From: Mosquito Bite, Texas
My wife's uncle passed tonight. he was a communication sergreant in an engineer battalion who served in Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, France, and utimately Germany. He was one of those patriotic Texans who enlisted in 1939, straight out of high school. He ended the war as a platoon sergeant five years later. A good man. I loved him dearly.
Whenever I saw him, which was alot, we talked about his experiences. Because I served in the army as a cavalry and armor officer, he knew I would understand his stories. He had many of them. He described how his platoon had no real wire to train with in 1940, so they used cat gut string to simulate laying the wire. He talked about having to use surplus WWI weapons to learn how to shoot. (Well, some needed to learn, he owned his first rifle at about 12 years old, very common in Texas even when I was a boy twenty years later.) He talked about the awful conditions in Tunisia when the US Army had to run like "nut kicked" jackrabbits after Kasserine. He also talked about the how it was the day the war was over in Europe. I've heard the whole story from Oran to Salzburg, and back to La Grange, Texas. He talked about the time he met a veteran of the 10th Panzer Division, in Schulenburg, Texas who had come to the US after the war. This gentleman also knew about Kasserine and thereabouts. (Uncle Charles actually thought he might have been a POW here and just stayed after the war. I don't know if that was possible, but maybe.) They shared a pecan pie as they talked about Tunisia.
For those of you who still have friends and relatives who served in WWII -- talk to them, honor them. Find out what they did, when, and where. Learn how they felt. See what they think now. It doesn't matter if they were American, German, French, Russian, or Japanese. They will all be gone all too soon.
God bless you Charles. I'll see you again, soon.
Occasionally, and randomly, problems and solutions collide. The probability of these collisions is inversely related to the number of committees working on the solutions. -- Me.