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Captain George Edgar





An Introduction


My name is David A.  Armstrong and my Grandfather was Captain George Edgar, 2nd Platoon Commander of the 989th. I wanted to honor my grandfather and all the men who served in the 989th so I created this website.

I am a film maker residing in Los Angeles California and I have been writing a book on my grandfather’s life since 2006, but have been doing the research for my book since 1999. In the course to cover my grandfather’s life I have traveled many places and met many people. When I started to look into my grandfather’s war years, I was amazed to find many things including thousands of army reports and accounts of their actions and the units they severed with.

The reports of bravery and frontline combat conditions I discovered in my research of the 989th showed me that they were literally part of the allies “spearhead” towards Germany. The 989th and the other Combat Engineers, who fought and built side by side, did so under the most horrific combat conditions.

The 989th’s job was to support combat engineer units with equipment and technical support for building Ponton bridges. These bridges were how the Army crossed their tanks, trucks and personnel in the advance towards Germany. But because there was so few Treadway Bridge Companies, there was only a handful of personnel qualified to build these bridges and do so quickly, especially under intense enemy fire. The Army Corp of Engineer’s plan was for the combat engineer battalions to build the bridges with support from such units as the 989th , but because of the 989th’s unique abilities and knowledge of building Treadway Bridges, they ended up personally building over 50% of all the 55 bridges that they were assigned to from Normandy France to the Elbe River in Germany.

          The German Army threw everything they had at the engineers to keep them from building their bridges. The Germans knew as well as the allies that the only way to get to Germany was across the major rivers that separated the allies from their foe, and bridges were the only way to victory. The Germans sent artillery, airplanes (even jets towards the end of the war) infantry and tanks to try to stop the 989th and their fellow engineers from completing their tasks.

I attended the last official reunion of the 989th in the summer of 2002 in Salinas Kansas. I found the reunion was still being organized by Dorothy Okeson, the wife of Technician 5th Grade, Arnold L. Okeson (who died Sept. 6, 2001). Dorothy was my connection to a large number of the surviving members of the 989th.

Through Dorothy and other member of the 989th, I was able to interview 16 other members over the course of several years. The interviews ranged from the Commander of the 989th (Captain Arnold Maeker) on down to the ‘buc’ Private.

I have been creating a 10 part miniseries based on the 989th and the other Combat Engineers that served with them on the road and bridges to Victory.  My goal is for the legacy of the 989th to live on.


David A. Armstrong

Los Angeles, CA




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