Jim Minn

Band of Brothers - A Rememberance by 2nd Lt. Sid Kweller

Dear Maureen, David, and Laurel:
My relationship with your father is divided into two very distinct parts:  Part one was spent as a member of Troop “D”, 94th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 14th Armored Division; Part Two was a postwar civilian.

94th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron

At some point prior to the departure of the division for overseas duty in Europe the squadron’s manpower was increased by the addition of a small group of enlisted men who had been members of a program called the “Army Specialized Training Program” (ASTP). The ASTP had been organized as an elite group of Air Force Personnel. The young men had been selected because of their high intelligence and their leadership qualities.

The Air Force top brass could not agree on a proper use for the ASTP and so it was decided to distribute them to various divisions. What good fortune! “D” troop received about twelve and among that group was Jim. And thus the I.Q. average of the troop was raised by at least ten points.

In combat, Corp. Jim Minn’s mission was to serve as the point during the hazardous patrols which probed enemy positions and served as sometimes fatal “trip-wires” for enemy action. Each squad member had to depend on the skill and valor of the other. These bonds were to last a life time.

Through the years of the postwar, Jim’s group, many of whom are no longer among the living, or are suffering the pains of the elderly, stayed in touch. Some names: Vernon Brown, Clyde Coulson, John Harris, Hershel Fogelson, Bob Larkin, Bill Lewis.

When official records of patrol actions are reported in the military records they read as cold, impersonal and mechanical accounts. But engraved in the recall of Jim and those others, the raw, untested, brave and unique young warriors, is the memory of combat during what was the coldest European winter of record in one hundred years and yes, the frost bite, the chill of grave-like foxholes, the useless attempts to thaw c-ration cans, the sadness upon the loss of a comrade.

Wars End

Jim returned to his new role of student, parent and citizen. We maintained our relationship over the next sixty-six years. I witnessed his growth in science, his interest in poetry, art, travel, writing, and his very deep concern for the civil rights of his fellow citizens.

Jim Minn truly lived his life as a hero in war and peace.

I shall always be grateful that this quiet, decent man touched my life and that I could be included into that long, long ago “Band of Brothers.”

Sid Kweller
Former 2nd Lieutenant
Troop “D”
94th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
14th Armored Division