Segment 2


Walter Barnes and his fellow infantrymen did a lot of walking. Some of the men were not used to walking that much and would drop their gear. They would drop their canteens and Barnes would pick them up. They always needed water. Some men even dropped their rifles. The M1 rifle weighed 12 pounds. Barnes picked up a carbine which only weighed four and a half pounds. Barnes never did know many of the men in his group but he was constantly having to help them carry their equipment. Barnes had some target practice with the carbine he had picked up. When one of his officers saw that he was a good shot with the carbine they let him keep it. At one point Barnes was made a runner. He was in good shape. Barnes was given directions but got lost anyway. They were never supposed to be alone. He was always supposed to have someone with him. His partner was a man named Primo Rebeck [Annotators Note: unsure of spelling]. He taught Barnes Italian. Barnes could also speak a little German. One night Barnes was running information from one place to another when he heard voices he thought to be Italian. He yelled out in Italian and discovered that he had stumbled onto two machine gun nests when he was responded to in German. He turned around and covered the reflective tape on the back of his helmet and continued on his mission. When he finally got back to his unit he was fired as a runner. Barnes never thought he would make it home. He always thought that he would die during the war. He did not care so he did some stupid things. At one point he was put in charge of a commissary. While they were off the lines everybody had to break out at six o'clock in the morning then would return at six in the evening. As the commissary boss he did not have to go. Barnes was supposed to open the commissary at eight in the morning and close at six in the evening but opened it up at six in the morning and closed at six in the evening then opened it up again at night. One lieutenant found out what he was doing and fussed about it. This lieutenant borrowed money from Barnes and eventually owed him 180 dollars. When the lieutenant told Barnes that he could only keep the commissary open at the scheduled times he agreed but only if the lieutenant paid him back all of the money he owed him. The lieutenant changed his mind. On another occasion near the end of the war in Italy they were looking for someone to lead sheep through a mine field. The lieutenant picked Barnes. The men suspected that the lieutenant chose Barnes so he would get killed and he would not have to pay him back. Barnes got his money back. Since Barnes had been placed in charge of the commissary he was allowed to check out a jeep. Barnes could speak enough Italian so every time they went into a new town he would ask where the local whorehouse was located. He was a virgin and would never go into one but he would take his men to them. His men asked him when he was going to join them and he replied that he would go in when the war was over. When it was announced that their part of the war was over four of the GIs picked up Barnes and took him to a whorehouse and that is how he lost his virginity. When they were going home the man in charge of the trucks did an audit and discovered that he had five more trucks than he had been allotted. They also had a German ambulance. When the man asked Barnes what he should do Barnes told him to bury them. The man took his advice and did so.


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