Achtung! Fraternization Mit Frauleins Verboten !!
I maintained a diary from the time I set foot on Utah beach until the day the Destroyer Escort USS Borum deposited me on Pier 6, in Staten Island, NY, on June 10, 1945. I thought I might write a book some day. What you are about to read is true and accurate. There are righteous Americans reading this who might think that what I am about to relate to you is evil, wrong, and uncivilized. You have to remember that we did not know if we were going to survive this war. We grabbed at anything to help us forget where we were, even if it was only temporary. . Please forgive us.
Achtung! Fraternization Mit Frauleins Verboten !!
Yes, it was true. American personnel were forbidden to fraternize with Germans. Eisenhower said so. This was a difficult directive to follow what with so many lonely boys so far away from home and eager for female company.. What I am about to relate might be mature in nature. If you are under 18 years of age please do not read this post. Parents take notice.
My mission in Germany was unique. I was a Navy communications technician in charge of a mobile transmitter ordered to transmit coded messages back to Verdun & Paris. The business at hand was to prevent scavengers and souvenir hunters from dismantling Navy marine hardware that was liberated in the Ruhr. This was an industrial area where sensitive experiments were being conducted by German engineers and scientists and we wanted to get there before anyone else. Our transmitters had to be set up more than one mile from town because the enemy had a way of detecting radio signals, their range and direction and lob 88's right on top of us..We shared a luxurious fieldstone mansion (confiscated of course from the burgomeister) with Army personnel. We performed our duties on a scheduled basis. I became friendly with the cook. His name was Hank. Since I was a newcomer Hank told me about the girls in the area who were lonely and weren't ashamed to show it. You must remember just about all their men were either dead, maimed, or in the German military. Hank asked me to join him after evening chow and visit the park.. It was risky and we had to be careful.
Walking down a garden path we could see lovers everywhere. The foliage hadn't sprouted yet and privacy was hard to come by. It was an orgy en-masse.. We noticed an army Colonel seated on a park bench with a non-com alongside taking notes. They paid us no heed so we kept on walking. Apparently we got there too late . We decided to try again another day.
This time we took sandwiches and got to the park early. Two blonde girls approached us aggressively and we made a deal. Hank took out a pack of cigarettes, chocolate bars, and the rarity of all rarities, a pair of nylon stockings. Had I known that beforehand we could have traded them for a 24 hour loan of an officers jeep. I knew a few words of German and did very well in French so communication was no problem.
I was shy. Hank was not. We found an area where we thought we might enjoy some privacy so we sat ourselves down on the grass. A soldier passed by and being nervous about it I asked him to give us a shout if he saw any MPs.
A few moments later we heard him yell, "Here they come!" I was stunned. Hank didn't wait. He was up and running. When I recovered from the shock I flew in the opposite direction.. Shots rang out. I ran into a gully and upon coming up on the other side heard a strong voice yell, "Stop or I'll shoot!" That I did, and upon turning around saw a husky MP with a white striped helmet holding a Colt .45 with both hands and pointing it in my direction. I was arrested. Hank got away.
Apparently the Colonel that we saw taking notes the previous day imported a platoon of MPs to raid the park. There were two covered weapons carriers parked in the meadow and a line of GIs and civilians waiting to be transported away. I was one of them. The two faceless girls we befriended were crying hysterically. My German was limited but I knew enough to understand that they thought they were going to be shot. I was placed in a lavatory with an armed guard blocking the entrance.. It took awhile but a Captain arrived and it looked as though he was awakened out of a deep sleep. I showed him my Navy credentials and informed him that I had to make a broadcast in a few hours.
This was a unique situation for him to resolve. He questioned his own authority over the US Navy. I was transported by jeep back to the villa and handed over to the officer in command. He was informed what I was charged with and that it was up the Lt to delve punishment. After the MP left I was circled by two officers and three high ranking non-coms. "What are you trying to do?" He yelled.
"Do you know that you can ruin it for everyone here?" He winked at me, restricted me to the area, and asked Ursula to bring the schnapps.
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