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Thread: 78 Years

  1. #1

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    Default 78 Years

    78 years ago at just about 2:00 AM, the paratroopers were jumping out of their planes to start D-Day.

    A young lady went to Normandy with a 101 year old man who made that jump into history.

    Over the course of 52 years dealing with the VA, I had the honor of meeting more than a few of these men. At that time (1970) they were still fairly young guys, most in their early 50's. I've talked to men who were at Omaha Beach, men that climbed Pointe du Hoc, but never had a chance to talk to a paratrooper from that day.

    101 years old. the memories that man must have.

    I had the honor of knowing Stevie Gregg, Medal of Honor winner WWII.

    For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 27 August 1944, in the vicinity of Montelimar, France. As his platoon advanced upon the enemy positions, the leading scout was fired upon and 2d Lt. Gregg (then a TSgt.) immediately put his machine guns into action to cover the advance of the riflemen. The Germans, who were at close range, threw hand grenades at the riflemen, killing some and wounding seven. Each time a medical aidman attempted to reach the wounded, the Germans fired at him. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, 2d Lt. Gregg took one of the light .30-caliber machine guns and, firing from the hip, started boldly up the hill with the medical aidman following him. Although the enemy was throwing hand grenades at him, 2d Lt. Gregg remained and fired into the enemy positions while the medical aidman removed the seven wounded men to safety. When 2d Lt. Gregg had expended all his ammunition, he was covered by four Germans who ordered him to surrender. Since the attention of most of the Germans had been diverted by watching this action, friendly riflemen were able to maneuver into firing positions. One, seeing 2d Lt. Gregg's situation, opened fire on his captors. The four Germans hit the ground and thereupon 2d Lt. Gregg recovered a machine pistol from one of the Germans and managed to escape to his other machine-gun positions. He manned a gun, firing at his captors, killed one of them and wounded the other. This action so discouraged the Germans that the platoon was able to continue its advance up the hill to achieve its objective. The following morning, just prior to daybreak, the Germans launched a strong attack, supported by tanks, in an attempt to drive Company L from the hill. As these tanks moved along the valley and their foot troops advanced up the hill, 2d Lt. Gregg immediately ordered his mortars into action. During the day, by careful observation, he was able to direct effective fire on the enemy, inflicting heavy casualties. By late afternoon he had directed 600 rounds when his communication to the mortars was knocked out. Without hesitation he started checking his wires, although the area was under heavy enemy small-arms and artillery fire. When he was within 100 yards of his mortar position, one of his men informed him that the section had been captured and the Germans were using the mortars to fire on the company. Second Lt. Gregg with this man and another nearby rifleman started for the gun position where he could see five Germans firing his mortars. He ordered the two men to cover him, crawled up, threw a hand grenade into the position, and then charged it. The hand grenade killed one, injured two; 2d Lt. Gregg took the other two prisoners, and put his mortars back into action.

    When I was about 10, I used to set pins at the Church he bowled at and when I got older we would go for a cup of coffee 2-3 times a year I would ask what happened that day. He would just say that he got lucky.

    He was a good man.
    YOU MESS WITH THE DEVIL YOU KNOW.

    YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE DEVIL YOU DON'T KNOW.

    VAE VICTIS

    ONCE YOU HIT A CERTAIN AGE, YOU BECOME PERMANENTLY UNIMPRESSED BY A LOT OF CRAP.

    I HIT THAT AGE 20 YEARS AGO.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: 78 Years

    My dad served in the south Pacific.All he ever said about it was,"Well,I never got shot".We owe these guys a lot.Oh ,by the way,thank you for your service Rick
    Last edited by slanddad; 06-06-2022 at 05:58 AM.
    Rick


    Mapex Sabian Ludwig Saluda Assorted Snare Drums

  3. #3

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    Default Re: 78 Years

    Thanks Rick, I appreciate that.

    I was technically never shot but I did get grazed once. Medic said that if it was a 1/2" lower it would have shattered my shoulder bone and 1/2" higher and it would have missed me completely.

    I did get hit by part of a tree. Come September, I will be out of that country for 53 years. Sometimes it seems like a thousand years ago and sometimes like it was yesterday.
    YOU MESS WITH THE DEVIL YOU KNOW.

    YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE DEVIL YOU DON'T KNOW.

    VAE VICTIS

    ONCE YOU HIT A CERTAIN AGE, YOU BECOME PERMANENTLY UNIMPRESSED BY A LOT OF CRAP.

    I HIT THAT AGE 20 YEARS AGO.

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