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Lieutenant Charles "Chuck" R. Stout
Date: 1944
Location: Outside Le Havre, France
Unit: Company A, 345th Inf, 87th Inf Div.

I was a member of Company A, 345th Inf, 87th Inf Div. I joined the division around April 1, 1944 at Ft. Jackson, SC. After recovery (in England) from my wounds I was selected to attend Officer's Candidate School in Fontainebleau, France where I was commissioned a 2nd Lt. After that I was assigned to Company C, 60th Inf Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. The regiment was commanded by Col. Westmoreland. On Christmas Day 1945 he told me he selected me to attend a Battalion Staff School in Ft. Benning. I never went back. I later went back on active duty in the summer to receive parachute training at The Infantry School. I received my jump wings after five jumps and graduated.

The Straw at St. Saens

In Northern France outside Le Harve on the coast
Lies an apple orchard – it has nothing to boast
France greeted us with gray clouds scudding
The drizzling rain and cold kept us huddling

The orchard looked like the devil’s rest
We pitched of tents – we did our best
Six inches of mud covered the ground
There was only straw to be found

We carried each straw from the farmer’s stacks
Sprinkled under our tents it warmed our backs
It shielded our bodies from that six inch crud
And kept us away from that awful mud

We felt secure in our warm comfy place
The straw was our only saving grace
We were sound asleep when we jumped with a flinch
Hearing the Sergeant’s voice we moved, more than an inch

They waited until midnight to do their cruel sanction
Only God knows why there was no compassion
We wiped our sleepy eyes not believing
Why us, we whined, but there was no relieving

I carried my muddy straw back to the stack
I grumbled, I cursed, I didn’t want to take it back
How the farmer used it has always caused me to wonder
I have always thought it was one great bellicose blunder

To the tent I went back, now without a lawn
And crawled into my sack, muddy boots still on
I let out a small whimper and a wee peep
Swearing and cussing I fell squishy asleep

Maybe there was some good after all
It toughened our hides to the future call
So here is to France and its miserable mud
It portended the future - Ugh!

WW II Poem by Chuck Stout


Ode to a B.A.R. Trine
I am a Browning Automatic Rifle
Known as a B.A.R. am I
A dreaded weapon made to mar
I kill from 500 yards and afar

21 pounds weigh me without the ammunition
Carried by a gunner who has the ambition
When the gunner is no more
My assistant gunner sights the bore
I have an ammo bearer to help
And I will not stand to hear him yelp

It was great when I got my B.A.R.
And to fire expert at 500 yards far
The other two Platoon gunners my buddies were
Common iron bonded we three sir

We attacked Moircy, an Ardennes town
All three buddies lay prone on a hill with their butts down
A sniper shot Doug Jones in the head with one round
He died before he hit the ground
Doug was my buddy, the first to die
I couldn’t hold back my tears so I had to cry

It was hard digging a foxhole in the Ardennes frozen dirt
The B.A.R. team dug a three man hole and so it didn’t hurt
We covered it with pine boughs, shelter halves and we were very cozy
Then the snow fell and under natures cover we whispered bellicosely

Later we attacked Pironpre west of Bastogne
That frigid night we felt all alone
We trudged many miles through the snow
In silence we trod with all our ammo

We lay beside a road leading into town, I with my B.A.R.
My Sergeant asked me to crawl up on the road not far
To take my weapon and fire twenty round
Right smack dab down into the little town

Prone in the road I cocked my 21 pounder
When the bolt did not slide home it caused me to ponder
My B.A.R. was frozen and only warm pee was the solution
But we were never told of this obvious disgusting avulsion

I knew not what to do when my weapon failed to play its role
I crawled back and got the Sergeant’s M-1 to attack the goal
Then I let go a clip of eight down into town
It stirred a hornet’s nest then the terror began to resound

A Panther tank squeaked its way to us along the little road
It stopped right above us and let go its deadly load
You cannot fight a Panther tank that flames megadeath
With rifles and B.A.R.s that spit only death

As the monster let lose its shells of pain
Those who were wounded could not abstain
There were screams from wounded and dying
I found a shell crater and lay in it praying

My buddy Bill Quail tried to crawl in
But there was no room for two in my little den
I let him have my place
I could not stand the terror on his face

I snaked to a big pine tree fallen by primer cord
I could not crawl under so over I went with my load
As I lifted my body over the trunk a shell exploded behind me
It blew metal into me and I felt my warm blood flow like pee

I dropped my B.A.R. and slide down to the other side
Two dark figures were coming at me and there was no place to hide
I thought I was a goner I did not have my B.A.R.
Then I remembered it was frozen and would not fire afar

I had only two thoughts in mind
Was I to live or die? I uttered a whine
So I lay there and prayed
And God came to my aid

Two company Sergeants had come to look at the fight
They carried me to Jenniville that cold hard night
The medic stopped the flow of blood dam soon
I found out later it was a million dollar wound

About the B.A.R. Trine I was never told
But I found out when I visited the Moircy battlefield old
The next day Doug’s B.A.R. was found by a boy
Who saved the bipod legs since that day - he gave them to me with joy

My other buddy, Bill Cotter, failed to survive
Thousands of times for 58 years I have wished he was alive
So that’s what happened to the B.A.R. Trine
There is not much more to say so I am near the end

But I have visited Bill to let him know how much I care
With General Patton and Sgt Curtis Shoup (CMH) he fairs
In Luxembourg Hamm Cemetery I found them
To their honor and bravery I dedicate this poem

WW II Poem by Chuck Stout

Personal Photographs

The golden acorn the symbol of the 87th Infantry Division to which Charles R. Stout belonged.

Stout, Carter, Ikemier and other 3rd Squad. If anyone can recognize the other members in this picture please contact me

Chuck at home on inactive duty

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