Heroes: the Army
"...I replied "We have visitors, give me a burst over their heads." I did not want bullets coming our way. John let off a burst with his BAR. The Krauts were shocked and turned to face John and Stophel..."
- Branch of Service: Army
- Unit: Co. I., 407th Regiment,
102nd Infantry Division
- Dates: 1942 - 1945
- Location: European Theater
- Rank: T/Sgt., Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
- Birth Year: 1925
- Entered Service: Provencial, LA
We moved on (from Erklenz) and it was getting late in the day, so on the other side of town we dug in for the night. Chester Hall and I were together and to our left was John Emerich and Mack Stophel. Chester started kicking me and telling me we had company. I looked up, and sure enough, three Jerries were looking at us with rifles pointed at us. The commotion brought the attention of John and Stophel so John said "What is the problem over there?" I replied "We have visitors, give me a burst over their heads." I did not want bullets coming our way. John let off a burst with his BAR. The Krauts were shocked and turned to face John and Stophel. When they did; we jumped them and took their weapons!
I think of this now and how foolish some of the things we did were, but they worked! We made the Krauts carry ammo and rations the rest of the night.
----- Milt McDonald
(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, "Whatever Works", by Milton McDonald, Co. I., 407th, was originally published in the 102d Division "Ozark Notes", Vol. 54, No. 4, July/Sept., 2002, pp. 11.
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 25 March 2005.
Story added to website on 26 March 2005.
September 5, 2002.
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