World War II

The Greatest Generation
One in a series of tributes to members of “The Greatest Generation”
who served our country during World War II

Clarence L. Leinweber

By Bill Youngkin
Special to The Eagle
Part Three
Clarence was heavily involved in the
Battle of the Bulge and the defeat of the
German Offensive, after which, the offensive
for the American forces into Germany began.
As related by Clarence, “Our division, the
26th Infantry Division, was primarily formed
out of the Massachusetts Army National
Guard and its nickname was the “Yankee
Division.” Once the Germans began their
retreat back into Germany, a newspaper
person for the Boston paper came looking
for guys from Boston to write stories about.
The writer was Walter Cronkite and what he
found was a fellowTexas, me, a cowboy from
Kerr County.”
“I was now a tech sergeant and one of the
most experienced men in my company. All
of the officers that had been with us when
we arrived in France had been killed. I
would be offered a battlefield commission to
Second Lieutenant but turned it down. I had
already decided that if I survived the war, I
was going to return to A&M and to Corps of
Cadets and get my commission that way.”
“As we headed into Germany chasing the
German Army, we found that some would
fight to the end while other groups quickly
surrendered. But, you had to be careful.
When we went to accept a surrender of
one of those groups, they had set up the
surrender as an ambush. The SS troops were
the ones you had to be the most careful
“Our outfit was directed to head to the
Czechoslovakian border. Most of the men
now in my company were replacements
with little or no experience. Fortunately, it
would not be long before the war would be
over. When we received word of the end of
the war in Europe, I shot two deer and we
held a barbeque and dance.”
“On January 10, 1946, I arrived back
home. Prior to this we had been training

for the invasion of Japan. Thank God for
Harry Truman. I could now return to A&M to
complete my education. I enrolled at A&M
in September of 1946 and graduated in 1949
with my aeronautical engineering degree. I
was also a Distinguished Military Graduate
and received my commission as a 2nd
Lieutenant. I was now an infantry officer in
an Army reserve unit.”
“I had obtained a job with Air Jet in
California helping to design rockets. That
was when the Korean War started. I had
married, had one daughter and had another
on the way, but I fully expected to receive
orders for me to report for active duty.
Here I was, a very combat experienced 2nd
Lieutenant of infantry. However, I received
a notice that for the convenience of the
service I was being discharged from the
reserves. I was never told why. But, I guess
the government decided I would be more
useful designing and building rockets than I
would as an infantry officer.”
“I continued to be employed in the
aerospace industry working on IBM and
Titan missiles. I eventually worked for NASA
at Cape Canaveral where I was part of the
design team for the launch pad that would
be used for the mission to the moon. I
retired in 1987 and can empathetically state
that I loved the work I did.”
Clarence now lives at Carriage Inn in Bryan
to be near family. When asked what he
thought needs to happen in America today
he said,“We need everyone to memorize the
Constitution and to throw the Socialists out.”
Clarence has led a very remarkable life.
If you know a World War II, Korean, or
Vietnam War veteran whose story should
be told, please contact the Brazos Valley
Veterans Memorial at or Bill
Youngkin at 979-776-1325. If you desire to
have a name added to theVeterans Memorial
Wall for Veterans Day, the cost is $150.00
and the name must be submitted by August
15, 2019. The form can be obtained at www.

For more stories of local Veterans in their own words, log on to Brazos Valley
Voices podcast at, hosted by Tom Turbiville

PO BOX 3000, BRYAN, TX 77805


Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.