Remembrances: David Dunn: WWII Memories

Someone had to do it and you did. I have just completed a tour of the most interesting stories of our participation in WW2. I was an ASTP-er.Univ. of Idaho assigned to Cn Co, 353rd Infantry, given the job of artillery mechanic because I was a T4 . Did the usual Hunter Ligget to Butner to Miles Standish landing at LeHarve off loaded at the dock. Cleaned the cosmoline at Pavilly, liberated Moselle wine at Alf crossed the Moselle. No action by our unit. It was travel and march order from position to position. Many times 88s would come whining in to a position immediately after we had left. At one time ended up on a plateau overlooking Freidrichroda at the time there was a firefight going on with tanks just like the movies I don't know what unit chased the Germans off of this position it had to be a very important place because there was a large resort hotel on the site and a very tall communication tower. Also, this tower was the communication center for the whole German command. To our amazement when we inspected the tower we found hundreds of thousand Reichmark notes, a verital fortune. The former occupants must have left in great haste. I did not go up into the upper part. It was several stories in height. The beer parlor snack bar was still in operation by civilians. Some of us guzzled up some beer, paid for it with this German money...P.S., those Reichmarks were genuine and contrary to what we thought Germany's money was good even after the war. I would really like to know more about this place. Plans were changed and we were ordered off and sent down the winding road through the forest. Tracer bullets were flying through the air. I have no idea as to what was going on. Climbing back on my pillow of 105-mm ammo, I rode the ammo truck, and went to sleep. Next morning we were going through Freidrichroda. Thus far we have had no fire orders.

THE RHINE: Saw the Navy duks on the road ended up at a plateau overlooking Oberwesel. Around midnight proceeded down to the landing to cross, We were off-loaded on to a pontoon ferry. What a dumb thing to do. Our truck, 2 1/2 with trailer load of 105 ammo put on that ferry causing it to sink whereby the gunnels were just above water line. I jumped off and warned our CO standing by but was ordered back on the truck. To this day I don't know why the engineers did not notice this phenomena. All went well going down stream however in going back into the current upstream disaster struck water poured over the gunnels and down we went. I had alerted the others riding in back with me...and all but one managed to jump. Instrument corporal WHITE was never found. Truck driver MCCONAHAY went down with the truck and was able to escape through the window. Two engineers were lost. The Navy picked us up. PRISONERS. as was the custom with us, along with truck driver, instrument corporal and myself After guns were in position we would scout our area for snipers and on our last deployment flushed a machine gun nest of assorted Wehrmacht, etc., who were waiting for us so they could surrender. We carried them for a full day before we could get them off our hands that was one happy bunch of Krauts. It was then on to Zwickau Rudolstatd for a stint of occupation and then by a comfortable train ride seeing all the devastation that was Germany, to TWENTY GRAND. Of course there is more…scary nights, funny things that happened, stories in themselves, AND that is about all I did in the war. Wonderful friends, comradery, and excitement. By today's standards those twenty dollar a carton cigarettes we sold in Paris was a bargain.

THEN THERE IS THE REST OF THE STORY 56 years later. Thanks for the opportunity to tell the tale.