In the third issue 2007 of the Checkerboard are two letters concerning the weather during the Bulge, which reminded me of the only time I was told the temperature.
After our trip from the Wahlerscheid area, where we had been in support of the 2nd Division's attack on the Ruhr river dams, my platoon leader had my squad set up a road block on the Elsenborn-Bugtenbach road with our three bazookas.
During the night of Dec. 19 or a day either way (I lost count), a halftrack towing a three-inch gun showed up. The gun was set up in the middle of the road and the halftrack was parked alongside a small building, and most of the crew climbed into it and went to sleep.
Soon a sergeant appeared at my hole and told me I was wanted in this building — I believe it had been a small school house at one time. I went in and there was a major sitting at a small table. He asked about the disposition of my squad and said they were there to help us with our road block. Then he pulled out a bottle and offered me a drink, which I took, but later, much regretted since I had not eaten for two days.
Since we were now good buddies, I asked him if they ever had shot anything with that gun, whereupon he said they had sunk a small ship off the coast of Breast, France, but no tanks as yet. We discussed the weather and he said it was five degrees F. I don't know where he got this information, but I sure did believe it
And now for the rest of the story.
During that night we received a heavy shelling. Two of my men were injured, one seriously. From my hole I could hear the shrapnel banging against the halftrack. As soon as things slowed down they all rushed out, hooked up their gun, and disappeared toward Elsenborn, with never a word of goodbye.
I often have wondered who they were, who sent them, where they went in such a hurry, and did all their guns have a major in command.
Anti-Tank Co. Mine Platoon, 395th Inf.