Ed McGinty has now passed on to that big parade ground in the sky so I think it appropriate to include it with the “Diaries” of the 106th. Ed was also a POW but would never write about that for me.
Letter to John M. Roberts from Ed McGinty on 1/28/1998
Thanks for your kind and generous letter of 1/23/1998. I prefer to use your given name of John over that other name for reasons that I will tell you when we meet.
I enclose a local newspaper write up for you to peruse. It was reported at our 12/16/97 meeting at Ft. Meade Officer’s Club. I did not seek the reporter nor did I want the recognition. He was sent over to me by my associate, Phil Hannon.
As in most reporting they only get it partially correct. There were at least 10 grenades sent in to the room I was in at the time. Additionally we were not left as a rear guard, but simply left, and I believe, forgotten.
I know that you will understand and to purge my system from being extremely upset over those many years that I write the following to you of some of those events on 12/16 or 12/17/1944.
Cliff Bowles and I were on outpost guard on one of those dates, I believe to be 12/16/44. We had been about 100-200 yards to the left front of Battery C/589th FA. We were out there about 14-15 hours. As we had not been relieved from our post and were truly frozen, we decided to go back to the Battery. We had not heard them pull out, the guns were in place and only one dead cannoneer had been left behind in the Battery Commander’s house. That cannoneer was Wallace Godwin.
I needed to change socks so Bowles and I crawled in under a large overhanging pine tree. As I was changing my socks we could see out from under the limbs of the tree, the location we had just come from in an open field. There was at least a company of German soldiers passing by the location we had 20 minutes before vacated. We most surely have been overrun had we been there. Bowles and I recognized we were in deep, deep trouble. We had no idea where we were or where to go.
We headed in the opposite direction from the direction the guns were pointed.
I believe we walked carefully about an hour and came upon a small village where a Battery of 155's were in place. There was no one there, either with the guns or in the village. We were two 19 year old poor souls in the middle of a war seeking a way to our own lines. We may have reached Laudesfeld but I am not sure. I will not go into the particulars of my capture but let me assure you, if I had not made a serious mistake, I never would have been taken alive. I was shot at from 10-12 feet and almost grenaded into the next world. I will explain to you when I see you.
Over the years, I have been seriously upset and embarrassed to be captured. I do not like the idea to this day, but I rest my case on doing the best I could.
Of my own personal knowledge, I know of only three other souls who did combat - Bowles - Lt. Thomas Wright, and one unknown warrior who was killed in the back of a 3/4 ton weapons carrier while he was manning a .50 cal MG. He was frozen, standing in an upright position, still manning his gun. I do wish I knew his name for I love him so much.
I do appreciate your feelings in the matter but, being a very private person, I did not have a parade then, I do not seek recognition now. I find, in my case, for me that it makes me feel really good to give rather than to receive. The gift I gave 53 years ago makes me feel good as the gift of Glen Livit. It is my way of trusting that God is pleased with me in granting the extra years.
Let me know when you are in town.
Your warrior friend,
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