PRIVATE SAVAS “SAMUEL” J. BATSOS; U.S. ARMY

March 1, 1910 (Lemnos, Greece) – April 6, 1945; 35 years old
Married to Mary Neforos Batsos on October 29, 1939 in Stamford, CT
No children
Local address: Mother Mrs. Maria Batsos lived at 100 South Main Street, Norwalk
Enlisted on April 4, 1944
Serial number 31461723
Unit: 75th Infantry Division, 417th Infantry Regiment

Born to John Batsos (1882-?) and Maria Batsos (1882-1972), both born in Greece. One brother, Vasilios (1908-1990). Two sisters Stamato “Stella” Batsos Caras (1914-2004) and Helen Batsos Nicholas (1923-2011).


From findagrave.com.

Awarded the Silver Star Medal (citation needed) and Purple Heart Medal.

Also went by “Samuel” on the 1930 and 1940 census.


From the Stamford Advocate June 28, 1945

PVT BATSOS MET DEATH ONLY AFTER KILLING MANY NAZIS

With the 76th Infantry Division in Germany, Private Savas J. Batsos was a machine gunner. He knew what the weapon would do, and he had faith in himself. On April 6, Company L, 417th Battalion, 417th Infantry Regiment, was clearing out the woods in the vicinity of Oberkaufungen, Germany. These woods were infested with numerous camouflaged enemy machine gun nests and snipers, well-entrenched. The platoon to which Private Batsos machine-gun squad was attached was moving through a particularly heavy patch of woods. Sniper fire was exceptionally heavy. Suddenly without any warning, hidden machine guns opened up. The men, already unnerved by the constant sniper fire, dropped in their tracks. Private Batsos, lying prone with his machine gun by his side, suddenly sprang to his feet, clutching his gun alongside his hip, and fired shell after shell with deadly accuracy into the German lines. The enemy, seeing this lone individual standing erect, disrupting their defense, concentrated all their firing power on him. Despite this hail of bullets, he continued forward, waving and urging his buddies to take heart and follow. Inspired by his heroic example, the platoon started moving out once more. They swarmed over the German positions and put the enemy to rout. Taking a short rest while reorganizing, word was received by the unit that another platoon had met the same kind of resistance. It was pinned down in the woods, unable to advance or withdraw. Without saying a word, Private Batsos picked up his machine gun and started in the direction of the trapped platoon. When he reached the men and saw the predicament they were in, he placed himself directly at their front, rose in full view of the enemy, and charged toward them, firing his machine gun from his hip. Spurred to action by this display of courage, the platoon moved out, sweeping the enemy before it, killed several, captured a few, and forced the rest to retreat. But the gallant soldier had led his last assault. Private Batsos was fatally wounded. The story of Batsos’s death appeared in the Advocate April 23, last. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Mary Batsos, Miller Street, Stamford.


From The Norwalk Hour June 4, 2017

Every year, Richard Smeets and his family visit a small marble cross amid the rows at the American War Cemetery and Memorial in Margraten, the U.S. war cemetery in the Netherlands.

But this year, it meant a little more.

For more than half a century, the Smeets family has tended the grave of Savas Batsos, a Norwalk soldier killed in action on April 6, 1945, in the woods near Oberkaufungen, Germany, but have known little about the man.

For 50 years, Smeets’ father, Jan Smeets, tended the grave of an American soldier he had never met, Savas J. Batsos, buried in the cemetery. He never learned much about Batsos, except how he died and that he was from Fairfield County. When Smeets died two years ago at 93, his son, Richard Smeets, took over as caretaker for the site through the Adopt-a-Grave program at the cemetery.

In January, after discovering he may have lived in Norwalk, Smeets contacted The Hour, hoping to find someone who knew anything about the soldier buried in Plot I, Row 18, Grave 6.

To his surprise, people wanted to help, and what’s more, they actually were able to put Smeets in contact with long-lost Batsos family members.

With the help of Sarah Broadbent, a California woman who read Smeets’ story and wanted to help, Smeets heard from a man named Steven (Sotirios) Anargirou, who lives in Long Beach, Calif. Anargirou’s mother’s first husband was Savos Batsos.

“My mother often spoke of him,” Anargirou wrote in an email. “I have the paper informing my mother of his passing. I also have Savos Batsos’ Silver Star. I have more information. Please let me know how I can assist you. Thank you so very much. I thank your father for his love for Savos Batsos and his devotion. I had thought no one cared. May God Bless you and your family. Funny … I feel like we are family. Love is the most powerful thing on Earth. Thank you so much.”

On April 29, Smeets made contact with Antonis Batsos, the great-nephew of Savas Batsos, who lives in Athens, Greece. Communicating through the messaging app, WhatsApp, Smeets expressed his excitement at the breakthrough and shared pictures of the Memorial Day ceremony.

Prior to this contact, Smeets had been able to track down little information about Savas Batsos through resources like Ancestry.com, Adopt-a-Grave and information collected by the Foundation for Adopting Graves American Cemetery Margraten.

He knew Batsos was a machine gunner in the 417th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion, 76th Infantry Division, L Company, and that he was killed in action on Apil 6, 1945, in the woods near Oberkaufungen, Germany. Batsos had been awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his service.

Batsos was born March 1, 1910, in Greece, but his hometown is listed as Fairfield County,. His family members included parents John and Maria Batsos, siblings Vasilios, Stamato, Stella and Hellen Batsos, and his wife, Mary Batsos.

A headstone and interment record were mailed to Batsos mother at “100 South Maine Street, South Norwalk, Connecticut” in 1945, and a death notice from 1976 said the mother lived at 100 South Main St., indicating that Batsos family may have resided in Norwalk for decades after his death.

The Fields of Honor database, which provides information about many of the gravesites in Margraten, includes a story about Batsos’ death that describes his platoon moving into the woods near Oberkaufungen.


Buried in Netherlands American Cemetery, AM Begraafplaats 1, Margraten, Netherlands. Block I, Row 18, Grave 6. Photo from findagrave.com


END

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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