Heroes: the Army
"...I was going toward Hottdorf when I came upon a fellow GI shooting into the empty sky. I asked "What are you shooting at?" He said "Those Jerry paratroopers." I told him there were no paratroopers. He pointed them out..."
Edwin R. Merritt
- Branch of Service: Army
- Unit: Co. B., 405th Regiment,
102nd Infantry Division
- Dates: 1942-1945
- Location: European Theater
- Rank: PFC, Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal
- Birth Year: 1925
- Entered Service: Medford, Mass.
Was I Scared?? You're darn right?
Ed Merritt - 405-B
February 26, 1945, as we were attacking Hottdorf, I was knocked out for awhile. Every one was entering the town about a third of a mile away when I regained consciousness.
I was going toward Hottdorf when I came upon a fellow GI shooting into the empty sky. I asked "What are you shooting at?" He said "Those Jerry paratroopers." I told him there were no paratroopers. He pointed them out.
I told him again, there were no paratroopers. He then pointed his rifle at me and said "Merritt, you're one of them." I was SCARED.
In a previous article I mentioned how fast I could run when a Jerry machine gun was shooting my canteen off my hip. Well, this time, THANK GOD, my THINKING was fast. I told him they were our paratroopers and they were landing too far back. They should be landing on the other side of Hottdorf. I told him to go back and tell the officers to land the parachutists further out.
He went. I never saw him again
----- Ed Merritt
(Editor's note: Attempts were made throughout the text of the following story to place full names to the men listed in the story. For the most part, this is an educated guess and some names may very well be mistaken in their identy. The names were all taken from the division history book: With The 102d Infantry Division Through Germany, edited by Major Allen H. Mick. Using the text as a guide, associations with specific units were the basis for the name identifications. We are not attempting in any to rewrite the story. Any corrections are gladly welcomed.)
Interested in some background information?
Check out the related links below...
United States Army, 102nd Infantry Division
102 Infantry Division
History of the 102nd Infantry Division
Attack on Linnich, Flossdorf, Rurdorf - 29 Nov -- 4 Dec 1944
Gardelegen War Crime
Gardelegen: April 13, 1945:
Massacre at the Isenschnibbe Barn
American Battle Monuments Commission: WWII Honor Roll
National World War II Memorial
The above story, "Was I Scared?? You're darn right!", by Ed Merritt, 405th, Co. B., was originally published in the 102d Division "Ozark Notes", Vol. 54, No. 2, Jan/March. 2002, pp. 17
The story is re-printed here on World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words with the kind permission of the 102d Infantry Division Association, Ms. Hope Emerich, Historian. Our sincerest THANKS for the 102d Infantry Division Association allowing us to share some of their stories.
We would also like to extend our sincere THANKS to Mr. Edward L. Souder, former historian of Co. F., 405th Regiment. His collection of stories of the "Kitchen Histories Project" series entitled, Those Damn Doggies in F, were responsible for bringing the stories of the men of the 102nd Division to the forefront.
Original Story submitted on 28 October 2003.
Story added to website on 18 November 2003.
September 5, 2002.
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