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Armistice Day – The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month of 1918

by

The sign on the front of the truck reads, “The Kaiser’s Funeral.”

26 September 1918

“We are in a camp near Auzeville and the big drive is to start. In fact the one that finished the ‘Boches’. Then the morning of the 26th dawned but dawn was preceded by a terrific barrage which was as loud as thunder and lighted up the whole skyline for miles. We were not flying ours but were held in reserve.  Hundreds of “planes” were now flying over head. One bunch had over 150 in it.

Along about 8 a.m., along comes a boche plane and he burned three of the balloons all observers landed safe but one and his parachute burned and he fell to his death.

A fellow by the name of Barnett and I started out to see the fun.  Put our guns on and started for the front line trenches which were about 5 miles north.  After a short while we hit the trenches but of course our boys had advanced and were chasing the boche for a fare you well.  We hit several mine craters where the boche had mined the roads but already our engineers had started to budge them.  After another hour’s walk and dodging a few pieces of shrapnel we hit the town of Varennes and were keen for souvenirs.  The boche were still in one side of the Varennes and we were in the other.

Machine guns were crackling with a steady roar and long streams of ambulances carrying away the wounded.  Dead Boche were laying every where.  The roads were filled with them.  Long about then a Boche 77 took my ….. but never touched us. Then we started going through the dugouts and it was there that I got the general’s helmet.  Also was almost lucky enough to capture a Jerry but a doughboy beat me to it.  He was hiding in a dug out.  Looked like he wasn’t as old as “Bugs” and he was scared almost to death.

After monkeying around a while we hopped an ambulance and rode back toward Auzeville.  So that finished the day’s fun.  But you ought to have seen the dead Huns.  Some had legs blown off.  Some had their heads and shoulders off and some were in pieces only.  A great many had been burned by mustard gas and were burned to a crisp.”

PFC Walter Myers, age 19, US Army Signal Corps.

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