Smitty’s drawings and a cold shower

Various Army latrines

Various Army latrines

Smitty did not write home about his experience with the showers. (Unfortunately, I do not remember which island this story occurred on.)

He was coming back into camp after having a nice cold shower.  He walked back with a towel wrapped around his middle and held it closed with his left hand.  The jungle appeared quiet except for the buzzing of the insects whizzing around him.

WAC Invasion

He said, “You know how annoying just one mosquito can be when it’s hovering by your ears.  This was like a swarm and I tried like hell to use my right hand to swat them away from my face.  When I began to approach our tents there was not one man to be seen and I couldn’t imagine where they all went.  As I got closer I could hear the G.I.s yelling and they were waving their arms as they crouched in their tents, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying.  Besides, I was too preoccupied with swatting the bugs. 

“When I got back to my tent complaining about how aggravating the bugs on the island were, I asked them what all the hooting and hollering was all about.  All they kept doing was checking my skin and asking if I was alright. 

Somebody yelled, ‘Those were no jungle bugs — that’s shrapnel!’  When they discovered that I had been hit, someone happily said that I could put in for a Purple Heart.”

WAC Invasion

WAC Invasion

After a good laugh between Dad and I, I asked if he ever put in for the medal.  He laughed again and said that he was too embarrassed.  “For one thing I felt stupid for not realizing what was going on and second, I didn’t want to be grouped into being one of those guys that put in for a Purple Heart every time they nicked themselves shaving.  It would be like taking something away from the men who actually did get wounded and deserved the medal.”

Click on images to enlarge.

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Current News – 

LX_WWII_Veteran_Visits

WWII Veteran Honors Gen. George Patton

Proving that patriotism cannot be measured by a person’s race or culture, World War II, Korea and Vietnam War veteran Robert Nobuo Izumi has lived nearly his entire life serving our country.  Izumi, who is a Japanese-American, was forced into an internment camp with his family shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In June 1944 he joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an all Japanese-American unit. Read more about Izumi’s career and his visit to Luxembourg American Cemetery to honor Patton.

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Military Humor – 

sadsack38

Sad Sack on latrine duty

Proud of a job well-done.

Proud of a job well-done.

latrine_duty

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Farewell Salutes – 

Louis Baron – Beechwood, OH; US Army, WWII

Thomas ‘Duke’ Davis – Huntsville, AL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

Clarence Herbin – Pillager, MN; Merchant Marines / US Army, WWII

'On Guard' by SFC Peter G. Varisano

‘On Guard’ by SFC Peter G. Varisano

Jack Kurtzer – Bronx, NY; US Navy, WWII, USS Rogers, Sonarman

Olzy ‘O.M.’ Mabry – Great Falls, MT; US Navy, WWII

David Nicholls – Sydney, AUS; RA Navy # NX269979, Captain (Ret.)

Margaret Percival – San Diego, CA; US Navy WAVE, WWII, yeoman

Ernest Rose – Sheboygan, WI; US Army, WWII, ETO

William Schilperoort – Seattle, WA; US Navy, WWII, mine sweeper

William Shields – Toronto, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII, ETO, pilot

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on January 26, 2017, in First-hand Accounts, SMITTY, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 103 Comments.

  1. I have Big respect for the american and canadian soldiers protecting us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. GP, And I was just thinking about YOU as this week for me to post approached! Thanks for that “Like” on my little principal’s story! I can really identify here from my Vietnam service! –That hot shower after a hard & hot day, if the water truck had delivered, & the mosquito netting &/or fan or you would be eaten alive trying to sleep!!! And a Purple Heart for shaving…..We had a guy trip on a wooded board walk on the sand going to get an M16 at the arms room during a rocket attack….Hurt his toe, just a little blood, & got a Purple Heart! The Smitty cartoons are priceless!! May you & all be well, GP!!!!!!!! Still going heavy of the old house here….now I’m taking down asbestos covering on the basement heating pipes & putting on new pipe wrap. Phil

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This one gave me a good laugh! He was one lucky dude!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Enjoyed that story gp, I recall reading of many other such incidents of coolness under fire without knowing.
    Those cartoons are real classics and show the great sense of camp humour.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Never mind the Purple Heart — he should have received a decoration for coolness while under fire!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on Musings of a Penpusher and commented:
    Cartoons afford so much information with great humour and these capture the essence of comradeship between service personnel everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cartoons afford so much information with great humour and these capture the essence of comradery between service personnel everywhere. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great story! I know I misses my dad too. He was a Navy man in WWII. He lied about his age and went in at 15. So young to experience so much. I am happy to say he is resting with my mom at Arlington National Cemetery. It was always his dream and I’m so thrilled that we could make that dream come true for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I bet he took good photographs, too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Woooooooow your father was an optimist,a cartonist and great and good man.Like the humor!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Those mozzies must’ve been huge for your dad to have mistaken shrapnel for them. It could have been worse and thank God it turned out well.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great story. My Uncle Allen served under Patton and is buried in the same cemetery in Luxembourg. We visited last year.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. fun – but chilling at the same time.
    laughing at the humor (and drawings) but kinda makes my heart sink with the shrapnel – reminders of the seriousness of war.
    oh and the cleaning crew image was super fun – love the pose with mops and brooms….

