157th Infantry Regiment Distinctive insignia, Second WorldWar

Vere "Tarzan" Williams

Part Five

157th Infantry Regiment Distinctive insignia, Second WorldWar
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I am Vere L. Williams

( Click here for printer friendly version part 1-5 )


( Click here for part 1 )

By Vere L. Williams


Eiffel Tower,
Paris, France
About the 12th of December the Doctor took me in and cut of the hanging cast and put on a heavy Spica as they were getting ready to ship me out. The 15th of December and how I remember the 15th so well, is the 15th of February is when shrapnel hit my helmet driving it down on my neck and shoulder. The 15th of August we made the landing on the South of France. Anyway the morning of the 15th we were loaded on a train to Paris to a Evacuation Hospital. The Hospital was a big two story building with several wings on it. From the second floor we could see the Eiffel tower in the distance. At the Hospital there two Majors a man and a woman told us we were lucky. We would be the first Hospital Patients to be flown to the States.

We would have to tell them at the nurses station every 30 minutes, where we were at all times The first night we were there we went down for supper and it took over an hour to get though the line. When we cane back to the nurse station the head nurse really gave us hell for not reporting to her every 30 minutes. We told her that it took that long to get through the line. She said well you could come up on the 30 minutes. I said we would lose our place in line. Oh my gosh I never thought of that. I don't know who she talked to but she told us to be sure to tell the nurse when you are going to eat your meals.

There was nothing to do up on the ward so we would talk with the nurses. The Head Nurse was a Frenchman but she was all American as she said she wouldn't live in France if that was the only place to live. The second afternoon we were coming back from dinner when we saw two girls cleaning windows so we stop to talk with them. All four of us men had casts on our arms and the girls really thought that was something. The windows were three feet from the floor and the ceilings were 10 feet high. There was a ledge one each window 1 1/2 feet wide and both girls were standing on the ledge. I was standing close to the ledge when the girl turned around and put one hand on my arm with the cast and the other on my right shoulder to get down off the ledge then she hugged and kissed me. I put my hand on her butt and she rubbed her crotch on my leg.

There was too much traffic in the hallway so we went up to the ward. We were talking with the nurses when Head Nurse said why don't you go to your room and quit pestering us. We don't have anything else to do. I saw the two girls come in the hall and into the first room so I took off casual, like I was going to my room but went to the first room where the girls were. Then here came another man.

I was running my hand up the girl's leg and she spread her legs for better access. The girls finished the windows so I helped my girl down and went into the next room and helped her up on the window shelf. Here came the other two men and they were standing by the door, soon they said here comes the nurse. Both of us stepped up to the front wall so when the nurse saw us in the same room with the girls she really gave us thunder saying what are you messing around with these girls for, while the girls in the States are waiting for you boys. I said but these girls got it here, she made us go to her desk.

I saw the girls go into the room right next to the nurses station, so I went in and the girl I was with was having trouble getting up on the window ledge so I stepped up and helped her. I don't know how I done but I tripped her trigger as when she stood up she place her hand between her legs and went to trembling the other girl saw what she was doing, then she put her hand between her legs but she went to moaning and getting louder all the time. Boy I beat it out of the room and up the hall to the third room and heard the nurse saying where is Vere? She jumps up ran into the first room then she said something in French and I heard the girls saying no no here.

She came looking for me and I was lying on my bunk. She said what are doing lying there. I said I'm giving my hips and shoulder a rest from carrying this heavy cast, and she believed me. She ask if I heard the girls. I said no, Why? She said never mind. I got up and followed her and went into the room with the girls and by that time it was time for them to quit for the evening. Both girls kissed me before leaving. The nurse said she would have let us go to the Rec. Room if it wasn't so far to it.

Early the third morning we were woke up and went down for breakfast and back up to the ward. They put us in ambulances to the train for Cherbourg France on the North Coast. The train pulled through a big Marshaling yard. I saw 12 Engines that were hooked to cars ready to head north, as we moved north we met freight trains going to Paris Loaded on open cars, winter vegetables and several kinds of green leaf vegetables, pumpkins and squash, I think four kinds, etc, and several kinds of cabbage.

The train pulled into the Dock of Cherbourg France and we were carried on a large Ferry as the litters were put on the lower deck. As soon as the ship left the dock the Doctor said we could get up from the litter, so several of us got up so we could see the channel. Heck I would have rather walked as be carried on the litter as it was so hard for me to get up and down from the litter.

When the ship pulled into Dover England we had to get back on the litters. There was a string of ambulances waiting for the ship. I was lucky I was put up on the level of the ambulance so I could look out the front window. So when the driver got out on the street I could see vehicles coming on the right side and said you are on the wrong side of the street. He said man you are in England now. They took us close to Bristol on the west side of England about 17 KM to the east, about 11 miles. I can not remember the name of the number of the General Hospital or the name of the Village it was by.

The Hospital has two streets with the Hospital ward, each street has two Hospital blocks. Each block has ten plywood buildings for wards. Behind each ward was a Hospital tent so there were 20 wards and tents. In the middle was the nurses offices and supply and behind that was the latrine. (wash and rest rooms) In the wooden wards were the most serious wounded, and in the tents were men that were getting ready to go back up to the front lines again. I was put in the tent next to the nurses station. There were twenty beds in each tent. There were eight of us that had cast on our arms, most of the time there would be twenty men in the ward.
At night every where was Black Outs, all door ways have two doors and the tents have tarps hanging down in front of the tent opening. The first and second night I went to the bathroom it was cloudy, and dark as the ace of spades. You could not see your hand in front of your face.

V1 rocket
V2 rocket

The only way you could tell, you were on the walk was the cement was one inch above the ground. As I was walking, I walked into the corner of the plywood ward and at the same time there was a loud boom off in the distant. It may have been a V 2 Rocket the Germans were sending over the Channel but I went to cussing and told the men in the tent I almost knocked the ward over.

The next morning a man in the tent had a Buddy in the ward. The man said did you feel that bomb go off last night at 2200 hours it shock the building, he went to laughing saying a man with a cast on his arm hit the corner of the building. He had to get me to show the men in the ward, then I had to tell them how I got the cast. Told them I was wounded six times. Man where were you fighting at. I said Sicily, Italy, and France. Two men said I didn't know there was a war anywhere but here in France. I said the US was even in North Africa.
Talk about V1 and V2 Rockets the Germans were sending the rockets across the Channel to London, and The Big Cites. The fighter Planes got to watching for the rockets and were trying to shoot them down. One day a US Pilot saw a rocket, so he pulled the plane up and made a loop and as he came down he couldn't see the rocket anyplace. He looked all around then came back to where he had seen the rocket and saw the smoke and dust coming up from the ground. He thought he never hit the rocket as he had over shot it so here came another rocket. He thought he would over shoot it to see what happened and sure enough it hit the ground so after that all the Pilots would dive in front of the rockets.

