We stood reveille
every morning in front of our squad tents; at that time of morning it was
I was in B Company
and the row of tents next to us was A Company. Every morning the 1st
Sergeant of A Company would blow a whistle profusely.
One morning we fell
out and the 1st Sergeant was blowing his whistle when a man
from B Company yelled out, "BLOW IT OUT OF YOUR ASS!" This man had a neck
the size of his head and built like a piece of granite.
[The] A Company 1st
Sergeant came jumping across the tent ropes yelling, "WHO SAID THAT?"
The B Company man
said." I did, what ya goin' to do about it?"
Sergeant approached the man who was directly in front of a squad tent; the
man put his head down moving like a blocking tackle, dug his into the
midriff of the 1st Sergeant and kept on moving with both of
them going through and collapsing the squad tents around them. To me that
was a funny scene to start the day.
Another time was
when we came back from Normandy.
I had received a
battlefield commission and during the re-training period at Wollaton Park,
I was in charge of training all the 60 mm mortar men in the Battalion. We
had a live firing range not far from Wollaton Park.
The last thing I
had the crews do, was fire for effect with all the mortars with 10 rounds
in the air before the first one hit the ground.
One of the mortar
crews did not hold the bipod down and with each round the mortar moved to
the left. When I saw what had happened I held my breath as the rounds
exploded near on and across a civilian highway.
Right behind the
round that exploded on the highway came the Regimental C.O., Colonel
Lindquist and the only thing I remember him saying was, "HOW CAN I GO
THROUGH NORMANDY WITHOUT A SCRATCH AND COME OUT TO MY FIRING RANGE ALMOST