space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Area Teams Kick Off Track Season
* Pillath Voted Top M&O Wrestler
* UW-Buccaneers Claim Post-Season Honors
* Ranger Duo Share M&O MVP
* No Trolling Rule For Fishing Opener

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

Tales from the old-timer

Remembering Mortain

In the European Theater in World War II the American and British forces invaded Normandy in France on June 6,1944. I had been in England for about 3 months as a combat replacement in Field Artillery, and we had been having some road marches and occasional training, but knew we would soon be on our way to Normandy. On June 12, I disembarked from a Landing Ship on Utah Beach as a 4th Infantry Division Field Artillery replacement. I waded ashore with my comrades on June 12 and after a night of noisy rest I was taken by truck to my outfit, Battery B 42nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 4th Infantry Division. We were equipped with M-7 self propelled tanks with 105 mm. howitzers and fired numerous missions night and day in the hedgerow country in Normandy. Our forward observers, who called in the fire missions by radio got combat fatigue after a couple of weeks, so us cannoneers were sent up to replace them by turns.

By about July we broke out of the hedgerow country, which had held our infantry advances to a couple of hedgerows daily with lots of casualties, and we had the Germans on the run as we made faster progress. I spent about 3 days with the Forward Observer in July up with the infantry near St. Lo, and my second term was in early August at a place called Mortain two.

Mortain was well-named, as Hitler had launched an attack with 5 crack armored divisions ordered to drive the Americans back to the beachead, and the word “Mort” is Latin for ‘’death” and it was a tough experience.

Even after 68 years, I sometimes think about those experiences when I can’t sleep at night. We moved up with the Infantry and the 4th Division was ordered to attack the Germans, jumping off at about 8 AM. Our troops were running across a sunken road one at a time, and as I watched, a German machine gunner fired a burst at each man as he jogged across. Sure enough, one of them got a bullet through his lung, and toppled over on the sunken road. I was behind a hedgerow, relatively safe, and dragged him behind the hedgerow. I took his compress bandage and covered the hole. but I heard a suckling sound and rolled him over. The hole in his back was bigger than the one in front, so I took my own compress bandage and plugged that one up. He had his nickname “Blacky” written in ink on the back of his fatigue jack. My Lieutenant was scanning toward the machine gun with a pair of binoculars, and a burst put two bullets through his lung, and down he went. Bullets hit hard, and knock the victims right over. My friend patched up the Lieutenant’s holes up. I dashed across the sunken road to the aid station about 100 yards to the rear and told them about our two wounded guys.

I returned and we waited, but no litter bearers came, so I dashed across the sunken road a second time. When I got to the aid station there was a guy lying on a stretcher with his stomach laid open by shrapnel, and he kept saying over and over, “Help me, Jesus; Help me Jesus!” Nobody tended to him, as they were busy with other guys.

I went back to my place, running back over the sunken road so fast the gunner didn’t even fire at me. Finally the aid men came and crossed the road to get our two wounded guys. The Germans did not fire at them and they worked slowly to carry them to the aid station. The Germans observed the Geneva Convention and did not fire at the aid men helping the wounded guys. The convention is a dead letter now, and even the U.S. tortures captives.

After some time we started the attack and went single file along a hedgerow toward the Germans, behind another hedgerow about 100 yards away. The machine gunner opened up on us, and we hit the deck. I laid on my stomach and watched the bullets hit the hedgerow behind me. Apparently the gunner couldn’t depress his gun enough to get me, as he knew what the radio on my back was for. My buddy jumped up and ran behind the hedgerow we had started from, but I waited a good 10 minutes in the hot sun before making my dash.

After I got to the relative safety of the hedgerow I watched some bumblebees buzzing from flower to flower. In a field next to ours. I saw some artillery shells knocking over grazing cows. The surviving cows milled around a little while, then resumed grazing among their dead herdmates.

We had the same situation as the cattle, and there were quite a few dead men lying on the ground in our area.

