World War II Forum: 3rd U.S. Army, 95th Infantry Division, 377th Infantry Regiment
Posted by: Earl Frederick Robbert (ian@ThisIsToPreventSpam-446-RemoveThis.gloryroad.net) on 7 Sep 2003 at 6:44:05 PM
My father, Earl Frederick Robbert, died when I was six years old so unfortunately I do not have any stories of his experiences to pass on. Just by chance though in about 1990 I met a man that had served in a different company in the 95th Infantry Division's 377 Regiment and he told me a story that I have repeated many times since hearing it.
His unit was resting in an orchard and while sitting under a tree he spotted a German sniper taking aim at one of his closest friends, a Sergeant. The man instantly swung his weapon up, took aim and shot and killed the sniper. Several of the men, including the man who just shot the sniper, inspected the body and in a pocket found a wallet. Inside of the wallet were pictures of who the men assumed was the dead German's parent's and wife or girlfriend.
At this point in telling the story the man began to weep. Roughly some 45 years after the event he still felt remorse for having had to kill a German that was about to kill one of his closest friends. He said that when he saw the pictures taken from the German's wallet for the first time he realized that the German's were just like him. They had mother's and father's and wives and girlfriend's, other loved ones and friends and they wanted to be with them, they wanted to see them again some day and this particular German would never again see his parent's and loved ones.
Many times since being told the story I have wondered how some soldiers, sailors, air men and marines perception may have changed from the day they learned they were going to war until today? I have to wonder how many U.S. service men entered what can only be described as a great campaign and were filled with pride for having been a part of it at the time and then as the years passed by began to feel remorse for the things they were forced to do to survive and to attempt to help men they grew to love survive?
I have to wonder if time has tempered the feelings of not only justification of their deeds but the need for their deeds and left them with feelings of sorrow? Sorrow not only for their friends that were wounded or died but for those they themselves may have wounded or killed?
I hope that is not the case. I hope that in each and every veteran of the greatest generation remains rock solid in their minds the knowledge that what they did, what they were part of was righteous and just and that every one of them, regardless of theater of operations, rank or duty played an important, and successful, role in one of the most incredibly important events in the history of the world.
Thank you one and all.
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