Segment 7


Captain Cochran [Annotators Note: Zagers company commander was Captain Cochran] ordered a crew of four jeeps to head back and pick up the American airmen who were left behind. Zager and the convoy found the American flyers. The flyers told him that they were kept away from the SS men so that they were not killed. The flyers hopped in the Jeep and at that point they realized it was going to be night time. They were supposed to continue on to Vienna to meet the Russians but decided against it because it was night. All four jeeps with the American flyers turned around to head back. At that point Zager's back rear tire went flat. They got out to fix it. As they got out to fix it a Tiger tank with SS officers near it came up to them. As they were walking up, Zager hinted to his men to take off their gun belts so as not to portray any sign of aggression to the SS men. Also they took their jackets and covered up the stash of pistols in the back of the Jeep. The first SS man asked Zager if they needed help with the tires. Then the SS man said, "I think you guys have been chasing us, you killed some of our men." Zager responded, "Well I think you have killed some of our men." The SS man then asked, "Are you frightened?" It was apparent by the look on Zager's face that he was frightened which prompted the SS man to say, "You're frightened because you won the war?" Zager did not know what else to say and said, "Well yeah I guess."They continued down the mountain and got to their lines with the airmen. Zager gave each of the flyers a pistol of their choice from the stash of stolen pistols.The German men were about to be turned over to the Russians but they feared what the Russians would do to them so they expressed their desire to be captured by the Americans. The Wehrmacht men were separated from the SS men. Zager notes that a lot of the American men were rough on the SS men, most likely because it was known at this point the atrocities they were committing. Zager had been extremely tired towards the end of the war. One day, shortly after the end of the war Zager was taking a nap when he was approached by his company commander and told to wash his Jeep. Zager told him to go, " F--- himself." It turned into a fist fight and eventually Zager was sent to a rest camp because his men knew he just needed rest. He went to the camp in the Alps and came back rested.The rest of the war for Zager consisted mainly of occupation duty.


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