Memoirs of Raymond E. Kitchell: Prelude

Of the almost 40 months I spent in the US Army during World War II, only a bit more than two months was spent in actual combat in the ETO. This fact and the divine intervention of fate prevented me from becoming the hero I dreamed to be when I volunteered for duty in 1942, and perhaps being killed or maimed in the process. While I saw enough to earn two combat stars, this is not a story of personal combat and bravery. Rather it is a tale, typical or otherwise I do not profess to know, of the trials and tribulations, hardships and achievements, challenges and mistakes, good times and bad, that one young soldier experienced during his service during the tumultuous period of the Second World War and its end.

Years ago, I prepared a much smaller version of this story for my grandchildren in the hope that it would help them remember their heritage and their grandfather. Recently I have been involved almost full time in designing and preparing, with the assistance of my son Mark, a website for my old outfit, the 89th Infantry Division. This caused me to review our history in detail, which brought back many memories. With that work now completed, it seemed appropriate and timely for me to write this story. While I hope my wife, children and grandchildren will value this story, at this stage of the twilight of surviving veterans it is also prepared to be of some interest to a wider audience. I hope such readers may find it of value or interest.

<< Introduction | The Lead-Up >>