Four Men on a Walkie-Talkie Direct Fire From Nazi Rear

By Robert Miller

United Press Correspondent

From the July 17, 1944 Edition of Stars and Stripes

WITH U.S. FORCES IN NORMANDY – Four men with a walkie talkie radio got behind the Germans south of La Haye du Puits to direct the devastating fire of a battery.

“For a while the front was messed up, with Germans behind us and us behind the Germans,” explained Lt. Thomas Regstad, of Minnesota, who was in charge of the little party. “Sniping began almost the minute we left the battery and continued till we got past the town.



“We left one man with the radio truck and moved forward on our bellies to try to set up an OP on a knoll. We hadn’t gone 100 yards when we got right in the middle of the battle.

walkie-talkie

An American GI uses the SCR-300 “Walkie-Talkie”.

“Someone shouted, ‘There go some Germans,’ and just over a ridge was a column of Nazis in a beautiful position for us to open fire on them. I tried to make contact with the battery, but the walkie-talkie failed.”

So they ran a cable back to the radio truck crawling through a curtain of mortar fire to do it, and got the range back to the battery that way.

walkie-talkie

Motorola ad for the SCR-536 “Handie Talkie” often confused with the “Walkie Talkie”.

“You should have seen what happened when we opened on them,” said Regstad. “We drove them into some woods, where they were pocketed, and then dropped 350 rounds into that pocket.

“One of the shells hit a hidden ammunition dump, which exploded. Germans came running out of the forest in all directions. For the next few minutes it was just one big shoot, with the infantry clipping the Nazis as they raced across the open country.”

During the night German 88s opened up on the American artillery. They had only fired a few rounds when Regstad spotted the gun flashes. He directed his own artillery in counter-fire, silencing the enemy guns and destroying several.

Moving forward with the infantry the next day Regstad was caught by German machine-gun fire and had to dive into a foxhole too small for him.

walkie-talkie

The SCR 300 “Walkie-Talkie”.

“I ended up jack-knifed in the hole with my feet sticking out and waving in the air,” he said. “Machine-gun bullets zipped past, and every time I tried to get up they seemed to be closer.

“My walkie-talkie lay four or five feet away, just out of reach. It kept calling my code name and saying, ‘come in, please.’”

Finally he managed to get hold of it and call for fire on the German machine-gun nests. It came within seconds.

“We gave them 600 rounds that time,” he said, “and when the advance began again they found nothing but dead Germans strewn all over the place.”



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