PTE. MENDEL SCHNEIDER
SOUTH AFRICAN MEDICAL CORPS
Young Schneider enlisted at age 17.
At the time of his enlistment he changed his name
from Mendel to Manuel.
After the war he reverted back to his Jewish name Mendel.
(See scans of his 1964 passport further down on the page)
Medal entitlement confirmed on his Medal Index Card.
1939/45 Star, Africa Star, KGVI War Medal &
silver Africa Service Medal.
All four medals are correctly named as below.
(Africa Service Medal)
He served with the 11th Field Ambulance.
South African Medical Corps.
Captured at Tobruk, 18 December 1941.
Held Prisoner-of-War until his official release in July, 1945.
Between May-July '45 Schneider was to assist the
U.S. Forces with the Liberation of other P.O.W.'s.
Mendel Schneider's original P.O.W. sheet-metal STALAG ID tag.
STALAG IV B 275013
The following scans are three certificates signed by various
Officers Commanding of the United States Army Liberation Forces.
24, MAY, 1945
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT PTE. MANUEL SCHNEIDER,
176436 OF THE S.A. MEDICAL CORPS. S.A.F. - U.D.F. WORKED AS A
MEDICAL ORDERLY. AT THIS INSTALLATION FROM 26. APRIL TO 24. MAY 1945.
HE CARED FOR BRITISH AND AMERICAN EX-PRISONERS.
His character is above reproach and he
performed his duties in a highly proficient
Signed: Fank D. Bernard
CAPT. MED. CORPS
Another of these certificates (see transcript below the scan)
23RD CHEMICAL SMOKE GENERATOR BATTALION
APO 230, U.S. ARMY
1 June 1945
This is to certify that Private MANUEL SCHNEIDER, 176436, 11th
South African Field Ambulance Unit, S.A.MC., S.A.F. Union Defense
Force, a prisoner of war for approximately 3½ years, served voluntarily
with this organization aiding it in its mission of collecting and evac-
uating Recovered Allied Military Personnel at the RAMP Center, Artillery
Kaserne, Erfurt, Germany during the period 2 May, 1945 to 26 may, 1945.
He worked as an interpreter and medical orderly carrying out his duties
in an excellent and willing manner.
Signed: BRUCE C. PHENIX
All three certificates are typed on thick cardboard paper.
The following scan is the last certificate dated 4 july 1945.
HQ DP 55
4 July 1945
This is to certify that Pvt. Manuel Schneider 176436, SAMC
UDF worked with this organization from 26 May 1945 to 4 July 1945, as
Medical Orderly and Interpreter. His ability in these two fields, led
me to request his services while he was attached to the 23rd hemical
Smoke Generator Battalion, U S Army. Due to the deplorable conditions
of many of the Casernes under my command, I was in dire need of such
valuable personnel to assist me in cleaning these conditions. Also
because these conditions could very easily have affected the health of
American troops stationed in the area, I immediately asked for this man.
During his service with my organisation his work was aggressive, untiring,
and diligent. His absence can be justified by the immediate situation
that existed at that time.
Signed: JOHN B. COLLINGS
Commanding DP 55
PS. Needless to say the situation has now
been cleaned up due in large part to his work.
Arriving back home in Durban
"Standing in the lifeboats and clinging from every vanatage point on the starboard side,
nearly 3,000 returning troops cheered lustily as the Carnarvon Castle neared the wharfside
in Durban on Monday. This was one of the most cheerful contingents of men ever to come into Durban."
After the War, in 1946, Schneider was awarded
the certificate for Good Service.
"Your name has been brought
to my notice in connection with
your Service in the Armed Forces
of the Union of South Africa.
I am privleged to express
in this manner my appreciation of
your good war service and devotion
to duty whilst a Prisoner of War.
Signed: General P. Van Ryneveldt
Chief of the General Staff."
Schneider's South African Passport issued to him in 1964
indicates that he changed his name back to the Jewish form, MENDEL.