Art Pranger was just a teenager when he fought his way across Europe with the United States Army, seeing action in some of the toughest and most consequential battles of World War II – St.
Malo, the Siege of Brest, the Battle of Hurtgen Forest and one of the most important military campaigns in United States history, the Battle of the Bulge. But no matter how fierce the fighting, Art prayed his rosary every day.
“My father was raised in a strict Catholic household,” said Art’s daughter, Mary Brown. “His brother became a Catholic priest. Each time his mother would write to him during the war she would inquire whether he was praying the rosary; he assured her he was and had kept his rosary with him throughout.”
Art entered the US Army in September 1943 through November 1945 as a member of Company A of the 86th Chemical Mortar Battalion. He saw his first combat action on July 1, 1944, in Normandy attached to the 1st and 3rd Armies from Utah beachhead, St. Malo, Siege of Brest, Hurtgen Forest, Battle of the Bulge and Rhineland. He completed his combat duty at Pilsen, Czechoslovakia with a rank of Private First Class T5 (Technician Fifth Grade).
Art wrote a book about his service, Traveling Through W.W. II, which is available on Amazon. “This is not a chronicle of a brave and heroic soldier who rose several ranks to Captain or Colonel or Major, although he received a simple PFC to T-5 promotion along the way with a bunch of ‘other ‘guys’,” according to a description of the book. “This was an ordinary American boy, raised in a devout Catholic family by parents with strict principles, who were caught up in the conditions of a U.S. World War into which he was hurled as a teenager. All at once, he was clad in khaki and sent here and there on the European battlefields.”
Art was married to Rose Bamberger Pranger for 61 years and was the father to seven children. After the war, he studied at The New York Technical School and founded Tonemaster’s Television Service in Covington where he worked until retiring.
“After getting married, my parents bought their first house in Erlanger, moved to Covington when he started his business, then moved back to Erlanger where they both died,” Mary Brown said. “We wanted a banner to honor our father for his service as a prototypical part of the ‘Greatest Generation’. Art was a very humble man. Whenever a stranger would thank him for his service, he would shrug it off.”
Written by Patrick Crowley and provided by Mary Brown