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A Veterans Story

Article about: If anyone here has read Balkan Nightmare by Fred Umbrich, he is a personal friend and his book is one heck of a story. No war criminal, just a scared kid like most of them. I went to school

  1. #21

    Default Re: A Veterans Story

    If anyone here has read Balkan Nightmare by Fred Umbrich, he is a personal friend and his book is one heck of a story. No war criminal, just a scared kid like most of them. I went to school with his son Fred Jr and nobody knew he was Waffen SS until his book came out.

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  3. #22

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    Quote by johnhmcgary View Post
    Nice story, most guys were just doing their duty for their country. This seems like a good time to tell a story that I have and have not shared. I never knew my real father, my step-dad's name was George C. Smith. He wasa WWII vet of the 101st Airborne. When I was growing up he would tell me stories of his time in the army. A few of the specifics were of being a paratrooper and having to walk into Bastogne and bayonetting his own Sergeant when he woke him up one night unexpectedly, he told me it was a mistake as the Sergeant had a German rain smock on. My step-dad was wounded in Bastogne and was discharged as a MSG in 47. He passed away in 1989. A couple of years ago "Band of Brothers" came out based on a true story, this is long after George passed away. Lo and behold I'm watching it and I admit that paratroopers walking into battle isn't unusual but the incident of Pvt. George C. Smith bayonetting his own Sergeant is in there and even the reason, the Sgt. had a German rain smock on. As I'm watching it I was thinking that growing up I just thought they were stories being told by an old guy to impress (when you're 8-9 yrs of age anyone over 30 is old). You never know what is behind someone"s wizened face. I'm 63 now and some day I'll open up and tell my son about some of my adventures. The only thing they had wrong in Band of Brothers is the state George was from, he was from N.J. Thanks for starting this thread
    no problem, Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. #23

    Default Re: A Veterans Story

    I was also at the reading airshow ww2 weekend as a reenactor recently And i met a b-17 ball turret gunner. He was the nicest man i have met. He was shot down over france. He hid in a french house and the family that lived there helped him with his injuries. They took off his bloody clothing hit his silk parachute and gave him directions and food. He tried to make a run for the french partisans but was captured. He was then sent to stalag 17 (the one in the great escape) and was held there for 2 years. Later after the war he went back to the french house that helped him. The parents unfortunantly passed away but the daughter was still alive. She gave him a box and in the box where his wrist watch, bloody rotted sock, and a piece of parachute silk. He also recieved information about his b-17 and found the pilot who shot him down. They befriended eachother and wrote often. This was an amazing story

  5. #24

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    Quote by cricketchris1944 View Post
    This is just great stuff.
    i know all these stories are amazing

  6. #25

    Default Re: A Veterans Story

    I have always said that the average German soldat's were just soldiers doing their job, they were not in on the final solution, or any of that stuff, even Rommel wasn't into politics, he was just a soldier doing his job, which he was pretty good at.I was stationed in Italy from 1982-85, of course being in the navy, I have 8 tattoos, I got 5 of them from my German friend named benno, him & his buddy Bear, well they were some of the best people I met there, as a matter of fact when I was going back stateside Benno gave me a free tattoo, then he signed it & took a picture for his business card. another quick one, one night we were in trieste, we were drinking in a German bar, well about 5 German guy's came over & bought us a round, so we bought them a round, after about 30 minutes one guy asked me if we knew who they were, well I told him no just some cool German guy's, then he pulled a card out of his pocket, it had a hammer & sickle on it, he said does it bother you that we are communist's, I said no I'm really not into politics. kinda funny. we all had a great time drinking together.anyway you guy's have some great vet stories, thanks for sharing.

  7. #26

    Default Re: A Veterans Story

    My grandad was a little boy in Crete when the invasion took place... During the battle of Crete they fled to the mountains for protection. When the battle was over and the occupation began they returned to their villages. As a child he witnessed an execution of a civilian against the wall of his school and he can still remember the brains of the man being all over the wall and the victim being carried by his arms somewhere. The most shocking thing was that the man was still alive despite the bullet stroke his forehead. He can still hear him leaving his last breath while he was transfered to his grave by two german Heer soldiers.

    Another memory he has is this of two German soldiers walking down a road near the seashore. The soldiers were eating oranges and laughing with the starving little boys that were running after them to pick up the orange peels... One of the soldiers turned suddenly backwards and grabbed one boy that was begging him for an orange slice! Then he held his arm and broke it against his knee...

    And the last one (and very cheerful according my grandad) was this of a seaplane pilot. He had his plane (Arado i think) anchored near his house... The planes used to gather up speed to take off moving paralel with the seashore and not vertical. The end of the sea runway was where a mole was placed and that was an obstacle for most of them because it had many metal spikes for making impossible for kids to play there. One pilot had a very arrogand attitude and was mocking the others because they found it difficult to take off there due to the presence of the spikes and the mole. On the mole was a framed painting of Jesus. One day the pilot was mad about something and kicked the painting and broke the covering glass and almost destroyed the picture itself. The very next day that pilot tried to take off and for some reason his plane was unable to do so and crashed on the spikes near the religious painting destroying his plane and wounding the pilot. When he saw that my grandad was filled with joy!

  8. #27

    Default Re: A Veterans Story

    Nice stories everyone! Well, my grampa lived on a swede-estonian island in Estonia during the war. He was about 9 years old and stole eggs from home and switched them with German soldiers for cigarettes.
    He and his friends collected every militaria they could find, mostly from surrendering russian soldiers and hid it on different places at the island. Hmm wonder if something's left out there..
    He and his family fled with boat to Sweden in 1944.

    When my grampa returned to the island in 1991 everything was gone. But there was still a lot of surface relics visible on the ground, mostly grenades etc.

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