106th Division, 424th Reg. Company A 1st Bn
My experiences during those first weeks was unique,
because our divsion had been annihilated twice! I was on the run
with a few of my buddies. I had several close calls, and some I'm
not aware of. Not as you might imagine.
Leaning against a tree fore protection, and the
tree being full of shrapnel except where I was kneeling, driving
a Jeep out of an area ubder barrage, and the vehicles around the
Jeep being hit, Carrying a 50 calbre machine gun across an open
field with a buddy, and I swear to this day, the enemies fire brushed
the seat of my pants all the way across that open field, and back
again! Under dire circumstances, to say the least!
They were fireing at us with one of our own 50
calibre machine guns; I sat in a fox hole (shallow) with a blanket
hanging from the sides to block the wind, I bent over, or knapped,
and saw holes in the blanket the next day! In that same location
was one of our 155 mm. shells; a "dud", about 20 yards
from us; we lived with that thing as long as we were there. Of course,
the artillery guys said "no way!" I carried a BAR, and
was replaced on two patrols.
My replacements were killed both times. I think
they were both new additions to the company. They were resting me
the first time, and the 2nd, I was taking a "refresher"
with the flame thrower. I did not need a "refresher".
I walked along a path several times (the whole company did), and
one day one of Jeeps drove over the same area again, and it blew
up from a land mine; killing the occupants. We were forming a special
squad, toward the latter stages of the war.
A young battle field commisioned Lt., and a rugged
Sgt. were going to lead us. The Sgt. was holding a class on using
an anti-tank grenade attached to a rifle, and the damned thing exploded,
and killed him. There are probably other instances, but I think
you can get of that I'm saying. "Fighting" is probably
The people who suffer most are the civilians.
They call that "collataral damage". Also remember, those
of us soldiers were also civilians. I consider the men with whom
I served "noble". The deprivation, and lasting effects
are hardships " civilians" should not have to endure.
Archie was a ball player walking in his overcoat
at the University of Indiana.
after a meeting with Bo' McMillan.
"out of the 106th Division's
combat Infantrymen I
think I'm one of a handful, if not the only one, who did not miss
single day on the front line while thew division was over there!"