Surest way to become a pacifist

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by Crabtownboy, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,643
    Likes Received:
    158
    Bill Mauldin, the famous WW II cartoonist, said in his book, Up Front, "The surest way to become a pacifist is to join the infantry."

    [​IMG]
     
  2. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2015
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    12
    Crabby, just out of curiosity, have you ever served in military combat with bullets zipping an inch or less over or next to you?

    I don't recall you ever relating any war stories with us on BB. Lots of us would be interested to read some of your war stories, if you have any.

    Also, have you received any medals for any combat service?--assuming you've had some. If you have, please include them in your post like Sapper Woody does in his signature. We'd be interested to see them too.

    Thanks, and have a great day, and a great rest of the week. :wavey:
     
  3. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,361
    Likes Received:
    790
    The op is in error as it is a fact that many many men have seen the horrors of war and have chosen to go back as they also saw the need.
     
  4. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,643
    Likes Received:
    158
    Sure did. I was in the 97th Signal Battalion in Germany.

    If war broke out my company's orders were to take over communications for 7th Army while the rest of the battalion retreated to France. They were to take control of the communications after three days. If any of us were left we were to try to get back to France.

    Now, that got our attention when the Berlin Wall went up and we were on high-alert.

    Almost froze in Winter Shield II, but had a great time in beautiful country during the exercise.

    I was fortunate, no combat during my time in service.

    Thanks, and may you have a most blessed day.

    [​IMG]
     
    #4 Crabtownboy, Aug 5, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2015
  5. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,129
    Likes Received:
    221
    So you have not had bullets come your way.

    When I had orders to go to NAM, I was telling people I was planning on coming home in one piece without the aid of a body bag, and I had to kill someone - I would do so.
     
  6. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,643
    Likes Received:
    158
    So called 'friendly fire' only. But bullets kill regardless of who fires them. You didn't raise up during live fire exercises regardless of how muddy or nasty it was. Oh, and you kept you head down during live grenade exercises also.

    Understand completely. You were in after I.
     
  7. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2015
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    12
    Bro. CTB,

    Where exactly in Germany was your 97th Signal Battalion located?

    I was in the USAF at Ramstein Air Base 1967-69. We had plenty of Army units nearby such as the Landsuhl Army Medical Center & scads of other Army units in/around what they called the Kaiserslautern Military Community. The KMC covered a large area in and around "K-town," but whether or not yours was in it I'm not sure.

    I doubt that it was because K-town isn't as close to Germany's eastern border as I'm led to believe your unit was. KMC was probably a bit further south or southwest of your region, closer to France. FWIW, my USAF unit, the 38th Tac. Recon. Squadron, was "invited" to leave France by DeGaulle just before I was shipped over to Deutschland. (My orders showed another squadron that apparently was absorbed into the 38th.) It took me a while to figure out why I was directed to a squadron that wasn't on my orders!

    I take it that you were in Germany some half dozen or so years before I was sent there since you mentioned being on high alert when the Berlin Wall was erected.

    The tensions concerning the Wall had subsided somewhat by the time I was sent there, at least in most of the KMC. But we had some interesting times too.

    Soon after I arrived, the Six-Day War broke out in the Middle East. "Technically" the US wasn't involved in that conflict, but we sure were busy maintaining our RF-4C's for some "unexplained reasons."

    A year later the Warsaw Pact nations invaded Czechoslovakia and installed a government that wasn't so anti-USSR that'd been put in my leaders of the Prague Spring revolt. We were only about 200 miles from the western border of Czechoslovakia.

    Some of us thought that since the bulk of the US's military concerns was directed towards SEA--halfway around the globe from us--would the pro-USSR alliance take an opportunity to make a run-around invasion and occupy what was then called West Germany?

    Thankfully they didn't, but again, all US & NATO allies were placed on high alert.

    Then, right before I was to be released from active duty, Qaddafi seized power in Libya and demanded the US hand over to him our gigantic USAF Wheelus Air Base located not far from his capital city of Tripoli on the southern Mediterranean coast.

    Some of my units men were deployed there because Wheelus was where the USAFE decided to send our all-weather RF-4C aircrews since they claimed to be just fair-weather pilots....Wouldn't be nice if they had to train in poor-weather conditions with which I'm sure you were accustomed, having spent time in Germany, freezing your "you-know-what" off during most of the first half of a year there.

    Anyway, I'd like to know the years and locations of your European vacation in Germany.
     
  8. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,643
    Likes Received:
    158


    Headquarters was at Panzer Barracks near Stuttgart. The company I was in was at Sullivan Barracks between Mannheim and Heidelberg.


    We worked several field exercises in eastern West Germany. Wintershield was very close to the Czech boarder. It was a very beautiful, but very cold area in the winter.

