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Old August 30, 2019, 02:53 PM   #484
4V50 Gary
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Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 20,717
Hey Chubby!

From p. 121 of John Davis' Up Close.

"As we staggered back through the woods, we spotted two guys in a jeep stuck on the dirt road. The driver was an itty bitty fellow in his late teens, while his passenger was older, heavyset and tough-looking. They were lodged in a deep rut, sunk up to their clavicles in mud.

"The driver's eyes lit up when he saw us. "Hey, can you guys give us a push?"

"We'd be glad to. In exchange, would you haul some of this stuff up to our pillbox?"

"Sure. Toss it on the ground and we'll load it up in a minute."

Archie and I got behind the jeep and started to push, but between the deep rut and the combined weight of the two men, we were not making much progress.

"Hey, Chubby," I called out to the passenger. "How 'bout getting out of the jeep?"

The driver leaped out and stood at attention. "This is Gen. Perrin," he said through gritted teeth.

Uh-oh. Only a centipede could have more feet in its mouth.

Gen. Perrin climbed out. At this point in the war, he had made commander of the entire 106th Division as well as other units in the area. He wore a regular field jacket, no insignia. Apparently, he was traveling incognito because he was so close to the front.

The driver shook his head in warning.

"Oh, there's lots more where that came from," I said, with a generous sweep of my arm. "It's there for the picking."

He turned to his driver. "We've got to get some of that stuff."

Dusk was falling rapidly and his words were punctuated by the sound of burp guns nearby. I didn't hear any more explosions, though, so the British demolition guys must have knocked off for the night. The driver looked like he was about to wet his pants. I took pity on him.

"I'm sorry, General. We can't let you go down there."

The General raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean, you can't let me go down there?"

"We'd be negligent in our duty as soldiers if we let you go down there to get your butt shot up."

He looked so disappointed I amended myself. "Look, if you want Archie and me to go with you and cover you, we'll do that, but it's getting dark, there's some shooting going on, and I can't be sure we won't run into some booby traps." The risk was real but I played it up a bit. I didn't want anything to happen to Gen. Perrin on my watch.

The General cocked his head, considering. "Thanks boys, I guess I'll have to pass on that."

His poor little driver started breathing again.

We told Gen. Perrin that he was welcome to help himself to anything we had brought out, but he declined our offer. He did dump off the stuff at our pillbox, which we thought was just grand. He was a peach of a guy, a real frontline fighter."

Note: Brigadier General Herbert T. Perrin was Assistant Division Commander and assumed temporary command of the 106th after its commander, Maj. Gen. Alan W. Jones suffered a heart attack during the Battle of the Bulge. He resumed his post when Maj. Gen. Donald Stroh was appointed to command.
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