Protected Again – Chapter 5

We had successfully breached the Seigfried line and were headed on toward the east.  Our armor would be on the highway just to the east of the line because we had punched several holes thru the line and for all practical purposes the Germans had lost that one and it only took a few days.  We were anxious to meet the armor because we had not had anything to eat since the rations we had carried with us ran out and no vehicle could climb the path we took.

At this point I need to recall a conversation I had with a poor frightened kid from Indiana, I never knew his name.  He was in our squad and was a quiet lad.  He told me he was terrified because he knew he was going to be killed.  I of course told him that was not the correct attitude and tried to get him into a conversation about God and God’s protection.  He would have none of it.

The next day we were headed east in a single file between the blockhouses we had conquered.  I am sure we were visible up and down the line and not all the Germans were unaccounted for.  I was watching him and all of a sudden there was a blinding flash, a huge sound and he literally blew apart.  I will never forget the sight of the smoking foot as it flew past me without the boot.  How the boot was blown off I’ll never know.  Two men in front of him were wounded with shrapnel and one behind me.  I never got a scratch because he absorbed the full force of the mortar shell and it hit him squarely in the middle.  Needless to say we hurried on past that place and fortunately the three wounded could walk. 

I know the danger of ignoring God.  I know the power of the spoken word.  He accurately prophesied his end and I saw it.  I don’t know how you could have a closer call than that.  Even 50 years later the vivid recollection of his death is a reminder to me that God watches over us. 

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We Smash the Wehrmacht – Chapter 4

Ike’s goal was to so cripple Hitler’s war machine that it would finally have to surrender.  Keep in mind that our goal was unconditional surrender and we would do whatever it took to accomplish that end.  There was no doubt in our mind that we would win and that is one of the big factors that was missing in both the Korean conflict and the stupid war in Viet Nam.  I have to say that when the democrat, Harry Truman fired General MacArthur in Korea because MacArthur wanted to chase the Migs across the Yalu river and was told that the war was to be contained we made a tactical error that has haunted us until a Republican, George Bush, showed us how to win a war.

When an armored division like the Super Sixth decided to attack it was an awesome power.  First we would call for air support and the air force would bomb and strafe the area we were going to attack.  Until you have been under an air attack you don’t know what real terror is.  I was one time and it was soon stopped.  Unless you have air superiority, there is no way ground troops can really win.

When the air attack is ended timing is critical we must be ready to advance and take the objective, whether it was high ground or a town, as soon as the planes stopped our artillery added some insult to the injury of the target.  Then we rode in half tracks if it was tactically feasible, that meant if the resistance was not great we would literally drive thru and shoot anything that moved or if there was an effort to surrender we would accept prisoners, take their weapons and start them to the rear.  I’m sure that toward the end it became easier and easier to get prisoners, because they knew it was hopeless and that way they would be thru fighting and they would live to come home again sometime. 

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The War Begins For Me – Chapter 3

The winter of 1944-45 was a bitter cold one and the plan of Hitler to make one final desperate push to divide the two armies of England and the US was designed to be a complete surprise.

The allies had won the battles of the hedge rows in the western coast of France, captured Paris and were closing in on the border of Germany.

Hitler’s plan was to strike toward the west and go thru Luxembourg and Belgium and disrupt the supply lines and surround the invaders.  None of the allied command expected an attack with armored divisions in the Ardennes forest.  The terrain didn’t seem to be fit for such a move.  With armor however, it you can attack and get the roads open, divide the enemy and attack from their rear it was a plan that might work.  It almost did.

The 106th infantry division was the first one to feel the awful power of the Wehrmacht.  The Germans had been saving for this attack for months and had assembled the very best they had left.  German engineers developed powerful weapons.  The Tiger tank was better than any we had.  It had speed and excellent armor and most of all carried the 88mm cannon.  The 88 was a very accurate cannon. It could fire armor piercing shells, anti aircraft shells which exploded in the air and filled it with flying bits of shrapnel and hi explosive shells which could blow up on contact so they had some weapons of war far superior to a American GI with an M1 Rifle. 

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An Old Soldier Looks Back – Chapter 2

Of all my training in the army I have to say that I liked the paratroop training the best.  We were a volunteer outfit.  None of us had to be there and there is a special esprit de corps of a group like that which is unique and very powerful.  After four weeks of paratroop training we were really soldiers fit for almost any assignment.   There were four weeks of very, very intense physical punishment.

 The first week was nothing but calisthenics for 8 hours a day.  On Saturday morning we had a run which meant we ran for four hours.  Friday night I went to the PX, Post Exchange, and had a huge strawberry malted milk shake.  Saturday morning I woke up barely able to breathe, my eyes were swollen almost shut and I really had a case of the hives.  I guess it was the strawberries but I never knew for sure.  I went on sick call, my first time in the army to go on sick call and I sat and waited for the doctor until almost noon.  By that time the hives had subsided and it did indeed look like I had gone on sick call just to miss the Saturday morning run.

When I reported back to the company the first sergeant gave me a severe tongue lashing as only a first sergeant can do.  I was put on KP immediately and was told to stay with the mess sergeant until Monday morning when I would be transferred to the next incoming company and would get the privilege of taking A stage again.  I really didn’t mind because I liked the physical training and that Friday night I avoided the strawberry malted milk.  There is a something about running in formation with a group of physically tough young men that is designed to make you think you are really tough.   I know that I have never in my life been in better physical shape than I was on that day.  I know I could have run another four hours and had energy left over. 

I did not especially want to enter battle as a paratroop however.  My goal was to make four jumps and then quit.  I knew it would be unpleasant to quit but I have to admit I was trying to not be in the battle as a paratrooper.  I would have been in the 82nd Airborne division if I had stayed.  I made my four jumps and Thursday after the fourth jump I reported to the first sergeant and informed him I was going to quit.  It was legal and acceptable up to five jumps, after that it was a court martial offense to refuse to jump.  I got the tongue lashing I expected and he shouted to me that I was gong to the front lines, to which I replied that I expected that anyway.

I was then transferred to Ft. Meade, Maryland which was a POE (Port of Exportation).  When I got to Fort Meade, the first sergeant asked me if I could type and when I gave him the affirmative answer I got a job until I was to be shipped out.

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An Old Soldier Looks Back – Chapter 1

Reflections on the opportunity I had to serve my country.

Written by Bob Scott,  January 1997

Army Serial Number 17092199

When I had the good fortune to be able to visit David and Dana this winter David asked me if I would write down some of the war record as I saw and remembered it.  We talked some about our trip to Europe in 1969 and he recalled some of his memories about seeing places I had been during the war.

When the United States was thrust into the war on Dec 7, 1941 we were having a dinner at mom’s house.  A family dinner on those days was a big event, A.L. Scott was there and May Scott, my grandmother and grandfather, and uncle Andy, and some of the Aichelmans.  I was 15. 

We got word from the nursing home that Tatty, my mother’s mother had died so mom and dad left and went to town to begin some work on arranging Tatty’s funeral.  That left Frank Aichelman, uncle Andy and myself to visit and we all expected to wind up in the war.  Both Andy and Frank assured me it would all be over before I had to go.  Andy would be a dentist in the Army and Frank became a sergeant and was involved in procuring supplies for the army and Frank never left Denver.

The attitude of our people was galvanized into a united decision to work together for unconditional surrender.  The way that Japan began hostilities was certainly a strategic error because it did make all of us decide we would win and it was ultimately just that decision on the part of 200 million people united which strengthened our nation into becoming the most powerful nation on earth. 

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Freedom Isn’t Free


I watched some of my friends get killed World War II in France.  You never forget those thoughts.

We had just fought our way through the seigfried line. We thought the battle was over. We were on a service path the Germans had used to supply the pillbox like fortifications. The Germans began to drop mortars on that path. We were in sort of a single file I was about five feet behind a kid from Illinois.   

He got hit in the belly with a mortar shell and it blew him clear in two!  I’m sure he never felt anything because it was all over in an instant.  I can still see his naked foot lying on the ground in front of me.  How the explosion lifted the foot and part of his leg out of his combat boot I will never know.  Sergeant Big Bill from the state of Maine went back the next day and picked up some of the pieces and put them in a mattress cover so the graves registration crew could pick him up.

Bob Scott


It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God.

Therefore I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a problem in having ‘In God! We Trust’ on our money and having ‘God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance.  



I believe it’s time we stand up for what we believe!