My Experiences During World War II
Here you will find stories about the things I personally went through & saw as well as links to other things relating to war.
Eventually they will be put in order, but for now they're just how I told them.
Through-out Dad's lifetime, we as his children & grand-children heard many stories about his time spent in the Army. We saw the compassion & pain in his eyes as he would describe the horrors he witnessed. He also told of some good times in the service. Since dad is no longer with us on this earthly plane, I can't organize these stories as well as I'd like to, but they will all eventually find their way on this page. Our father was a very emotional man & he would often cry as he re-lived the war. Often times he would tell us that it was only strength from God that got him through those torturous days & nights.
BRANCH OF SERVICE - U.S. Army
ACTIVITY DURING WWII:
SERVED IN GERMANY, FRANCE, HOLLAND, BELGIUM AND BASTOGNE. WAS IN THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE, NORMANDY AND SERVED IN MANY OTHER AREAS.
Proud to be a part of the 7th Armored Division
I had a favorite dog, Buster. When I left to catch the bus to go to the service, Buster was sitting in the middle of the road staring after me. When I returned from the Army and I was walking down the road toward home, I'll be darned if Buster wasn't sitting in the road (I believe it might have been in the same spot) waiting for me! It's like he knew I was coming home.
I remember that when I was drafted into the army, I very much considered it an honor to serve my country. But I didn't like the idea of killing anyone. (Or being shot at!) My dad tried to tell them that he needed me on the farm, but of course, that didn't phase the army & I was on my way to fight in WWII.
I was still trying to figure out the safest job to train for, where I would be least likely to run into active fighting & I decided that being a cook would help our men & I thought it would keep me away from the front lines. Sometimes it did... But more often we were required to go AHEAD of the troops, to set up camp! And no matter where we were, I was very much involved in the war.
When we were in Germany we had 9 big turkeys flown in for Christmas. When we arrived in a town, a gentleman came out & told us he owned a bakery & if we needed anything he would be glad to help us. We ended up getting all of the turkeys prepared & took them to the bakery to see if he could help us cook them with his ovens. He pulled out the sliding ovens & they were so big! We put the turkeys in & when they were done they were so golden brown & just beautiful! I gave the man a whole turkey for helping us with our dinner & he was so grateful, he cried. The people were very hungry over there.
When we were done with our coffee, we would dump the grounds out on the ground. We were as careful as we could be with them, because the people would come & scoop them up to take home. They would reuse them so they could have a bit of coffee too.
When we were in France, my commanding officer used to tell me, "Charlie, when you cook for our troops, be sure you cook a little extra for the people... Food was hard to come by in those days. And boy, did the people appreciate it!
I remember one time we were setting up camp & all of a sudden we heard planes flying & the rattattat of guns firing! Everyone was scattering everywhere. I looked up & saw some woods behind us & I ran toward them. There was a big tree that had fallen on the ground & I dove for it & rolled under it as far as I could. Then I realized that was a pretty dangerous place for me to run to, because we didn't know where the Germans were. They could have been hiding in the woods. That was another time when God took care of me.
Germany was freezing cold during the war. It's a wonder that I didn't lose my feet! There were many times when I could hardly move my feet & legs, they were so cold. They were like blocks of ice. I've had problems with my feet and ankles all of my life.
Another time in camp, we came under attack & I grabbed a big old cast iron cooking pot that I was setting up, & put it on my head. All I had time to do was duck down. After the firing was over, I looked at the outside of the pot cause I could hear & feel the bullets as they bounced off of it. There were pot marks dented in all over from the hits it took.
All of us soldiers who faught in the war... Any war really & on either side... saw some terrible things. We lived through terrible times.
One time as we were entering a concentration camp after we had defeated the German troops, I saw a German soldier, dead, just hanging upside down on a fence. As we released the people, they were so hungry & sick... They were limping by us & hanging onto each other for support. They would thank us. And cry. They passed by this big pot that was actually like a big drum or something, & they would scoop some of the contents out in their hands & drink it or eat it... It stank & had dirt & other things in it, but I think it was supposed to be a kind of soup or something the Germans had made for the prisoners. The people were so hungry...
Our men were still fighting The Battle Of The Bulge in Belgium
when this paper came out, on Christmas day, 1944.
BATTLE OF THE BULGE
The Battle of the Buldge was the last of the German attacks. It lasted from December 16, 1944 to January 28, 1945. The Battle of the Bulge was the largest land battle of World War II. More then a million men participated in this battle, 600,000 Germans, 500,000 Americans and 55,000 British armies were fighting. Towards the end of 1944, World War II was coming to an end. The German forces were weakening. Hitler's armies were on the run. The Allies had regained land that was previously taken over by the Nazis, such as Paris, Casablanca and Tripolia. Hitler decided that a surprise attack against the allies could turn the tide of the war. He built up large armies with newly built tanks, artillery and airplanes. Hitler's last attack had to work or he would be defeated. The plan was to march 85 miles from Southern Belgium to Luxembourg and attack the allies by surprise. He would attack during the Christmas season in the Ardennes Forest, an area where there were only a few allied soldiers. The invasion was designed to split the American and British armies in half. However it did not succeed. The German armies caught the allies by surprise. They had some success in the beginning and were able to take a lot of land from the allies and captured many allied soldiers. The allied forces fought Hitler's armies bravely. They held on to their ground wherever they could. They slowed down the German armies until American and English reinforcements arrived to fight the Germans. The German army was no match for the allied forces. They were running out of fuel, men and ammunition. After fierce battles, the German forces were pushed back and gave up all the land they had conquered in the beginning of the battle. The allied forces completely destroyed the German armies. From this time forward the Germans were never able to raise a large army again to attack the allies. The allied forces soon invaded Germany and completely destroyed the rest of the German army. It is said that Hitler committed suicide in May of 1945, and the Germans surrendered shortly after. This is how World War II ended.
A Soldier's Playing Cards
Some of the graphics used on these pages were created by "DOC".
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