The third night there was a poker game in the tent and seven men were playing seven card stud. One Kid was eighteen years old and asked how they played so I was telling him. After a while a man dropped out and the Kid asked me if I would play for him he would give me money to play. I told him I could loose it all, but he said that's all right. I was holding my own 'till the last hand. The first down card was an ace of hearts, I think the next two cards face up were small numbers, one was a heart. Then a Queen of hearts, then ten of hearts, so I had four hearts, the next down was the King of hearts, and the last was the Jack of hearts. I was covering all the raises. All the men stayed in. I bet all the money I had. The Kid went to get a pound note, four US dollars and the bet to me was up two dollars so I raised two dollars. Then the men stayed, showing their hands. First man has two pairs, two aces and two eights. Two men had full houses I can't remember what kind though. Two had low straights. They were saying how will we divide up the pot, when I said I don't believe you have to, as I have a Royal Flush. A man with a straight said I was cheating. The man that had the two pairs was dealing and said how did he cheat he never shuffled any time and we done the dealing for him. The Kid said You Won, You Won. I said I could have lost just as easy. He said here's your money. I said I was playing with your money, then he said take half of it. So I divided it up and he took most all the small change. When I exchange the English money for the US money I got $20.00. There must have been about $50.00 in the pot.

All the men that didn't have cast on could get an over night pass twice a week. Christmas Eve after we went to bed, about 2300 hours two nurses came in with a box and were putting a bag at each bed. When the nurse came beside my bed I asked if she was Santa and she jumped like she was shot, then said you are suppose to be asleep.

Everybody that was in the tents had to go to the Mess Hall which was about 175 to 200 yards from C block. There was always Chow Hounds as I had saw men going to the Mess Hall before noon and supper meals. The Breakfast meal was not so bad, as not as many men ate the Breakfast meal. One day at noon there was the Englishman at the Kitchen with a big black Horse and a white cart picking up the garbage. He had a pretty big dog, it would really liked to be petted and would go up to anybody that was close to the horse. The horse was standing with his hind hoof rocked over relaxed. We were about six feet to the left of the horse and the dog was trying to get the man in front of me to pet him. He would put his nose under the man's hand, but he was not paying any attention to the dog as he was talking he would raise and lower his hands. I could tell he was full of bull shit. So when the dog tried to lift his hand with his nose, I reach down pinched his leg and let out a Yap, that man jumped and fell against three other men. The dog jumped back against the horse knocking his knee forward and the horse was trying to get its balance and was moving the cart. The Englishman hollered Whoa Prince Whoa Prince. "Whoa" is the command given to a horse to stop. If you want someone to stop, you say Whoa. You get that from being on a farm. He came up to see what was the matter. I said this man scared your dog and he hit Prince's front knee and Prince had to catch his balance. The man said your dog bit me. The men in my tent group said Vere grabbed your leg and you jumped. That tickled the Englishman

One afternoon when the boys came in from being on passes, this one man Don was 5'8"or 9" and weighted about 160 to 165 pounds. Most of us were lying on our beds, when Don said, now is when I can get the best of a man bigger than I am. Then he jumped on top of me with both hands on my arm with the cast saying Now what in the Hell are you going to do about this. I put my right leg over his left leg so he couldn't jump off me. I rolled to the left. The Hospital beds were three feet high. He hung on to my arm as he was over the edge of the bed. With him holding on to my cast I rolled over the side of the bed. Don hit the floor, and I landed in top of him. My arm landed on his chest and knocked the wind out of him. As soon as he could get his breath, he went to hollering get this Big Bastard off me. While I laid on him I said just because somebody has a big body cast on, he's no weakling. When I let him up and he got up saying boy I thought I could hold you down but I sure as Hell was fooled.

A short time after we were at the Hospital at noon when all the men were on pass there were only ten of us going to dinner, eight of us in body casts, and as always there were all the chow hounds. The line seemed extra long. So before we got up to the line, I told the men lets walk though the line, so the men on my right had his right arm in a cast, then three men one right behind the other with their arm up against each ones backs. As we were coming up to the line I said We are coming though. They hollered, Oh No Your Not and about 30 men jumped behind the three men to stop us. The men were standing close to the man in back of him. The three men put their arms out to stop us. We kept walking, and the three men were forced back but the men were behind them and they started falling backwards. It was a chain reaction. It looked like a wave was pushing them over. Why we didn't stumble, I don't know as I guess we were stepping up high enough as all ten of us walked right over the top of the men. All but the last two men fell. After we walked over the men, I turned around saying Let this be a lesson to you, you can not stop a Sherman tank. One man got a bloody nose and another must have gotten an elbow in his crouch. After that every time we came to the Mess Hall the men would say here comes those crazy men from "C" Block, let us the through.

One day we stopped at the open line and nobody said get to the end of the line. We must have stayed there for fifteen minutes so when the line started moving we went to the end of the line. You got the attitude the first time you got on the Front Lines to shoot or be shot. Kill or be Killed. Another thing up on the front lines especially at night to be trigger happy. Right after we land on Salerno, Italy, one night about 2400 hours the moon was shining bright when out in front of me about 30 feet the grass was about four inches tall and there were six different movements in the grass. The lines in the grass didn't move in a straight line as I was getting ready to start firing the machine gun so I kept waiting and soon here came six small animals eating in the grass. Now if it had been dark so I could not see I would have opened up on the Varmints. When we were in the mountains in France there were trees all around us, and the second gunner just took over the watch when all of a sudden he started firing the gun fast as he could. I jumped up and went to the gun. I had to put my hand on him before he stopped firing. He said see those Germans coming. I told him those were trees. The next morning you could see the tree, he peeled the bark off of them.

Silver Star Medal

The Colonel in charge of the Hospital would come around to each tent about once a week to see how everything was and talk with us. He also wanted to know what it was like on the front lines so I would tell him. Then the other men would tell their experiences. The Colonel told us we were the only men that would say anything about the war. Sometimes he would stay and talk for an hour at a time. The nurse that was a Major in charge of all the nurses came looking for the Colonel right after he came in one day. We jumped to attention when the Major came into the tent. The Colonel told her these boys really have interesting stories to tell. She was full of all kinds of questions and we told her everything she wanted to know. When they left the Major said She really enjoyed talking with us.

