Biography of Mason (Mickey) Hardin Dorsey

T/4 Sgt, 71st Cav Rec Trp, 71st Inf, XXth Corps, 3rd Army, USA

        Upon joining the Army, I was sent to training at Camp Blanding, Florida. There, due to my congenital deformity of left hand, I was placed in "limited service category", meaning not eligible for combat duty.

     Only three of our company of 200 men achieved 100 % on all the physical endurance tests. Myself and two others. Also, I fired the highest record of the entire battalion (approximately 1000 men) on the firing range. This consisted of seven days of practice firing and seven days of firing for record.

     The officers then recommended I be sent to the orthopedic doctors for determination of status. The panel consisted of a Colonel, and two Majors.

     X rays of my hand were taken, army regulations read and discussed. Conclusions were drawn that army regs. Dictated that I remain in limited service category.

     The Colonel then asked "what did you score on the physical tests?" I replied "100% one of three". He then asked "what did you shoot on the rifle? "I replied "194 -- highest score in the battalion"

     The colonel then said "regulations be dammed -- I'm placing you on combat active status.""

     I then was sent for further training at Fort Benning, Georgia. It is extremely difficult to receive Morse code and to print "army - style" at a rate of twenty five words per minute. A" word" consists of five letters printed in a style as required by army regs. Our advanced communications class at fort Benning consisted of 200, only myself and one other guy passed the test of 25 words per minute.

     Fifty years later, at our division reunion at Fort Benning, a guy approached me. He said "do you remember me?" I said no. He then said. "how many GIs passed the 25 wpm test at fort Benning?" I said two - some other guy and myself he said "I'm goldsmith-- now live in Miami, Fla.. I'm in the grain business. I was the other & i. That passed 25 wpm. As far as I know, he hasn't been back to another of our division reunions.

       After training I became a radio operator. I was a radio operator/gunner in an M8 Armored Car.

         The M -8 armored car is used by the cavalry recon troop of an infantry division. It is a six wheeled rubber tired vehicle. A liquid is placed within the tires to prevent deflation when pierced by bullets. It is manned by a crew of ------ two in the turret and two forward. The car commander and gunner are in the turret-which is movable in a 360 degree circle by means of a hand crank. Communication within the vehicle is by means of an intercom: each man having a throat mike and earphones contained within the tank helmet. The gunner operates the 37 mm cannon and the 30 caliber machine gun. These are fired by foot pedals - the left for the cannon and right for machine gun.

         Communication with other M-8 s of the platoon and troop is achieved by either the commander or radio operator by voice on an SCR 506 frequency modulated radio using hand mikes. An SCR 300 continuous wave radio is used for contact with division headquarters and other troop units. The Morse code transmissions are sent by the radio operator using a key attached to a semi-circular steel strap clamped onto his right leg. Messages to division were encrypted and decoded using the army M- 209 encoder. A new setting for the M-209 was usually supplied each day.

          In addition to the cannon and machine gun, each M-8 had a fifty caliber machine gun located on a swiveled stand just behind the turret. After experiencing some casualties while using the fifty, ordnance fitted them with armor plate.

          The M-8 was propelled by a Chrysler gasoline engine located in the rear, aft of the turret. The turret was of cast steel, about four feet in diameter and approximately three inches thick the side armor is about one - half inch thick whereas the front is nearer one inch.

          The driver sits in left front and radio operator to his right. They enter their positions by climbing on top and then lowering themselves down into position. The "hatch" is then closed by first letting down the top cover and then closing the front section. The periscope is in the frontal hatch door. Their seats consist of thin pads (1/4 "thick) and 10" x 10". Since the engine is in the rear there is absolutely no heat up front and during severe cold weather, should you get wet and touch the inside with bare flesh your skin would become frozen to the metal. It then becomes quite painful to separate the flesh from the metal.

       I was a radio operator/gunner in an M8 Armored Car in the 71st Cavalry Recon Troop, "The Eyes and Ears of The Army", 71st Infantry Division, Twenty Corps, in General Patton's Third Army.  We saw action in France, Belgium and Germany.

