GRAY COUNTY ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW
NAME: Arthur D Jones
DATE: June 21, 2006
PLACE: Ingalls, Kansas
INTERVIEWER: Joyce Suellentrop
Veterans Oral History Project for Gray County
After being drafted, Arthur left the farm in the hands of his brother, Harold and trained in California. He was able to have his wife and child with him until he was sent over to Europe. He was a member of the 35th Division which was made up mostly of central United States men. He drove a Jeep and carried messages back and forth between various officers while at the Battle of the Bulge and was fortunate not to be hit by any firing from the enemy. Arthur served under General Patton in Europe. After the war he returned to farm with his brother. He now lives in Garden City. Kansas
SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Arthur's life in the infantry and his tour of duty in Germany at the Battle of the Bulge and how the war affected his life. People who made an impression on him were discussed.
COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW:
SOUND RECORDINGS: 2- 60 minute tapes
LENGTH OF INTERVIEW: 1 ¼ hours
RESTRICTIONS ON USE: none
TRANSCRIPT: 19 pages
Interview Date: June 21, 2006
Interviewer: Joyce Sullentrop (JS)
Interviewee: Arthur Jones (AJ)
Tape 1 of 2
JS - The first question that I ask is: the war started in '39 and then Pearl Harbor was in '41. Do you remember hearing about the starting of the war, Pearl Harbor, and what were you thinking? What were your parents thinking?
AJ - We had cattle down at my uncle, Joe Jones's down at Satanta on pasture and it was June the something. I was sitting there in a '41 Ford with my brother and my cousin looking at the cattle that we had down there, then. That was when they said they bombed Pearl Harbor. I don't remember much.
JS - You don't remember hearing about the war before Pearl Harbor?
AJ - I had heard about it, but when I don't know.
JS - When you heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor did you even think that you might have to go to war?
AJ - Yes, I thought everybody was going to have to go if we were going to fight them and the Germans, both.
JS - Were you drafted or did you enlist?
AJ - I was drafted. My brother, Harold, was single but he had something in his eye. I went down and tried to get in the Air Corps. Karen was born in 1942 and I was in basic training at that time. It was September of '42 when I went, I think.
JS - Did you get in the Air Corp?
AJ - No, I had high blood pressure. I couldn't get in the Air Corp so I came back and was just drafted. I wanted to fly one of those P47s that helped us a lot in the war. They were a big old plane, well armored and everything and like one fellow said they didn't make them to fly. You had to fly them.
JS - Where did you do your basic training?
AJ - Camp Roberts, California.
JS - Could you describe basic training, what you did and how you felt?
AJ - I had a good buddy there, Paul Rixon.
JS - Did you join together?
AJ - We got together. They were marching us all down to see where we would best fit. I looked up and there was old Paul in a Jeep. I hollered at him and the sergeant called a halt right then. Paul told him I will have him wherever you are, but he will ride with me. I did. That night when I got back to the barracks everybody was gone, there wasn't anybody there. Paul and I went out and ate and the next morning and knew where I was supposed to go. I was in instrument survey, the same thing he was in. He was a sergeant in the second platoon and they took their bunch a week before. I was the first platoon that went that time, but I was next door to him. He saw my daughter and went down to L.A. and brought them up there.
JS - So your wife and daughter went with you?
AJ - Yeah, they followed me all the way to when I went overseas.
JS - What was your basic training like?
AJ - It was something everybody should have if they are going to go fight a war. You can't go out of a drugstore into a battle and fight a battle that is for sure.
JS - Was there a lot of marching?
AJ - There was some, it was everything it covered. You learned about your artillery piece and everything else. Everybody who went through basic training could maybe be on a cannon or instrument survey. I was a battery agent and I had my own Jeep. I worked up to the message center. I was from A-Battery but I worked in Headquarters Battery.
JS - Did you choose to go into instrument survey or did they put you in there?
AJ - That or in ordinance, I could take either one.
JS - During basic training were you trained for that?
AJ - No, they had me down in instrument survey before I went in. You had to make up your mind before the start.
JS - After basic where did you go?
