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A lucky drive through WW2 France
The Deseret News ^ | 2/22/09 | Lynn Arave

Posted on 02/22/2009 5:57:49 PM PST by T-Bird45

Perhaps some World War II comedies like "McHale's Navy" and "Hogan's Heroes" aren't so farfetched after all.

A war story from more than 64 years ago told by a Utah veteran is steeped in almost comical ignorance and just plain luck, and serves as a previously unwritten footnote to the official end-of-the-war history.

Art Lifferth, 86, of Bountiful, who served in the 98th Squadron of the 440th Troop Carrier Group in Europe during World War II, recently pulled out his journal to share his experiences during the last months of the war.

His story and others like it are outside the accepted war histories. But Lifferth's tale, probably impossible to verify now more than six decades later, adds mystique to what is one of the most romantic events of World War II — the liberation of Paris.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: History; Humor; Military/Veterans; Travel
KEYWORDS: armyaircorps; funnystory; godsgravesglyphs; patton
A interesting story of the SNAFUs that can occur in the fog of war. Glad the men made it back to tell the story...:-)...definitely worth a click-thru to the full story.
1 posted on 02/22/2009 5:57:49 PM PST by T-Bird45
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To: T-Bird45

Not comical, but a touch of humanity in the latter days of the war. Dunno if it was in one of Ambrose’s books, but there was an incident where an ambulance full of wounded near the front lines in Germany took a wrong turn and ran into a German roadblock. They thought they had had it.

The Germans looked ‘em over, checked out the wounded, and told them to get the Hell back down the road.

A couple of hours later a U.S. truck approached the roadblock but stopped a couple of hundred yards short. The GIs got out and unloaded a couple of boxes, then turned around and took off.

The suspicious Germans gingerly approached the boxes, figuring they might be booby-trapped. In the end, they opened them up and found them full of U.S. cigarettes.

2 posted on 02/22/2009 6:11:55 PM PST by Oatka ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
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To: Oatka

Just Wow. That could NEVER has happened in the Central Pacific Theatre!!

3 posted on 02/22/2009 6:15:50 PM PST by DMZFrank
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To: DMZFrank

“Just Wow. That could NEVER has happened in the Central Pacific Theatre!!”

I think it was when my dad was on the Marblehead that for some reason that I forget there was a Japanese Lt. and an enlisted man treading water, after wasting an hour or more trying to coax them into being rescued, eventually his ship gave up and machine gunned the two Japanese and moved on.

4 posted on 02/22/2009 7:49:14 PM PST by ansel12 ( Am I the only freeper that has been held in an American internment center?)
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To: ansel12

Truces were common in the ETO to care for the wounded and to remove the dead. I have read of many during the fighting at Monte Cassino, the Hurtgen Forest, Arnhem, Crete, the Bulge, and especially North Africa. The only example of chivalry in the Pacific theatre that I can readily recall was this individual story of the legendary japanese air ace Saburo Sakai:

Early in 1942, Sakai was transferred to Tarakan Island in Borneo and fought in the Dutch East Indies. The Japanese high command had instructed fighter patrols to down any and all enemy aircraft encountered, whether they were armed or not. On a patrol with his Zero over Java, just after shooting down an enemy aircraft, Sakai encountered a civilian Dutch DC-3 flying at low altitude over dense jungle. Sakai initially assumed it was transporting important people, so he signaled to its pilot to follow him, but the pilot did not obey. Sakai came down and got much closer to the DC-3. He spotted a blonde woman and a young child through the window, along with other passengers. The woman reminded him of a Mrs. Martin, an American who had occasionally taught him as a child in middle school and been good to him. He decided, against orders, not to shoot down the Dutch aircraft and flew ahead of the pilot and signaled him to go ahead. The pilot and passengers saluted.

5 posted on 02/22/2009 8:04:21 PM PST by DMZFrank
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To: T-Bird45; Oatka; indcons; Pharmboy

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Thanks! Both are great stories! Just adding, not pinging the list.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach

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6 posted on 02/22/2009 8:08:15 PM PST by SunkenCiv ( Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: SkyDancer
This story is a hoot!

Love the encounter with Patton.

7 posted on 02/23/2009 3:53:48 AM PST by Northern Yankee (Freedom Needs A Soldier)
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To: T-Bird45

Not aware of any cargo aircraft during wwii that could carry an assmebled jeep and then roll it off quickly. Not even a c-46. Sounds fishy.

8 posted on 02/23/2009 7:17:55 AM PST by central_va (Co. C, 15th Va., Patrick Henry Rifles-The boys of Hanover Co.)
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