From the July 11, 1944 Edition of Stars and Stripes

29th division

Insignia of the 29th Infantry Division

WITH THE 29TH INFANTRY DIVISION IN FRANCE—An unidentified U.S. private killed three German officers with a rifle grenade which failed to explode, according to a story told by Lt. E. C. Hill of Woodburn, Ore.

The Germans were speeding down the road in a motorcycle and sidecar when the soldier fired on them. In his excitement he forgot to pull the pin on the grenade, which is propelled by a blank cartridge.  But his aim was true, and the grenade went through the head of the driver and hit the officer beside him, killing both. The cycle went out of control into a ditch and pitched the third German head-first into a stone wall, killing him also.

The unexploded grenade lodged in a tree and was recovered by the private, who put it back on his rifle and began hunting a new target.

rifle grenade wwii

An American soldier (center) prepares to fire a rifle grenade during training.

rifle grenade

A US Marine prepares to fire a rifle grenade.

For More on the Battle of Normandy Check Out:

Beyond the Beachhead: The 29th Infantry Division in Normandy

Omaha Beach: D-Day, June 6, 1944

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