Wervik Belgium March 1945. Our stay in this small town was memorable, especially the hospitality of all the people. Everyone that stayed in their homes became part of their family. This was so different than rest areas in Italy where we were out of the line but living in old shell and bombed out buildings with no heat or any the luxury that we now were enjoying.
We knew it would not last forever so made the most of it. It seemed everyone had a special girlfriend or if you did not you could meet any number of pretty girls at a local dance.
At the small dance hall the restrooms were sort of well together. The men used a urinal up against a wall and immediately behind this urinal were three or four doors entering to flush toilets where the ladies used. To get to these toilets they had to brush past the men at the urinal. Even though we had thought we had lost all false modesty in Italy, it was not the case here. When the girls came out to enter the toilet they walked behind the men at the urinal. As we fellows crowded up to the urinal the ladies passing by our rears drove us with their bottoms almost through the wall. Then laughing their heads off entered the doors behind.
Oh yes some of it was fun, also some times embarrassing.
A couple that I had met when we first came to Wervik operated a small bar. On one occasion this chap and his wife and I carried salt in parcels in our pockets through the French border guards into France. I made one trip on this type of smuggling and was not asked again. Mind you the French Guards knew what was going on but did not interfere.
I had momentarily forgotten the name of the blonde maid at the De Voss home where Chuck and I stayed, well it was Denise. This girl was a very hard worker and did our room up each day. I had an American issue blanket. If you remember, they were a nice brown color and were a prized possession. I gave this to Denise for doing up our roo . Within a few days Denise showed me that she and her mother had transformed this blanket into a terrific coat for her. I never missed the blanket.
Our stay in Wervik we knew could not last forever, even though this was getting really a habit living so well. Soon we left Wervik to the tears and hugs of the populace.
Traveling through Antwerp and into Holland near Hertogenbosch was a far cry from the luxury of Wervik.
In this area we experienced theV1 flying buzz bombs or doodle bombs roaring and stuttering across the sky to hit the port of Antwerp, or carry on into London. Then out of the sky would come a plane, all guns blazing, in a steep dive trying to shoot down the doodle bug. I cannot remember if we saw any shot down or not. There was an American anti aircraft battery of all blacks that had the best record of shooting down these buzz bombs.