Gas Truck Morgan
On this particular day, about 8 A.M., we were in a rural part of Austria --- which later we learned to be in the vicinity of the towns of Wels and Lambach. I have a photo of some of our unit just below a slight rise and just before this action.
We came over the knoll and stopped amid some thinly dispersed trees. Fifty yards on front was a dirt road that ran parallel to the tree line. Paralleling this road 400 yards further was a paved road. There was no traffic on either road at this time. Soon, a lone truck came toward us on the dirt road. All began firing - rifles, 30 caliber and 50 caliber machine guns. The truck stopped about 100 yards from us. Many trucks in Germany (and also some cars) were equipped with a large tank for burning wood to activate the motor. This truck was so equipped.
Marvin Eiland and I ran down to see what had been done. The truck, windshield, radiator, etc. Were riddled with bullets. The driver was also riddled --- and we found that he was an old (probably 60) civilian.
Shortly thereafter, a large German convoy came into view on the paved road, going from our left to our right. Our units (jeeps, M-8s) had been positioned to fire on this road in preparation for such an event. We waited until Lt. Burns gave the order to fire and at that time there were approximately 30 vehicles in view --- including a gas tanker dead center.
Each man began firing; rifles, mortars, 30s, 37mm cannons with high explosive shells. A cavalry recon platoon or troop is a unique unit of the armed forces. It is outfitted with more guns and weapons than the men can fire at one time.
Evidently the lead vehicle had been knocked out quickly and the convoy halted since some of the others had also been disabled. We could see many of the drivers jumping out the other side and running into the nearby woods. No return fire was encountered. We continued spraying all the units for several minutes. David Morgan, firing the 37 cannon concentrated on the gas tanker and using a tracer he placed one dead center. The tanker exploded, a large fireball rose into the air as the tanker ruptured. From then on, Dave was always referred to as "Gas Truck Morgan".
Incidentally, Dave had two men killed (Lt. Gebbie and Sgt. Finn) (at separate times) when they were shoulder to shoulder to him.
----- Mason ( Mickey ) Hardin Dorsey
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