The Linkup

    We were in the Seventh Army- - somewhere near Saarburg, France.

       I did not know the mission for which we were dispatched that day, but presumed we were to reconnoiter the area until we encountered the enemy. Our third platoon was in normal formation - machine gun jeep, armored M-8, mortar jeepp, and same alignment for the remaining M-8. After proceeding without incident, or contacting any enemy, we progressed for about two miles and entered a forest. The road was straight, sloped downhill, and as it went deeper into the woods, the "cut- through" banks began to get higher. About one - half mile into the woods, the road bank was two to three times the height of our M-8s.

       Suddenly, our red head medic, in the lead jeep, yelled that he had seen a German soldier in the woods at the top of the bank.. Lt. Burns then ordered the column to halt. He said "who'll go check it out?"

       I grabbed my carbine and said "I'll go". I felt pretty good as I climbed the steep bank but as I got near the top, I began thinking "how am I going to get over the top without getting my head blown off." I then became conscious of my heart thumping heavily in my chest.

       Hesitating before going over the top, I turned and looked at all the guys down below - looking up at me. I thought "Aw - what the hell-I can't back out now and let all the guys think I'm a coward." So I lifted my rifle over, threw my right leg up and lifted myself over. Quickly crawling behind a tree, I scanned the area. Seeing nothing, I got up and ran from one tree to another. After proceeding in this manner for about 100 yards, I returned to the ledge and told Burns -" there's no Germans here - or else they've gone."

       I slid down the bank, got in the M-8 and we continued down the road.

       By radio, information had been received concerning other U.S. units in the area. Another mile or so, a jeep and Sherman tank were spotted at an intersection. As we drew nearer and could see more of the intersecting road, several more tanks were seen. As we closed with them our platoon halted. Burns and I got out and went to a colonel in the jeep. The colonel asked "What Division and what army?" Burns replied 71st Division - Seventh Army.. The colonel said "Great - - we're Third Army and this linkup closes the trap --- we now have about two to three Divisions of Germans encircled."

       Now, I don't remember which element of the Third Army we met that day - but, this linkup has been cited in the history of our Division and also probably in the history of Third Army.

       Interestingly, within two weeks we were assigned to general Patton's famous Third Army.

----- Mason ( Mickey ) Hardin Dorsey


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