          The purpose of a cavalry recon troop, and of all infantry recon units, and scouts, is to proceed in front of combat troops, contact the enemy and, if possible, infiltrate behind enemy lines. If this is accomplished, the unit then reports to headquarters all data as might be obtained regarding enemy size, strength, weapons, etc.

          During WWII, all recon units sustained higher percentages of casualties than did those of infantry units. Due to the extreme danger of the inherent mission of cavalry recon troops, the jeeps were outfitted with armor plating. These were the only jeeps thus equipped during WWII.

        Although I would be in General Patton's Third Army, We started out in the Seventh Army.  My first combat action  was in Alsace- Lorraine near Nancy, Luneburg, Strasbourg and the Seigfried line. One interesting mission occurred while we were with the Seventh 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.

         Soon we moved out of France and into Belgium and then Germany.  In Germany we crossed the Rhine at Oppenheim, near Ludwigshoffen, moved through Frankfurt.

          During Combat, we saw massive destruction. Captured or passed through many towns and villages where only walls of homes and businesses stood. After we had crossed the Rhine at Oppenheim, near Ludwigshoffen and were making our way along the rubble strewn streets of Frankfurt, I told Marvin "look Marv, there's a FORD sign" - broken, and laying amongst a pile of rubble. A short distance later, also among the building remains --- there was only one wall standing, I drew his attention to a very large red sign with bright gold letters : F. W. Woolworth Co. We also saw dead German soldiers, dead civilians in the towns, knocked out German Tanks, trucks, wagons, 88s and artillery pieces. Occassionally, we'd see an Army O.D. blanket covering a GI and his M1 and helmet. Soon we would see worse, but for now our advances continued into Germany.

       During the advance at times it was necessary to make a dismounted patrol. One such time was about April 15, 1945. It was a bright sunny day. Blue sky. The fourth armored division had arrived at a small town and began meeting resistance. They were receiving fire from anti-tank guns and 88s. The German 88 gun was one of the best weapons - and also most feared - of WWII it was used as an anti-aircraft gun. Was on every German Tiger tank and was also used for anti - personnel. It was said throughout the American ranks that the 88 could hit a helmet at a distance of 1000 yards.

        The armored outfit was taking pretty heavy fire, and were returning fire into all the houses and buildings of the town.

            Our recon platoon was given the mission of circumventing the town and radio back our observations. We circled off to the right several miles and came back toward the rear of the town through a forest and over a dirt road through the woods. As we approached nearer the sound of gunfire, Lt. Burns ordered the platoon to halt. He then asked Sgt. Williams and myself if we would go on a dismounted patrol with him. We both replied "yes" some 400 yards down the road we came to the edge of the woods. There was a clear field of about 100 yards to the first house. We could then see the town and, with binoculars, could see that the German tanks had simply smashed into the houses and buildings from the rear and had the 88s protruding from the windows in front and were firing at the armored units.

        I didn't much cotton to the Williams carbine that were issued to us of the mechanized forces. Somewhere near Bitche France I had picked up a German Mauser rifle from a dead soldier. I had also "retrieved" a carrying case handled carton of ammunition. Near Bitche I fired it many times and had it "zeroed" in for 100 yards.

        As we were observing the town and making notes as to the enemy equipment, two German soldiers came from around the house and started walking across the field at sort of right angles to us. Lt. Burns said "we want to capture them if possible. You shoot in the dirt in front of them, and, if they don't surrender - shoot". The two Germans had their rifles slung over the shoulder.. Immediately after Burns fired and the dust rose in front of them, each began unslinging his rifle. I quickly fired at the one slightly behind and he fell immediately. I then used the bolt action of the Mauser and injected another round, quickly drawing a bead on the other. I could see that he was already falling (Sgt. Williams had shot) but I could determine the impact of my second shot.

        My first shot had obviously killed him quickly, but the other soldier began screaming "Hilfe - Hilfe". Thinking other enemy might have heard the firing, or there might have been others coming to us through the woods to our left, I ran about fifty yards to the other edge. There were no other Germans approaching. Lt. Burns then called for me to run back and get our platoon medic; which I did and brought him to Lt. Burns. Burns then asked him to go and attend to the wounded soldier but the medic refused. As they were talking, a man and woman came out of the house, got his arms over their shoulders and carried him up the three steps into the house.

