Coach Gene McCarter of Salpointe Catholic was a young infantryman who came in on the first wave of troops. He was a tough man and was there for me to talk to both when I came home from Berlin in 62 and VN in 67. He was the only man untouched on D Day. He was scared ****less and lost his rifle getting off the landing craft but made it to shore with several other buddies. He said at some time during the fight a NCO kicked him in the ass hard and handed him a rifle and told him to shoot. He had to work the bolt single shot for a few times but after he actually fired toward a Geman Pilbox he settled down and managed to fire several 8 round clips. Then the NCO who had kicked him in the ass led a group toward the beach. Several of that group were killed but by the time they got to the sea wall small groups of very angry Americans were with them. He said that someone blew a Bangalore torpedo ahead of them and they rushed through the hole, once they were to the top of the berm the battle was short and now the Germans were cut down. He doesn't remember any German prisoners being taken.
He was the lucky man in his platoon and was unhurt until the Hurtgen Forest. There, they were near the end of the battle and did something really stupid. They had discovered a bunch of dead cows in a field, the cows were bloated and exploded when hit by rifle fire. Like and iniot (his words) he exposed himself when he fired at one of the cows, a German sniper nailed him in the left shoulder, His buddies dragged him to safety. The bullet broke his arm but the damage was relatively slight. But, it was a million dollar wound. He was in a Chicago area VA hospital got well and by 1947 was playing football at a small Catholic college.