The Memoirs of Bill Gentry

Pictured above is William "Little Man" Gentry of Yakima, Washington. He was one of the oldest enlisted men in the Battalion during WWII. Bill was the unofficial poet laureate of the 85th Engineers. What follows are some of Bill's writings from World War II...the history of the 85th captured in rhyme.

The War Time Poetry of Bill Gentry


I'm an engineer and a mechanical man. I have no fear and shall do what I can.

We'll plant the mines and build the bridges. Build the roads over mountain ridges.

We'll clear the way for the Infantry. Get the snipers from every tree.

We can dig a hole in nothing flat. When the machine guns begin to rat-a-tat tat.

We can drive our trucks over any road. Built of logs or just plain old 'dobe.

We'll knock out the pillboxes by the score. Now can you ask for anymore.

There is no river that is too swift for us the fighting 85th.

We'll build our bridge of Ponton boats and try our dam'st to keep them afloat.

So wait for me, we'll be back some day. When we pay the axis for starting this fray.


Patsy was a mighty man, a mighty man was he. And even tho we did our best he'd still make us dress right dress.

He'd make us do close order drill, even double-time us up the hill. He'd make us count, in cadence count, so folks could hear us all about.

The guide is right, the guide is right. Cover down and cover off. Oh boy, Oh boy, what a sight. Work for you tonight.

Patsy liked his inspections so he could cast his reflections. Dirty bore, filthy chamber, nasty sight. Boy oh boy, you'll work tonight.

We wore ODs and ties on pass tho the mud was up to our knees and past. We'd shine our shoes and shine them bright. If not, Oh boy, no pass tonight.

Every morning while eating chow, he'd parade around in his GI gown. Shave his beard; wash his face, while we'd all line up for the big rat-race.

After all is said and done, we don't believe he'd ever run. To leave us there to fight the battle, as if we were a bunch of cattle.

He hung around GH-2. Until they told him he was done, to become El Captitan. You should see him strut. (Man O Man)

The night we left for the city of Rome, Patsy left us for a trip home. Rumors spread and rumors flew and we finally met him again on the Blue Danube.


Somewhere near Oran, where the sun is like a curse. And each day is usually followed by another slightly worse.

Where the brick red dust blows the shifting desert sands. Where a Yank man dreams and wished for greener, fairer lands.

Somewhere near Oran, where women are never seen. Where the sky is never cloudy and the grass is never green.

Where the Jackal's nightly howl robs a man of blessed sleep. Where there isn't any whiskey and the beer is never cheap.

Somewhere near Oran, where the mail is always late. Where a Christmas card in April is considered up to date.

Where we never have a payday, and we never have a cent. But we never miss the money because we never have it spent.

Somewhere near Oran, where the snakes and lizards play. Where a thousand more flies, replace the ones you slay.

Please, take me to my hometown and let me hear a Church bell. For this God forsaken outfit is a substitute for hell.


The land that has everything that no one wants. Could be the shadow of Mohammed that still has his haunts. The dirty, filthy Arab and his flea bitten ass. We don't know how he lives as there isn't any grass.

And on guard at night you can hear the Jackals howl. No bullets in your piece as he starts off to prowl. Those beautiful, moonlit, cool summer nights. Makes one believe that the world's all right.

The fall has come and the rainy seasons here. You haven't had any knick knacks, not even a can of beer. We sleep in the mud and we work in the rain. But the Yanks are still coming like an endless chain.

Those dust storms and sand storms that we all went thru. Yes Sir, and we done it all for you. That hot desert wind that we all call Sirocco. Burns you to a crisp, until you're almost loco.

Those millions of flies, mosquitos and snakes. Makes a person wonder if he has what it takes. But after all the torture, heat and thirst. You'll admit it to yourself, that it could have been worse.


The 85th landed on Italian soil, From that time on they commenced to toil.

You can see for yourself what was done, And folks it wasn't all in fun.

So the 85th sends its' message of cheer, That all will be done for, victory in the New Year.


From olive trees near Venafro. Where ancient trees grow row on row. The surrounding mountains capped with snow. How many died there? We'll never know.

They traded the enemy shell for shell. And took the place where comrades fell. Amidst the whistling bursting hell. How many died there, we'll never know.

They are all brave, both old and young. All are heroes, some unsung. They gave their lives without regret. These men, these men. We'll never forget.

Written in a foxhole.

Gentry War Diary 11/42 - 12/43

What follows is a summary of the World War II diary of Bill Gentry. Bill kept a diary which provides an informative look at the daily activities of the 85th Engineers. Unfortunately it is too extensive to present here in its entirity. Yet it is too historically important to be ignored. It rivals the official history of the 85th in its detail.


Was drafted and departed for the Army on 11/27/42. Train arrived in Salt Lake, Utah on the 29th where we had our exam, shots, lectures, interview, and tests. Departed Utah and arrived at Camp Maxey in Paris, Texas on 12/4. While here we were issued clothes, gas mask, mosquito bar, more shots, bum chow, and took the obstacle course. During December there were rifle inspections, battle maneuvers, hikes, and classes on tools and equipment. On 12/18-22 had rifle practice and skirmish lines. Was high man out of 70 on the 200 yd range. The remainder of December we had map classes and learned to work on, load, and fire machine guns.

Early January '43 was spent building roadblocks and obstacles against tanks, digging fox holes, 10 mile night hikes with full pack, hand grenade lessons, more combat principles, and night problems (training in night situations). Mid to late January was spent on ponton bridge training. Boy was it cold. Built both a light and heavy ponton bridge, each 100 yds long. We also built a wooden bridge, a portable steel bridge, did more drilling, and watched a movie on truck driving. Jan 31st I left on furlough for home.

Returned to Maxey on Feb 11,'43. Mid Feb involved a 6 mile hike, sham battle, driving test, and drivers school P.M.S. (Preventative Maintenance Schedule) and the usual inspections. Started out driving GMC 6x6. Latter part of Feb went to Paris on pass - USO show and supper, started learning the nomenclature of the Mack truck, driving tractor back and forth over course, and then started driving tractor and trailor.

Early March '43 is spent learning to back up these jobs (trucks), along with practice changing tires. Took drivers test, passed 100%, so will get drivers license. Show down inspection on 3/10, that means one thing, we are going somewhere soon. Stuff sent home or else. So be good and wish me luck. Mid March went on a black out drive and convoy trip. 3/17 transferred to A Company, boat squad. Having T-C 87 Practice to get physically fit. Went to Paris USO played ping pong and had steak for supper. Late March we had physical fitness tests, A Company best, and I was high man in A Company. Motor call, starting to crate everything up and water proof it. Rumors around that we are going anywhere from Alaska to Tim-buck-too. Got physical check up to see if fit ot go over seas.

Early April '43, clothing check by the General and all the "high priced help", we are being stripped of all excess. On the alert to go anytime. I hear we are going to get $60/mo for overseas duty. Still packing up, got more shots, tetanus and typhus. Traded all personel carriers in and taking B Company's best Macks. More clothing checks. 4/11 Starting to load stuff on train. Takes one flat car for one Mack and trailor. We might be going to NY embarkation point as rumors are going the rounds. Went to show this evening, been restricted but let off. 4/17 Finished loading stuff, just waiting now. Mail is censored so can't write home about it. 4/19 Leave tomorrow, A boys went out tonight, did most of us get drunk. Leave tonight at 11:30pm for God knows where. I am guard in Mack on train. Boy is this train long, 50 cars or more. Riding in seat of Mack on train, looking at scenery, Ark, Mo, Ill, Ohio. West Virginia stopped in a town and all the people wave, girls too, some cry, some laugh. 4/24 Arrived at Camp Kilmore, New Jersey, restricted here, clothing check, everyone drunk, sure is a riot. Chow swell here. 4/27 Loaded on a boat today. Carried all our gear about a mile, guess this is it folks, so be back in a year, maybe. 4/28 Pulled out during night and are in convoy, ship is Monticello, 7000 men, we have A deck, sure are lucky. Reading and sleeping, most of the fellows sick but guess I have a good stomach, feel for them.

May '43 Another shot today. I'm so full of them I can see needles in my sleep. Battleship Texas is with us, right along side. Had submarine scare, have to wear life jacket at all times. Cleaned rifle, got candy bars, an apple a day, and a pack of smokes. Most fellows pass the time gambling. We do know where we are going now, Africa. Lost a plane from the Texas today 5/7, swamped. 5/10 Going through the Strait of Gibraltar this evening. We are in danger zone. 5/11 Land today at Oran. Went to staging area. Set up camp, pup tent and C rations, feel half sick. 5/14 On guard, rifle inspections, can hear jackals howl, weird sound. Mid May, went on hike to top of Mt. Montbarry, hard climb. GI's (diarrhea) bad in camp. Camped near Hassi Ben Okba. Dig foxholes in solid rock. Went to Oran on pass, air raid, kind of scared at first. Late May, bayonet drill, swimming in sea, chow terrible, more drilling. German POWs escaped from stockade nearby. To Oran on pass again, more bayonet practice, drilling, and guard. Almost got shot by Lamas, he was on guard and gun was not locked, he was busted to pvt. Went on Compass Problem at night. Cudgy was found drunk playing organ in the church at Hassi Ben Okba. On guard again, another air raid in Oran, they are beautiful to watch from a distance.

