B-26 Marauder 320th Bomb Group

Nazi Admiral Yields French Hospital to American Patient
by Homer Bigart

 

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Carried 8 Miles Across Hills

 

"They tied my leg with parachute cord and carried me up a mountain to a cave. Then they rigged up a burlap stretcher and carried me fifteen kilometers (eight and one-half miles) across the hills to Ollioules, where they found an ambulance. That night I slept in a Toulon hospital, drugged with morphine. French officials tried to persuade the Germans to let me remain, but on invasion eve they sent me to an underground evacuation center. I felt pretty miserable -- I thought they'd take me clear to Germany. The next morning a lot of ambulances drove up and I was taken to Aix.

"I received good medical care. Once they made a half-hearted effort to pump me. A German captain asked, 'What will you do with us after you've won?' He also wanted to know how long I thought the war would last and whether we would continue to insist on unconditional surrender.

"They gave me good treatment. Nurses gave me so many cigarettes and chocolates that I had a twinge of conscience. The other patients were getting only one or two cigarettes a day. So when I had collected a cigar box full of cigarettes I asked a nurse to distribute them among the others.
     "I think I know why they treated me so well. The Partisans were raising hell all about, and they were happy to have an American around for their own security."


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