Mount Pleasant News

Mount Pleasant, IA

02 Apr 1945




Gets Into Hot Area in Cologne; Sees Raid Shelter

By Frank Miles

In the Field with the First Army (IDPA) -- Zing! Zing! Zing! Zing! Zing! Zing! Zing! Zing!

Five reports from a nazi sniper's rifle.

At the first, we five Americans, who were moving along a rumbled street in Cologne, ducked for doorways.

A captain, overseas for 34 months, who was caught in the fusillade, which marked the attempted assassination of De Gaulle, whipped out his pistol. A private swung his carbine into position to shoot. Two scribes and I were unarmed.

After a time we walked toward a corner, where we saw some GIs a block away. We were looking for a forward company command post and wanted to ask him if they knew where it was located.

As we neared them I saw two doughboys crouching in a shell crater in the middle of the street and two others emerge from a house in a manner which indicated they were on a hunt.

"I don't think we should be here," I remarked.

"Where's Company F's headquarters," the captain asked.

"Don't know," replied a GI who was going into the crater. "we're Company E."

"Where is the front line?" inquired Wilcox.

"Hell, you're right in it," was the answer.

"Digging out a sniper?" continued Capt. Bromel.

"Trying to," grinned one of the two Joes.

"Anybody here from Iowa?" Wilcox sang out as he and I started striding swiftly back in the direction from which we had come, closely followed by the captain and the runner who was accompanying us.

We had gone only a few rods when we heard a terrific burst of machine gun fire over on another street and our tanks blazing away a short distance farther off.

We got out of the city swiftly, thankful for good luck and that the Yanks were advancing steadily.

Corporal Edwin Wilcox, on of the scribes with me, is the son of the late John C. Wilcox, who was born near Marshalltown, graduated from the University of Iowa College of law, was in five major battles in France in 1918, and practiced law in Appleton, Wis., for many years. Corporal Wilcox is a correspondent for Star and Stripes and hails from Cincinnati, O. He wears the air medal and two stars on his European theater ribbon.

While in Cologne, I went through a concrete air raid shelter with a capacity of 2,000 persons, which was equipped with sleeping rooms, a ventilating machine, kitchen and theater with 500 sets.

Near it some one had burned a nazi flag.

Source: The Mount Pleasant News, April 2, 1945

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