STARS AND STRIPES REPORTER TELLS OF MEDICS’ HEROISM ON BLOODY BEACHES

By Bob Hutton

Stars and Stripes Staff Writer

From the June 12, 1944 Edition of Stars and Stripes

WITH ADVANCED HQ, FRANCE–The Medics went on the beach with the assault battalions and stayed with them. While the Boche pinned everyone in khaki to a strip of sand and stone and poured open-sight 88mm. fire onto them from the cliffs, a bunch of kids from West Virginia and Ohio crawled through tide-washed cuts in the sand and among the grotesque rows of dead to do their jobs.

There was one stretch which turned red; four Nazi machine-gun emplacements had held their fire until the assault units were that far, then cut them down. One infantryman who had come through the Sicilian beaches without even a close call was hit in the shoulder. He was the only thing in the pile that moved or made a sound.

The Medics heard him and watched him, but the machine-guns took their helmets off if they raised their heads.

Finally, Bob Molinari, a Medic sergeant from Los Angeles, couldn’t stand it any longer “He crawled somehow–I don’t know how–up through the cross-fire,” said Capt. Walter Sielski, A Buffalo (N.Y.) doctor. “He went better than a hundred yards to reach the man, slung him underneath to cover the wounded man’s body, and then came through a hundred yards of the same fire.

operation neptune

Medics treat one of the 197 casualties on Utah Beach



‘Chow by another other Name–‘

They’re clearing the snipers out of the little French village tonight, and from the ruins the civilians have left. Stray dogs are wandering out with unerring instinct to wag their tails at American soldiers and learn what’s inside the little round cans of rations. It’s a tossup as to whether the Yanks or the pups they adopt are more adaptable. The Yanks will have mascots wherever they go and call them Butch or maybe Joe, while the dogs who have been listening to French all their lives understand in some amazing fasion that “chow” is the equivalent of “manger,” that “come on  you flea-bag,” equals “venez.”



Nazis use Japanese Tactics

As a mater of fact, the sequence of battle in France often sounds amazingly like stories from the Pacific. The Nazis are using Japanese tactics for their snipers, concealing them in trees to hold up an advance long after the Germans have retreated, letting them lie doggo in the debris of ruined strongpoints to pick off officers maybe a day later.

Today an MP noticed for the fourth or fifth time a pigeon flying away from a hillside. he thought about it and realized he hadn’t seen any pigeons fly in there. A search party went over the hillside and found a camouflaged tunnel entrance.

The 40 Germans who had stayed there inside the U.S. lines for two days came out and gave up peaceable. Their job of spying on movements and shipping in the harbor below and sending the information on by carrier-pigeon was done. They went into the PW stockade along with a monocle German general and his staff. They had not left a French town soon enough.

operation neptune dday normandy medics

Medics from the 4th Infantry Division give candy to a French girl wounded during the invasion These children were two of the nearly 3000 civilians killed or injured during the landings



For Further Reading Check Out:

Medic!: How I Fought World War II with Morphine, Sulfa, and Iodine Swabs


Doc: Heroic Stories of Medics,Corpsmen,and Surgeons in Combat




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