I had a chance to speak with a few of my relatives last night and inquired about my dad’s bronze star. I spoke with his brother and my mom’s brother. It was over 65 years ago so details are a little sketchy, but from what I could gather, here is something of what happened.
During WWII my dad was a medic. One night, possibly during the Battle of the Bulge, he was bringing back soldiers who where wounded. Apparently, a few of them were pinned down by German machine guns. He ostensively did something heroic to get a few of those soldiers back under intense machine gun fire.
During one of those runs, he ran into a German soldier. My dad was on the ground and the German was standing over him pointing his rifle at him. Being a medic, my dad was unarmed. The German pulled the trigger and all the German heard was a click. Before the German had a chance to clear his FTF, another American soldier shot him. My uncle said, that if that gun did not malfunction, I would not be here today. I guess there are times when a FTF is a good thing.
His brother told me that my dad brought back a Luger when he returned from Germany. I would love to see that gun. It is long gone, but it would be my most treasured gun.
Many, many years ago when the movie The Longest Day (about the D-day invasion) came out, he took us to see it. He only mentioned that he was there and I kind of remember he was reminiscing about it privately as we left the movie.
I am going to call the VA when I get back and try to find the details behind his commendation. He never spoke about it…ever.