George H. Nienhueser
George Henry Nienhueser Jr. was born Nov. 13, 1924, the only child of George H. Nienhueser and Roberta Parks Heady Nienhueser in St. Charles. The family lived in St. Charles and operated a grocery store that was lost in the Great Depression. Nienhueser’s elementary school years were spent there.
After his parents divorced, Nienhueser moved in about 1936 with his mother to Springfield, Mo., where he attended junior high and high school. He was active in scouting, played football and attended YMCA camp. He graduated in 1942.
At age 18 Nienhueser joined the army and served from April 1943 to October 1945. He often told on himself that when asked to choose a branch, about all he knew was infantry where his father and uncles had served. He attained the rank of staff sergeant, serving in the 35th Infantry Division.
During the campaign in Europe where he saw action in France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and Germany, he was wounded twice for which he received the Purple Heart. The four-inch-long “dimple” on his left side was actually a scar from a shrapnel wound in the face, jaw and throat. He was awarded the Silver Star for “gallantry in action in the Vire River sector, France on Aug. 1, 1944.”
Although Nienhueser rarely talked about his time at war, he admitted to “fighting the war every night (in his dreams).” Instead he resorted to a couple of standby humorous stories like the time a crane was hoisting him in a cot onto a hospital ship. Reading “Nienhueser” on the dog tag, an orderly started to direct him to join the German prisoners. After Nienhueser let out a volley of expletives, the orderly said, “That don’t sound like no German to me.”
After the war Nienhueser attended the University of Missouri from February 1945 to August 1949 when he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture education.