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An Ambulance Driver's
Experiences in World War II

From Omaha Beach to the Malmédy Massacre


Howard E. Nixon

6 April 1923 - 29 December 2001

Some I had trouble with. One wounded soldier said, "I got to go back." Although he was wounded he wanted to go back to help a buddy of his. I told him I'd be back to help him. He kept repeating, "I've got to go back." I said, "No. I can't let you go back. You are wounded." That didn't matter to him, "I've got to go back." "No," I said, "You are not going back," and he didn't.

Slowly we gained ground, but Hitler still wouldn't admit defeat.

Lt. Col. Joachim Peiper of the S.S. Panzer unit was sentenced at the Nuremberg Trial. He spent some time in prison, but was let go later. He came back to Belgium and was living there. Someone found out about it and blew his house up with him in it. The end of the S.S. colonel.

Samuel Dobbins who came out of the Malmédy Massacre alive testified at the Nuremberg Trials. After the massacre there weren't many prisoners taken. News travels fast and there were mad soldiers. Five or six Germans in a bunch would be found dead. I know what happened. Sorry, but that's the way it was. They paid a full price.

There was no let up of snow and cold. One night in a place where snow banks were higher than the ambulance - it was blowing terrible. The snow blew in on the spark plugs and the ambulance stalled on me. I cut up a blanket and covered all of the holes. It finally dried out and started. The motor got a little hot, but it was better than stalling.

Before it got awfully cold there was mud, snow and ice. It was a lot better on the west side of the line after I escaped. It took a couple days before Ike and Bradley could get things organized. They sent other divisions for reinforcements - mostly all new men. The replacements were young men that hadn't had any experience and some didn't last long. There were very few infantry men that made it all the way from Omaha Beach to meet the Russians. They were either wounded or killed. During the breakthrough there were a lot of little outfits that held ground and fought. People like artillery men and engineers fought and slowed the Germans down. I'm not sure how far the Germans pushed. Maybe 35 miles or so. They sent us back up to the front after a line was organized and slowly they started pushing the Germans back.

The Germans were amazed at all of our supplies; gasoline, vehicles, ammunition, artillery. They captured some food and were glad for something good to eat - even if it were only K rations.

We kept pushing the Germans back over the same ground that we had come. The dead lay all over and some were run over with trucks and tanks. It got colder and more frozen feet. They were lucky if they had a pair of overshoes. By December 29th they had driven the Germans back about 10 miles. By Jan. 16, 1945 they had gained most of the ground back and we again were at Elsenborn, which was a high plateau. There was a full battle going on again.

We then crossed the Roer River about February. Then it was 30 miles to the Rhine. The Germans fell back for another stand at the Rhine. There was a battle at the Rhine at Remagen Bridge. The Germans tried to hold there. Then they tried every way to blow up the bridge, but the Americans finally were able to cross before it caved in. Hitler had 5 officers shot for letting that happen.

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© Copyright, Howard E. Nixon, 2001.

Address comments to:
Howard's son Pat Nixon or his daughter Cindy Guernsey at the following email addresss:
nixon748@cox.net nixon748@cox.net or cindyguernsey@chartermi.net cindyguernsey@chartermi.net.