87th Infantry Division
A Two-dollar Bill
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By Jeroen Koppes



The two pictures above are the front and back of a US Two-dollar Bill. On the bill you can find the places where the 346th Infantry Regiment of the 87th Infantry Division has fought or staight during the Second World War. The markings on the bill where made by Sergeant Walter S. Tokarz (also known as "Toke"), a cook from K Company, 346th Infantry Regiment, 87th Infantry Division.
Sergeant Tokarz had volunteered with his buddy John A. Charles to be a cook after basic training. John A. Charles writes about there voluntering in the Golden Acorn Newsletter (from the 87th Infantry Division Association): "After we finished the basic training, and missed the cut that were sent overseas, we started a second training period with new recruits. One day Sgt Peterson, the Mess Sgt, came through the barracks looking for two new cooks. When we heared "one day on and one day off", even though we didn't know how to boil water we volunteered rather than doing another series of basic training. (...) I became T/4, first cook, and he T/5, second cook on the same shift and developed a strong friendship."

  Sgt. Walter S. Tokarz
Sgt. Walter S. Tokarz
 

His son-in-law, Mr. Gilbert Geras, has send me this pictures. He told me about Sergeant Tokarz: "He was one of those 'green' troups, when the Ardennes Offensive (Battle of the Bulge) began. He was a cook, rank of PFC or CPL, one of those. Then when the action all began he took up his rifle and 'hunkered down', he froze his feet something bad. His group was going to be overrun so he ran with the rest to the rear. When he arrived in a rear area, with trench foot and much frozen damage to tissue/muscle of his feet he sought help at a first aid station. A medic saw that he was standing and gave him two asperins. That was his medical care. Then some officer saw him and he said he got promoted to sergeant and put him in charge of a bunch of other stragglers, then sent him back to the front." During the Second World War Sergeant Tokarz was awarded the Bronze Star.
On the bill you can see that Sergeant Tokarz was in Verdun (France) during Christmas 1944, and on New Years Eve in Belgium. You can also see that he was in Plauen (Germany) at the and of the war (on May, 8th 1945).

Site design & initiative: Hans Houterman
Page text by: Jeroen Koppes
Information and pictures by: Mr. Gilbert Geras, son-in-law of Mr. Walter S. Tokarz (Sgt, K Company, 346th Infantry Regiment, 87th Infantry Division, 1923 - 1992)
Thanks to: Mr. Mitchell Kaidy (Cpl. D Company, 345th Infantry Regiment, 87th Infantry Division)
Last update: 15.04.2003-CSS
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