On Liberty In Oran
Harv is the smiley fellow above third from the left
I don't understand just why I am continuing with this project, as I went for 50 +yrs. without talking about the wars I was in, but do to the asking , badgering and threats from from my #2 daughter and my son-in-law James, I agreed to do what I could.
A few memories of a lighter note came to mind, so I thought I would share them with you. One was when we finally moved onto North Africa and were ordered NOT to drink the water. As we went ashore, this order left us nothing to drink but wine and another liquor; I can't remember the name of. That was my first taste of ANY alcoholic beverage in my life! It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. LOL!!
I do remember that it was always hot and dry there. Very sandy and dusty as well. I can't remember any time while out on the Mediterranean of any really bad weather, but sometimes the swells were pretty high. Yet on an LST that was considered rough weather enough.
After the fighting eventually moved farther west and things calmed down and we went back to Arzew from delivering troops, tanks etc. I was given a weekend pass, and luckily the skipper let me have his station wagon for the weekend. So my closest Buddy and I drove south into the desert to a place called Sidi Bel Abbis. This place was the headquarters of the famous French Foreign Legion. As we drove up to the gates of their complex, we stopped and tried to decide whether to go on, or to turn back.
Why you ask?
Well the guards at the gate looked to be the meanest men we had ever seen, and we had no idea as to how they felt about Yankee sailors...
But we went on and I want to say that I never remember being more warmly greeted or shown such decent respect, or ever given a better time. They treated us royalty and showed us everything about the French Foreign Legion. THEY ARE ONE GREAT OUTFIT!
Lastly, one more surprising thing happened while in Oran. My buddy and I went to a very modern decent looking hotel to get something to eat. Boy what a shock this turned out to be!!!! This beautiful modern building had no plumbing and no running water whatsoever. It was decided by us that it was nothing more than a big fancy outhouse. LOL!
And if you thought that was funny, listen to Harv tell you in his own words about another wild time he had during the Invasion of North Afrika!:
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