Jim: Who was that fellow who
had an epileptic seizure while in line to get our last shots at
Kilmer and they shipped him with us? I think he was a driver.
Also, who was the fellow who was sent back after the first "commit".
He came back and was the barber who would give you a shave. Funny
what you remember...
Who ran the Waterpoint?
Remember the 24 hour poker game run by a Sergeant?
All Germans were
not bad... Yesterday (April 18) was my 85th birthday and I was
remembering where we were in 1945. The Ozark book puts us
around Gardelegen and the war was not over. We were billeted in a
farm house with a very nice German Frau. When she found out that it
was my birthday she asked if I could get some sugar. Sgt. King, the
mess sergeant, gave me some and the German Frau made me a birthday
anyone remember changing a tire on the jeep when we came out of Boslar
and saw tank on the horizon? It was faster than NASCAR! I had taken
a squad up to a line company of the 406th and had to call our own
artillery down on us to get out of town and back to the company. I
don't remember whose squad it was, maybe Luskoski?
The picture that Jack Toohey drew [view
drawing] was the result of various reconnaissance patrols we
Jack was platoon Sergeant by then. We had several close escapes
doing recon work in Krefeld up on the banks of the Rhine.
The machine gun is a 30 caliber air
cooled Browning. The box beside it held a belt of shells which
always seemed to get of line and jammed or wouldn't feed and was
useless. My side arm was a 45 caliber machine gun which was called a
"Grease Gun." The bar on the front was to protect us from booby trap
wires because we always drove with wind shield down, day or night,
summer or winter. The jeep before this one which was all shot up had
racks over the front hood to carry litters of wounded. The Engineers
did a lot of different things as a matter of course.
Also the windshield was down with a cover over
it because if light reflected on the glass artillery could zero in
on it. This was down in combat areas near the front lines.
The grease gun was standard issue, Tanker
carried Thompson sub machine guns or 45 caliber pistols. It must
have been about getting out of a vehicle in a hurry. It is hard to
have a rifle boot for an M1 and get out of a jeep in a hurry.
The arms that a man carried often depended on his duties. Every one
was supposed to qualify with an M1 I believe. If your duties or job
made it necessary to carry other weapons, BAR, Sub Machine Gun, Colt
What kind of rifle did we train with in BASIC at Swift?
The first rifle we used at Swift was a British Enfield because there
was a shortage of M1s for training. We got the M1s when I came back
from ASTP at OHIO STATE.
What kind and color fatigue did we wear?
I'm not sure about the fatigue color but I thought it blue denim at
When did they change issued underwear from white to olive drab?
American troops discovered during World War II
that freshly washed white underwear hung out to dry
attracted enemy fire. A wartime ad for Jockey headlined:
"Target: White Underwear" and explained why the army
changed to OD (Olive Drab): A spot of white
against coral sand or tropic green makes a bull's eye for
the enemy. Patches of white draw gunfire; they show
troops are there.
You are correct about the white underwear because of casualties in
Africa after that landing and going against the Africa Corp. By the
way, they brought German Africa Corp Prisoners into Camp Swift
before we left and went to Fort Dix.
Jim: Do you remember the time at Randerath, when we had the
attack to straighten out the line on our north flank? We went in
with the British flail tank and infantry. We were working with the
Brits because the 84th had been pulled out to go south to the Bulge.
I was remembering that we had the job of making the pack charges and
the bangalors and someone accidentally pulled the fuse and tried to
throw it out of the building. I was in the next door cow shed
watching a movie when it went off. Who was the fellow who threw it
out? I remember the incident because I had all of the explosives in
the jeep to do the job. It was dark and we saw fires when we
approached line of attack and they were the British tankers having
their Tea before jumping off. Old memories.
As I recall, the building was like a barn, no basement, and it was
where the animal and farm equipment was kept. There was two or three
fellows making the charges, it was in the afternoon, and we had been
loaned a 16 mm movie which was being shown in an adjacent part of
the barn. There was a brick wall between us and I was lying in a
stone trough where they put the grain to feed the animals. In
Germany there were few farms as we know them. Everyone lives in a
village and bring in the livestock which is kept on the ground floor
and the people live on the second floor. (That is why there are so
many small villages that we had to take.) Who ever pulled the fuse
then tried to throw the bangalor out on to the street as a javelin.
I don't believe he made it but I don't remember his name. All of us
in the next room were OK. At first I thought that It was a big
mortar but there was no follow up shelling. I was somewhat used to
mortars going of near us so it didn't bother me too much except for
the people that we lost. I believe that the planned attack had to be
put off for 24 hours for remake the charges. Old memories.
B Company, 2nd Platoon:
Do you remember the name of our radio operator? He was the smallest
guy in the platoon and had plenty of guts.
Dick: Jim, was Paciotti in 1st or 2nd
squad? Did he drive the squad 6x6?
Jim: Dick, you really saved my memory with 6x6 name. I hadn't
been able to remember what we called those two and half trucks.
Today everybody body seems to call the Deuce and a half. The truck
that pulled the dozer trailer was called by the manufacturer name
<Brockway> then there was the Weapons Carrier and the Jeep. 6x6 was
for 6 wheels down and 6 wheels tandem driving. Other unit had the
same size bed and some dump but only 4 down and 4 driving.
