THE PERQUIMANS WEEKLY, HERTFORD, N. C, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 1945
' i Ivlhfs Action
i.j C:tll3 Fcr Rome
gy'a Soldier In Italy
Then an no official records,
Blythewood, S. C, amalleBt of the
bunch, was the last member of Park
Accordingly, Wells' crew set out
Along (he way the four of us driv
ing towards the (censored) F. A.
Group, saw by the light of the moon,
ghosts of wrecked Jerry equipment;
so of the gun crews nrwg until
death stilled them, lay sprawled in
vritten account other than this writ- j grotesque and crazy positions beside
lng, to substantiate the story I am their now silent guns. We turned a
about -to tell you. But there is a corner and along each side of the
mark on the heart and soul of each road jay figures who would never
breathe again, looking for all the
soldier who lived through that event
ful ttiglit 14 ? May, 1944-h glowing
brand that stirs again the flames of
memory. They can never forget
not can II
The drive towards Rome got un
derway .with a thunderous cannonade
t 2300 hours May 11, 1944. That
day marked my 24th birthday, and
i laughed at the thought of such a
birthday present in the States. In
fantry went up under smoke and
drove the fanatical German soldiers
from positions which apparently they
expected never to leave. That was
Mintumo. The gates of hell swung
wide that night and death probably
cackled with glee as He claimed His
We moved from position to posi
tion as the German retreat swung in
to, full stride. Day after day, night
Site, night, cannoneers slaved with
bloodshot eyes, bearded faces
Bickened souls. Forever and ever
there would be war there had always
been this, and nothing else raining
molten steel down upon anything
: that moved; sending whining roes-1
singers of death far behind the
enemy's lines. From there on the
Jays had no name, it just got dark
and light; the date no longer matter
f i, and no one cared what month it
tAcross the Pontaine Marshes, where
everything houses, fields, trees and
dead men shared a common grave be
neath the water. Highways- alone
escaped and they were ' elevated. In
places the water reached up over
thoBe..-. '.Not a living soul was to be
seen. ," The Italian civilians had fled
before the drive. Sadness anJ an op
pressive silence weighed upon the
air. - German troops had flooded the
country and the completeness of their
accomplishment was staggering.
Hera ."was a cemetery which covered
' Once I came upon American sol
diers .- collecting dead Huns. The
bodies were stiff and cold with eyes
staring heavenward, glazed and sight-
Ihey were loaded on a truck
like stove wood and hauled to a cen
tral point where they wert dumped
upon the earth. Everything that I
had been taught faded and became
worthless. Thoughts ,of man's des
tiny swept across my mind. Men
had no respect fcr each other. There
I was no , more tenderness or right in
toe world, i walked away too sick
to linger longer.
One day late in May we moved for
ward again. The position we origin
ally intended to occupy we found to
be OCCUDifttl hv n inhntra hotolin..
l X J J Mbfc.JV(l.
rWe had to choose another. I vns
Jglad, for I thought we would ret
away from the bloated and awful
Igmellinor hnrliAs nf mi.lnn
heanby killed by shell-fire. I was
padly mistaken. Had I known what
he coming of nieht had in utr,
Whether or not we moved would
have made little difference.
Near a thick forest we emplaced
fur guns. Another dead mule in the
ame pitiful condition as those I IubI
nentioned, was dragged from the
frea by means of a rone lnmuwi
bout the hoof and attached to a
weapons carrier. The skin, bloated
nd tight, broke and
or a lone time after that. tnA
word and nothing else. -
A wrecked railroad ran nlmrtta'
lie-gun positions, and below was a
innel. It was there that we placed
The fields were treen and hrit
ith flowers. The fraarranr nf
erfume lingered upon the air as
arknesa fell. The moon uiB
Mcama up about 9 o'clock, flooding
p wiui lis mellow, golden
ght I wondered if wars were al
aya fought in the spring and in the
idst of such beauty. There should
lvr have been a war in that t
I uwmiuiw ana too peace-
passed snipers due to the swiftness
of our advance. "Red" placed the
wire along the shoulders of the road
while I walked guard beside him.
Someone yelled up the road through
the blackness, and the bolt of the i
rifle whipped back and home, sound
ing as loud in the night as a clap of
thunder. I strained my eyes look
ing everywhere. And then Chappell
yelled again. This time, "Don't
shoot." I would have pressed the
trigger and fired in another second.
By the roadside were foxholes,
hastily constructed. Chappell and
world like living infantry awaiting
the word to get up and advance.
Those were the German dead. If you
have never smelled dead human flesh,
you can have no conception of the
feeling of revulsion that tears at the
soul. On earth there is nothing else
The rough and bumpy road kept on
and on. At the end of 8 miles we
drove down a wagon trail, screened
even in day by mass of tangled un
dergrowth and scrubby trees. Chap
pell must have felt his way along.
