Segment 12

Annotation

Darold Rice and his last member of his machine gun crew set the gun up in a ditch by the crossroad and hunkered down for the night with one blanket between them in the twelve degree weather. A Stewart tank and a Sherman tank came rolling in during the night, and Rice approached the Stewart the next morning and called the tank commander out. He popped his head out and Rice, who had lost his helmet in the intense fighting, asked for him to give him his helmet. The commander said no, and so Rice pulled out his grease gun and pointed it at him, repeating that he wanted the helmet. The tank commander disappeared back into the tank, and a few seconds later the helmet came flying out the top and fell down in front of Rice's feet. A few moments later, one of the tanks started up its engine, and at the same time a sergeant stood up to begin rallying the men to move out. As he walked forward and the tank started behind him, a German tank that had been hiding in the treeline across the field from them fired its gun at the American tank. The sergeant just happened to walk right into the shell, and when it hit him it eviscerated his upper half of his body, and the shell deflected and missed the tank. Witnessing that proved to be more than Rice could handle, and he went to the nearest officer he could find and requested to go back to the aid station. The officer realized he had been in the field since D-Day, was the only man left from his original unit, and had never been hit. So he agreed and ordered Rice to help escort the walking wounded back to the camp. He arrived back at the aid station and volunteered to help the medics move some of the walking wounded around. Rice saw his lieutenant from the pit, and he was sitting in the corner with his legs drawn up and his eyes wide, and Darold knew he had lost it.

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