The first thing I noticed was the odor. It reminded me of the Kuhner Packing Company’s waste being burned in my hometown of Muncie, Indiana. It was a warm morning in April, 1945 — calm and peaceful — unlike the grueling conditions we had recently left behind in Belgium and Luxembourg.
Tears well up in his eyes and his voice breaks as Wayne Luedke recalls events of nearly 60 years ago. Luedke, a big man who anyone would think was tough as they come, spent 154 days in combat during World War II. His division fought in three major battles – Central Europe, Rhineland and Battle of the Bulge – and liberated prisoners at the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.