Veteran Stories:
Al W Armstrong

  • Mr. Armstrong, March 2011

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"The Scheldt was something else, I’m telling you. Nothing but mud, waters, and I don’t know how our infantry guys ever did it. They had an awful time, but they did."

Transcript

Into the Netherlands In the winter of 1944-45, it was the coldest winter in Europe for 40 some odd years. It was cold. We couldn’t run vehicles. Our role was not a combat role. Reconnaissance. And they used to tell us, “You know, what if you’re dead.” But you got in, you did what you can, and you can get out. And when they said, “Let’s move, let’s get out of here,” wasn’t too glad to do it. I took a three-man patrol out, got halfway out, and I heard something coming. We waved the guys down, everybody got down. They had a three-man patrol going the other way. They kept going. And we had no wireless [radio], we never had walkie-talkies in those days, so you couldn’t warn them behind you, you know, “Watch out, there’s a patrol coming in,” eh. But they must have did the same thing we did. I had no - I wouldn’t be surprised if they knew we were there. The Scheldt [Estuary] had to be taken, because all the supplies were being brought in from Normandy, overland. So they had to open the port of Antwerp [in Holland]. If they couldn’t open the port of Antwerp, ‘til the Scheldt. The Scheldt was something else, I’m telling you. Nothing but mud, waters, and I don’t know how our infantry guys ever did it. They had an awful time, but they did.
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