The Most Tragic Night of the 2nd Recon Troop – December 29, 1944

December 1944 – 1st Lt. Samuel J. Fooshee, a very liked and respected officer of 1st Platoon, 2nd Reconnaissance Troop, 2nd Infantry Division, led 8 men on a reconnaisance of a road net near Elsenborn Ridge. After return from the patrol they all bedded down in the Headquarters building. No one knew this would be the most tragic night of the 2nd Recon Troop.

“December 29, 1944: About 03:00 shells were coming over thick and fast… About 03:10 we got a direct hit on our building where HQ and one section of the 1st Platoon were sleeping. It wounded S/Sgt. Maize, Sgt. McCollum, Cpl. Lynch, T/5 McHughes, Pvt. Delisle, Pvt. Gondek and 1st Sgt. Caffery… The ones killed were 1st Lt. Samuel J. Fooshee, 1st Lt. Edward A. Meyers, T/4 Francis F. Anderson, Pfc. Robert M. Fegley, Pfc. Harvey T. Taylor, T/5 Fredie A. Thomas and Pvt. Edward D. Shehorn. That was a blow that can´t be forgotten in a day. We have all been in a daze since it happened, we don´t know whether we are coming or going… stated 1st Sgt. Litton. Although the 2nd Recon Troop was a combat unit, it did not have a high rate of casualties like a regular infantry unit until December 29, 1944 when the 2nd Recon Troop lost its 7 best men at one point in time.

It is still quite difficult to find and contact relatives of the 2nd Recon Troop´s veterans, but two weeks ago we were contacted by Mrs. Anne Clayton. Her father Dale Fooshee was the youngest brother of 1st Lt. Samuel J. Fooshee. At that time Mr. Dale Fooshee was fighting several serious health issues including COVID-19 and his daughter, Mrs. Anne Clayton wanted to find out more information about Samuel´s army service to surprise her father at Christmas. So we started working together on this article and today we are honored to present you the story of 1st Lt. Samuel J. Fooshee.

Samuel J. Fooshee, Jr. was born on October 7, 1919 in Dallas, Texas. S.J., as he was called, was second of four children born to Samuel and Elizabeth Fooshee. He was a football star in high school, but he badly injured his knee one summer which put him out of sports. On November 18, 1940 S.J. voluntarily joined the Army and signed up for the ROTC program at Tarleton State University. After graduation, he was assigned as a 1st Lieutenant to the 2nd Reconnaissance Troop, 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. His unit landed in Normandy on June 9, 1944 and maintained contacts between Battalions and Regiments of the 2nd ID. 1st Lt. Fooshee led his men on several dozens of reconnaissance and combat patrols from June to December 1944 when his 1st Platoon returned from their last patrol. S.J. was a popular officer among his men. He was full of energy and had a great sense of humor. He was killed in action at the age of 25.

S.J.´s younger brother Jefferson B. Fooshee, known as J.B., was a platoon sergeant in the 345th Infantry Regiment, 87th Infantry Division. He was wounded in action several days after his brother S.J. was killed. After the war, J.B. visited the grave of his brother S.J. who was buried initially in Belgium, but in 1948 S.J.’s remains were moved and interred next to his father’s in McKinney, Texas.

Unfortunately, we received the sad news that Mr. Dale Fooshee, the youngest brother of S.J., passed away on Monday after a brave battle with the health issues. When Mr. Dale Fooshee was in hospital, his daughter Anne Clayton shared with him our notes and information about his beloved big brother. Mr. Dale Fooshee was truly thrilled when he heard these news about his brother. Now they are all reunited again.

In memory of 1st Lt. Samuel J. Fooshee, his brother Mr. Dale Fooshee and all members of Samuel´s 1st Platoon and friends who lost their lives on December 29, 1944 – 1st Lt. Edward A. Meyers, T/4 Francis F. Anderson, Pfc. Robert M. Fegley, Pfc. Harvey T. Taylor, T/5 Fredie A. Thomas and Pvt. Edward D. Shehorn. We will honor your memory and will never forget!