LLOYD JUELL WEDWICK
Branch: U. S. Army
Status: Killed in action
Date of Service: WWII
Home Town: Osnabrock, N.D./Clearbrook
1. Lloyd Wedwick 2. Lloyd with niece Florence in 1943
Lloyd Juell Wedwick was born May 14, 1914 in Cavalier County, North Dakota to Lars E. and Julia Graftaas Wedwick. Lars was born in Goodhue County, Minnesota of Norwegian immigrant parents and grew up there. Julia was the daughter of John and Beret Graftaas, early settlers of Pine Lake Township in Clearwater County, Minnesota. Lars and Julia were wed December 18, 1907 in Lake Park. They moved to Alma Township in the Osnabrock, North Dakota area and lived there most of their married life. Besides his farming occupation, Lars was considered to be one of the best painters and wallpaper hangers in the area. Lars and Julia had seven children: Clemens, Elmer, Arthur, Lloyd, Agnes, Esther and Florence. Lloyd was baptized and confirmed at Dovre Lutheran east of Osnabrock.
Lloyd attended school through the 7th grade, then went to work as a farm laborer. He was employed by Anton and Nettie Dahl in Alma Township for many years. Lars died in 1941 and Julia moved back to Clearbrook, Minnesota to be near her brothers Oscar and Roy Graftaas and their families.
Lloyd was drafted into the Army in 1942 and served with the 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division. The 357th sailed for England on March 23, 1944 in a convoy of 40 ships: troop ships, tankers, aircraft carriers, destroyers and cruisers. Upon landing at Liverpool they were shipped to Kinlet Park for intensive training: mainly speed marching at 5 miles per hour up the steep English hills with heavy loads of weapons and ammunition.
On June 4th the Regiment left for France and dropped anchor off Utah Beach at 9:30 a.m. on the 8th of June. The men waded to shore in water five and six feet deep while the beach was still under fire. The men assembled rapidly and the march inland began. They reached the enemy defense line at noon on the 9th, and by nightfall the 357th was still attacking in the face of withering enemy mortar and machine gun fire. Casualties were heavy and gains were measured in yards.
The hedgerow fighting went on for a month. Then the 90th Division raced across France, through Verdun in September and participated in the siege of Metz; the capture of Maizières-lès-Metz and the German-held Fort de Koenigsmacker in November. It pushed across the Saar River in December, then shifted to the Ardennes.
On the 6th of January the Division moved northeast into Luxembourg to take its place in the Battle of the Bulge. The weather was extremely cold and trench foot and frostbite were common. On January 21st, the Regiment moved into the city of Bastogne, Belgium and attacked to the northeast, capturing the town of Asselborn. They smashed through the towns of Heinersheif, Lausdorn and Binsfeld, bringing the Battle of the Bulge to an end. Sergeant Lloyd Wedwick would not celebrate with his regiment, however. He had been killed in action on January 24th. His mother in Clearbrook was notified and his body was buried in the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial at Hamm, Luxembourg. The family also erected a memorial headstone for Lloyd in Dovre Cemetery, Cavalier County, North Dakota. He was 31 years old.