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James Rankin - Regimental HQ Co.

Jim Rankin, company S-2 section was returning from a reconnaissance patrol somewhere in Belgium.

Jim Rankin and those with him had walked a long way in heavy snow. They were glad to see a G.I, s. truck going their way towards regimental camp. They waved the truck to a stop and learned that the 508th graves registration officer was using the truck to pick up bodies for burial.

The officer said, "if you guys don't mind sharing the space with a few stiffs, hop on."

We were just glad to get a ride, even with dead men.

The discussion of the men while riding with the dead went something like this:

"I think that the graves officer has about the worse job in the whole regiment, I wonder how he got that assignment? He probably goofed leading the living, so they put him to burying the dead.

HEY, look up ahead, looks like a bunch of fresh troops at the crossroads."

Some jerry, from his observation post, also must have seen the troops bunched together at the crossroads and phoned in the co-ordinates to his artillery crew. Several shells soon whistled over the truck and landed among the new G.I, s.

One of the men in the truck said, "more bodies for the graves registration officer, and more work for the medic's."

The truck stopped and Jim Rankin and the others helped with the wounded. After one man who had lost a leg was loaded on to the truck, the injured soldier asked Jim Rankin to find his leg. Jim looked around and found a severed leg and handed it to the soldier. The soldier looked at the leg and said, "this isn't my leg." and handed it back to Jim.

Jim took the leg, laid it down and looked until he found another severed leg, and presented it to the soldier.

The soldier smiled and said, thanks, "this one is mine."

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