The Memoirs of William Seamans

First Sargeant William A. Seamans at the 85th CP, Luneville, France 1944.

William Albert Seamans time with the 85th was distinguished by rapid promotion to the rank of 1st Sgt within the first 15 months of his enlistment. In May 1941 he was a private in Company A of the 85th. By September of 1941 he was promoted to S/Sgt and in August of 1942 he acheived the rank of 1st Sgt. As 1st Sgt he was the highest ranking non-commissioned officer in Company A.

Mel O'Barr recalls William Seamans as, "a well respected man who was liked by all the men in Company A. I can recall one time while stationed at Camp Maxey Texas a group of Company A men took a bus to visit one of the more reputable brothels in the area, and good ole Sgt. Seamans came back from that excursion with a souvenir he didn't plan on which made him visit the medic a few times. We all had a good laugh and gave him a hard time about that. But you know how boys are in their 20's, out for a good time. He was the kind of leader the men felt comfortable kidding around with and yet he maintained respect and discipline among the men."

As S/Sgt, William Seamans supervised and instructed a company motor platoon. As 1st Sgt he supervised and instructed the entire Company A.

William Seamans remained with Company A until wars end and remained in Europe attending the recently opened American University in Biarritz, France. Here's a brief description of that institution: "In the summer of 1945 the Americans opened a University in Biarritz in the south of France. It took over the entire town and all its hotels. Its aim was I quote: 'For the better preparation of military personnel for a return to civilian life'. It had facilities for 4000 students and staff. Many of those students had been in the front line till the end of the hostilities. All students were ordered to remove their caps — bareheaded therefore, officers and men were equal."

William Seamans was honorably discharged in November of 1945. A roster of the 85th lists William as a resident of Ogdensburg, New York during the war years. After the war William married a French girl and remained in Europe living in Paris and Orleans, France before moving to Frankfurt and Nurenberg from the 1960's to the 1990's. He passed away in 1994 and is buried in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Harry Carlson, Dale Snyder, Charles Beal, and William Seamans at the American University at Biarritz, France
Document from the Seamans collection about the 85th
85th Rosters from the Seamans collection listing the members from New York

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