Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pat's E-mail 04/02/2007

David, I chose to compose this one to you, rather than do it as a reply; because you really amazed me by such quick responses to some of the most troubling questions I've had about my experiences aboard our LST since I was detached from duty aboard it back in, I believe, April, 1945. What were these "troubling"
questions?

First, whatever became of the German general, said to have been the senior officer commanding the military forces at Normandy in the temporary absence of General Rommel, who was said to have been somewhere in Germany for his wife's birthday? Our chief quartermaster kept a personal diary (or log) that identified the captured general as von Schlieben, and I don't recall off hand the admiral's name or whether it was entered in the log. I'll re-check to see. Thank you, David, for your unbelievably quick action in obtaining a color photo of General von Schlieben from some of your sources, as published in your blog. It has taken me some 64 years for what you have accomplished in just a few hours.

Second, what was the name of a lone German prisoner, who was brought aboard the LST 312 for transfer back to England on another of our shuttle round trips? My curiosity had me walking up to the bow of our main deck where the prisoner stood surrounded by the guards. I looked at him, and surprisingly he said, in his German accent "Max Schmeling - twelve rounds!" Our guards and myself quickly shouted to him "Joe Louis - one round!" This is one incident I have told over and over, for it was my first and only conversation with a prisoner-of-war.

David, guess which one of your published blog stories gives me the answer to my second question above? Many, many thanks for this one, too.

I told you that a group of U.S. Army Rangers (2nd Ranger Battalion) met a bunch of our ship's officers near the open bow doors of the LST 312 (I was among our officers, curiously and excitedly looking on). Our ship was in the process of receiving the captured German general and admiral, who had been in charge of all the enemy forces during the Normandy landings. There were hundreds of German troops (captured, of course) heavily under guard to walk up the incline ramp at the bow doors of our LST. The general's name I gave to you, but I'll have to refer to my memorabilia documents to identify the admiral. I don't put it past you to get as much on him, as well.

Must stop and go to supper.
-Pat
Thank you Pat! I am very proud of you - David
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