        We then retraced our steps to our vehicles. Lt. Burns wrote out a report giving specs as to enemy strength, which I then encoded on our M-209 cryptograph, sent it to division HQ by CW on our SCR 536 CW radio.

        The town was later overrun and captured by the fourth armored and 71st infantry divisions.

        As our division together with the 13th Armored Division moved on the Isar River  at the end of April, we saw again massive destruction as at Frankfurt. All of the scenes we had seen so far could not prepare us for the scene we now encountered. A scene which I will attempt to describe, knowing beforehand that my efforts cannot transmit the feelings for the sight we came upon. Later, we were first into the Concentration Camp ( Gunskirchen Lager ), but that was different --- horrible, yes. But not total destruction as this was.

     The Germans were in retreat. As Cavalry Recon, we were usually out front and made initail contact with the enemy. This particular day, the entire Thirteenth Armored Division had led the way and had come upon the rear of a large German Convoy. This Convoy consisted of Tanks, German Jeeps, Horse Drawn wagons, Anti-tank guns pulled by vehicles and also horses. I saw a horse-drawn wagon with a large RED CROSS on the side.   All the movie newsreels and newspapers at that time had extolled the German War Machine as Modern, the worlds newest and fastest ---- hence the term "BLITZKRIEG". The number of horses and horse-drawn equipment was a complete shock to us.

     The 13th Division Tanks had overtaken the convoy by surprise and our first sight was the remains of a German Tiger that had been hit from the rear and all of the ammo inside must have exploded.   It was a nice sunny day--- about eleven in the morning. The road was paved, black, asphalt. To the right was a wide, flat field. A shallow banked stream ran parallel to the road fifty yards off to our right. On the left there was a slightly inclined bank about 25 feet and then a fairly dense forest of pine or cedar trees. The still smouldering Tiger Tank was in the center so we had to go onto the roadside to pass. The majority of the German vehicles, armored cars, trucks, mobile guns, wagons, etc. had been shot up and pushed to the left (tree side ) by the division Tanks. Many horses and men had been killed in the center of the road. We drove over the remains, hearing our tires "squish" in the blood and flesh.

     Hey Marvin, look over there--- the upper half of a German in uniform----- But nothing was below the waistline. Look, there's one with no head. More with arms off, legs off, dead bodies all along as we slowly moved ahead. To our amazement, there was no one alive ---nor did we see any wounded and still alive. We concluded that the tankers must have shot anyone moving and all the wounded. As we progressed,we were shocked to see two Sherman Tanks to our right, 15 feet apart. Flames and smoke coming out the turrent. We didn't stop to take a closer look as our Driver, Jim Mathis was trying to weave and miss the vehicles in and along the road. It was impossible to pass without driving over the flattened uniforms and the bodies inside. I had no idea that horses and men could be mashed to such a pulp.

     The horse drawn Red Cross wagon was turned over on the side, against the inclined bank. I never learned how many Tanks passed over this convoy of Germans and horses. I have been with the Tankers and felt the Massive size and weight of a Tank. I know what just one tank passing over a horse would do. Imagine forty or fifty tanks.

     Almost to the end of this destruction, Lt. Burns radioed for us to halt. His Armored Car was 35 yards behind. Sgt. Fisher and Cpl. Daniels drove up to our car in a jeep. Said Lt. Burns had gotten us some 10 in 1 rations. This was an extremely rare treat, as we usually "existed " on K rations. Lt, Burns and the rest of the Platoon came up and we gathered in the field.

     Several horses meandered in the field ---- one with a large gap in the right flank. Many of the others still standing altouugh you coud see where they had been shot. While the others were getting the 10 in 1's ready, I walked over and petted a black horse ( had a white forehead ). When I went back to join the guys and eat, he followed me over to them.

     After eating, we mounted up and proceeded ------ to capture other towns and villages.

        One such town provided a story about a man in our unit named Phillips.  Phillips was the radio operator for Lt. Burns and, as such, was seated in the right front seat of the M-8. This position is entered by first ascending the front section, usually by grabbing the barrel of the 37 mm gun and lifting oneself up. He then lets himself down into his respective position. The driver also gets into his place in the same manner.

