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My dad in WW2

Discussion in 'Honor, Service and Valor' started by JCM6395, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. JCM6395

    JCM6395 New Member

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    My dad served in the 5th Division, at first in the 46th F/A as a Forward Observer then with the 10th Regiment Co. A. Three things he would tell us about that really stood out was combat in the Normandy hedgerow country, Metz, and last major fight at Frankfurt.

    He said the hedgerow region was brutal as the Germans set up excellent ambushes on them time after time. They were green in combat experience and had to learn on the go. They had a lot of problems with German snipers also. My dad and his buddy Griffith were the best shots in the outfit so they sent them out hunting German snipers. After the breakout from Normandy they liberated many towns and occasional wine cellar. As in the movies, the French women kissed and hugged the Americans as they move through their towns.

    One point in the drive across France they were clearing out a row of French farm houses connected by a stone wall. They would blow a hole in the wall and set up a machine gun position, while two guys would enter the house and chase the Germans out to be killed. It was him and a guy named Johnson turn to enter the house. As they rushed in they were greeted by a German grenade spinning on the kitchen floor. Johnson had gone in first and yelled grenade. Dad turned and took one step toward the door when it went off killing Johnson instantly and shredding my dad's back. He was sent to England for a couple weeks until he healed up.

    My dad was always a WW1 student. He remembered riding in the back of a truck as they moved through Verdun and thinking about what he had read on it. But when they arrived at Metz he often said how awful it was. He had to go down into the tunnels of Metz clearing out the Germans. Then they had very brutal house to house/room to room combat. The battle of Metz was probably the worst combat he saw in the war. Advancing up the streets was suicide. They had to move through the buildings to advance. The Germans made it a very painful price in American lives.

    Finally they were relieved and he thought/hoped they were getting R&R. Instead they rode through the night in the coldest weather he ever experienced. Finally the truck stopped and they were ordered out and told to go over the hill and kill Germans. This was Patton's counterattack at the battle of the Bulge. On December 26, 1944 near Haller, Luxembourg he was wounded and not only earned the Purple Heart, but a Silver Star to go along with it.

    They crossed the Rhine unopposed at Oppenheim, Germany. They then came to Frankfurt in late March where the Germans made their last major stand against them. In heavy fighting they fought their way into the city. It was here that a good friend of his was killed in front of him.

    His unit was just inside Czechoslovakia in the last days of the war. He said they could have easily pushed into Prague but they were ordered to halt. He was in the mountains of Austria when it all ended. He remembers talking to a surrendered German officer about what he had experienced on the Eastern Front.

    One thing that happened in the post war was forever seared into my dad's memory. They had to transport German civilians back to the Russian zone. He thought nothing of it until they got there. Dropping them off the Russians immediately separated the women from the men and boys. The look on my dad's face as he told me this was a painful grimace. The women were then brutally raped. At first my dad and his comrades raised their rifles and the Russians did the same back at them. The American officer in charge ordered his men to lower their rifles and get back on the truck. As they drove off they could hear the screams of the German women. My dad wasn't an emotional guy but the look on his face said it all.

    My dad had enough combat points so he didn't have to go with the division when it shipped back to the US for deployment to the Pacific Theater. He was stationed in Munich in the post war when he met my mother and the rest was history....
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Patron  

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    Great stories. You know more than many here.
     
    JCM6395 likes this.

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