AJ - I went to El Cajon, California. They had a flock down there. They had the 219th Field Artillery and the cadre was waiting on us rookies from basic training. Non-coms and everything were made and they were all from Hutchinson, Kansas. We stayed there about a month, I think. We all got together. They brought the whole Division in together and we were there and while I was there several things happened. This new captain walked out Christmas morning, I believe. This old boy said, ``One of you guys come and drive me to San Diego, we are all freezing down here.'' Paul Rixon told me, ``Don't drive that old Jeep. You will have to wash it and put it up every night. You will just have a job on your hands.'' I didn't say anything. Finally this guy said, ``Where you from?'' I said, ``Cimarron, Kansas.'' He said, ``Do you know Bill Warner? I said, ``I sure do.'' He said, ``Get over here and drive me to San Diego.'' I drove him for a week and when we came back I told him my wife was up at Paso Robles at Camp Roberts. He said he would give me a three day pass when we got back. He said, ``You go get here and I will have a place for her to live when you get back.'' That is what I did and when we got back there was a young couple that had a baby that could walk. They just took us right in. When they mobilized the whole Division, we all went up there and it was the first time I had to pay any income tax. I got a notice and I didn't know what to do. He said, ``I'll give you a fifteen day furlough and you can go home and take care of it.'' I brought the car back then. I had a '41 Ford and Karen and my wife and I came back in it. Then we got orders we were going to move to Alabama. In the meantime, I was supposed to take care of his clothes and shine his shoes and all that. Jones, he said, ``I just made you a corporal, but I can't buy rum for you and me both.'' He had had rum bottles in his boot and I had been taking a shot every morning. He was kidding, you know. He didn't mind. We had seven days travel time between there so we went home and spent five days at home then, and went on to Alabama.
JS - Were you getting ready to go overseas?
AJ - No, we went to Alabama and then we went to Tennessee maneuvers. We went to North Carolina and that was when we were about ready to go overseas.
JS - In all these places were you being trained with the instrument survey?
AJ - No, I went with the Headquarters. I think they gave us a test one day. They had a bunch of us in there and they read something to us and we wrote a thing on it. Then I was made corporal. I worked with the colonel a whole lot and when he got killed, I was with him, but he got killed. The sergeant got killed on the first day when we were going to St. Lo.
JS - What was the captain's name that you were an aide to?
AJ - Captain Brown.
JS - When you were moving around, you were moving with your group and he was with you?
AJ - He was the captain until we got ready to go overseas. Then he went to Headquarters and I believe he was a major in that.
JS - When you were getting ready to go overseas, did you know what you were going to be doing over there?
AJ - Yes, we knew we were going over there and get our equipment and go to war. They dumped us out in the water, but there wasn't anybody in those German pillboxes shooting at us like it was fifteen days before that.
JS - This was like in July of '42?
AJ - I don't know, but they dumped us out in water and I had my old Jeep and the windshield with about that much rubber hose sticking up above it. It got pretty close to the top of my windshield and I am an old Kansas boy that all I had was a water tank to take a bath in.
JS - Did you land in England first?
AJ - Yes, we landed in England first and we stayed there. We had got all our equipment and then we went to Wales on a problem. While we were out there, that is when D-Day started. We went back and got our machinery. I had to put dubbin all over the engine of my Jeep and get it all ready. We drove it down to get it on one of those little boats that drop the nose down. We had my Jeep and Holcomb's Jeep and maybe a truck or two.
JS - What did you put on your Jeep engine?
AJ - They called it ``dubbin'' or something like that. It was to seal all the cracks and everything so no water could get in any wires or carburetors or anything. The carburetor was all sealed up and to get it air it ran a hose up the side of the windshield.
JS - That was the pipe that you said stuck up?
AJ - Yeah, if water started going down that, you had better get out and start walking.
JS - What other equipment did you have to gather?
AJ - All I had to look after was my Jeep.
JS - You knew you were going to be driving that as you moved forward?
AJ - Yes, and when we landed we were in hedgerow country. The first thing we had to put up with was that they would always send somebody with me. They would pick out one guy that might be driving a Jeep. Some of the French women were shooting at us. That was what we had. Another thing, they would string a piano wire across there to try to cut our heads off. Some old farmer figured out a thing that went up on the Jeep. It had a thing high enough that it kind of went forward to catch that wire and that stopped that business. There were those two things that were critical right there when you were first starting that we hadn't anticipated.
JS - When you landed on the beaches, those people that had landed had already moved?