I was glad when our relief men arrived and we could go back to the battery where we lived and worked a mile or two back. They had been bombed the night before by German planes and were not interested in my story about the narrow escape at Mortain.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
03-25-2015Sports
Area Teams Kick Off Track Season

03-25-2015Sports
Pillath Voted Top M&O Wrestler

03-25-2015Sports
UW-Buccaneers Claim Post-Season Honors

03-25-2015Sports
Ranger Duo Share M&O MVP

03-25-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

03-25-2015Perspectives
From our readers

03-25-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

03-25-2015Obituaries
Leonard Walters

03-25-2015Obituaries
Robert Talbot

03-25-2015Obituaries
William H. Myers

03-25-2015Obituaries
Susan A. Mejer

03-25-2015Obituaries
Eric P. Marquis

03-25-2015Obituaries
Joseph D. Kubasik

03-25-2015Obituaries
Elmer R. Knutson

03-25-2015Obituaries
Margaret E. Jamison

03-25-2015Obituaries
Vernon L. Hollister

03-25-2015Obituaries
Edward F. Harris

03-25-2015Obituaries
Dennis C. Hanson

03-25-2015Obituaries
Margaret Gorski

03-25-2015Obituaries
Daniel M. Carlson

03-25-2015Obituaries
Robert J. Bell

03-25-2015Obituaries
George W. Adams

03-25-2015Obituaries
Minnie A. Swanson

03-25-2015Obituaries
Charlotte T. Robison

03-25-2015Obituaries
Gladys M. Peters

03-25-2015Obituaries
Gerald J. Knutson

03-25-2015Obituaries
Ken Jendrusiak

03-25-2015Obituaries
Louis C. Hellermann

03-25-2015Obituaries
Larry D. Godson

03-25-2015Obituaries
Scottie J. Fifarek

03-25-2015Obituaries
Daniel G. Diercks

03-25-2015Obituaries
Ethel J. Bryngelson

03-25-2015Obituaries
Esther M. Borths

03-25-2015Community - Wausaukee
Winners in Wagner Benefit Card Party

03-25-2015Community - Wausaukee
Authors To Visit Wausaukee Library

03-25-2015Community - Wausaukee
T/Wausaukee Against County Assessing, Okay Variance

03-25-2015Community - Wausaukee
Wagner OK Purchase Of New Tender Truck

03-25-2015Community - Crivitz
Hundreds Attend Rural Life Day in Crivitz

03-25-2015Community - Crivitz
Walleye Spawning Project on Lake Noquebay

03-25-2015Community - Crivitz
CBA/CRA Annual Banquet at Rene’s

03-25-2015Community - Crivitz
CBA Easter Egg Hunt is April 4

03-25-2015Community - Coleman
Library Lists Month’s Events

03-25-2015Community - Coleman
Annual Auction at Faith Christian School

03-25-2015Community - Coleman
Coleman-Pound Lions Brunch Palm Sunday

03-25-2015Community - Coleman
New Church To Open in Pound

03-25-2015News
Klondike Little League Signup

03-25-2015News
Pembine Craft Sales April 11

03-25-2015News
Lena Pathfinders Rummage Sale

03-25-2015Front Page
BARN FIRE

03-25-2015Front Page
3 Killed In Bank Robbery Spree

03-25-2015Front Page
Coleman School Tables High School Remodeling

03-25-2015Front Page
Peshtigo Persons of Year Banquet March 29

03-25-2015Front Page
CJCC Seeks Grant For Local Drug Treatment

03-18-2015Community - Coleman
Coleman Church Fish Fry Mar. 20

03-18-2015Sports
No Trolling Rule For Fishing Opener

03-18-2015Sports
Wausaukee Lions Bowlers Host Over 225 Games, 600 Series

03-18-2015Sports
40th State Girls Basketball Tourney Crowns Five Champs

03-18-2015Sports
WIAA Boys 100th State Basketball Tournament

03-18-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

03-18-2015Perspectives
From our readers

03-18-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

03-18-2015Obituaries
Robert A. Van Norman, Sr.

03-18-2015Obituaries
Steven J, Sharpe

03-18-2015Obituaries
Linda J. Porter

03-18-2015Obituaries
Frank A. Peterson

03-18-2015Obituaries
Helen L. Peterson

03-18-2015Obituaries
Michael D. Olsen

03-18-2015Obituaries
Rev. Dr. Howard E. Nelson

03-18-2015Obituaries
Fred Kuhnle

03-18-2015Obituaries
Joyce Kleinke

03-18-2015Obituaries
Kenneth C. Hult

03-18-2015Obituaries
Sandra L. Heck

03-18-2015Obituaries
Robert W. Hafeman

03-18-2015Obituaries
Claryce M. Finger

03-18-2015Obituaries
Gail Marie Becker

03-18-2015Obituaries
Jean Ann Stocker

03-18-2015Obituaries
Scott E. Seymour

03-18-2015Obituaries
Thomas A. Schloegel

03-18-2015Obituaries
John A. Payant

03-18-2015Obituaries
Dorraine Pantti

03-18-2015Obituaries
Felicia A. Klatkiewicz

03-18-2015Obituaries
Kenneth P. Herlache

03-18-2015Obituaries
Alice M. Hansen

03-18-2015Obituaries
Margaret Greening

03-18-2015Obituaries
Larry Curran

03-18-2015Obituaries
Clark P. Clermont, Sr.

