A Tribute to Ralph Kuhn
Remembering Ralph Kuhn
This tribute to the late Ralph Kuhn was submitted by his wife, Inez Kuhn. We appreciate her sharing his story with us, and want to express our sincere gratitude to Ralph’s family and all our veterans for their sacrifice and courage.
Ralph H. Kuhn of the 29th Division Empire State Post #101 and a former Prisoner of War in Germany passed away July 1, 1997. His military service also included the 121st Cavalry from 1929-1934. He was 85 years old.
During World War II, Ralph served with “F” Company, 116th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division. His unit landed in Normandy two days after the invasion and fought in the hedgerows there. He was a prisoner of war from November 27, 1944 to April 12, 1945.
I do not know of the details of his war experience as we didn’t marry until September 6, 1947. he never talked about what happened over there, but I know that he escaped twice and was wounded twice while he was a POW. During one escape, one of our own bombs came down on where he was hiding. Ralph never received a Purple Heart because he was treated by German doctors when he was recaptured, so there was no record of his wounds. He was in two prison camps. While in the last one, both of his feet froze when the men were transferred by box car and another prisoner fell asleep on his feet.
Ralph Kuhn always carried his POW card with him, preserved in plastic, for as time passed the paper grew older. He had been in Stalag #3115F6.
After the war, Ralph was a truck driver for Local #118 Teamsters. later he became a business agent and then vice-president of the Local for 15 years until his retirement. he attended the 29th Division Association reunions, as well as the VFW national and state conventions until he could no longer travel. he was with his VFW Post #307 for 47 years. During that time, he was the commander twice and also the National Aide de Camp. He was a life member of the POW as well.
Though Ralph never liked to talk about his war experience, he was very proud to have been in the 29th Division and always wore his Blue and Gray cap at all national and state conventions. he had a military funeral. There were many people at the cemetery and they all jumped as the guns went off. I buried his 29th Division cap, his VFW Commander’s cap and National Aide de Camp cap with him. I thought he might like that.