Fort Bastione

Valiant Service

"I knew I was going to die..."

"Down in the valley they had a fort crossing from one mountain to the other. The captain called and asked for dive bombers, but three of them came and knocked a hole in the fort. Then as soon as the dive bombers left, the captain wanted, I think he wanted one of the lieutenants, Caucasian lieutenants, to go down with someone to check on how the fort was and no one volunteered, so he went, and I happened to be with him, because I was the wireman. We went alongside the fort and got to the main part where the hole was, and then he told me...he stopped and told me to set up the telephone for him. And then he told me to go about 50 yards ahead. Then he told me to climb and go to the fort. I knew I was going to die, but I went up and I stuck my head out at ground level and no one shot me. Then I went up there more and my whole body was on ground level, and no one shot me. So I went to the hole in the wall and saw a white flag and seventeen German soldiers there. After I captured them, I put them to a place where it was safe, and I called the captain and he came in and went into the fort. I heard later on that he got the Silver Star for that."