Pfc. Buford Selvy writes resume of war
Pfc. Buford Selvy writes the Service Column a welcome letter. Here it is:
May 25, 1945
This will no doubt come as a surprise but I've intended to send my bit to your "Soldier News" column for sometime, I've read and reread every one I've received. In general I've received the paper quite regularly but at times something has happened to it.
The column has brought joy as well as sadness to me on many occasions. I think it's the best all-round source of home news the community could have.
As for what I've done and where I've been since I left the states, it's been quite varied in a sense, yet it's been the same thing all the time. Before my outfit came on last November, I saw most of England, including London, some of France and Belgium. We went on line in the Ardennes Forest, and were just launching an attack in December when the Germans made their breakthrough. We were partly run over but withdrew and held the Belgian border until their advance had been halted and then wiped out.
Since then we've really covered the western front. We took a very large sector of the Siegfried Line — we were in on the initial crossing of the Erft Canal. At this point the type of fighting had changed completely. It changed from pushing a few miles through knee deep snow, over hills and through forests, to taking 50 miles daily which included sometimes 15 or 20 villages.
We crossed the Cologne plains and then were drawn south to be the first complete division to cross the Rhine River at the Remagen Bridgehead. There is where the Germans made their most desperate attempt to halt the inevitable crushing that was coming.
After the Rhine it was fight Jerry two hours and then chase him the remaining 22, until he was all hemmed up in the Ruhr Pocket. An entire German Panzer Division surrendered to our Regiment just before the Ruhr was cleaned out.
From there we came to the 3rd Army. Here we merely cleaned up left resistance and waited for the end, which was the happiest and most remembered day of my life.
At present we are "sweating out" going to the Pacific and doing a little occupation in these "backwoods" little German towns. Germany knows she's licked now and the average people seem glad we are here. It's the leaders left in Germany who must be watched because these people are just like sheep, they'll follow anyone with a loud voice and a good line.
I'm hoping to see Marion and all its fine people in the not too distant future and I hope to be able to fly into Marion and land at that new airport, in a big transcontinental airliner. Of course it will no doubt be on the way to the Pacific, but that will only make home seem better for a while.
If this gets in the paper, and any of you guys in the Pacific read it just keep those Japs busy until you get a few units from here, over there, and we'll finish it up, then all come home together, OK?
Selvy served in D/395. He lives in Aurora CO, and often visits his hometown, Marion KS, where the Checkerboard is published.