    I was there 1960-1962.

    Kind of like the Suez Canal crisis when a tank unit at Sullivan was ordered to put their tanks on rail cars in case they were needed in the Mid-East.


    The Czechs have not forgotten or forgiven Russia, the USSR, for that one.

    That had to be a very tense time.

    I have been in Germany a number of times since. The latest was in 2013 before we came home from Prague where my wife and I had been working in a Baptist seminary. My very last visit was to Nuremberg.

    The Germans are much more open and friendly now than when I was there in '60-'62. They were very reserved back then.

    Much has changed.
     
  9. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2015
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    12
    I only had a POV for about 2 months before I left for the states. Since the USAF isn't primarily a ground-based military armed force, it was difficult for me to get any rides to wherever I wanted to go.

    Added to that was the fact that 10, even sometimes 12-16 work shifts were not uncommon because my duty section only consisted of 2 people--an E-7 supervisor and an E-4 worker, me!

    My work week wasn't always a M-F detail. If work needed to be done on weekends or other regular holidays, guess who the section supervisor picked to work on these times? It sure wasn't him!

    On the very rare occasion that I did have a day off during the M-F time, the pastor of the mission/church & I would sometimes take his VW van & drive to Heidelberg to visit the bookstore that the Army chaplains sponsored. It wasn't a huge one, but it was one where you could examine what you thought you might buy before you bought it. I bought a good giant-sized Bible there.

    It must have been a well-made one since I still have it some 45+ years later.

    Sometimes I'd put in for leave so that my pastor & I could do some more extensive travelling.

    We did manage to visit Trier and see the throne on which Charlemagne sat some 1,200+ years ago when he considered himself to be the Holy Roman Emperor.

    On another trip we saw the twin spires of the historic Cologne cathedral, the Dutch city of Maastricht (where some 20+ yrs. later many European finance ministers would create the inter-nation Euro currency) & the nearby the US Army cemetery in which many US paratroopers who were killed in the Arnhem "Bridge Too Far" series of battles in WW2 are buried.

    Just before I left West Germany, I took a 3-day pass in order to drive my POV to Antwerp, Belgium, to have it shipped to Elizabeth, NJ.

    On the way to Antwerp, I drove through Bastogne, Belguim where the heaviest of WW2 Battle of the Bulge occurred. There was still a Sherman tank in its city square to commemorate the battle that took place there a quarter of a century ago.

    On the train ride back, I passed right next to the Waterloo battlefield where Napoleon was defeated in 1815 & also past where Brussels held the 1958 World's Fair--the huge structure that was built as its centerpiece was still there after more than 10 yrs. of enduring the Belgian climate.

    I then entered West Germany where we had to switch trains at Bonn, West Germany's capital city at that time. From there my train traveled along the west bank of the Rhine River.

    By this time it was dark, but I could look out over the Rhine & see many old castles that were lit up with spotlights. Had I known this, I'd have taken the little Brownie camera that I did have with me! I traveled along the Rhine as far as Mainz, but by then I was so worn out, I fell asleep.

    When I woke up, my train had stopped at K-town. From there I took a small local train to Landstuhl. It was about 2:00 in the morning, so I took a taxi back to Ramstein.

    If you've never been to Germany, you've missed the experience of riding in a German taxi. The cab wasn't a Porsche, but it did have a speedometer that had 120 mph on it. Believe me, the cab driver made sure that his speedometer what it indicated it could do!

    Yep, them was the "good old days"!

    In the early 1990's I was deployed 3 more times to Germany to help maintain the C-130H2 cargo transports that my TN ANG unit, the 118th Airlift Wing, that were sent to help support NATO's Provide Promise missions in which food & other supplies were airlifted into Sarajevo, Bosnia.

    Twice I was sent Rhine-Main Air Base which hung off of the Frankfort International Airport [& is no longer in existence because the base was sold to the people who ran the Frankfort International Airport], 1 of continental Europe's busiest airports today.

    The second time I was there, I was housed in Frankfort's highly rated Intercontinental Hotel. Unfortunately it wasn't the hotel that always has rave reviews.

    Mine was across the street from that one. It was the building that housed the various airlines' flight crews while they were in Frankfort, which could be compared to NYC here in the US since it's Germany's financial center.

    The very last time I was in Germany was in 1993. My TN ANG unit was still supporting Provide Promise because the Balkan War had some 2 years before the genocides in that area were ended with the Dayton Accords of 1995.

    Not only did I return to my old base of almost 25 years ago, I actually was working out of the same maintenance hanger that I did a quarter-century ago!

    I didn't see the monument that I was told would be erected in my honor.

    I guess the is just too big, or the hangar was too small to hold it!

    I never did get invited to my monument's dedication ceremonies.
     

Share This Page

Loading...