Private First Class Elroy Getka
|Private First Class Elroy Getka
United States Army
|Submitted by Councilman Dave Getka
"In honor of my father, Elroy Charles Getka,
a former disabled WWII Army Veteran"
Private First Class Elroy Getka served in the US Army 5th Infantry Division ("Red Diamond"/ "Red Devils") in the 11th Infantry Regiment. The 11th Regiment landed in Normandy, France on July 10, 1944 and fought it's way across France as part of General Patton's famed Third Army. The 11th Infantry played a prominent role in the ten day battle of the fortified city of Metz, France and later engaged the Germans in the southern region of the Battle of the Bulge. The 5th Division had driven the Germans 700 miles across France in twenty-seven days back to the German border.
PFC Getka was assigned as one of his squad's BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle man). The BAR was a light bipod automatic rifle and usually was used for walking point or at the tail of a patrol or infantry column. After the fall of the city of Metz as his squad advanced further north they were ambushed along a roadside by German machine gun fire. PFC Getka acting as the point man was the first to be wounded in both feet while some of his fellow soldiers further back were instantly killed or wounded.
PFC Getka was eventually evacuated back to the States to Walter Reed Hospital for months of rehabilitation and therapy and was honorably discharged with a 35% disability. For his service to his Country he was awarded the military Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Infantry Badge. He returned to his family's dairy farming operation in Wisconsin after leaving Walter Reed Hospital. Elroy belonged to the Disabled American Veteran's organization and attended many of his Army Unit's annual reunions over the years.
Elroy Charles Getka passed away in February 2005 at the age of 85 and was one of America's "Greatest Generation"!