AJ - They said when we landed there was six miles that was used. We had six miles there. We didn't take St. Lo either the first time. Our battalion was the one that started to take St. Lo when they all got killed then the 134th infantry finally took St. Lo. It is right by Normandy Beach so I don't know how many else tried it, but it was a pretty good job to take St. Lo. The 35th took it and we had a good position. Patton was our commander and he was with the 3rd Army. We had combat teams to take all those towns. We would take off in the morning and sometimes we would drive and hit some objects and we would just pull off the road and start shooting. The extras were in trucks. We would knock them out and run on down the road. That is how the war was fought and how we got across there. We'd have been there yet if we hadn't of pushed them a foot at a time. When we got down there, we were in the Bulge.
JS - Were you prepared at all for what you had to do when you got over there?
AJ - I knew what I had to do. The colonel would tell me what to tell the captain and the captain would tell me what I was to tell the colonel. If I would have gotten it all twisted up, I wouldn't have lasted long.
JS - What was your official duty? Were you in communications?
AJ - I stayed at that message center where they decoded messages. Whenever a message came, I was just like a mail carrier. I would go in the morning and get morning reports and hear how many guys we had or how many we lost last night. I would get the morning report and get the mail for them. I was on the road all the time.
JS - You had somebody with you?
AJ - No, just at first. Then I had to go to the infantry a lot of nights. When the patrols were out and when they came in they would make overlays. I would take them back to my base to shoot in the morning before they jumped off. I would go out and find the infantry in the middle of the night, at two o'clock. That was about the time I would leave my battery, but they would show me on a map where the infantry CT was. That is what I would drive too.
JS - Did you drive without lights?
AJ - Just those little bitty ones.
JS - Did you ever get lost?
AJ - No, you studied that pretty close. If you made a mistake you had it, is all.
JS - When did you sleep?
AJ - They could catch me asleep, but they would never wake me up. Nobody ever did that. We didn't do a whole lot of sleeping for awhile.
JS - As you moved through the route that you have showed me can you talk about your impression of what you were doing and of the countryside.
AJ - It was just a new war. We would move into a town and take it over and we would stay there all night. The next night we would go on to another one unless something happened. When we got to Orleans, I will never forget that place. They were cutting the hair off the girls if they talked to the Germans. We could have made a mistake. There were a couple of Frenchmen that came up and they had little old guns and they wanted to help. We thought we would let them march those prisoners back to where they were supposed to be. We would get the rest of them. We only let that go one time because I'll bet they just ran around the corner and let the Germans go. They were right back the next morning.
JS - What did you do with the prisoners? Did you take them back to a holding place?
AJ - Yes, they had holding places for them. We had quite a few when we took Orleans.
JS - Were they ready to give up?
AJ - You can't really say anybody was ready to give up in that Army. About the time you thought he was giving up, he would probably shoot you if he had a chance. War is hell. That is all you can say about it.
JS - How long did it take to figure that out when you got over there?
AJ - You know that Hitler would have been over here. He had the stuff to do it with. I knew we had to whip him.
JS - As you moved, that was just kind of a routine. You just moved into a town and took it. Did the Army stay there to hold that town?
AJ - No, we just went right on through the country. One guy came around a corner and there was an 88-gun setting there. Guys were kind of around it. The 4th Army tanks were what we were with, and those guys were just burned stiff standing right there. You could see anything.
JS - How did you cope with that?
AJ - If you thought about it, it would drive you nuts. A lot of people did. I never did try to think about it. When the day was over, we'd had another one.
JS - You mentioned that you were right at the Battle of the Bulge.
AJ - Yes, we were there on a chilly day.
JS - Was it as cold as everyone said?
AJ - It was as cold and then a little cold. Karen sent these pictures. We were at Nancy where we ran out of fuel. We had to stop. We backed up a little ways and we had a dam that went to. We had run out of fuel and shells and we went to this little town of Nancy where we had baths and stuff. We were to blow out that dam and save ourselves is why we went back. When we took after Nancy, Sarreguemines was the next town we got in, in Germany. Right after we took that we got a march order to go back here to Metz. They wanted us to come up here to
Bastogne. They were about to take Bastogne. You know that guy that said ``NUTS'' to them? In the show, Eisenhower asked Patton who could get up there quick. Patton said he had somebody within forty miles of there and that was us. We stayed all night in Metz and drove up there the next day. We helped them win that war. Then, next morning the weather broke and airplanes flew and we could see what we were doing. There was where we won the war as far as I was concerned.
