Bazooka Gunner to Address Historical Society

James Krebs will speak to the Big Walnut Area Historical Society at 7:30 Tuesday, September 11 about his experiences in World War II. 

Born in southern Columbus , Krebs went to Corpus Christi Catholic and was in Columbus St. Mary’s School in 1942.  Krebs was only 15 when Pearl Harbor was bombed and he wanted to enlist right away.  His two older brothers, Bob and Al, had already enlisted so his mother talked the twins James and Jack into waiting and finishing high school .  Eventually Uncle Sam drafted the twins when they were 17.

The boys went into the service at Ft. Hayes in Columbus, and ended up in Patton’s 3rd Army in the Liberation of France.  They heard the Germans were pushing into the country in the north so their infantry unit was trucked 300 miles north through rain and snow to get to the front.  They fought through the Sigfried Line into Germany  where they fought for 42 days in the Battle of the Bulge in the bazooka team.  Both brothers got Silver Stars for their bravery.

In February they were ordered to cross an open field when Jack was shot.  James ran to his brother’s side and was shot when he knelt beside his brother.  He picked Jack up and ran to the aid station with him.  “I felt blest because I had a few minutes to say a prayer with my twin brother before he died,” noted James.  “I continued on to the aid station still carrying my brother.  At  the aid station they discovered  I was shot in the leg and had 18 pieces of shrapnel in my back.”

James recovered and spent the rest of the time in the 135th Combat engineers.  When the army needed to move, his unit opened the way for the army.  This was not always easy because the residents were not happy with the army.  They cleared the way for Patton to cross the Rhine.

Following the war, James and his two older brother returned to Columbus.  James married and they had a daughter.  After 13 years in Columbus, he and his wife found land in Sunbury where he built his house in which he has lived for 40 years..

Krebs worked for WCOL as an engineer then retired after 40 years.  He went to work for Channel 6 for the next 10 years then retired again.  Krebs took a job with North American Aviation and retired again.  He drove a school bus and served as a greeter at Meijer’s for a total of 6 retirements.

Over the years, Krebs has spoken to many school classes and other groups.  “I have my diaries I kept during the service which remind me of the things I saw and did.  I never wanted to talk about it with my wife, daughter  and friends but now I realize I can help people understand this time in history.”

Big Walnut Area Historical Society meets the second Tuesday of each month in the Myers Inn Museum Meeting Room.  The Myers Inn Museum is open 12-3 Thursday through Sunday and Saturday 10-3.    Learn more about the historical society at 

The historical society and the Rosecrans Command Headquarters are having a Barn Yard and Bake Sale from 9-5 on Friday and Saturday, September 14 and 15 in front of the new barn at the Myers Inn Museum.  “We are featuring gently used items of clothing, furniture and other items, “noted Sue Comisford, chairman of the yard sale.   Members are donating homemade goods for the Bake Sale which will be held on Friday in conjunction with the yard sale.  “Our members are good cooks so this will be a real treat,” claimed Alice Chapan, chair of the Bake Sale.

Proceeds from the Yard and Bake sale will benefit the Rosecrans Statue Fund.  Any questions should be addressed to Sue, 614-403-4565, or Alice at 740-9651942.


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