As I recall we carried several
rubber pontoons and had an air compressor truck as well
to inflate them up. I'm not sure whether it was part of
HQ company. I do know that next to recon there are more
wheels per man in the engineers than in any other unit
in the division. That is why I got a transfer out of a
rifle company to the engineers. Everyone thought that I
was crazy but I hated to walk. The combat engineers were
considered to be a dangerous occupation, but we always
had wheels except when the infantry need us.
I had two Willys and one Ford
Jeep. The truck picture
[view photo of truck with Funk, Murry, Toohey, Luskoski & Paciotti
on top] was taken between the Rhine and the Elbe. The bed of
the truck was fully loaded because we were in the Rat Race at that,
we had on the winter uniform, Luskoski had his pants outside of his
boots, so we weren't watched too close. Nobody was.
Remember the Colonel who found a Mercedes with
wooden wheel and we had to dump of the bulldozer and carry the car
forward, drop it off and go back for the dozer until the General
heard about. I never knew what was the outcome of that caper.
Who was the Brockway driver and did he drive
the dozer also?
Dick: The T5 who drove the bulldozer; wasn't he Cortright and
didn't he get the Silver Star for digging in some tanks or TDs when
were expecting a counter attack? I was on the line at that time and
we were standing behind the tanks to keep warm.. NOT A GOOD IDEA.
Was that the time when we attached to the 2nd Armored?
Jim: I remember that Cortright got the
Silver for digging tank ditches one night so they would have better
protection and aiming ability.
Laurie: From 102nd ID
history book -[Cortright, Jay W., T/5, Silver Star Medal, RFD1, E.
I knew I had seen something online about Cortwright's Silver Star
Medal. Found it at
http://www.hobbydog.net/102/102.htm Great reading! The
link called "The Ninth Army Attacks - November 3 to November 28,
1944" details several battles & who was awarded medals for each
engagement. I've only copied the men of the 327th here.
The following men earned the Silver Star Medal in battles in and
PUFFENDORF was a hotspot after its capture by the 2d Armored
Division. Five men earned the Silver Star Medal in this action.
Pvt. FRED STERN, T/5 JAY W. COETRIGHT, Company B, 327th Engineer
Combat Battalion . . . constructed emplacements for twelve tank
destroyers . . . within 150 yards of enemy lines . . . silhouetted
by burning haystacks . . . under heavy artillery fire . . . guided
TDs into positions where they were able to repulse an armored
Jim: What we called the Rat Race at that time was going from
the Rhine to the Elbe. The tanks were so far ahead of the IDs that
had mopping up left to do, so a regiment or battalion would stop for
that action and the rest would move on to the next bypassed pocket.
Then the trucks would go back and pick up the men and hop scotch to
the next area and the repeat it. Consequently we were driving day
and night. It was a RAT RACE.
Dick: During the occupation Lt Lay was in charge of recreation
for Battalion and I THINK he wrote this song to the tune of Lilly
Marlain. I don't remember all of it but this is what I remember:
In a far off corner of the USA, lives a pretty maiden who's man
is far away ---
Dear Mr Truman when can we go home?
met the Russians and liberated Rome.
We have licked the master
race and now you say no shipping space.
When can we go home.
When can we go home.
3 Sets of Interesting Outline Notes ---
Dug shallow hole with Zriny. Slept till 8.
Lt. Lay expecting
counter attack. Set up 50 on intersection. First Shells.
hit. B-13 direct. Anders, Moroz, Cuevas, Barnhouse, and MacFarland
Very scared. Dug in by gun. Shells all around.
Milked cow. Franklin sick. Moved gun in
middle of night.
Couldnnd trench. Dug gun in. Very cold rain. Stood up all
Shell hit 1 foot from gun barrel. No counter attack.
Shelled all day. Shot two chickens.
out to clear road for Immendorf to Puffendorf. Gabrielson killed on
Immendorf [November 19, 1944]. Our tanks on
side. Germans getting bombed strafed and tree bursts just to
left. Got up to Puffendorf. Almost hit.
3rd day moved out.
Left about 1 afternoon
trench as infantry
Relieved about 4 afternoon and went into
Gereonsweiler. Stayed in barn. No
rations. Overnight slept.
Infantry company captured. B Co. filled gap. Took
Thanksgiving dinner next night
Right after out in the trenches
November 14 in 25 out
Co in Palenburg
First stopped at
England & Dunckley guard equipment
Rest walked to
head of tank column in Welz
___? (illegible) 2nd Platoon
Chalmers ⡹mond Jones
Guethe ⡴ion in pocket hit
Backed up to last house
and ? lost
Moved back to Ederen joined by Co. then back to
Linnich & Lindern.
Mine and river crossing.
Laurie for sending Lou's notes about Raymond Jones and Chalmers
getting wounded. I remember that operation very well. 2nd platoon
advanced on Linnich with members of 406th inf reg. and some tanks.
We were to check for mines on the road. As we were going through
this draw with woods on our right and steep bank on left with open
fields the Germans open up on us with machine guns and 88 artillery.
Most of the platoon was in woods on the right side. That is where
Raymond Jones and Chalmers (our platoon sgt at the time) got hit.
Guethe had k-rations stuffed in front under his shirt and the enemy
fire ripped Guethe's shirt off his chest. We had no place to go but
back to the last house. From there we went back to Lindren.
A lot of memories.