JS - Was this an industrial city?
AJ - Yes.
JS - That is why you would have gone over there?
AJ - They had different places when we were coming out of Paris. We were ahead of these guys that came out of Paris. We just sat there and caught them. We had a section there all lined up. It turned out okay.
JS - When you would go into a town where there was a factory, would you destroy things like that?
AJ - No. they were already destroyed. The Air Corps took care of that. They made it a lot easier for us. I will give them credit for that. Everybody worked together and I don't believe it could have worked any better.
JS - After your participation in the Battle of the Bulge, you kept moving on?
AJ - Then is when we separated from Patton. He went back and we went on to the Dutch where the windmills turned. Then we went on to help the English guy, Montgomery. We were helping them when I got the Silver Star and somebody from Britain gave me the ``Queen Mother''. I said, `` It was just because I was a Welshman is why she did that.''
JS - What was the commendation with the Silver Star?
AJ - The same as this and read the same thing. After my wife died, I can't find it anywhere. I told Karen to go to the English. Probably will when I die, she will get it.
JS - Did you receive it at the time or was this when you were discharged?
AJ - I could have gone to England or to New York and they said I would have to come to Kansas City to get it. I was cutting wheat at the time, and I said, ``Just send it to me.'' I was out of the Army and I didn't really know what the thing meant. I got out of the Army sooner than a lot of the guys that went in the first day. Karen was twelve points and there were ten more. They took a year for each one of them.
JS - You went up into the Netherlands and then where?
AJ - We came down the Elbe River. There at Erpin, Germany, is where my buddy got killed.
Interviewer: Joyce Sullentrop (JS)
Interviewee: Arthur Jones (AJ)
Tape 1 of 2
JS - What was your buddy's name?
AJ - Pete Boese. When we were issued our overshoes, there were a hundred of us and he got the only pair of five-buckle overshoes that was in that bunch. There was only one pair and they fit him. When I drove in, I noticed that overshoe there and I knew. (He cries) I never worked with him, but he was the nearest to me in my battery. He flew one of those little planes up and down the front lines and if he got shot, he had a little fire power to get back over if he got over too far. Three of us all stayed together usually and we all had our wives before we went over.
JS - This Silver Star is for another time?
AJ - No, it is this time, I am sure.
JS - It says, ``Found an area under heavy shelling and discovered an injured man that you brought to the aid station.''
AJ - I couldn't bring him. They had to get him with a bucket and shovel. A 320-mortar got two or three of them. The only reason I knew Boese was there was that five-buckle overshoe.
JS - Then it says a shell hit.
AJ - It knocked us goofy for a little bit.
JS - Then you got up and put out the fire?
AJ - Yeah.
JS - At a time like that you probably are just not thinking. You are just doing what you have to do?
AJ - You knew what you had to do, that is right. They shot at the whole battery. Those 320-mortars have a big concussion. They were zeroed in on the battery. It all happened just before I got down there. Then me and a little Mexican went out there and shot for quite awhile. I don't know if we ever hit anything, but we were taking orders from the boy that was down there.
JS - You did what you had to do. You had been trained on that kind of gun so you knew what to do?
AJ - Yeah, I got that in basic training. That is what basic training is for. They got to have basic training. You don't do the same thing every time. I've got a thing that says that if somebody got killed, I could fire. I knew just how much up and down I had to go to shoot. That is how Boese got started and he got so good they just made him a second lieutenant.
JS - You just kept moving up?
AJ - That was pretty well near the end of the war. We had just come down the Elbe River. We were pretty close to the Elbe River at the time.
JS - It was February 24th, l945.
AJ - When was it over?
JS - May of '45.
AJ - We got there before the Russians did. Then they would swim across the river and want us to take them. After the war was over, we went back and we had a 448-ack-ack with us. They put the high point men in that and the low point men out of that. They were going to have to go to Tokyo.
JS - Where did you go back to?
AJ - They let me out. I came on home. I beat the Division home.
JS - Because you had so many points?
AJ - Yes, then I got out.
