Name Resler T John
Rank 1st Lieutenant
Serial # 0-432547
Unit 83d Recon
State, City Oklahoma, Claremore
Date of birth 1920-08-17
Date of death 1945-04-17
Place of death Dessau area, Germany
Cause of death Killed in Action
A Letter to His Parents,
I have the honor to inform you that, by direction of the president, the Bronze Star Medal has been posthumously awarded to your son, 1st Lt. John T. Resler, Armored Calvary. The Citation is as follows. BRONZE STAR MEDAL “For heroic action against the enemy in Germany on 17 April, 1945. First Lieutenant Resler in command of a platoon took part in the attack on the town of Thurland, Germany and in the assault one of his tank crew dismounted to procure more ammunition from a nearby ammunition carrier. The man was shot in the arm and fell to the ground. Lt Resler with utter disregard for his own personal safety went to his aid in spite of heavy small arms and bazooka fire. As he reached his side he was fired upon by several snipers and mortally wounded. Lieutenant Resler’s courage which resulted in the sacrifice of his own life and his high sense of duty reflect the greatest credit upon himself and the armed forces” The decoration will be forwarded to the Commanding General, Eighth Service Command Dallas, Texas who will select an officer to make the presentation. The officer selected will communicate with you concerning your wishes in this matter. May I express my deepest sympathy to you in your bereavement.
Sincerely yours Edward F. Witsell, Major General, Acting the Adj. General.
Over 250,000 soldiers died in the European Theatre and were interred in various cemeteries. At the end of the War, families were given the choice of whether to bring them home or leave them to be interred in European Cemeteries, Over 140,000 solders were retuned to the US with the remaining interred in American Cemeteries maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission. Lt John Resler’s family elected to have him interred at the Nederlands American Cemetery in the village of Margraten six miles east of Maastricht in Holland. He is interred in Plot I, Row 14, Grave 6.
1st Lt. John Resler was a tank commander in the 3rd Armored Division with the 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, which first saw action in France on June 29th, 1944 and beginning full combat operation on July 9, 1944. The division “spearheaded’ the First Army through Normandy taking part in a number of engagements including the battle of St. Lô. The unit helped the break out of hedgerow country with the development and use of large rams attached to the tanks to force their way through the hedge rows. On September 10th, 1944, the Armored Division fired the first artillery shell into Germany and two days later crossed the Siegfried Line into Germany taking part in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest. The Division was north of the deepest penetration of the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 and fought southward to wipeout the bulge and to fight abreast of Patton’s Third Army. Afterwards, the 3rd Armored Division halted at Lierneux, Belgium to refit. Lt. Resler retuned home in January 1945 for a month to recuperate spending time with family and friends in Oklahoma. He retuned to Europe in February 1945 and on the 26th rolled back into Germany. He was killed during an assault on the town of Thurland, Germany on April 17th, 1945 just 3 weeks before the war ended on May 8th, 1945. The 3rd Armored Division lost more tanks in battle than any other US armored division. As a tribute to his Claremore High School friend, Rev Robert Clarkson Swift named his oldest son John Resler Swift after Lt John Thomas Resler. The Resler family erected a cenotaph as a tribute to him in the Memorial Park Cemetery, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Top J. Swift
Bottom: J. Swift