Aug. 7th, 1944
117th, Company A
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117th 1st Battalion history book "Curlew" By William Lyman
117th Official history book
117th Unit Journal
From Bob Peters....117th:
Thanks for thinking of me. I read through the
journal and spotted a few vaguely familiar items. Actually, I don't remember
much at all about the details of this battle - where my guns were and what
I was doing day by day or hour by hour.
I do remember leaving the jeep for an "on
foot" recon and getting trapped in the middle of a "fluid" situation. I was
sneaking along one side of a hedgerow while the gun barrel of a German tank
parked on the other side was above me to the point I could have reached up
and touched it. Somehow I was able to work my way back to elements of my own
And - yes - I was scared!
My only other memory is that of the life
saving efforts of the RAF's rocket firing Typhoons who came in at <50 ft(?)
right over my head and directly into the machine gun fire of the oncoming
line of tanks - but didn't release their rockets till they were so close a
hit was guaranteed. Then full throttle straight up in time (hopefully) to
avoid the blast when the rocket hit and the tank exploded. I can never say
enough about the guts of these RAF fighters. It's also my opinion - though I
think I'm in the minority - that it really was the RAF that saved the day at
Mortain. I was there. I saw the long line of tanks approaching with no
apparent resistance. There was nothing else to stop them at that point.
Now I have to take a "pill" to calm myself
down! But that's OK. I'm among the many who appreciate all you have done and
are doing to chronicle the times of our country and our lives.