Hollis V. Bryant,
Co A 271st Inf Rgt
As told to his grandson,
Mathew D. Madison
Captain (Battalion Chaplain)
Fort Bragg, NC
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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
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
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.