Christmas 1942 on Longstop Hill

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by GRSchultz, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. GRSchultz

    GRSchultz Junior Member

    My father was in the U.S. 18th Rgmt, 1st Bn, Co D and as far as I know with the unit throughout the war, Africa, Sicily and Normandy. I'm currently reading American Iliad (By Robert Baumer and Mark Reardon) to try and get a better understanding of my Dad (who never talked about his war experience without breaking down), and I was shocked to come across this story on page 62 as related by the Co. D commander, Captain Sam Carter:

    "About mid-morning this fully armed German patrol came down the road. Leading the patrol was one of my own men, with a dirty face towel at his hips and a pistol in the middle of his back that was being held by a young German officer. My man, a corporal, was fluent in German, and I learned they wanted me to surrender my unit and become prisoners of war".

    The anecdote continued with Captain Carter telling the corporal (in English) to hit the ground when he gave his machine gunners the order to open fire, directing his unit to fire on the Germans at the same time, and ultimately the killing of the German officer and capture of several Germans as well as the capture of handbooks of information from the dead patrol leader.

    I believe that corporal could have been my father. I know he was a corporal at the time (promoted 3 March 1941) and he was also fluent in German and Polish (as he was born and had grown up along the border with Poland until 1931 when he immigrated to the USA). I also know that his only "souvenir" from the war was a German P-38 pistol. (He rarely brought it out and I do not know where it is today). If he was the corporal who survived that episode I should think he would have been allowed to take the pistol (and I understand the the P-38 was issued to officers in the German army). Dad also once told me (in tears) that the Germans referred to his unit as "Chicago gangsters". That episode would certainly leave such an impression.

    I'm trying to track down information which might help to confirm my suspicion that this was my father. Unfortunately, Sam Carter died in 2005 and his wife Norma passed on in 2009. Right now I'm trying to make contact with one of their children as well as the book's authors. I know that my Dad's records were lost in the 1973 St. Louis fire so it has been hard to find leads through official channels. Perhaps there is a record somewhere in England that hints at this story. If anybody out there has something that could help my search it would be much appreciated. I understand that the British Unit involved at the same place and time was the 2nd Bn. of the Coldstream Guards.

  2. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Our resident 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards expert is 'Phaethon'. You may wish to send him a PM - private message - regarding your search!


  3. Phaethon

    Phaethon Historian

    No problem, PM sent. Im more than happy to help.... especially on Longstop!

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