Blood on German Snow: An African American Artilleryman in by Emiel W. Owens

By Emiel W. Owens

Emiel Owens served his state within the 777th box Artillery, fascinated by activities from Omaha seashore to the career military within the Philippines. just like the remainder of the U.S. military on the time, the 777th used to be a segregated unit. Remarkably few memoirs via African american citizens were released from the realm warfare II period, making Owens’s account specifically worthy. simply because he situates his army adventure within the better context of his lifestyles and the society during which he lived, his tale additionally unearths a lot in regards to the altering racial weather of the final a number of decades.
 
A local Texan, Owens recounts his early stories in a small, rural tuition outdoor Austin through the difficult occasions of the melancholy. In 1943, he used to be drafted into the military, touchdown in England in August 1944. Ten days later he was once on Omaha Beach.
 
By November three Owens and his unit have been helping the thirtieth Infantry department because it attacked German cities and towns best into the Ruhr Pocket and the Huertgen woodland. Owens starkly portrays the horror of the Kohlscheid Penetration. He was once provided a certificates of advantage for his activities in that theater.
 
With aid from the G.I. invoice, Owens lower back to varsity after which to graduate tuition at Ohio country college, considering universities in his domestic country have been nonetheless closed to African americans. He earned a Ph.D. in economics, which ended in a efficient educational and consulting career.
 
This is a uniquely appealing tale of an African American man’s trip from a segregated Texas city to the battlefields of Europe and directly to postwar good fortune in an international replaced ceaselessly by way of the struggle Americans—black and white—had fought.

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Additional info for Blood on German Snow: An African American Artilleryman in World War II and Beyond

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The waiting trains were really boxcars. I remember seeing the sign on each boxcar—“8 chevaux ou 40 hommes”—meaning each car would hold eight horses or forty men. The trains seemed small compared to those I had helped my dad work on at home, but they were very fast. We had been issued K rations, which we ate as we rode on the train. ” I looked up and saw a German V-1 rocket with its engine cut off gliding down toward the train. It appears the rocket launchers were waiting for the arrival of the train.

We had been told earlier that they were designed for use in Germany and that we needed to know how to use them efficiently as support weapons. We began boarding the train the next morning for our new training site. The thirteen-week basic training at Fort Sill had gone quickly, and it was amazing to see how rapidly I had become attuned to the ways of army life and the use of our new guns. Advanced Training On August 13, 1943, the 31st Battalion of 523 African American enlisted men and 41 Anglo-American officers left Fort Sill, Oklahoma, by rail.

I was to be sent back to England or even the States for treatment. By that afternoon, September 26, I was on a hospital LST headed back to England. The hospital ship was white with a large Red Cross sign across the top. There was no effort to conceal the presence of the ship, I suppose because of its hospital status. M. We set sail across the English Channel about 8:30. The ship was filled to capacity with the injured, wounded, and dying. Everything was so still that you could hear only the lap of the water as the ship steered its way out into the channel.

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