        When enemy fire is encountered, or even suspected, these two frontal positions are secured by "closing the hatch". The top cover ( which is ¼" thick) has a U-bolt handle and is closed by grabbing this handle and pulling it down over the head. It is hinged and swings outward when the hatch is open. The front portion of the hatch cover is one - inch thick and contains a very thick periscope in the center. It is hinged and swings forward when not in use. Closing this is by means of a round rod welded to it, and using the rod to leverage it into position. The driver and radio operator then observe through the periscope.

         Phillips was a guy who very quickly earned the nickname of "Button - up Phillips". If ever a German soldier was suspected of being in the vicinity, Phillips was to be found "buttoned up".

         As was quite frequently the case when we captured a town,( this occurred often as we were ahead of the infantry) our orders were to search each home and building, and bring in all prisoners. Our interpreter, Charlie Staudinger was born in Stuttgart, Germany and was fluent in German and would talk to the Germans we captured.

        Well, this particular day, we brought in several prisoners ---- even "Button-Up" came down the street with one. The German then began talking to Charlie and later Charlie told us what the German had said. The German had been sleeping on some hay in a barn. Phillips had opened the door, saw the German sleeping and prodded him awake with his rifle. The German, as a natural response of being awakened so quickly, immediately grabbed his rifle lying beside him. This so startled Phillips that he threw his gun onto the hay and shouted "don't shoot". The German then laid down his rifle and said (in German) "For me the war is over". We saw them coming down the street, German in front, Phillips behind, holding his rifle as if having made a" big capture".

         Later when we entered another small town --- quite a number of white flags (made of bedsheets, pillow cases, and towels) were flying from the windows. There had - been no firing but ---- as we had learned from previous experieences --- whenever white flags flew, be prepared for gunfire. Lt. Burns then ordered our platoon to dismount and make a house to house search for any German troops.

         Normally, I would use the bolt action German Mauser that I had picked up near Bitche, France. This day I left it in the M-8 as I got out so I grabbed an M-1 from one of the jeeps. The jeep guys were using their carbines and we had several M-ls we had picked up from wounded GIs we had taken back to medical. Corporal Daniels had 'retrieved' a Thompson sub-machine gun and used it throughout the war.

         I quickly checked the clip to make sure I had ammo and began my side of the street. Kicking the door open, I was always prepared to shoot. I had "cleared" three or four houses and arrived at this particular house. Opening the wooden gate at the front, I walked the short walkway to the house (about 30 feet). Tuning the door handle, I then quickly kicked open the door, with my gun ready to fire. Immediately a large German police dog leapt through the air directly toward my face. I was so startled, with this unexpected turn of events I did not shoot. Reacting quickly, I kicked him backward and when he hit the floor he started coming at me again. His mouth was wide open and when I pulled the trigger, the barrel end was almost in his throat. Every fifth bullet was usually a tracer and he happened to draw one. It penetrated almost the entire length of  his body -- exiting at his left flank. These type homes usually had very thick walls and stone floors. Also, the cattle stalls shared the same roof and joined the living area. Well, this tracer struck the stone floor, ricocheted, and became embedded in the bed mattress and began smoldering. Since all this happened within one minute, I then looked to my right and there was an old man and woman. The woman came over and fell on the dog and began crying as the man got a pot of water and poured it on the smoldering mattress. When I saw this, I remembered how much I loved my dog and how terribly upset I became when he was killed by a car.

      There was nothing I could do ---I tried to apologize but they understood no English.

      A sad tale --- a faithful dog protecting those he loved and those who loved him.

         The Division moved into Austria early in May, 1945. 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.

          Soon we moved on --- to liberate Gunskirchen Lager Concentration Camp.

       Gunskirchen Lager was one of the hundreds of concentration camps of the hitler nazi regime. Although there were (estimated) 15,000 to 20,000 held captive in this particular camp, at Dacau in the entrance where there is a large black wall and white cards indicating the concentration camps Gunskirchen Lager, evidently being smaller than the others, is not listed.

