Letter to Carl F. Main dated Feb. 12, 1992


Lloyd W. Leibnitz

Hallock, Mn




Dear Carl,

I think I was wrong when I said I went from Compregne to Heerlen.

I think we went to Maastricht by train, from there I think we went by truck to Vaals or some town close to Aachen. After a few days we went by truck through Aachen, it was a nice day and the canvas top was raised back so we could see. There was a house blown nearly apart, except for a bed setting all by itself on the upstairs floor. It looked so funny we all had to laugh. That is how I remember Aachen. The next I remember is being in a house with a few guys, there was no town there, just a few houses and a big slag pile. I could have been close to Boesweiler, or on page 102 Inf. Div. book, is a picture of two guys having Thanksgiving dinner in Waurichen. That looks just like the place I had Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t think I was assigned to any company or battalion. I think I went to a rest area, about December 15th, 1944. I think it was, in France. This is what I remember about it, when we went to eat, there was a large iron gate. The place was like a walled in compound, with a small gate on one side towards the end. All of the personnel that were stationed permanent went in the small gate to eat first. By the time I got to eat it was cold and not much to eat. We were all mad and decided to take our rifles with us when we went to eat the next time, and if they didn’t open the gate we would shoot our way in. I think some of the guys yelled that the gates had better be open when we come back, or we would shoot our way in. Anyway there was a Major there when we went back for a meal, he said the gate will be open and you will be fed first. He also said there were German prisoners sleeping in the barracks and he was going to move them out and we would move in, instead of sleeping in tents on the ground, and we moved in. I think we were here when the battle of the bulge started. Right after that is when went to Heerlen. I know I stayed in Belgium for a week or two, I think we spent Christmas there. From here we went to Heerlen, where I was for a few days. I think about January 5th to 10th is when I said there were two farm houses. One on each side of the road with two foxholes on each side. From here I don’t remember. We came to a town that was vacant, we walked down the street we saw a jewelry store, we went on but someone had been there before us, and had broken in a safe. There was a lot of German money in it and some was lying on the floor. We didn’t think it was any good, so we didn’t take any. Later we heard some of it was good, if it was above or below a certain serial numbers. Maybe this is the place where I saw four or five sewing machines, lined up outside of a row of house. There was a guy looking at one, and I asked one of the squad, what that guy doing with all the machines. He said he collected them, I wondered how he expected to get them home.



I recall one time when we were moving forward, when a shell bit close by we bit the ground, I saw a big tree close by, I ran and got behind it, and another guy come and laid down by me and he pushed me over, so I pushed him back and asked him if he had enough cover, he said he did. Later we laughed about it. I think this happened on January 26th, the snowsuit attack. I think this also was the time a Lieutenant told us to spread out and dig in for the night. The Lt. said I have to go to the CP. do you want to go with me, I said sure. We hadn't gone very far when we heard rifle fire, the Lt. said he better go back, so I stayed there. The Lt. soon came back and said you know those crazy guys were shooting at rabbits, with Germans just across the valley. I think this it where you saw the deer so close. I stayed at the CP that night, it sure beat steeping in a foxhole.

After the night of Himmerick, you said we went to Kirkade, I remember we went down a tunnel in a mine there was a nice bathroom, lots of showers and we shaved and cleaned up. We also got clean clothes, one of the guys came over and looked at me, and said, who are you, I don’t know you guys after you got cleaned up. I think Little Joe said that.

I remember someone got hit while waiting for a boat, that must have been Dominic. You must have crossed the river in the first boat. We had to wait for a boat to come back to go across. Someone told Dominic, he should go back, but he said he wanted to go with the squad. Yes, I remember walking in water chest deep. I got hit, when just before Dominic went back. I heard him say he would try and get some litter bearers, maybe be could save some lives. I think Big Joe got hit by the railroad. You said the Lt. was hit in the arm, I didn’t remember if it was the Captain or Lt. so it must have been the Lt. that helped him back to the river. We had just gone a short way from the river when a flare went off, right after that a shell hit, and I saw a man go sailing in the air. It looked like it hit the center of the platoon. Another one hit close by, I felt a hard blow on the right side of my back. I put my hand back there and it felt wet and sticky, I thought it was blood, but when I looked at my hand it was mud. I think this is where Eddie must have gotten hit. A little further we crossed Malefink brook. What confused me is you said you were in some scrubby timber and were digging in. I was by a trench, the water in it was so cold I got out and laid down back of the dirt, that came out of the trench. I tried to dig a hole, but every time I moved a machine gun would shoot at me. It sounded like a swarm of bees flying over my head. A little bit later is when I stood up and got hit and fell in the trench. There were no scrubby trees, just the bare ground. I distinctly remember hearing someone saying, his arm was hurt, and was going back and try and get litter bearers, that had to be Dominic, but when I was carried out on a litter, I saw some scrubby brush and timber with booby traps and mines, with a dead deer. That must have been where he was. Today is my 78th birthday, I know it will be better than 2/12/45.


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