On April 20, 1945, at about 5 a.m., still dark, I and two of my companions from Troop A 16th Cavalry, were on a reconnaissance patrol on the outskirts of Dusseldorf, Germany. I was in the passenger seat of a jeep. I had a driver and one man in the rear manning a .30-caliber machine gun. His name was Clarence Brown, but because he was a huge fellow we affectionately called him "Bear." We had been together since our Cavalry-Squadron was formed in 1942 in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. On April 20 we were part of a very proud and successful 3rc1 Army and were deep in Germany. We all knew the war would be over soon and each of us, without ever talking about it, was hoping to survive, whole and healthy. Things would soon change.



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