PRIVATE LEROY “ROY” UNDERHILL JERMAN JR.; U.S. ARMY

September 22, 1924 (Bridgeport, CT) – February 11, 1979 (Malibu, CA); 54 years old
Married to Doris Jean Dunkel of Gloversville, NY on September 20, 1947 in Gloversiville
Daughters Barbara and Constance. One son, John.
Enlisted on July 1943
Serial number 31335679
106TH INFANTRY DIVISION, 422ND INFANTRY REGIMENT


POW record has no entry for what camp Private Jerman was in.

President of his fraternity at Dartmouth College – Phi Sigma Kappa, after his discharge.


Dartmouth College, Class of 1946

From The Norwalk Hour January 12, 1945

LeRoy Jerman, son of Mrs. and Mrs. LeRoy U. Jerman of Bayberry Lane, Westport, has been missing in action in France since December 16, 1944, according to a War Department telegram received this morning by his parents. Jerman, who was graduated from Staples High School in 1942, attended Dartmouth before he went into the service in July 1943. He has been overseas with the infantry for about four months. He has one younger brother, Bruce.


From The Norwalk Hour March 5, 1945

Private First Class LeRoy Jerman Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. LeRoy Jerman of Bayberry Lane, Westport, who was reported as missing in action as of December 16, 1944, has been officially listed as a prisoner of war of the German government. The good news regarding Private First Class Jerman’s fate was embodied in a telegram received by his parents from the War Department yesterday. The telegram stated that Private First Class Jerman’s whereabouts had been traced by the International Red Cross and that further details would be forthcoming as soon as available. Jerman, who served with the 106th Division, 422nd Regiment, was a graduate of Staples High School and attended Dartmouth before entering the service in July 1943. He had been overseas about four months at the time he was captured.


From The Norwalk Hour April 21, 1945

The parents of Private First Class LeRoy U. Jerman Jr, of Bayberry Lane, Westport, who learned on March 4 that he had been taken prisoner by the Nazis in the Battle of the Bulge, were informed today by the War Department that he has been liberated by our advancing armies. Private First Class Jerman, whose father is manager of the E.H. Hotchkiss Company, went overseas with the infantry last October. He is a graduate of Staples High School and attended Dartmouth College before joining the Army in July 1943.


From The Norwalk Hour April 26, 1945

Two interesting letters from Private First Class LeRoy Jerman have been received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. LeRoy Jerman of Bayberry Lane, Westport. A prisoner of war of the German government since December 16, Private First Class Jerman was recently liberated by advancing American troops. The first of the letters, dated April 6, reads, in part:

“As you have probably read in the papers, I’m a free man and an American GI instead of a POW. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life, as you can well believe, when, on Easter Sunday afternoon, we learned that we had been liberated by American forces. I’ll never forget how good those grimy, rough boys looked when they came in and how they were mobbed by the fellows who had been longing and praying for them. Maybe you folks felt that this Easter was something a little different and special and I know that for me it gave a new meaning to an already sacred day. I’m in fine health and feel fit as a fiddle, a little thing maybe, but still all intact. I’m leaving my mustache on until I can get a picture of it and then – whoosh! The past few days have seemed like Christmas to me. The first coffee and doughnuts, gum, candy, American girls in a Red Cross clubmobile, swing music, movies, Army food and clothes, and everything goes with home. You can’t realize how much the small things mean until you don’t have them.”

In a letter written on April 8, Private First Class Jerman continued his vivid description of the consideration shown our men who have been rescued from the German.

“Just another line or so today to keep you up to date. Still being treated like a king or a cute baby, what with Red Cross and everyone else being so swell. I’m in France now and all safe and secure and in good (the best) hands; but beyond that, I still can’t say much. We’ve been given Red Cross P.W. ‘release’ packages, with cards, candy, gum, books, toilet articles and everything to keep us happy. Got some free tobacco and a new pipe, too, so this makes the eighth day of Christmas. The chow is doggone good and there is plenty of it. All of us former P.W.’s are wandering around in a sort of holiday daze and I can say that all this has really paid me back for what I’ve been through.”


Phone conversation with Doris Jerman, Private Jerman’s wife, 94 years old, on March 3, 2021

When Roy came home, he had lost a lot of weight and spent time putting that back on. He went back to Dartmouth to complete his Masters degree. That’s where Doris and Roy met. Doris was a student at Skidmore at the time. After graduation, he got a job in Hartford. Roughly around the time they were expecting their first child, Roy was offered a job for $25 a night to go the armory and train the new Army National Guard troops. He did that twice. During the Korean War, he was activated and stationed outside Munich. At one point Doris joins him in Europe for a month-long trip touring the capital cities in Europe. She said when he wore his uniform, many things were free, and they received many extras in hotels. Roy was discharged as a First Lieutenant after that time. He also told Doris he was never volunteering for anything again! Doris herself was a graduate of Skidmore College, Class of ’47. She was the secretary for Dartmouth College President, Martin Hopkins. She said when she took dictation, she had to go home and look up the words in the dictionary; “the vocabulary that man had!” She also worked for a time in the college photography shop developing pictures, and also in the Geography department drawing maps. The person she worked for there was Don English — “an English and a Jerman working together!” Roy was diagnosed with brain cancer. The doctors gave him 10 months and he lasted 14 months.

Webmaster note: Mrs. Jerman has a remarkable memory for someone who is 94 years. It was real treat to be able to speak to her.


Buried in Mountain Grove Cemetery, 2675 North Avenue, Bridgeport, CT; unknown plot number. Wife Doris said he is in his mother’s family plot there, “right below P.T. Barnum.” Maiden name is Clark. More research is needed.


Published by jeffd1121

USAF retiree. Veteran advocate. Committed to telling the stories of those who died while in the service of the country during wartime.

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