Pfc. EDWIN E. HEBB
B Company, 245th Engineer Combat Battalion
Ed Hebb [
The following narrative is Ed’s own account of the
events that occurred when he was seriously wounded by an S-Mine or "Bouncing
dark, a group from the 1st Platoon was trucked up to the front on
the west side of the
A pair of
masonry pedestals blocked access to the two lane concrete highway that ran
We had hit the dirt, but soon I heard the other guys working on their pedestal again, so I went up and completed the digging and loading of the TNT. I attached some Primacord to the latter, and left it hanging outside for the attachment of a time fuse later.
racing pulse settled down, I joined a detail that was checking the concrete
highway for mines. We swung the mine
detectors for about three miles, but found nothing. At a point where a single lane, dirt road
turned away from the river, we followed it, encountering a knocked out enemy
vehicle, about the size of a pickup truck, blocking the lane. I went around to the far side of it, but
somebody behind me stepped on an S-Mine.
That caused a good bit of
trouble, including the wounding of Lt. Oler, our
platoon leader. [Lt. Robert A. Oler]
[Lt. Robert A. Oler]
This left me on the front side of the vehicle, with an escort soldier from the tank destroyer detachment, who had caught a mine pellet in his lung, and another soldier, unknown to me at this time. Someone then went up the lane to round up some medics. I put the bandage from my first aid kit over the hole in the wounded soldier’s lung. We sat with him for about an hour, when I saw flashlights in the woods ahead. I told them I would go and meet the medics and direct them to us. But first I went to pick up my M-1, lying a few steps away. I never got to it. My right foot hit another S-Mine. Now flat on my back, unable to crawl, my first thought was “Damn, another casualty.” Fortunately, the timer on the mine was defective, so that instead of exploding a few feet above ground, it had gone up only a foot or so before bursting, catching me mostly in the lower legs.
The medics picked us up and carried us to their ambulance, which was a halftrack. I asked for and received a shot of morphine for the pain. They drove us to an aid station. On the way, I noted that the halftrack had a nice soft ride, unlike the normal G.I. truck [6x6]. Years later, I realized that it was fortunate that I stepped on the second mine when I did, otherwise there would have been multiple casualties among the medics.
aid station, I was taken to an evacuation hospital at Thionville,
then on to
year and a half after my first stop at Devens, I went
through the same clothing line to get a new uniform. Next was recovery from hepatitis, and three
months rehabilitation on
Today I am among the old soldiers that are fading away in numbers, but I am in pretty good health at 84 years.”
Edwin E. Hebb