Adolph A. Haschke
Biography: Adolph Arnold Haschke was born on January 22, 1908, in Cedar Rapids, Nebraska. He was a twin to Albert and one of twelve boys and four girls born to Francis “Frank” Haschke and Wilhelmina Poeffel. His parents were both born in Austria before immigrating to the United States. Adolph attended St. Anthony’s Catholic School through the grammar level before leaving to help on the family farm.
At some point, he had moved to New Mexico and his enlistment record indicates that he had working experience as a craneman, derrickman, hoistman and shovelman prior to the war.
Service Time: Adolph entered the service on March 18, 1941, at Sante Fe, New Mexico and after his basic training he was assigned to Battery D of what we believe was the 200th Coast Artillery Regiment. He went as far as San Francisco, California and was ready to ship out to the Philippines but when he turned 28, he was discharged to return home. He returned to Gallup and was working as a guard at the Wingate Ordnance Depot before being recalled to service on January 7, 1942, just one month after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Adolph was sent to Camp Hood, Texas and received training in the tank destroyers, ultimately being assigned to Company B of the 692nd Tank Destroyer Battalion. His brother Albert decided to enlist and was assigned to the same unit. The 692nd trained within the U.S. at a number of military facilities, including Camp Gordon, Georgia, where the unit had been activated and then Camps Bowie and Hood, in Texas, followed by Camp Phillips in Kansas.
Adolph was provided specialized training and served as a 1/4 ton truck (Jeep) driver. The unit participated in maneuvers in Tennessee before going to Camp Campbell, Kentucky, and then Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, for final preparations before shipping overseas. They were initially designated as a self-propelled battalion, but in March of 1944, they converted to a towed battalion, utilizing 3″ anti-tank guns.
On June 12, 1943, while on leave from the unit, Adolph married the former Donna Mary Stimac who was born in Gallup and was the daughter of Franjo “Frank” Stimac and Katarina Kezele.
The 692nd shipped out from the New York port on September 12th, 1944, aboard the HMS Scythia, and arrived in England on the 22nd. The next day they departed for France, arriving at Cherbourg on the 23rd, but didn’t disembark until the 25th. They entered the line near Wustwezel, Belgium, about October 28th and fought along the Siegfried Line, in the vicinity of Stolberg, beginning in November.
In the photo on right above, Albert is on the left and Adolph is on the right. They occupied defensive positions along the Roer River during the Battle of the Bulge and converted to the M36 tank destroyer in February, 1945. The 692nd supported the drive from the Roer to the Rhine River in late February and early March, and helped capture Cologne, Germany. After clearing more Siegfried Line fortifications, they crossed the Rhine at Worms on March 31st and raced across Germany in April, participating in the capture of Furth.
The unit would go on to Munich by the end of the month and receive credit for campaigns in Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe. Adolph was specifically recognized by the award of the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service from October 28, 1944 to May 7, 1945, in Holland, France and Germany. His certificate identifies that he frequently volunteered to travel under enemy fire, small arms and artillery, and on mined roads to carry important messages between units of the battalion. Adolph left the service at the rank of Technician 5th Grade.
Adolph returned to Gallup and went back to work for the Fort Wingate Army Depot. He later worked for the power plant for the Gamerco Community, which is located in Gallup. After his retirement, he worked for the Gallup Public Schools in the management of their football fields. In his spare time, he enjoyed fishing and carpentry. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Saint Vincent DePaul Society and was also an usher for the Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Adolph passed away on December 2, 1972, and was buried in the Hillcrest Cemetery in Gallup. I want to thank Adolph’s great-nephew, Allen, for providing the information and photos for this tribute and Adolph’s daughter, Margaret, for her help with information and photos. I also want to thank Find A Grave contributor Bob Rohwedder for the use of the grave marker photo.
In addition to Adolph and Albert, four other brothers were serving in the military; Richard was in a bombing squadron, Gilbert an air radioman, Eddie in the artillery and Frank Jr. in the Navy.