Rimlinger, John N. (817th)

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Biography:  John Nicholas Rimlinger was born on May 9, 1924, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the son of John Rimlinger and Henrietta Wallace and attended St. Wendelin Elementary and High School. His enlistment record identifies that he worked as a welder or flame cutter prior to the war.

Service Time: John entered the service on January 20, 1943, at Pittsburgh, PA. He was assigned to Company A of the 817th Tank Destroyer Battalion. The unit shipped out from the Boston port on July 24, 1944. They arrived at Greenock, Scotland, on the 31st and then at Utah Beach just under a month later on August 25th.

They took up rear-area security duties in France and Belgium and guarded the COMZ (Communication Zone) from August 8th to November. They then entered battle in the Hürtgen Forest with the 8th Infantry Division on December 9th and shifted to the Ardennes in February, 1945. The unit then went back to the Roer River sector to fire as artillery.

The 817th participated in the advance to the Rhine River with the cavalry and crossed at Remagen on March 15th. They were the only towed TD battalion to enter the bridgehead. They began conversion to M18’s on March 26th and joined the 104th Infantry Division at the Ruhr Pocket in April. Two companies joined the drive eastward from Marburg in mid-April, fighting in the Harz Mountains. The finally helped capture Halle and advanced to the Mulde River where offensive operations ceased.

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John received credit for each of the unit’s campaigns, including Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland and Central Europe. He also received the EAME, the American Campaign, WWII Victory and the Good Conduct Medals.

John returned to the Pittsburgh area and went to technical school to learn mechanical drafting. He continued in that career throughout his life. On June 26, 1948, he married the former Dorothy Barbara Pack who was born in Pittsburgh and was the daughter of Cornelius J. Pack and Oliva Seubert. The new couple made their residence in Carrick, PA

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John and Dorothy had three children, Carol, born in 1949, Donna in 1953 and Janet in 1956. In his spare time, John enjoyed gardening, horseshoes, bowling and pinochle and was also a member of the Knights of Columbus. He passed away on September 6, 2012, and was buried in the Jefferson Memorial Cemetery in Pittsburgh.

I want to thank John’s daughter, Janet, for providing the photos and information for this tribute.