PFC Hilbert ‘Hibby’ Margol

Battery B, 392nd Field Artillery Battalion, 42nd Infantry Division.

Hilbert Margol was born on February 22, 1924 in Jacksonville, Florida. Both he and his twin brother Howard joined the ROTC in college and were drafted to serve in the US Army. They completed 13 weeks of basic training at Fort Bragg, NC and trained as gunners for 105mm Howitzer guns. After basic, they were sent to ASTP (Army Specialized Training Program) but the program was dissolved because men were needed to fight.

Hilbert was sent to the 42nd Division and his twin brother to the 104th Division, but his mother did not want them to be separated so she wrote a letter to President Roosevelt. The President responded, granting the 2 star mother her request and the brothers were assigned together. Hilbert and Howard continued training with the 392nd Field Artillery and in January, 1945 they were sent overseas to Marseille, France arriving on January 18, 1945. Soon after, the artillery unit saw its first action. Hilbert fought his way over the Rhine River into Germany. On April 25th while setting up a new gun position, they detected a strange odor. As the men went to investigate, they discovered the Dachau Concentration Camp. They took pictures of the box cars which are now in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. It was only when his unit was transporting liberated Jews to Austria that Hilbert was reminded of the strong faith that gave them the strength to survive.

Hilbert was honorably discharged on April 9, 1946.