03-18-2015Obituaries
Margaret M. Berger

03-18-2015Obituaries
Robert Bence

03-18-2015Obituaries
Myrtle E. Beaupre

03-18-2015Obituaries
Walter S. Banko

03-18-2015Obituaries
Donald C. Flom

03-18-2015Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Woman Gets $2500 Grant

03-18-2015Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Board Hears Goals of Achievement Plans

03-18-2015Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Fire Department 2nd Card Party Winners

03-18-2015Community - Wausaukee
Unit 66 Auxiliary Hears Reports

03-18-2015Community - Crivitz
CBA Easter Egg Hunt is April 4

03-18-2015Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam March a 20

03-18-2015Community - Crivitz
CRA/CBA Banquet, Persons of Year April 13

03-18-2015Community - Crivitz
Loomis Historical Meeting April 2

03-18-2015Community - Coleman
Lioness Host Parade of Checks

03-18-2015Community - Coleman
Coleman Elementary PTO Luau Dance

03-18-2015Community - Coleman
FBC Hosts AWANA Grand Prix Program

03-18-2015News
Village of Coleman T-Ball Sign-Up

03-18-2015News
1965 Class To Plan Reunion

03-18-2015News
Annual Auction at Faith Christian School

03-18-2015News
Coleman-Pound Lions Brunch Palm Sunday

03-18-2015Front Page
Enter Not Guilty Pleas In Child Neglect Case

03-18-2015Front Page
Architects, Board Work Again On New Peshtigo High School

03-18-2015Front Page
Town of Peshtigo OKs Land Use For Dog Park

03-18-2015Front Page
Marinette High School Walls Need Repair

03-18-2015Front Page
City of Peshtigo Police Warn of Donation Scam

03-11-2015Sports
Peshtigo High School Bowlers Take 12th at State Competition

03-11-2015Sports
Cougars Clipped By Cardinals In Title Match

03-11-2015Sports
Niagara Falls Short Of Comeback

03-11-2015Sports
Three Area Teams Advance To Sectionals

03-11-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

03-11-2015Perspectives
From our readers

03-11-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

03-11-2015Obituaries
Constance D. Szoke

03-11-2015Obituaries
Floyd D. Schultz

03-11-2015Obituaries
Irene C. Sanders

03-11-2015Obituaries
James A. Reed

03-11-2015Obituaries
Elaine A. Nelson

03-11-2015Obituaries
Ida E. Moore

03-11-2015Obituaries
Leroy W. Lutzke

03-11-2015Obituaries
Dewane C. Hummel

03-11-2015Obituaries
Howard J. Hubbard

03-11-2015Obituaries
Timothy Dolata

03-11-2015Obituaries
Franklin L. Bjorklund, Jr.

03-11-2015Obituaries
Lucille Blahnik

03-11-2015Obituaries
Earl R. Vaughn, Jr.

03-11-2015Obituaries
Bernice A. Van Eyck

03-11-2015Obituaries
Elizabeth M. Sommerfeld

03-11-2015Obituaries
Norman F. Smith

03-11-2015Obituaries
Philip Erwin Schmidt

03-11-2015Obituaries
Donald F. Photenhauer

03-11-2015Obituaries
Paul Pfeiffer

03-11-2015Obituaries
Joseph A. Peters

03-11-2015Obituaries
Gloria M. Peters

03-11-2015Obituaries
Nancy C. Marzano

03-11-2015Obituaries
Marliss-ann Lundquist

03-11-2015Obituaries
Pauline B. Lindquist

03-11-2015Obituaries
Versa Gibson Hebert

03-11-2015Obituaries
Melvin Haack

03-11-2015Obituaries
Leonard G. Gasall

03-11-2015Obituaries
Betty J. Forcey

03-11-2015Obituaries
Robert E. Ewald

03-11-2015Obituaries
Jean T. Elliott

03-11-2015Obituaries
Lois A. Behnke

03-11-2015Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Rec Youth Baseball/Softball Sign Up


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Wisconsin lawmakers passed a bill with a 76-22 vote that would increase the maximum speed limit to 70 mph in approved areas. Do you agree that the speed limit should be increased?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2015
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites