Edwin F. "Ed" Brown (#)

Silent Patrol:
"Today our Platoon Sergeant called a meeting of two squads of about 15 soldiers each and he announced that we would be going on a silent patrol. All communications will be silent. We were told to keep eyes on each other for signals.
The weather was cold with snow on the ground and it was foggy. The visibility was about 15 feet.
We walked for about 40 minutes in a wooded area and never heard a voice or a whisper. Suddenly the signal for a stop was executed and all of the patrol stopped perfectly. I looked to my right with no body movement and observed a German soldier dressed in white camouflage. Following the first German soldier were eleven more soldiers dressed in the same way. None of these soldiers appeared to see us.
To this day I can see the enemy patrol and I whonder if they chose not to see us. I thank God for a succesful patrol.

Bihain, Belgium: January 8, 1945
"It's 7 am and there is 8 inches of snow on the ground and my squad of 7 men are ready to try to eliminate the machine gun that is ahead of us. After checking the 5 soldiers, I find that only one is alive and bullets are continuing to hit the snow. I'm moving in the direction of the machine gun. Suddenly I felt something like a hammer hitting my shoulder. I knew that I was hit and that I should take sulfa, but found my canteen empty. Luckily there was plenty of clean snow to eat. At that point I passed out. When I awoke I heard German voices. One of them tried to get me up on my feet, but was unable to do it. He then called his friend Wolly over to help and in a few minutes they had me on my feet. They took me to the medic station and helped me on the gumney. I asked Wolly to fill my canteen. While filling it Wolly was shot in the buttock by a German sniper. His wound was minor and he and his friend gave themselves up to the Sgt. in charge of the prisoners.
The German SS officer who was manning the machine gun was brought in and I was asked if I wanted to talk to him. I declined. On this day the 83rd Division lost 4 soldiers who had been in A Co. for almost two weeks. Two weeks ago they came to the 83rd from Florida wher they completed their basic training. Three of them were 18, one 17...

Hospital: January 11, 1945
"I awakened in the hospital at about 6 am and it was very dark. Two nurses were talking and I did not join their conversation. My nurse who was a 1st Lieutenant was talking to another nurse said that most of the nurses who became 2nd Lieutenants are now Captains. She said she was thinking of getting a GI back. My question to her was what is that? That is getting pregnant. I said have you talked to your Commanding Officer? I asked her what was that round thing taped to my arm. She replied that it was a souvenir. It was a bullet with the point broken off. I heard a noise that sounded like a two cycle engine. The nurse told me it was a buzz-bomb and that it would be landing soon. It landed a minute later. It did little damage later in the day I learned that I would be transferred to a hospital in Paris. This was very exciting news but when I entered the new hospital I found it very crowded. In fact, my bed was located in a large hallway with a number of other patients. On our third day the hospital had a meeting off all injured patients. They wanted us to know what was available to us. About 3 nights a week we could sign up to see movies. I was scheduled to have exercise on my left arm 3 days a week. At one of my meetings with the doctor he discovered that there was another bullet in my back. He removed it that day. For about 3 weeks life remained the same day to day."

"In 1944 I was an assistant Squad Leader in Company A. The weather was cold in Belgium. My Platoon Sergeant asked me to take three riflemen to a tank unit about two kilometres away. He said we would have transportation and we were taken by Jeep to the tank company. We talked to the tank officer who told us we were to ride the tanks. Our job was to assist in case of German resistance. He then instructed us on how to ride the tanks. He then excused himself and went over to the tanks. In about 30 seconds he returned and he gave each of us a cigar. He asked us if we had matches, and none of us did. The lieutenant instructed us to carry our rifles while stopped. And said there are no Germans today and offered to return us to our company. We declined his offer and decided to walk back to our company. We never saw the Tank Battalion again.
In 1946 I registered at West Liberty State College along with many other returning GI's. My room assignment was with two other GI's and as we were getting acquainted it became obvious to one of us that we had seen each other before. He said that his name was Ed Nogay and he wondered if I had been in the military. That's when my light came on. My roommate was the Tank Commander who introduced me to cigars. During our time together at West Liberty we had many conversations about our time in Europe and the Battle of the Bulge.

Mine installation
"After the forth day of receiving new replacements we had about 80 men in our part of the 83rd Division. Some of the platoons were almost full strength. Two of our Platoon Sergeants decided it would be a good day to improve the mine field. It would change the route of the Germans who were camped close by. We assembled two platoons and my squad of eight men which gave us almost 40 men. The Sergeant showed us the road that the enemy used to get to their camp. Their camp was only 4 miles from ours. We started planting mines less than a mile from our camp.
There is still 4 inches of snow so we had to scrape the snow away and dig down 4 inches to plant each mine. We made progress until we hit some frozen earth. Our Sergeant asked if I knew where there was a pickaxe. I just happened to know where I could get one. While returning with the pickaxe I saw this small German car heading right toward the mine field. I shouted MINE FIELD and they turned around. At that point our men started firing into the command car. Suddenly one of the bullets hit their gas tank and there was an explosion. The front section seperated from the rest of the car and our soldiers killed the passengers. The Sergeants entered the vehicle and removed the weapons. I was still holding the pickaxe I asked if we were going to complete the project and the answer was no. There was a Major, a Lieutenant and a Sergeant in that car.