I had been trying to contact Kad all morning over
the radio, but every time I tried, the Krauts would cut in on our
frequency. Finally, about 11:00 A.M., I heard "How 3-2 to How
3-1; How 3-2 to How 3-1. Praise the Lord." It took a few minutes
for that message to soak through my dull brain. I finally realized
that Kad was trying to tell me that he was either low on ammunition,
or out, and that the full message would have been "Praise the
Lord and pass the ammunition," a common phrase used by infantrymen.
I called back to Sergeant Freeman to send me six volunteers with
one cloverleaf each of HE light to go with me into Sivry.
. . .
We followed the tape through the mine field that Ellsworth's
men had staked out and headed for the stream bed. We met stragglers
coming back up the hill. Some were without helmets or rifles.
They were wild-eyed and crazed with fear. I asked one guy why
the hell he was running out on his buddies. He said, "Lieutenant,
they can shoot me tomorrow morning, but I will never go back into
that hell town."
. . .
I had visions of my boys with no water, no rations, and no blankets
on the brink of death. God, they must be about gone from hunger,
thirst, and fatigue. When I entered Kad's house—his cellar—I
smelled something like Mulligan Stew and heard a pig squeal. The
men had found the one water spigot in town that worked. They had
also found a bin of potatoes and some dried vegetables. And, they
had found a wine cellar. They were preparing a feast, and I had
arrived just in time to help them enjoy it. Private First Class
Terribilini, the best gunner we had, came walking in wearing a
white, if not somewhat dirty, apron and a white chef's cap stuck
on top of his helmet. He was the chief cook. The men even had
a table set with a cloth and dishes. The meal was good—if
you liked to dine while the plaster is falling in your plate and
the house is shaking from the shells that are falling on it. Occasionally
a big enough piece of plaster would fall and clank off your helmet.
I barely paid attention as I scooped out the stew into my mouth
as fast as I could!
. . .
I got to my OP okay and started adjusting on a machine gun emplacement
a couple of hundred yards up the side of the hill. I had only
fired a couple of rounds when everything went black. The next
thing I knew, Kad was slapping me, and my left leg felt as if
it wasn't there. It hurt from my stomach to my toes. I had no
idea how long I'd been unconscious.