Bill Rhodes
>> Story 01 | Story 02 | Story 03 | Story 04 | Story 05 | Photos | Photos 2

Which way is the enemy?Bill Rhodes — L Company, third battalion,
358th Infantry Regiment, 90th Division

Which Way is the Enemy? Part II

By Bill Rhodes

Missing in Action — September 1944
As it was getting to be daylight I slowly poked my head out of my foxhole and looked at the landscape. My foxhole buddy was fast asleep. I felt uneasy. I sensed something was wrong. As I looked around I suddenly realized what was wrong. There was no one at all in the other foxholes near me. The entire Platoon had quietly pulled out in the night and had gone somewhere else. Suddenly it was very lonely, just the two of us in the middle of a war with no idea which way was the Enemy or our company. Somehow after a couple of hours of walking slowly and carefully looking in all directions, we saw some American soldiers in the distance. They pointed us in the right way, and we found L Company and our platoon. To our surprise we found out that instead of coming to look for us, they simply reported us as “Missing in Action.” The Sergeant pointed out to us that it was our fault we got left behind, not his.

A Captured Enemy Pistol
Nearly every soldier coveted a captured enemy pistol as a souvenir. However to the combat soldier the pistol was more than just a souvenir. It was an added weapon and having immediate access to another weapon could save your life if your rifle jammed or was out of reach. I felt safer wearing a pistol on my hip along with my two bandoleers of ammo for my M1 rifle and two grenades taped to my shoulder stripes.

SS patchOne day a replacement said to me, “If you are captured with that pistol, the German will put that gun in your mouth and pull the trigger.” I thought about that for a moment because I had heard that rumor before. But there was no guarantee that the Germans would let you live if you were captured even if you didn’t have a captured pistol. There were many stories of American soldiers being shot after they were captured. Finally I said, “Well I am not planning to be captured!” Being captured was not an option that we considered as long as we had ammo to fight with. I never knew any combat soldier to give up his pistol. It was worth the risk.

Place Mouse over Map. Bill Rhodes was wounded on July 10, 1944 during the Battle of Hill 122 and later on November 9th during the Battle of the Moselle River Crossing.

>> Next Story by Bill Rhodes

Bill Rhodes >> Story 01 | Story 02 | Story 03 | Story 04 | Story 05 | Photos | Photos 2