Adrian Griep (1916-1945)
Killed in action as a soldier in WW-II
  Adrian Griep was born on 11 October 1916 in Holland, Michigan. He was the third child, and only son, of Nicolaas Griep and Catharina Katte.

He married -- his wife was named Minnie -- and they had a daughter: Carolyn Mae Griep. They lived at Holland, Michigan.

In 1944 he entered service in the American army, to take part in the liberation of Europe. Just after a few weeks of fighting, he was killed in action in France.

Adrian's grave on the US Military Cemetary at Epinal.


Adrian Griep entered service in the US-army at 13 April april 1944, in the 290th Engineer Combat Battalion. This unit was activated four months earlier, and was located at Camp Shelby in Mississippi. They recieved their basic military training and were trained to be 'engineers': building bridges, repairing roads, demolition of mines, etc.

In the end of September the order came to prepare for overseas movement. On 22 October 1944 Adrian Griep departed from New York and at 11.00 the ships passed by the statue of liberty. On the 2nd November 1944 the 290th arrived at the quaint little town of Tiverton, located in picturesque Devonshire. Adrian and the B-Company joined the battalion few days later, because their ship first landed in Cherbourg. Till the end of December the engineers recieved extented training in the construction of the floating and fixed Bailey Bridge.

On the day after Christmas the battalion was alerted for movement to the Continent. De dag na kerst komt het bericht van vertrek naar Frankrijk. Op 31 december zet het Engelse libertyschip ‘HMS Empire Rapier’ het 290th Engineer Combat Battalion over naar Le Havre. Na zes dagen bivak in modder en sneeuw volgt een tocht van vier dagen in legertrucks, om hen 300 km verderop naar Melsheim in de Elzas te brengen.


On January 5, 1945, the 290th Engineer Combat Battalion was deployed at the frontline at Orbey. On that moment, further north the Battle of the Bulge was going on. Many units had been send there to provide relief, which caused serious shortages of infantrymen to man the frontline near Colmar. Although they were not trained for this kind of job, for three weeks (January 17 to February 5) the  ‘engineers’ had to fill in this gap. During that period they were attached to the 28th Infantry Division.

This 28th Division formed part of the American 7th Army. In January 1945 that army was deployed between Strasbourg and Mulhouse. It had recieved orders to throw the Germans out of the so-called Colmar pocket. Because of that, an ‘agressive defense’ was maintained, with frequent patrolling towards enemy lines. This had to be carried out under extreme weather conditions. During that period temperatures were as low as -4 F, with frequent blizzards.

Already on their first day on the frontline, his unit had to withstand a German attack, which they succesfully did. On January 23 they recieved orders send out two patrol units to penetrate into enemy territory to gather information about the German positions. Adrian Griep was part of the ‘B-company’ under lieutenant Hunnicutt. They started their mission at 7.20 hours, and only after half a mile of advance, their patrol came under heavy German fire. They could not move to either direction anymore, some men were immediately killed, and others were heavily wounded.

Lieutenant Hunnicutt and ten of his men, under which Adrian Griep, were cut off from the rest of the patrol. At 13.27 the whole mission was terminated, and the group under lieutenant Hunnicutt was reported as ‘Missing in Action’.


On February 5 Adrian his body was found, and on March 4 the staff of the 28th Infantry Division made up his 'Report of Burial'. On March 10 a letter was send to his family to aknowledge them about his death.

Adrian Griep was buried at the US Military Cemetary at Epinal. The location of the grave is: plot A, row 13, grave 55.



Carolyn Mae Griep (1939-..)

Carolyn Griep was born on July 10, 1939, at Salem, Michigan. She worked at an office, and on January 11, 1963, she married in Saint Francis De Sales Catholic Church at Holland, Michigan to Paul Frederic Rogers, born at Holland, Michigan in 1934.
Living in Holland, Michigan, they had two children: Lisa Ann (1961) and Joel Alexander (1964). In 2001 her husband Paul Rogers died in Holland, Michigan.



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Last update of this page ( on November 5, 2016 by
Jan Griep, Katwijk aan Zee, Netherlands.