Combat Engineer

Purchase Now

Date published – 2000
Page count – 229
Maps included – 11
Photos included – 74
Footnotes included – 414

Combat Engineer is a fast-paced narrative tracing William J. Venner’s experiences during World War II. It is an important personal memoir revealing the innocence of youth amid the realities of war.

The account is based upon fifty letters and V-mails, three journals, and an extensive oral history. Over seventy photos are used to illustrate the violent world Venner lived in, and his crucial activities.

Wisconsin born, William Joseph Venner joined the American army, ready for adventure and eager to meet the world’s challenges. He returned home three years later weary from war’s horrors and thankful to be alive.

Venner entered the army and was immediately sent to the California desert to prepare for the Africa campaign. The fortunate young soldier was detached from his unit and placed in the ASTP. Eight months later the ASTP was shut down and Venner was assigned to the 1271st Combat Engineer Battalion.

Corporal Venner landed in Marseilles and reached the front just in time for the Battle of the Bulge. This critical campaign was quickly followed by Operation Nordwind, and then the assault upon the German-held Colmar Pocket. He participated in the attack upon the Siegfried Line and crossed over the Rhine River. Venner helped clean up Dachau and then took part in the final campaign to capture Germany and Austria. He would return home in 1946.