Here the moonlight did not penetrate
and the darkness was complete. We
were to pass this way again on
sioux Brave" was the password.
and at our destination we were jump
ed by a nervous end trigger-happy
Bpnt.rv Wp annnnprl rhflrlr "Rravn"
nd i even hefnre he rAuld iret out the
Back toward our battery we made
our way. Cpl. Wells operated the
wire reel; Chappel drove; "Red"
Montgomery and I placed the wire
i off the road. At intervals we placed
tags to identify our line. Trucks and
tanks rumbled by the light shed by
the moon was all they had. There
was no other source. Once I stopped
to place a tag and something brushed
my clothing. The driver of the truck
had not seen me in . the dim light -and
swirling dust There less than a half
inch away ran a tire imprint. God
must have held my hand that night.
Wells and Chappell were ahead,
but Red ' and I came up with them
at a former collection station for
the wounded, and it was there that
we put our line overhead in the
trees. Below, the moonlight sparkled
on soldiers' shoes, shirts, trousers
and underclothing, each article rip
ped and torn to shreads, resting
where they had been thrown when
removed from the bodies of the men.
To the right of the stone building
lay a couple of discarded stretchers,
stained red with blood. The story
they told was a mute one, but clear
in every detail words could have
And then we swung back into the
dark and gloomy road where there
was nothing but silence. I took my
rifle from the truck, removed the
case and placed the sling over my
shoulder. The American Infantry of
me lttn Army bad taken the place
that morning. Frequently they by-
took a quick flash around. All of us whe we can.fi"d - P'jjf ....
saw the Jerry battle-blouse shining . Why we be ieved hlm J11 nev"
grey green at the same instant. ; know but as a last and parting shot
Quickly I threw the light to Chappell ; w aseked hlm bout the battle"
and I pushed my rifle inside the fox-j damned away
"C-o-m-e, come out dat dah hole.".
Chappell is from North Carolina, and
when he speaks you can tell it.
Slowly a head inched out. Sleepy
and tired looking, a face came inside
the circle of light and gazed down j
the bore cf a carbine. i
"The password," we wl.if pered, i
V. ho are you, and why are you
before it gets me shot 1 don't blasM
you fellows for being careful. This
place is full of German snipers."
We did throw it away and went
about our business. Wells and Chap
continued on Page Six)
Wells noticed a curtain before the I here 7"
entrance to one and pulled it aside.) i don't know the password, fel
There was a rustle and a form rolled i lows. I'm an engineer working on
over. Chappell jumped backward the road and sleeping here for the
like a shot. Grabbing my light I night. Often we sleep like this; any-
May Warn of reordered
Modwn life with It hurry and worry.
Irregular habits, improper rating and
drinking its risk ol exposure and infec
tion throws heavy strain on tha work
of tha kidneys. They sre apt to become
ovar-taxed and fail to Altar excess acid
and other Impurities from the life-giving
You may suffer nacting backache,
headache, disaineas, getting up nights,
leg pains, swelling (eel constantly
tired, nervous, all worn out. Other signs
of kidney or bladder dlsordef are some
times burning, scanty or toe frequent
Try Doom's Pt'lls. Doom's help the
kidneys to pas off harmful excess body
waste. They have had more than half a
century of public approval. Are recom
mended by grateful users everywhere.
Atk sour tuigkborl j. -
; 4Prom far aWay as from another
Lii (1kJ the "ound f shrieking
, u craeK oi nne tire and the
nstant chatter of machine guns
wiring overtime, ft all seems like
.But it was no dream. I am in the
grtal Section, the Wire Crew, whose
ty it is to stabliah and maintain
jmmunicatlori for rjur battery. Cpl.
ells, the, wire chief. . from EV.f
tn PvtsV; Montgomery, Klngstree,
v. ana rvu Xouis N. Chappell,
apons carrier driver from u
rd,' N.- C, and I were to m tA the
enaored) Field Artillery Group and
hrt laying wire from their switch-
ard towards .ours.- We were to be
t by the other wire crew" working
m our own ooaro. The boys mat-
up the other crew were: T-Bth
Parker, second in command of
section and failing, from Macon,
UT-6th Morrow, Tampa, Fla, aid
; wildest man with a truck, I sup
e, in the entire U. S. Army. John
-ow never really drives. Jit ap
1 to, but""actually death f holds
eek i Then there is Pvt. Roy
- . j) Hobbsville, 1 N. a-' He
1 been, in the section a long time
I expects to- be here much longer.
3 fourth member of the crew was
oWier . of Italian descent We
'ed him "Bokoos;" and that's all J
r knew about him. Pvt Taylor
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Friday, Feb. 23
Deanna Durbin, Robert Paige and
Akim Tamiroff in
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Buggs Bunny Cartoon
Saturday, Feb. 24
Bob Steele and Hoot Gibson in
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'Manhunt of Mystery Island No. 6
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Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Joh
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