          Gunskirchen was located almost midway between the towns of Lambach and Wels, Austria. Wels was about four miles to the east. The inmates were all Jewish --- from Yugoslavia, Chezkoslovakia, Bulgaria and the Balkans --- possible also some from Austria.

         At this camp there was no crematorium or systematic means of extermination. Evidently, they were placed in this camp, enclosed with a strong wire fence, and patrolled by armed German soldiers. A large wooden gate, each half swung from a 9' telephone type pole was the only means of entrance. It seems that the chosen method of extermination of these inmates was starvation - they were given no food or water.

        Our 71st division signal corps and photography units later compiled a booklet entitled "The 71st comes to Gunskirchen Lager". It describes and illustrates the camp, conditions and horrors. However, no print or photos can accurately transmit one of the most unforgettable aspects of those as they encountered the horrors --- the odor - the smell --- unlike anything ever smelledd before --- or since. The German soldier guards evidently having heard all the shooting as we shot up the convoy, had fled. As we arrived at the camp, those who were able, crowded around us, many crying, hugging, and exclaiming "ich habe hunger" (I am hungry). We gave them all the k rations and cigarettes we had. They ate the food and cigarettes! I noticed some going across the road to a bank of dirt or clay-type earth. Some were eating this while others apparently were attempting to eat the roots of small bushes and the bark off some of the trees. Some of those more physically able to walk started toward the town of Wels, and we could see some of them as they fell along the roadside.

        Inside the fence were several shacks, or huts, made of 19" slats (boards with the outer bark showing). Inside these shacks, human bodies, although not much more than skeletons, were lying on top of corpses. The stench was horrible some had only enough strength to raise an arm. The area enclosed by the fence was wooded and the ground was covered by our equivalent of pine needles. Throughout the area lay bodies - some partially clothed. Others were clotheed but you could see they were practically skeletons. As might be expected, there were no "fat or obese" among the thousands. Also, I observed some who might have been 12 or 14, I saw no small children younger than 10 or 12.

       Sometime afterward I would ride back over the road from Wels to Lambach. Where each of the inmates had fallen along this road, there was a newly made grave with a freshly turned mound of dirt. I estimate that along this route there was about 40 or 50 graves. On each grave stood a crudely formed cross - made of sticks and tree branches. Now, I often wondered why these graves containing members of the Jewish faith, would be designated with a cross. Evidently, this was for one of two reasons; our troops forced the local civilians to bury the bodies and as practically all Germans are catholic and the civilians, not knowing the bodies were Jewish, instinctively placed a cross on the grave, or in the event our troops had forced German POW's to bury the bodies, the troops knew the bodies were Jewish and placed a cross on the graves as a matter of defiance and "spite".

        Up to this point in combat, I had seen many dead, mangled, decapitated, pulverized, bodies and body parts. Nothing, however, equaled the horrors of this camp-nothing affected me and all my GI companions as did this experience.

       As other units and troops moved in we moved on to Wels and then crossed the Danube below Regensburg, at a place called Valhalla.  Then we moved to Cross the Enns at Steyer.

        The time was May 5th or 6th 1945 our third platoon of the cavalry recon troop had passed over the Ens river in Steyr, Austria. The mission given us was to pierce the German lines and linkup with the Russians. In the previous two days we had captured the towns of Wels and Lambach, Austria and freed the 15,000 inmates of the concentration camp Gunskirchen Lager.

         As we passed over the bridge in Steyr the road on the Eastern side divided and we took the right fork. The day was bright, sunny, and warm. Very quickly the terrain became mountainous and forrested. Four or five miles later we encountered a large column of German soldiers, --- cavalry, vehicles, and infantry. Previously, instructions had been given us not to fire unless fired upon. We all began shouting "das krieg ist fertig - das krieg is fertig", and gave them our stock of cigarettes. The Germans were on the way to Steyr so after progressing through their column, we continued on our mission.