The first part of January 1945 the Colonel came in the tent on a Monday or Tuesday afternoon to see how we were doing. The next afternoon the eight of us man were setting on three beds have a BS session as the other men were on passes. Here came in the Colonel, two Majors, two Captains, and five nurses from "C" block. We jumped to attention so when all got into the tent the Colonel said as you were, so we all sat down again. The Colonel started talking saying that he has some real nice news. That the Hospital never got to present an award, especially an award as high as this. He talked for five minutes saying what a great honor it was to give a man this Great Medal then reached in his jacket for a slip of paper. Then he started reading; Sergeant Vere L Williams Serial # 20839325 Company K 157th Infantry Regiment 45th Division 7th Army, on the Afternoon of 31 October 1944 on hill so and so near Jeamenil France. There was a German Counterattack (there was two paragraphs and I don't remember what they were but went in) above and beyond the Line of Duty, I was awarded the Silver Star.

Boy you could have knocked me over with a feather. The Colonel handed me the paper then shook my hand, then stepped back ***and Saluted me, I returned the Salute then the one Major and the two Captains congratulated me. The nurses, even one Major hugged and kissed me. Than one of the nurses took me to all ten of the wards on "C" block telling all the Patients that I got the Silver Star. She said it really made her proud to take me around to all the wards to tell the men you got the Silver Star. The Hospital put out a news letter every day about what each theater was doing then what the Hospital was doing, etc. The next day my name is the first article about how the Colonel presented me with the Silver Star. All the Nurses in the hospital came to "C" block to see Sergeant Vere Williams, the man that got the Silver Star and had to give me hugs and kisses. I even had to go to the Administration Building and the Colonel showed me around. With all the nurses hugging and kissing me I wished I didn't have that body cast on my chest. Boy I really was somebody around the Hospital after that.

I never knew how many men went though the Company being wounded or killed but when got to being a machine gun Sergeant for the 14 months I was on the line, I started keeping account of the men that did not come back to my section. I'm not counting the men that got wounded and came back, there were supposed to be fourteen men in my section. From the first part of September 1943 to October 31 1944. I was in the Hospital four months, in that time 57 men were wounded, that didn't come back and 7 men killed. So that was 64 men not counting myself. As for me I went to the Hospital the 28th of October 1943 back to the front lines the 4th of January 1944, Anzio for 12 days, 15th of February. Then August 15th wounded at the Southern France and got on the front line in France October 4th, then wounded again 31st of October 1944.

On Friday the 21st of January when the Captains came around they told me I had the cast on long enough, that they would cut it off me so after dinner they cane to get me and took me to the operating room to cut off the cast. They had a long handle cast cutter and it was all one man could so to cut though the cast. It took them two hours to get the cast cut off as they had to cut the cast on two sides as the cast would not spring any like the first cast I had on. I had to lift my arm up out of the cast and I couldn't bend my elbow. I could reach around my arm anyplace, like I could reach around my waist. The Doctor put my arm in a sling because I couldn't straighten my elbow or raise my arm. So when the boys came back from passes to Bristol they said you can go on pass with us Monday.

Bristol, England 1944

So Monday morning when the Captains came around I ask if I could go on pass. They said I don't see why not as long as you don't hurt your arm. I said I would watch that I won't get hurt. I went to the Supply Building. They gave me a uniform so I went on pass that afternoon. The first thing we done when we got there, was get a bed at a big warehouse building that didn't cost anything. Then I think there were eight of us from the Hospital and they went to the first Pub (a beer tavern). They said here is a good place to meet girls.

The Pub was full of GIs and there was ten GIs for every girl. I counted 20 girls in the Pub. The Boys chug down their Ale and it's too crowded in here, let's go to the next pub. The other Pub was not as crowded but there weren't as many girl either. Six of the men just wanted to drink ale. The other Kid and I wanted to see girls so he said I know other Pubs so we took off. He knew where six Pubs were and we went to all of them, at the last one we were at a table.

Here came two girls and they walked up to the bar and got drinks then came to sit with us. I had to listen twice to hear what the girls were saying. The girls got chummy with us but said they had boy friends, GIs that were stationed in England. Soon here came 3 GIs and the girls said here's our boy friends. One solder ask where his girl friend was. They said she would be home when you men came, so they left for her place. I told Jeff I think that was his name. Lets walk around some so we came to a long Bridge, that crossed a river and two railroad tracks and people were walking north over the bridge so Jeff and I walked across and was standing beside the street when two girls 23 and 24 years old stopped to talk with us.

This was 2100 hours. There was a church a half a block from us so we sat down on the church steps. At 2130 hours the one girl said we need to get home before curfew. The girl I was talking to didn't get up 'till 2155 hours and the girls had to take off running and soon here the siren sounded. I hoped they got home before the Bobbies got to them (Police).

The next morning I told Jeff let's look around and we found more Pubs, then found where the Fishing Fleet came in. Then at 1245 hours we saw girls walking fast to the south so we follow them for three blocks and turned to the right, here was a factory the girls were going in. The girls surrounded us and told us to be there at 1700 hours. I said we got to be at the Hospital at 1700 hours but we could be here Thursday evening and they would show us a good time.
We got back to the hospital Tuesday evening and the Boys said Vere you are on shipping order so I went to the nurses office and they didn't know anything about it as it was after1600 hours and the evening shift was working. I checked again when I got up the next morning so I went to eat breakfast and I checked again when I got back, so I went back to my tent. 30 minutes later here came the five nurses saying get your clothes on they are here to get you. They helped get my clothes on so when two men with a Litter came, I was suppose to have PJ on. The nurses stripped off my clothes and a ward boy got me a pair of PJ's then all five nurses hugged and kissed me before the men took me to the ambulance. I don't know how many ambulances there were that took us to the out skirts of Bristol to an evacuation hospital.

After dinner the orders came down anybody wanting passes for the evening, sign up, so we put our names on the list.. An hour later all passes canceled the Doctors want to check all the patients. The Doctors saw us the next morning. That afternoon same orders, but I can't remember why the passes were canceled for the 28th, to exchange English money for American Money. The morning of the 29th we changed the money, then at 1500 hours we got ready to get on the ambulances again to go into Bristol to where the trains were. There were three passenger trains as there was more then one Hospital shipping out patients. There were two trains taking on the litter patient and the other train was ambulatory patients and more on the train.

BG Felix Sparks
and his wife, 2001
When I first got into "K Co" Felix Sparks was a Second Lieutenant in charge of the Third Platoon and I was in the Third Squad. When the Regiment got the M1 Rifles they gave me the B A R Rifle. When the Company made the Weapons Platoon, I was put in the Machine Gun Section. About that time Felix left the Company and I think went to Regimental Headquarters. When we were in Camp Pickett VA Felix was put in charge of "J" Company (Jail Company) to get all the men that went AWOL. Felix said his Sergeants were tougher on the men the he was. When the Division was getting ready to go over seas Felix was a Captain and put in charge of "E" Company through Anzio. He was made a Major in charge of the First Battalion when we made the Invasion of Southern France.

