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.
The first thing I noticed was the odor. It reminded me of the Kuhner Packing Company’s waste being burned in my hometown of Muncie, Indiana. It was a warm morning in April, 1945 — calm and peaceful — unlike the grueling conditions we had recently left behind in Belgium and Luxembourg.