Montgomery - March 21, 1945
Morning General Quarters secured and refueled ship. G.Q. at 10:00 contacted boogies at 22 miles; also passed enemies mines.
Oh yes and then there were mines on the ground where we were. We had after we got across the Rhine, after the tenth time the bridge was blown up the following day we got on that, cause we fired all night long before we went across. There were ten of us to actually run the gun, but we worked with five men and five guys slept and believe me, you could sleep with all of that noise you were so tired and they had a rack which you put the shell on. It was a rack about 2 foot or 2 ˝ foot and you lay it on that rack and two guys carry it up to the gun and they had a ramrod and they would ram the shell in. Well, we bypassed that. We just took it in our arms like this here and threw it in and the guy in the back would catch it. We never missed. If we did miss, I don’t think the impact would be… they tell you not to do it that way, you know, you improvise, just to let somebody get some rest. There are times when you go and you don’t sleep for days. It is just unreal. So anytime you would see a place that is cold, you lay it on a log or a bunch of snow and you just lay down and went to sleep like that. Snow was up to your hips. Then as you were moving there were mine fields. I felt sorry for those guys. They both just got married before they went over and two sergeants. They were trying to clear a mine field so we could go over this field and they weren’t supposed to do it. They were supposed to call the engineers in to do that, they had the metal detectors. The best way to describe the mine is, you have a cheese box, not the 3lb cheese box but about a 5lb cheese box like the stores used to get, like at the deli, but they don’t put them in boxes anymore it is all in plastic now. It is a metal box, that big, and it has a cover on it. And it has two handles. The cover, if you step on it with enough weight, if I step on it it wouldn’t explode, or if you took the cover off to try to disarm it, it would explode and these guys were not trained to disarm it. What the engineers do, after these four fellows were killed, it is just a sad sight…it is sad to say, we just had to go and collect parts.
Our unit was very small because we just hauled headquarters. I think we had about 15 trucks. So probably 20-25 men total. There were two men who got killed a Sergeant and a Corporal they were riding in a little jeep and hit a road mine, but that was the only two men that got killed in my company during the whole war, but they had hit a road mine. A mine along side of the road in their jeep, the Sergeant of the company and his assistant was riding in their jeep and it blew the jeep up.
Hunter – November 24, 1944
It didn’t seem like on island for there were so many canals and miners and waterways that you could hardly tell which was Waleherem and which was Holland.
Or Germany had to export coal to France without getting paid for it.
Air Force Diary – March 13, 1944
Afternoon. Collected coal & coke altho’ not hut orderly.
Well, sometimes we would park them under large mountains of coal.
Goldney – May 20, 1941
We used to do a little cooking for our evening meal on the stove in our room, but now spring has come the coal issue has stopped.
Herold – January 14, 1944
I didn’t know that Colorado was so rich in Gold, Silver, Lead, Coal and etc. I thought the Rockies where practically waste, other than timber.
Socha – February 22, 1944
The fire went very low on me so I put wood on top and add some more coal over it.
Hahn – November 11, 1943
At present we have turned the calendar back twenty-five years as we are using coal-oil lamps and candles for light and living in a very primitive style.
Sevastenok – June 14, 1941
Just picture yourself coming off a mud or coal detail. The shoes have to be washed with castile soap, that keeps the shoes from cracking then you rub in the saddle soap to protect the leather, and then top it off with a good shoe shine.
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