By Paul Staub, Hq Co., 1st Bn., 273rd Rgt.
Paul Staub is Third Man From the Left
(Webmaster's Note: Paul Staub is the last surviving member of Lt. William D. Robertson's four-man Patrol No. 2, which linked with the Russian Army on the Torgau Bridge, April 25, 1945.)
Just some background before I tell my story. I was brought up in the Bronx, New York. My family never owned a car and therefore I never learned to drive. When I entered the Army, part of my basic training was to learn how to drive a truck. After a few lessons, I managed to learn the basics such as double-clutching steering and other important things. The Army, not knowing what it was doing, issued me a GI driving license. I do not know how many remember, but when we crossed the Channel, the troops went to LeHavre, but the vehicles went elsewhere. It was a miserable night, and we were picked up by trucks that took us to billets in Belgium. That night it snowed, and the next day the ground was covered with snow and ice. At formation, the 1st Sergeant asked if any one had a driver's license. Forgetting about never volunteering, I raised my hand. The Sergeant told me to go to another unit and pick up a Jeep, which I did. On returning to my unit, the Company Commander and another officer got into the Jeep, and away we went. It seems that the officers wanted to see how the troops were situated. While driving, needless to say, the Jeep was sliding all over the roads. The officer asked me where I was from and I replied, "New York sir," he then said, "Great then you are used to driving in this kind of weather!" I replied, "Never drove before in my life, Sir." He replied, "STOP THE JEEP," and the rest of the day he drove ME around. Oh, to be 18 years old again!