11th Airborne Medic (2)

11th A/B medics

Being as the world situation hasn’t changed much and the previous post was so well received, I decided all of you must be glad I haven’t gotten back to any sad or depressing posts on the Pacific side of the war.

So, here is another story told to us by Ray Sweet of the Medical Detachment/152nd Airborne Anti Aircraft Battalion/11th Airborne Division.

During WWII, aluminum was a fairly precious metal , so iron was used to manufacture beer containers for use overseas.  (A beer post will follow this one).

Into the dispensary one day came this small patient accompanied by her frantic mother, who spoke no English.  The little one, while playing, had found an empty beer can.  For some reason or another, she chose to insert her tongue only to find the can now firmly stuck to the end of her tongue and impossible to remove.

The medics on duty, seeing her big, brown eyes full of fear and a tear upon her tiny cheek, were beside themselves as what to do.  After a hurried conference,it was decided to call the motor pool to come with some tin snips and assist.  Upon seeing the huge automotive sheers, both mother and child became even more frightened.

Airborne Medic, even in antiaircraft units

After an hour of very careful and painstaking work on the part of the motor pool, all but a jagged, star-shaped piece of metal surrounding the tongue had been removed.  Then it was the medics’ turn to address the problem.

Using two pair of forceps, the metal ring around the tongue was slowly bent backwards and forwards.  It seemed like a thousand times before it broke and fell free, without a trace of blood.  The little one ran to her mother crying and it was over.

The ambulance driver and the big, gruff guy from the motor pool that everyone called “Sarge” were both in tears, but it was over.

There were definitely advantages to being a medic, that made up for all the bloody and boring bits!

 

This story was originally published in “The Voice of the Angels”, 11th A/B Division newspaper.

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Military Humor –

CPR exhibited by one who knows…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Corona virus – on the lighter side – 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Edward Bloch – Philadelphia, PA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO

Milik J. Craig – USA; US Army, Spec., 1/501st Infantry Regiment

Andy Frasieur (101) – Yoncalla, OR; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Chirf Warrant Officer, Purple Heart

Titus Hagy – Harpers Ferry, WV; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT

Arlyn V. Mathewson – Bailey, OH; US Army, Korea, 11th Airborne Division

John Prine – Chicago, IL; US Army / singer

Lloyd Puett – Etowah, TN; US Navy, WWII, Seaman 1st Class

Cody L. Randall – Wasilla, AK; US Army, Sgt., Co. C/307th Expeditionary Signal Battalion

Donald D. Stoddard – Boulder, CO; USMC, WWII, ETO & PTO, 2nd, 6th & 8th Marines, Sgt., KIA (Tarawa)

Jason A. Thomas – Philadelphia, PA; US Army, Spec., 1st Squadron/40th Cavalry Regiment

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About GP

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

Posted on April 9, 2020, in First-hand Accounts, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 149 Comments.

  1. Thank you for the heart-warming story. I appreciate the lift!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful story, GP — sweet but amusing.
    You always find something that fascinates me. One, I’ve always been intrigued by the medical people in the armed forces. But mostly, while I knew there were a lot of shortages and creative substitutions during WWII, I had never heard of iron being used as a food/beverage container. That amazed me. Stay happy and sassy, my friend. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • With all that went on the first half of the 20th Century, we are seeing more and more of those people hit 100 years old! No wonder why they are repeatedly called the Greatest Generation!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great story! I’m a new reader, looking forward to catching up with your stories…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sure neither mother nor child forgot the incident. Happy Easter.

    Like

  5. What a sweet story. I’m not surprised they were scared of the automotive shears! I’m glad it all ended well. 🙂 Thanks for the smile, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. theburningheart

    Great story thank you.
    Keep safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. They were first responders back then … didn’t get the thanks they earned. So let’s make sure all those brave Covid-19 warriors protecting us and saving lives today get all the thanks and support they so richly deserve.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a story. Save and rescue, even a beer can is in the game. 😉 Have a blessed Easter, GP! Stay save! Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Medics, doctors, nurses, oh my gosh, what would we do without these wonderful souls who save lives every day? 👏

