B-26 Marauder 320th Bomb Group

Nazi Admiral Yields French Hospital to American Patient
by Homer Bigart


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Hails American Tank


"At noon a German officer came into the room all excited and told me to get ready. Apparently the Germans had pulled out without fighting. My leg hurt like hell, so I went down and loaded myself with brandy. They told me that Americans were at the airport two miles down the road.

"We drove very slowly I kept waving the white sheet from a window. Then we came around a curve and I saw an American tank just ahead. We stopped. I yelled, 'Hey, Mac, are you from Brooklyn?' Some G.I. stuck his head out of the turret and waves us up. He asked if I had any souvenirs and I remembered all the Lugers and tommy guns and grenades the admiral collected from the patients. He locked them in an empty room and gave me the key.

"An American colonel told me to go back to the hospital and take command until medical personnel arrived. The hospital had plenty of food, water, and medical supplies, and the colonel said the Germans could continue to run the place as they saw fit."

When this correspondent reached the hospital this afternoon, a small crowd of American troops and Partisans was outside. A small group of convalescent Dutch marines had shed German uniforms and sat in underwear on the pavilion steps apart from German soldiers sunning themselves on a verandah.    

Lieutenant Colonel William McCarthy, a surgeon from Philadelphia, inspected the hospital and found only one American -- the sergeant -- within. He introduced himself to Admiral Eyerich, who gave the hospital census as 246 wounded, forty-six medical patients and thirty-six venereal disease cases. The majority were Germans, with some Dutch, Poles, and Czechs.

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