Skip to content
Bernard "Bud" J. Germ
- Name: Bernard "Bud" J. Germ
- Location of Birth: Green Bay, Wisconsin
- Date of Birth: November 29, 1919
- Date of Death: December 9, 2011 (92 years old)
- Parents: George Germ and Minna (Uecke) Germ
- High School and Class:
- Highest Rank: PFC (Private First Class)
- Branch: Army
- Other Branch:
- Date Sworn In: March, 1943
- Place Sworn In:
- Date of Discharge:
- Place of Discharge:
- Military Awards:
Bronze Stars (3)
Combat Infantry Badge
- Military Highlights:
Bud served in the European Theatre during World War II.
Article written by Willow Sedore, Herald-Review Staff Writer, dated May 23, 2004:
"World War II hero Bud Germ
"We felt it was something that had to be done"
Editor's note: This story is the third in a four-part series by the Herald-Review to honor a few of our local WWII heroes. This series takes place in conjunction with a local program to honor WWII veterans which will be conducted over Memorial Day weekend at the IRA Civic Center. The dedication of a national memorial honoring WWII veterans will take place May 29 in Washington D.C.
The memories of mud and rain are crystal clear for 84-year old Bud Germ who served as a private first class in the army from March of 1943 until he was medically discharged in July of 1975. (note discharge date appears to be incorrect).
"I remember mud-mud and rain," he said.
Germ was a replacement rifleman in the Fifth Infantry Division, First Battalion, Company C of the army who fought in three battles in France during the Second World War.
"I am very proud that I have the combat infantry badge," said Germ, who fought in battles near Maurielles, on the outskirts of Verdun, and outside the city of Metz in the European theatre.
In one bloody battle near the Moiselle River outside of Pourney, Germ said that the unit went in with 52 men and came out with 12.
"We couldn't do anything," said Germ. "We were pinned in there for two days in the water."
Despite the hardship of the war, the death of friends and the constant threat to his life during battle, Germ said, "We felt that it was something that had to be done."
Without friends or family to communicate with, the men relied on one another.
"It was a case of all of us trying to work together with the help of all of us in the same unit, and the same company," he said. "You depend on each other."
Along with trusting in one another Germ said, "I learned to appreciate each day...There are no atheists in foxholes."
Meanwhile, life back on the homefront for his young bride Luella was difficult as well during the war. Bud and his wife Luella, who now live in Grand Rapids, were married in October of 1941 and had a daughter in 1942. When Bud was drafted in March of 1943 Luella took the new baby and moved in with her parents.
"I was scared to death," she said. "I was really worried about it."
To compound the worry, throughout his time in the war, Luella did not hear from Bud. He rarely wrote but what he did write she never received.
"I had no idea if I had a husband anymore," said Luella. "But they found him in a hospital in England."
Bud was taken to a hospital in England after he was seriously injured by shrapnel and suffering from trench foot. Although doctors discussed amputating part of his leg, Germ said that a kind nurse saved his foot by massaging it with oil every day.
Complications of trenchfoot along with prescribed medications made it difficult to continue in the same line of work as he had before leaving for war. Before entering the army Germ was living in Virginia, Minn. working as a locomotive fireman for the Duluth Mesabi & Iron Range (DMIR) Railrord which transported iron ore from the Iron range to Duluth and Two Harbors.
During his rehabilitation in the service, however, Germ was given four hours of physical therapy and four hours of vocational training each day. While recuperating at Camp Carson in Colorado Springs, Germ learned about radio and worked at a local station-a skill he later turned into a career.
From 1949 to 1976 Germ's voice was heard in Virginia, Duluth and finally on KOZY in Grand Rapids.
He later worked for First Federal Savings and Loan until 1985 when he retired as vice president and secretary in charge of marketing.
Germ has remained active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and was the Commander of the Disabled American Veterans Local Chapter 13 in Grand Rapids for a number of years. He continues to be a life member of the chapter.
In August of 2002 the French government sent Germ and all other soldiers who fought in France from 1944 to 1945 a special "diplome." He continues to do various speaking engagements.
Germ remains active in civic organizations including serving as President of the Kiwanis Club and Past Lieutenant Governor for the division and presently membership treasurer.
His motto today: "One thing at any time. Do the best you can with what you have no matter where you are."
- Wars Involved:
World War II
- MIA / POW:
- Civilian Life:
Bud was united in marriage to Luella M. Croteau in October, 1941.
He was active in many community activities including the Community Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids, Minnesota serving as elder and lector. He was a long-time member of the Grand Rapids Kiwanis Noon Club, he served as President of the local club and as their Membership Treasurer for years. He also served as Lt. Governor for the Northern Minnesota Division and was a recipient of the International Hixon Award. Bud was best known as "Mr. Radio", having been with KOZY Radio for 27 years.
Bud is preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his loving wife of 70 years, Luella; one daughter, Diane Newman; one granddaughter, Eden Alair (John Garcia-Shelton); and twin great-grandsons, Jason and Lucius Garcia-Shelton.
Bud died at Essentia Health St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota and is buried in Itasca Calvary Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. (Plot I-G-16-18)
- Tribal Affiliation(s):