Strange and Inexplicable Things in a Combat Zone

These stories were comments that were sparked by an episode of the Twilight Zone called “The Purple Testament” about a soldier in WW II experiencing  an uncanny phenomenon. (photog).

 

“You can see some very strange and inexplicable things in a combat zone. Most of my senior male relatives have seen strange things and so have I. Maybe it’s all the physical and psychic stress that causes a tear in space-time and it allows “leakage” between realms? Who knows?”

“I can relate a few if anyone wants.”

 

(First Story)

“I was point on patrol in Vietnam. Going quietly and as safely as possible. All of a sudden, my tribal spirit twin appeared before my eyes, in full ceremonial dress. She put her finger before her lips in the universal “hush” symbol, then pointed out a VERY cleverly concealed tripwire. She then vanished. Saved my life.

When the patrol ended I wrote her and told her what happened, and described the dress down to a “T”. I may as well say that she is also an absolutely raving beauty. She had done the same thing and wrote me the day after it happened. Our letters crossed in the mail. She had suddenly swooned and when she revived she told her family that I had been in danger of some sort but that I was okay. She could not recall what kind of danger.

She had started that ceremonial, doeskin dress with the fancy bead work and dyed porcupine quills after I had left for Vietnam. She had never mentioned it in a letter nor in person to me. I was able to describe it down to individual colors and designs, and the fact that she wore a beaded headband to keep her long hair in place. I described the colors and patterns on the headband as well.

So tell me, how could I describe a fancy ceremonial dress in great detail without ever having seen or heard about it? Why did she swoon at the exact time and date she appeared before me in a vision? How did she know she had swooned as I had been in danger? Since our letters crossed in the mail, the letters could not have tainted our recollections.”

 

(Second Story)

“We were in our trench on the perimeter when we were mortared, then attacked. Charlie in the wire. Right in front of out trench was an observation tower/platform. It was put in after the trenches were dug or it would have been placed right behind us. It was a night attack and our guys were firing flares so we could see Charlie.

The firefight was pretty lively when the tower was hit by a mortar round. The tower was about fifteen feet tall to the floor of the platform with one ladder up. We were directly behind the ladder. The legs of the tower were wrapped in razor wire to prevent climbing up except by the ladder. The “room” was two sheets of plywood large. Eight by eight. It had a corrugated tin roof which was covered with sandbags. Sandbags also inside the inside of the corrugated tin walls to stop bullets. A guy was in the tower to call in our own mortars on Charlie in the wire and on into the edge of the woods 300 meters back. He could also call in artillery from the nearby firebase. He had a field phone and a Prick-25 radio in case the phone wires were cut by shrapnel or bullets.

When the tower was hit, we just knew he was dead. Me and one other guy climbed up to get his body down or to save him on the slight chance he survived. There was no body in the tower. It was only 8X8, less that that, really because of the sandbag armor. Nowhere for him to hide. I climbed upon the roof and he was not there, either. A hole in the roof where the mortar had hit and just a few scattered sandbags inside. We looked under them just in case but you can’t hide a full grown man under few sandbags a couple feet or so long. And the radio was missing. The field phone was junked so we got back down as there was nothing we could do without a phone or radio to call the mortar pit, and Charlie was consecrating fire on the tower, anyhow.

The firefight went on for another half hour, when all of a sudden, we heard the tower guy calling in mortar fire. We looked up and there he was with the Prick-25, calling in very accurate mortar fire. We were spooked but Charlie was keeping the dull times off so we didn’t have time to wonder – then. After the fight was over, we asked him what had happened. He said he was doing his job when all of a sudden he heard a huge noise and saw a blinding white flash. He thought he was dead as he couldn’t move, but after a while he could move again and he got up off the floor, grabbed the radio and started calling in fire again.

“Oh, by the way, I wanna thank you bastards for coming up and checking on me.” he said, sarcastically.

“Dude, we did!” and we told him what had happened. There was barely room for the two of us up there, there was no frigging way he was still in that tower, even under a sandbag. Nor on top of it. He and the radio had just flat disappeared. He then wanted us to explain how he was there with the radio, then. Ten guys witnessed it all, ten guys will swear that he disappeared and then reappeared. One guy says differently. There is no way he could have been blown out of the tower then climbed back up the ladder as the ladder was between us and Sir Charles and our entire attention was fastened on that direction. Let alone considerable lead passing back and forth. Until the day he rotated back to the world he would not believe us.

Twilight Zone? Did he phase out and back into space/time? I sure as heck do not know. Nor do the other guys if they still live.

Strange things in a war zone.”

 

War Pig’s Anecdotes on General Patton the Younger – Part 3

War Pig’s Anecdotes on General Patton the Younger – Part 2

 

One of my very interesting readers, War Pig, was inspired by the General Patton quotes this week to provide a personal remembrance of General Patton the Younger in the comments.  On hearing that he had more stories I asked if he’d provide them and allow me to post them here.  He kindly agreed and here is the third and final installment.

 

I saw an example of Patton’s care for the troops. After the mock battle a brigade commander went to see Patton. A spec 4 (equivalent to a corporal, more or less), a very good tank gunner had gone home on emergency leave as his parents had died in a car crash and his minor brother was now an orphan. The young man buried his parents and sent his brother to live with their grandparents, their mother’s parents. He had to borrow money from Army Emergency Relief and used up all his accrued leave as he had to settle the estate and all.

 

The gunner got back and no more than two weeks later the grandparents were killed in a car wreck and now there were no more living relatives able to care for the younger brother. Patton was shocked, as anyone would be over such a horrible coincidence. He called the division Chaplain to get over to his office, pronto. He asked if the kid wanted a hardship discharge. The brigade commander said he did not, as he had no other job prospects to support his little brother, and that both of them were going to need mental health counseling, especially the brother. They held a skull session and Patton ordered the young man promoted to sergeant, wiped out his AER debt, got him a bigger loan and somehow took care of that, too, making it a grant, gave him 90 days “free” leave and said there would be housing available when he got back. Then Patton called base housing, demanded a two bedroom quarters for the pair, fully furnished down to towels and sheets, and to be full of groceries when the young man returned with his brother. From what I gathered, Patton paid for the groceries himself but I was back at DivArty before the kid got back so I never heard what happened.

 

But Patton did love the NCOs. When he was getting ready to leave for Germany the division NCOs threw him a party. There was barbecue and beer, lots of beer. Patton was there and we presented him with various sentimental gifts. As the party progressed, we were running low on beer. Patton sent two aides back to base (we were at a rec area away from the barracks areas) and had them return with several kegs of beer, for which he paid.

I did see him later, in (then) West Germany, at the Graffenwoehr training facility. He remembered me and shook my hand. He was the Deputy Corps Commander of VII Corps by then. He retired a little over a year after we shook hands. His old injuries were getting the best of him, and he developed Parkinson’s disease later. He retired in 1980 and died in 2004, aged 80. He was known as a soldier’s general. All I know for sure is that if the Soviets and Warsaw Pact had attacked West Germany in VII Corps’ sector, they would have been in for a hell of a surprise and one HELL of a fight.