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Don Bennett's War

Chapter 38 - USA & Home!


When seventeen days out of Marseille we were told that we were nearing the South Carolina coast and would disembark that night. We didn't have to be told a second time to get our bags all packed. After getting mine ready, I went up on deck to watch for the American coastline to appear. Toward evening I saw a cloud bank appearing on the horizon, and as we moved into it, we found it to be a fog bank just off the Carolina coast. We could see the lights through the fog and could hear the fog horns sounding their distinct tones. The fog was so heavy that we were not allowed to enter the Charleston Harbor until it lifted the next day. I stayed up pretty late that night looking through the fog at America with an excited feeling going through me because of the ever present thought that I was almost back home.

After the fog lifted on February 25th, we slowly moved into Charleston Harbor, tied up at the pier, and walked down the gangplank onto American soil. I almost felt like kissing the ground, but just the feel of the soil under my feet was a good enough feeling. We boarded some buses for the ride out to the army hospital. There were some Gray Ladies on the bus when we got on, and they gave us lots of Ice Cream and milk and welcomed us back to the U.S..

While at the hospital we impatiently awaited further orders that would take us to a hospital closer to our homes. I didn't enjoy my stay there because the warm sultry weather took all the energy out of me. We made a couple visits to the town, on one of which I weighed myself and was very surprised to see the card say 212 pounds, an increase of over 40 pounds since December 15th. We looked at the bulletin board every day for transfer orders and on the third day I saw my name on the list, and very much to my surprise, it said I was to be flown to McCaw Hospital at Walla Walla. It was much closer to home than I had ever anticipated. Early the next morning we boarded the C47’s at an army airport, and flew up the coast to Richmond, then turned west to Nebraska up to Montana and then finally to Walla Walla, where I was to stay for Hospital care, but more important, to soon see Ginny, Mom and Pop and home.

By Donald E. Bennett
Co. "C" 411th Infantry Regiment
103rd Division, 7th Army
France, World War II

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