Page 4 -TASK FORCE HOGAN

crawled over to Clark and I and asked our opinion on what We should do. We decided that He would take the other two and try to make his way back to the area we had left that afternoon, and we would delay and come along later and meet them so our movement would not be noticed. They made quite a lot of noise as they crawled away; or at least under the circumstance, we thought so. Worrell and I waited about 20 mintues, then crawled back a ways before we dared stand erect. It was dark and really getting colder. We made our way back to approximately where we had been that afternoon, or it least thought we had. We whispered as loud as we dared "H0GAN"and no answer. We searched. For about an hour with no results, and assumed that the others had probably been captured by a patrol. We also were becoming a little confused as to direction. We didn't know it at the time but Hogan also figured we had been captured, and he and the others, somehow made it around Beffe and managed. to get back to the Task Force, which had been moved by Walker to the village of Marcouray. Worrel and I elected that We would try to go North, and possibly get back to friendly troops. The only directional device We had was an Illuminated German dial compass that Worrell had, so with him as navigator we started North.

3. THE TWO PHANTOMS

I looked at my Watch. It was 1 A.M. We had been wondering around for several hours and. changed direction each time we thought we were running into trouble . You're sixth sense seems to work at a time like that. We left the woods and made our way across a field. WE continually thought we saw the shape of vehicles, but guessed that our eyes were playing tricks on us. We once again came to the edge of the Ardennes forest, made our way Into the trees, and decided we would try to sleep for a bit. This was almost Impossible, because now the sleet and snow had started to come down hard, but we got up against the trunk of a tree and fell into a fitful slumber brought on by shear exhaustion. Soon the sound of motors awaked us. As we raised up we pulled away from the ground because our jackets were frozen to it. We crept to the edge of the trees and looked out across the field we had crossed in the inky blackness a few hours before. It was just past dawn. We evidental1 had walked right through the middle of the German assembly area. They were moving out, and we assumed they must have again been heading for Hotten. Worrell and. I went the other way, now healing West. We came to the edge of the forest Again and were looking across at a valley. At the foot of the valley approximately 1/2 mile away, we saw a village. Just on our side of the village was the river, and we knew this must be the Ourthe that ran on down through LaRoche. We didn't see any sign of movement; not even civilians, but there was smoke coming from a chimney at a house just the other side of the road. We saw a footbridge over the river down to our right. and decided to move out using all the cover possible. We made it across the river, up to the house, and not seeing any vehicles, knocked on the door. The door opened and there was a Belgium family in the house. We explained In French as best we could, that we were not Germans but Americans trying to get back to our lines. One of them spoke reasonably good English and told us that they knew the Americans were In the town of Marche, and one of' the men told us he would go with us and show the way. He had his bicycle, and as we left the house we heard the sound of vehicles up the road. Not thinking we had been spotted. We went behind the house and waited. They had spotted us, however, and pulled off the road a few housed down. There was a fence about seven feet high on our left and we started for it. The Germans open fire just as I reached the strand of barbed wire on top. Clark was already over. I remember in a flash seeing our Begium friend on the ground near the fence. We never knew whether he was hit, or not. The bullets, went though the leg of of my combat suit, and I hit the ground on the other side running. We ran behind a house next, door, then cut up the hill, and managed to reach a cemetery at the top of the hill. We hid behind the tombstones. Once again we were the hunted. They patrolled for about an hour, and as it was just beginning to get dark gave up the hunt. Neither of us mentioned our thoughts to the other but we were in all that hell of combat thought Normandy, both

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