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Stars & Stripes article dated Aug. 3, 1945
contributed by
Robert Riensche, 143rd Signal Co.

  See further below for additional comments by Bob Riensche, former President of the 3rd Armored Division Association. Possibly another "First" for the 3AD, as the first American wedding on Germany soil, this was a military nuptial like no other. The attendee's included the Division top brass, and comedian Jack Benny and actress Ingrid Bergman, who were on a USO tour at the time.

See readable text of article further below.

  ABOVE: Pfc and Mrs. Russell J. Kane at their outdoor wedding reception in Darmstadt, Germany, on Aug. 3, 1945. (Photos, including newspaper photo, by Marvin Mischnick, Division Headquarters photographer)

Full Text of Stars & Stripes article:


Dan Cupid Wearing Eagles
Helps Pfc and Nurse Wed

By William R. Frye, Staff Correspondent

DARMSTADT, Aug. 3, 1945 - Top brass of the Third Armd. Div. played cupid to a private and a nurse here yesterday and as a result a combat veteran and his Pacific-bound bride are honeymooning in the Riviera today.

The couple were 1-Lt. Ruth E. Goldstrom of Pittsburgh, a 250th General Hosp. nurse, and Pfc Russell J. Kane of Biglerville, Pa., wireman with the 143rd Armd. Sig. Co. They were married in St. Mary's church, Darmstadt, by Chaplain Sylvester J. Baumgart.

A few days ago, Kane learned that his fiancee, whom he had known for six years, was to ship out for the Pacific. His request for permission to be married found its way up through channels to Col. John A. Smith Jr., the Spearhead Chief of Staff.

Smith Gets Results

Caught in a romantic mood, Smith did the following:

(1) Loaned Kane Brig. Gen. Doyle O. Hickey's Mercedes sedan in which to drive to Rheims and get the bride.

(2) Turned over the Artillery Officers Club for the reception.

(3) Arranged for a C-47 to fly a party of bridesmaids, including Maid of Honor Martha Jane Moffett of Altoona, Pa., to Darmstadt from Rheims.

(4) Got Kane and the bride a two-day pass in Nice and a plane to fly them there and back.

(5) Set lieutenant colonels on the trail of champagne and other drinks. (They produced.)

(6) Invited Jack Benny, Ingrid Bergman, and Martha Tilton to the affair. (They came.)

Hickey gave the bride away; Benny kissed her for souvenir photographers, and Kane's company CO, Lt. Charles A. Webb, Jr., crooned with the dance orchestra.


Comments by Bob Riensche:

[NOTE: Below is an abridgeed version of a note Bob included with the Stars & Stripes artticle, both of which were published in the 3AD Association Newsletter of December, 1992. The above photos by Marvin Mischnick were contributed to our website by Marvin in 2005.]

"I am sure many Spearheaders will remember this wedding, held in Germany after the war ended in the ETO ... When I sent this article to my wife in 1945, I made note at the bottom of the item that I was the soloist, not Webb. I sang the song 'One Rose.' Anyway, this was an all out effort by the Division brass to put this wedding on. This was another first for us as it was the first American wedding performed on German soil ... Twenty-six American nurses were flown from Rheims, France to Darmstadt, Germany to attend this wedding ... I remember holding a mirror for Ingrid Bergman to comb her hair at the reception. She was a beauty, about twenty-six years of age then. Also met Jack Benny and Martha Tilton. I never will forget Major Kapes singing 'Ave Maria' at the wedding ceremony. He had a superb voice. The Division had a half-track painted all white with a special seat arranged for the bride and groom ... with guidon bearers as they left the church. It was quite an affair."

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