| T5 Sergeant
of Ettlen, Germany
3rd Armored "Spearhead" Division
Here is what happened
On good Friday, March 30th 1945, the night was real quite
when I collided with a German tank on a small dirt road near the
front line. After the collision either the tank backed up or we
bounced back but either way there was about 2 feet between me and
the tank. It was real dark so all we could see was the vague silhouette
of the tank.
So I got out on the left side of my jeep. Major
Bellinger and General Rose got out on the right side. We went to
the front of the Jeep with our hands in the air. We stood right
in front of our Jeep all three side by side with our hands over
our head. The man in the tank said something, we don’t know
what is was, and General Rose said: “No fersteh”. And
he just got the words out of his mouth and brrrrrrrrr (Makes gun
sounds). NO other words were spoken. We did not reach for our pistol
or anything we were standing with our hands in the air. I would
say the gun went of three times maybe more then that because all
you could hear was “ratatat” of the gun. And that was
the end of the conversation. I hollered: “RUN!”. The
general started dropping and before he hit the ground I was gone.
I don’t know if Major Bellinger said anything
or not I doubt it I did not hear him make a sound. So I jumped tight
against the tank, went down to the left side of the it, around to
the back and then off to the right. My leg being not in a very good
shape slowed me down. Next down in a ditch to the right and then
into the field. Major Bellinger must have gone the same way to the
right cause but we could not have been to far apart there for a
little while for we never bumped into each other. The they fired
first like I said, tracer bullets coming through the air and then
I started digging in the ground and I buried all
the papers and documents I had with me, cause I heard before you
should never give up all that. Then I dug a new hole, with my hands,
right beside the hole I had dug for the papers, to burry my helmet
as it was too high and too easy to recognise when the flares came
up and covered the whole with dirt again. Then at the same time
the flares were hitting the ground and they knew that I got away
they started to spray the ground with machinegun fire. I could see
the dirt pop up around me when the bullets hit the ground and I
knew what that was.
I passed out for while. A little later I heard
three or four guys were talking and I knew they were Americans for
they were talking English. So they helped me along to find cover
for the night where a few tress grew and we stayed there all night.
Early in the morning they said they were going to get some help.
They were going to try and find something what exactly that was
they did not know at the time. They asked me if I could make it
but I said no I cannot crawl as fast as you guys can walk. I said:
“you guys go ahead and try and find some help and come back
for me”. So off they went and I crawled to the top of the
hill and behind a big stump, I was up there all day long looking
down upon the road where were the night before.
Came the night I knew I had to do something. So
I started crawling and I crawled to where I thought our artillery
came from because they made a different sound than the German’s.
So I crawled all night and on towards morning, and I came to a road
which was probably about 8 miles from the place our vehicles were
driving maybe a little further then that. I had a piece of white
parachute cloth around my neck I ripped that off and got up behind
a tree there. Since I heard a bunch of soldiers up the road and
I did not know if they were American or German. I did not want to
stick my head around the tree before I was sure who they were and
I waved my white flag. Luckily they were Americans they picked me
up who brought me to some headquarters of some sort and I was on
my way back to England.
I was send an obituary of Major Bellinger whom
I have been trying to get a hold of for the last 15 years, Unfortunately
he did in 1979. I would also like to know what happened to Colonel
Brown and his driver. They were riding in front of us…did
they meet tanks too? I would sure like to ask them. Also I would
like to know what happened to the armoured car that was behind for
I did not have the time to look back, was he captured too? I remember
the driver of the armoured car being a new guy for the regular driver
was send home on a furlough. The General's party, which consisted
of three jeeps, two motorcycles and an armored car.
The driver of the armored vehicle was believed
to be lieutenant Colonel Wesley A. Sweat. He was taken prisoner
along with other men on that night. One month later, Sweat was liberated
by Bristish Forces from the concentration camp Stalag XI-B located
in Fallingbostel, Germany.
This is what really happened on that night, don’t
let anyone tell you differently.
Driver of General Maurice Rose
GeneralRose about to shake hands with Glenn
Shaunce, his trusted driver.
The convoy of the 30th of March.
Major Bellinger in the back, General Rose sitting
in front and Glenn's Helmet can just be seen over the windscreen.
Glenn, standing in front of the jeep, waiting
for General Rose.
Shaunce in General Rose's favourite vehicle
Burrial service for General Maurice Rose.