Segment 6

Annotation

Darold Rice remembers his first experience with combat as he and his crew were ordered to fire their .30 caliber into the hedgerow across from them to try and rip through it at the Germans crouched on the other side. Some of the oil they had used to clean the gun in England began to smoke in great white billows as they fired the gun, and the Germans began to scream “Gas! Gas!” and picked up and took off running. Darold and his men followed and kept firing at the Germans, and they continued falling back until finally the smoke stopped when the oil was gone. They made great headway that day. Darold also remembers that they were terrified, and that what kept them alive was their training. He also remembers how they would call for mortars at almost every encounter with the German fire, and on some occasion they’d call in battalion artillery. Rice says that when he finally encountered the Germans, he never had a dislike or desire to kill them, but instead had a healthy respect for them and realized that he had to kill them as part of his duty. Rice says that the war between them and the Germans was much more civilized, whereas the war with the Japanese was unbelievably brutal, and he thanks God he did not have to fight in the islands. Soon after the landing at D-Day, their company commander was killed by a piece of shrapnel in the eye.

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