Personal Accounts

WWII Memoirs: Part 6 – Going Home

After V-E Day, we settled into barracks life, except we were in pup tents. Close order drill, parades, physical training, inspections and softball took up our time. Living in the field, the only latrines available were slit trenches, dug by assigned details or work parties.

WWII Memoirs: Part 2 – The Bulge

The 87th Division was pulled out of the Saar Basin on December 23. It was a cold, barren place with copses of woods concealing enemy machine gun emplacements and tanks, deadly for foot soldiers. We were positioned on the right flank of the Third Army. We were glad to go. It was rumored the Germans had broken through the American lines somewhere to the north.

WWII Memoirs: Part 1 – The First Day of Combat

With full pack and rifle, we carefully went over the side of our cross-channel ship and worked our way down the cargo net to a landing craft (LCI) heaving alongside the hull in the long harbor swells of Le Havre. We were instructed to leap in the boat as it fell in the trough. With rifle and full pack added to our body weight, if we landed in the boat as it rose in the swell, you could break a leg.

WWII Memoirs: Part 5 – Crossing the Rhine

After several days of what passed for R&R (Rest & Recreation) in Koblenz, we loaded up and climbed on trucks in the late afternoon of March 24 and moved upstream on the west side of the Rhine to the small town of Boppard. We began to cautiously filter down through the moonlit streets toward the shingled beach.

Bloody Sunday – Dec 17, 1944 – A Day in Hell

A little after midday Dec 17, 1944, Company E advanced combat-ready into the woods. I heard an explosion in front of me. Lt. Thomas of Madison, Wisconsin had stepped on a mine which threw him into the air. Company Commander Lt. J Lennon of New York City yelled out "he...

WWII Memoirs: Part 4 – Koblenz

The enduring cold was gradually coming to an end. It was mid-March. The worst of it had been cold feet. They were numbingly cold all the time unless we could capture a village, occupy houses and build fires. If your feet were wet and cold, it was worse. Trench foot with blackened toes could send you back possibly with gangrene and amputation.

Bill Jasper’s WWII Memoirs

In April 1943 I took a test for the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP).  I was notified that I had passed and it was suggested that I run right down and join the Army Reserve, which I did in May. On my 18th birthday I received my orders for active duty. That...

WWII Memoirs: Part 3 – The Siegfried Line

On January 15, the 345th Regiment again climbed on trucks and in freezing cold headed for the Duchy of Luxembourg along with the rest of the 87th Division to relieve the 4th Division, which had been on the southern shoulder of the Bulge. K Company occupied Berdorf near the west bank of the Sauer River.

Mitch Kaidy’s Combat Log

All of us who trained in the Infantry in World War II -- every mother's son of us -- can attest to the discipline that was drilled into us. Today I look back and wonder whether it could have been otherwise. But then? Well, then, you couldn't have expected us to like...