Corporal John Webster
Award: Honoring Our Veterans
“I landed on Omaha Beach in the ‘3rd wave’ of boats, 30 minutes after H-Hour at 6:30 a.m., just after daylight – at what was still low tide. If you have seen the film ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ I don’t need to go into detail as to what it was like.”
On January 9, 1942, John Webster was inducted into the U.S. Army at Camp Upton, Long Island, completed basic training at Fort Knox and at Fort George G. Meade and became a tank driver with rank of Corporal.
After training in the Mojave Desert under General George S. Patton, Mr. Webster was encouraged to apply for Officers Candidate School. Following graduation in April 1943, Second Lieutenant Webster was sent to Oran, Algeria, and then Bizerte, Tunisia, to command 1st Platoon “A” Company, 20th Combat Engineers. Within days of taking command, he led his platoon during the D-Day landing at Licata, Sicily.
After the Italian Campaign, Mr. Webster and his company were sent to Cornwall, England, to train for the Normandy Invasion.
On D-Day, Mr. Webster sustained an injury and captured his first German soldier, for which he was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star, respectively. His platoon broke through German lines at St. Lo and eventually arrived in Paris, France.
During the battle of Hurtgen Forest, Mr. Webster’s platoon was reduced from 150 to about one dozen troops. He sustained a second injury, for which he received a cluster for his Purple Heart. The Battle of the Bulge then followed, and Mr. Webster was given command of C Company of the 20th Engineers. Following victory, they crossed the Rhine River and moved across Germany to Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. Mr. Webster went back to England before returning home after V-J Day.
As Supervisor of the Town of Queensbury from 1956 to 1964, Mr. Webster witnessed the town’s growth from farm to suburb. He and his wife, Doris, have two children – John and Katharine – and now have three grandchildren.
Mr. Webster belongs to the Mohican Grange and was twice Master of the local Masonic Lodge 121.