American Defense Philippine Defense American Campaign PTO Campaign ETO Campaign Philippine Liberation WWII Victory Occupation

Brightwood Boys, The History of the Men from the North End of
Springfield, Massachusetts, During World War II
by Christopher P. Montagna



Wrecked Glider near WeselThe 277th did not have time to marvel at their accomplishment, for they soon crossed the bridge and moved on to Wesel.  The unit passed the landing area for Operation Varsity near Wesel and saw the wreckage of several gliders.  In Wesel, the unit met Italian POW’s who were also hoping the war would be over soon.


Back in Springfield, on April 11, 1945, a telegram arrived at 21 Jenks Street the home of Alice Samol.  The telegram stated that her husband, PFC Alexander Samol has been missing in action in Germany since March 24, 1945. 





Western Union Telegram


Alice Samol had faith.  She knew her husband was a survivor.  That faith paid off.  Like Nino Montagna, Alexander Samol’s experience serving the Conservation Corps would prove a lifesaver for him as well.  With the assistance of French citizens, Alexander Samol evaded capture and made his way back to the allied forces.  Many years later, Alexander Samol would confide in his son that the most fear he felt during the war was during the critical stage as he made his way back to the Allies.  His fear was that he would be shot by friendly troops while making his way back to the allied lines.