Ernest Lane was born in April 27, 1926 in New York, his father, Joseph, was 34 and his mother, Ruth, was 21. He had two brothers Thomas and Joseph along with a sister Rosamond. In Rye his family lived at 29 Ellsworth Street. Ernest was a Rye High School Graduate, Class of 1943.
He enlisted in 1944 when he was seventeen and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Ernest served in the 5th Infantry Division of General Patton's 3rd Army.
After two years of training the 5th ID landed in Normandy on Utah Beach, on 9 July 1944, over a month after the initial D-Day landings, and four days later took up defensive positions in the vicinity of Caumont-l'Éventé.
Launching a successful attack at Vidouville 26 July, the division drove on southeast of Saint-Lô, attacked and captured Angers, 9–10 August, captured Chartres, (assisted by the 7th Armored Division), 18 August, pushed to Fontainebleau, crossed the Seine at Montereau, 24 August, crossed the Marne and seized Reims, 30 August, and positions east of Verdun.
The division then prepared for the Battle of Metz, 7 September. In mid-September a bridgehead was secured across the Moselle, south of Metz, at Dornot and Arnaville after two attempts. The first attempt at Dornot by the 11th Infantry Regiment failed. German-held Fort Driant played a role in repulsing this crossing. A second crossing by the 10th Infantry Regiment at Arnaville was successful.] The division continued operations against Metz, 16 September to 16 October 1944, withdrew, then returned to the assault on 9 November. Metz finally fell 22 November. The division crossed the German border, 4 December, captured Lauterbach (a suburb of Völklingen) on the 5th, and elements reached the west bank of the river Saar, 6 December, before the division moved to assembly areas.
On 16 December, the Germans launched their winter offensive in the Ardennes forest, the Battle of the Bulge, and on the 18th the 5th ID was thrown in against the southern flank of the Bulge, helping to reduce it by the end of January 1945. In February and March, the division drove across and northeast of the Sauer, where it smashed through the Siegfried Line and later took part in the Allied invasion of Germany.
Across the Rhine
The 5th ID crossed the river Rhine at Nierstein on the night of 22 March 1945.
After capturing some 19,000 German soldiers, the division continued to Frankfurt-am-Main, clearing and policing the town and its environs, 27–29 March.In April the 5th ID, now commanded by Major General Albert E. Brown, after Major General Irwin's promotion to command of XII Corps, took part in clearing the Ruhr Pocket and then drove across the Czechoslovak border, 1 May, reaching Volary and Vimperk as the war in Europe ended.
Pfc. Ernest Lane Reported Wounded
Pfc. Ernest J. Lane, 18-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph J. Lane, 653 Milton Road, was wounded in action on January 20 in Luxembourg, according to a telegram received by his parents from the War Department. Pfc. Lane is with the Fifth Infantry Division of General Patton's Third Army in Luxembourg.
He enlisted when he was seventeen. His last letter, which was received the same day as the telegram, told of being wounded. "The worst part about it was that after I was hit, I had to wait for twelve hours, soaked to the skin, in the snow and wind, in below freezing weather, with enemy shells dropping all around until some litter bearers were able to come and get me," he wrote.
He graduated from Rye High School at sixteen and later graduated from Roosevelt Aviation School. He has a brother, Joseph, in the Navy, and another brother and sister attending Rye High School.
He married Sarah McGuire on March 8, 1947, in Mamaroneck, New York. They had two children during their marriage. He died as a young father in 1957 in Washington, District of Columbia, at the age of 30.
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