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WWII Journal
Part VIII - Taking Prisoners, Starting August 13, 1944 PDF Print
Written by Charles Harper   
Tuesday, 21 May 2002
August 13, Was awakened soon after midnight by planes and then the sky lighted up like day only brighter it seemed.† Right after the flares they began dropping bombs, some were only a few yards from us and we hugged that ground pretty tight.† One large chunk of shrapnel barely missed us.† The bombing lasted about fifteen minutes.† It is reported that 13 of the planes were shot down.† We saw one fall, it crashed about 800 yards from us and exploded when it hit.† All was quiet until morning.†

We learned this morning that a man was killed and two injured in Co. F. From the attack last night.† Have worked on a German truck all afternoon that the MPís picked up to use.† They couldnít start it.† An Austrian prisoner thought he could fix it but couldnít so I had to rewire it to make it run.† Have picked several prisoners up today.† I got a German razor from the MP and after cleaning it up and sterilizing it I find it works pretty well.
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Part IX - Marching on to Germany, Starting August 21, 1944 PDF Print
Written by Charles Harper   
Wednesday, 29 May 2002
August 21,† Major Booth brought in a captured V8 ford for us to tune up for him.† It is really a nice one likely belonged to some General.† Still so many prisoners we can hardly handle them.† It has rained off and on all day and is chilly with it.† The car is in pretty good shape so I guess the Major will be happy with it.

August 22, Looks as if it is about over here so we hear we are going to a rest area for a little while.† Most of the men could use it but if it runs true to form we wonít be there long enough for them to rest much.† We have taken care of about 6,000 prisoners in this one battle.† One man from Anti-Tank was captured but our artillery got so hot that a large number of the Germans surrendered to him and he brought them all in.†
Our orders came through to move back to the rest area which is back to the estate of Louis the Fourteenth.† We are to be here a few days.† The roads are lined with the dead and destruction of war.† Many places a bulldozer had to clear the roads before they were passable.† It is raining this evening so we have picked out a high place and have a heavy canvas which we will sleep on.† I have a water proof shelter half over and under my blankets and then I can throw the flap over my head to keep out the rain.† We are all ready for some sleep that is comparatively quiet for a change so we will turn in early.
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Part X - Running low on Gas, Starting September, 1944 PDF Print
Written by Charles Harper   
Thursday, 06 June 2002

September 4, Havenít done much moving the last few days because of the shortage of gas.† We all went to a show last night for the first time.† We carry our own equipment and can have one any time the Special Service Dept. gets in the mood and all conditions permit.† We have also held a memorial service for the fliers that have been lost so far.

September 5, The mail has caught up and with it a package and letters which are all appreciated.† Have had some more rain.† Moved up about 5 miles this afternoon.† One jeep fell out.† He had a loose fan belt so we soon had him in the convoy again.† That is the first vehicle that has fallen out during a move because of mechanical trouble.† We consider that a pretty good record.† We see a few trains running now.

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Part XI - Crossing into Germany, Starting November 16th, 1944 PDF Print
Written by Charles Harper   
Thursday, 13 June 2002

November 16,† Still stuck on the wrong side of the river.† The engineer battalion is now being relieved by the 315th battalion and they are going to try their had at it.† Our troops are pushing ahead now on the other side of the river and seem to have things moving again.

November 17,† Are moving across today.† Some of the forces are already going across, but it will be near dark when we cross. Some shells are still coming into this area, we donít care as long as they donít hit that bridge.† Well it was dark when we crossed and we had to do it in total darkness.† Couldnít even use the black out lights.† We didnít have any trouble though and all are on the German side now.

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Part XII - The start of a New year, Starting January 1, 1945 PDF Print
Written by Charles Harper   
Tuesday, 18 June 2002

January 1, 1945† And so we start a new year to the tune of our big bombers overhead and also some German planes.† Four German planes were over this morning and three were shot down, guess the other one took for home.† We have received several replacements now and are getting them lined up.

January 5,† It is still cold and has snowed all last night and most of today.† The snow is just wet enough to pack good and so is plenty slick.† We are also getting a lot of foggy weather which turns to ice.

January 7,† We are on the move again at eight thirty this morning.† All is ready to go.† We donít know where we are headed bu we can guess, and it is going to be a long move to the North.† We do know that much.† Driving conditions are going to be bad and it is near zero again, but no wind as yet.†
We have finished the first lap of the move.† 70 miles today and now we are in Belgium.† Have passed through some very pretty country.† We came through the little country of Luxembourg on the move.† Housing space is very crowded here but we are all inside tonight.† It is a relief to get in out of the cold and warm up.† We are pretty well cooled out when we got here.† All identification markings were covered or removed and it was a secret move.† We knew something big was cooking. Mountain roads and trees all loaded with snow.† Very pretty but also makes driving pretty risky.† So far all have made it in good shape.

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