Is This Trip Necessary?
By James K. Richardson
Co. B, 272nd Infantry Regiment
There were funny things that happened, which I prefer to relate, instead of the bad things we experienced. During WWII, if you traveled at all, you would see posters in bus and train stations admonishing us to keep our mouth shut, with a picture of a troop ship going down, and the caption, "THE SLIP OF A LIP CAN SINK A SHIP," or discouraging unnecessary travel, with "IS THIS TRIP REALLY NECESSARY?" and of course, Uncle Sam pointing a finger at you with the caption, "I WANT YOU." Unless you had read these signs, the following story would have no humor at all.
We were leaving our reserve position in the rear of the front lines, to relieve one of the other regiments that was on the MLR (Main Line of Resistance). Needless to say, we were not jumping with joy for this turn of events, and about everyone was very quiet and subdued, when PFC Don Kukelski very sternly asked, "Is this trip necessary?." Well, that broke up everybody within hearing distance, when up and down the line, everyone wanted to know what was so funny, and when they were told, they too got a good laugh. This seemed to relieve a lot of the apprehension.