Sunday, June 23, 2019

Pfaffenheck, Part 3: The telegram

Identical twins Maxine Wolfe Zirkle and Madalene Wolfe Litten, in a 1993 interview, talk about the day the telegram arrived informing them of the death of their brother, Billy, in World War II. On 16 March 1945 the second platoon of Company C, 712th Tank Battalion, went to the assistance of a company of the 90th Infantry Division that was taking heavy casualties in a battle with elements of the 6th SS Mountain Division North. The platoon leader, Francis "Snuffy" Fuller, described the battle in Pfaffenheck as his "worst day in combat." He had four men killed, three wounded, and lost three tanks. You can hear more of my conversation with the Wolfe sisters at my oralhistoryaudiobooks blog

Podcast: Lieutenant Tarr's Platoon

Friday, June 21, 2019

A Cow in a Tree

Normandy in World War II was not a good place to be if you were a farm animal. George Bussell, a driver in A Company of the 712th Tank Battalion, describes with wonder the sight of a cow that was blown into the air and landed in the fork of a tree. In a later interview, Joe Bernardino, also of A Company, describes what may have been the same scene, with a far more tragic twist.

Podcast: Lieutenant Tarr's Platoon