New member, C/924 years ago
I am enclosing $10 and the registration card as a new member of the 99th Infantry Division Association. I enjoyed the fourth and fifth issues of the Checkerboard that you recently sent me. I was surprised to see only two e-mail listings for veterans who were in the 924th.
I would like to hear from anyone in C/924.
A couple years ago I was asked by a local magazine for an article relative to my combat experiences. Part of that article is reprinted below:
I could write about "Bed Check Charlie" (single engine German plane that flew at night over our position) trying to spot a spark or glimmer of light that could be a target for their 88mm howitzers. Or, I could tell about the knife-wielding SS trooper who cornered me in a building that did not have a back door. But I want to tell about the most exciting thing that happened and also about the most spectacular event I witnessed.
First, the spectacular. Our infantry had been stopped while trying to take a little town that was located in the mouth of a valley with mountainous terrain on both sides. I was privileged to be with the reconnaissance group that went to size up the situation.
Upon arrival, we dug in our switchboard on the crest of a hill that overlooked the town, about a half mile away. We then ran our telephone lines to the command post, battalion headquarters, and to our howitzer positions.
That night our howitzers fired much of the night. A 240mm howitzer battery set up about a half mile to our rear. When they fired, there was such concussion that the flame on our lantern would flicker and go out. It took a whole box of matches to keep the lantern burning through the night.
The excitement came the evening before. About dusk a squadron of fighter planes (P38s and P51s) circled overhead and began to dive in one at a time strafing the town and the road leading from town with machine gun fire. The tracers from their guns lit up the valley. This continued for about 20 minutes. The next morning after the infantry took the town, we moved through. Devastation and destruction was everywhere. Many trucks and artillery pieces were destroyed.
Hollywood has produced many war movies but none to compare to the fire-power that was displayed as the evening shadows closed in on the valley that evening.
Now the exciting. Our outfit was moving north but suddenly made a direction change to the west. In this move we helped the British to completely encircle the Ruhr Valley. Our infantry took thousands of prisoners who were trucked off to holding areas. We moved into the heart of the area to stabilize it until the MPs arrived.
The next morning our jeep driver spotted movement in the adjoining woods. We armed ourselves, went in, and brought out six prisoners — five non-coms and one officer. We were surprised by the courtesy given the officer by our battery executive officer as he was taken off to headquarters in the colonel's command car. To our surprise we found out later that we had just captured the commanding general of the German Fifth Army and his staff.
James T. Wade C/924
11238 Beeler Lane
College Station TX 77845