Segment 3

Annotation

[Annotators Note: Robert Walter was a platoon sergeant in Company L, 3rd Battalion, 393rd Infantry Regiment, 99th Infantry Division.]From Camp Maxey, Texas they moved to Boston, Massachusetts. They left Camp Maxey on 11 September 1944. After two weeks in Boston they loaded onto transports. Robert Walter was on the Liberty ship Argentina. The ship was run by the Merchant Marine and the guns aboard were manned by the navy.One day Walter went up on deck. Suddenly sirens started blaring and the navy crew manned their guns. Then they started dropping depth charges off the back of the ship. Walter later asked one of the navy crew how close the submarine had gotten to their ship. The sailor replied that it was about 13 miles away. To Walter that was still too close. Most of the men aboard ship did not know anything about this event.When they shipped out they left from Southampton, Massachusetts and landed in Southampton, England. The trip had taken 14 or 15 days. The camp they were sent to had no idea they were coming. There were no mattresses. They had to get straw to make their own. There was also only one light bulb in the entire camp where Walters regiment [Annotators Note: 393rd Infantry Regiment, 99th Infantry Division] was based. In England they picked up where they had left off in Texas. They hiked and exercised.When they were three days out of Southampton they were informed that they were bound for England.After a couple weeks in England they were taken across in LSTs and entered France through Le Havre port. The Germans had scuttled a battleship across the entrance to the port to keep the United States or anyone else from using it. When they arrived they could not get in so they had to wait for high tide.Walter does not remember a building still standing in Le Havre. The whole town was just a pile of bricks. Once ashore they were put on trucks and taken across France and into Belgium. Krinkelt, Belgium was their last stop prior to the front line. That is where they unloaded their trucks. They bivouacked in Krinkelt the first night. There they saw U1 and U2 rockets for the first time.They got to the front lines on 11 November [Annotators Note: 11 November 1944]. They were there to relieve the 9th Infantry Division. When they walked to the front lines it was dark so the 9th Infantry Division would not leave. Walter and the others just laid down on top of the snow. The Germans fired a couple shells at them and they dug foxholes quickly after that. The next morning they took over the front line positions.[Annotators Note: Robert Walter was a platoon sergeant in Company L, 3rd Battalion, 393rd Infantry Regiment, 99th Infantry Division.]Krinkelt was a small town. Walter noticed that in the country the cattle barns were connected to the houses. While they were in Krinkelt Walter found a beautiful jeweled pin. It was a stone and gold. He found out later that those pins were given to any Belgian girl who got pregnant by a German SS trooper. Walter carried that pin with him until the Battle of the Bulge.

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