General Emil P. Eschenburg
Birth: 1916, Michigan, USA
Death: Dec. 17, 2004 - Helena, Lewis and Clark County, Montana, USA
Brigadier General who, along with other members of an elite World War II unit, inspired the 1968 film "The Devil's Brigade." A farm boy, in 1942 he joined the U.S.-Canadian First Special Service Force, a commando-style, secret 1,800-man force best known for capturing German forces in the mountains of Italy. Known to the Germans as "Black Devils" because of their faces, which were blackened with shoe polish before raids, their capture of a German-held mountaintop along a highway that led to Rome, became the basis for Andrew V. McLaglen's movie "The Devil's Brigade." Eschenburg, who eventually rose to the rank of brigadier general; his service included the Devil's Brigade during WWII, after the First Special Service Brigade was disbanded on December 5, 1944, he served as a lieutenant colonel with the 45th Division on the G-3 Staff. Later promoted to Colonel and served with the 35th Regiment during the Korean War becoming the commander on April 25, 1953 until October 14 when he was tranferred to the I Corps General Staff. Served in Vietnam as assistant commander of the 101st Airborne Division and with the Special Forces. Later promoted to Brigadier General and became Deputy Commanding General of the Capital Military Assistance Command in Tan Son Nhut, Vietnam. He received a total of 115 military decorations, 77 of them for valor, and retired in 1970. Later had a successful real estate career and was president of the Montana Kiwanis Club.
Brigadier General Emil P. Eschenburg began his 32-year military career with the Artillery in the Michigan National Guard. He served in World War II as a member of the 1st Special Services, ďThe Devilís Brigade.Ē His seven years in combat earned him 115 decorations, 77 of which were for valor.
Paul Eschenburg died Nov. 25, 2004, at the VA Medical Center at Fort Harrison. He was born Dec. 26, 1915, in Mount Clemens, Mich., to Paul Fredrick and
Ella Marie (Weise) Eschenburg, one of seven children.
Emil graduated from Mount Clemens High School and received a bachelorís degree from Michigan State University. He graduated with high honors from the National War College, did graduate study at Harvard University and earned a masterís degree in International Relations from George Washington University.
He joined the First Special Service Force and trained at Fort Harrison. He saw action in the Aleutian Islands, Italy, Germany, France, Korea and Vietnam. Emil served in the Army for more than 32 years, including WWII, Korea and Vietnam, and he served on four continents. He earned a multitude of military honors: four Distinguished Flying Crosses, four Silver Stars, the Combat Infantryman's Badge with a star, the Purple Heart, and 77 decorations for valoró115 decorations in all. He was promoted to brigadier general in 1963.
After retiring from the Army in 1970, he returned to Helena in 1972 and entered the real estate business. At the time of his death, Emil was a Realtor at Bill Walker Realty. He remained active in civic organizations and veterans affairs and spoke at numerous organizations and schools.
Preceding Emil in death were his parents, one brother and three sisters. Survivors include his wife Dolly; sons Emil (Anne) Eschenburg and Erich (Loye) Eschenburg; daughters Paula (Terry) Scott and Lise (Mike) Harrison; grandchildren Jason and Jeffrey Scott, Ean and Evan Eschenburg, Sarah, Ruth and Matthew Harrison; very special step-daughter Sharon Johns; nephew and niece Henry and Kim Flatow; special grandsons Kevin and Hank Flatow; special great-granddaughters Molly and Hailey Vidmar; brothers Elmer and Eldon Eschenburg, and many nieces and nephews.
Assistant Chief of Staff G-3, 45th Infantry Division, 25 December 1944
35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, Korea
25 April 1953, Colonel Emil P. Escbenburg formally assumed command of the Regiment succeeding Colonel Autry J. Maroun, who moved to G3 at X Corps Headquarters.
Colonel Charles H. Chase accepted the Regiment from Colonel Emil P. Eschenburg on 14 October, when the latter was transferred to the I Corps General Staff.
Brigadier General Emil P. Eschenburg, Deputy Commanding General of the Capital Military Assistance Command. (NOV 1968)