36th Texas Division
In 1939, after graduating from St. Peter's College in Jersey City, NJ, Marty Higgins joined Squadron C in Brooklyn. NY which was part of the 101st Cavalry (horse) Regiment. They were called up for active duty in January 1941 and sent to Ft. Devins, MA. In November 1942, he received his officer's commission from Ft. Riley Cavalry School, Kansas. Marty was then assigned to the 10th Cavalry called the "Buffalo Soldiers", African American enlisted men, stationed on the CA border. Part of the 2nd Cavalry Division was sent to Oran, Africa. Upon landing, they were told the 10th would become support troops, meaning no combat. Most of the junior officers volunteered to become Infantry Replacements. Marty was assigned to the 36th Texas Division, in the staging area for the invasion of Southern France. He was a platoon leader when they landed on the beach; he took over the Company on September 22nd. When the Battalion was cut off, the last week in October 1944, his peers asked him to take command of the unit. On October 30, this trapped group was rescued by the all Nisei 100/442nd Regimental Combat Team.
On December 10, 1944, after fighting for two days and running out of ammo, Marty's company was captured and he was severely wounded. The officers were sent to Oflag 64 in Schubin, Poland. The biggest ordeal was the January march to Germany in subfreezing temperatures. The POW camp in Luckenvalde was liberated by the Russians on April 22nd,1945.
Just days before his capture, Marty received his captain bars. On July 1, 1945, he was awarded the Silver Star. Marty was involved in the effort to obtain citizenship for Issei immigrants which was granted in 1952.
He left the Reserves during the Korean conflict. No way could he risk letting his beautiful wife, Marjorie, raise their two children alone. Mary Pat was in 1949 and Michael was born in 1951.