June '43, Moved to Mostaganem, pitched pup tents in Arab wheat field at Ponte Cheliff. Playing ball, swimming, thinking about going fishing. Night Compass Problem in rugged terrain. Swimming and fishing, no luck. Payday, dug CO latrine. Bought 9 dozen eggs from Arabs, .10 a piece. Went to Mostaganem on pass, drunk my first champagne, couple drinks of veno. Put up camo net for day room. 10 mile hike. Mid June, Extended order drill and 10 mile hike, it's hot, tired and hungry as chow is bad. Fellows sick from dysentery, malaria, and sun. Got up at 4, 22 mile hike. More swimming, guard, fishing - no luck, and inspections. Chow is nothing but hash, stew, and crackers. Late June, 6/21, my birthday, took 24 mile hike. Hell of a way to celebrate. Made it in 7 hrs. Uncrated and tested power boats on river, runs fine. Wind called Sirocco is terrible. Storm boat specialists joined us from Maxey 6/25. Inspection, surf boat riding in sea, bought cantaloupes - $1.20 ea. 6/28, built bailey bridge, 3 mile hike to bridge. 6/30, got 9 ponton boats today, good to see them. On guard, stockade shift, 4 prisoners to guard. Don't like it at all.

July '43, built ole Bailey again, dropped 500 lb panel on toe. Inpection, chow rotten, millions of flies, yellow jackets, and are they starved. Sick call for smashed toe, more guard duty. Cleaned tools in powerboat, took boat out of water and cleaned it. Teased Arabs, poor folks, feel sorry for them, the French treat them like dogs. Tested boat, swiped melons and corn from Arabs, stays light here till 10pm. Mid July, more guard and bailey bridge building, hot, 125 degrees. 7/16 built bailey bridge 1pm today, had a sandstorm to top it off. Went to town and took shower, Major Perdue wanst copy of my poem, guard tonight. Dust storms, headache, chow rotten as usual. Late July, built bailey again today, patrol guard tonight. Got our Johnson outboards in action and raced up and down river. More Night Problem, Compass work, bridge building. Made camo nets today, weaving garland, down on our knees, hot! Ran ponton boats on river, wind terrible, ye gods, what a job making camo nets, my back is broke. Inspection, passed with compliments.

August '43, Got Arabs to wash clothing for me. More motorboat on river, weaved camo nets in afternoon. Got sick on grapes and melons, backdoor trots, only I went out the front door. Ha. Patrol this morning. 8/5 took bailey bridge to Oran, I was Road Guide. A woman asked for gum in trade for herself. Gave gum. No trade tho. More camo nets, oh my aching back. More inspections and guard, made eyes in cable. Mid August, its hot in OD's and steel. 8/12 built ponton bridge across river at Ponte Cheliff. More inspections, convoy, KP, and tore down bridge 8/16. Built bridge again 8/17, took 2-1/2 hrs. Tore down powerboat motor, spliced rope, cleaned out boat, and bridge guard. Stood inspection on Mack. 8/23 starting a mine school. Blew up bridge. Fish for chow. 8/24 learned to take apart booby traps this morning, minefields this afternoon, subject is touchy to me! 8/25 Hasty and Deliberate mine fields (put down fast and mapped area), anti tank. Night problem on mines and Engineer patrolling. 8/26 almost knocked cuckoo by TNT. Night gapping on mine field (made spaces between mines), this is engineer work, but I'm leery of it. Have GI's, we believe it's the water, too much iodine and chlorine in it. Tore down ponton bridge, picked up rocks for bivouac area, and spliced rope. No more swimming, off limits according to Patsy.

September '43, spliced rope and inspected tools in Mack. Made camo nets, doughnuts for chow, boy were they good! More camo nets, guard, I'm lonesome. Washed clothes, painted at bridge, got letters, sure glad but they make me blue as hell. To Oran to load baileys on Macks. Patched assault boats all day. Drove assault boats on river and sea. Every one has desert sores on them. Mid September, Beck and I took guns out and zeroed them on desert rocks, and do they shoot now. Chow rotten, rain storms. More rain and does it rain. Worked on trucks and powerboats, rained like hell, worked on trucks till 3am. 9/20 left for Oran to get on boat for Naples. Plans changed, have to convoy 900 miles thru Africa to Bizerti, came 200 miles first day. Roads bad, mountains and rain, one fellow ran into tree. 9/25 still on road, sleep in cab, assistant driver Pete sleeps under ponton boat. 9/26, 200 more miles today, came through one town and a baker threw a loaf of bread to each truck, hot too, boy! 9/28 got in Bizerte at 9pm, rain, road pretty bad, towns tore up bad, British everywhere. Washed clothes, camped in the mud by British. Gear is stored for mile after mile. 9/30 cleaned Mack all day, had 1st beer since leaving states, bought blanket from a Limey for $1.

October '43 Still home in Mack, got paid. 10/3 drove truck to staging area by the docks to load. Going to the war zone now. Waiting for our ships, no mail, went to movies. Sick call for desert sores, they just won't heal. Still home in Mack, don't know when when we'll load. Rations today, only 4 smokes, haven't had a candy bar in 4 months. 10/8 articles of war today (rules and regulations), more rain, no mail, wrote poem today - Oran. Cleaned mud from truck, alert called off, on guard, living in pup tents. Went to Tunis on pass, pouring rain and everything wet. 10/13 loaded on boat this morning, left Bizerti at 1630 for Naples, Italy. Here we come to war. Sailing the blue, sleeping on top of ponton boat. 10/14 landed today, front 20 minutes away. In staging area 1 mile from sea, everything in harbor blown up. 10/17 moved to Kings Castle in Caserta, drove thru castle gates and thru palace in Mack. Started bridge on Volturno, 2 miles from front. 10/18 finished bridge in the night, tired, hungry, class 40 ton reinforced bridge. Jerry (Germans) was over tonight but got chased away. 10/19 washed and rested, on guard this evening at bridge, thousands of guns, trucks, and tanks moving up, English and US, hope Jerry doesn't come. 10/20 Bridge maintenance, tired, Jerry came over but ack-ack turned him back, shells falling around, Scared? Hell yes! Guard today, got first letter in a month, damned near cried, talk about a homesick fellow, oh well. 10/23 another air raid, shrapnel falling everywhere, I went under truck plenty fast. More bridge guard, put in revetments. Boat detail hauling rock for fixed bridge that 343rd is building just below us. Raining and muddy. Have rheumatism from sleeping on ground. Driving assault boat between bridges. Jerry was over and did I go for the shore! Back to camp, went on guard, raining and cold, got 5 letters, glad. 10/31 moved to mud hole, went on patrol to an old Monastery and village, first American people that they had seen.

November '43, 1- drove Mack to Naples to Engineer dump for lumber. 2-5 guard today, getting mail now, instruct 19th Engineers on Ponton bridge. 6- put in truck squad, have own truck, old #44. 7- hauling bridge equipment for 19th eng's. 8-12 Hauled bailey bridge all night to engineer dump from Cancello, guard today, sick with cold, rain and wind, sleeping in cab now. Wrote poem for company Christmas cards "Just a Ditty". Armistice, but not for us, went on pass to Naples, prices sky high. Rifle inspection, still sick. 13- inspection on truck, they're having dog fights over our heads, guns shaking our tent, last straw. 14-21 Hauled bailey all day and night, rain, more rain, and mud. On guard today, built two boat rafts, on alert, fixed bridge on Volturno, rain and mud knee deep. Made lashings all day and worked on raft at 343rd bridge site, river up 6 feet. Worked all night on bridge hauling stone, more rain, mud. Went to village and got hair cut, am I hungry. 22- got Xmas package today, nuts and film, repaired raft and landing stage, river roaring. 23- Guard today, 1st bridge platoon left to go to the front to build bailey bridge with Lt. Hunt, don't envy them. 24- went up front to take out trestle bridge, shrapnel flying everywhere, no place for me, ha. 25- drove 280 miles after lumber at Benevento. All bridges washed out. Thanksgiving, fine dinner. 26- Hauled bailey bridge all day and night, Jerry was over and dropped his load, things are tough all over, oh for a bath, I'm lousy. 27- still hauling bailey, haven't slept in 2 days, get chow best way we can. 28- moved Company to all stone Castle above Caserta, beautiful day just like home. 29-30 1st year in Army, won't we ever get home, guard today, stayed in camp, helped clean tractor.

December '43 have to sleep in Guard tent and it is nasty, cold rain. 2-8 hauling bailey from Cancello to engineer dump, rain and roads are slippery. Jerry hasn't been over in quite a spell, our planes sure are busy tho. Ate chow with Limeys. Mud is knee deep and inspections of all things. Worked on Mack, best truck the army has, greased truck, guard this evening. One of the fellas drove my truck and hit a Limey wagon, was I sore as I hadn't ever scratched it yet. 9-12 payday, hauling bridge, outfit moving to Piedmont as the rubber float bridges about to go out on upper Volturno. More rain, in Pyramidal tents now, no stove yet, better than pup tents tho. 13-19 went 147 miles to Avalino after pilings for 337th eng's. Putting bailey across upper Volturno. Byers and I built double bunk, off the ground now. On guard, have 5 blankets now, nights cold, days beautiful. Worked on trucks, greased and cleaned them. Painted my truck today, going to move anyday closer to the front. Inspection today, went to Piedmont with Byers and Smitty, terrible mess, town bombed. 20-21 85th had a dance in the Prince's Castle. On guard next day, almost Xmas but no cheer over here. 22- Got watch today from home. 23- Rained all day, no work thank heavens. 24- Rained all day, went to town for an hour and got a bunch of nuts to eat, might get drunk tonight, no like drink. Christmas- big dinner today and I'm full for once. Homesick for everyone and everything. 26- moved today to Preysensorto (sp?), I ran in ditch with Mack, never seen such narrow slippery roads in all my days. 27- Byers and I made a swell stove from an oil drum and pipe from 88 shell casings. Cold and wet. 28- back to Santa Maria after a ponton load. Jerry was over strafing roads with machine guns, I was scared. 29- Went after another load, Jerry after me again, I'll get it yet, God's will be done. 30- On guard today, cold wind blowing. All you can hear is planes and guns. If you ask me we are too close to the front. 31- went after a trestle load to Capua. Made PFC. Got two fruitcakes, yum,yum. Last of '43, another year gone but not forgotten.

