Allen Wanderlich fought in two wars in two uniforms, serving in both WW II and Korea. He fought in the Battle of Bulge, and then participated in other battles with the 84th Infantry Division, K Company, also known as the “Railsplitters.”
In one battle, as Mr. Wanderlich and his comrades charged deeper into enemy territory, a bullet went through his right leg, but he continued on in combat. After taking Hanover, he helped to liberate both POW and concentration camps. With about two weeks left before the war ended, German troops opened fire with machine guns and artillery. Twenty-two of Mr. Wanderlich’s comrades and his company commander were killed. Using his 60 mm mortar, he was able to distract the Germans who took cover every time he sent a shell their way, allowing his riflemen and machine gunners to move forward. The strategic use of his mortar earned Allen Wanderlich, who was only 19 years old at the time, a Silver Star. He also earned the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and numerous other medals during the course of and in recognition of his service.
In 1949, Mr. Wanderlich enlisted in the Air Force and was assigned to a B-29 bomber squadron as a Radar Specialist, flying missions over North Korea and serving until 1953. Memories of both wars are never distant.
Following his military career, Mr. Wanderlich earned an electrical engineering degree from the University at Buffalo. Before retiring in the 1980s from the TV repair shop he owned and operated, he worked at the former Wurlitzer plant in North Tonawanda, and then at the Sylvania television factory in Batavia.
Mr. Wanderlich lives in Lockport with his wife of 63 years, Maryann. Together, they raised four children.