ARMY TIMES
by Jack W. Mills

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The beach was mined everywhere and they had a mine called the "S" mine and if you stepped on one and heard a click, you dared not lift your foot because if you did that was when it jumped out of the ground and exploded a few inches above the ground, it was filled with schrapnel or steel marbles. We stayed there on the beach that night and moved inland the next morning. The Germans came back that night with the planes but very little damage was done and our anti-aircraft laid down a barrage like you never seen and knocked one down that I seen. AA got him and he flew a long way before he exploded and went down. I saw a P-38 take after a German the next day and knocked him out of the sky. That P-38 was sure some plane and our pilots were the best. When I seen them, it looked like that P-38 had come up right out of the ground and was on the tail of that German and they headed in land and he got him after a short chase.

The Germans had a thing called Buzz bombs and we watched the buzz bombs go over and would just wait and listen for the motor to shut off and when the motor shut off it was coming down, You could see the fire coming out of the tail as long as it was running. If they shut off after they passed over you, you knew that you had survived another one, and it became a problem to someone else. The buzz bombs were just flying bombs and were used more for just harassing and terrorizing more that anything else because they had no guidance system and would just go until they run out of fuel and come down. They were also using rockets and you couldn't see them but at night you could see the streak in the sky. They would just come down and explode and you never knew when or where they would hit because you couldn't see or hear them. There would just be an explosion and if you heard it you were alright for the moment.

There was an air raid that night by the Germans and one bomb come down not to far from where I had dug a foxhole and I heard that sucker coming down and it was screaming louder and louder as it come down and seemed like it was coming right on top of my head. I was sure scared, I crawled up under that steel helmet and I knew it wouldn't help but it seemed like it did, the anti-aircraft guns were really putting up the flack that night and it would make the 4th of July celebrations here look like nothing. One of the German planes was knocked out of the sky, I seen him when he got it, it looked like he was on fire and when he was going down.

The Germans put up a stiff resistance and the fighting was fierce and whole towns were destroyed. The town of St. Lo was totally destroyed there was only one house left standing and on across the country the destruction was the same. I sure hope we never have a war over here.

I can't remember the way that we went but after a stop over in Paris, it was on into Luxembourg and Belgium and Holland and into Germany. I wish that I could remember it all but maybe it is best that it can't be.

In Belgium the Germans made a last ditch effort with a breakthrough during the Battle of the Bulge. They were trying for the Port of Antwerp. It was their last big hurrah and it was winter and a big snow was on and it was the coldest that I have ever seen, well, maybe not the coldest I have ever seen but it was the coldest that I have ever been. Snow must have been 6 or 8 inches deep and I nearly froze, my knees wouldn't hardly bend. We were around Antwerp for awhile, I can't remember how long before we headed on into Germany.

That was where that bunch of Yanks were pinned down under a General McAuliffe. It looked hopeless for them and the Germans told them to surrender and he told them "Nuts". He lost a lot of men but he never gave up. I don't remember the outcome of it or what happened but it was in the papers over here. I think that it was Patton that broke through and took the pressure off of them.

As the German Offensive failed and they went into retreat, it wasn't long before we were headed into Germany.

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