Bill Gentry in Italy

1/44 - 6/44

January '44 worst wind and sleet storms I ever did see, cold and out tent ripped apart, stovepipe came down, darn near froze, Patsy let us stay in today. 2-4 On guard this evening, unloaded trucks. Just have to get home this year. Had passes for 1st time in two months, but I was on guard. Boat squad on upper Voltuno helping 344th put in bailey bridge. Went to Santa Maria on pass, took shower and got haircut. Pete named T-5, do we kid him. 5- Got shelled last night. Boy was I scared. Byers got strafed by a Spitfire plane that Jerry was driving (captured aircraft used to confuse us). Death is coming close.6- Painted truck, Pete is sewing on stripes. Swell bunch of fellows. 7- Wish I had some apples from home. Jerry was over and we hit the dirt. Probably get shelled again. I'm jittery. 8- Seen dog fight. Two planes went down. Shells got close last night, going to get us sooner or later. Oh, well what the hell. 9-11 Patsy gave us extra duty because of no tin top for stove pipe. We had to paint tools Sunday afternoon. Paint all over us. Motor maintenance, no mail for a long time. Trucks look like new, but I'd like to get some sleep. Too many shells falling at night. Gets your nerves. 12- Jerry was over hunting easy prey. 13-14 On guard today, Patsy had a wild hair about something. My Mack was taken out to get boats from the river and was it muddy, Oh well, gives me something to do. 15- Got shaped up to move. 16- Move to Pignataro, almost to Capua. Thank God no more shells to sweat out. 17-19 1st Bridge Platoon came back to outfit. Byers and Smitty got extra duty for using a yellow axe from trailor set. Did we laugh. Chow terrible, burnt hash and hot water. Took shower today. I was getting lousy. Got new tent today. Now let it rain. Three Sgts broke down to Pvt, Patsy was on the warpath. 20- Rumor has it we build bridge on Garigliano. Hope not. Got shot for smallpox and typhus. Hope I don't get trench foot. 21- Lt. pulled me off truck to go with boat squad on secret mission. Half scared. Too many rumors. 22- Took General's Clark, Alexander and big shots in storm boats out to PT boats in Tyhrennion Sea. Invasion of Anzio. Went after them in the afternoon. Back in camp 8:30pm. Tired and wet. 23- Went on another mission to mouth of Volturno. 24- Closest I came to dying. Storm boat capsized in sea. Sgt. Whitcomb and Lt. of 337th with me. Helmet was all that saved us, my watch was ruined tho. Thirty foot wave swamped boat during storm. Had helmet to bail out boat. Motor did not work, no oars or life preservers, so beached boat 2 miles up river. Sent Bill thru teller minefield to get boat and rescue them. 25-26 got brand new tires today for all trucks, took two men to change a tire at at time. Rain. Lord, I'd hate to pay for them 12:20 14 ply tires. 27- Guard today, driver's school for replacements. Hundreds of planes going over. Oh, folks but I'm homesick. 28-29 Helping build a railroad control tower at Verona. 1st Bridge Platoon picking up mines. Hope I don't have to. Not scared, but a person will live longer if he leaves them alone. 30- Paid today, got a letter from Calleen, happy like a kid. 31- finished the tower today, we are having quite a time on account of guys getting drunk.

February '44 Pete and Mannon down at the Volturno hunting for a lost ponton boat. 2- Went on guard this evening. Fellow bought an accordian like Calleen's and oh, but when I was on guard last night it made tears come. Imagine a grown man crying. 4-7 Weather isn't too bad, changed more tires, went on pass to Pompeii, seen the ruins of the Ancient City, changed more tires. 8-10 built 5 boat rafts today on Volturno, on guard at river, putting on a school for the English at Capua, raining cats and dogs. 11-12 bridge almost out, had to work most of the night, 12 feet rise in water, came to camp and took shower. Standing by as 4 bridges on Volturno about to go, hope not. 13- 1st Bridge Platoon went out last night to build raft for 337th Eng's. Put in fixed bridge. Sergeant Kraemer got blew to hell by a booby-trapped mine. Can't find his body, found part of his insignia and hat, caterpiller wrecked on side. 14- At Cancello de Volturno put in deadman for control cable that holds 7-boat raft. Pile driver goes on raft. 15-17 found our lost ponton boat, 3/4 buried in mud. Was on river guard at Capua. Still trying to get ponton boat out. We have three rafts on the river and are we busy. 18- Went on wood detail almost to Cassino, too close for me! Troops and more troops. Got 5 letters. 19- gassed trucks all day. 20-27 Went to Capua and Cancello and took rafts out. Took shower and clothing exchange, good to be clean. Went on guard at Kitchen post and have to keep Italians out. I almost disobeyed orders, they are starving. Corporal Trimble made sergeant, went to 1st Bridge Platoon. Went to Capua and put in maneuver cable. 28- Went out by Verona and cleared mines for Bailey bridge we have to build. 29- layed out bridge site. Have two bridges to put in, three culverts and a bunch of demolition holes to fill in.

March '44 Rain like hell. Put one bridge in. Got my Bronze Star for crossing the Volturno under fire, Eagle messed tonight (got paid). 2- Put in 2nd bridge, hauled lumber from Engineer depots for culverts, Byers went to hospital with athletes foot. Smitty and I playing chess. 3- Built two culverts today, boy is it raining, I sure do feel for the infantry. 4- finished two more culverts. Rain. Scott got pepsi and candy in mail. 5- on guard, pulling 4 hrs on and 8 hrs off, miserable on account of the mud and rain. 6- Hauling gravel in cargo boxes of Macks. Rations tonight, got 3 bottles of Coke, first since I left the states. 7- Cleaned up bridge sites, took excess to Eng. depot. 8- Byers still in hospital, Puto got Purple Heart, mine blew dirt in his eyes. 9- most of day off, still raining. 8- Went to Capua, had refresher course on boats. "Short arm" inspection this afternoon. Mine is OK, ha. 11-14- Took our equipment to Capua for bridge school. Built Infantry support raft. Pete went to hospital, he was lousy. We put on a show for the Limeys. 15-16- Built heavy raft at SME (school of military engineering)and we were mortified. River went down and raft wouldn't float. Patsy made Captain. On guard today and did it rain. 17- Second Bridge Platoon is going out tonight, full field pack, mine detectors, leaving Macks here, looks bad. 18- At the front on the Garigliano River, maintaining a Bailey Ponton Bridge, 1 1/2 mile from Jerry. Long Tom gun shooting shells over our heads. 19- not sleeping good, back hurts, nerves I guess. Machine guns, mortars, and artillary terrible. We'll be lucky if we get out of here. 20- Not much sleep last night, if this keeps up I'll be a wreck. Can't eat, just plain scared. Smitty went to radio school. 21- Running a steamroller under Jerry's nose, picking up mines, found some. Jerry knocked out the raft last night, 2 direct hits. Sleeping better. 22- Building a dummy bridge, got shelled out, was we scared! Air bursts, darn near got it. 23- day off in old building 400 yds from bridge. Don't know why Jerry doesn't shell it. Going to finish bridge tonight, we're scared stiff. 24- We got back, but we sure sweated it out. Guess they are going to turn us into Combat Engineers. No mail. 25- Stayed in bed most of day, only place I could keep warm. Something wrong, I go paralyzed at times, nerves I guess. 26- Passes today, I went back to camp. Byers and Pete out of hospital. 1st bridge platoon is building an Infantry bridge 6 miles above us. 27- Worked all night as bridge guard, Jerry knocked raft out again, hot spot! 28- Stayed in bed and cat napped, lots of shells whizzing around. 29- Put floor in Dummy Bridge. We are on pins and needles. A 240 battery uses out house for a sight leaf, and boy do we feel her rock. Ha. 30- Things have quieted down somewhat here. When its raining its no good and when its quiet you can't stand it. 31- Got paid today, had day off. Jerry shelled Dummy Bridge. Good thing we were not there. Ours is camoflaged.

April '44 Washed the bridge off, Jerry sitting up on the hill at Castle Forte watching us. Funny war. 2- Palm Sunday and kind of quiet, took shower, nice day. 3- Bridge guard last night, slept most of day. Watching Jerry shell our gun positions beside us. 4- Messed around the Dummy Bridge this morning, ought to leave well enough alone. Man am I home sick. 5-8 Day off. They put Mannon on raft at Minturno, Lord I hope nothing happens to him. Took shower. Almonds and peaches in bloom. Worked on bridge. Went to Santa Maria on pass, stayed at Red Cross & ate ice cream. On alert at bridge, Jerry might blow the dam. 9- Easter Sunday, saw Byers, he's tickled pink about getting a furlough. 10- I'm 1 mile from Jerry, guarding a crossroad. He can see me and I can see him. Funny war. 11- Cleaned bridge, tonight guard, guess us single fellows will never get furlough. 12- found 4 dead Limeys in river, gruesome mess. 2nd corp taking over here, I'm not sorry. 13- Outfit moved to Sparanise, Byers and Pete guarding infantry bridge. 14- went to show last night, good to be where it's safe from shells. 15- cleaned motor today, bought Byers' German Lugar for $16. 16- Went to Capua, put on show for British. 17- Day off, stayed in camp. 18- Guard today, spring shower came. 19- changing tires again. Rumor has it we get the Fifth Army Plaque, second outfit in Italy to get it. 20- General is coming, busy shaping our gear. 21- All day shaping gear, went to show tonight. 22- General Bowman and Elliot were here, we were first to put up Ponton bridge in this war, was Patsy pleased and did he strut. 23- Day off, guard this evening, spring is really here. 24- On guard, rest of Company went to Capua at SME. 25- Boy has it rained today, Patsy let us stay in tents, I'm thinking too much of home. 26- washed trucks, got new type gas mask. 27- still washing trucks, heard that Co.B and H&S Co. are in Africa. 28- Mannon, Pete, Byers, and I together tonight telling some tall yarns. 29- Was on guard. Going to front to put in Ponton Bridge, got back at 4am and I am tired. Jerry shells and mountain trails. 30- Built ponton tonight, they had to pick me to drive an Auto Car with lumber on back mountain trail. Even a pickup has to back up on the curves. Bed at 5am.

