This story takes place during the WWII era. It is a story of a teenage boy who left high school during his senior year. He felt compelled to volunteer to be drafted into the army; to do his part to stop the Axis powers from world conquest.
After his basic training, he shipped to Europe in a replacement pool of soldiers. They would fill the vacancies left by the inevitable first wave casualties. The story tells of Pat's experiences as a cannoneer in A Battery of the Fifteenth Field Artillery Battalion, Second Infantry Division. Pat joined his gun crew after landing on Omaha Beach as a replacement six days after D day.
In the ensuing year, Pat's unit fights its way across Europe. Engaging in battles at Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes (The Battle of the Bulge) Rhineland and Central Europe. At the culmination of the European conflict, the Second Division finds itself in Czechoslovakia.
After Germany's surrender, the Second Division again crosses Europe. This time the Second Division's crossing from Czechoslovakia to France was much faster than its first crossing; when the Division battled its way across Europe from France to Czechoslovakia. Upon arrival at the French channel coast, preparations begin for departure to the United States. Pat returns to his home on a thirty day furlough. While on furlough Japan surrenders and the war finally ends. Pat's release from the army returns him to civilian life.
Forty nine years later Pat and his lady friend, Dot take a tour of remembrance back to the scenes of his youth. Here, on Omaha Beach where death and destruction had met his eyes as he landed so long ago, there was now a much different scene. On this pleasant spring afternoon sunbathers, some topless, basked in the warm sun and swimmers frolicked in the surf. After retracing Pat's route through Normandy, Pat and Dot return home satisfied with their journey back through time.
The author was an 85 year old WWII veteran when he wrote this book. The story reflects his own war time experiences. The story presentation is fiction only to provide continuity where an old man's memory fails. This was the authors first book and probably his last as he approaches his 88th year.
About Jack Patterson
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Published November 13, 2011
Biographies & Memoirs, War, History.