George J. Schaumburg, engineer who helped stage D-Day, 98

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Feb 23, 2008, 2:13:15 AM2/23/08

Beaumont engineer George J. Schaumburg who helped stage D-Day dies
By COLIN GUY , The Enterprise

Enterprise File Photo
George Schaumburg reviews the maps of the D-Day invasion.
George J. Schaumburg's engineering skills improved life for Southeast
Texans and, as a result of his contributions to the Allied victory in World
War II, the entire free world.

Schaumburg, a civil engineer, died Wednesday. He was 98.

According to his obituary, Schaumburg, a Reading, Pa., native, moved
to Port Arthur in 1931 to work for the Texas Co., later known as Texaco.

Six years later he founded his own engineering firm, now Schaumburg
and Polk, Inc., which might have been the first of its kind in Beaumont.

"It probably was the first. I don't think Beaumont had a civil
engineering firm when he came here," George J. Schaumburg, Jr. told The

During the Great Depression, Schaumburg, an Army reserve officer, led
the Civilian Conservation Corps' effort to develop Tyrrell Park.

In 1942 he returned to active duty as an executive
officer in the
engineering section of the XIX Corps, according to The Enterprise archives.

Schaumburg was one of the men who studied possible staging grounds for
the D-Day invasion of Normandy that would lead to the Allies' victory in

"We studied five possible locations for the invasion along with men
from other corps," Schaumburg said in the June 6, 1984, edition of The

"When we decided on Omaha and Utah beaches, it was my duty to figure
how many troops, equipment, explosives and materials we would need to build
bridges and roads for the invasion forces."

Schaumburg crossed over the invasion beaches a few days after D-Day.

He helped organize the conversion of country roads into six 800-mile
military highways extending from Omaha Beach through Belgium and Holland to
the Elbe River in Germany.

Later in the war, Schaumburg's men were responsible for rebuilding the
Maas River bridge coursing through northwest Europe.

The bridge, which had one span of 200 feet, was the longest built
during World War II, according to The Enterprise's archives.

He was awarded the Bronze Star and French Croix de Guerre with Palm
decorations before retiring from active duty as a lieutenant colonel in
1945, his obituary said.

Schaumburg returned to work as city engineer for Beaumont for two
years before going back to the private sector.

Until he retired in 1973, he worked frequently as a consultant for
several cities throughout Southeast Texas and helped design sewer and water
systems, as well as several subdivisions.

"He planned most of the West End of Beaumont and Orange," Ann
Schaumburg, George J. Schaumburg Jr.'s wife, said.

Schaumburg's son and daughter-in-law described him as a gentle man of
integrity, possessed of a strong work ethic and principles.

"He was not a person who would say no to something. If it could get
done, he would get it done," George J. Schaumburg, Jr. said.

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