Supporting Documents from Galione's WWII Sergeant
and from the Mittelbau Dora Organziation in Belgium:
The Affidavit below is signed by Galione's WWII Sergeant, Leonard Puryear, 415/B, a Silver Star recipient listed on the 104th Infantry Division's "Decorations" Web Page:
Supporting Letters and Written Histories from Timberwolves,
Historians, and Survivors of the Dora-Nordhausen Camps:
The following letter excerpts from Peter Branton are fondly remembered. Sadly, Mr. Branton passed away in March, six months before my book was published in September, 2004.
"Dear Mary: Many thanks for the [affidavit] and picture . . . you are well justified in being very proud of your father."
"This site includes a most interesting account of Mary's father's experience at Nordhausen. In addition to her excellent web site..."
Peter Branton, Historian and former President of the National Timberwolf Association.
"I have just finished reading your EXCELLENT book about your dad. I am SO happy that your dad's story is out there for all to see . . . All through my post WWII life I had been wondering---with all the hidden facets of the Nordhausen missile factory, and with its location clearly out of the way of the path of the Timberwolves toward Halle, Leipzig and Berlin---how was it located? Now I know! I am so everlasting grateful to you for writing this book, Mary. You have helped clear up some of the mysteries in this chapter of my life. All Timberwolves should read this book, and I am saying that in all my correspondences."
Two letters from a Timberwolf liberator of Dora-Nordhausen
"Your father's [war account] is really an amazing story and when I read it to the survivors at the Board of Directors of our association, they were touched. One of them, Francois De Coster (45-645), remembered the jeep and the two American soldiers who came before anybody else." (That was Private Galione in the jeep on April 11, the day after he found the camp and returned with two soldiers to help him break the strong lock on Dora's gates.)
Letter from Marie-Claire du Bois, Secretary of the Belgian Dora Survivors Assocation
whose father perished at Dora-Ellrich
"Dear Marie-Claire: I was excited to receive your letter with the story of the finding and opening of the Dora and Nordhausen camps by Pfc. Galione after his search from April 5 to 10, 1945. His daughter has written an interesting and personal war story which deserves wider publicity."
Letter from VII Corp. Mittelbau-Dora Historian, John Nolan, to the Dora Survivor Association in Belgium. John Nolan was at Nordhausen and worked with the Dora organization in helping French college students to write the history of the liberation of Mittelbau-Dora.
"I have read with great interest the two additional first-hand reports of the finding and opening of the camp. What an important find you have made to substantiate your father's story. I am sure Marie-Claire's group of survivors are grateful for this information you have passed along to them."
Letter from VII Corp. Dora Historian, John Nolan, to Private Galione's daughter
"We received word from one of our infantry companies that they had found something big but couldn't make it out, nor could they get in. (He is speaking of Private John Galione who had found Camp Dora by himself on April 10, 1945, but could not break the strong lock on the gate. Galione therefore left to get help and returned to the camp on April 11 with the Infantry Battalion Commander (929) and his friend Nelson Eaton to help him break into the camp). The Infantry Battalion Commander said he would go down and have a look and asked me to go along. We arrived at this large wire and board fenced-in area with a strong lock on the gate. We soon had the lock broken, and what we found inside was beyond explanation."
Firsthand account of Nelson C. Eaton, 104th "Timberwolf" Infantry Division (929 FAB)
(posted on 104th website)
"I took my PC over my dad's last week so he could read through your website. He says he remembers hearing that a lone Timberwolf discovered the concentration camp and was very interested in hearing it was your father ... maybe [others] have heard about your dad back then, as my father said he did."
Son of a Dora-Nordhausen liberator from the 104th Infantry Division (387th FAB)
"... the 415th was cleaning up the Nordhausen area where they found a large German Concentration camp ..." (During the war, Hayden Bower had heard that someone from the 415th had found the Dora-Nordhausen complex. Private Galione was in the 415th.)
Firsthand account of Hayden Bower, Dora Liberator, 104th "Timberwolf" Infantry Division
(posted on 104th website)
"It is with great emotion that I received your letter and the documents that it contained. You have greatly honored me in sending them to me. I surely met your father in the Dora camp, and I remember well that on April 11, 1945, a jeep with three or four men penetrated the camp and left quickly to look for help. I also remember the pork soup that was the first decent meal we had for many months."
Letter from Michel Depierre, French Survivor of Mittelbau Dora Concentration Camp
Translated by A. Cordisco
"When I received your father's [war account] I immediately translated it in French for
our archives . . . I received and read your manuscript. My God, what a book!"
(Yves was so kind to call from France to inform us that one of the survivors who read my father's war account remembered seeing my father up on the hill scouting CampDora, which was two days before liberating troops arrived. It is amazing that even sixty years later there are eye-witnesses still alive who remember Private Galione finding the camp.) Thank you, Yves, for your friendship and for translating my father's account into French.
Letters from Yves Beon, French Dora Survivor, Author of Planet Dora and Retour a la Vie
"I want to thank your father for liberating us from that hell. Please give him my thanks
multiplied by 57 years."
G.S., Jewish survivor of Mittelbau Dora
"We will always be grateful to your father and the amazing story you recorded for him.
Thank you again on behalf of all our family for writing down what happened and for not letting those terrible events be forgotten."
C.L., Jewish survivor of Nordhausen (Boelcke Kaserne)
Over the years we have received hundreds of letters. We hope to make room on this site to add them at a later date. We sincerely thank you for your letters. They mean the world to us.
This Statement of Verification (below) is from the Mittelbau Dora Survivor Organization in Belgium, written on their letterhead, stating that John M. Galione discovered Mittelbau Dora Concentration Camp on April 10, 1945. Their conclusion was based on survivors who testified that the finer details of John Galione's war account exactly match the unpublished eyewitness accounts of Dora survivors who agree that a lone Timberwolf soldier (whom they deemed was Galione) was the first to reach Dora, well before liberating troops arrived. This document was sent to Galione's daughter, Mary, along with survivor verification letters and a French translation of Galione's war account, given as a gift from the Dora Survivor Organization for this website. The account was translated by Dora Survivor Yves Beon and Dora Organization Secretary, Marie-Claire du Bois.
Copyright © 2000 Mary Galione-Nahas.
All rights reserved.