         Shortly thereafter we met, and passed, other collumns. While stopped along the road, we looked to the mountaintop on our right. A veritible army of German soldiers, complete with tiger tanks, cavalry, 88 artillery pieces and infantry were "peerng" down at us through binoculars. Had one shot been accidentally fired, I'm certan our entire platoon would have been completely annihilated within 10 minutes. Fortunately no mishap occurred and we proceeded toward Waidhoffen. As we entered the town of Waidhoffen we stopped near a railroad underpass. A German officer was standing in the street. Marvin Eiland and I dismounted and went to him demanding his pistol. He looked at us strangely and said "nein". I said "das krieg ist fertig - pistola bitte". He slowly and reluctantly pulled it from his holster and gave it to me. When we returned to the M-8, Sgt. Fisher rushed over to us and said, "You stupid ##*** ##***, don't you do that again - you'll get all of us killed."

         Well, we went under the overpass, came to an intersection and turned left. The street was on a hill and we stopped midway of the block. We were not informed of it, but at that time Lt. Samuels and the first platoon - who had arrived in the town by another route, were in Rothchild Castle talking with General

          Lothar von Rendulic concerning surrendering. Our troop interpreter, Charlie Staudinger, was born in Stutgart and was negotiating in the German language. General von Rendulic informed Staudinger that every American soldier in Waidhoffen must consider themselves prisioners of war until such time he would be able to consult with his staff and the decision made to fight or capitulate. As we were waiting I began talking with "Ankeles" a bostonian who must have made the gi minimum heighth requirements by ½ inch. Shortly thereafter a "giant" SS tanker in his black uniform came up and began talking. (he must have been at least 6 ft. 4 ) he spoke beautiful, perfect english with that typical british accent. I said where did you learn to speak such perfect english?

         He replied "at Oxford- I am an Oxford graduate." As we were talking about many and various subjects -war, armies, education, etc. Ankeles reached into a jeep and grabbed a "K" ration. Now, there are three "K" rations; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each contain a small can (1/3 smaller than a standard tuna can). Breakfast is brains and eggs; lunch is solid cheese ; dinner is a mixture of spam and potato's. Included also are cigarettes, Nescafe, powdered "tang" like juice, crackers, and cookies. A miniature Milky Way is in the lunch" k". A box of k rations is about the size of a cracker jack box.

         Ankeles opened the box, withdrew the Milky Way, unwrapped part and took a bite. The SSer looked down at Ankeles, grabbed the bar out of his hand, took a bite and while chewing said "good gracious-you Americans have everything - candy bars, cigarettes - just everything"

         I don't have words to describe the look on Ankeles face as he looked up at the SSer finishing off his Milky Way - consternation-anger - amazement - quandary - etc. His mouth flew open, his jaw dropped ---- he was utterly speechless. I laughed out loud, and the SSer began to laugh also.

         General von Rendulic finally agreed to capitulate and it was later learned he commanded some 800,000 troops.

         He was later tried at nuremburg and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for the deaths of thousands of norwegians. He ordered the burning of their homes and villages and thousands froze to death.

         As a result of this mission and "escapade", these two platoons of the 71st cavalry recon troop penetrated enemy lines farther east than all other allied armies. Our division is now widely known as "the fartherest east 71st"

Mason ( Mickey ) Hardin Dorsey


"Button Up" Phillips, A Story by Mason (Mickey) H. Dorsey (contained above in full)

Cavalry Reconnaissance Armored Car Model M-8, A Story by Mason (Mickey) H. Dorsey (contained above in full)

Dismounted Patrol, A Story by Mason (Mickey) H. Dorsey (contained above in full)

Gas Truck Morgan, A Story by Mason (Mickey) H. Dorsey (contained above in full)

Liberation of Gunskirchen Lager Concentration Camp, A Story by Mason (Mickey) H. Dorsey (contained above in full)

The Linkup, A Story by Mason (Mickey) H. Dorsey (contained above in full)

The Tracer Incident, A Story by Mason (Mickey) H. Dorsey (contained above in full)

Total Devastation, A Story by Mason (Mickey) H. Dorsey (contained above in full)

Milky Way, A Story by Mason (Mickey) H. Dorsey (contained above in full)

M8 Armored Car, a page with photo and description of the M8, Use Back Key To Return


Also Be Sure to Visit

James F. Justin, Civilian Conservation Corps Museum

Justin Museum of Military History

James F. Justin Museum

Please Share your Stories! E-mail the Curator to share or discuss or with any questions!

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 John Justin, All Rights Reserved 1