by Jack W. Mills
We were in an old German Army Barracks playing poker and we heard a lot of shooting going on and we grabbed our guns and ran outside, the noise was like a war started up and someone yelled that the war was over in Germany. That was a glad day when Germany surrendered in May l945 but it was a gladder day when we got the word that we were coming home.
On November 8, l945 we left Neustadt, Germany and went to a replacement depot and then we left there on November l7, l945 for a camp called "Top Hat", it took a 2 day train ride to get there, arrived at 11:15. We left Camp Top Hat November 24 to go to the Port of Embarkation. We left port on November 25,l945 and was on the boat for 14 days coming home and that was a worse ship ride than the one going over there.
We hit a storm and the waves were 40 or 50 feet high, maybe higher. It seemed like that old tub of a ship would break in half, sometimes the fantail was clear out of the water and the prop was just fanning air and shake that old sister like it would fall apart, the front end would come out and shake like it was going to go down anytime, but it hung in there. I was standing on the starboard side about midships and at times I could reach out and touch the water and the next minute we would be up high as a tree. This seems like a tall tale but its the truth and is scary as all get out, and it lasted for a long time, I don't remember how long but it was at least a day and night. I bet Gary can verify this to be true. We survived though and finally got to the good old United States on December 8, l945 and I had never seen real estate look so good and a shout went up from that ship like you wouldn't believe.
We went to Camp Miles Standish, I think that it is somewhere around Boston or, it could have been close to Providence, Rhode Island, we stayed there 1 day and boarded a train for Fort Bliss, Texas near El Paso, Texas.
We arrived at Fort Bliss on December l3,l945 and we stayed there for 3 days. While there General Mark Clark came through and we heard him talk, he was the general that was in that death march on Bataan and he talked like he was the only one there and most of us walked out of the place.
Generals or some of them anyway, seems to think that they are the ones that brought the troops in, instead of the other way around. They get to thinking like they were the only ones over there and it is always big "I" and little "U". General Omar Bradley wasn't like that. I met him in France and he was as nice a person as you would want to meet. You may by reading this that I am anti authority but I just don't like those glory hunters who want to make a big name for themselves at the expense of others. Custer (from what I have read of him) and Patton were just alike and I know Patton from first hand. I was within arms length of him.
The last guy that I talked to before I became a civilian was a Sergeant sitting near the front door, before I got my discharge. He told me if I would stay in he would get me a staff sergeant rating and I told him I wouldn't stay in if he made me a one star general. (Some choice expletives here deleted). "He told me not to get so smart that, you're not out of the Army yet" and I told him just as soon as he handed me that paper I would be and he could take it and shove it.
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Document Last Modified: Saturday, 01-Nov-1997 18:27:34 UTC