On This Day, 14-DEC 1944, We Honor a Fallen Hero

Ezra Bricker was born on 7-NOV 1909 in Moscow Mills MO. His father was John David Bricker (1877-1937) and his mother was Mary Elizabeth Tlllotson (1884-1968).  Ezra had five brothers; Ira, Earl, George, Paul, Lawrence and John.  He had one sister; Genevieve.  He was employed by Vultee Aircraft in Nashville.  In 1930 he lived in St. Charles on West Randolph.  Ezra married Anne Margaret Fromme and they lived at 1603 Gallaher in St. Charles MO.  

He had enlisted in the Army and served during World War II. Ezra served in the 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.  He had the rank of Private First Class. As part of the buildup for operation Overlord, the Normandy invasion, the division spent ten months in Ireland undergoing extensive training.  

After training in Northern Ireland and Wales from October 1943 to June 1944, the 9th along with the 2nd Infantry Division crossed the channel to land on Omaha Beach on D-Day plus 1 (7-JUN 1944) near Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer. Attacking across the Aure River on 10-JUN, the division liberated Trévières and prepared to assault Hill 192, a key enemy strong point on the road to Saint-Lo. After three weeks of fortifying the position the order was given to take Hill 192. On 11-JUL the 9th Infantry Regiment with the 38th and the 23rd by their side, the battle began at 5:45 AM.  The hill was taken.  Ezra was wounded in July – likely during this action – with what appears to be a hand injury and returned to action in September.  He was awarded a Purple Heart for his wound.  

The division went on the defensive until 26-JUL. After exploiting the Saint-Lo breakout, the 2nd Division then advanced across the Vire to take Tinchebray on 15-AUG 1944. The division then raced toward Brest, the heavily defended port fortress which happened to be a major port for German U-boats. After 39 days of fighting the Battle for Brest was won. 

The division took a brief rest 19–26 September before moving to defensive positions at St. Vith, Belgium on 29-SEP 1944. The division entered Germany on 3-OCT 1944, and was ordered, on 11-DEC 1944, to attack and seize the Roer River dams. 

The German Ardennes offensive in mid-December forced the division to withdraw to defensive positions near Elsenborn Ridge, where the German drive was halted.

It is likely Ezra Bricker was killed in action during the attack on the Roer River Dams on 14-DEC 1944.  Just two days later, the Battle of the Bulge began.  

Ezra Bricker is buried at Plot A Row 15 Grave 7, Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. This is an American Battle Monuments Commission location. Ezra was awarded a posthumous Purple Heart, his second.  

Ezra Bricker is honored and remembered at the St. Charles County Veterans Museum.  

Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at sccvetsmuseum@gmail.com or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.