on a march, with men shot daily. During the march, German townspeople offered to take care of the prisoners but the German soldiers refused.
April 23: Wallace and the other prisoners were taken to a barn to rest. The German sergeant declared that they would be killed that night. However, sometime during the night, the sergeant and other officers fled.
April 24: Wallace and the other 300 surviving prisoners were liberated by American troops. Wallace was taken to First Aid and then transferred to a French hospital for six weeks of recovery.
September: Wallace returned to the United States.
March: Wallace married a long-time friend.
Wallace’s daughter, Karen, was born.
Wallace’s son, Fred, was born.
Wallace and his wife moved to Birmingham, Alabama.
May 21: Congressional Resolution H. Res 883-110th Congress, “Honoring Wallace Carden, World War II Veteran And Survivor of the Nazi Berga POW Camp” is introduced, a bill directing the army to provide special recognition to the prisoners of Berga, of whom 13 still survive. Co-sponsor US Representative Spencer Bachus from Alabama thanks Wallace Carden.
Wallace’s wife died.
Wallace Carden passed away on May 22, 2016.