May '44 43 miles to the bridge and back, I feel as if drug thru a ten-knot hole. Guess its hot at the bridge. 2- Guard today, rest of Company took more boats in case Kraut gets too busy, French front area. 3- have to take 3 more boats up tonight, hope we make it OK. 4- Got back last night but I was scared. Byers and Terry got word they go home on rotation, boy oh boy. 5- They left at 1:30pm, hated to see them go,lonesome now. 30 more men for bridge guard, my turn will be soon I guess. 6- Guard today, heat is beginning to be felt. 7- went to Engs dump and got boats, Jerry knocked out 3, supposed to take them up tonight but Patsy wouldn't let us, too hot there. 8- went on pass today, going up tonight, God help us. No place to be unless you want a Purple Heart. 9- Got more boats at Aversa, brought back 3 from the river shot all to pieces, 137 holes in one, glad I wasn't in that one, whew. 10- took stuff to SME, getting ready to go on guard. 11- One year ago today we landed and Im here on bridge guard and the push is on. Opened up at 11:30pm. All hell has broke loose, can't hear yourself talk. 12- bridge still in, we are on top of hill in a wine cellar about 4' deep, wet but safe. Prisoners coming in, terrible treatment. 13- 4 or 5 close calls, within 10' they light, bridge full of holes, but still floating. Boats look like a porcupine. Repaired shelled telephone wire under the cannon muzzles. Scared stiff, nightmares. 14- 12 inch shells coming in, bury a jeep in the holes they make. Bridge took all it could take. Put in new hinge span raft, did we work, one man in hospital. I had close call in boat, shell fell close to the boat, I knew I couldn't jump in the water or would get concussion. 15- quiet here except for French beating prisoners. Makes my blood boil, isn't right, command said we couldnt do anything to help, it was war. 16- Air raid last night and was I scared. The front is moving fast, but Jerry is still shelling us. This valley here is known as Purple Heart Valley. War is hell! 17- no more shells, thank God. Just barely can hear big guns. Sandbagged abutment. French truck turned over loaded with veno and cognac, ahem! 18- got relieved, back to camp and took shower, quiet here. 19- went to Santa Maria to see "This is the Army Mr.Jones", good show. 20- Went to river and got 5 ponton that were knocked out. Guard this afternoon. I hate guard, rest of outfit went for swim. 21- Still guarding, but better than sweating out those shells. 22- Pass to Santa Maria, stayed in Red Cross, ice cream and cookies all day. 23- Took out bridge, boy did it take a beating. Front 60 miles away. 24- six of us working 24 hr shifts patching pontons, are they holy. 2 rafts in use by 337th hauling piling for 344th, sure busy. 25- still patching. Going to move when we get our gear shaped. 26- joined with Anzio today, rumors that we build another bridge soon, still patching. 27- rumor right, loaded all night and left at 6am for Anzio. Got in at 1. Kurt is CO now, Patsy left for states. 28- Air raid last night. Hit dugout in hurry. Unloaded 12 boats, left at 2am to go back to Avers for more boats.29- Got back at 7am, 230 miles, am I tired, slept all day. Things are going to be rough when we cross the Tiber. Knats eating me up here. 30- Moved into dugout, sleep better now. Shaping up trucks, they sure took a beating, too many shell holes, lost fenders, etc... 31- worked on truck and went for swim in sea, first since last year.

June '44 1-4 Washing trucks, put in two fills where bridges have been blown, working on road, no mail for days, filled in gun implacement and set roadblocks. Air raid most every night, getting tired of it. 5- finished road, formations at 2am, lined up trucks, left from Volturno at 11pm, in Rome at 4am, slept in truck for 3 hrs, sit here thinking of home. 6- bovouac in woods, called out to build bridge on Tiber at 7pm, 3 miles below Rome, no sleep tonight. 7- tried to dig foxhole in the cement neath my truck last night with bare hands, Jerry was strafing, whew. Left for Anzio to get bailey bridge, I'm all in. 8- in at 2am, I just can move. Moved to building 2 miles below bridge. 9- Took out rubber treadway bridge of 109th Eng's. Piss call last night, told everyone to piss at same time. 11- Checked trucks today, these old Macks sure can take it. Took out another bridge today. 12- hauling for everyone over here it seems, also roadwork and maintenance of two bridges. 13- hauling bridge material to 39th Eng's at front 100 miles away. Our bridge still in and is really being used. 14- Got back this morning, loaded up again, went to DDD dump above Civitavechia, I've fought that Mack till I can't fight no more. 15- Pass today to Rome, nice town, Major brought us up to date, B and H&S companies will be here soon. 16- situation is tough, took out bridge on Tiber as Bailey Bridge is finished, hot weather, guess we move up soon. 17- Went 100 miles on Rt.1 near Orbetello and San Stefaro by the sea. Looks like rain. 18- unloaded trucks and went to DDD to move Engineer Dump above Grossetto, another 100 mile trip one way, traffic and more traffic. 19- still hauling night and day, sleep when you can, which is seldom, wonder if people at home know what we're going thru. 20- Have 5 boat rafts in for pile driver, I'm almost sick, too much being wet, guess the mail must have sunk. 21- heck of a way to celebrate a person's birthday. Hauling and dead on my feet. 22- Same ole thing again, I'll never want to see another truck again. Smitty back from detached service, still miss Byers. 23- Washed and greased truck, loaded up with Bailey bridge. 24- Took bailey 40 miles up Rt.1, boy are we advancing. 25- Chosen for rest camp in Rome, 5 days, we are in the Mussolini Forum, everything marble. PX, beer, & sandwich. 26- On the town with Smitty, beautiful stores and girls. Different class of people here, swimming, ice cream, show this evening. 27- Bought accordian for Sergeant Breloff, went to show in evening. 28- swimming, read, slept, show in evening, this is heaven here but time is wasting. 29- back to camp, had 7 letters, yea man! Perfect weather. 30- Cleaned and greased trucks, went swimming and show in evening.

7/44 - 12/44

July '44 1-2 Hauled Bailey bridge up to DDD, came back and started loading Pontons, guess we move again. Had all day guard, 14 hrs, whew does it wear a person out. 3- Three years since 85th formed. 4-9 work today on the 4th PMS (preventative maintenance schedule), three Limey power boats. Loading trucks, going somewhere soon, man o man am I lonesome. Testing rubber pontons, worked on trucks, new TO (another rule of laws) coming out soon. Got package of goodies from Ben and Auntie, yum yum. Repaired radiator braces on Macks. Raft for 337th Eng's, stationary bridge, built road and had powerboat in Stefano Harbor. Swimming in sea, so beautiful words can't describe it, bluest of blues. 10- had 1st rifle inspection in 6 months, twelve men got gigged and are doing close order drill this evening. We're all laughing at them. Twenty five men leaving for replacement. New TO. 11- 1st Bridge Platoon went up on hwy 73, 60 miles from here. 12- went to Piombino got lumber for 1st Bridge, 200 mile trip. 13- went to Piombino got a load of steel, it went to 1st bridge, roads on 73 are terrible, just made it. 14- took H-10 Bridge (ravine bridge) up to 1st Bridge Platoon, boy am I getting tired. 15- Made T-5 today, signed payroll, cleaned winch. 16- went to Piombino got 7000 feet of green lumber and took to 1st Bridge, another 200 miles. 17- took off for Verono after piling, went on Route 6. 18- Loaded 8 piling, 70 feet long, came back on Rt 7, Rt 6 too crooked, pulled into Civitavechia this eveing, 225 miles. 100 more to go to Piombino. 19- Got in Piombino at noon. 337th Eng's met up there, went on to Siena, fixed bridge there. 20-21 Pulled out for Piombino after steel girders, to big to haul, washed truck, PMS this afternoon, we are leaving here soon, either France or Yugoslavia or India, we'd like to know. 22- Shaping our gear, going to move in the morning, guess we are going to join Battalion. 23- left this morning came as far as Cisterna, smokes are getting low. 24- in Sparinese at noon and met Battalion, camped in pup tents, turned in pyramidal tents to 5th Army, got stripes sewed on. 25- Checked trucks, went for swim, and met a lot of old friends in B and H&S companies. 26- Battalion celebrated last night, had six bottles of beer apiece, was it good. We are in 7th Army now, so France here we come. 27- Fixed 5th wheel, tool check, got tetanus shot, have our own medics now, got carton of smokes tonight. 28- Truck cleaning. 29- Battalion guard now in OD's. Letter from Blondie. Took film to Pignataro. 30- Had passes today, stayed in camp and dreamed about home, I'm slowly going nuts. 31- Got tents back and have electric lights, German generator. Got six packages, all came at once.

