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Up Brock Smith 2 Brock Smith 3 Brock Smith 4 Brock Smith 5 Brock Smith 6

-4-

Itís 11:00 p.m. Christmas Eve.

All of a sudden, a loud whistle blows like the beginning of an athletic event. Next, the German soldiers start to yell. It reminded me of Indians attacking in old movies.
Shells began to explode. The fire fight was fierce. I was throwing grenades down the hill as fast as I could. I was firing in my M1. It was very dark down in the woods. You couldn't see anything but tracer bullets.

I felt very alone - just me in that foxhole. A thought ran through my mind. How did I get myself into this situation? I also thought about the Twenty-Third Psalm: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me!"

About that time I saw someone crossing the road on his belly. I could see from his helmet it was a lieutenant. He said. "Do you have enough room in that foxhole for me?" I said, "I sure do!" I slid over and he got in. He was our replacement for Lieutenant Rockwell. I was very glad to have company. We both began to fire toward the river.
I told the lieutenant about the grenades under the straw. We started taking turns throwing them. I was feeling much better.

Bam! The lieutenant's helmet went flying into the road behind us! The lieutenant fell into the foxhole and said, "Iím hit.'' I felt alone again.
All of a sudden, he got up and said. "Hell. I'm not hurt. If I was hurt I would be knocked out." I felt a great relief. I could reach his helmet. I handed it to him. It had a hole in one side. He put it on.

We continue to fire and throw grenades until we see someone sliding on his stomach to my foxhole. It's Sgt. Don King (my squad leader). He said, "We have to get out of here! The Germans are in the foxhole next to mine. (That is about forty feet.)

The lieutenant said, "We can't leave. We don't have orders to leave." Sgt. King said, "Do you want to go with me, Smith?" I said, "I'm with you, Sarge!" The lieutenant changed his mind. The three of us moved on to the foxholes of Wilson, Bohanon, Lira and Sgt. Bogey.

After some disagreement between the new lieutenant and Sgt. Bogey, we decided the new lieutenant was right. We wade across the river and go upstream. That has to be north. The river goes to Trois Pont. That is where we are to catch up with First Battalion - about six miles.

As we went to the river, the Germans were shooting flares up to try to find us. We made it to the river and waded across it. It was about waist deep. It was Christmas Eve - about twelve midnight. It's hard to understand, but the water did not feel cold. The adrenalin is a strange thing.

I realized I had left my right hand glove in my foxhole. You can't operate an M1 rifle with a glove on. In fact, we all left our packs. We were in a hurry.
We walked up the river in knee-deep snow for several hours. We got to Trois Point before daylight. We just laid down by the road and went to sleep.

At daylight, Sgt. James Smith, first sergeant for B Company, woke us up. We had to move about three miles and set up a new defense line.

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