Dad and a buddy sightseeing at Reims Cathedral, France, 1944.
A brief respite.
They were to continue the fight into Germany. The ugliness was far from over.
Mom told me this one. I guess that Dad had to tell someone...
The horror of what the Nazi's had done was brought home when they liberated the Dachau Concentration Camp.
The people in the town of Dachau denied any knowledge of what had been going on the Camp, even though they had profited from the abomination.
Dad and his guys marched the entire population of the town the short distance to the camp and made them carry the tortured dead bodies from the gas chambers and bury them.
The Nazi's called the Jews 'subhumans' to rationalize their genocide.
I'd never see my Mother so angry as when she said, "Those Nazis were the real subhumans".
I was to hear only one more account in the late 70's.
Following his retirement from the Air Force, Dad went to work for the DOD Police Force on Mare Island Naval Shipyard. One of his buddies was invited to dinner. As GI's do, they were comparing duty stations, and it turned out that they had been on several of the same bases at different times.
His friend asked if Dad had been at Normandy.
Dad replied he had and that he'd been at Utah Beach.
His friend replied that he's been at Omaha Beach.
Dad said, "It was tough there..". the words hung, as the color drained from their faces.
I saw tears welling in the eyes of both men.
His buddy said that they had to crawl over the bodies of their dead buddies to get up the beach.
Dad said the tanks and trucks had to drive right over them...
Both tough First Sergeants broke down and cried.
The 709th Combat MP's are in Bagdad right now.