JS - The ones that had low points thought they would go to the Pacific?
AJ - Yes. They would have if they hadn't dropped that bomb.
JS - Were you out of the Army by the time they dropped the bomb?
AJ - Oh yeah, I don't know when I got my discharge. I came home to be away from the battery. We went to some hospital unit and then they worked us right on home.
JS - Do you remember where you were when you heard that the war in Europe was over? Was that when you were outside of Berlin?
AJ - Yes.
JS - A commanding officer told you about the war ending?
AJ - We all knew it was coming. We had been down there and had seen them. We could drive down to where the infantry was catching them all the time and help them out a little bit. They were getting a lot of them. They didn't want those Russians to get hold of them.
JS - I know. Those were the Germans that had gone across the Rhine?
AJ - Yes.
JS - As you went toward Berlin, did you encounter any of the concentration camps at all?
AJ - We did, one. They were all Polish. They set it afire and shot them as they came out so we made them bury all those people.
JS - I need to ask some of these questions. When you were going abroad, I know it was your first time to leave this country. What did you think?
AJ - We had a job. We had, on this ship, the 219th that had to put out the guard. We had to have guards. There could be no lights on those ships. We had to patrol those ourselves. One time I went down to the bottom of that ship to put a fellow down there to watch some money or something. They had a little three-cornered deal and there were a lot of boys from Pierceville in there. Three of them, I knew. We were out there in the ocean and George Lightner was one of them but he got hit as soon as we got over there and the shrapnel got in his lungs or something and they sent him home.
JS - Do you think that the training that you received before you went over was adequate?
AJ - I do. I think we learned we had something we had to get done and get with it.
JS - When you think back, and you have already talked about some of it, were you able to receive letters from your family? Were you able to write home to them?
AJ - Yeah, they had little bitty deals.
JS - Victory letters?
AJ - Yeah.
JS - Would your wife have sent you anything that you could not get over there, like candy?
AJ - Yes, the folks would do that too. The worst they were ever scared was two guys from the military drove out south of Charleston where they were staying. They drove in and got out of the car and knocked on the door. Mom and my wife were gone. Finally they got them and told them that I had won the Silver Star. Why in the world would they do that? They might know that the minute your folks see them, they would think you were coming to tell you the worst.
JS - They thought that you had been killed?
AJ - Yeah, that's right.
JS - What did you think about the daily life, the experience, the work, the clothing, the equipment--are there any memories or stories about things like that?
AJ - I traveled a lot in my Jeep. This picture is of a tankers' outfit that I came to a town in the Bulge. They were all killed. This suit was laying on the table and one colonel was down there and he had gotten his finger cut off. They cut it to get the ring, I suppose. Some of our boys may have done that. I got that suit and I wore it all through the Bulge and I was warm. That is what they had for the rest of them. I wasn't dressed right, I guess, but I was warm.
JS - You were surviving.
AJ - Right.
JS - What about the food?
AJ - I never griped about the food at anytime. I could eat anything.
JS - There were other things.
AJ - Anyone who griped about food didn't have much to gripe about, that is for sure. I didn't pay much attention to it.
JS - You have described your best buddy, but is there an officer that you have a particular story about?
AJ - I always thought of our Captain Porter, who was out battery commander when we were overseas. Captain Brown was in the States. Captain Porter never did get lost, and some of the rest of them did. I always thought that he was just a little bit better. I am glad we got him.
JS - What do you think surprised you most about being over there?
AJ - Never getting hit, I never got hit anywhere. People around me would get shot and shrapnel and we finally got knocked down, but that is the closest I ever came to getting hit. I know some guys that just got their finger cut with a can opener that got the Purple Heart. That is one pretty medal and I think it should be highly looked at. Some guys gave an arm or a leg and all they gave to them was a Silver Star. Some guys could just show some blood and get a Purple Heart.
JS - How would you describe the morale of the young men and you as you were marching in and seeing all these horrible things?
AJ - Gosh, I don't know. We had a guy that would say, ``I don't believe this outfit is ever going overseas.'' When we got over there, they sent him back. The first night they had him out on guard. He ran down the road and went kind of berserk. They sent him back and he was a shoe salesman while we were over there fighting. We all found that out afterwards.
JS - How do you think you were able to make it through the war? You said you were not shot. Did you learn certain things to survive?
