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       Dean's letters tell the story of a young man with dreams and hopes for the future. Initially, his letters were about things that seemed to be incidental to the war. As he entered the war zone, his letters continued to be upbeat as he apparently tried to boost the moral of family at home. He would sometimes pause while writing a letter to comment that a shell or two had just flown over, then continue writing. The letters never conveyed to us the real danger. However, the campaigns involving the 9th Division of the US First Army placed Dean and his fellow soldiers in the midst of the most difficult battles between Normandy and Berlin.
       Florence Hauck passed away in 1996 and our home was purchased by her grandson, Kevin Carr. Kevin found Dean's letters in a chest of drawers and made them available to me. We have agreed to publish the letters in one form or another.
       With the passing years, wars have been waged around the world. Brave men and women have died and left an emptiness in our hearts. The records of those wars have taught us the unimaginable courage of those who risked their lives. Dean Stephen Hauck was a soldier of unimaginable courage.
       After the war had ended in the Pacific, Dean's remains were returned to Pennsylvania to be placed in the United Church of Christ Cemetery in Troutville, Pa. A memorial service was held for Dean and several other service men who died in that war. Among them was Dean's cousin, Allen L. Shaffer, who was killed in action on March 15, 1945, while flying a P47 with the 8th Air Force on a mission over Germany.
       Dean's grave site is only a few steps from the grave of his Uncle Chauncey, a veteran of World War I. 

       The 9th Division landed on Utah Beach on D + 4, June 10, 1944, as was planned for "Operation Overlord". Since the beach was secured by the landings on June 6, the 9th Division rapidly advanced on it's mission to move west across the Contentin Peninsula to Barneville, arriving there on about June 18, thus sealing off the peninsula. From Barneville, the 9th Division moved north along the left flank on the objective, the capture of Cherbourg. The capture of Cherbourg was complete by July 1. From July 1 to July 25, the 9th division was maneuvering south from Cherbourg toward the battle line between St Lo and la Haye, preparing for "Operation Cobra". On July 17, some where between Cherbourg and "Operation Cobra", Dean was wounded on the 41st day of action while advancing on the enemy. After three and a half months in England, Dean recovered from his wound and rejoined his Company in time for action in the first week of November, 1944.
       Dean's letters give a firsthand description of his experience. As a side note, July 17 was also the day that General Rommel was injured when an Allied airplane attacked his car.
      By mid December the 9th Division was repelling the German forces from the south in the action called the "Battle of the Bulge". In early March, 1945, the First Army seized the bridge over the Rhine River at Remagen, and by March 24 all the American Armies were charging eastward from the Rhine. After Dean returned to his Company in November, he was reassigned to the task of hauling food and supplies to the front with a Jeep. He was killed March 26, 1945, when his Jeep struck a land mine as he was delivering rations to the front.
       The telegram arrived. Louise came to meet me as I was coming home from school. As she held back her tears, she gave me the crushing news. She said we had to be strong for mother and dad. Words can't describe the anguish. I hid in the barn and cried.

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