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John Shultz - A Co.

We landed in Holland, and I remember the fighting was pretty fierce at times, but the part that made the greatest impression on me was the action after we had dug in.

The soil was quite sandy, so the digging went well, but the sand was to haunt us later as the sand was constantly getting into the working parts of our weapons.

During the first night on a hill, we were on edge with every rustle in the bushes.

We knew we had to conserve our ammunition, but intermitted gunfire went on all through the night as no one was about to take the risk of the enemy, using the cover of darkness to regain possession of the high ground.

When the morning came, noises of motorized equipment came from the bottom of the hill and voices shouting as in readiness for an attack. Then came the mortar fire on our positions, and we were sure this was the cover for the follow-up attack.

One of the shells hit close by and sprayed our foxhole with sand. On my next attempt to fire my rifle, I found it to be jammed. This appeared to be the end for me. I was suddenly useless to help defend our position.I was sure that this was the end for me.

My one last chance would be my hand grenade, which I jerked from my harness and stood ready for the exact moment. If I went, then at least one German was going with me.

I pulled the pin and removed the tape from around the grenade handle.

I crouched in my foxhole waiting for the moment when I could see the whites of their eyes.

Well, the Germans never got that far, and there I was, stuck holding a hand grenade with only the pressure of my hand to keep it from exploding.

After things quieted down, I was able to salvage the tape and use the safety pin from my ammunition bandoleer to temporarily replace the lost pin.

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