Mt. Pleasant News

Mt. Pleasant, IA

15 Feb 1945




Quick Treatment Saves Life Of Boy On Italian Front

By Frank Miles

With the Fifth Army in Italy (IDPA) -- A 91st division doughboy with a leg blown off lay in no man's land under terrific Nazi fire. Only quick, skillful treatment could save him from bleeding to death.

Capt. William O. Goenne, Davenport, a battalion surgeon, asked for volunteers to go with him as stretcher bearers. Four army private stepped forward.

Carrying makeshift Red Cross flag aloft on a pitchfork, Captain Goenne led the four doughboys to the wounded man. They put the suffered on a litter and rushed him to an abandoned wine cellar nearby, where the officer gave him blood plasma and applied necessary bandages. Then seeing that he was too seriously hurt to be carried further, Captain Goenne put in a call for a jeep.

The casualty was taken to a field hospital where it was believed the bravery of the captain and the five GIs had saved his life.

Cpl. Francis B. Tiffany, Grand Junction, and a small group of privates were driving a mule train loaded with rations for the Apennine mountains when a heavy enemy artillery barrage burst.

Two of the mules slid down an embankment into a wadi 500 feet below. Defying the continued shelling, Corporal Tiffany and another soldier reached the mules, led them back to the train, and proceeded.

Pfc. William R. Collier, Council Bluffs, performed a like feat. He was one of several soldiers leading a mule rations train when nazi shells so frightened the beasts the one at the head of the line toppled over an embankment and slid down 150 feet.

Private Collier went down after him and though the jerries kept firing, the Iowan got the train under way again.

Source: Mount Pleasant News, February 15, 1945

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