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THE ADVENTURES OF SGT BOB DANIELS

I waited until he was in certain range of my Forty-five (I couldnít manage my rifle) and, being sure in the morning light that he was a Jerry, I let him have it.

Well, that pistol-shot of mine really touched off the fireworks. While the firing came mostly from in front of our position, it seemed to me to be coming from every direction at once. Luckily, the opposition came at us from the very best angle as far as I was concerned. That is, from the direction in which I could most easily return fire.

There was a Terrace close up in front of us (just about good hand-grenade throwing distance) toward which the Jerries moved, firing upon us constantly. When this battle started at 6:00 in the morning of June 6th, we had five rifles, five pistols, a supply of hand-grenades. I could not use my rifle. We had a good supply of ammunition for the normal expectancy of such an operation as we had embarked upon; but it was not of siege proportions.

That was our busy day. Before noon the Jerries had reached the Terrace in some numbers, just how many I have no idea. For about three solid hours we played a game. They were trying to mount machine guns on top of the Terrace so they could blast our position. Every time they put one up, we knocked it off. And, we were knocking off plenty of Jerries all the while.

Well, about 1:00 P. M. our ammunition was running low and we were trying to stretch it out as far as possible. The boys were lobbing hand-grenades just over the Terrace with telling effect. Iíve often wondered just how many of those Huns we did pick off that day, but Iíll never know.

Anyway, at 1:30, just when the folks back home would be starting out to the shows, the Jerries succeeded in placing a machine gun upon the Terrace. Then they gave us the works. They got two of our boys before we ran flat out of ammunition. I had one hand-grenade left. Just one. That was all.

I told the boys to wiggle out through the trees and work their way back to our lines. They refused at first to leave me. I pointed out that there was no point in being heroic. I couldnít move or I'd lead them. They were certain to be taken prisoners if not killed. Still they insisted until I threatened to heave my last hand-grenade into their foxhole. I guess they believed me. You see, the morphine had long-since worn off and I was pretty desperate with pain and I imagine I sounded sort of convincing- like. Anyway, they took off. (Since Iíve been back, Iíve heard from both of them. They got through safely!)

The Jerries kept pounding away for a while. Then, when we did not return their fire, they eased up, and a couple of them started over the Terrace. I heaved my last hand-grenade at them. It did not reach them, but it must of made them mad all over again for they certainly peppered me, their bullets kicking dirt in my face (which was already very, very dirty) and over my body. That, too, was lucky, because it made me harder to see.

Right then, I thought about Home. Plenty. I remember thinking, ďIf I just had a long-distance phone here Iíd call up the Home and tell them to brush up a Gold Star for me. It looks like Iím going to need it. And quick.Ē You see, Iíd been reading The Sunshine and I knew they had a blue star on the flag for me, and I remember thinking what the expression on their faces would be like if old Bob was to phone in and tell íem to change it to a Gold Star.

And I prayed, too. I prayed a lot as I lay there without defense. Just waiting for those Jerries to come over and pop me. Lots of people have asked me what I thought about during those last few minutes there alone. Honestly, I donít know more than Iíve just said. Oh, I thought about my wife and the folks at Home and kids and what was going to happen to them. Really, I was more than a little goofy, I guess. With pain and shock.

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