Segment 5

Annotation

Darold Rice and his men made their way over the sand dunes and passed by the bodies of several dead Germans. They came to a pool that had formed on top of the road that ran parallel to the beach. They had to make their way through water up to their knees for quite some time. Darold said that when he saw the dead bodies, it did not faze him whatsoever, and that they almost looked unreal, like rag dolls. He was armed with a watercooled heavy machine gun of solid iron, a .30 caliber. Rice and his machine gun crew were used for laying overhead suppressing fire, crossing their fire with another machine gun crew, and for guard duty at night. They came across a Sherman tank that was stuck in a ditch, undamaged. Then they were told to dig in on the side of the road, and without any real information about where they were, Rice and his men did so and went to sleep. They woke up the next morning partly submerged in water that had trickled in through the night, and soon came across an empty ammo cart, but could not use it because they were about to head off the road through difficult terrain. They travelled through the night, and though they heard all sorts of fighting and could see tracer rounds in the night, they never encountered the Germans personally. On one occasion, Rice remembers seeing a damaged US plane with its roof ripped off, and the pilot looking wildly around to try and figure out what to do. He looked over the side of the plane and saw Darold, and the two of them made eye contact, and then without any hesitation the pilot rolled the plane upside down and dropped out of it to try and escape, but his chute did not release, and he fell to ground ahead of Darold and his men. The plane kept going on its own upside down, until in the distance it crashed with a rumble.

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