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World War II vet from Forsyth traveling to Washington

FORSYTH COUNTY — Herschel Scheidt went across the United States and Europe while serving in World War II, and soon a local group is sending him on one more trip for his military service.

On April 14, Scheidt will be one of more than 70 veterans traveling with the Roswell Rotary Club to Washington, D.C., as part of the group’s Honor Air Flight.

Scheidt’s grandson, also a veteran, will escort the 93-year-old to the nation’s capital, where they will tour monuments including the World War II Memorial.

“I don’t know much about it other than we’re going,” Scheidt said. “I’ve got a grandson that was in the service who is going up with me to make sure that I don’t get lost.”

During the war, Scheidt served with the 44th Infantry Division of U.S. Army National Guard in the European Theater. His last name made for some interesting situations.

“We had our names on our helmets, you know,” he said. “So some of the Germans that we’d capture would come running up to me and see that German name, and figure I could talk German. And I couldn’t. ‘No sprechen Sie Deutsch.’”

Scheidt said he had worked as a tool maker before the war. Since he knew how to weld, he was part of the division’s engineering regiment.

He served under Maj. Gen. William F. Dean, who would go on to win the Medal of Honor during the Korean War.

“I was in our headquarters one day when Gen. Dean called in and said to get up around the mountain, the Germans had blown a bridge out,” Scheidt said. “So the colonel grabbed me and we went up there, and didn’t get halfway before we had to come back.

“General called back in and asked colonel, ‘What did you find up there?’ Well colonel said, ‘It’s just too hot, we couldn’t get up there.’ Well, he said, ‘Just forget about it, I just came from up there.’

Following the war, Scheidt returned to his home state of Indiana and his wife, who grew up on an adjacent farm. They’ve been married for more than 72 years.

He went on to work as a farmer, toolmaker, fixing furniture and “anything he could find to do.”

Scheidt moved to Forsyth County about seven years ago to be closer to his 11 grandkids, whom he said begged him to come down.

“We found out they weren’t going to come up there so …,” Scheidt said.