I didn't get to make the Big Push from Southern France to Rambervillers North of Switzerland where the 7th Army met up with Patton's 3rd Army, General Patches was in charge of the 7th Army. I don't know when the Major and two Officers got killed and three Officers got wounded in the Third Battalion. Felix Sparks was put in charge of the Third Battalion, he got to be a Lieutenant Colonel. The Division went into Germany, the Third Battalion captured the Dachau Concentration Camp. What a horrible sight that Camp was, with bodies stacked up like cords of wood and the prisoners dying. Felix said it is something he will never forget. The Regiment went on to Munich, when the city fell, the 157th Regimental Headquarters took over the Famous Beer Hall of Hitlers, until the 3rd Army came and General Patton took over the Building. The 157th had to move someplace else.

The trains finally got loaded and pulled out after dark between 1800 and 1900 hours. Once again we were stopped as much as we were moving. Most of the way we were along the west coast line. Next morning seem like we had "K" Ration for breakfast. One of the nurses said we should be getting close to Glasgow Scotland. I was setting on the left side where I could see the water and when the train made a bend to the right I could see Glasgow. In the distance, I could see a ship out in the Bay. The nearer we got to the ship the bigger it got. Just before we got to the out skirts of Glasgow the train stopped.

The ship was out in the Bay about 300 yards and there was large Landing Craft up to the Beach. We got off the train, of course had to get on the litters. There were GIs carrying the litters when here came six men. Two of the men, Don Reynolds, and Conrad Bath were in the National Guard with me in the States, in "L Company". . I spoke to them, so they carried me to the Landing Craft. They said they were going home either for a month or were being rotated home. Then I had to get up from the Litter when I got on the Landing Craft. (In September of 1993 eight years ago when the 157th Infantry had their reunion at Devens Massachusetts, close to Boston, Don Reynolds was living close by as he had married a girl from there when we were at Fort Devens Massachusetts. His daughter brought him to the reunion. Eight of us were talking and Don said do you remember when Conrad and I carried you to the landing Craft, it seemed like you weighed a ton. I said I only weighed 169 pounds. He had a stoke one and a half years before, then he passed away some time the next year.) When the landing Craft was full Don and Conrad went on to the ship with us. The closer we got to the Ship the bigger it was. We asked what ship it was and the men in charge of the Landing Craft said it was the Queen Elizabeth, second largest ship.

The Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship
the Queen Mary were used as troop ships in WWII

When the USA declared war on Germany, the US took both the Queen Mary and Elizabeth to transport troops to England. Put racks of bunks in the ships. The Landing Craft headed into a double doors about 5 to 6 feet above the water line and lowered the ramp lever to the floor so the Litter Bearers could raise us up to the door of the ship. Four men would take us from the men on the Landing Craft to an open spot on the deck of the ship, but they put me on an elevator and up to the top floor or deck.

It was the Promenade Deck. It was three or four decks above the main deck. Just the sun deck was above, a large deck that the Officers and Nurse could get on. The Promenade Deck must have be the Captain Dinner and Dance. Any way there was a large open space and there were row after row of racks of wooden bunks.



typical enlisted bunks
 

Bunk for patients (Pvt. Fred L. Hawthorne)

The bunks were one and a half times as wide as the steel canvas bunks the enlisted men had, and had a mattress.. The bottom bunk was one and a half foot off the deck. The second bunk was folded up so just two men would be on a rack (Hospital Patient) the racks for the enlisted men would be four or five high and the bottom bunk was about four inches off the deck. Every ship I was on only had four bunks high. To be like a big chested man that weigh 220 pounds and get the top bunk, he had to squeeze to get in his bunk. One night he was asleep and something scared him and he raised up hitting his head on the ceiling and liked to knock himself out.

I never got to see the bowels of the ship but my Brother in law, Leon rode the Queen both ways. When he went over he was three or four deck below the main deck. I think there were six decks below the main deck to the water line. There were three areas of the ship, Red, White, and Blue. I think he said he was in the white area in a big open area with rows of bunks. He said the ship had two meals a day and one area at a time would get to eat at a time. They had to go to the mess hall one way and back another way as there were so many men on the ship. Leon said the first day he ate breakfast and by the time he found his bunk it was about time to go eat supper.
Before they got to England he could find his way around. When he came back to the States he was in a compartment that had racks of bunks. The compartment was about 12 by 14 feet in size. The men had to share their bunks with other men so Leon and his buddy took blankets out on the deck for the trip home.

We were lucky I guess as the meals were brought to us. Early afternoon the ship raised anchor and set sail south southwest then before Sundown I guess 4 or 5 p.m. there was a US Air Craft Carrier setting in the water, so when the Queen came along side of the Carrier the two ships had a rendezvous for about 15 to 30 minutes then both ships headed west together about 150 to 200 yards apart on a zig zag course at 52 knots per hour. A knot is 6111 feet and is 60 miles an hour.

The Doctor and Nurses would let us go out on Deck most of the time when they were not giving out medicine or shots. At times the Nurses would be up on the sun deck along with the Officers. There was several Nurses standing at the rail. The rail on the sun deck was 6 foot inside the sides of the ship and were about 6 foot above us. There was one nurse that would have her skirt so high on her legs and when asked she would say she was trying to get her legs tanned. What, in the first part of February when the sun is so far to the South! She would put the her foot on the lower rail, well it was a wire cable about half a inch in size. She would put her left foot on the cable then spread her legs then put her right foot up and spread her legs, the whole time she would be standing up there, she didn't have any panties on. No body would say anything but boy they couldn't stop us from looking. She was on the 1600 to 2400 hour shift.

The man in the bunk above me had trench feet, so when this same nurse came to look at his feet he was on the floor standing beside the bunks. He sat on my bunk beside me while she worked with his feet. I asked her if she was getting a tan on her legs. She said sure and stood up in front of me raising her skirt clear to her waist and I saw her panties. Her panties weren't Government issue but the kind you can see though.

The third day the ships ran though a big storm. With the ship being so long I was in the middle part of the ship and I could feel the bow of the ship raise up and down very little. The Air Craft Carrier was not moving up and down very much either. Don and Conrad got to come up to visit with me for 30 minutes one day.