August '44 1-2 Carbine school, nomenclature and cleaning, went out on range and shot, sights off somewhat. 3-6 Painted pontons, got PX rations, candy bars are good, also painted trucks, mine is #38. Back to range, gun still shooting right, I'll take the '03 any day. 7-14 Bridge school on the Volturno, built and tore it down, took shower, got four bottles of beer. Built bridge again, on guard in the evening, formal guard mount, officer checks present arms and uniform. Built bridge tonight in blackout. Took bridge down next morning, had cloud burst, felt good. More bridge school, give truck 6000 mile check up, getting letters now, love them. Most of company went on pass, too hot for me to get in OD's, read, slept. Tightened all nuts on truck, must be a million, articles of war, more mail. 15-21 packing wheels with grease, my hunch right,Invasion of France this morning at 8am, we'll be going soon. Finished wheels today, taking Ate Brine (anti-malaria meds)everyday, our D-Day getting near. Cleaned and recleaned radiator, gonna sweat this boat ride out. Went on pass to Santa Maria and Caserta,ate ice cream, seen show. Rations today, going to dentist tomorrow. 22-23 chemical warfare training this morning. Had 2 teeth filled, movie in area (projector and sheet to show black and white movie)had to shut down if Jerry came over. 24- Fired carbine. Bayonet and rifle grenades. Gassed all trucks, won't be long till we see France. Went on pass, ate ice cream and cake, show, made me cry. 28- Trucks lined up for shipping. Had 6 bottles of beer, had good time on top of ponton boat. 29- Up at 330am to go to assembly point, same place we landed almost a year ago. 30- waiting to load, more beer. 31- close order drill, we're rusty, first one in ages. Still waiting on LST's.

September '44 Ships won't be in for two days so got pass to Naples. 2- still here sittin on our fannies, never get to France, who cares anyway. 3- 1st & 6th series loaded today, we load tomorrow, mail is swell. 4- Loaded on LST, takes 6 for our outfit, no supper, slept on ponton boat in LST. 5- waiting for rest to load, hope this war ends soon. 6- pulled anchor this evening at 8pm, chow good, but crowd pretty bad. 7- at sea, LST sure rocking but not sick, sleeping on top of ponton. 8- almost got sick. Scott, Pete, Blair, Trimble and I got in sham battle on top of Ponton. 9- Got in harbor at noon, rough ride last nigt, don't know when we'll land. 10- Rammed beach and unloaded at 3am. Gassed up with 600 gallons, take off in morning for front. 11- Came 200 miles bivouacked near Grenoble. 12- Left at 6am, crossed Alps within 20 miles of Switzerland. 180 miles, camped above Bourg.13- came 30 miles today, camped in woods, France is beautiful, rain this afternoon. 14- built road with steel matting, signed payroll, Colonel told us our job is to bridge the Rhine.15- Gassed trucks, aired tires, washed clothes. French are curious, no privacy at all. 16- Went 80 miles for lumber, buy it from the French, 4 loads, no mail. 17- Unloaded all trucks today, A & B Co's going to coast after more ponton equipment, left 3pm, camped near Bourg first night. 18- Hwys greasy with mud, crossed Alps today, 2 wrecks 2 guys in hospital, camped in open field, slept in cab of trucks, rain. 19- 250 miles and reached the coast, changed front tire, rain. 20- five trucks loaded from ship, 6 more to go, chow sort of punk, 10 in 1 meals. 21- Still waiting for stuff, took whores bath, heard that rest of outfit moved. 22- first bridge almost loaded, sick, fever and chills, headache, touch of malaria. 23- can't stop headache. 4 of us loaded now, got pills from medics. 24- Went to St.Raphael drank beer, weather swell, no mail for a week. 25- Finished loading truck, 1-1/2ton of rations in cargo box, leaving in morning. 26- 180 miles, camped in Alps, cold but oh does it make me think of home, mountain peaks, rivers, and snow. 27- crossed Alps today, we got lost hunting outfit, they had moved to the banks of the Rhone near Lyon. 28- Unloaded, going to train the 540th, 40th, and 36th Eng's in storm and assault crossings, also ponton bridges. Kucera got drowned in the Mosselle river. 29- one of 12 picked to train the 40th Eng's. I hope this war ends before we bridge the Rhine. 30- 40th built rafts and trestles today. The colonel has a nice Criss Craft boat. Got straw for bed sacks, wish I had a pole, the trout are jumping.

October '44 1- Got paid, pass to Lyon, swell town, girls by the thousands, bought lights and had some beer. 2- 40th busy building fixed bridges, I'm running the outboard motor. Ducks here too, haven't seen any since the landings in Italy. 3- Lost powerboat, duck, & storm boat, treacherous river this Rhone, smoke screen so thick you can hardly see. 4- Still running motor, had to build at night, was it dark. Two letters. 5- pontons turned over today, had to rescue it, quite a job. 6- More men hurt on cable, took it down and moved it, grounded the powerboats, got wet & cold, miserable weather. 7- Built bridge in 5 hrs, 670' feet, 45 boats. Got fruit cake from mom. 8- Took down bridge, river low and had awful time, busted motors on bottom, rain. 9- teaching French and Arabs, one motor blew up and drowned a fellow from the 36th Eng, he was on fire. 10- river high, rain and miserable, half cold, lost dollar playing poker with Smitty and Pete. 11- more rain, running boats and rafts. 12- Pete is helping run pontons, can see snow on Swiss Alps. 13- rain again, night problems with Arabs, fingers crossed as is Friday 13th. 14- Arabs came down river in stolen ponton boat and rammed our raft. 15- more rafts out of control, French trying to teach Arabs but the are not able to learn and they take everything before them. 16- Sergeant Breloff went home on rotation, built bridge, B company lost powerboat. 17- French took down bridge, 600 feet. Pete, Hertzog, Hawaii, and I went fishing, got 30 lbs of carp using hand grenades. First time threw grenades down stream and boat floated down onto the grenade, after that learned to throw grenade upstream! 18- lost 5 pontons and 7 motors, two storm boats. River tore them loose last night. 19- Pass to Lyon, bought Eversharp pencil, watch and strap, had some Ven Blanc. 20- Niciforo got drowned today, hit cable with assault boat, this river is dangerous. 21- moved 2 miles up on the hill at Camp De Val Bonne, rain. 22- went to river and loaded 25 loads of equipment. Experiment with Lt. Graves brainchild. 23-25 working in mud, loaded excess stuff. Folks know I'm in France now, they got pkg I sent in Italy. 26- Left for engineer dump at Epinal, 200 miles, air raid. 27- thirty two miles, spent day looking for dump, stayed at Girancourt, had 7 yr old wine. 28- Left Epinal for Dole, cooking spuds and bacon on back of trailor in town square, crazy Yanks, ha. Capt Grant went after lumber. 29- Got lumber in Alps, 15 miles from Geneva, scenic here, ate lunch at resort, wine and schnapps, got in camp at 7pm, 550 mile trip. 30- Loaded truck, gassed up, heard article of war, H&S Company moving tomorrow. 31- Four macks went with H&S Company. Got first Christmas package today.

November '44 Rain all day, sat in truck, got two replacements, wish I was home married. 2- Rain, stayed in tent and filled diary, have barber itch on face. 3- Made a gas stove, Eagle dumped today. 4- Ice this morning, eats good, mail good. 5- Pete and I went hunting on river, rabbit and pheasant season open here. Guns make me homesick. 6- tore down 84th Engineers camo bridge, no mail. 7- moved out for the front, came as far as Dole, cold and rain. 8-9 left Dole for Epinal, Italy was a picnic compared to this mud. 10- sleeping in cab, mud knee deep, rain and snow, got two packages and letters. 11- Moved 6 miles from Epinal in woods, snow and cold. Letter from her, haven't shaved in 10 days, look rugged. 12- working on road, snow and colder. 13- 3 miles, snow last night, our stove is about to run us out of tent a smoking, no mail. 14- moved today, what a job, snow and cold, all stuck in mud. Came to Luneville, close to front.15- barbers itch on face. All unloaded, 40 cars of ponton equipment. Tired, slept in Mack. 16- Got package and 2 letters, they sure help. Moved to old factory building by rail road. Face is bad, still haven't shaved. 17- Still unloading trains. Face is worse. Medics had me shave today, quite an ordeal. 18- Signed payroll. Mon oh man, just get through with one train and another rolls in. 19- Marked quarters so can take care of face. Medics told me to use the hottest towels on face to kill the infection. 20- Still on sick call, Pete got Christmas packages, Blair got 5, did we eat. 21- Still doctoring face, got package from Auntie, bless her anyway. 22- On Guard. Have to keep civilians from taking lumber. Cold and miserable. 23- Wonderful Thanksgiving supper. Robot bombs coming in, 6 hour alert, sounds bad, I'd hate to build a bridge now. 24- Went to Epinal after some Ponton stuff. Package from Mom. 25- Had GI's bad last night, up most of time. Took dose and slept all day. Sure bound me tho. 26- Face not much better. Still on alert for Rhine crossing. We are sweating it out. 27- Went out and de-mined area for bridge dump. 28- Still have itch on face. Tearing apart crates for lumber and wood. 29- Same as yesterday, cold and damp, no mail. 30- Eagle messed today, ha. Face well now and what a relief. Worked on trucks.

