Cold and Snow!  
Hollis V. BryantCo A 271st Inf Rgt
As told to his grandson, Mathew D. Madison
Captain (Battalion Chaplain) 
3-319th AFAR
Fort Bragg, NC  

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     I arrived as a replacment in Germany, February 18, 1945.  Brrr, it was cold!  Snow covered the ground!I was marched up to the front lines.  With two other men, both strangers to me, we were ordered to dig a foxhole for the three of us. The ground was frozen. The progress was slow.                                                                       

     My initial training was at Fort Bliss as an air defense artilleryman followed by basic infantry training at Camp Maxie. When I found myself at the front, I didn't know a soul.  But there I was digging this foxhole in the frozen ground with two strange men I had never seen before. Before too long, the squad leader came up with another soldier looking for a volunteer to go into the the German town the foxhole area overlooked.  

    I decided to go because the two men digging with me were friends and didn't want to be separated.  As the patrol moved forward, I was in the rear, carefully following in the exact snow footsteps of my patrol to avoid stepping on a buried mine. 

     Finally, we made it into the town and a building where some communication fellows had set up shop with soup and coffee as a treat for us, especially for me, my first night on the line.  Like usually happens in the Army, I soon learned, good things soon come to an end.  Before long, the Captain of Co A came to the doorway of the building and pretty much upset told the guys to get back on top of the mountain where they belonged.  He was really making a ruckus!  But, he didn't stand there long for soon the Germans saw him and began firing where he stood.  He got out of there fast and went back to the top of the mountain. 

    My squad leader played it cool and kept us in the warm building for a little while longer before moving back. Sometime later the Captain was was shot many times while riding on top of a tank.  I never knew what became of him, whether he lived or died. 

     Some introdction to war for a young farmer from rural Mississipi!           

     I became a Baptist preacher when I came home and still live in Pittsboro, MS.  I just visited my grandson and his family at Fort Bragg.  While there, I was priviliged to speak at his Battalion prayer breakfast  and tell about some of my 69th experiences.