Two Foes to Fight
Fifty years after the victory in Europe, my wife called me from the bathroom at 7:00 o’clock in the morning saying I had a phone call from Billings, Montana. It was Jim Shaw, one of my rifle platoon, saying he was my runner back in the Saar Valley and began reminiscing about our experiences during our first engagements of the 87th Infantry Division of Patton’s Third Army. After playing the “do you remember so and so” he then astounded me with the announcement that our platoon sergeant Les Gibbons, had threatened to shoot me.
No one knew from one second of the next whether he would be killed, wounded, or just scarcely missed. In every war the seems to be a cleansing effect in spite of the carnage and a new beginning falls to mankind, only to be repeated over and over again.
This treatise is but another recounting of history with possibly a way to give some tribute to those who were felled. A monument would not be big enough nor a hymn sufficiently powerful enough to symbolize their valor and their remembrance.
On recounting any successes and failures during my war I had realized that the primary goal of any commander is to “Remember The Mission.” I, myself had succeeded in very few.
Names long forgotten and battles long repressed were recalled to the point that notes were taken attempting to analyze such an astounding announcement that even one of my own was an enemy. It’s like the Nazis weren’t enough to battle. I had Two Foes to Fight.