Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

September 25, 2013

Hero fought against native land

(Continued)

Norb said Al told them that one time he was 30 miles from his hometown but he couldn’t get closer because it was in Russian sector. He went to a fence and shouted out, “I’m Alfons Felis. Anybody here from Amith, Germany? .A 15 year old boy came to the fence and yelled, “Yes sir, I’m from there. I can walk out my back door into your father’s front door. I saw your father and sister six months ago. Your father is in good health and got all his teeth yet!” Al hadn’t heard from his father since 1936.

Being curious about Felis, I checked news records and found that while in the service Al was indeed wounded several times and received the Purple Hearts and Silver Star and Gold Star Medals. He was wounded while on attack across an open field. Although in need of medical attention he exposed himself to further enemy fire by giving first-aid and saved five wounded comrades by helping them to cover. He received the Purple Heart and Silver Star that time.

After recovery and back into battle he was struck in both legs while attempting to capture four Germans near Faliase, France. He dived for cover of a ditch and hurled a hand grenade wounding three of the enemy. His action at Falaise was described thus: We moved into the Falaise Gap during the night. My squad was assigned guard duty. Early morning I spotted three German soldiers, woke the other two men with me and left with the idea of taking the Germans prisoners. I caught them off guard and was about to unarm them when a fourth Nazi appeared from behind a shack. When I turned to cover him, one of the others opened fire with a revolver. I jumped in a ditch and tossed a grenade at them.

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