On This Day 14-APR 1945, We Honor a Fallen Hero
Eugene Edgar Iseman was born 18-MAR 1924 and lived at 1034 Washington Street in St. Charles, MO. His mother was Stella Mae Hunter of St. Charles. Eugene registered for the draft 30-JUN 1942 and later enlisted 29-MAR 1943. Iseman departed St. Charles for Jefferson Barracks with his neighbor, Carl H. Woods, who lived one block away. He was a Corporal in the Army and the 647th Quartermaster Truck Company.
The U.S. Army was segregated during World War II, and African American troops were most often relegated to service units. Many served in the Quartermaster Corps. Almost everything a soldier wore, carried or ate on D-Day was supplied by the Quartermaster Corps. Since an army without gas, bullets and food would quickly be defeated, the Army Transportation Corps created a huge trucking operation called the “Red Ball Express” in August 1944. To expedite cargo shipment to the front, trucks emblazoned with red balls followed a similarly marked route that was closed to civilian traffic.
The trucks also had priority on regular roads. Supply trucks started rolling in late August and continued for nearly ninety days. Supplies were taken up into front lines and unloaded directly to user units, with the bulk of the missions being completed under shellfire and strafing. The trucks were sent out with Infantrymen aboard on spearhead thrusts, and when resistance was encountered, the truck drivers found themselves taking part in the fighting. Men of these companies performed guard with the line troops, in emergencies manned machine-guns and outposts, carried barbed wire and mines into positions forward of existing front lines, and shared the same rigors and dangers as did the divisional troops.
The Quartermaster Truck Companies played a major role in the Nazis’ defeat by ensuring U.S. and Allied warfighters had what they needed to sweep across France into Germany.
Corporal Eugene E. Iseman died of his wounds 14-APR 1945. He was 21. The Post-Dispatch reported he was the first African American killed in the war from St. Charles Missouri. Iseman departed St. Charles for Jefferson Barracks together with his friend Carl H. Woods and was killed alongside him in Germany. On the same day, the Battle of Berlin began on the outskirts of the city. The war with Germany would end just three weeks later.
Eugene Edgar Iseman is buried in Oak Grove at 2700 West Clay Street in St. Charles MO. Eugene Edgar Iseman is honored and remembered at the St. Charles County Veterans Museum. Do you have more information or pictures of Eugene? Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum.