Thursday, July 13, 2017

BASTILLE DAY 1945




Trump’s visit to France recalled memories of a Bastille Day 72 years ago.

With Germany’s surrender the 17th airborne was selected for Trump’s visit to France recalled memories of a Bastille Day 72 reorganization, and redeployment through the States. The 194th was to be deactivated and in early July we returned to Luneville (aka Loonyville) France to an old fort to await individual reassignments. The officers were billeted in homes in the town. I had a room on the third floor servant’s quarters-of a professional man’s home. There was no true contact with the family

On Bastille Day Generals with nothing better to do decided that our Battalion and the Regiment medical detachment would parade. It was a typical hot day and I lost the coin toss a d had to lead the detachment. As usual everyone except myself was out of step.

One morning shortly after that, I was informed that my transfer orders to the 82nd were on the Colonel's desk. I knew that the 82nd was slated to be part of the permanent American occupation force in Berlin and that seemed preferable to any assignment in Asia. I promptly picked them up and proceeded by our jeep to report for duty at the 82nd division in Epinal, about 30 miles away. I was to be assigned as the sole medical officer to the 376th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion.

When I went back to the 17th in order to pick up my possessions I was informed that the Colonel was looking for me. Apparently, Division had sent down new orders for me. I was now supposed go directly via the Suez Canal to the 1st Airborne Wing, the force which was to make the initial landing in Japan. I laughed at them and remarked “too bad you don't own me anymore”.

Another medical officer from the 194th received those orders and was in transit but back through the states when THE BOMB was dropped. I was stuck in Berlin, but he was discharged months ahead of me.

3 comments:

  1. What was the sentiment in the US about the war?

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    1. A great question that would take pages to answer due to the fact that there was war in the Pacific and in Europe; essential two conflicts. The Pacific war; almost 100% favorable because we were blindsided by Japan at Pearl Harbor. The War with Germany/Italy was not as popular since there was a substantial isolationship movement in the US especially in the far midwest; also a large number of Hitlerphiles led by hero Lindberg. Most though agreed with FDR that our way of life was in danger if Hitler won. The greatest generation on the whole felt it was their duty.

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  2. Wow! what a great story.

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