AJ - I never took chances. If we did have to I wanted to do it quick. I was put in for the Silver Service Cross the first day of battle, but then everybody got killed and nobody knew. Nothing ever happened. A lieutenant told me that I was put in for it because I took Colonel Lang, who was shot in the jaw and the leg. I never did go after it because our colonel was killed and the other colonel came in. He had enough to think about besides things that had happened before he got there.
JS - When people were killed, they were rapidly replaced by others?
AJ - Yeah, that was about the only way you could get a promotion. I was a corporal through the whole thing. That is what it took for that agent, but if I had of got killed somebody would have moved up to a corporal. That is as high as he could have gotten. Nothing wrong with being a corporal, but I was my own boss. I never had trouble. Only thing would have been if I had some over smoking cigars. I liked cigars and Dad sent me cigars from Garden City whenever I thought I was out. We had a routine that I would get a box every now and then. Captain Brown came in one day and I was smoking. You aren't supposed to do that when you drive a Jeep. Colonel Shafer stopped me and said, ``I guess you know I caught you smoking. If I catch you again, I will just have to bust you.''
It was about two hours after that, he and Brown were still walking and here I came back in smoking, again. I just drove right by them and they never said a word. I think Brown was telling him, ``I don't know who you are going to get to replace him to go up to that infantry every night and come back.
JS - You didn't smoke cigarettes?
AJ - I had smoked cigarettes, but I wound up on cigars. I chewed tobacco, too.
JS - Your wife and Karen were back here. Did she live with her parents?
AJ - She lived with my parents. Karen would always talk about her dad, but she wasn't sure she had a dad.
JS - Were there good times or funny things that happened?
AJ - It is just like a bunch of men working. Of course, I was never around the guns or anything like that. I was in that Jeep all the time, going or taking something or a message to somebody. The colonel would go with me and I would have to go back sometimes, but not too often.
JS - You interacted with officers more?
AJ - Yeah, I had to work with them a lot.
JS - How do you think the experience changed you when you think about it?
AJ - I don't know. The only time I'd get real bad is over that dead guy. His sister was a Parks from Montezuma. I would like to talk to her. He had a wife and a little girl that his wife had when he married her. She took care of Karen Sue all the time when they were babies. This guy in the picture had a three day pass and he had a letter from some girl, someplace. Later I saw him in Kansas City and he had a different wife than what he had when he was in the Army.
JS - Did you keep up with anyone else after you got out?
AJ - I kept up with Buzz Wilson from Emporia. He was a wire sergeant. He would be out when I was out there at two-thirty in the morning trying to find the infantry. He would be out there trying to run a line to them. We would run into each other in the night and we would visit for a little while.
JS - When you were out there in the night, were you scared?
AJ - Oh, you get used to it. Everybody else got scared before they ever left.
Night scared some of them, but I just got used to it.
JS - When you knew that you had enough points to come home and be discharged, did you know what you were going to do?
AJ - Oh yeah. Harold stayed home and I got to come home because old Brown had given me two passes to come home and cut wheat before I went overseas. They were fifteen day furloughs to cut wheat.
JS - You knew when you were coming back that you were going to go back into farming?
AJ - That was just what I wanted to do.
JS - What was life like when you got back? I know that during the war there was rationing. Was that still the same way when you came back?
AJ - We had gone through a little of that before I went overseas when Karen and my wife were with me. We had to get those K-rations and stuff. The only thing I got was tires. I had blown out four tires from California to Alabama, but I had all new ones when I got to Alabama so she made it home all right. The girls, when we knew we were leaving the next day, came down and drove through and saw us and all went home.
JS - Did your wife remain friends with some of those?
AJ - Well, like Pete Boese there. We lost track of them, but Wilsons, we went to both of their funerals when they died. I bought a couple of tractors from Buzz and an ensilage wagon.
JS - Is there any other anecdote or story that you think might be important when people are reading through these?
AJ - Some people get a little interested in it and I get a little interested in it and when I read your book, I wondered if it was by the Joyce that I am to meet.
JS - You had lived through the depression and you came back and there were still shortages. Had your dad served in the military?
AJ - No. I was born in '17 and Harold was nine years older than I was. He hadn't married, but he got married afterward. Whoever went was going to farm together with the other afterward. If you can find that Parks lady, it would help me.
