Vernon Schmidt was born in Reedley, CA and entered the US Army in 1944, at the age of 18. After Basic Training at Camp Roberts, his Advanced Infantry Training was cut short by the large numbers of casualties in Europe. He shipped out from New York on the Queen Mary and landed in Glasgow, Scotland; took a train to Southampton, England and finally landed at Le Harve, France. He rode box cars to Germany & was assigned to the 90th Infantry. He was then taken by truck to Habscheid, Germany and entered combat at "The Seigfried Line," where he and two others joined a squad in a pill box. 10 days later, Vern was the lone survivor; his two buddies were killed by German artillery. After crossing several rivers, his unit captured the City of Mainz and then they went on to liberate Flossenburg Concentration Camp, and rescued others on the Cavalcade Death March.