December '44 1- Got antifreeze for trucks, glad to, as I'm tired of draining them. 2- Worked on trucks, rain, no mail, I'm blue. 3- On guard at rail road, no mail. 4- Pete and I turned carpenters and built box for officer, no mail. 5- Mud is knee deep, and inspections of all things. 6- Had Battalion parade, 4 men from H&S got soldiers medal, three letters from home.7- Fixed spare tire hanger and checked tires, chow sort of crappy. 8- Filling roadway in rail road. 9- Got an Allemande car that maintenance is fixing up, we even put an 85th insignia on it. Wonder what it would be like to kiss a girl, bet I've forgotten. 10- Worked on Hwy 4, from Luneville to Blamath, 14 miles, full of holes. 11- Had tool check. Cleaned rail road siding, got hair cut, no mail. 12- Pete and I got pass to go boar hunting, Pete got a rabbit, a big boar darned near ran over me. Carbine too small to use, scared us. 13- Caught cold in tooth. Showers, first in 2 months, was getting lousy. Cut wood for stoves. 14- Sergeant Roberts and boat squad came in drunk on Schnapps, didn't blame them much. Lt. Hunt busted Roberts, so Pete made Corporal, his troubles start now, ha. 15- Had a physical. Few of the men have itch or scabies. Got a package from Ella Onn. 16- PMS trucks today (preventative maintenance). 17- Worked on Engineer dump, name was drawn to go to Lyon for 5 day rest but I turned it down, go to dentist, tooth jumping. 18-Went on sick call and had tooth pulled at 27th Engineers in Baccarat. Two beers this evening. 19- Worked on road from Luneville to Sarreburg, booby traps and mines everywhere. 20- Went to Sarreburg to get teeth filled, had to hitch hike. 21- Fixed emergency bulkheads on ponton boats, cold, first day of winter. 22- Drove Mack today unloading pontons at rail road. 1000 storm boat motors, couple of hundred acres needed for all the invasion supplies. 23- Took shower, went to Bayon on Mosselle River to take down maneuver cable. 24- Christmas Eve, pumped water from ponton boats, got ready to go on guard, have the woods. Guards were 1/2 miles apart in the woods, Hoppy heard a noise one night and asked for them to halt, but no answer so he shot several shots and found out it was a pig,ha. Rest of the Company went to a dance. 25- Shot at two deer today in the woods. Am I mortified but tried gun out and it shoots 2 feet off at 50 yards or so. 26- Had a nice Christmas dinner. Almost like home, but still have to work. No time off at all. 27- We have 80 miles of road to fix and maintain. It's cold as blue blazes, ha. 28- Worked on road. Freezes all day and gets cold at night, no foolin'. Got three letters from sweetness. 29- Fixed a culvert today, our outfit is sure strung out along these roads. 30- Sure have to be careful of mines and booby traps along these roads. 31- Worked on Engineer Dump unloading assault boats. Really worked too. Got paid, snow and ice on road. Part of us are sanding the roads.

Bill Gentry at Luneville, France

1/45 - 5/45

January '45 1- Worked at bailey bridge dump on 210th. Pete, Smitty, Wiles, Maxwell, and I had pink champagne this evening, wow is it good. 2- Worked at bailey bridge dump, zero now, cold. Patroling roads, guarded bivouac area for 450th Engineers. 3- On guard this evening. 4- On guard, patroling roads, working at night at 450th bailey dump. 5- Sanding roads, took chests to stockade for prisoners. 6- Moved road gear to number 4 storage. Mannon come back from front, officer took him to the Rhine River to check things out, what yarns he tells. 7- Worked on road today, cold. Pete, Smitty, and I are going to have some beer. 8- Motor maintenance. Went out and got trailer in woods, all loaded up now, no mail, snow and cold. 9- More snow, sanding roads. Went to Mirancourt to dentist, good chow there. 10- Had two temporary fillings put in. No mail. 11- Motor call, cold and snow, no mail. 12- Went to 21st general hospital, got 6 fillings, 3 more to go, I must have been holy, ha. 13- Company HQ had a dance tonight, I can't get interested enough to dance. Pete went to rest camp at Lyon, no mail. 14- Road test on truck, hauled for Air Corp, no mail. 15- On Guard at bailey depot, wasn't bad, went to Red Cross in evening. 16- Had teeth finished, start selling shares in silver mine, ha, no mail. 17- Sanding roads above Bacharatt, very cold. 18- Unloading all trucks at dump, going to haul, going to be tough as the roads are pure ice. 19- Finished unloading all ready for the road, no mail, must have been hijacked, ha. 20- PMS truck, made foot locker, no mail, can't understand why not. 21- Big snow storm so sanding road for dear life, no mail. 22- 6 letters, wow, was I glad. On guard, six of us went to see Smitty at hospital, he has yellow jaundice. 23- Driving water truck today, gold brick job. 24- Twenty trucks went to Epinal after timber, comes here to Luneville. Roads solid ice. 25- Another trip to same place, use chains all way round, tanks can't even get up hills. Have to be on pins and toes. 26- PMS trucks, snowed a foot last night, would love to go hunting. 27- Another trip to Epinal. Roads so bad and slick, took 4 hrs to go 40 miles, wears a person to a frazzle. 28- On guard, snow now 2 feet, times are tough here now belive me, oh I feel for the infantry! 29- Trip to Epinal, got load of steel, rations tonight. 30- Went to Albreseviller south of Sarreburg after lumber. Snow is really piled up, everyone talks Almande (German). 31- Another trip to Albreseviller, chinook weather, snow going fast, got paid and I didn't back up to the pay line either, ha.

February '45 1- Five day rest to Lyon. Wiles, Mannon, and I got a hotel room, oh these wonderful beds. 2- The meals are wonderful here, I have an encore all the time. Rations tonight. 3- Swell here. Met the cutest French Red Cross girl. If Brown Eyes wasn't waiting for me, I'd bring her home, ha. 4- Looking the city over. Oh but the eats are delilcious here. Cleaned place some, took two hours, ha. Don't know what to do with ourselves. 6- Got haircut. Went to Montliel. The heat was on for Mannon (making eyes at the women). Sitting in cafe' here drinking beer. 6- Oh lord, what girls here in France. All I do is look though. last day here. 8- Left for Camp this morning, got in at 8pm, tired but 5 letters waiting, was I glad. Get to go up to the front in the morning. 9- Went to Dabo in the Voges Mountains, beautiful scenery. Took lumber to Engineer 207th to Severne, stayed at B Company, too close to the front to suit me. 10- Came back to camp today, truck almost to pieces, roads terrible, thaw got them. 11- Fixed four broken lugs, tightened brakes, mechanics too busy so have to do own work. 12- On guard today, threw the old man a couple of fives, letters coming thru fine. 13- Fixed radiator braces. had fenders welded, also platform. They darned near tore my truck up while I was gone to Lyon. 14- Had spare tire rack welded, checked tires, trucks all ready to roll again. Hurt my knee, can hardly walk, I think I'm lousy, ha. 15- Pete and I got a pass to go hunting. Tramped all day, guess game has gone back to higher ground, seemed good to be free again for one day. 16- Left this morning for Luxelburg after lumber. Oh what beautiful spots, if only things were different but they are not. Got in at 7pm, tired and sleepy, roads are terrible. 17- Cleaned cables and load binders, had fender brace welded at H&S. 18- Messed around this morning, had orientation lecture this afternoon, looks as though we might go to Pacific when this is over here. 19- Went to Shermeck after piling and big timbers. Got Smitty to go along, 130 miles. Got back at 7pm. 20- Having another platform brace fixed and muffler welded, these roads sure do tear things up. 21- Trying to get fender brace fixed, but too many secret weapons being made, ha. 22- Finally got muffler and brace fixed, ready to roll again. Four auto cars in shop. All to pieces. The Mack is best damn truck made. 23- Didn't do much today, took shower. 24- Went to Oberhaslach on Hwy 392. Lumber went to 207th at Severne, 138 mile trip. 25- On guard today at bridge dump. First Bridge platoon moved to Albreseviller to haul logs to French sawmill. 26- Pulled truck in for PMS, so didn't go out today. all gresed and ready to roll now. No mail. Wish they would write every day. 27- Went to Romansville and got lumber. It went to Engineer 207th Severne. I'm beat to death, these roads are terrible, worse everyday. 28- Went to Urmatz to get big load of timbers. It went to 207th Severne. Got back early, 130 miles. Got paid, sent $80 home.