JS - You can't remember his name?
AJ - No. Her husband worked in a drugstore in Montezuma. When we came through from California, he went to Sublette and I came to Garden City. We met over by Hutchinson. We had seven or eight days traveling time and we met over south of Hutchinson, toward Wichita. We followed one another on the way to Alabama.
JS - His last name was Pays?
AJ - Boese, I think it was.
JS - Was he from Gray County, originally?
AJ - He was from Hutchinson. All those guys were from Hutchinson.
JS - You served with a lot of people from Kansas, then.
AJ - About everybody, we got some guys in from North Carolina, but the 35th Division was Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Oklahoma boys. That was in the First World War, too. It has been in two World Wars.
JS - When you were discharged and got out of the service, was there any thought that you might have wanted to stay in?
AJ - No. Not a bit.
JS - As you were moving in and fighting the Germans, what did you think of the enemy?
AJ - We tore them up more than they tore us up. Our Air Corps really did a job on them. I went through towns where you could smell dead bodies that you had to pretty near put a handkerchief around you nose.
JS - I know you said you give a lot of credit to the planes in the Air Force. It is hard to be objective, but when you step back and see how everything worked to eventually win the war, it is amazing.
AJ - It is.
Interviewer: Joyce Sullentrop (JS)
Interviewee: Arthur Jones (AJ)
Tape 2 of 2
JS - Paul Rixon was doing basically the same thing moving through and you went to see Orson Byer?
AJ - I said Paul saw Orson Byer over there. I didn't see him. I couldn't stay very long. I forget which outfit he was with. He got tired of having that basic stuff all the time in one outfit right after the other. He did a good job of giving basic training. He was more like a teacher.
JS - When you said you had a full tank of gas, what if you had run out of gas. What would have happened?
AJ - It wasn't that far away. It was just a little ways down there. They were the outfit just south of us.
JS - Did trucks bring the gas and follow you in?
AJ - Colored people brought the gas. I fully believe that Patton told him that if they would just give him the gas, he would be in Berlin by now.
JS - Did you ever see Patton?
AJ - Yeah, I just saw him in his Jeep. I didn't go over and say ``Howdy, I'm Corporal Jones or anything like that.''
JS - Did you hear any stories about him?
AJ - Oh yes, we heard stories about him hitting that kid before. That worked all right for us. When he came up there, we didn't have anybody yet so we figured we would be under Patton, all right. He sure made us all feel good when he said the Third Army was the best Army he ever had. We didn't have one half day off all through this campaign. We were going to take a break, but we got unloaded and a march order. The guys were in trouble and we all went back. We never had a break, just that one little break right there. One kid shot himself in the toe, I think. He said,''Hell, I can't take it.''
JS - Did you have any kind of recreation? Were there cards or anything?
AJ - We played poker and stuff like that. There weren't too many poker players.
When we were in the Army, at times we didn't have time to play poker. Before we went overseas, we had some poker games.
JS - I know that some of the men have talked about how they could go into town and have a beer or something. When you are fighting like that, you can't do things like that?
AJ - You hear of them falling in love over there. That is a bunch of hooey. We never did see any girls or anything.
JS - You would be so busy.
AJ - We saw Bing Crosby. He came out to where we were and right close to us. You didn't have to go very far to see him. He had some guy with him. He put on a good show. He sang.
JS - Did you even know that there were holidays, like Christmas? Were they celebrated in anyway?
AJ - We were on our way up to the Bulge about four in the morning and it was dark. They were fixing pork chops and they were about half boiled. That was the poorest meal we had all the time we were getting up there. Old Patton, in that movie, he tells about telling that guy, the rainmaker, that he had better have the sun come out in the morning. Boy, it did and everything went all right then.
JS - It was very snowy and very cold?
AJ - Oh yeah.
JS - Was there any rain during that?
AJ - No, I don't think so. There was enough rain in Tennessee maneuvers to last a long time. My old overcoat, I had on, got so wet and then it froze and I could hardly stand up and hold it.
JS - Did you ever take a trip back?
AJ - No, I didn't. I couldn't learn the German and French. I couldn't understand that.
Interviewer: Joyce Sullentrop (JS)
Interviewee: Arthur Jones (AJ)
Tape 2 of 2