Blood on German Snow
An African American Artilleryman in World War II and Beyond
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: Texas A&M University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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It is also about the people I met and a first-person account of war as I witnessed it during three and a half years in the service. The title, Blood on German Snow, relates to a battle on Germany's western front in which I took part while my battalion was attached to the XVI Corps and the 35th Infantry Division....
1. A Typical African American and a U.S. Citizen
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My early life was typical for a Southern, rural African American born in the United States in 1922. My father, mother, two brothers, one sister, and I lived on a farm as sharecroppers for a large landowner. Our house was situated near the Colorado River, so close in fact that on occasion I could hear the roar of the flowing water, and at times the water would rise and creep...
2. So You're in the Army Now: Training
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On May 12, 1943, I said good-bye and caught the train from home, arriving at Fort Sam Houston four hours later. On my first day I was assigned to a barrack, given a physical examination, interviewed, and fitted for an army khaki uniform. As part of my interview, the sergeant wanted to know what I had been doing other than school and, in particular, if I hunted...
3. To the War in Europe
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By August 1944, our training at Camp Beale was completed, so we were ready to move on. We packed our gear and boarded a train that transported us to an east coast port for embarkation for overseas duty. Our troop train left at sunrise. Just before boarding the train, I looked toward the east on my last early morning here at Beale and marveled at the sunrise. The morning...
4. March to the German Front
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On October 25, 1944, we were preparing to pull out of our safe-haven, rear-echelon position at Bricquebosq with strict regulations. Front-line elements of our Ninth Army already were engaged in the great Allied push into the German heartland. Our time had come to move forward and support them in battle. As we packed our gear and loaded onto our tractor prime mover...
5. In Battle in Europe
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As described by Edward G. Miller in "A Dark and Bloody Ground," in late 1944 U.S. forces advanced into the heavily wooded Hurtgen Forest, which was located southwest of Aachen, Germany. The forest covered about thirty square miles. Without a clear-cut reason for attacking the Germans through the forest, U.S. commanders still ordered seven divisions into the Hurtgen...
6. To the Pacific and the Philippines
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I was informed at our fallout meeting that I had been reassigned to the 4416th Quartermaster Battalion. This battalion was stationed at Manila in the Philippines, and my ship was to leave that night. I packed my duffel bag and at 3:30 P.M. boarded a truck loaded with soldiers headed to the port of embarkation about thirty miles away. My seat was on the end at the tailgate...
7. Heading Home, Heading North, Heading Out
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I was eager to return to college at Prairie View A&M University, which I attended before entering the army. (The name changed from Prairie View A&M College to Prairie View A&M University during the three years I was in the army.) I enrolled during January 1946, the second school semester, and graduated with a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in plant...
8. Summing Up
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This book is about my life before and after my service in the U.S. Army. My objective has been to make a record of some of the footprints I have made over my lifetime. They were made in the context of various time periods: from my being born into the false prosperity of the 1920s and brought up in the grim reality of the Depression of the 1930s; through my active participation...
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Page Count: 160
Illustrations: 22 b&w photos. 2 maps.
Publication Year: 2006