June 27 – July 9, 1945
June 27, 1945
Clint Green, Arnold Klopec and I had quite an adventure down near Salzberg, scouting for and finally locating a bus for transporting members of the 59th. The bus we found is much like a “Greyhound” with a long hood and capable of holding 34 people in it. It has a baggage compartment, which we use for extra Diesel oil, has big windows, comfortable seats and the soft top that rolls back for looking at scenery purposes. ‘Tis a slick job.
The bus needed fixing up, so we decided to stay overnight with the 112th Evac. The next day we had lunch with the Major and he fixed us up with a big “Authorized By Military Government” sticker for the bus. That lunch, incidentally, was quite something – had several courses, including some fresh trout. At lunch with the three of us and the Major were two other men – a Belgian and a Frenchman. They both had been in prison for a couple of years. The Frenchman was an FFIer from Paris and, strangely enough, owned the Commodore Hotel in Paris. According to him he was a “pal” of Jean Pierre Aumont!!! I gave him Jeanne’s address and phone so he could tell them he met me and also find out more about his friend Pierre. He was quite an interesting fellow and he promised Green that when he got to Paris he would show him a good time, give him beaucoup wine, etc. He was going to go back to Paris as soon as the Major had another little German vehicle fixed up for him – there were four or five in that shop.
Finally took off with Green driving the bus and me driving the 2-1/2, along with several civilian passengers in the bus – people that the Major asked us to transport to Munich, as they lived there and wanted to go there…and he wanted them off his hands. By golly, much to our amazement, that bus took off like nobody’s business – on the upgrades it outdistanced the 2-1/2 without even trying. On the level stretches or downhills I was able to catch up with it, but going up it just ran away from me. After we were about half way back to Dachau, Clint and I switched places and I drove the bus the rest of the way. It was really fun – good road of course – and was amazingly easy to handle. It has air-brakes that bring it to a stop a lot faster than any 2-1/2 can stop.
We rolled into Dachau, honked the horns, got no response, and then found out that the whole gang had pulled out only a few hours before. They had left our stuff in the house, left some food for us, and also left us a note that the hospital was moving to Ellwangen. We had arrived at Dachau shortly before 7 P.M., so we ate what we could find in the house – another outfit was already moving into the quarters we were vacating – loaded all our stuff, gassed up, and away we were once again. Clint and I again alternated, each driving part way – I drove from Dachau to Ulm and he drove from there (on the more bumpy and more turney-road) to Heidenheim.
Before we had gotten to Heidenheim, we had decided that even if the gang had moved completely to Ellwangen we were not going to go any further that nite, that we would sleep in the bus at Heidenheim and go on the next day to find where the outfit had moved to. We did not feel like trying to find a new location at that time of nite.
However, we arrived in Heidenheim at 11:30 P.M. (Having left Dachau finally at 9:20 P.M.) and found that none of the outfit had moved as yet. We still decided that we weren’t going to bother to make up beds in any tents, so we piled our barracks bags in the aisle of the bus and unrolled our sleeping bags onto the seats, and had exceedingly comfortable beds for the nite.
The next A.M., even before we were wide awake, a group of the men had gathered and were admiring our catch. Finally the Col. came around and approved, so that was all we needed.
I started to take my things out of the bus and put them in our tent, when I was stopped by Gil, who said that I was to load all my stuff again on one of the trucks, as I was going with him and the rest of the Advance Party to the new area in Ellwangen within the hour. Of course, ‘twas a surprise to me, but I was ready soon and it wasn’t long after that we took off.
Loads of love,