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last day of WW2 described by a Texas boy

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by BRD@66, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. BRD@66

    BRD@66 TGT Addict

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    There was a hill up ahead and they said it would be the last one, but I didn't believe it, it was the Austrian Alps or something like that. Co. B 142 Inf had already crossed the Danube (which was muddy) and was heading further into Austria, when on 5 May 1945, word was passed down that Army Group G was giving up and for all units to stop in place.
    I don't remember any wild excitement, just quiet reverence mixed with some disbelief. I think just then that home was utmost in everyone's mind and of course the big questions was how long it would take to get there.
    It had been a long journey from the hot drill grounds of Camp Bowie, Texas to the snow-capped mountains of Austria; Camp Blanding, Camp Edwards, Statin Island, Oran, Salerno, Anzio, St. Raphael, Lyons, Remiremont, Selastat, and many more. More disbelief set in when I realized I had made it all the way and I sorrowed for my comrades that had fallen by the wayside.
    On 8 May 1945 my platoon went on up into the hills to accept the surrender of a German Camp. We approached the camp in a jeep convoy and as no one fired at us we knew it must be for real. As we took over the camp and posted guards, one of those crazy things happened. The boys were getting some souvenirs and one boy, examining an automatic pistol, accidentally shot himself in a very private part of his body, this was a terrible thing to be the last casualty and have it happen this way.
    In a few weeks I bid farewell to Capt. David Sisco and Co. B at some little town in south Germany, and was transferred to an armored unit to go home. I had enough points to fly home and was sent back to Southern France to catch a B-17 to Casablanca, then to Miama. This was the greatest day.
     


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  2. BRD@66

    BRD@66 TGT Addict

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    Somebody is slicing onions again.
     
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  3. Kar98

    Kar98 TGT Addict

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    There was a hill up ahead and they said it would be the last one...

    Damn if that isn't one of the best opening lines I've read in a long time.
     
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  4. Moonpie

    Moonpie U.S. Rifle M1 caliber .30 Lifetime Member

    There's that damn THEY again. Never trust THEY.
     
  5. BRD@66

    BRD@66 TGT Addict

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    BTW, I got half my genes from the author.
     
  6. Texasjack

    Texasjack TGT Addict TGT Supporter

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    When I was first starting out, I often worked late at the office and got to know the security guards pretty well when they made their rounds. This one old guy and I were chatting about something going on in the world at the time and he mentioned that he learned not to fear death. How's that?, I asked. He replied that he'd been at Anzio. The general in charge decided to hold everyone on the beach until all the equipment and supplies arrived. Instead, the Germans arrived and pounded them from the overlooking hills with artillery until they literally ran out of shells. He said that when the shelling stopped, he stood up, two others stood up, and everyone around them were either dead or wounded. Sometime later his unit got pulled off the line to a rear area for a break. An officer came over and said they needed help stringing a telephone wire to keep the trucks from hitting it. Easy work, so they went to help. One of the guys was up in a tree and as they were passing the line to him, he fell out. They went over to help him up and he was dead - a bullet fired from somewhere far from there came down right in his eye socket as he was looking up. The old man said that after that he never feared death. You could be in the safest place in the world and die, or you could be in the middle of hell and walk out untouched. When your time is up, it's up, and when it's not, it's not. Worrying is just a waste of time.

    I saw Anzio in the list in the original post and it reminded me of this. Those vets fought some tough battles against a desperate and dedicated enemy in extremely hostile terrain.
     
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