Italy, end of September 1944, near the Salto River. After a night of waiting for the guns to come in and having our house take a direct hit we survived, we met the guns and led them to their gun positions. The crews started to dig gun pits immediately after getting on line and as each gun was ready to roll into the gun pit it would have to get a new line from the gun position officer. This process was completed until all were in position. Camoulflage nets up and ready for whatever action called for.
This was a period when diarrhea was in full control of some bodily functions, brought on by eating tons of unwashed grapes. I was no exemption and usually had eaten more than my share of grapes [Istill do]. Knobby Clark and I were around the gun position and both had violent cramps. We went over to the small grapevine that had a furrow running along the base of this vine.
When you have eaten tons of grapes seeds and all it is just common sense when you down your drawers that you face anyone else in the same situation, as the explosive force of this pent up gas would send the grape seed flying like buck shot and could stone a buddy to death at ten paces.
You picture Knobby and I facings each other and all this violent gaseous happenings . Just then the Germans started to mortar bomb the road with each exploding bomb getting closer to us. Knobby said those beggars are ranging on us can you quit? I said no, and he said neither can I. The next group of bombs came down to our right side and set a Cape Breton bren carrier on fire. Then the bombs started to hit to our immediate front. Knobby and I flattened out in the ditch. The bombs rained down cutting grapes and showering leaves down on our bare bottoms. Between bursts I looked towards the nearest gun and here Sgt Sid Robertson was hunkered down in his gun pit laughing his head off. Soon the mortaring went past us then stopped. Knobby and I pulled up our pants and checked if anything or any one was hurt. I then walked over to Sid Robertson and asked him what was so funny during this stonk of mortars? Sid said all I could see above the furrow was two bare asses and they just struck me as funny as I was sure one of or both those behinds were going to get hit. Well we came through that stonk a-okay being caught with pants down but still survived.
[ Sid passed away in 1965, Knobby still living in Moosmin Sask ]. This area had a lot in store for us as I will relate later.