My great-grandparents adopted MaryLou. I'm not sure if it was formal or how she came into their lives, but for several years she lived on the family farm and became a de facto little sister for my Dad's mother. Her husband Angie (pronounced An-gEE) passed away the other day. In memory of Angie I want to tell this story of his from WWII.
Angie came home near the end of 1946, but not before he got the scolding of his life.Quoted from the Casper Star Tribune. full article
He'd been in charge of the first tank sent to raid a small Bavarian town. He stopped it at the top of the hill outside town and waited for the rest to get into position.
The Americans had moved in under darkness, lights out. They planned to use the element of surprise, go in together and flush out the SS soldiers believed to be there.
As they waited in the silence, Angie's tank driver asked him to double check the running lights, to make sure they were off. Angie leaned out of the turret. He realized too late his chin strap wasn't fastened. His steel helmet clanked against the cobblestone road, echoing as it rolled toward down the hill.
Soon after, Angie noticed someone walking up with the wayward helmet. All he could make out were the white grips of the man's pistols.
I hope that isn't who I think it is, the tank driver whispered.
Who owns this helmet? Gen. George S. Patton III shouted, his voice booming. Angie's bowels turned to ice.
It's mine, he answered.
Soldier, you have woken up every damn Kraut in this town, Patton said, shoving the helmet in Angie's gut.
The teasing began as soon as Patton was out of earshot. The three men in Angie's tank wondered why he didn't ask for an autograph.