March '45 1- Went to Urmatt, got load of timber, went to Engineer 207th Severne, 130 miles, almost wore out. 2- Went to Wiches and got laod of lumber, came back to Luneville, truck stopped at gate, drained 10 gallons of water from gas tank, sabotage by Germans. 3- Went to Romansweiller, had some Schnapps, snow storms, B Company moving back here, things are shaping up. 4-Changed oil and got everything shaped today, no mail. 5- Corporal of the Guard in woods, rather pull the post any day. Big crossing school going on to train 540th, 40th and 3rd Divisions, oh that Rhine. 6- Went to Freudeneck after lumber up in the Voges Mountains, lumber went to Severne, roads a fright, had some schnapps. 7- Had radiator braces fixed, fender braces welded, washed truck. 8- Went to Abrescheviller after lumber, tough trip, rain, snow and mud, went to 207th Severne, water in gas again, lights wouldn't work, got a nice letter. 9- Shaping our trucks, fixed braces. 10- Washing trucks, 1st Army crossed Rhine, our turn will come soon. 11- Washed trucks, carrying two boats now, man what a load, time is getting near. 12- Son of a gun if we aren't having refresher course on the Moselle River, bridge school. Breloff came back from furlough, glad to see him. 13- Refresher course, it's going to happen soon folks and I don't like it. 14- Same thing today, 540th Engineers are learning, hundreds of Ducks here too, no mail. 15- 2nd Bridge all loaded today, 1st Bridge came back from Abrescheviller, they had a good time in the mountains, no mail. 16- Getting everything ready, moving gear, got two packages from Aunty and Ben, cigars, got 2 letters, oh but I love to get mail. 17- Six hour alert, everything seems to be left for the last minute, visited Smitty at 51 E hospital, jaundiced. 18- Still packing, man what a job to move, Pete and I going to hunt some Schnapps. 19- Loading the Quartermaster outfit with Pontons, worked till 11pm, sick with flu. 20- Got word this afternoon that we move before midnight, so am packing my gear, to the front. 21- Moved this morning, biggest convoy in ETO, took 5 hours, we are between Saars-Union and Bitche, no camo, some army. 22- On guard today, no mail, no news. In Maginot Line, beautiful weather. 23- Just had formation, going to move this evening at 6pm, black out drive for 90 miles, enter Germany now, take all night, going to Isenberg, Germany. 24- In the Fatherland, 10 miles from the Rhine, beautiful country here, tough night last night, no sleep, slept all day, trucks camouflaged. 25- Waiting, had formation at 7pm, build bridge tomorrow, so am sweating it out believe me. THE ASSAULT OF THE RHINE. 26- Left area at 2am, got at bridge site 4am. 3rd Division Infantry went over on assault crossing, I was scared. Built bridge in 8.5 hrs, could hold 40 tons, cranes had to be floated across on rafts. 1076 feet, a beauty. 27- Broke record on bridge, had 3 casualties. Drank German wine this morning, cooks found German wine cellar, wine the Germans had taken from the French, cases and cases. Left this afternoon for Toul below Nancy, more bridge equipment, 10 miles. 28- No sleep, got loaded and came back to East Berstein, 3 days since we had sleep, am I worn out. 29- Came to Worms, got half day off to shape gear, oh,oh, formation at 7pm, another bridge in the morning at Mannheim. 30- No sleep last night, left here for site at 2am, built it, 108 boats, scared again, but the end is in sight, go on bridge guard tonight. 31- News is wonderful, we're doing our part now. Four hours sleep, I'm just able to stand on my feet, moved to Mannheim, tents, mail.

April '45 1- Gas and oiled and greased truck. These cities here are leveled to the ground, everyone looting, driving German cars and bicycles. On Bridge Guard tonight. 2- I've jsut got to write home. I'm ashamed, but I've been so tired and sleepy, bridge guard and details. Three letters, one from Gail. 3- Rain today and high winds. Jerry was over yesterday, he got away tho, "Oh dear God, take me home." Pete and I writing letters, got paid. 4- Left this a.m. and loaded Bailey bridge. Twenty two trucks went to Waldurn 70 miles east of Rhine, went thru Heidelberg, this country has France beat a mile, people friendly. 5- Slept in truck, unloaded and came back, crossed the Rhine below Worms, spare tire came off, sick headache, on guard, too much work. 6- Boat and Service squads are guarding bridge and on mine detail on river. Truck squads all that's left in camp, had day off, sure needed it. 7- Took truck to BMS for welding job on tire mount, weather cool. 8- Put camouflage nets back on trucks and wrote letters. Looks like we are going to China, Burma, and India. 9- Got haircut and peeled spuds for dinner. Thousands of planes going over. Weather perfect. 10- Washed trucks today, went down in evening with Smitty where Pete is on river. Rest of fellas went to Worms and loaded double load on trucks. 11- Took shower today, I sure needed one too. Weather perfect, thousands of planes going over. 12- Smitty went to 1st bridge truck section. We want to go home bad. On guard tonight and it looks like rain. 13- On guard today. Truck sections making concertinas to foul up the enemy's tires and wheels. More trucks went to Worms after more boats. No mail for days, news is swell. 14- Didn't do much today, went to Worms and took out 4 boat rafts where rubber treadway bridge was. I have job with 344th Engineers running motorboat. 15- Went to river and took two pontons down. Made two boar rafts, running it for 344th. We have 8 rafts on river here. No mail. Bought Mauser pistol for $16 from a GI. 16- Still on river with 344th Engineers. Air raids last two nights, doesn't bother me anymore. Weather warm and nice. I want to go home and get married, spring! Ha. 17- Ran raft this morning, moved to Worms this afternoon. Guess we take bridge out here. No mail. 18- Took bridge down today. Had some prisoners help us. Poor looking specimens. They are weak from hunger. Something in the wind. No mail. 19- Finished loading trucks. Pete and bunch came back. No mail. Front to far away. Air raid last night. Blue skies here. 20- Loaded some mine net barrier today. Not doing much. On alert at 1800 this evening. Always one more bridge. Two letters last night. 21- Left this a.m. came thru hills and valleys. Camped almost at Wurteburg, 80 miles from Rhine, nice here. 22- Came 90 miles today, still 60 miles from Danube River where we build bridge. Out in woods here just like home, snow. 23- Still here. Pete killed deer, 3 hours later it was gone, ha. Boy was it good. Mail. Leave tonight for front, blackout. 24- Came 50 miles last night. Don't know where we are. In woods, deer everywhere. Got one this morning. Build bride soon. 25- Left 4am this morning, came up past Gurzenheim. On alert for bridge. Have sick headache. Pulling out any minute. 26- Day of hell. Bridged Danube, took all day, shelled out three times, bridge collapsed. Go on bridge guard 8-12pm. Just about all in. Maxwell got hit, was under truck and leg was stuck out and shrapnel hit his heel off. I was under a tank. 27- Shot two of our planes down last night. Bridge guard 8-12am. got pm off. Nerves are shot, whew. 28- Worked around bridge today and getting our gear shaped. No more shelling, thank God. Bridge guard tonight. 29- Bridge maintenance. Put in extra boat and cleaned up debri. Rain. News sounds good. Three letters. Guard tonight on bridge. 30- Guarding and maintenance. Rubber treadway bridge near Rheins. Some hauling steel. Cold and rain, snow and sleet. War almost over.

May '45 1- Captured Jerry last night. Came back to Company today and helped 344th build fixed bridge at Donoworth. We are all about dead. 2- Donaworth running outboard motor on ponton boat. We live in a Doctors private home. 3- Running motor on raft, brought pile driver and assault boat up stream, some job. Mail good, cold brrr. 4- Pile driver working now, we are on 24 hr shifts. We are maintaining 2 bridges and helping build 2 fixed bridges. Truck sections hauling steel and piling. B Company went up front. 5- Rain and cold, loaded another pile driver on raft and put it in place. Have two shifts here 7.5 hrs, we are almost finished. 6- Still running rafts on Danube River. The 344th sure has some cooks. Boy, rain. 7- THE WAR IS OFFICIALLY OVER NOW. Going to celebrate tonight, get drunk on kraut wine for first time, I'll be good tho. 8- Celebrated on Schnapps, wine, and champagne. Bridge almost finished. 9- Now dear God let me go home. Lord I'm homesick. 10- Unloaded pile drivers from rafts, got paid, no mail, got some wine. 11- Running up and down river. Found out I haven't enough points to go home, tough. 12- Came back to camp today and was called out at midnight to help B Company build bridge. Dry run, water too shallow. 13- Took our bridge out today, what heat and I am tired. 14- Seen GI show at Augsburg. Two bridges down and one to go. Had physical today, shots. 15- Moved to Donoworth in German barracks. What is going to become of us now? 16- Dental exam, mail, weather nice, pulling #45 trailor now, my truck is in ordinance getting fixed up. 17- On guard today, lots of girls go by and give the eye, but Bill turns his eyes, ha. 18- Clothing check, five fellows going home 20th. I'll go to China I guess. 19- Washed truck, getting ready to move. 20- Moved this morning, came on super highway through Bavaria via Munich. 160 miles at Salzburg now. In Alps, Austria, Salzach River. 21- On 1/2hr alert, in task force of 15 corp. Thought the war was over but we can hear mortar fire, more worry. 22- Called off alert, pitched tents, I'm sleeping in truck, rain all morning, snow in hills. Ten miles from Hitlers hideout in Berchesgarden. 23- Greased truck, some of fellows went to Berchesgarden. 24- Rain today, halfway sick, guess I want to go home. Sent rifle home (German sniper rifle). 25- Had tool check and went to see Obersaltzburg, Hitler's retreat, bombed bad, beautiful scenery tho. 26- Rain again, 2 letters. 27- Went to Engineer maintenance after #38 trailor. Rest of Company stood inspection. Garrison now. 28- Went to see a native musical comedy at Mozart Theatre, beautiful show. 29-Working on trucks, getting in shape for who knows, show in evening. 30- Sight seeing trip to Konigzee at Obersatzburg. Nice lake, boat trip. 31- Rain and more rain, stayed in tents all day.

