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Friday, February 18, 2011

Southern France

I will have to go back and pick up the story at the invasion of southern France.After too short a stay in Rome the division was loaded on ships and headed for as far as Bills unit was concerned St. Tropes. Bill was impressed when Winston Churchill made an appearance on a ship in the convoy. Bill took a picture but in spite of enlarging it a great amount you can not detect any of his features in fact I could not even see anyone in the boat in the distance.

Bill's unit landed at St. Tropes and the navy tried some newly developed techniques for war fighting to be common in the 21st century. The navy sent two un-manned boats loaded with explosives to blow up a couple docks loaded with teller mines.

One of the navy landing boats was driven by a guy named Manson who turned out to be his boss later when he worked at the Wanapum dam in Wash9ington state.

Bill landed 20 minutes after the first wave of infantry. During this time a British pilot ran out of gas and crash landed impressing Bill with his coolness.

Staying overnight their unit went to Avignon the Popes residences during conflicts within the Catholic Church. The 3rd ambushed a German armored column and killed many and destroying huge numbers of tanks, vehicles, horses and so on. The civilians feasted on parts of the horse meat. Bill saw all this.

During one night Bill was laying wire and an airplane dropped a flare. Bill had to drop to the ground and stay motinless for a while then crawl on. He had crawled through some human waste and had a bath in the nearby horse trough. He was lucky the he had a horse trough to clean up in. I would say.
If you have been in the army you know how precious fresh food can be after existing on K or C rations for weeks. Somewhere near Bensancon France Mac Miller liberated enough eggs for the small group Bill was in. George Tierney was engrossed in telling a story so Miller cautioned him not to step on the eggs. But what did he do but step back and break all but one. Miller asked him how is wife put up with him. Tierney told him she was as clumsy as he was. They all got a good laugh out of that sans eggs of course.

If you have ever seen Bill Mauldin cartoons of WW2 you know how dirty and unkempt they are. One in Bill's outfit looked just about like Mauldins characters looked. Kunz who I will post his narrative after Bills is the guy in the picture. If he doesn't look like one of Mauldin's characters I don't know who he would be.

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