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh my! 😮
    What a great memory…and his drawings are a hoot! 😀
    I admire and respect his decision concerning the medal.
    Lesson learned: There are things that bug us worse than bugs!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great story. Will be reading your blog but not commenting due to just getting of hospital.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Funny story! Your dad sounds like he was humble and I imagine a Purple Heart would not have fit his personality…even if he deserved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He was very proud of what the 11th Airborne accomplished and glad he was part of it, but he never took credit for any of it. So yes, you mailed it, the Purple Heart did not fit his personality. Thanks, Bev, you put it perfectly. [sometimes I can’t find the words to explain what I mean – guess that’s why I’m NOT a professional writer, haha].

      Like

  17. Your dad was not only a great letter writer and a cartoonist to top, but also had a great sense of humor. I bet that carried him through the war. Looking at the drawings, your dad also was a visionary and foresaw our modern times with its emphasis on gender equality in our washroom facilities. Haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Funny you should mention gender equality. I was just discussing dad in that vein yesterday. I tried to remember anytime at all when Smitty felt a girl was unqualified for anything – couldn’t come up with a single time. Perhaps because he grew up with his mom and grandmother and saw what they accomplished! Thanks for bringing it up, Peter.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. That is funny story. I like the cartoons. They are funny too.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What a story, GP. I loved those drawings. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. The drawings are really humorous, G. Hard to imagine mistaking shrapnel for mosquito bites! Those must have been some potent insects! But then I watched a thick skinned moose in Alaska being driven nuts by bugs. It took off running to get away and then ended up rolling in a snow bank. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I love your father’s stories! Darn those mosquitoes! Even simple things like getting a shower were dangerous for the men.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Great story – can’t think anyone would have cribbed about him getting a Purple Heart after walking through shrapnel in a towel!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Was he actually hurt? What a story!! And I can’t believe he can draw AND write! What a guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. This was a great story! I would of been embarrassed too! You do such great work here in telling our history. Laurie

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Well done to your dad for not applying for the medal. Mind you, I am amazed that a shrapnel storm can be anything like being bitten by mosquitoes. Fascinating stuff, GP!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Quite a difference between Smitty’s attitude about applying for a Purple Heart and John Kerry’s! What a fraud Kerry has been all his life! (I’ll stop right there – I feel a rant coming on …)

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Did not see this one coming at all!!! I salute your dad…what an amazing guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I love it…especially his drawings, really gets into his character a bit! 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Now, this is an experience I never would have imagined. I live in very annoying bug country, so I sort of understand how he could have made that mistake — a swarm of what we call no-see-ums, or biting flies, and feel like a real attack. But I never, never would have throught that true schrapnel could be mistaken for them. That’s pretty darned interesting. I’m surely glad he wasn’t badly hurt!

    Liked by 1 person

    • He had a couple of scars linger on his arms, but that’s all. He said New Guinea had mosquitoes and other insects that could do a heck of a lot more damage! Hope you enjoyed your visit here today, Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. This has to be one of the most peculiar wartime recollections I’ve read in a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m just thrilled so many seem to be enjoying history!! Thanks for being one of those that drop by here, Swabby. We’ve been following each other for a mighty long long time now.

      Like

  31. Your Dad had a very interesting war experience! This was quite a story.

    I’ve noticed how humble and self-deprecating many Purple Heart recipients are. I had a friend who was clerk in his company in Viet Nam. He got a trivial wound in his butt when a mortar round hit his unit, and it was sufficient to get a Purple Heart.

    He always felt it was a joke more than something he deserved. Regardless, he served in Viet Nam at a time when many draft age young men found ways to avoid service all together. I can respect his Purple Heart, no matter how trivial the wound or the location of the injury!

    Liked by 4 people

  32. Wow!Thats quite a story. 😅

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Buna ziua si bine v-am regasit !
    Toti se emotioneaza la suferinta unui prieten, dar numai un suflet cu adevarat bun, se poate bucura de succesele unui prieten. Iti multumesc ca-mi esti alaturi!

    Hello, well I found!
    Everyone touches the suffering of a friend, but a very good soul, enjoy the successes of a friend. Thanks to you with me!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Fabulous post, as ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Thank you for including a post about my father on your list.

    Like

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