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I just got an email from a man who’s dad was with my dad’s troup as a lieutenant . If it was not for your blog I would gave never met him. I am so grateful. You have been instumental in bringing life to dark days of life and death situations. I am so thankful to you! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Harrowing … and human! Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That was the sweetest story. 🙂 Hope you are staying safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for these stories! We need them right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ouch. Can we have the beer now?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. A medic would not have been on my priority list, gah, but so vital. Love the dummy cartoon says a lot. There must always be a beer post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Not heard their stories before. Really great idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Your joke about the husband forced at last to do all those jobs around the house may be only too true.
    The next stage after that, of course, is the hospital A & E full of stupid men who have accidentally nailed their hands to the wall or removed a finger or two while cutting the wood to put a shelf up.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. GP – The link below is off this exact topic but certainly pertinent to your account of the war in the Pacific: https://www.historynet.com/killing-the-yamato.htm

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What a delightful, uplifting story. Just what I needed. There were many sides to the war and we usually only hear about the terrors.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. And I’ll bet that’s the last time the young woman ever stuck her tongue into a can! –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  21. That is a great story, GP! It reminds me of one I heard long ago about a little boy who had gotten his pants zipper stuck between his front teeth. He had tried to pull up his zipper with his teeth and it got stuck.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Oh, hurray for those medics and motor pool guys! As soon as soda cans and a child came up I figured that’s what she’d done lol! (My youngest was trying that with the holes on a shopping cart on our last outing before quarantine- thankfully she didn’t get stuck, but ewwwww!) Thanks for another great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I must admit, I’ve done that same thing, inserting my tongue into an empty drinks can. Thankfully I’ve never had it stuck though so I consider my self lucky!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. AW! What a great story! Bet everyone involved, especially the little girl, shared it with everyone they knew! 🙂

    I didn’t know Mr. Prine served! I thank him! And he will be missed. So glad we have his music with us.

    HA! on the “I’ll do it when…” 😀 Maybe some Honey-Do Lists are getting taken care of these days! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) 🙂
    PS…I put a finger and a knee into some places we were told not to (long stories) just to see if they would fit. Fortunately they didn’t get stuck. And I didn’t get into trouble. 😮 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  25. From my experience, as an Air Force medic during the early seventies. No matter how bad it got, there were always lighter moments.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. For me people are really freaking out, and it is human nature I got that. But having lived what I lived I might as well, actually I do take it not so seriously. Me that is, others should. But my thought process is like war, you can do everything they tell you to do but at the end of the day is luck. And I think that picture at the end the persons that looks a bit like Einstein, that is me!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. All’s well that ends well. Love this light side of the war.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Loved the “I’ll do it when I have time”!! Continue to stay safe!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. What a lovely story about the beer can and child, GP. Also thanks for including John Prine in your Fairwell salute today.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. That is one for the books. Fun. Glad it worked out!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. This is a great story! Thank you! Stay well my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Thank you!! I loved this GP 😊🌷

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I guess that is one step worse than putting your tongue on a frozen flag pole. Go get a blow torch from the motor pool and we will defrost the flag pole – oh and some barbecue sauce for the tongue…

    Liked by 2 people

  34. People in the armed forces may appear tough and sometimes rough, but most have hearts like marshmallow.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. What a touching little story, GP! I bet the little girl never forgot this traumatic incidence of her early childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Lovely sweet story, GP. The cartoons are funny too. Have you caught up on your “honey do” list during this time of Coronavirus?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I have – last week! Now I make up things to do to pass the time. That a fine “how-do-you-do”, I complain about the months and years whizzing by too quickly and now I waste time on purpose!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s an odd turn of events for most of us. I had read that Spring creeps up the side of the mountain (wish I could remember what I heard but I think it’s 100 feet a day). This year, I actually have a chance to note how almost every day, the trees are turning green further and further up the mountain. When was the last time we were able to observe nature comparatively closer?

        Liked by 1 person

  37. These are the sort of stories that fascinate me. My mom used to tell me of events she remembered as a child during WWII – she grew up on the shores of Belfast Lough in N Ire.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. That’s a sweet story. It takes a lot to bring those guys to tears. I like the cartoons today, especially the CPR dummy.

    I hope you are staying safe and being careful, GP, we need you well.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. how frightened they must have been, and what a kind and gentle act

    Liked by 1 person

  40. That took me back to having to be ‘inventive’, during my time as an EMT in London. Nice to read these non-combat stories, GP.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Lovely, heartwarming story, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Brilliant story, incorporating humour, humanity and sidelights on beer and metal shortages. Something for everyone, and a great start to the day. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. I’m loving the medic stories!

    Liked by 1 person

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