Harvey E. Thiede of Dearborn, MI entered trade school in 1938 and graduated a Tool & Template Maker of 1941. He later attended Junior College to learn Mfg. Engineering, but his schooling was disrupted when he entered the military in April 1942.
Harvey started his basic training in Ft. Knox, KY, and was later transferred to Camp Polk, He was assigned to the 7th Armored Div. B Co. 48th Armored Battalion. After maneuvers in the desert in California, Harvey returned to Ft. Benning, GA, then to Miles Standish, to Camp Shanks, NY, to Scotland on HMS Queen Mary and finally to Tidworth Barracks, England.
Harvey missed D-Day, and sat in the English Channel to get ready for hedgerows in France. He helped spearhead the drive to Berlin. His crew was detoured to Holland from October to Nov. '44.
On Dec. 16 Harvey's crew moved south toward Belgium. On December 17 they came into St. Vith, Ardennes, and took part in the Battle of Bulge. Harvey had to walk through two feet of snow, at 20o below, in no winter clothes. This lasted until 24 December when they either ran over a mine or were hit by a mortar. Five of the GIs were made guests of the Nazis.
They marched all night until they reached Malmedy; this is when the massacre occurred. The Gunner and driver were shot down and left to die. The next morning Harvey and the others were loaded onto cattle cars and hauled away into Germany to Stalag 9B Bad Orb, where they were eventually liberated by an armored division.
They were taken to Rheims, France hospital for three months then to Lucky Strike and on to a Liberty Ship homebound for NY. Back into a hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas for 3-1/2 months for repair fwounds to the face and head. Harvey was discharged on October 31, 1945.
A long time member of two veterans organizations, the MOPH and AXPOW, Harvey held many offices, both local and national.