Jean Henry Dasburg was born April 23, 1919 in Corona, Long Island, New York, to his beloved mother Kathryn Mittenzwei and Peter Jean Dasburg. He was the last and only child of approximately 12 to survive. All the others were stillborn except for one that survived a mere couple of days. Jean Henry was assumed dead but he surprised them all when he let out a holler. That holler and determination is what he was known for all during his whole life.
He fell madly in love with Alice Etta Engel and they eloped on February 1, 1942. They have shared 64 years together and some of that was through some extraordinarily difficult times. Their son John Harold was born January 7, 1943 and 10 days later Jean went into the 4th Infantry Division of the Army. Jean's destiny in World War II was to be part of the D- Day invasion and his Division stormed Utah Beach. The experience of the War, the injuries sustained, and trying to deal with the horrible memories of it altered the life of Jean. In later years he was able to share some of these experiences. He was convinced that had he not been captured in Germany he would have died during the War as most in his Division did.
Through a curious twist of fate after many long days in captivity he was set in front of a very intimidating SS Officer that determined his fate. The SS Officer questioned Jean about his American dentist. The officer then revealed that he was the brother of Jean's dentist in Long Island, New York. Jean was assigned to a Prison Camp in Siegburg, Germany, (Stalag 6G) where he was to help run the American part of the Camp. Also at this Camp was a hospital for the Germans.
After nearly 6 months, American planes could be heard close by. Bombs from one plane left a fence on the property partially down. Jean and another American prisoner, Gidrie from Louisiana, decided to escape the Camp and try to get to the American side and tell them not to bomb the town of Seigburg because there was a Camp there with American wounded and captured prisoners. After many days and harrowing experiences they did finally encounter some Americans and they could not imagine how Jean and Gidrie had ever survived. They were taken to meet Commander McNair and there much to the astonishment of everyone the Commander got up and greeted them with a hug and not a salute.
After returning from the War, Jean and Alice had a daughter, Jean Alice. Jean and Alice moved from New York to Miami in 1948 and lived here until 1985 when they moved to the Washington, DC area to be close to their 2 children who lived there.
They moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1990 when their children moved there and then returned to Miami when their children once again found Miami to be a place they wanted to live. Jean and Alice both felt it was important for a family to stay together. While in Miami Jean was a partner of Spesco Wholesale company. He had several nicknames the most often used were “Moose” and ” Sarge.”
Jean fought so many battles, not only in WW2, but with his health. So many times he was going to die and he was able to throw off all odds, (like at his birth), to come back and live to be 87. He was planning to make it to at least 104 but Melanoma took him from us all. We are all deeply grieving. Following in death his granddaughter, Meredyth Anne Dasburg (1988) and survived by: his wife, Alice Etta Engel Dasburg of Key Biscayne; his son, John Harold Dasburg of Key Biscayne and Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota and his wife, Mary Lou Diaz and their 2 children, John Peter Dasburg and Ka thryn Anne Dasburg; his daughter, Jean Alice Dasburg Jacobson of Miami Beach and her husband, Stephen Jacobson; his brother-in-law, Daniel William Engel of Miami and his wife, Del and their 2 children, Marc Engel of Tallahassee and Craig Engel of Ft. Lauderdale; mother: Kathryn Mittenzwei (born Dec. 19, 1890 in Manhattan, died October 31, 1973 in Miami, Florida); father: Peter Jean Dasburg (born June 23, 1887 in Paris, France, died July 1, 1967 in Queens, New York.) They were married Dec. 4, 1904.
DASBURG, JEAN H
- TEC5 US ARMY
- WORLD WAR II
- DATE OF BIRTH: 04/23/1919
- DATE OF DEATH: 07/27/2006
- BURIED AT: SECTION 54 SITE 5854
- ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard