Italy 1944. The 13th of September was quite a day and after all that went on previously there was more to come.
Coming through our gun position was a group of German prisoners escorted by a couple of First Division privates. This group stopped for a rest behind our gun lines . I, along with a few others, went up to see the enemy at close range. The prisoners were a mixed bag of tall short and quite rumpled. All looked pretty beat and exhausted.
With this group was a young German officer and except for a couple of days of blond whiskers, very smart in appearance. He also spoke English very well.
A British officer came along [do not ask me where he came from ]. This Brit started to question the German officer and inquired where he learned to speak English so well? The German said in school. I thought this German said he was 22 years old.
The British officer informed that Aachen had fallen to the allies either this day or the day before. I better check history as it could havef been the 15or16th September.
Up to now the German officer had been very alert and in control of his emotions. On hearing that Aachen had fallen he drooped and his face fell. His reply, are you sure it was Aachen, pronounced differently than the Brit had spoken it.
We all said yes the allies were on German soil. At that moment our guns opened up causing the prisoners to jump. The prisoners then stared at our firing guns. This was a first hand look at the guns they believed to be automaticwith the rate of fire they attained.
The young German officer still thinking he was still in charge said he hoped that they would not be placed in prison overseen by the French and not go to Africa. His next words were they better get going to the prisoner war cage. This young German officer, after he heard his homeland was now invaded by the allies, strode away with a less arrogant posture and stride. His thought before leaving was he wished be sent to America.
Our airforce was out every day pounding the area of Coriano Ridge and beyond. The Spit bombers were something else to watch. How they dived almost below tree top level through a hail of antiaircraft fire including even a kitchen sink or two. All this before releasing their bomb on the target. These pilots were young and we could not help but admire their courage. We most often gave credit to the City of Windsor Spitbomber squadron for most of the raids on the enemy .