Lower Manhattan Island
Five and a half days the Queen Elizabeth pulled into the Hudson River in New York City to Pier 51. It took six tugs to turn the ship into the dock. Three tugs in the front side and three tugs in the opposite side in the back part of the ship. We had to get on Litters again and was put on the elevator to be taken down to the main Deck, then down the gang plank to waiting ambulances to be taken to an Evacuation Hospital a short distance on Long Island, New York for three days. While we were there the Doctor examined us and made about half of the patients, walking patients (ambulatory). The Doctors told us they would send us to Hospitals in or close to our home State. Oh boy Colorado my home State.

The third morning they told us the Hospitals we were being sent to. I think all the men that were from Colorado were sent to Vancouver Washington across the river from Portland Oregon We said we were just about as close to Colorado from here 1800 miles as we would be in Vancouver Washington.

When we left the Hospital for the train they put on the Litter patients first then the ambulatory men. There were 12 passenger coaches, and three Hospital coaches, there was one Hospital car for every four coaches. I was put on the second to the last coach. When I started to walk down the aisle to a top bunk farther in the car, here was Rex Richer on the first bed. I hadn't seen him since we made the landing on Southern France.

The man wanted to show me where my bunk was so I went to the middle of the car. There was a young kid assigned to the bunk above Rex, so when all the men were assigned bunks, I went to Rex's bunk and asked the kid if he would trade bunks with me. He said he was assigned to this bunk and couldn't make a change. I ask him how long he has been in the Army, as he looked to being 18 years old. He said five months. How long were you on the front lines. He said four days (I think) so I pulled rank on him, and I told him I was on the front lines three times longer then you have been in the Army and I have been wounded six times so get up to that other bunk. Rex and I was together for the seven days it took to go to Washington.

There were two nurses on the Hospital car for the four cars. One nurse acted like she was too good to talk with us but the other nurse really loved to hear about our War Stories and we told her how we got wounded. We were put on the New York Central Rail Road. Went to Albany, New York and on to Chicago. When we went by Lake Erie it was frozen over and there were fishing shanties all along the lake.

I was on the Railroad two other times. When I got furloughs, well I got three furloughs altogether, the first at Camp Barkeley Texas. So the first Sergeant Ted rented the car from Bob and six of us men got two week furlough and gave Ted money to help pay for the gas and the rent. We left Friday afternoon and the first thing Ted and two other Sergeants did was get six bottles of beer at the little town of Sweetwater, then stop again at Lubbock to get beer. Next at Amarillo for Beer and gas. Than had to make a pit stop at Dalhart Texas, so by that time they were pretty drunk. Each time they stopped it would take so long for the three men to get back in the car again so I told them to let me drive. We left at 2:00p.m.and it was midnight at Dalhart. So the three piled in the back seat and in no time they were a sleep.

In New Mexico a car went around me doing 80 when I was driving at 65mph. The car got 3/4 miles ahead of us and was on a slight turn to the left when Jim and I saw a dull flash of light, then the cars tail light came on. I said something has happened up there and slowed down. Then here came the man running with a flash light giving us the washout to stop. As I came up to him I saw a horse lying in my lane, it was the same color as the highway. Jim woke up the three men and the seven pulled the horse off the oil. All that happened to the man's car was the front bumper bent in two places. Behind the wind shield on top was a dent and in the trunk were two hoof prints. We stopped at Pueblo for John, at Denver for Jim and on to Fort Morgan.

When we left Ted was late and he drove to Denver. Another Sergeant drove to Pueblo to get John, the other Sergeant drove to Raton New Mexico and I drove to camp Barkeley and just got there before Reveille.At Fort Devens Sergeant Columbia was acting as First Sergeant, he didn't like the weapons Platoon, and I put in for two weeks furlough but he just gave in ten days and gave me some lame excuse. Started on Tuesday and I had to be back on Camp on Friday. It took me two days to get home so I would only have one week at home so I sent for a five day extenuation but Columbia sent me a telegram saying to be in Camp on Friday morning. I got the telegram, on Friday so, Monday I went to Fort Logan, south of Denver Colorado and showed them I had the telegram and the round trip train ticket to get back to Fort Devens.

It was too late to get to the train station that afternoon so the next day they gave me a slip of paper saying I reported in and was on my way. I got on the CB&Q Burlington Railroad to Chicago, then New York Central. I went into the Company CP Thursday morning. Columbia was on my ass saying I was supposed to be here last Thursday. The Captain came over to see what all the fuss was about and the Sergeant said I was to be here last Thursday, and now he is AWOL. Captain wanted to see my furlough papers and it was only for 10 days and didn't start or finish on the weekend, he asked for the other papers. The Sergeant had them in his hand but the Sergeant didn't want to give them to him.

The Captain said I will have you escorted to the guard house. I am not saying what I will do. The Company Clerk said that Vere asked for a five day extension so I typed it up for the Sergeant. The Captain said how come he got a telegram saying to be in camp last Friday. Sergeant said he sent me the telegram for a five day extension. The clerk looked on the Sergeant's desk and the telegram was not even stamped. The Captain asked Columbia if he liked his stripes. He said yes I like them very much. Captain said you will be a Buck Ass Private if anything else like this happens. Boy Columbia acted like he was walking on raw eggs after that. On the train either going or coming the wind was blowing off the water on Lake Erie and when the water hit the shore the water would fly up across the road and hit the train.

On December 22 1942 my Grandfather passed away on my Birthday. I got the telegram Saturday evening. I had to take the telegram to the Red Cross there on the camp as too many men got emergency furloughs saying their Grandmother passed away. (Like one man in my Company got four emergency furloughs. On his last furlough he extended his furlough so he was AWOL. So when someone went to his Grandma's and she came to the door. They told her that he got four telegrams that said she passed away, she said no one here sent any and wonder how he got so many furloughs right close together. They asked where he was, and she said he is next door. Grandma went with the men and there were four young men there and Grandma ask how her Grandson got so many furloughs so close together. The Boy next door said Oh I sent out the telegrams to five of his buddies. The Police were called, and the three men were sent back to their camp, so I don't know what happened to them. The men in my Company spent 30 days in the Brig.)
The Red Cross had to get in touch with the Mortuary. The morning of the 24th the Red Cross called wanting me to come to their Office and wanted to know if I had money to make the round trip. I told them that I had the money. I got my ticket and went to Utica, the main line for the New York Central Railroad. The Railroad Station was on three levels. I got off on the lower level and had to get on the upper level.

There were 2 MPs about two car lengths behind me and they hollered to me to came to them, so I told them I had to get up on the top level to catch that train. They said come here or you won't be going anywhere, so I went up to them. Where are you going? I said Colorado. They said nobody goes to Colorado the day before Christmas. Let's see your pass. I said I have an Emergency Furlough. Let's see it, so I showed it to them. Then I could tell they were just killing time and I was getting mad. I said I need to catch that train, they said we are not through with you yet. As when they first saw my furlough papers, they should have let me go. I said let's go see your Supervisors now. Boy they couldn't give me my papers fast enough.

When I got up to the train the Conductor had picked up the steps and got on the step and just as I got a hold of the bar to step up the train started moving. I had to stand up for the next 30 miles as there was so many passengers on the coaches from New York City. Half way to Chicago, the train was a local and stopped at every station. People with all kinds of packages got on and off the train 'till it got halfway, then it was the Express into Chicago I got into Chicago Christmas morning. There are six Railroad Stations in Chicago and Railroad Buses take the Passengers from one Station to the other. I had to go to the Burlington Station and was the only one in the bus. When the train pulled out of Chicago there were five people on the coach, the woman and two children got off somewhere in Iowa, the other girl at Omaha, Nebraska.

When I got on the train at Denver Colorado going back there was a blizzard all the way to Watertown New York. At Chicago the Bus got stuck and I almost missed the train as I had to catch the last car and walk to the front part of the train. It was a Storm all the way to Watertown New York.

On the Hospital Train it seemed like we went into most of the side tracks to let Fright trains go by us. I guess we were not priority Freight, even Fright trains going the same direction we were going went around us. At Chicago, Ill they unhooked the last five cars. The ten car train went south to, I think Arkansas and Mississippi. Then with us, we set for 20 minutes then moved to a side track and several trains went both ways past us then a switch engine started moving us. I think we went all around Chicago area, then to the Northern Pacific Freight yard where they were making up Freight trains. Here came a passenger train with seven box cars and 12 coaches and we were put on the end of the train.

The train left Chicago going to Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Washington. We were stopped at Tacoma, than another train took us to Vancouver Washington. In North Dakota there was a long Railroad grade that the engine couldn't pull the train up the grade. There was a freight train going east that was on the side track waiting for us to pass so they unhooked their engine and hooked on the front of our engine and both engines pulled us about 18 miles to where the Fright engine could unhook and we went on. In Montana, Idaho and Washington several times there were two engines on the train to pull thought the mountains.

At Vancouver I can't remember the name or number of the General Hospital. Rex Richer was put in a different ward then I was in so when I found out where he was I would go see him two to three times a week. The nurse and the two men said they were going to San Francisco to meet a ship and take the Hospital Patients to someplace in Virginia then go back up to New York City again. We were in the Hospital about a month when they let us have weekend passes so I would go to

Seattle, when I got a pass.
At Snyder Colorado when I went to the one room school house there was a girl one grade before me for four years. Then her family moved to Idaho. In 1943 she joined the Navy WAVES. Later I think she married a Sailor.

During the War years from 1943 to 46 there was a German Prison Camp at Brush Colorado and all the Farmers could get the prisoners to work on the farms. Uncle Carl, Dad's youngest Brother was on a farm and he said at beet thinning time and beet harvest the company would allot so many men for the amount of acres a beet Farmer had. As all the Farmers would have beets and I think Uncle Carl said he got eight men to thin and harvest the beets. Throughout the summer He would try to get two of the same men all the time as they could do anything on the farm. When he picked corn the two man could pick as fast as he could.

The 10th of June 1945 we were put on the Union Pacific train and sent to Denver Colorado to Fort Logan and was Discharged 14th of June 1945.

The Army asked if anyone wanted Compensation for their wounds, so I signed up for my left arm and ears, as my ears ring all the time.Two months later I was called to Denver and the Doctors gave me 20% compensation on my left arm but the Doctor that checked my ears said nobody's ears ring all the time. He had a tuning fork and I told him my ears ring just like the tuning fork. I couldn't tell him when the tuning fork stopped ringing. I said there were too many bombs, Artillery, and Mortar Shells going off around me, and I was in charge off two machine guns and when they were firing there was a lot of noise. I said when a gun is fired a big Balloon breaks do your ears ring? He said a little but not much. He put the tuning fork against my head and I could feel the vibration but couldn't hear the fork The Doctor got mad and gave me a cussing , saying I was pulling his leg. A year later I was called back to the VA and different Doctors still gave me20% on my left arm but the same Doctor that had seen me a year earlier saw me this time and still gave me Hell about having ringing in my ear. I should have keep contesting about my ears but I stopped then.

My Dad, Claude and his younger brother were in WWI in France in 1918. They were in Battery "B" 148th Field Artillery, I don't know the Division they were attached to. They had Horses to pull the Caissons. Dad rode the horse on the left of the front team and Elwood rode the left horse on the back team. Later the Artillery got trucks, and Dad drove a truck, but Elwood stayed with the Horses as the trucks were always getting stuck in the mud and snow. When they came back to the US, both joined the Veteran of Foreign Wars at Brush in the North eastern part of Colorado. In 1941 when Dad sold the farm. He and Lovern came to Minturn and they got to work on Camp Hale. Elmer Owens was the Post Master at Minturn and Dad had two younger brothers at Minturn.Elmer was also the Commander of the American Legion, (an organization of Veterans that never got to go over seas during a Foreign War.

A man that Dad worked with at Camp Hale asked Dad to join the A.L. so in July 1945 after I was discharged, Dad asked if I wanted to join and I said yes. We went to Leadville and when Elmer introduced me, I said I was in five camps in the States. Sailed to Oran North Africa, and started fighting in Sicily. Italy, and France. That I was wounded six times and was in six battle zones and got the Silver Star and that I was south of where Dad was in France. Two men setting in front of me said we don't need a young punk telling a bunch of lies about himself. Elmer said he knew that I did everything I said I did. After the meeting eight men came around me saying we don't need a young punk telling a bunch of lies so I said if you don't want me in your Post I will get out and they said that's a good idea. I didn't know Dad was standing behind me and he said if my son can't be in the Post I won't be in the Post either. They said Oh we don't mean you Claude. Dad said well that's the way it stands with me also. So we came back to Minturn and formed the V.F.W. at Minturn. I have been in the VFW for 56 years and never held an Elected chair 'till three years ago when I was Surgeon for two years, the Jr. Vice Commander this last year and will be Sr. Vice this coming year.

The first of July 1945 I got a job as a Fireman on the big double unit Steam Engines the ones with the two sets of Driving wheels. I went to work for the Denver and Rio Grand Western Railroad. It took three Engines to take a freight train up to Tennessee Pass about 30 miles. The Road Engine, the Engine at the head of the train, they would put an Engine in the Swing, the middle of the train, then an Engine on the back of the train Pushing Engine. The Passenger Trains they would put another Engine in the lead. It took a minimum of 2 3/4 hours for the Passenger Engine helper to make the trip up to Tennessee Pass and back to Minturn. The Freight Train helper took four hours to make that trip. I have seen the times when I would make the trip up the Pass and come back to Minturn and would go into the Engineer room and my name would be up for the next train coming into Minturn. I worked 13 1/2 months, but when 18 men came home all at once, I got bumped clear off the Railroad. I should have went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad as a man went to work for them and was an Engineer eight years later.

Both my Brothers were in the Service also. Lovern two years younger then I. In April 1943 Lovern was afraid he would be drafted in to the Army and he didn't want to dig foxholes so he told Mom he would join the Navy. In May he was sent to Boot Camp in Coeur d'Alene Idaho. Then was put into Armed Guard on a gun crew on the Merchant Ship, Lumber Lady. Then he was on three more ships. Later in1945, he was transferred to Guam in the Navy Air Force where the planes would fly out on search of Enemy Submarines. Lovern said every time the planes came in for the landing they would have to watch for Gooney Birds. The Albatross a big footed Sea Bird would fly across the runway and if the propeller would hit the bird it would break the Propeller. My bother Paul is Seven years younger then I am. His Birthday is March 28th and The Japs surrendered in August.

Paul joined the Army the 18th of March before his 18th Birthday, the 11th of May, he went to Camp Fanning Texas about 90 miles South of Dallas for Basic Training. The October 17 1945. He went to Yokohama Japan with the Provost Marshall Department, and worked around shipping and warehouses. Paul said he had seen his share of Japs stealing different stuff, especially candy. Paul came back to the States October 30th, 1946 and was discharged on the 11th of December 1946. Lovern Joined the Navy just before I went overseas and was back in the States November 1945
My Sister Ardith is ten years younger then I am. She knew a war was going on as her two big Brothers were gone and she knew Mom really worried about me and Lovern. Well his name is Claude Lovern. In the Spring of 1947 Ardith graduated from High School and Paul was able to graduate with her as he hadn't finished school when he joined the Army, The school had a test that all the boys returning from the service could take, then they were able graduate, and receive a regular diploma. Both Lovern and Paul were in the Pacific. Lovern said when he came back from Guam he went to Shoemaker, seems like he said it was in the Oakland area and he was discharged from there.

My Mom never cussed, so years later, Arlene asked Grandma. What was it like to have three boys in the war at the same time? "Mom said it was pure hell, especially with Vere being in the infantry, and being wounded so many times, in danger of being killed at any time. When he came home, I didn't know whether to put him across my checkered apron, or hug and kiss him. Well, I hugged and kissed him.

About two months after I got home, Mom went to the Post Office, and Elmer Owens, the Postmaster, told Mom the Army sent Vere a package. So when Mom saw it, she said I bet that's Vere's Silver Star. Elmer wanted to see it, so she asked if he could open the package. He got a knife and when he saw it, he really praised Mom for having a son with such an Honor. Ten people came in the Post Office while Elmer was looking at the medal, and he was telling them to see the medal that Mrs. Williams' son received. When Dad and I got home, Ardith came running our and hugging me, saying it's here! it's here. What's here? Your Silver Star Medal. Boy! Dad, Mom & Ardith were really proud of it, and I said, Aw, it's just another medal. Mom swatted me across my rump, saying you are really proud of this medal, aren't you? I had to admit that I was.

Ardith Married Leon Grant well his name is Merlin Leon but goes by his middle name. They got Married August 31 1947. Leon was drafted into the Army June, 1943 and was sent to Camp Barkeley Texas where I was in 1941. Then sent to Camp McCoy Wisconsin. June 3 1944 was loaded on the Queen Elizabeth Ship to go to England and landed at Glasgow, Scotland then to the 156th General Hospital near Hereford, England. Leon was a Ward boy in charge of a ward. He gave the men shots and the first time he gave a shot the man yelled and jumped like he killed him. In June 25 1945 Leon got on the Queen Elizabeth Ship at Scotland for the trip back to the States. Got a 30 day Furlough, then went to Camp Crowder, Missouri, then on to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, in the southern part of the state. That was the first time he was given a Rifle as he was training for the Invasion of Japan, so when Japan surrendered, Leon got to come home on April 10 1946. Leon and Ardith celebrated their Golden Wedding in 1997. Leon said he had to be crazy marrying a girl who had three older Big Brothers that keep him in line. Says he has been with this family so long he is a part of the Brothers.

I bought a used truck and went to delivering coal and gravel for seven years 'till Minturn got Natural Gas. I married Bea and she had two sons, Larry three years old and Howard 1 1/2 years old.Then we had four boys and two girls. Vere Loyd Jr., L. Wade, Arlene E, Richard M, Roy A and Carrie Paulette. I moved to Denver. When Loyd graduated from High School, Loyd and Wade and several other boys from school went to the Job Corporal Then Loyd joined the Army in 1967 and went to Vietnam. The first of March 1968 Loyd was killed in Vietnam and the second of March my Cousin Virgil Williams was killed. When Richard finished school he joined the Navy, I think in 1970 and went to Boot Camp at San Diego California, then went to Norfolk Virginia to get on a ship that was being built. I told Richard to go to every school the Navy wanted him to go to. When the ship was finished it went out for a Shake down Cruise then had to came back to the Ship Yard for more work. Richard went to more schools so when the ship was ready to sail Richard got several ratings. Another man went to Virginia with Richard but he didn't go to any schools so when the ship left the ship yard the man just got the rating above Seaman. Richard went to Vietnam several times and was at Vietnam at the end of the War. Larry Joined the Army I think in 1964.

I started working for Safeway Stores hauling groceries from the warehouse to the stores from April 1955 to September 56. Then hauling baled hay for Denver Milk Producers. Hauling hay to dairies during the winter of 56. In April 57 'till June of 61 I went to work for Hallock and Howard Lumber Company. I was the newest Driver and had the oldest truck. In two months I got a new GMC truck with a roll off box as the older divers didn't want to haul the volume loads. Then one month later I got to be the Semi Trailer Driver. The Company had a Franchise on Rolled Roofing. They could get on dollar off from a roll of roofing from Rubberoid Roofing Company.

The last part of July 1958 or 59 there was a big hail storm in the Billings, Montana area. I just got off a run Thursday afternoon and Friday I took out four loads of Lumber local. When I came back to the yard about 3:00 p.m., the office told me to go the Ryder Truck Rental, and get a tandem axle tractor. (a truck with two axles on the back of the truck), and a 40 foot trailer then go to the Roofing Company to get a load of rolled roofing for Billing Montana. Gave me a phone number to call when I got there. I called about 4 p.m. Saturday and by the time I got to their yard here were eight men were ready to unload me, and put all the rolls on six trucks, I had 30 ton of roofing on the trailer. As I was leaving Billings I saw a bad looking cloud far to the right, so when I pulled into the yard Monday Morning at 7:00 a.m., the Boss told me to get another load of roofing for Greybull Wyoming and by the time I was loaded, here came a man from the Company with my orders and expense money and told me to come back to the Roofing Company when I got unloaded and they would have orders where for me to go. In a period of two weeks there were three big hail storms. The first in the Billings area, the second on the west side of the Little Big Horn Mountains and the third on the east side of Little Big Horn Mountains from Sheridan to Cheyenne Wyoming. Then one month later Billings got hit again. For two months and two weeks I hauled Rolled Roofing every Saturday. When I went to Billings with a load, I was working from 14 to 22 hours a day.

June 1961 'till September 1973 I worked for Ringsby Trucking Line as a City Delivery Driver, heavy duty. Bea left me in the spring of 67, went to Oklahoma, right after she got a new used car that I had to pay for, along with other debts that she had charged in stores.
When I had my first hip surgery, Arlene brought her mother, Bea, up from Oklahoma. Arlene and Leona left the room to get something and Bea got to talking about how hard it was for her to make a go of it, then said, we sure done wrong when you left me. I said, wait a minute, you are the one that got the used car and went to Oklahoma. She said, well I guess you are right.
In December I married Leona. She was 13 years younger the I was and had two boys and one girl, 18-15-12 years old. February 1973 we moved to Whitewater, Colorado and I still drove in Denver. Orvil, Leona's son stayed to go to college in Fort Collins and Boulder. Melinda, Leona's daughter was in trouble with the law by having marijuana cigarettes then later going on hard drugs then later taking the cure.

June 1974 I went to work for Don Ward and Company hauling bulk cement. I drove in most of Colorado, Western South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas, Northern New Mexico, Eastern Utah, 7/8 of Wyoming, and Southeast center of Montana. In the four and an one half years that I drove, I worked 45 months and I drove over 500,000 miles. In December of 79 my Family Doctor saw me walking on the street and told Leona to get me in so he could X-ray my hips. My hips and knees ached all the time The 15th of December I wasn't working that day, and was at Rifle Colorado, 60 miles from Grand Junction. Leona came and got me because when the Doctor saw the X-ray of my right hip it was ready to lock up on me. He sent me to a bone Specialist, who operated on my hip, January 28, 1978. He was going to operate on my left hip in three months, but then said he wanted to wait for better glue. On February 25 1980 he operated on my left hip, and three months later my knees quit aching. Dr. Patterson would not release me to go back to driving semi tractor trailers as my back was fusing up just above by hip bones. He was afraid any bump or jolt in the cab of the truck would paralyze me from by waist on down. So I had to start with Social Security, it took six months for me to get any money, and eighteen months to get Medicare. I had an insurance that covered me for the two years while I had my hips replaced.

In 1992 the Doctors found a spot on Leona's left lung but she never did anything about it and just took Tylenol for the pain. A year and half later the spot was the size of a soft ball and the Doctor found a spot in her right lung the size of a base ball, she smoked two packs of cigarette a day. In March of 96 the cancer cells went to her stomach, then intestines, and Liver. In August she could not walk by her self and needed a wheel chair. The Hospice home Care got Leona a hospital bed. The first of November Arlene my daughter came to help me take care of Leona. Seven days before she passed away she still wanted cigarettes and when she would puff on the cigarette she would bring it back from her mouth, the let the lighted end down on her gown or blanket so, we really had to watch her, but when we would lift up the cigarette, she got mad. Six days before she passed away the nurse gave Arlene liquid morphine to put in her mouth every two hours. She passed away December 12 1996. Arlene is living with me now as her husband passed away December 25 1994. He was a Vietnam vet.

I found out about the 157th Infantry Regiment Association in 1982. Felix Sparks, and two other Officers formed the 157th Association in 1976, and I think there were only ten men there, the next year there were thirty-five. Then after that the men know Buddies and they joined up. When I found out about the Association and I joined up, but couldn't go to the Reunion for three more years. In the late 80s and early 90s the 157th Association has rosters, and there were over 2000 men on the rosters. I've seen when there would be 900 to1000 men with their wives come to the Reunions. Every third year the Reunion would be in Colorado. In 96 the roster only had over1300 men, as all of the men are getting older. The youngest men are 73 years old. Two years ago one of my Buddies was 92 years old when he passed away as he was fourteen years older then I was. When he came to my section I was 23 years old and he was 37 years old.

I have missed three Reunions the last one in 96 when I had to take care of Leona. Now my daughter Arlene and Bill go with me to the Reunions, in 97 at Denver CO, 98 Oklahoma City, OK, 99 Myrtle Beach, SC.,2000 Philadelphia, Penn. Several years ago they formed the Anzio Beachhead Veterans Association. I was sent a letter with information to join and put the letter right where I knew where it was, so I could send in the money for the dues, when the SS check came in. Leona had a bad habit of moving things so she know where they were. Well, she filed my letter in the trash can as we could never find it. Three years ago I got their address and joined up. Two years ago their Reunion was at Colorado Springs and we went to it. Last year it was in Charleston, SC and I couldn't go as I was taking treatments for bone cancer of my ribs. This year the Reunion was at Nashville, Tenn. We didn't go to the Grand Ole Opry all though the assoc. had a tour going to the Opry. With me, I have two hearing aides and I can't hear the people singing when the music is being played, and if the music is loud all I hear is the beat.

The people that went said the music was so loud they couldn't hear the singing. The next year the Reunion will be in Savanna, GA. God willing I will be there. The 157th will be in Denver this September. In September of '99 at Myrtle Beach, SC from September 98 to September of 99 there were 56 men that passed away that were on the Memorial List and I knew six men of the men. At Philly, PA there were 73 men on the list and I know five of the men. A few years back when there were only 20 men on the list. I didn't know any of them. When we were in the States I knew most all the men but when we got to fighting in Sicily, Italy, and France we got so many replacements and I can not remember the names of the men in my section. Be like when I got to be Sergeant I was on the line for 13 and a half months although I was in the Hospital for a period of four months, I had fourteen men in my section. I kept track of the men that didn't come back after being wound and 57 men didn't come back and seven got killed so 64, well 65 men with myself went through without coming back to the Front lines

I hope you like my Story of my Army time.
An Old Buddy Vere L Williams (Tarzan)

 

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