Joseph ''Joe'' Minto

I have had the honour and pleasure to meet Joseph ”Joe” Minto a veteran of Co. M, 3rd Battalion, 71th Infantry Regiment of the 44th Infantry Division. He went to basic in Camp Landing in Florida where he was trained as a .30 cal water cooled machine gunner. He shipped over on the Queen Elizabeth and landed in La Havre. He was on line a few days before the German offensive on New Years Eve of 1944. He led the patrol that captured Werner Von Braun.

Here his story as Joe recalls it …

If everybody had captured Werner Von Braun who said he did, he was captured about 42000 times! I’ll tell my story, believe it or not, I don’t care!
The war ended for us and I was playing cards when I had to go to the men room. When I passed the company’s CP the Captain called me. “There’s a guy over there with a white flag. It’s the brother of Werner Von Braun”: he said. But I didn’t know who Von Braun was from a hole in the ground! He said that his brother want’s to surrender, would you take a squad. I said: “Captain let me go to the men room and we’ll talk.” “Van Braun is in Ots, Austria, in the mountains. Take a squad together and go over there but look out it isn’t a trap. His brother will lead you.” Our squad consisted of: me, M.G. Burge, Rocky Ardillo, Kyle Blaine, Muller (jeep driver) and Lorenzo Evans.
So, we went to the mountains and there was Von Braun, all in leather. There were Colonels, Generals, everything was there. And we DIDN’T captured him, he surrendered! And it was a day after the end of the war so, it wasn’t during the war. After this I turned him over to Lorenzo Evans, our Captain and I went back playing cards! Only afterwards I heard that he found out the bomb that bombed London and everything he did! But Von Braun was a Nazi, if he didn’t had the brains he would have been executed like all the others.

youtubeHis story ''The capture of Werner von Braun''


It's really extraordinary (if he tells the truth, but I think he does) that I met him in Normandy during the D-Day commemorations on Utah Beach, June 6, 2010

In memoriam

Joseph A. Minto, died Sunday, August 3, 2014, at home.

Always Remember - Never Forget

R.I.P. sir

Link to Joseph Minto's Obituary