Sam Hopkins, Pete Peterson, Gill Gentry, and Waldo Scott answering natures call

6/45 - 10/45

June '45 1-5 Four letters, went to Red Cross ate ice cream and doughnuts, bought fish hooks. Ten of us got passes to go fishing, caught 30 German Browns. Close order drill. Drew Eisenhower Jacket. Colonel brought us up to date, subject to move again. 6- Left for Ulm, close to Danube again. Had a blow out. 7-18 Left for Mannheim, autobahn, worms all over trees, mosquitos. Kraut prisoners are cleaning barracks for us to move into. Show in evening, chow is terrible, no cigarettes, chewing Copenhagen. Moved 1/2 mile to barracks. Turning in gear, beginning of end, hope they lower the points. Turned in bed sack, grenade carrier, hip boots, and shelter half. Its the Army of Occupation if points are lowered. Turned in 100 rounds of ammo, gas masks, knife, and entrenching shovel, unloading equipment at Dump. All excess clothes go in, I'm down to Army Regulations. Won quart of Cognac at PX drawing. Clothing inspection. Rumors and more rumors, don't know anything. Got 90 more replacement men from repo depo for Battalion, 70 to H Company. Went to show all dressed up, looked like a Georgia Major, ha. Ordinance checking everything I gave in the morning. 19-30 Came 210 miles to Stenay, close to Vurdun, sick, sleeping under the stars. Got to Chicago assembly area at Sestone, France, garrison life now. 30 years old today (21st), I should be married, want to be married, but can't get married, she is there and I'm here. Formal guard mount, prison chow. They took trucks to Belgium, I bid old #38 goodbye, I wanted to go so much, truck was my home for 2 years. Sick call for athletes foot, no mail. Colonel brought us up to date, I'm in Army of Occupation. Rest of outfit will soon leave, 85 points or over will leave, I will sweat it out. Rumors by the thousands. Smitty is essential in the office so he's leaving in morning, stuck for 18 months, tough break. Party for 85 pointers. 2 letters, they are expecting me home soon. Smitty is gone, start of the break up. Pete and I went on pass to Saissons, filled up on doughnuts and coffee. 85 pointers leaving in the morning. Cold and rain. Said goodbye to about a hundred men, we will be next to go. Damn near cried, couldn't help it. More replacements in. Resting and sleeping, they got my letters that I was coming home, God how I hate to dissapoint them.

July '45 Early July- Got my records processed. Can think of nothing but her, want to go home and get married. Restricted to area, clothing check. Heard Articles of War. Well us occupational troops are out of the 85th now, 14 of us transferred to A.A.C. Headquarters, oh dear God drop those points to 80. Turned in pistol this morning. 85th hasn't left yet. Went to USO show, German woman singer. Bid 85th goodbye, they leave in morning (10th). Two fellows swiped jeep, MP's looking for them. Miss the 85th pretty bad. Mid July- Got our marching orders, going to repo depo replacement center, 17 of us are still together. Came to RD at Camp San Francisco to be screened out, about 40 miles from Paris at Chateau Thierry. Got processed today, thousands of men here. Met Maxwell here, he is OK. In RD 3828 Battalion, inspections, drills, and ball games. Revelry also. Went to stage show in evening. Had beer, cake, and doughnuts at Red Cross. More drill and ballgames. Stockade Guard this afternoon and night. Hot, and no mail. Late July- Stand Retreat, more drill and baseball, doughnuts, cake and show. Couple of hikes today, played ball, got rations, chow is swell. Hiked 3 miles and took shower, I'm sure sweating out these points, no mail. Volleyball and baseball today, weather stormy. On alert, ship out in morning to Staging Company, don't know where. Boarded 40 and 8's at Chateau Thierry. Ate chow at Thionville, been riding most of day, C rations tonight. Train blew out tracks, sabotaged rails, so we are here in Lyon. Got in Marseille at 2pm. 188th RD. Six hundred of us. I know the mail will never catch us now. The dust bowl of Europe, vehicles and outfits moving causing dust, I'm plugged all over from the dust. Rations this evening and Coke.

August '45 1-5-Wind blowing a hurricane of dust, can't breathe, went to show in evening. We split up this morning, all going to different outfits, I'm still with Radford of Seattle, we are in 1st Staging Battalion, Company B. Interview with Major, wants to put me in Finance Office, hope not, chow grand, beer, coke, doughnuts, ice cream, PX, Barbershop, and shows. No mail in one month. Doing nothing much, going to shows in evening. 6-7- went on pass to Marseille to have film developed but all stores closed, still no mail. We all went to work, Radford in supply, I'm helping in Orderly room. 8-9- Went on pass to take film in, had 20 rolls. 10- News sounds good, JAPANESE SURRENDERED. Lord, what a celebration here, thousands of guns going off, 17 wounded, 6 killed, I went to bed, hope Victory is true. 11-15- On Charge of Quarters, sign men in and out. In charge of tent, responsible for all the men. Went and got pictures, 8 letters when I got back. I guess the Victory is certain. 16-20- Writing a letter a day, can't sleep or eat, funny what the prospects of marriage will do to a person. Sent pictures home. Went to personnel office to get extra star added on for campaigns. Could be called to go home any day now. Had a chance to go to the Riviera but turned it down, afraid they would call my turn to go home while gone. 21-26- Had sleeves shortened on Eisenhower jacket, no mail, rumors floating. Two letters, I'm lonesome and blue as can be, just think if I'd signed on earlier I'd be married now. Rumors by the hundreds, sweat out another month here I guess. 26-31- Order came thru for all 85 points to move out, oh boy they are getting close to my 80 points. Took tour of Marseille, no mail, tired and have caught cold. Won a bottle of 3 Feathers Whiskey, drew straws, one letter from Mom. Got paid, staky $200 in pocket, no mail.

September '45 1-8- Five letters. Labor day, thousands of troops moving thru, my turn is drawing near, I can feel it. About all I do is write letters, sleep, and eat. Wonder when my ship is coming in. Got package from home, they seem to expect me home any day. Charge of Quarters. Letter from Mom about my marrying. 9-11- I almost got called today to go home, Yowee! Home sick. 12-14- I'm going home Saturday 15th, leaving here anyway. On CQ. Am I excited. 15- Left 25th SH this morning at 9am, came to !88th RB. Got partly processed, told us we would leave on ship on 20th, oh happy day! 16- More records checked, issued stars and medals. Everyone talking home. 17- Go clothing shortage, ration slips, and a physical. I'm sure prancing!18- Got our customs slips for our gear, back pay. 19- More processing, went to a show. 20- Move to Green Plan today, in our separation groups now, won't be long. 21- Money changed, issued US Army Currency, and last short arm. Leave here in morning at 9am for boat, Marine Raven. Drinking Coke now. 22- Loaded on Marine Raven at 9am. I've been loading all day, takes two days for trip, nice ship, I can't believe that it's time tho. 23- Left Marseille at 12noon. Past Corsica now, chow swell. 24- Got our long green (regular money), seems funny. Chow swell, but oh that chow line, 1 hour to make it. Passed Gibraltar at 2am. 25- Came 1000 miles, 3500 to go. Am I sick as a horse, I want to go die, first time for me to get this way. 26- still sailing on the blue, feel better, got some sea sick pills. Closer to home every hour, hope I make it for hunting season. 27- Passed Azores at noon today, going 20 miles an hour, but I think I should get out and push. 28- Rode the bow all day and watched porpoise race, storm coming on. 29- We have the storm and no fooling, I haven't been out of bed all day. 30- Storm over. Flying fish everywhere. Supposed to be at Newport, Virginia on Wed. 3rd, I'm getting closer all the time.

October '45 1- Rough weather last night, but does't bother me anymore. We see the USA the 3rd, home by 15th I hope. 2- Auntie birthday today and usually deer season opens. Dock tomorrow. Oh boy. 3- Docked today at 6pm. Can't believe its true. Swell reception and you can read the signs (in English). Thousands of people on the docks and the men all on the shore side causing the boat to list. Delicious meal here at Fort Patrick Henry this evening, large steak and ate whole head of lettuce and milk shake. 4- What do you know, met Pete and all the old 85th. They came in on the West Point. It seems good to see them. Was with them all day. Leave tomorrow I guess. Full of eats and ice cream. 5- Left Patrick Henry at 3pm. 560 of us marched to train with band. Looked nice, ate supper. Going thru Richmond. Guess we are going to Camp Beal, California. 6- Mess kitchen on train, four of them. Came thru West Virginia, Kentucky today. Bought ice cream in Huntington and Louisville. 7- Illinois and Missouri today. Played a little poker, won 6 bucks. Impatient to be home. 8- Kansas and Colorado. Pueblo this evening, eats fair. 9- Palisades and Grand Junction this morning. Utah, Salt Lake this evening. Be in Ogden soon. Sure long way home, happy tho. 10- Nevada and on to Camp Beale, California. Close to Marysville. Got here at 9pm. Turned clothes in and started the discharge procedure, boy. 11- Nothing this morning. Records checked this afternoon. Went to PX. Get out Saturday afternoon, I guess on the 13th. Call home tonight if I can. 12- Physicals and records today. Tomorrow is the day of days. Nobody home last night. Try tonight again. Got them. 13- Patch stamped on and talks this morning. Afternoon paid and DISCHARED HONORABLE at 2:15pm. A civilian now. On train for home. Can't believe it.

Bill Gentry at Marseille

Laurel Snodgrass 21.08.2019 10:43

This article is really interesting and informative. I liked its meaningful stuff and gonna distribute with my father and hope he will like reading it.

Muzaila 29.07.2019 07:41

Good to read about memories of Bill Gentry. Love sharing. Will distribute it with my dad after my

Marcia Brown 10.06.2018 18:20

I'm still checking this page occasionally. My father, Harry Peterson, was tent mate of Bill's for years.

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Latest comments

23.10 | 01:21

Glad you enjoy the site. Your grandfather was a worthy commander.

15.10 | 21:32

LTC Perdue was my grandfather. I love reading about where he served and what he did during WWII. Thank you for your work on gathering all of this information.

22.09 | 01:45

I do know there are remnants of where the 85th crossed the Rhine at Worms, Germany.

22.09 | 01:43

Sounds like you have an interesting trip planned. I hope to trace the 85th’s path some day. I do not know if there are any remnants of where the 85th crossed