Lest we forget more than 75 years later. The “I Am Geneseo” history will remember Lieutenant Bill Dwyer and his 300-yard deadly crawl to save a buddy’s life, then directing howitzer fire to rout the enemy, Major Robert Fraser, Private Carl Finley and dozens of other Geneseo World War II service people and heroes.

There are many varieties of bravery. Captain Reverdy Wadsworth is remembered with one type: unquestioning duty.

His mission involved rescuing an Army task force in northeastern France during the Battle of the Bulge. The award of a Bronze Star was not on his mind on Nov. 17, 1944.

In 2020, for those touring the Grand East Moselle region. It would be a peaceful trip. Not so for Wadsworth’s tank battalion.

The 3rd Tank Battalion, Cavalry Headquarters was involved in a military operation against the enemy. During the November campaign he was assigned a dangerous mission, to carry the revised plan of attack to a task force needing the plans. Cavalry headquarters had lost track of the task force in a thickly wooded area.

Knowing only the approximate location of his objective, Wadsworth set off with four enlisted men in a jeep along a rough forest road. They found the place where the task force had turned off to the woods. A clue – undergrowth was matted down where tanks and trucks recently had crossed.

Wadsworth made a risky decision. Leaving his vehicle in custody of two enlisted men, he and the two others proceeded on foot along the rough path.

Were there hidden German marksmen lurking? With utter disregard for personal safety despite continuous enemy snipers and mortar fire, he valiantly advanced into the woods for a mile and a half.

The task force was sighted. The plan of attack was secured. Remeling was captured by the Americans.

The citation - “the intrepidity, initiative and bravery in the face of grave danger displayed by the captain reflected both on himself and the military forces of the U.S.,” reported the Livingston Republican.

His armored division later was to serve under General George Patton at the Battle of Bastogne.

Sadly, Reverdy Wadsworth died on March 21, 1970, while dining with his wife Eleanor Roosevelt Wadsworth and friends.

Among many postwar responsibilities was a directorship of the Genesee Valley Bank. He and his wife gave Geneseo Central School District 50 acres near Hartford House for a new central school.

Let us not forget Reverdy Wadsworth.

David W. Parish is historian for the town and village of Geneseo. He writes the columns “Around Geneseo” and “Glancing Backwards” for The Livingston County News. He is a Chancellor Award retiree from Milne Library at SUNY Geneseo and author of 12 reference and history books.

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