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Eisenhower’s last surviving wartime staff member honored

Dr. Noel Jacob Wiener is pictured during his WWII service on General Eisenhower’s staff at the Supreme Headquarters of Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF).
TRR photo by David Hulse

By David Hulse
October 30, 2013

Noel Jacob Wiener of Newfoundland was honored for his wartime service in the United States Army at the Hawley Senior Center on October 23 and again by the Wayne County Commissioners the following day.

Dr. Wiener, still quite alert and a good conversationalist at 98, is the last surviving officer who served on General Eisenhower’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF) staff in the European Theater. He was attached to the 3118 Signal Service Group, which was responsible for all communications between SHAEF and American and British armies in the field.

Dr. Wiener served as a first lieutenant at SHAEF headquarters in London and Versailles. He was on duty when the first report of the Allies’ successful landing at Normandy was sent to General Eisenhower. One of “his boys” in the code room gave him the tickertape reporting the landing to SHAEF; it remains a cherished family heirloom.

Six days after D-Day, he waded ashore at Omaha Beach, in Normandy. Dr. Wiener was present at the schoolhouse in Reims, France on May 7, 1945, when the German High Command formally signed the instrument of unconditional surrender to the Allies. When he came out of that schoolhouse, Wiener recalled, Ike’s chief of staff, General Walter Bedell “Beetle” Smith, turned to him and said, “It’s over.”

Dr. Wiener was honorably discharged from the service in 1946 with the permanent rank of captain. He attended the 60th (and final) reunion of the 3118 Signal Service Group in Washington, DC in 2006.

Wiener was a dentist and orthodontist in later civilian life.

The commissioners’ statement noted that Wiener still retains an interest in national and world affairs through various electronic media. They commended his lifetime service and accomplishments for both the community and the nation and added a “tribute to all military veterans who have served the United States of America.”