Italy, October 1944, As Bill Mennie and I were returning to our gun position I noticed that our rear bike tire was going flat. Looking into a farmyard I saw a lorry parked there and a couple of tank troopers firing weapons, at chickens I guessed. So we went into the yard and asked the troopers if they had a pump and could we get our tire pumped up. They said sure and the tire was pumped up.
Now to return the favour I said were you shooting chickens and they said yes but they could not hit any. I asked what were you using one trooper said a Tommy gun and the other said a 303 rifle army issue. I said give me the rifle and I will see if I can get you a chicken. Now where are these elusive fowl? They said up near that hedge. Just then the chickens went flying out of the hedge on the ru . Quick like a bunny I hip fired two shots or maybe three shots and killed two chickens. Handing the rifle back to the pleased troopers I said I'm sorry I shot those chickens through the body. if I had not had that rum at RHQ I would have headshot them.
With that smart ass statement I felt Mennie tug my arm and say let us get out of here because these fellows will likely shoot us for being so smart ass. We left and for the first hundred feet or so I thought they might wing a shot over our heads.
The next two days I was in the Albergo Grande Riccione. Sgt Sid Robertson was given a week or so to help run this leave center so we teamed up and had a good couple of days. We even raided our own quarter master stores for a few items. Our quarter masters and their staff had it rough with the best of billets, the first grab at the rations, and the rum, also the best of battle dress and socks. Sad to say we got even with them as we out lived most of them. All that rum must have had an effect on the length of their lives ,