Bassett Family Association Database

Kenneth Karl Korn

Male 1925 - 2012  (86 years)

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  • Name Kenneth Karl Korn 
    Born 7 Sep 1925  Cook County, Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 16 May 2012  Cook County, Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • The Western Springs Times, Friday, July 27, 1945
      Mortar Squad Gunner Back
      Pfc. Kenneth Korn Tells of Heavy Fighting in Saar Valley

      Back in this country after five months of active duty on the western front and in Germany as a member of a mortar squad with an infantry regiment, Pfc. Kenneth Korn, 4012 Wolf road, is enjoying a 33 day furlough with his parents, the William Korns, before reporting to Ft. Benning, Ga., for training which will probably serve as a prelude to service in the Pacific.
      Korn, who returned home on July 15, was the gunner in his five-man squad which operated a 60mm mortar, the lighter of two standard infantry mortars. As gunner, it was his job to aim the mortar when the squad actually was in combat and to carry the 42-pound weapon when it was on the move. A squad leader, a second gunner and two ammunition bearers completed the squad.
      Korn?s Regiment, the 345th, first went into action on Dec. 7 last year in the Saar valley. The outfit had left his country in October and had spent a month in England before being sent to the continent.
      Hard Fighting In Saar
      ?Probably the hardest fighting we saw was during our first action in the Saar,? said Korn in recalling his combat experiences. ?We were there for a month, and the German artillery really made is miserable for us. They?d spot us coming over the hills and then begin to lay down a barrage that really took its toll.?
      From the Saar, Korn?s division, the 87th, was sent into Belgium early in January as relief for the troops trapped in the now-famous battle of the bulge. The 87th eventually joined forces with the Briths near Tillet, Belgium and then swept across Germany in the wake of the 4th armored division as German defenses began to crumble.
      That the 4th armored did a pretty thorough job of cleaning out the Nazis was indicated by Korn, who said that the infantry?s main job was to clean out such pockets as the armored outfit might by-pass in their headlong rush through the Reich.
      People Defended Towns
      ?The Volkswehr (people?s army) would frequently be left behind to defend the towns.? Korn said, ?but they usually did not feel too kindly toward fighting and would surrender to the American troops without much hesitation. A few attempted resistance at first, but they?d generally quit too after a few shots had whizzed around their heads.?
      SS, or elite guard troops offered the stiffest opposition to the American troops? push through Nazi-land. ?They?d usually stay about a day ahead of us, but finally we?d catch then and then the battle would begin. One time we caught about 150 of them in a trap and fought for two days to clean out the pocket. We counted 150 dead Nazis that time,? Korn recounted grimly.
      German civilians were usually cooperative with the Americans, ?but then they almost had to be,? Korn pointed out. Questioned about civilian snipers, Korn said his outfit had had no trouble with them, but that another company had encountered a few.
      Burn Snipers? Hideouts
      ?We had orders to burn down any houses where snipers were hiding,? the returned doughboy said, ?so the Germans soon gave up their practice of sniping after they saw a few houses go up in flames.?
      Korn?s regiment pushed to the town of Plauen, just west of the Czechoslovakian border, before its march across Germany ended.
      Korn remained at Plauen for two months before his outfit was moved north to guard a motor pool of German vehicles. That pool was in Russian occupation territory, so the Americans were pulled back to Schletz, Germany, for occupation duty there.
      Korn received a furlough to England at that time however, so he was gone for about a month, rejoining the regiment at Camp Oklahoma City, redeployment base near Reims. From there he went to Camp Lucky Strike near Havre and then left on July 5 to return to the States aboard the West point. The trip required only six days.
      Korn will leave on Aug. 17 to report at Camp Grant. From there he will go to Ft. Benning to rejoin the 345th for a training course which will probably include instruction in Pacific tactics. It will be his second assignment at Benning, for it was at that base that he received basic training early in 1944. Korn entered the service in July, 1943, and studied at the University of Wisconsin before beginning active duty.

      Chicago Suburban Daily Herald, May 19, 2012
      Kenneth Korn

      Kenneth Korn formerly of Arlington Heights Kenneth K. Korn, 86, of Palatine, passed away peacefully Wednesday, May 16, 2012. He was born Sept. 7, 1925, the son of William and Mary Korn. Ken was the beloved husband of 57 years to Jeanne nee Yandel; and loving father of John (Margaret) Korn, Jenny (Jeff) Burke, Ellen (Jeff) Bassett, Bill (Jeanne) Korn, the late Jim Korn, Kathy (Rory) Stenerson and Nancy (Ed) Rusick. Ken was the proud grandfather of 12 and great-grandfather of one. Ken retired as a cost accountant from International Mineral and Chemical Corporation and served during World War II in the European theater. Private memorial to be held at a later date.

    Person ID I34466  1A William Bassett of Plymouth
    Last Modified 11 Jun 2018 

    Father William August Korn,   b. 3 May 1890, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Feb 1981, Pinellas Park, Florida Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Mother Mary Angelina Jaspers 
    Family ID F12577  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Jeanne Marie Yandel 
    +1. Ellen Patricia Korn,   b. Private
    Last Modified 29 Mar 2018 
    Family ID F12449  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart