We came to some small woods that I couldn't remember
having seen before. We went into the woods a little way and saw
a group of men standing around. We felt relieved. They were probably
part of Company E's light machine gun section, who were supposed
to be in some little woods. They didn't say anything, so we walked
up to them. I tapped one of them on the shoulder and said, "Hey,
buddy, where is Company F?" Just as I said that I saw the outline
of a German helmet. My heart was racing and I couldn't breathe.
When they heard a foreign tongue, one of them whirled around with
a burpgun at his waist. Doug grabbed the gun just as the Kraut pulled
the trigger. I think I fell on the ground. They must have thought
I was dead or dying. The Germans started going through my pockets.
If he had put his hand in my left breast pocket, the pounding of
my heart would have knocked him ten feet.
. . .
Private Cecil Roberts, with his bazooka (we only had two in the
platoon), and a couple of other men were keeping a lookout on
the west side of our hole. He called for me, so I crawled up beside
him. We could hear a tank and some talking to our west, but we
couldn't see anything because of the fog. I asked Roberts if his
bazooka was ready to fire. He said "Yes." We waited.
The sounds came closer. It sounded like a German tank to me. I
looked through my binoculars, and through the haze I could see
the silhouette of a tank. The hatch on the turret was open. From
the stabilizer on the muzzle, I could tell it was a Tiger tank.
There was a man in the front of the tank who looked as if he was
directing it. The tank looked as if it was slowly working its
way toward us, although I didn't think it had spotted us. I was
scared to death. Roberts was scared, too, but he said, "I'm
ready, sir." The tank kept coming until it was fifty yards
away. I could hear my heart pounding. I prayed to God not to let
the tank come any closer toward us. I think I said out loud, "God,
turn it the other way."